Singapore

A Digital Nomad Guide To Singapore

In this article, I’ll guide you through all the things that Singapore has to offer. This way, you can make an informed decision about choosing your next destination as a Digital Nomad. Let’s begin!

Living in Singapore for digital nomads

Singapore is a small island country having an area of 728.6 km². Regardless of its small size, it is one of the most advanced countries in SouthEast Asia. Known as the “Garden City,” Singapore is full of refreshing, lush green streets.

As a digital nomad looking for your next destination, Singapore definitely cuts it. But why should Singapore be your next home? 

In this article, I’ll guide you through all the things that Singapore has to offer. This way, you can make an informed decision about choosing your next destination as a Digital Nomad. Let’s begin!

Weather of Singapore

Singapore is located quite close to the equator in the Malay Peninsula. So, the weather is relatively temperate and often humid. The yearly temperatures fluctuate between 25°C to 32°C (77°F to 90°F) and rarely deviate from this range. 

The city’s dry months are from March to May, when most tourists or expats make their way to Singapore. 

The first monsoon spell starts in June and lasts from about August to September. However, the monsoon season is more intense from September to February, with fast winds and more rainfall. 

Singapore does not experience all four seasons; it’s mostly summer there. 

Recommendation: It’s best you leave your warm winter jackets behind and bring your best summer outfits for this trip. 

If you prefer living in colder climates, the country’s temperate weather may not be your cup of tea. Nonetheless, Singapore has fully air-conditioned malls, restaurants, and homes. So, the weather shouldn’t be a significant hindrance. 

Cost of Living in Singapore

Although a small country, Singapore is undoubtedly one of the more expensive countries in Asia. 

Housing costs in Singapore are 2% greater than in New York City. Monthly budgets for a single adult range from $2000 to over $5000 per month. 

The primary contributor to this hefty budget is the high housing costs in the city. Cost for daily food and beverages, then follow this. Alcohol in Singapore is also quite pricey. So, a night out with too much drinking could put you off budget.

For a Digital Nomad, the following budget should be significant:

  • Accommodation: $1000-1500 USD
  • WorkSpace: approx $400 USD
  • Food: $1200 USD
  • Transport: $100 USD
  • Leisure: approx $400-500 USD

Singapore is a must-visit destination for those who can afford this price tag. Furthermore, although accommodation can be expensive, other costs can be significantly reduced. 

Instead of eating at restaurants, grabbing meals from street hawkers will significantly reduce food expenses, otherwise  you will find yourself paying $15-$30 a meal.

The city is relatively compact, so travel costs are also low, especially if you occasionally walk

Transport System in Singapore

Singapore has an organized transportation system that consists of trains, buses, taxis, and ride-hailing apps. Let’s discuss each in detail.

The MRT Train

MRT Train

Singapore’s transport system is arguably the best and most affordable in the world. The MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) is the train system used by most of the public. This MRT train can take you to just about anywhere in the city.

The MRT usually costs about $1.1-18 USD per journey. 

However, if you want to cut your cost even further, I recommend getting an EZ-Link Card or a Singapore Tourist Pass.

BUSES

The bus routes in Singapore are also extensive, covering almost every corner of the city. Moreover, the buses are clean and well maintained with proper air conditioning. 

Bus fares range from about $0.95-1.40 USD per journey. 

Paying for these buses is also easy, and you can use your EZ-Link cards to make payments. Travelers can also use their foreign-issued contactless bank cards to make these payments. Although, they will be charged a small administration fee for it. 

Taxis

Getting a Taxi in Singapore is very easy since there are many of them on the streets. However, some areas of the city may have pre-established taxi queues, so you may have to wait for your turn. 

All taxis in Singapore are metered, and the final charges depend on the time of booking, the type of taxi, and your final destination. 

The meter tells your exact fare, so being scammed by taxi drivers is highly unlikely. 

Ride-Hailing Apps

You can even call a taxi at your convenience through multiple ride-hailing apps. Singaporeans widely trust the following ride-hailing apps:

  • ComfortDelgro
  • Gojek 
  • Grab: My preferred choice
  • Ryde

You may have noticed that Uber did not make this list. Well, that is because, in 2018, Uber exited Southeast Asia. So, Uber’s not an option. 

Nonetheless, these apps are just as convenient, so I recommend you give them a shot.

Cultural Diversity in Singapore

Cultural Diversity

Singapore is full of people from diverse cultures and ethnicities. You’ll commonly find Chinese, Indian and Malay people living here. However, people from multiple countries and backgrounds have also made this beautiful garden city their home. 

The most commonly spoken languages here are English, Chinese, and Malay. Most of Singapore’s population is well educated and speak fluent English and 1-2 other languages. Therefore, communicating should not be an issue here. 

Singapore is generally a very accepting country and city. The people are accommodating and welcoming towards others. This is why numerous tourists and expats make their way to Singapore.

The Cuisine in Singapore

One thing about Singapore that you simply don’t need to worry about? Finding good food! 

