Singapore is a beautiful city that has to be on your list of the best destinations to visit.
The city-state offers many attractions and activities that not only showcase Singapore’s modern yet green cityscape, but also highlight its rich history and diverse culture. With so many things to see and do in Singapore, it’s no wonder why millions of travelers fall in love with the city and wouldn’t mind coming back to experience more of what Singapore has to offer. However, even if there are many exciting experiences waiting for you in Singapore, you may not be able to make the most of your time without a little preparation.
If you’re traveling to Singapore for the first time and want to ensure you have a positive experience, it’s smart to familiarize yourself with these five common mistakes tourists make when traveling to the city.
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Not looking for affordable services and experiences
It is easy to think that Singapore is an expensive destination to visit. After all, you can find plenty of Michelin-starred restaurants, award-winning hotels, and high-end retail centers throughout the city. However, thinking that Singapore is too expensive to explore is a mistake many travelers make. This is because there are many places in the city that can give you the best Singapore experience at an affordable price.
When looking for budget accommodation, for example, steer clear of the big-name hotel chains and take a look at hotels near Singapore airport or convivial spaces in the city. These accommodations are typically more affordable than most mid- to upper-range hotels, and many cater to budget-conscious travelers.
In addition to affordable accommodations, the city also has plenty of foodie destinations where you can enjoy great food served in generous sizes on the cheap. Hawker centers are by far the most popular dining options because they offer a variety of inexpensive yet delicious local foods. Plus, they’re located pretty much everywhere, making them easy to find and access.
Finally, many points of interest in the city do not require you to pay an entrance fee. Some examples of these attractions include Merlion Park, the Singapore Botanic Gardens, the HSBC Rain Vortex at The Jewel, and the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum.
Not taking the weather into account
Many tourists forget that Singapore is a tropical country, so they don’t dress appropriately for the weather on a particular day. Although many malls and hotels in Singapore have air conditioning, it is still hot and humid once you step outside. To avoid making this mistake while traveling to Singapore, it is wise to check the weather during your visit. This way, you’ll know the conditions during your stay and pack the right clothes to help keep you comfortable. Ideally, when it’s hot outside, you should wear simple, lightweight or loose-fitting clothing made from breathable fabrics. However, during the monsoon season, you may want to bring an umbrella, raincoat, and even a pair of boots when you head out.
do not bring cash
Cash payment is still very common in Singapore despite the wide availability of cashless and card payment options. As such, it’s always smart to carry some of the local currency in your wallet while traveling to Singapore. This is useful when making a purchase at small neighborhood stores and older stores because they are more likely to accept cash than credit cards.
Not be familiar with Singaporean customs and traditions
Singaporeans follow many customs and traditions that are uniquely theirs. And as someone visiting the city, you can better understand the local culture by familiarizing yourself with the customs and traditions of the city. Being knowledgeable about these local practices is a great way to show your respect for the culture, and can even help you avoid embarrassing social blunders.
For example, it is customary to remove your shoes when entering a temple or visiting someone’s home in Singapore. This is not only a way to respect the person’s holy place or residence, but also helps to maintain the cleanliness of the place. Another example is pointing with the whole hand or nodding in the desired direction. Pointing with the index finger, especially when directed at another person, is a rude gesture in Singapore. As such, consider using your entire hand or nodding in the desired direction.
Failure to respect the laws and regulations of Singapore
Like all countries, Singapore has its own set of rules that everyone is expected to follow. Just because you’re a tourist doesn’t mean the Singapore authorities are going to go easy on you. In many cases, visitors have had to pay hefty fines for breaking simple rules like chewing gum, littering, or smoking in areas where they are not supposed to. Make sure you know these things before you travel to Singapore.
Singapore takes its laws very seriously, so it’s in your best interest to do your research to avoid breaking city rules.
Singapore is a fun city to explore, but if you don’t do your research on your destination, you can make mistakes that can compromise your visit. Hopefully, by doing your research, you’ll be more informed about the do’s and don’ts of the city so you can be a responsible tourist.
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