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Home >> Travel Guide >> Singapore >> Travel Tips

Travel Tips

Airport Tax
A passenger service charge of SGD 21 should be incorporated in the air ticket (including tickets issued outside of Singapore). If this has not been done, you may be required to pay the SGD 21 during check-in. In some cases, the airline may absorb the service charge. Passengers who are in transit for less than 24 hours may leave the airport without having to pay the service charge upon departure from Singapore.

Baby-sitting services are provided in most hotels.

The local currency is Singapore dollars and cents. Notes come in denominations of SGD 2, SGD 5, SGD 10, SGD 20, SGD 50, SGD 100, SGD 500, SGD 1,000, and SGD 10,000.

Coins come in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents and SGD 1.

Brunei currency is acceptable at par with the Singapore currency. All banks in Singapore are obliged to accept the Brunei currency notes and coins at par for deposit. This is provided for under the Currency Interchangeability Agreement between Brunei and Singapore which took effect on 12 June 1967 and continues to be effective till to-date. There is no reason for businesses to shy away from accepting Brunei notes.

Banking hours are Mondays to Fridays: 1000 hrs to 1500 hrs. Saturdays: 0930 hrs to 1300 hrs (some banks are open until 1500 hrs. Sundays: 0930 hrs to 1500 hrs (some banks in Orchard Road).

Most banks handle travellers' cheques and change foreign currencies. However, some banks do not have foreign exchange dealings on Saturdays.

Passports are required when cashing in travellers' cheques. A nominal commission may be charged.

Credit/Charge Cards
Major cards are widely accepted by establishments in Singapore. Should any shop insist on adding a surcharge, contact the respective card company to report the errant shop-owner.

American Express
Tel: (65) 6880 1111

Diners Card

Tel: (65) 6416 0800

Tel: (65) 6734 0096

Tel: 800 - 110 0113 (toll-free in Singapore only)


Tel: 800 - 448 1250 (toll-free in Singapore only)

Other than the Singapore Dollar, the US, Australian and Brunei Dollars, Yen and British Pound are also accepted in most major shopping centres and big departmental stores.

Drinking Water
It is perfectly safe to drink water straight from the tap in Singapore. However, for those who prefer bottled mineral water, local supermarkets and grocers usually carry a sizeable selection.

Drug Abuse
Drug abuse is viewed seriously in Singapore. Illicit trafficking of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances is strictly prohibited.

Singapore voltage is 220-240 volts AC, 50 cycles per second. On request, most hotels will provide transformers to visitors with electrical appliances of a different voltage, such as 110-120 volts, 60 cycles per second. When shopping for electrical appliances, do remember to check the voltage of the item against the acceptable voltage in your home country. The power plugs used in Singapore are of the three-pin, square-shaped type.

Any individual found keeping, possessing, having under his control, discharging or letting off dangerous fireworks (including firecrackers, rocket fireworks, sandcrackers and such other fireworks) is liable to a fine not exceeding SGD 5,000 or imprisonment for up to two years or both.

Charity draws, Toto and Singapore Sweep lotteries, and on-course betting at the Singapore Turf Club on horse races are the only authorised forms of gambling in Singapore. All other gambling activities are illegal in Singapore.

Hair Salons
Most major hotels provide a full range of hair styling services. Hair salons are also found in shopping centres, offering standard haircuts as well as more elaborate services like hair treatments, facial treatments, and manicure and pedicure services.

Hotel Phone Services
Most hotels offer in-room international direct dial (IDD) telephone services. However, some hotels may impose a minimal 30 cents successful call transaction surcharge. As there are different IDD service providers in Singapore, rates and access codes are dependent on the service provider used by the hotel. Generally, local calls are charged at 10 cents for every three minutes.

Same-day laundry service is available in most hotels. Typically, it costs SGD 5 for a laundered shirt, SGD 10 for a dress and SGD 14 for a dry-cleaned suit. Independent dry-cleaners can be found in the Yellow Pages of the Singapore Phone Book.

Medical Facilities
Singapore's medical facilities are among the finest in the world, with well-qualified doctors and dental surgeons.

Pharmacies are ready available at supermarkets, department stores, hotels and shopping centres. Registered pharmacists generally work from 0900 hrs to 1800 hrs.

