Singapore holidays

Singapore is a small but prosperous island nation off the southern tip of Malaysia in Southeast Asia. If you’re confused as to whether it’s a city, an island or a country, the answer is, it’s all three. It’s currently the only independent island-city in the world, trumping Hong Kong, which officially remains part of China. It has one of the world’s highest GDPs and the quality of life is ranked as one of the best in Asia.

And for a lot of visitors, the lifestyle is the main draw. Singapore life is clean, modern and super stylish, but you have to see and experience it for yourself. From an entertainment plaza that straddles the top of three hotel towers, 57 floors up, to a museum shaped like a lotus flower, Singapore has clean and modern buildings made of glass and steel wherever you look, with an attention to detail that will take your breath away. But although it’s a modern city, the environment is fresh, natural and leafy green.

Things to do

The National Parks Board in Singapore has pledged to turn the island into a “city in a garden”, and one of the first things you’ll notice about Singapore is that they’re succeeding. Green spaces are everywhere and growing. They’re also largely free to enter.

While you’re in the city, make time to visit Gardens by the Bay, a multi-award-winning complex of greenhouse domes, walkways and garden landscapes overlooking Marina Bay. Or East Coast Park, two square kilometres of reclaimed land that’s best seen on wheels, thanks to its dedicated cycle and skate lane. Or MacRitchie Reservoir, where you can hike the trails while nature surrounds you.

And if you’re travelling with little ones, you’ll love the incredible range of wildlife you can get up close to in Singapore. The zoo has all the creatures you’d expect, from ants to antelopes, plus the Zoo-rassic Park exhibit featuring animatronic dinosaurs. And the Night Safari is like nothing else you’ve ever seen, not to mention the first of its kind anywhere. Now the nocturnal animals can come out to play too.

Its main island is just one of 63 in Singapore, and some of the others are close by. You can walk to Sentosa in under 15 minutes across the boardwalk. Here you’ll find a number of white sandy beaches, as well as unlimited thrills at Universal Studios Singapore, which you can access by buying a day pass. 

Pulau Ubin is a 15-minute ferry ride away, and is one of only two authentic kampongs (traditional villages) remaining in Singapore.'With just a hundred residents living there, the surrounding wildlife has remained mostly as nature intended. This rural outpost is one of the many surprising places you can visit in Singapore, a state with a world of colours and contrasts.

Map of Singapore

world_map
23°C - 34°C

Just north of the equator, the weather in Singapore is hot and humid all year round, but with plenty of rain. The frequent downpours are a great relief from the heat and in the main, over quickly.

 

13- 14 hours
Singapore Changi Airport (SIN) is the main passenger hub, and is commonly known as Changi Airport. Consecutively voted the world’s leading airport with a garden and waterfall among its features, it has become an attraction in itself. From here, you can easily reach all of the city’s main points.

Singapore is best for...

Foodies: Singapore has its multicultural heritage to thank for its wide range of flavours. Try Malaysian laksa, a spiced noodle dish, or Indian roti prata, a fried flat bread served alongside curry. But don’t forget to sample its most famous staple, Hainanese chicken rice, which originates from China. 

Shopaholics: There are plenty of opportunities to splurge in Singapore, whether you choose to shop for designer goods at Orchard Road and Marina Bay Sands, or prefer to hunt through racks of affordable one-off items at Bugis Street. 

Ecologists: As the most eco-friendly country in Asia, Singapore certainly does its bit for the environment. There are plenty of green spaces dotted around the city. Gardens by the Bay, Macritchie Reservoir and Newater Visitor Centre are just some of its sustainable attractions.

Fast facts for Singapore

Language: Singapore has four official languages (Malay, English, Mandarin and Tamil) which is why it’s among the most diverse countries in Asia. And with so many languages in one place, Singapore now has a hybrid language known as Singlish. You will get along fine speaking English but it may be fun to see if you can pick up on some of the local lingo. 

Currency: The currency in Singapore the Singapore dollar (SGD).

Local time: Singapore is 8 hours ahead of the UK (GMT+8). 

Fly to: Singapore Changi Airport (SIN) is around 12 miles from the city centre, taking around 20 minutes by taxi. You can also choose to hop on a public bus or ride the metro train for a speedy journey.

Flight time from UK: 13 - 14 hours

Tourist Information: Further tourist information can be found at Singapore’s tourism website.

Visa / Health: Before you travel, check the latest advice from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.

 

Singapore safety and security


For up-to-date advice on travelling to Singapore, please visit the FCDO website.

Singapore weather

You’ll find the weather in Singapore Changi Airport (SIN) is the main passenger hub, and is commonly known as Changi Airport. Consecutively voted the world’s leading airport with a garden and waterfall among its features, it has become an attraction in itself. From here, you can easily reach all of the city’s main points. to be hot and humid whenever you travel. As the island lies just one degree north of the equator you can expect tropical conditions, with no clear-cut seasons to speak of. You’ll soon find that rain showers happen almost on a daily basis, usually in the afternoons and early evenings, so you should definitely think about packing a light coat, an umbrella or both.

Due to its location in the Indian Ocean, just off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, and sheltered by its outlying islands across the Singapore Strait, the weather in Singapore is largely hot, humid and fairly predictable. In terms of heat, averages vary between 25°C and 31°C, with humidity ranging from 70–80%. April is the warmest month, January the coolest and November the wettest. Temperatures and air pressure are stable, humidity is high and  rainfall frequent.

High humidity is something you have to embrace in equatorial regions like Singapore, although it does vary throughout the day, so you won’t be left in high humidity limbo for long. Mornings are highest, typically around 90%, dropping to about 60% by mid-afternoon, so long as it’s not raining. But it’s not so unusual in these parts to encounter 100% humidity on rainy days, so be prepared to slow things down when you need to. If all else fails, head to a shopping mall or a public building such as a museum, library or art gallery and take advantage of the free air conditioning.

As far as packing for the climate goes, light cotton clothing is favoured by the locals and is a good way to handle the city’s sticky conditions. When out and about, make use of the many sheltered walkways and pavements, designed to give pedestrians shade from the sun and shelter from the rain.
 

 

Best hotels in Singapore