“When preparing to travel, lay out all your clothes and all your money. Take half the clothes and twice the money.” ~ Susan Heller.
Wondering what to add to your Singapore packing list? With its endless summer and tropical ambience in Southeast Asia, it can be tricky to know what to pack for Singapore if you’re not used to warm climates. And if you are, how to dress in Singapore to blend in amongst its multicultural community?
When planning a Singapore itinerary, what to pack comes down to how long you’ll be staying. For a week, you may be able to get away with a carry-on bag, whereas any longer may need a larger suitcase (which comes in handy if you’re planning to shop up a storm!)
From essential items, what to wear in Singapore, things to help you “blend in” and what NOT to bring, I’ve got you covered. And for your FREE Singapore travel checklist, read on for more!
This post contains affiliate links, I may earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.
I’m not sharing this Singapore travel list to link to a bunch of things on Amazon you don’t really need such as jet lag pills or travel towels. Honestly, in terms of packing for Singapore it’s not too different from other places in Southeast Asia.
Here are my recommendations for what to pack for Singapore. Save the Pinterest pin at this article’s conclusion as a quick reference for later!
Visa & SG Arrival Card (SGAC)
Do you need a visa for Singapore? Most countries within Europe, Oceania, North and South America have visa waiver agreements with Singapore, so a tourist visa will be issued on arrival.
However, if travelling to Singapore from one of the 37 countries such as India, Russia, China, Ukraine, Belarus, or some countries in Africa, you will need a visa to visit Singapore before arriving. Be sure to check the Singapore travel requirements and ensure you leave plenty of time for your visa to be processed before your trip.
All travellers are required to complete the SG Arrival Card e-Service 3 days prior to their arrival in Singapore (transiting passengers not clearing through immigration are exempt). After booking plane tickets, you should receive this info in an email from your airline.
This electronic document isn’t a visa, but the electronic version of the paper disembarkation card. It asks for your passport number, accommodation address, phone number, etc. Once you submit it, you’ll receive an email confirmation a few hours later. Print this out to show with your passport on arrival in Singapore.
TIP: While all health restrictions to Singapore have been dropped, there is currently a health declaration which asks where you’ve travelled recently and if you have any specific symptoms. There are severe penalties for false declarations.
My passport wallet is one of the most useful travel gifts I’ve ever received! It’s a great idea to keep your most important documents in one place, and most handy when transiting through airports. Some things I keep in there are:
- Boarding passes
- Foreign currencies
- Credit card & debit card
- Printouts of pre-booked activities
- Any local travel passes. Browse a collection of passport wallets here.
TIP: When I arrive at my destination, I remove any day-to-day items such as local travel cards and cash, and transfer them to my card holder. I leave my travel wallet usually locked inside my suitcase or in the hotel safe each day. I believe it’s acceptable to carry a copy of your passport with you as a form of identification.
Printouts of pre-booked activities
This isn’t completely necessary as attractions in Singapore are very mobile-friendly, however in case of any technical difficulties you may wish to print out confirmation of tickets you’ve pre-purchased. Show these to corresponding places on arrival and you’ll be grand.
What kinds of activities do I mean? Universal Studios, Gardens by the Bay, Marina Bay Sands Skypark, ArtScience Museum, Sentosa Cable Car, Night Bus Tour… This extensive list of activities in Singapore will inspire your itinerary.
TIP: You can also purchase this discounted combo pass if planning to visit a number of attractions!
SIM cards or portable WiFi
Some visitors prefer to use local SIM cards in their phones or e-SIMs to avoid having to carry a WiFi device.
Alternatively if travelling as a group, it may be more cost efficient to use portable WiFi rather than activating global roaming on your phone.
When it comes to things to pack for Singapore, if you have either of these on hand already, don’t forget to pack them!
Portable charger or power bank
As someone with a hopeless sense of direction, I can confirm using your phone a lot for navigation sucks its battery FAST.
During one of my Japan trips, my flight touched down at 4:30am and I couldn’t check-in to my hotel until 3pm. I’d planned to be on the go the entire time! Having the backup of a small power bank was very handy those last few hours before checking in.
TIP: When not in use, I turn off location settings and WiFi on my phone to help save battery. Flight mode is even better. I’ll also switch off the WiFi device altogether and only have it on when navigating around (but that can only do so much).
Of course, you can always “old-school it” and just use the map signs in each station to get around. It can be fun if you’re not in a rush! But power banks are a good idea for peace of mind. This lightweight powerbank comes highly recommended.
Packing cubes are one of my travel essentials for Singapore and have honestly been a game changer! No need to buy expensive ones, a cheap set containing various sizes for different items will suffice – larger for clothes, smaller for toiletries/underwear/device chargers etc.
