Singapore: what you need to know before your trip
Singapore is a city-state in southeast Asia. I’ve been to Singapore several times, and I always didn’t want to leave.
It is almost two and a half times the size of Moscow. But there are so many attractions and places of interest here that a week’s vacation wouldn’t be enough. For example, in Singapore I have been to the Space Botanic Garden, seen a free show of huge robot birds and visited the zoo, where animals are treated better than people. There’s also a hotel-ship with a photogenic rooftop pool and Eastern neighborhoods where you can soak in Indian flavor for a couple of hours.
Singapore is fun and expensive. In my experience, you can save money on entertainment there, but not on the experience. I’ll tell you how to do it.
What you will learn.
How long to fly: from Moscow – from 10 and a half hours, from St. Petersburg – from 13 hours.
The difference with Moscow: +5 hours.
When is the season: all year round.
Language: Chinese, English, Malay.
Location: on the coast of the South China Sea, bordered by Malaysia and Indonesia.
✈️ Getting there
A direct flight from Moscow to Singapore is available on Singapore Airlines. But flights are not always available – check the schedule. Your ticket costs from 23 000 P if you buy in advance.
I also recommend checking tickets for Turkish, Chinese and Qatari airlines. You can get a round-trip ticket for 18,000 R . If you change planes with Turkish Airlines, you can get a free sightseeing tour of Istanbul during your connecting flight.
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It’s always hot in Singapore. The temperature is +24…31 °C all year round. Humidity is high, averaging 81%. On a hot day, it feels like walking through a sauna. No matter how many times I straightened my hair, it would curl after 10 minutes.
The swimming season in Singapore never ends. Regardless of the season the water temperature is +26 … 31 ° C. But for a beach holiday, few people go there. The sea in Singapore is not the most comfortable – I’ll tell you about it next.
Despite the heat, I recommend always carrying a light jacket or scarf. The air conditioners in malls and restaurants are on full blast – it’s easy to catch a cold.
Visa to Singapore
Visa is arranged at agencies such as Asia Visa Center, Vipservice or Global Singapore. Residents of Moscow and St. Petersburg can take the application form to the visa center or apply for a visa with the “Pony Express” service.
There are also frequent connections in Singapore. If you have a ticket to a third country, you can stay in the city without a visa for 96 hours. A prerequisite is to leave Singapore by plane.
Before you fly, it’s best to print out information from the official government website that Russian residents can stay in Singapore for 4 days. Some airlines do not know about visa-free transit and may not let you on the plane without a visa.
Almost everywhere in Singapore accepts cards and has paypass. My advice is to always have some cash. A couple of times my Visa card didn’t read, but that’s more of an exception.
Attractions in Singapore
Airport. In Singapore, you can get your camera at the airport already: there are carpets on the floor, a pleasant aroma in the air, and constantly changing scenery. And if you are lucky enough to fly out of Terminal 4, it is worth coming in advance to see the fountain and the small botanical garden inside. I suggest stopping in front of the wall on which the houses are painted. There’s a computer performance going on in them that tells how neighbors get along in the same house. At first, I thought they were living people – the video installation looked so realistic.
Already at the airport it was clear that this city loves beauty and luxury. An owl glows with thousands of bright lights.
“Gardens by the Bay” is a huge green area that combines nature and modern architecture. The park complex includes the Flower Dome greenhouse, Flower Dome, and the Cloud Forest Gallery, Cloud Forest, with a waterfall inside.
The garden itself is free to walk around at any time. The huge metal structures in the form of trees reminded me of the movie Avatar. During the day they look somehow incomplete: they seem to be missing hanging vines or crowns. But in the evening, the thin branches are illuminated by lights, and the trees look like in a fairy tale. Walking across the bridges between the giant trees makes you feel so tiny.
Walking through the park in hot weather is hard, so I looked at the modern art quickly and from a distance. The huge baby probably symbolizes something good.
I would recommend looking at the waterfall in the Cloud Forest. First of all, it is the largest waterfall in the room – 30 meters high, and secondly, it is very beautiful. You can admire the waterfall from below and from above. To do this you must climb up and walk over the suspension bridges.
