Sentosa hotels get booked up during local holidays with families taking 'staycations' – so book ahead.
Get Your Bearings in Singapore
Major attractions on weekend afternoons. If you must go at the weekend, get there early.
The weather is extremely changeable in Singapore – carry sun cream and an umbrella with you at all times.
Prices on menus tend to be exclusive of service and GST - an additional 17% will be added to your bill.
Chilli crab, laksa, roti prata, char kway teow, chicken rice and prawn mee.\
Drinking is expensive in Singapore but most bars run happy hours from 5 pm - 8 pm, and many have 'ladies' nights' on Wednesdays.
Things to do in Singapore
Singapore is known for...
In a country where a common greeting is “have you eaten?” in place of “how are you?” you know you are not going to go hungry! The melting pot of cultures in Singapore means that there is an incredible variety of food on offer – whether you opt for a cheap and cheerful road-side zi char joint or a fine-dining celebrity chef-owned establishment. The majority of locals eat in the hawker centres – the city’s version of street food, where you can pick up a plate of local cuisine for as little as $3 or $4.
Apart from eating, the other national pastime in Singapore is shopping - you just need to visit a shopping mall at the weekend to prove the theory. Orchard Road is the main shopping thoroughfare and boasts the highest concentration of shopping malls in the world. It’s all about brands here, and the bigger and flashier the mall the better. In fact Singaporeans are so obsessed with shopping that they dedicate an entire two months a year to celebrating consumerism, with the Great Singapore Sale running annually from May to July, with many shops slashing prices by up to 70%.
Singapore is not called the Garden City for nothing, boasting a huge number of national parks and reserves – quite amazing when you consider that this small island of just 41.8km by 22.5km is home to approximately five million people. The Botanic Gardens make an impressive in-city getaway, and the new gardens being built in the Marina Bay area promise to be equally so. Particularly unique, however, are the areas of preserved rainforest, reservoirs and wetlands within the concrete metropolis, their signposted walking trails and visitor facilities making them popular weekend escapes with the locals.
In a country that has four official languages and four official religions, there is always going to be some sort of cultural festival taking place. The Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival lanterns make way for Deepavali lights, which in turn make way for the Christmas decorations… and as the Christmas lights come down, the Chinese New Year lanterns go up. The best places to experience these cultural celebrations are the ethnic enclaves – Little India, Chinatown and the Arab Quarter, although the whole city usually joins in.
5. Heat and Humidity:
Yes it’s hot in Singapore – and extremely humid. Singapore’s weather is also notoriously fickle, so prepare for all eventualities - don’t head out without sunglasses, suncream and an umbrella. What starts as a glorious sunny day can quickly descend into a full-blown thunderstorm in a matter of hours. The good news is it doesn’t usually last long, and the sun will come back out again soon (or at least tomorrow). Singapore also has a very high lightning strike – so if there’s a thunder storm, take shelter!