If you’re travelling as a family, having different coloured cubes for each person helps keep the clothing neat and organised in your suitcase.
It’s a shame I only became a convert to packing cubes in more recent years, I wish I began using them during my earliest travels! They just make living out of a suitcase so much easier. Browse a collection of packing cubes here.
TIP: By rolling your clothes inside the packing cubes instead of folding, it makes it easier to see what you have. Plus, they pack better this way and your clothes are less likely to wrinkle!
Due to their compact size, this lightweight alternative to an everyday wallet is a must to pack for Singapore. There’s no point bringing along all those loyalty cards from home whilst you’re away, right?
All you need are your credit cards, debit card to withdraw cash and your driver’s licence/ID card. In actual fact, I don’t own a purse and use a cardholder day-to-day. It’s so much easier (and lighter) than a regular wallet. Browse a collection of card holders here.
Reusable water bottle
When creating a packing list for Singapore, bring along your favourite reusable or collapsible water bottle.
I noticed when purchasing water from vending machines or stores, most of the time it was in a can. Hotels, attractions and stores on Sentosa island planned to phase out plastic bottled water by the end of 2023.
Water cans are fine if you want to drink it in one go, but not ideal if you’d like to pop it in your bag to save for later!
Correct travel adapters
No Singapore trip packing list would be complete without the right adapters. Thanks to its British past, Singapore uses the same three-prong power outlets as the UK. If you’re Aussie like me, make sure your adaptor allows for conversion from our 3 pronged devices!
Double check before you leave home, otherwise you’ll need to hunt down the correct adapters just as you realise your device needs charging. I learnt that one the hard way, haha. This universal travel adapter comes highly recommended.
Comfortable walking shoes
What shoes to bring to Singapore? Expect to do a lot of walking when sightseeing! And remember it’s a warm climate, so it’s wise to leave out the heavy boots.
Bring along your favourite comfortable walking shoes for warmer climates that are already broken in. I spot my fellow Aussies wearing thongs (yes, that’s our word for flip flops!) which are fine, but not formal enough when visiting places with a dress code (like some establishments of the Marina Bay Sands).
- For ladies, I recommend comfy leather sandals for the day and enclosed leather shoes for evening.
- For gents, I suggest smart-casual sneakers for the day and leather shoes for evening.
Singapore travel guidebook
Bring along your most-used Singapore travel guide book and leave it in your suitcase as you may wish to reference it whilst you’re away. As well as researching online, I used the below Lonely Planet Singapore travel guidebook to plan my visits.
While most hotels supply basic, disposable toiletries such as razor blades, toothbrushes, and shower caps, in an effort to be more environmentally friendly these may not be available in your room.
Some hotels may provide these only on request, be in the lobby, or may not offer them anymore at all. You can pack these kinds of items from home in a toiletry bag to save getting new ones in Singapore.
Small, foldable umbrella
In these tropical climes such as Singapore’s, I never travel without a compact umbrella. I can leave it in my bag and be prepared for any rain (which comes and goes a lot!). It can also double as shade for days when the sun is too harsh.
TIP: It’s also a good idea to pack your favourite sunglasses with UV protection to minimise the glare.
Small amount of cash (to start)
Singapore is very well adapted to digital payment methods, however having some cash may help you better plan (and stick to) your travel budget.
Usually I’ll exchange a few hundred dollars into Singapore dollars to have on hand once I’m there, then withdraw more once that runs out. Withdrawing money from ATMs will usually give us the best exchange rate when travelling.
As a general rule of thumb, I use around 500 SGD per week as spending money when I’m in Singapore (this is absolute overkill, but I love splurging on souvenirs and experiences!)
To save on ATM fees, I withdraw SGD once per week and leave enough for one day in my card holder. The rest of the cash I keep in my hotel’s safe or locked in my luggage and take from it each day, so I’m not carrying around bundles of notes all at once.
TIP: Like other dollar currencies, Singapore dollars have 100 cents to the dollar. Notes come in $2, $5, $10, $25, $50, $100, $500, $1,000, and $10,000 denominations. I doubt many would need the last two, though!
When packing for Singapore, naturally don’t forget your camera to capture your upcoming memories! It’s a good idea to pack spare batteries and SD cards, too. I use the compact Canon G7X Mark III so I’m not lugging around heavy gear all day.
TIP: My guide to mid-range travel resources covers all the gear I use and more.
Due to its geographical location on the equator, Singapore weather temperatures hover between 30°C – 35°C (86°F – 95°F), with lows hovering around 25°C (77°F) year round. While this is quite consistent, monsoon can affect the weather.
Bringing heavy rains and strong winds, two types of monsoon occur bringing frequent rain showers:
- Northeast monsoon season, from November to early March
- Southwest monsoon season, from June to September.
