General Information

General Information on Singapore
(Source: Singapore Tourism Board)

 

Geography

Singapore is approximately 137 kilometres north of the Equator. It consists of the main island of Singapore and some 63 offshore islands, with a total land area of 647.5 square kilometres. Singapore is a vibrant and modern city-state with a population of four million people of different races. She is also a regional hub for trade, transportation, banking, tourism and communications.

 

Passport and Visa

Apart from visitors from China and India, most foreigners coming into Singapore do not require visas for entry and may be given up to 30-day social visit passes upon their arrival in Singapore. However, it is best to consult your local consular office for the latest information with regards to coming into Singapore.

If you would like to stay in Singapore for a longer period, you may apply at the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) upon your arrival. However, you should have your valid passports, onward or return tickets, onward facilities (such as visas or entry permits) to your next destination and of course, sufficient funds for your stay in Singapore.

 

Goods & Services Taxes (GST)

A 7% Goods & Services tax (GST) is levied on most goods and services. If you are a tourist and you buy goods in Singapore from participating GST-registered retailers, you can claim a refund of the GST paid if the goods are brought out of Singapore via Changi International Airport within 2 months from the date of purchase.

You cannot claim GST refunds on services as well as goods that you have consumed in Singapore. For example, you cannot claim GST refunds on your hotel stay.

Terms and conditions apply. For more information, please visit the website:
https://www.iras.gov.sg/IRASHome/GST/Consumers/Tourist-Refund-Scheme/

 

Cell Phone Usage

Singapore’s international dialing code is +(65). While in Singapore and if you have international roaming service on your cell phone, you don’t have to press +(65) as it will automatically connect you to the local numbers here.

 

Language

Singaporeans are conversant in English, which is extensively spoken here.

 

Time Difference

Singapore is eight hours ahead of GMT.

 

Money Matters

The currency used in Singapore is the Singapore dollar (S$). Money changing services can be found not only at the Singapore Changi Airport but also most shopping centres and hotels around the island. You can also access the automated teller machines (ATMs) located everywhere (even in the most obscure bits) in Singapore, that accept most of the main credit cards such as Visa, MasterCard and American Express.

 

Transportation

Singapore offers an excellent public transportation system. The Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) is the most convenient and covers 83 kilometres around the island. Both taxis and public buses also offer convenient and hassle-free travel. Taxis services are available round the clock and note that surcharge apply during peak hours, weekends and public holidays and within the city area.

 

Electricity

Singapore’s voltage is 220-240 volts AC, 50 cycles per second that utilizes a three-pin, square-shaped plug and socket system. If you are carrying a device with a different voltage or pin head, most hotels can provide you with transformers. If you are buying electronic items from here, make sure you check the voltage against that of your home country

 

Weather

Singapore is known for its hot and humid weather, with little variation throughout the year. The average daytime temperature is 31ºC (88ºF), dropping to around 24ºC (75ºF) in the evenings. The monsoon season can bear down pretty heavily on our tropical weather from November onwards, so be prepared for rain on a daily basis during this period.