Most hotels have their own doctor on-call around the clock. Other doctors are listed under Medical Practitioners in the Yellow Pages of the Singapore Phone Book. For an ambulance, dial 995. Visitors could also contact the following hospitals' International Patient Service Centres:

Parkway Group Healthcare Medical Referral Centre
302 Orchard Road
Tong Building #16-01/02/03
Singapore 238862

Tel: (65) 6735 5000 (24-hour hotline)
Fax: (65) 6732 6733
Email: mrc@parkway.com.sg
Website: http://www.imrc.com.sg

Raffles International Patients Centre
Raffles Hospital
585 North Bridge Road
Singapore 1889770

Tel: (65) 6311 1666
Fax: (65) 6311 2333
Email: enquiries@raffleshospital.com
Website: http://www.raffleshospital.com

24-hour Appointments Hotline
Tel: (65) 6311 1222
Fax: (65) 6311 2136
Email: specialist@raffleshospital.com

National Healthcare Group International Patient Liaison Centre
National University Hospital
5 Lower Kent Ridge Road
Singapore 119074

Tel: (65) 6779 2777 (24-hour hotline)
Fax: (65) 6777 8065
Email: iplc@nuh.com.sg
Website: http://www.nuh.com.sg

Singapore Health Services (SingHealth) International Medical Service
Singapore General Hospital
Block 6 Level 1
Outram Road
Singapore 169608

Tel: (65) 6326 5656
Fax: (65) 6326 5900
Email: ims@sgh.com.sg
Website: http://www.sgh.com.sg

Mobile Phones
There are two mobile phone networks - GSM900 and GSM1800 - and three mobile telephone service providers - SingTel, M1 and StarHub. To make international calls, the access codes are 001, 013, or 019 for SingTel, 002 or 021 for M1, and 008 or 018 for StarHub.

Money Changers
Apart from banks and hotels, money can be changed wherever the sign "Licensed Money Changer" is displayed. Most shopping complexes have a licensed money changer. Visitors are discouraged from changing money with unlicensed money changers.

An online currency converter service is available at asiaone. To check today's exchange rate, please click here.

Euro Banknotes

As of 1 January 2002, the euro banknotes have been introduced in 12 member states of the European Union (Belgium, Germany, Greece, Spain, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Austria, Portugal and Finland), replacing the 12 legacy national currencies.

If you still hold banknotes of the legacy national currencies, these currencies may be exchanged at the Singapore Changi Airport money exchange counters (American Express Foreign Exchange Services Tel: (65) 6543 2580 and United Overseas Bank Tel: (65) 6542 0388) and most money changers.

However, a lower price may be quoted in view of the additional cost incurred for redeeming the legacy national currencies at the respective issuing central banks.

If you hold travellers’ cheques denominated in the legacy national currencies, they can be cashed in or exchanged at:

Travelex (S) Pte Ltd
Singapore Land Tower #01-02A/B
Tel:(65)6535 0111
(for Thomas Cook Travellers Cheques only)
Please note that processing will take one month

Singapore Changi Airport - American Express Foreign Exchange Services Pte Ltd
Tel: (65) 6543 2580
(for American Express Travellers Cheques only)

For more information, including how to recognise the new euro banknotes and coins and their security features, visit http://www.euro.ecb.int.

Payphone Services
Public payphones operated by credit card and/or stored-value phonecards can be used to make both local and international calls. Public payphones can be found in most shopping complexes and MRT stations. Local calls are charged at 10 cents per three minutes. Stored-value phonecards in denominations of SGD 2, SGD 5, SGD 10, SGD 20 and SGD 50 can be purchased from post offices and phonecard agents. To make an international call, dial the access code followed by the country code, area code & telephone number. Different telephone companies use different access codes - 001 for SingTel, 002 for M1 and 008 for Starhub. International Calling Cards in denominations of SGD 10, SGD 20 and SGD 50 are also available at all post offices including Singapore Changi Airport, 7-Eleven stores and other retail outlets.