Humidity is usually around 70%. So what clothes to wear in Singapore?
With that said, what to pack for Singapore clothing-wise? Keep things simple and create a capsule wardrobe where each piece is able to mix-and-match with others. This creates multiple outfit combinations without having to pack extra things.
- Tops: For men and women, lightweight and loose-fitting T-shirts, tops (ladies, more on what NOT to wear further down the page); natural fabrics such as linen and cotton are cool and breathable in the heat.
- TIP: Your tops will inevitably get sweaty, so unless you don’t mind washing in your hotel room, pack two tops for each day, one for sightseeing and one to change into for the evening.
- Bottoms: Skirts (short and long) and shorts for ladies, men may prefer chino-type shorts (board shorts are a bit too casual).
- Dresses: Long and short, they’re nice to change into in the evenings after long days of sightseeing.
- Collared short-sleeve shirts: Gentlemen, polo shirts can be dressed up or down so you’ll never look too casual.
TIP: Bring more than one pair of shoes, even if only spending a few days in Singapore. And especially during the monsoon seasons. It’s wise to have at least one spare pair of shoes so you can allow the previous day’s pair to dry out!
What to wear in Singapore for business
Heading to Singapore for a business trip? Unlike some places nowadays, office wear in Singapore corporate world leans more on the conservative side. These are my recommendations for what to wear in Singapore for business:
- For ladies, a lightweight collared/smart blouse (no cleavage) paired with a pantsuit or trousers, or knee-length skirt. For shoes, enclosed shoes with a slight heel are fine.
- For gents, trousers, business shirt, suit jacket and tie paired with enclosed leather shoes are appropriate.
TIP: To make the best possible first impression, ensure shoes are polished and your nails are well-groomed! More details on Singapore business culture here, including why to use two hands when passing over your business card and gift etiquette.
What not to wear in Singapore
While some conservative cultures inhabit the Lion City (more about this in my itinerary for Singapore), what locals tend to wear covers a broad spectrum. Unlike places such as Japan where bare shoulders for women can be frowned upon, aside from business settings it’s more acceptable in Singapore due to the mixture of cultures.
As a general rule for what not to wear in Singapore however, try not to wear anything too revealing if you wish to avoid unwanted looks or attention.
In saying that however, women may wish to pack a light shawl to cover shoulders at temples where it is required. Some do have a box of shawls and sarongs to cover shoulders and knees out front you can borrow for free, so it’s up to you.
There are a few things that you should not bring into Singapore if you want to avoid severe penalties, even things you may use without question at home.
As with Japan, pseudoephedrine is banned in Singapore (apologies my fellow Aussies, no taking Codral for us!)
For regular prescription medications you take back home, you may need to apply for approval before bringing it. Check the requirements for your medication here.
Prohibited items in Singapore include chewing gum, chewing tobacco, e-cigarettes/vapes and some others. Please check the ICA list of prohibited items for more.
Fresh foods and produce
Plants, fresh seafood, meat, vegetables and other items need a special import licence to bring into Singapore. Please check the official ICA website for details.
Unlike the advice I share on my detailed travel guides and itineraries, you’ll be pleased to know you don’t really need any sort of transport passes in Singapore.
There is a Singapore Tourist Pass, however I personally think it is a bit expensive for the amount of times you would use it and the cost wouldn’t pay off.
BONUS essential item
As well as travel insurance that suits your circumstances, when travelling in Singapore (or anywhere really!) don’t forget to bring an open mind. Allow yourself to be swept up in new ways of thinking because if you do, Singapore will change perspective on things and will stay with you long after you’ve left.
Concluding this Singapore packing list
And that’s a wrap for my list of Singapore travel essentials! Don’t forget to save my checklist for travel to Singapore down below for easy reference.
Now you know how to dress in Singapore for business and sightseeing, the types of tickets, electronics and accessories you’ll need, what to bring to Singapore plus what NOT to bring, and how to dress if you’re hoping to be an Invisible Tourist, I hope you’ve found this extensive guide insightful and save it for your future trip!
What do you think of this guide for how to pack for Singapore? Did I miss anything (aside from the obvious items such as pyjamas and underwear)? Let me know in the comments below.
Planning an extended stay in Asia? While you’re here, take a look at my guides to Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Thailand, Bali, Laos, Taiwan and my guide to how to not look like a tourist anywhere to help you blend in and have best trip possible.
Until next time,
This Singapore packing list contains some affiliate links, at no extra cost to you. I may earn a small commission if you decide to make a purchase and if you do, thanks for your support! This helps with the costs of running my blog so I can keep my content free for you. As always, I only recommend a product or service that I genuinely love and use myself!