I was struck by the fact that everything in the “Cloud Forest” is man-made. The waterfall seems to fall from a real mountain. The lighting is excellent and the colors are saturated – even amateur photographers get great shots.
The Flower Dome has flower arrangements, trees and plants from all over the world. I don’t know about flowers, so I can’t remember the names. But many of them I saw there for the first time. Some were so beautiful that they seemed artificial to me. In fact, all the plants are alive. That’s what the park employee said.
This sculpture was donated to the greenhouse by the airport. The travelers have such sad faces, as if they had flown into an abandoned village rather than one of the most beautiful cities in the world
Little India is an area where Indians live and work. There I instantly forgot that I was in one of the cleanest and most modern cities in the world. The neighborhood is anthill houses, untended and dirty streets, and stores with shops. But despite the unpresentable appearance, I like to come there because of the color. There are aromas of spices and flowers in the store windows, and Indians decorate their houses with wreaths of fresh flowers.
If you like Indian food, stick around for lunch. I adore almost every dish. I recommend trying biryani – rice with added spices, chicken in different sauces and, of course, naan – the traditional Indian flatbread.
Vegetables can be bought in one of the stores in the area. In the markets there are many local Hindus in traditional clothes – sari
Chinatown is another authentic neighborhood with a small Chinese town atmosphere. In the narrow streets there are colorful houses, numerous shops and restaurants. On the streets hang Chinese lanterns, figures of dragons. Many Chinese signs on the stores make the area very photogenic. The quarter is safe, as in all tourist spots in Singapore, so you can walk around even in the evening.
If you want, you can go to the Buddha Temple. The building is done in typical Chinese architecture style: slightly turned out roofs like on pagodas, big windows, bright colors. In the evening with the lighting it looks even more beautiful.
“Marina Bay Sands is a hotel that is world famous for its swimming pool. On the roof of the hotel as if a cruise ship docked. There is a pool, a viewing platform, a restaurant and a bar. In the sun the hotel shimmers and glitters, and in the evening illuminated by thousands of lights. For me, it is one of the most beautiful buildings I have seen.
I dreamed of staying in this hotel, but I always felt sorry for the money: a room costs from 15,000 P per night and up. Going in there to go up to the observation deck, I immediately realized that I had better dream of something else. The hotel lobby was crowded and there were giant lines at the front desk. The lobby was completely uncomfortable. When I got to the view deck and looked into the pool, I saw a soup of people there. Most of them had selfie sticks: they were trying to snatch a spot where they could take pictures by themselves. In my opinion, Marina Bay Sands is only worth going to for an Instagram check-in, but definitely not for the comfort.
The view from the Marina Bay Sands Hotel observation deck at Gardens by the Bay. The two domes are the Cloud Forest and the Flower Dome. The view of the ships fascinates me.
The observation decks are my weakness. I am always overcome by enthusiasm, which cannot be described or photographed.
Ferris wheel in Singapore. One full turn of the Singapore wheel takes 30 minutes. On average, there is room for 20 people in the cabin. You can move around on it and look around: there are large windows on all sides. Inside, it is not at all scary: because the wheel rises slowly, you almost do not feel the movement, but with every minute the height increases and there is a view of the Marina Bay Sands, skyscrapers and city districts.
If you have to choose between the hotel observation deck and the wheel, I would prefer the latter: the effect of slowly appearing buildings and the altitude gain is more interesting to me than just taking the elevator up in a couple of minutes. If you can, I recommend visiting both sites during the day and in the evening. The main streets in Singapore are brightly illuminated at night, and they look incredibly beautiful from above.
A detailed guide to Singapore tours
If you want to visit the legendary Singapore that so many people talk and write about, one of the most convenient ways to go to Singapore is to buy a tour. From this article you will learn what months of the year it is better to go on vacation in Singapore, how to choose a hotel in Singapore, for how many days to go, when and how best to buy a tour to Singapore, and what is more profitable and convenient tour or self-organized trip.
