A Quick Guide for Those Visiting Singapore for the First Time


Singapore would be like a metro city of India, but of that size, it packs such a punch that this little island (or rather, a group of islands) is a hot tourist destination. From man-made wonders to naturally beautiful God’s architecture, you can find everything here. The trip is rather affordable as well, except, perhaps, for the lodging. Otherwise, the tickets (last time I found some ridiculously cheap flights from Hyderabad to Singapore at Yatra), the food or the local transport, all are cheap, and with Indians everywhere, you can feel half at home as well. Anyway, let’s get objective, shall we?

Transportation: You will find MRTs everywhere, Mass Rapid Transit trains, much like our metros. Trust me; you would want to use these over taxis and even buses. While public buses are affordable in Singapore, nothing gets you point to point faster than MRTs. Buy a Singapore tourist pass which allows unlimited transit for your stay period. Then there are taxis and even super luxury sedans which you might want to try out for the sheer experience.

Food: Indian food everywhere! However, if you want to try out something different, you can try out Chinese food which tastes surprisingly different from India’s Chinese food. There is no local cuisine because Singapore was just an island, per se. Not only Indian and Chinese cuisine are readily available; they are friendly to your pocket as well. Within 10 SGD (approximately 450-500 INR) you can eat to your heart’s desire. Go to Little India or Chinatown to eat, and you can even try out Smith Street, my personal favourite.

These were street-side vendors (hawkers, like we call them) but if you want a more restaurant-ish feel, mediocre ones start from 20 SGD, and there is no upper limit.

Accommodation: Things can go out of hand here. You can find only a bed (a bed in the dorm room of a hostel) for 15 SGD per night. All you get is the bed, free breakfast, free Wi-Fi (it is really, really, really fast here) and probably some fresh linen.

If you love your privacy, expect 45 SGD per night at a 2-star hotel. You get your own room, private bath, Wi-Fi and air condition.

For better hotels, cost per night starts from 3 digits so decide for yourself. You can also ride the Airbnb wave where you can find shared rooms at 20 SGD or so. You can also search for couch surfing where locals with extra bed rent that out. This is a personal favourite of mine because you get to meet awesome people, and often they become your friend and local guide in Singapore.

Fares: Singapore is near India and being a popular destination, there are daily flights from all the major cities. You can find some affordable flights from Hyderabad to Singapore at Yatra or similar sites. I mention Hyderabad repeatedly because I take the flights from there. It doesn’t mean, you need to go Delhi to Hyderabad to Singapore. Obviously, isn’t it!

Places to Visit: Overall, Singapore is costly when you visit the paid sites. For example, the entry fee to Singapore Zoo is 48 SGD which is almost 2500 INR! However, there are places with free entry to Singapore Botanical Gardens and Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. However, to enjoy Singapore to the fullest, you need to shell out some money. There are so many theme parks, beaches (free, obviously!) and shopping districts to visit. We would point out the best ones in another blog.

Free Tour: This sounds amazing, right? However, it’s true; there are some companies who offer free tour of the island. However, it’s on foot, but hey, you get a local guide and walking is the best way to discover a city. You get to know the public, the culture, the history and the architecture so intimately.