General information for the traveler new to Singapore.
All visitors to Singapore must have a valid passport, with appropriate visas for their outbound journey and proof of sufficient funds for their proposed stay in Singapore. Most visitors are granted a 30 day social visit visa upon arrival at Singapore, although residents of certain countries are required to obtain a visa in advance. Women who are more than six months pregnant should check the requirements before visiting Singapore.
There are no limits on the amounts of foreign currency you can bring into or take out of Singapore.
Visitors may bring the following into Singapore duty free:
- Alcohol – 1 liter of wine, 1 liter of spirits and1 liter of beer
All cigarettes should be declared, no matter how few, although a single packet will usually be allowed through without any tax being levied.
Singapore has strict rules prohibiting the import of chewing gum, porn and „seditious or treasonable material“.
The following items are NOT allowed to be brought into Singapore:
- Liquor and cigarettes marked with the words „SINGAPORE DUTY NOT PAID“ on the labels, cartons or packets.
- Cigarettes with the prefix „E“ printed on the packets
- Chewing gum
- Chewing tobacco and imitation tobacco products
- Cigarette lighters of pistol or revolver shape
- Controlled drugs and psychotropic substances
- Endangered species of wildlife and their by-products
- Obscene articles, publications, video tapes/discs and software
- Reproduction of copyright publications, video tapes, video compact discs, laser discs, records or cassettes
- Seditious and treasonable materials
Singapore has perhaps the toughest customs regulations in the world. Narcotics are particularly sensitive all medicines require a prescription confirming they are for your physical well being. There are severe penalties for the illegal possession of medicines.
Penalties for carrying or trafficking illegal drugs are very severe including prison sentences, caning and the DEATH PENALTY.
Singapore time: GMT + 8 hours
Singapore Dollars (SGD or S$) – Check current exchange rates.
Notes issued – S$10,000, S$1,000, S$500, S$100, S$50, S$20, S$10, S$5, S$2
Coins issued – S$1, 10 cents, 20 cents, 50 cents, 1 cent
There are four official languages – English, Mandarin, Malay and Tamil. Most Singapore residents speak English in addition to another language.
Tipping is discouraged in Singapore and completely prohibited at Changi Airport. All hotels and restaurants add a 10 % service charge.
Monday to Friday 9.30 am to 3.30 pm (all banks)
Saturday 9.30 am to1.00 pm and Sunday 9.30 am – 3.00 pm (at a limited number of banks on Orchard Road).
The international dialing code for Singapore is 65 (there are no other area codes in Singapore).
When making international telephone calls from Singapore, first dial 001 + country code + area code + telephone number.
220-240V AC 50 cycles per second.
3 pin square plugs.
Tap water is safe to drink and bottled water is widely available.
Make sure that you have adequate health insurance, as medical care can be very expensive in Singapore. Generally there is no need for inoculations but it is always best to check the current situation and any vaccination requirements with your doctor when planning your trip.
Changi International Airport
Airport Departure Tax
Smart casual summer clothes are acceptable in Singapore and residents are fairly tolerant of different cultures‘ mode of dress.
The majority of the population in Singapore are ethnic Chinese; as with most Asian countries, situations should be avoided which would cause a loss of „face“. Try to steer clear of confrontation as it is not appreciated and will only worsen rather than resolve any situation.
Many countries have representative offices and consulates in Singapore.
Useful Sources of Information
For further information contact the Singapore Tourist Board.