General Information about your Trip to Singapore


Airport Tax | Baby-sitting | Banking | Credit/Charge Cards | Currency Drinking Water | Drug Abuse | Electricity | Fireworks | Gambling | Hair salon | Hotel Phone Services | Laundry | Medical Facilities | Mobile Phones | Money Changers | Payphone Services | Postal Services | Safety | Smoking | Spitting | Time Differences | Tipping | Touting and Soliciting | Transit Passengers | Trishaws | Visa and Entry Facilities | Useful Telephone Numbers | What to Wear

Airport Tax

A passenger service charge of SGD21 should be incorporated in the air ticket (including tickets issued outside of Singapore). If this has not been done, you may be required to pay the SGD21 during check-in. In some cases, the airline may absorb the service charge. Passengers who are in transit for less than 24 hours may leave the airport without having to pay the service charge upon departure from Singapore.

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Baby-sitting services are provided in most hotels.


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The local currency is Singapore dollars and cents. Notes come in denominations of SGD 2, SGD 5, SGD 10, SGD 20, SGD 50, SGD 100, SGD 500, SGD 1,000, and SGD 10,000.

Coins come in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents and SGD 1.

Banking hours are Monday to Friday: 10 am to 3 pm, and Saturday: 9.30 am to 1 pm (some banks are open until 3 pm). Sunday, 9.30 am to 3 pm (some banks in Orchard Road).

Most banks handle travellers' cheques and change foreign currencies. However, some banks do not have foreign exchange dealings on Saturday.

Passports are required when cashing travellers' cheques. A nominal commission may be charged.

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Credit/Charge Cards

Major cards are widely accepted by establishments in Singapore. Should any shop insist on adding a surcharge, contact the respective card company to report the errant shop-owner.

American Express

Tel: (65) 6880 1111

Diners Card

Tel: (65) 6416 0800


Tel: (65) 6734 0096


Tel: 800 - 110 0113 (toll-free in Singapore only)


Tel: 800 - 448 1250 (toll-free in Singapore only)

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Other than the Singapore Dollar, the US and Australian Dollars, Yen and British Pound are also accepted in most major shopping centres and big departmental stores.

An online currency converter service is available at asiaone.

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Drinking Water

It is perfectly safe to drink water straight from the tap in Singapore. However, for those who prefer bottled mineral water, local supermarkets and grocers always have ample stocks.

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Drug Abuse

Drug abuse is viewed seriously in Singapore. Illicit traffic in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances is strictly prohibited.

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Singapore voltage is 220-240 volts AC, 50 cycles per second. On request, most hotels will provide transformers to visitors with electrical appliances of a different voltage, such as 110-120 volts, 60 cycles per second. When shopping for electrical appliances, do remember to check the voltage of the item against the acceptable voltage in your home country. The power plugs used in Singapore are of the three-pin, square-shaped type.

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Any individual found keeping, possessing, having under his control, discharging or letting off dangerous fireworks (including firecrackers, rocket fireworks, sandcrackers and such other fireworks) is liable to a fine not exceeding SGD 5,000 or imprisonment for up to 2 years or both.

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Charity draws, Toto and Singapore Sweep lotteries, and on-course betting at the Singapore Turf Club on horse races are the only authorised forms of gambling in Singapore. All other gambling activities are illegal in Singapore.

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Hair salon

Most major hotels provide hairstylists offering a full range of services. Hair salons are also found in shopping centres, offering standard haircuts as well as more elaborate services like hair perms, facial treatment, manicure and pedicure services.

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Hotel Phone Services

Most hotels offer in-room international direct dial (IDD) telephone services. However, some hotels may charge a minimal 30 cents successful call transaction surcharge. As there are different IDD service providers in Singapore, rates and access codes are dependent on the service provider used by the hotel. Generally, local calls are charged at 10 cents for every 3 minutes.

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Same-day laundry service is available in most hotels. Typically, it costs SGD 5 for a laundered shirt, SGD 10 for a dress and SGD 14 for a dry-cleaned suit. Independent dry-cleaners can be found in the Yellow Pages of the Singapore Phone Book.

