Is Singapore safe to visit? [Updated for 2023]
Is Singapore safe to visit? The simple answer to this question is...yes. Singapore is very safe, in fact. In 2019, the city was ranked the second safest city in the world! Only just getting pipped to the post by Tokyo.
This makes Singapore a great destination if you’re flying solo for the first time or traveling with children. But whether safety is at the top of your checklist or not, Singapore is still a great spot to visit. A melting pot of Chinese, Tamil Indian, Malay, and British influences, Singapore is completely unique and has so much to offer, with a range of things to see and do, best explored with some guided tours in Singapore.
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The food culture is unparalleled, the people are friendly, the streets are clean and Singapore offers a taste of both the modern city life and easy breezy beach vibes at a very low cost of living. Sounds pretty good, right?
But even with how safe Singapore is to visit, it isn’t perfect. Just because it’s said to be one of the safest places in the world, doesn’t mean you should completely let your guard down. Crime is extremely rare in Singapore, but it’s not impossible. As when traveling anywhere in the world, you should still take precautions and have your wits about you.
So, why is it that Singapore is safe to visit? One of the reasons that Singapore has become one of the safest cities in the world is due to it’s very strict rules and regulations. Be aware of these rules before you go and make sure you stick to them to avoid any run-ins with the law - these cover everything from chewing gum and drinking in public at night, all the way to drug possession.
Even though it’s very safe to travel to Singapore, keep reading for everything you need to know to make your trip go as smoothly as possible so you can relax and enjoy your time in this incredible destination!
Our top tips for staying safe in Singapore:
1. Keep your money safe
This is a pretty obvious one and if you’re a seasoned traveller, you’ll be well used to doing this! It’s just common sense really but a few of our top tips include: keeping your money in a money belt that can be strapped to your person and easily hidden, separating your cash money out into different wallets or pockets so it’s not all in one place, and taking multiple travel cards so if you lose one, it won’t be the end of the world (or your trip)! Keeping your money safe is an integral part of making your trip to Singapore as safe as possible.
2. Travel by taxi or public transport
Although the roads are extremely well organized and easy to use in Singapore, unless you really have a desire to drive yourself around, we think that traveling by taxi is your best bet, especially if you want to stay safe as well as take the hassle out of getting around. Taxi’s are very affordable in Singapore and you’ll often see them hanging around the main points of interest, so you won’t have trouble trying to hail one down.
Taxis in Singapore are also extremely safe as there are strict regulations around who can become a taxi driver - you must be above 30 years old and with no criminal record. Like most other countries in Southeast Asia, the taxis here run on a meter. Be sure to check that your meter is running BEFORE you set off to avoid paying a marked up price - one of the things to look out for when staying safe in Singapore is people trying to charge you more for the service they’re providing!
What may surprise you is that using public transport in Singapore can sometimes be even EASIER than grabbing a taxi. Public transport will get you pretty much anywhere you’d like to go, it’s super cheap and it’s safe. The MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) in Singapore is the world’s second best public transport system, just behind Hong Kong. It’s high quality but low cost. It’s also highly policed.
Grab yourself an EZ-link card and top it up as you go. One thing to be aware of though - you are not permitted to consume any food or drink on the MRT and doing so can get you a pretty expensive fine! So save your refreshments for your destination.
3. Eat at hawker centers
Singapore has, arguably, one of the best food cultures in the world! Hawker centers are a big part of this food culture, and something you should definitely try out if you’re wanting the authentic experience! Similar to street food you’ll find in other areas of Southeast Asia, hawker centers are basically large food courts with lots of different stalls offering yummy local dishes. Hawker centers were actually set up by the government, as a more sanitary alternative to street food stalls so you can rest easy knowing cleanliness is a priority here! Although you can eat street food, sticking to Hawker centers is a surefire way to stay as safe as possible - and there’s really no need to go anywhere else!
Some local dishes to try include: chili crab, laksa and satay. And if you’re looking for something a little more up-market, there are plenty of high-end restaurants to choose from in the modern city center of Singapore. Try out one of the many rooftop restaurants to watch the sun go down over the city while enjoying delicious modern cuisine for an extra special treat, or another choice from our selection of the best restaurants in Singapore.
4. You CAN drink water straight from the tap
You may be concerned that drinking tap water in Singapore isn’t a great way to ensure you stay safe and healthy, but you don’t have to worry. Unlike many of the surrounding countries in Southeast Asia, in Singapore you CAN drink the tap water. It’s a good idea to bring a refillable water bottle to carry around with you, as the weather can be pretty hot and humid so staying hydrated is key!
5. Don’t get drunk and disorderly
I mean, getting drunk and disorderly wherever you are is never really a good idea, is it? But it’s a particularly bad idea in Singapore. Like most things in Singapore, there are strict rules around the consumption of alcohol. The legal drinking age is 18 years (make sure you bring identification or you could be refused service) and drinking alcohol in public places is prohibited between 10.30pm and 7am. There are plenty of great bars and restaurants to enjoy a drink between those hours but if staff members think you’ve had too much they can refuse you service. We think that staying safe whilst traveling around Singapore should include avoiding trouble with the law, so it’s not a bad idea to stick to the rules!
Behaving inappropriately can get you some pretty hefty fines and/or time in a cell but as long as you relax, enjoy yourself and don’t cause a nuisance, you’ll have a great time partying in Singapore! It goes without saying that drugs are a BIG no as being found with any substance will get you in SERIOUS trouble - so stay safe traveling in Singapore and don’t push the limits.
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6. Don’t criticize the government
The Singaporean government do actually welcome criticism and free speech, but as a visitor to the country we think it’s best to just keep quiet when it comes to politics. While there are no specific laws around criticizing the government, doing so could ruffle feathers, so maybe just reserve judgement and focus on enjoying your vacation! So, although this shouldn’t affect your safety on your visit to Singapore, we don’t think it’s worth taking a chance.
7. PDA is frowned upon
Again, while there is no actual law against displaying affection in public, it is definitely frowned upon by the local people. You would never catch the locals kissing each other in public, so respect the culture you are in and hold off on the snugging until you’re behind closed doors! This is another matter of respecting the culture, and shouldn’t affect Singapore’s safety to visit.
8. Do bring mosquito repellent
Singapore has a tropical climate, meaning that temperatures stay fairly warm year round. In the dry season this means lots of long, hot, sunny days (remember also, sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat) but in the wet season, humidity rises. This not only means doing lots of exploring on foot can get pretty sweaty but it also means mosquitos will be around. Keep yourself safe by making sure mosquito repellent is on your packing list, especially if you’re not from a tropical climate yourself!
Hopefully, these tips will help to make your Singaporean vacation run a little smoother and have you feeling at ease in this fantastic destination! Singapore is safe to travel to and visit, so as long as you stick to the tips and tricks above, you should have an amazing vacation. If you fancy letting us do all the trip planning for you, check out our awesome Singapore tours on offer!
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