From this article you will learn:
When it’s best to go to Singapore
It is possible to vacation in Singapore all year round. The climate in Singapore is tropical with slight fluctuations in temperature throughout the year (average temperature ranges from 26 ° C to 28 ° C). The rainiest period is from November to January. The best time to visit Singapore is from February to September. For more information on the rainfall and weather patterns in Singapore, read the Singapore Weather & Climate article.
How many days is it worth to take a tour to Singapore?
Despite the modest size of the country, Singapore has a lot of entertainment and attractions. You can easily find something to do in Singapore for 5 – 7 days, and after all have time to rest after the flight and enjoy all the amenities of the hotel.
The waterfall at Gardens by the Bay The Merlion statue and Singapore’s business district
A must-see in Singapore:
- Singapore’s fabulous landmark, Gardens by the Bay ,
- Singapore Zoo, considered one of the finest zoos in the world,
- S.E.A Aquarium, Southeast Asia’s largest oceanarium,
- Singapore Botanical Gardens and Orchid Park,
- Marina Bay and Singapore’s iconic Merlion,
- Universal Studios Singapore, an amusement park,
- The largest bird park in the world, Jurong Bird Park, at Marina Bay,
- Asia’s largest Ferris wheel, the Singapore Flyer,
- Singapore’s historic ethnic neighborhoods: Chinese, Indian, and Malay (Muslim).
When and How to Buy a Tour in Singapore
It is important to remember that Singapore requires a visa and you should allow at least 5 business days (preferably 2 weeks) for the visa processing. You can apply for a visa for Singapore from the comfort of your home – via the Internet: you can apply, pay and receive the visa online through the visa centers and agencies. Visa validity period to Singapore – 5 weeks from the date of receipt. According to the terms of a visa it is worth to plan a trip and buy a tour to Singapore.
You can choose and buy a tour to Singapore with a flight from Russian cities on the websites of Travelata and Onlinetours. At Travelata there are more tour options, at Onlinetours it’s more convenient to choose a hotel, because there is a differentiation according to the areas of Singapore.
A white tiger in the Singapore Zoo.
How to choose a hotel in Singapore
In addition to the usual hotel characteristics such as the number of stars and the rating according to reviews, it is worth considering the location of the hotel:
- Chinatown (Chinatown) – the most budget-friendly tour options in Singapore can be found in this area:
- Tiny rooms (very tiny) and usually no windows in the rooms,
- There are many inexpensive food courts (restaurant courtyards) in the area,
- Chinese flavor – temples, architecture, markets and Chinese food.
- there are inexpensive and modest, accommodation options,
- Indian flavor – women in saris, bright colors and markets, Hindu temples.
- A large selection of hotels from budget to posh,
- if you are interested in the most beautiful views and the best hotels, take a look at Marina Bay waterfront hotel tours.
- Universal Studios Singapore theme park,
- S.E.A Aquarium, between the islands of Singapore and Sentosa, ,
- The sandy beaches of Sentosa Island.
If you are interested in a tour of Singapore’s famous hotel “with a ship on the roof,” here are the links:
What’s better: a package tour to Singapore or an independent trip
Buying a pre-packaged tour to Singapore is primarily about saving you time in organizing your trip. A package tour is usually cheaper than a self-constructed trip. The cost of the tour is already included:
- airfare to Singapore,
- Hotel accommodation (with meals of your choice),
- transfer from the airport to the hotel and back – from the hotel to the airport,
- medical insurance.
Find and buy a tour to Singapore at the best price will help the site Travelata.
Self-organized travel is better than buying a tour, if you want to have more freedom:
choose which airline to fly (for example, you can choose a direct flight Moscow – Singapore),
- Combine accommodation in several hotels (for example, stay two nights at the famous Marina Bay Sands, and then move to a hotel on Sentosa),
- Combine holidays in several countries (for example, Singapore and Bali in Indonesia, or Phuket in Thailand).
In today’s world to plan and organize a trip to Singapore on their own is not so difficult – after all, almost everything can be bought and booked online.