Singapore is an outlier in low-cost, backpacker-friendly Southeast Asia. The tiny city-state is extremely developed (the only place in the region where you can safely drink the tap water) and exceedingly organized, which makes it a fairly straightforward travel destination. American travelers, though, will need a US to Singapore power adapter in order to plug in electronic devices there, so make sure you pack one along with your phone and Kindle.
Power Outlets in Singapore
Singapore primarily uses Type G outlets, which have three rectangular holes and are grounded. These British-style plugs are used in neighboring Malaysia and in parts of Indonesia as well.
You may also find Type C sockets in Singapore, which are the most common European outlet type. These sockets have two round holes and are ungrounded. Type G outlets only work with the Type G plug, but Type C outlets can take any plug type that has two round pins.
Like the rest of Southeast Asia (and most countries outside the US), Singapore uses a voltage of 230V and a frequency of 50 Hz.
Singapore Power Adapter
Anyone packing for a trip to the city-state will be asking, “What plug do I need for Singapore?” Both Type G and Type C outlets require a US to Singapore power adapter, so you’ll need an adapter no matter what. Bringing a universal adapter will be the easiest, since they include nearly every plug type and should work with any outlet you encounter in Singapore. Be aware that Type G sockets often have a small on/off switch in the corner, and if your adapter has a large plug head, it may get in the way of the switch.
We recommend this quality adapter because it includes both a Type G and Type C plugs. Although it’s compact, it’s compatible in over 100 countries around the world, so you can use it to reliably charge your personal electronics on your future travels as well.
Electricity in Singapore
Singapore is one of the most modernized countries in the world and is known for its high level of organization. The country’s electrical grid reflects that, with its high-quality infrastructure. Power outages there are rare and typically only occur during storms or emergencies, so you’re unlikely to experience one during your trip.
Do I need a voltage converter for Singapore?
Whether you’ll need a US to Singapore voltage converter depends on what type of electric devices you plan to bring. Even though the US’s voltage is lower, most American-made electronics (including phones and laptops) are compatible with Singapore’s 230V grid. However, common exceptions are hair dryers, curling irons, and electric razors, which are typically only rated to around 120V. If you plug any of them into the wall in Singapore without a converter, it will destroy the device and could shock you or start a fire.If you plan to travel abroad frequently, you could also order new appliances that are rated to 220V-240V, which you’ll be able to use anywhere in the world.
Other Singapore Packing List Items
1. Neck Wallet
Crime rates in Singapore are exceedingly low, but pickpocketing and petty theft do sometimes occur in more crowded touristy areas. Even in low-risk places, there’s no harm in keeping your money and credit cards in a neck wallet, which will cut the chances of them getting stolen to near zero.
If you find that your suitcase or backpack tends to explode as soon as you open it in your hotel room, packing cubes will be a game-changer. Fold or roll one type of clothing (tops, shorts, etc.) into each cube, and then pack the cubes into your bag. It’ll be much easier to stay tidy and organized on the road.
We all used to manage just fine without them, but a smartphone is pretty much a travel essential these days. It’s your camera, your map, and your flashlight, not to mention entertainment for long bus rides. But it won’t serve any of those functions if the battery dies. Keep a small portable charger with you, and you’ll be able to juice it up wherever you go.
Of course, you can’t use your charger without a charging cable, which is an item that often gets left behind or loaned out and never returned. Just to be safe, pack an extra charging cable for your trip; it’ll only add an ounce or so to your bag.
Singapore is twelve hours ahead of the U.S.’s East Coast, which means jet lag is probably inevitable. Fortunately, you can reduce its effect by packing some jet lag relief pills, which will help get your sleep cycle on a normal schedule more quickly.
Like some other countries in Southeast Asia, the government of Singapore blocks certain websites, which means you’ll need a VPN to access them. Beyond that, though, it’s always smart to use a VPN while you’re traveling. It will protect your privacy when you’re logging onto to different public Wi-Fi networks and help prevent you from getting hacked.
If you get sick or injured while traveling, you’ll be lucky if it happens in Singapore, which has world-class medical facilities. However, like most things in Singapore, medical care is expensive – and your US health insurance probably won’t cover the cost. To make you don’t get stuck paying out of pocket, sign up for a travel insurance plan before you leave.
Other FAQs about traveling in Singapore
1. When to travel to Singapore?
Between May and August, haze and smoke from fires in nearby Sumatra (Indonesia) penetrate the city, creating hazardous levels of air quality. While it won’t cause serious problems except for travelers with respiratory issues (who should avoid visiting during those months), it’s still not a pleasant time to be in Singapore. To miss both the fires and the rainy season, February and March are usually considered the best months to visit Singapore. That’s also tourist season, though, meaning it will be more crowded and prices will go up. Ultimately, you’ll have to decide what you want to avoid most: the crowds, the rains, or the smoke. Be sure to check current Singapore travel advisories before you go.
2. What is the weather like in Singapore?
Because Singapore so tiny and its elevation only changes by about 500 feet, the whole country has the same weather. Like most of Southeast Asia, Singapore has a tropical climate, meaning it’s generally hot and humid year-round. The temperatures don’t even drop much at night; average highs are usually in the upper-80s, with average lows in the upper-70s. One thing that does vary, though, is rainfall. The rainy season runs from September to January, while the dry season lasts from February to August.
3. What to do in Singapore?
Singapore has no shortage of things to do, both within the city proper and in the outlying areas. Gardens by the Bay, the sprawling park next to the Marina Bay Sands Hotel, is the most iconic attraction. The park is really known for the vibrant sound and light show that takes place every evening but arrive earlier to experience the park in the daylight as well. For such a dense urban area, Singapore also has a surprising selection of hikes, including the Southern Ridges Trail and the Changi Coastal Walk. Another of Singapore’s best-known but totally quirky sites is Haw Par Villa, a museum dedicated to the Buddhist concept of hell. For less bizarre displays, head to the National Gallery and the Asian Civilizations Museum instead. Make sure you have time to just walk around the city and take it all in; Chinatown, Little India, and Haji Lane are the must-see areas. Lastly, to see the small part of the country that isn’t city, take a day trip to Sentosa, Kusu Island, or St. John’s Island.
4. How to save money in Singapore?
The cost of living (and traveling) in Singapore is high, and if you’re coming from anywhere else in Southeast Asia, it’ll seem exorbitant. But it’s still possible to visit on a budget. Little India is generally the cheapest neighborhood for accommodations, so staying there is the best way to travel on a budget; to save, even more, consider a hostel dorm instead of a private room. Taking public transportation will also save you money over cabs or ride-sharing, and hawker centers are cheaper (and more interesting!) than restaurants. Singapore has loads of free things to do as well, including several of its museums, and there are even free walking tours.
5. How to get around in Singapore?
Since it’s so small and dense, Singapore is very easy to get around. Public transportation there is simple to use and includes both extensive train networks and dozens of bus routes. No matter where you are in Singapore, you probably won’t be far from a stop. Taxis are easy to come by as well, and ride-sharing apps like Grab and Go-Jek are popular and usually very cheap. Unlike many Southeast Asian cities, Singapore is also extremely pedestrian-friendly; covered sidewalks are the norm, and traffic rules are strictly enforced. Lastly, to get from the city to the offshore islands, ferries leave from several different terminals.