If you’re a foodie like me, you know that food can often make or break your entire experience. In Singapore, you’ll find just about any time of cuisine that your heart desires.

One of the many advantages of the city being full of different cultures is that you can find authentic cuisines anywhere. From Indian curries to Chinese soups, this city has it all. 

While Singapore has some Michelin-star restaurants with high-quality food, to truly experience the best foods, you must make your way to the street hawkers. These street hawkers not only serve the most delicious food but are also a lot easier on your pocket. 

Here are some of the best food places to try in Singapore.

  • Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice
  • Location: Maxwell Food Centre, 1 Kadayanallur Street #01–10/11, Singapore 069184
  • Cuisine: Chinese

True Blue Cuisine

  • Location: 47/49 Armenian Street, Singapore 179937
  • Cuisine: Peranakan

Lian He Ben Ji Claypot Rice

  • Location: Chinatown Complex, 335 Smith Street #02–197/198/199, Singapore 050335
  • Cuisine: Chinese

Hjh Maimunah Restaurant

  • Location: 11 & 15 Jalan Pisang, Singapore 199078
  • Cuisine: Malay

Song Fa Bak Kut Teh

  • Location: 11 New Bridge Road #01–01, Singapore 059383
  • Cuisine: Chinese

The Blue Ginger

  • Location: 97 Tanjong Pagar Road, Singapore 088518
  • Cuisine: Peranakan

Alliance Seafood

  • Location: Newton Food Centre, 500 Clemenceau Avenue North #01–27, Singapore 229495
  • Cuisine: Singaporean Seafood

Muthu’s Curry

  • Location: 138 Race Course Road #01–01, Singapore 218591
  • Cuisine: Indian

Visas and Documentation Process

passport

Okay, so you have decided to make Singapore your next destination; getting accustomed to the Visa process is essential. Singapore thrives on tourism; so, getting a visa isn’t really difficult. 

Do You Need to Apply for a Visa Beforehand?

Residents of most countries in the world can travel to Singapore Visa-free. They will be given a visa on arrival at the Singapore airport. 

However, you must have all the necessary documentation complete. Make your way to Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs website to find out if you are eligible for a visa-free entry.

Does Singapore Have Digital Nomad Visas? 

Unfortunately, Singapore does not offer a digital nomad visa. However, those visiting Singapore from a visa-free country or having the necessary visa can stay for up to 30 days at a time. Once your 30-day stay is complete, you must exit the country.

*If you are a resident of the USA or the EU, you can stay in Singapore for up to 90 days, Visa-free*

Although, for most digital nomads or tourists, there is a loophole. You can leave Singapore and go to a neighboring country (such as Malaysia or Thailand) for a short period every 30 days. Once you return, your 30-day stay will restart. 

Most expats and digital nomads do this numerous times during their stay. It may not be the most convenient method, but it indeed works.

The Singapore Arrival Card

As of 2019, any person entering Singapore must possess a Singapore Arrival Card (SGAC). The SGAC completely replaces all other paper-based documentation needed to enter the country. You can apply for the SGAC online

Necessary: The SGAC does NOT replace your visa. It simply relieves you of the hassle of carrying extensive paper-based documents.

Extended Singapore Visa

Those who want to stay longer need a valid work permit or a work holiday visa. This allows citizens from certain countries to remain in Singapore for up to 6 months at a time. 

On the other hand, if you have a private limited company that meets the criteria outlined by the Ministry of Manpower, you can apply for an Entrepass. This visa is targeted toward foreign entrepreneurs.

Get Connected, Get a SIM Card

Sim card

Once you land in Singapore, one of the very first things you need to do is to get a tourist SIM card. The connection is excellent everywhere, regardless of where you are in the city. You can grab these SIM cards from any local kiosk. The airport itself has SIM card vending machines as well.

The kiosks accept any major credit card. ATMs are everywhere, so paying for the SIM should not be a hassle. Data packages on the SIM card start for as little as $22 per month.

The following companies are pretty widespread and have reliable connections within Singapore:

  • Singtel: One of the top operators
  • M1
  • Starhub

Finding Accommodation

Accommodation

As I mentioned, accommodation within Singapore is quite expensive. Therefore, if you’re a digital nomad on a tight budget, your best bet is to find a coliving space. Let’s walk you through Coliving spaces in Singapore.

Coliving Spaces

Not only are coliving spaces cheaper, but they also give you a perfect opportunity to intermingle with others like you.

I interacted with other digital nomads in Singapore, and most still claim to be friends with their coliving roommates. The apartments are already fully furnished and often have basic amenities. So you don’t need to stress over spending more money and time on them.

Coliving.com offers a wide array of options in Singapore for you to choose from. These options can vary based on your budget, preferred residence area, and general aesthetic.

Here are the top 3 coliving spaces in Singapore: 

1. Wanderlust

This boutique property is in Little India and is a 5-minute walk from the Jalan Besar metro. That makes traveling within Singapore a lot easier. Since it is in Little India, the property is surrounded by beautiful shops and rich culture and food. 