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Medical Facilities

Singapore's medical facilities are among the finest in the world, with well-qualified doctors and dental surgeons.

Pharmaceuticals are available from numerous outlets, including supermarkets, department stores, hotels and shopping centres. Registered pharmacists work from 9 am to 6 pm.

Most hotels have their own doctor on-call around the clock. Other doctors are listed under Medical Practitioners in the Yellow Pages of the Singapore Phone Book. For an ambulance, dial 995. Visitors could also contact the following hospitals' International Patient Service Centres:

Parkway Group Healthcare Medical Referral Centre

302 Orchard Road

Tong Building #16-01/02/03

Singapore 238862

Tel: (65) 6735 5000 (24-hour hotline)

Fax: (65) 6732 6733



Raffles International Patients Centre

Raffles Hospital

585 North Bridge Road

Singapore 1889770

Tel: (65) 6311 1666

Fax: (65) 6311 2333



24-hour Appointments Hotline

Tel: (65) 6311 1222

Fax: (65) 6311 2136


National Healthcare Group International Patient Liaison Centre

National University Hospital

5 Lower Kent Ridge Road

Singapore 119074

Tel: (65) 6779 2777 (24-hour hotline)

Fax: (65) 6777 8065



Singapore Health Services (SingHealth) International Medical Service

Singapore General Hospital

Block 6 Level 1

Outram Road

Singapore 169608

Tel: (65) 6326 5656

Fax: (65) 6326 5900



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Mobile Phones

There are two mobile phone networks - GSM900 and GSM1800 - and three mobile telephone service providers - SingTel, M1 and StarHub. To make international calls, the access codes are 001, 013, 0r 019 for SingTel, 002 0r 021 for M1 and 008 or 018 for StarHub.

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Money Changers

Apart from banks and hotels, money can be changed wherever the sign "Licensed Money Changer" is displayed. Most shopping complexes have a licensed money changer. Visitors are discouraged from changing money with unlicensed money changers.

Euro Banknotes

As of 1 January 2002, the euro banknotes have been introduced in 12 member states of the European Union (Belgium, Germany, Greece, Spain, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Austria, Portugal and Finland), replacing the 12 legacy national currencies.

If you still hold banknotes of the legacy national currencies, these currencies may be exchanged at: the Changi Airport money exchange counters (American Express Foreign Exchange Services Tel: (65) 6543 2580 and United Overseas Bank Tel: (65) 6542 0388)and most money changers.

However, a lower price may be quoted in view of the additional cost incurred for redeeming the legacy national currencies at the respective issuing central banks.

If you hold travellers cheques denominated in the legacy national currencies, they can be encashed or exchanged at:

Travelex (S) Pte Ltd

Singapore Land Tower #01-02A/B Tel:(65)6535 0111

(for Thomas Cook Travellers Cheques only)

Please note that processing will take one month


Changi Airport - American Express Foreign Exchange Services Pte Ltd Tel: (65) 6543 2580

(for American Express Travellers Cheques only)

For more information, including how to recognise the new euro banknotes and coins and their security features, visit website at

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Payphone Services

Public payphones operated by credit card and/or stored-value phonecards can be used to make both local and international calls. Public payphones can be found in most shopping complexes and MRT stations. Local calls are charged at 10 cents per 3 minutes. Stored-value phonecards in denominations of SGD2, SGD5, SGD10, SGD20 and SGD50 can be purchased from post offices and phonecard agents. To make an international call, dial the access code followed by the country code, area code & telephone number. Different telephone companies use different access codes - 001 for SingTel, 002 for M1 and 008 for Starhub. International Calling Cards in denominations of SGD10, SGD20 and SGD50 are also available at all post offices including Changi Airport, 7-Eleven stores and other retail outlets.

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Postal Services

Singapore Post operates a network of more than 1,300 postal outlets conveniently located throughout the island. These outlets offer a wide range of postal, telecommunication and agency services. Most postal outlets are open Monday through Friday, from 8.30 am to 5 pm and until 1 pm on Saturday.

