Singapore Travel Hacks: Tips And Tricks for an Amazing Trip

Singapore - a precious gem in Southeast Asia presents an amazing mix of many cultures, modern buildings, and beautiful green areas. Whether you visit this island state for the first time or you find yourself coming back to it over and over again Singapore always has something new to present you with.

However, navigating through the busy city streets may prove difficult if you're not prepared beforehand. This guide can be your guiding light, providing you with basic travel hacks, ranging from advice on staying connected to food recommendations. Consider this your very own all-in-one Singapore guide!

a large body of water with a city in the background
Photo by Swapnil Bapat on Unsplash

Staying Well-Connected on Your Trip

For easy travel and navigation, it's important to stay connected, no matter where you are. Look for a shop that sells SIM cards from providers such as Singtel or StarHub with a 4G or 5G connection.

Alternatively, to save yourself the trip for a SIM card, research the best eSIMs for Singapore, find the one that best meets your needs and simply activate it. This way, you'll have a reliable connection, no need for a SIM slot opener, which you've most likely forgotten at home, and most importantly, you'll save tons of money that you'd normally give on roaming to your home operator.

Optimize Your Transportation

Singapore takes great pride in its public transportation system, which practically covers every corner. Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) lines serve as the primary means of travel within most areas of Singapore, offering regular rides across most locations quickly, making life easier. You can purchase either an EZ-Link card or a Singapore Tourist Pass for unlimited MRT rides. Not only can this save you money, but it'll also save you the hassle of waiting in a queue only to get a single journey ticket from a machine.

For a more personal ride, you can use ride-hailing apps like Grab, which are extremely popular among tourists with lots of baggage that they don't want to wheel around the city streets and public transportation.

If you want to live up to something special on your trip, take a ride on the city's efficient and beautiful bumboats along the Singapore River to see famous places such as the Marina Bay Sands.

Explore Off-the-Beaten-Path Attractions

Marina Bay Sands, Gardens by the Bay, and Sentosa Island should all be visited during your first trip to Singapore. But experienced travelers know that to truly immerse yourself in any culture, you must seek out isolated, off-the-beaten-path spots to visit.

The Southern Ridges provide an ideal opportunity for this purpose. Its 10-kilometer trail connects various parks and nature reserves for unparalleled panoramic views of Singapore with all of its lush greenery, towering buildings, and tall skylines all within your grasp.

Savor Local Culinary Delights

Singapore is a true culinary heaven, known for its delicious food treats and lively street markets, making it every gourmet’s dream. To truly immerse yourself in the local culinary culture, you should visit Maxwell Food Centre, Lau Pa Sat, or Old Airport Road Food Centre. These are busy areas where you can find many affordable dishes like Hainanese chicken rice, laksa soup noodles, and popular chili crab as well as satay skewers. This trip will not only save you from giving big bucks to high-end restaurants but will also give you a taste of authentic Singaporean flavors.

While you're there, don't forget to eat the local breakfast, kaya toast with soft boiled eggs and a cup of kopi. After that, you can have desserts like chendol or ice kachang which bring temperatures down in hot weather.

San Marina Bay, Singapore
Photo by Mike Enerio on Unsplash

Stay in Budget-Friendly Accommodations

Accommodation may seem expensive at first, but Singapore offers many budget-friendly accommodations without sacrificing comfort. Instead of renting out a whole apartment or an all-inclusive hotel resort, consider looking for a boutique hotel or the famous capsule hotels you occasionally see on social media. These places are pretty neat, clean, and comfortable - everything you need during your stay in the country. Locations such as Little India, Chinatown, and Bugis are all situated in the Singapore center and offer affordable accommodations.

If you want an out-of-the-ordinary experience, you can consider a less common type of accommodation - co-living spaces such as Hmlet and Lyf. These places are perfect for digital nomads or people who travel for long periods of time. Oftentimes, they have shared areas such as bathrooms, kitchens, and lounge areas, and separate bedrooms to keep every person's privacy. This type of accommodation is perfect for extroverts who want to meet new people.

Plan Your Itinerary Around Free Attractions And Events

Singapore may only offer 20% lower living expenses compared to New York City, but as a tourist, there are numerous free things for you to experience and do. The Supertree Grove at Gardens by the Bay offers an incredible light and sound show every evening that you should see for yourself without cost. Additionally, you can also roam the Botanic Gardens, part of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, for free.

Look into the different festivals and events that happen all year round, like the Singapore Night Festival, celebrations of National Day, or Chinese New Year's parties. They usually have free shows, street processions, and fireworks displays. On certain days you can visit museums for free too - the National Gallery or Asian Civilizations Museum are good examples of places where you can explore Singapore's cultural history without spending any money.

Bottom Line

Singapore is one of those places that keep calling you back, and every time you return to them, there is something new to see and do. Now that you know how to remain connected and efficiently move around town, find off-the-beaten paths, and know where the good culinary treats are, you’re all prepared for your Singaporean adventure.