Situated 1 degree north of the Equator, Singapore doesn't have distinct seasons. Its climate is tropical (warm but humid), and afternoon thunderstorms are a frequent occurrence. As a result, it's a good place to visit any time of year but if possible try base your visit around 1 of the many festivals and events:
Thaipusam, February: a Hindu festival during which people pray, fast and mortificate their flesh to prove their religious devotion.
Singapore Fringe Festival, February: 2 weeks of music, theatre, dance and art exhibitions, with events running concurrently at the Arts Museum.
Singapore Arts Festival, May-June: a month-long annual event, displaying contemporary arts with an Asian influence, and amazing dance displays.
Singapore Food Festival, July: a month-long celebration of the country's best dishes.
The Great Sale, June & July: an 8-week shopathon around the city, with discounts of up to 70% in the department stores.
National days (exact dates may vary):
1 Jan: New Year's Day
1 Feb: Thaipusam
18-19 Feb: Chinese New Year
6 April: Good Friday
1 May: Labour Day
31 May: Vesak Day
9 Aug: National Independence Day
13 Oct: Hari Raya Puasa
8 Nov: Deepavali
20 Dec: Hari Raya Haji
25 Dec: Christmas Day
For more generic info try visitsingapore.com, or for a listing of current events try AngloInfo.
Note: flight, boat, train and bus timetables change constantly, and airlines come and go, so please do not rely solely on this information for your travel planning. Check with relevant companies, or a flight search engine like Skyscanner, first.
Singapore's airport, the high-tech Changi, is one of the busiest airports in Asia, both in terms of passengers and cargo. It's still seen as the main stopover to Australia from Europe and is a big contributor to Singapore's economy. There are three terminals.
Around 80 airlines fly to Changi from 179 cities and 57 countries; the main ones include:
Singapore Airlines, whose home airport this is and who fly to Abu Dhabi, Adelaide, Ahmedabad, Amsterdam, Athens, Auckland, Balikapar, Bandar Seri Begawan, Bangalore, Bangkok, Barcelona, Beijing, Brisbane, Cairo, Cape Town, Cebu, Chengdu, Chennai, Chomgqing, Christchurch, Colombo, Copenhagen, Denpasar, Delhi, Dhaka, Dubai, Frankfurt, Fukuoka, Guangzhou, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Houston, Hyderabad, Istanbul-Atatürk, Jakarta, Jeddah, Johannesburg, Karachi, Kolkata, Kuala Lumpur, Lahore, London-Heathrow, Los Angeles, Malé, Manchester (UK), Manila, Melbourne, Milan-Malpensa, Moscow-Domodedovo, Mumbai, Nagoya-Centrair, Nanjing, New York-JFK, Newark, Osaka-Kansai, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Penang, Perth, Rome-Fiumicino, San Francisco, Seoul-Incheon, Shanghai-Pudong, Sydney, Taipei-Taoyuan, Tokyo-Narita, Vancouver, Zürich.
Air China to Beijing and Chengdu
Air France to Paris-Charles de Gaulle
Air India to Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Tiruchirapally
Bangkok Air to Koh Samui
British Airways to London-Heathrow and Sydney
Cathay Pacific to Hong Kong, Colombo and Bangkok
Emirates Airlines to major Australian cities, Jakarta, Colombo and Dubai
Garuda to destinations including Beijing, Denpasar, Ho Chi Minh City, Jakarta, Makassar, Padang, Pekanbaru, Semarang, Shanghai-Pudong
Japan Airlines to Kuala Lumpur, Osaka-Kansai, Tokyo-Narita
KLM to Amsterdam
Korean Air to Seoul
Lufthansa to Frankfurt, Jakarta
Malaysia Airlines to Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, Kuching, Langkawi, Penang
Northwest Airlines to Portland Oregon, Tokyo-Narita
Pakistan International Airlines to Islamabad, Karachi, Kuala Lumpur
Qantas to Adelaide, Brisbane, Denpasar, Frankfurt, London-Heathrow, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney, and its subsidiary Jetstar to Cairns and Darwin
Qatar Airways to Doha and Jakarta
Saudi Arabian Airlines to Jakarta, Jeddah and RiyadhSriLankan Airlines to Colombo, Kuala Lumpur
Swiss International Airlines to Bangkok and Zürich
Thai Airways International to Bangkok and Jakarta
Turkish Airlines to Istanbul-Ataturk
United Airlines to Chicago-O'Hare, Hong Kong, Tokyo-Narita and Washington-Dulles
Vietnam Airlines to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City
FROM THE AIRPORT
Changi is 20km from downtown Singapore and is accessed by the East Coast Parkway by car. Most visitors will take the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) metro network, which takes you straight to City Hall Station in half an hour with a cross-platform change at Tanah Merah Station. Alternatively, you can take an airport bus from the basement of either terminal. Taxis are plentiful but may incur an additional surcharge depending on the time of day. Car rental services are located in Terminal 2 - see our car rental recommendations.
WITHIN THE CITY
Road expressways connect all parts of the island but private cars are discouraged in the centre of the city with tolls and an electronic road pricing system operational at peak times.
Singapore has an efficient and inexpensive metro called MRT, which is an easy way to get around the city and has a clever Smartcard ticketing system.
The most popular method of transport, buses are usually air-conditioned and some even have televisions. But be prepared to wait in the heat and humidity for them, and remember they get very busy in the rush hours. You must also have the exact change.
Taxis are plentiful, cheap and safe (all have to be licensed and must clearly display their cab number). Smart Cabs (Tel: 65 6485 7777) drivers will have been on a tours course so should have a good knowledge of the Singapore sites, and most drivers speak English and enjoy telling you about their city. Cablink is the largest taxi company (Tel: 65 6552 1111). If you book a cab remember to take the number to prevent someone else from taking yours!
Singapore has excellent high-quality hospitals but all medical treatment is private (you will need to pay for a consultation). NUH (National University Hospital) is subsidised by the Singapore government and has a specialist children's emergency unit. For expat doctors, contact the International Medical Centre in Tanglin Shopping Centre (5th Floor, 19 Tanglin Road, tel: 65 6733 4440) - not to be confused with Tanglin Mall.
There is no malaria risk in Singapore, but always use repellent in the evenings and countryside as the mozzies carry dengue fever.
Tap water is safe to drink but to avoid any chance of an upset stomach, stick to bottled water - available everywhere and very cheap.
Not expected in Singapore, and it can actually be viewed as insulting. The only exception is taxi drivers but only round up the fare to the next dollar.
The Singapore government has very strict rules and laws which carry heavy penalties if not adhered to. Prostitution is legal but strictly regulated, and while it is not illegal to be homosexual it is illegal to carry out any sexual act that cannot result in the procreation of children. Littering and jay-walking can result in an instant fine, as can smoking in a public place. Lastly, to quash an urban myth, chewing gum is not illegal but it is not on sale here.