Destination Guide: Singapore

Language: English
Currency: Singapore Dollar
Time: Singapore is in the Singapore Time zone (SGT)= GMT +8

To tip or not to tip?

It’s not usual to tip in Singapore. Some of the most expensive hotels and restaurants include a mandatory 10% service charge and tipping on top of this is actually discouraged.

Don’t tip at hawker stalls, coffee shops or in taxis.

What time do we eat?

Lunch is usually taken between 12-2:30pm, although with business not starting until 11am; don’t expect to see many locals having lunch at midday. Dinner can take place anytime between 5-10:30pm.

Do you speak English?

English is one of four official languages of Singapore. Malay, Chinese and Tamil are the other three. All road signs are in English and all school subjects are taught in English aside from Malay, Chinese and Tamil lessons of course. As a result, you shouldn’t have a problem communicating with locals during your stay in Singapore.

Getting around

The Mass Rapid Transport (MRT) is a train service that reaches almost every part of Singapore, offering scenic views of both the countryside and city areas throughout.

With over 4,000 buses across two operators, Singapore also has a convenient and fast bus service. Both the bus and train providers also operate handy late night services.

Taxis provide another relatively quick way to get around Singapore. However be warned, taxis aren’t allowed to wait or even stop on double yellow or jagged lines, so don’t expect them to wait if you need to make a quick stop or pick you up if you are flagging one down from an area with such markings.

Where to work?

The majority of Singapore’s hotels offer conference and meeting space that are usually bookable for a morning, afternoon, evening, full day or longer depending on availability.

Where to play?

Business usually doesn’t start until 11am in Singapore, so you’ve got plenty of time in the mornings to get out and see some of the sites should you wish to.

The Botanic Gardens are open between 5am and midnight and have been described as one of Singapore’s most relaxing attractions.

The Singapore Flyer is Singapore’s answer to the London Eye. The locals have never really taken to it, so you probably won’t have to wait in line for long. The almost $30 is worth it even more so if you take to the Flyer at dusk when the skyscrapers are gently lit by the sunset.

Also, if you’re lucky enough to get the chance to go, Singapore is home to Formula One’s only night time race. Details of dates and times can be found here.

Where to Eat:

Eat & Drink

With a multicultural heritage, Singapore is home to a range of cuisines from Western fast food restaurants to Chinese and Malay food.

Chinatown Food Street: Dining al fresco is recommended here as you soak in the atmosphere between rows of conservation houses. Char Kway Teow (Noodles fried with fresh cockles) is a favourite along Chinatown Food Street.

Equinox Restaurant: The Equinox provides one of the best views of the city from the 70th floor with Malaysia and Indonesia visible in the distance. This restaurant combines some of the best and most exquisite food from both the West and East so expect a bill of between S$100 - S$200.