Postal Services
Singapore Post operates a network of more than 1,300 postal outlets conveniently located throughout the island. These outlets offer a wide range of postal, telecommunication and agency services. Most postal outlets are open Monday through Friday, from 0830 hrs to 1700 hrs and until 1300 hrs on Saturday.

Post Restante service is also available at:
Singapore Post Pte Ltd
10 Eunos Road 8
Singapore Post Centre
Singapore 408600
Open: 0800 hrs – 2100 hrs (Mon - Fri), 0800 hrs – 1800 hrs (Sat),
1000 hrs – 1600 hrs (Sun and Public Holidays)
Tel: (65) 6741 8857
Fax: (65) 6841 6085
Website: http://www.singpost.com.sg

Pro-Family Businesses
Traveling with young children or with the elderly? Singapore businesses welcome families. We have retailers who have will pay that extra attention to your family's needs.

For more information, click here.

Increasingly, personal safety and security are becoming critical concerns of international travellers. The situation in Singapore remains calm and stable, and the island remains one of the safest in the world to visit.

Enhanced security measures at key installations and other sensitive places ensure that Singapore continues to remain safe. The Singapore Government explicitly states that extremism originating from religion or race has no place in Singapore and swift action will be taken against any extremist or terrorist groups or individuals.

Smoking is not permitted in public service vehicles, museums, libraries, lifts, theatres, cinemas, air-conditioned restaurants, non-airconditioned eating houses, hawker centers, hair salons, supermarkets, department stores and government offices. In line with efforts to improve the nightlife experience for all, there are smoking restrictions on entertainment outlets. Smoking is no longer allowed in all pubs, discos, karaoke bars and nightspots, unless within approved smoking rooms or smoking corners. Offenders can be fined up to SGD 1,000.

Spitting in public places is an offence.

Tipping is not practised as most hotels and restaurants in Singapore already levy a 10% service charge on customers' bills. Tipping is not a way of life in Singapore and is prohibited at the airport.

Touting and Soliciting
While shopping in Singapore is a hassle-free and pleasurable experience, there are, on occasion, incidents of touting and soliciting, as well as incidents where visitors feel pressured into buying products or services from vendors who approach them on the streets. As a consumer, you have every right not to transact with any of these vendors. If you are not interested, ignore the touts or tell them firmly you are not interested and then walk away.

Here is a short list of what to be wary of:

  • representatives from companies selling timeshare programmes, promising freebies or deals if you fill in a survey form, visit their showroom or attend a briefing at their office.
  • representatives claiming to be from reputable department stores selling premium products like perfume or watches at attractive prices.

Transit Passengers
Passengers who are in transit for less than 24 hours and holding valid travel documents may leave the airport without having to pay the passenger service charge of SGD 21 upon departure from Singapore.

An interesting way to tour the streets of Singapore is to take a trishaw ride. We recommend that you avoid hailing a trishaw off the road. If you do, make sure that you agree on the fare to your destination before the trip commences. However, there are many trishaw tours that you can join that are run by some of the major tour operators.

Useful Telephone Numbers
Here is a list of useful telephone numbers.

999 (toll-free)

Emergencies/Ambulance/Fire Brigade

995 (toll-free)

STB Touristline (24-hr automated tourist information system)
Tel: 1800 736 2000 (toll-free in Singapore only)

(operator-assisted Yellow Pages)
Tel: (65) 1900 777 7777

International Calls

Tel: 104

Time of day

Tel: 1711

Trunk Calls to Malaysia
Dial 109 for operator assistance or 02 for direct dial.

Toll-free lines

Dial 1800 followed by the toll-free line number (in Singapore only).


Tel: (65) 6542 7788

Visa and Entry Facilities
Generally, foreigners who do not require visas for entry and are visiting Singapore as tourists, may be given up to 30-day social visit passes upon their arrival in Singapore.

For more information on visa requirements, click here. To find out more about the types of visas and to download the necessary application forms, click here.

What to Wear
Singapore has a warm and humid climate throughout the year with a daily average temperature range of 24 degrees Celsius to 31 degrees Celsius. Light and summer clothing made from natural fabrics like cotton is best for everyday wear. Casual dress is acceptable for most situations and occasions but some establishments may require a more formal dress code. It is always advisable to check beforehand on dress regulations, if any.

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