Post Restante service is also available at:

Singapore Post Pte Ltd.

10 Eunos Road 8

Singapore Post Centre

Singapore 408600

Open: 8.00 am - 9 pm (Mon - Fri), 8.00 am - 6 pm (Sat),

10.00am - 4.00pm (Sun and Public Holidays)

Tel: (65) 6741 8857

Fax: (65) 6841 6085


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Travellers across the world are understandably more concerned about personal safety and security issues today than ever before. The Singapore Tourism Board would like to assure all our visitors that the situation in Singapore remains calm and stable and it is business as usual.

The Singapore Government has and will continue to be vigilant in ensuring that Singapore remains safe. It has stepped up security measures at key installations and other sensitive places. The Government has also made it known that extremism originating from religion or race has no place in Singapore and it will not hesitate to take action against any extremist or terrorist groups or individuals.

The swift and definite actions of the Singapore Internal Security Department over the recent arrests of the 15 terrorists in January 2002 is testimony to this.

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Smoking is not permitted in public service vehicles, museums, libraries, lifts, theatres, cinemas, air-conditioned restaurants, hair salons, supermarkets, department stores and government offices. Offenders can be fined up to SGD 1,000. While it is an offence to smoke in air-conditioned eating places, smoking is permitted in air-conditioned pubs, discos, karaoke bars and nightspots.

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Spitting in public places is an offence.

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Time Differences



Hours Behind/

Ahead of Singapore





Bandar Seri Begawan

















Hong Kong





Kuala Lumpur



Los Angeles








New Delhi

New York






Rio de Janeiro


San Francisco






Tel Aviv


































































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Tipping is not encouraged as most hotels and restaurants in Singapore already levy a 10% service charge on customers' bills. Tipping is not a way of life in Singapore and is prohibited at the airport.

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Touting and Soliciting

While shopping in Singapore is a hassle-free and pleasurable experience, there have been incidents of touting and soliciting. There have also been occasions where visitors felt pressured into buying products or services from vendors who approached them on the streets. Please keep in mind your right as a consumer not to go into any transaction with any of these vendors. If you are not interested, ignore the touts or tell them firmly you are not interested and then walk away.

Here is a short list of what to be wary of:

- representatives from companies selling timeshare programmes, promising freebies or deals if you fill in a survey form, visit their showroom or attend a briefing at their office.

- representatives claiming to be from reputable department stores selling premium products like perfume or watches at attractive prices.

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Transit Passengers

Passengers who are in transit for less than 24 hours and holding valid travel documents may leave the airport without having to pay the passenger service charge of SGD 21 upon departure from Singapore.

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An interesting way to tour the streets of Singapore is to take a trishaw ride. We recommend that you avoid hailing a trishaw off the road. If you do, make sure that you agree on the fare to your destination before the trip commences. However, there are many trishaw tours that you can join that are run by some of the major tour operators.

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Visa and Entry Facilities

Generally, foreigners who do not require visas for entry and are visiting Singapore as tourists, may be given up to 30-day social visit passes upon their arrival in Singapore.

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Useful Telephone Numbers

Here is a list of useful telephone numbers.


999 (toll-free)

Emergencies/Ambulance/Fire Brigade

995 (toll-free)

STB Touristline (24-hr automated tourist information system)

Tel: 1800 736 2000 (toll-free in Singapore only)

CitySearch (operator-assisted Yellow Pages)

Tel: (65) 1900 777 7777

International Calls

Tel: 104

Time of day

Tel: 1711

Trunk Calls to Malaysia

Dial 109 for operator assistance or 02 for direct dial.

Toll-free lines

Dial 1800 followed by the toll-free line number (in Singapore only).


Tel: (65) 6542 7788

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What to Wear

Singapore has a warm and humid climate throughout the year with a daily average temperature range of 24 degrees Celsius to 32 degrees Celsius. Light and summer clothing made from natural fabrics like cotton is best for everyday wear. Casual dress is acceptable for most situations and occasions but some establishments may require a more formal dress code. It is always advisable to check beforehand on dress regulations, if any.

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