For a long time, Singapore was a closed-off ecosystem living in the shadow of Thailand’s popularity, as well as the popularity of the other South Asian travel destinations such as Vietnam and Indonesia. Simply put, Singapore has always been a unique cultural setting favoring the rich and the overly successful, and was considered a private oasis for global jet-setters and up-scale traveler.

In recent years, though, Singapore has become one of the most popular travel destinations among all demographics. The city-state has become a true foodie paradise, and backpackers from all over the world are flooding in to experience its culture, nightlife, and the distinct way of life within. No matter if you’re traveling with nothing more than a backpack or if you’re traveling in style, Singapore should definitely be on your bucket list. Here is what you need to know in order to plan out an unforgettable trip to Singapore.

The sightseeing opportunities

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Singapore might seem like it’s all about the bustling nightlife (and you wouldn’t be wrong if that was the sole purpose of your voyage), but there is actually so much this expansive city has to offer. Particularly, Singapore is rich with cultural landmarks and sightseeing opportunities you shouldn’t miss.

First off, visit the Singapore Zoo to get a chance to hang out with more than 3600 animal species over an expansive 70-acre territory. If you’re more of an urban explorer, be sure to hit Chinatown first, and lose yourself in the hustle and bustle of this vivid culture. Plan to make a visit to the Singapore Botanic Gardens experience some truly enthralling natural scenery – such that of the National Orchid Garden, which contains over 1,000 species of orchids.

Typical costs and living expenses

Singapore used to be a city reserved for the wealthier travelers of the world, but nowadays it’s as affordable as its neighboring countries, making it an appealing destination to an increasing number of globe trotters.

You can take advantage of the country’s inexpensive yet highly functional public transport to get around for just seven US bucks a day, for example, and you can find exquisite local street food at various locations around town for as little as four dollars. When it comes to accommodation, though, you should look for the best deals.

The best places to stay

Staying in Singapore can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. Without a doubt, the best way to save money is to find Singapore hotel packages that offer numerous perks and most importantly, prime locations in the city center. Private accommodation is also available, but it will set you back a pretty penny, and hostels are usually not worth their 12-dollar-a-night price tag.

The key to a great Singapore adventure is to stay at a place where you are close to the action, and where you have all of the essential features you need to work, rest, and have fun. In the end, it will all come down to your travel preferences, with hotels being excellent for couples and families, and hostels for backpackers and travelers on a tighter budget.

Experience the thriving foodie scene

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When it comes to its food scene, Singapore rivals that of Vietnam and Thailand. This city-state has become a true foodie paradise in recent years, with foodies markets opening all across town and offering culinary wonders from around the world.

If you’re a foodie traveler, this is the place to be. Hit the food stalls on Smith Street for a taste of cheap yet delicious culinary wonders. Be sure to visit the vibrant foodie streets of Little India and Chinatown as well. However, the true Singaporean foodie experience awaits at hawker stalls scattered throughout town.

Tips on personal safety

Luckily for all foreigners, Singapore is a rigorously-policed city. This is a place where forgetting to be polite could land you a few hours in detention, a place where you will be charged more than seven hundred dollars for littering, spitting, or smoking in public. For you, this not only means that you need to behave properly and exude politeness, but that you’re completely safe to roam around and explore without fear. Yes, even if you’re a solo female traveler, this is one of the rare places where you can feel safe.

Singapore has become one of the most popular exotic travel destinations in the world, and for a number of compelling reasons. Before you embark on your exploration tour around Singapore, be sure to use this guide to organize your trip and experience everything this bustling city has to offer.