Moreover, Wanderlust also offers complimentary wifi and laundry services. They also have a dipping pool and a rain shower, ideal for washing away all your stress at the end of a long day. 

  • Price: Rent varies from about $950- 3800 USD (depending on your requirements).
2. Lyf Funan

Lyf Funan is the largest coliving company in Southeast Asia. This space adds a more playful touch to the whole coliving concept. It hosts multiple social and community events to allow its residents to interact with each other.

Lyf Funan comes equipped with fast WiFi, a community gym, and a shared kitchen. It is ideal for tourists and digital nomads looking to rent out daily.

  • Price: Rent starts from $70 daily (including utilities).
3. Hmlet

Hmlet has over 80 properties across its various locations, with 35 properties within Singapore. One of Hmlet’s properties is at Cantonment road, a 10-minute walk from the famous Orchard Street.

The space is sleek and modern, with complimentary wifi, a fully equipped kitchen, and a shared social lounge. Hmlet is also quite flexible with its monthly lease, which starts at a minimum of 3 months. 

  • Price: Monthly rents vary from $690-3800 USD (depending on your requirements).
4. Commontown

Commontown is arguably the most diverse coliving space in Singapore. It has 18 properties within Singapore for you to choose from, and the lease starts from a minimum of 3 months. 

The property has a basic kitchen, a common room area, fast WiFi, and maintenance services. 

  • Price: Rent ranges from $980-1880 per month (Commontown requires a one-month security deposit as well)
5. Figment

Figment provides its tenants with much more unique coliving spaces. These boutique coliving spaces are located within shophouses in Singapore. 

Although more unconventional, this place is vibrant and aesthetic. Figment provides free WiFi and cleaning and laundry services. 

  • Price: Monthly rent is approximately $1130 (including utility bills)

Best Neighborhoods to Stay in Singapore

Neighborhood

Singapore is a small city, so you will always be a short bus or train ride away from downtown, regardless of where to stay. However, the prices of various neighborhoods depend primarily on their proximity to Downtown.

If you have the budget for it, then here are the best neighborhoods to stay in during your visit:

  1. Central Singapore
  2. Newton
  3. Orchard
  4. Queens Town
  5. Kallang
  6. Bukit Merah

Although gorgeous, renting apartments in these neighborhoods come with a hefty price tag. However, these neighborhoods are relatively modern and luxurious. They are also only minutes away from downtown Singapore so travel time gets cut short. 

I believe Kallang provides the best value for your money among these neighborhoods. It is closer to the central area and is comparatively cheaper as well. 

Neighborhoods on a Budget

If you have a tight budget and can’t afford these high prices in central neighborhoods. The following neighborhoods should be your next option:

  1. Punggol
  2. Chua Chu Kang
  3. Bukit Panchang, Woodlands

These neighborhoods are further away from downtown. However, they come at a much more reasonable price tag. 

Living here can significantly increase travel times. However, Singapore has a very efficient and well-developed public transport system. So, commuting shouldn’t be a huge hassle. 

Coworking Spaces in Singapore

As a digital nomad, exploring various countries and cities is the highlight. However, a significant perk of being a digital nomad is that you don’t find yourself stuck within the same office space for years and years.

Digital nomads get the luxury of choosing their own office space and getting to change it with every location. While working from the comfort of your bed can be very enticing, coworking spaces give you the perfect blend of comfort and productivity. 

Below are the top 3 coworking spaces in Singapore:

1. The Hive

The most distinct feature of Hive is its remarkable customer service. It has two locations within Singapore. It has multiple locations worldwide and a single membership that applies to all Hive locations.

The Lavender office contains photographer booths and private offices, allowing its guests to capture some beautiful professional shots. 

  • Location: The Hive Lavender, Level 6, Vanguard Building, 1 Kallang Junction, 339263, Singapore

The Hive Carpenter office contains a rooftop bar and focuses more on socializing and interactive experiences. 

  • Location: The Hive Carpenter, 36 Carpenter St, 059915 Singapore
  • Price: Monthly hot desk rent starts from $172/month 
  • Timing: Monday-Friday; 8:00am-6:30pm

2. The Working Capitol (TWC), Singapore

TWC was named the best coworking space in Singapore by the Huffington Post. It’s located in a 3-story shophouse and was once a biscuit factory. 

  • Location: 1 Keong Saik Road, 089109, Singapore
  • Price: Monthly rent starts at $79/month
  • Timing: Monday-Friday; 8:30am-6:00pm 

3. WeWork

WeWork provides its guests with a more generalized coworking space across all its locations. They have various offices in numerous countries. So, a WeWork membership is also ideal for digital nomads. 

  • Price: Office rentals start from as low as $68/month and can go up to $550/month (based on your requirements)
  • Timing: Monday-Friday; 9:00am-6:00pm 

Must-Visit Places in Singapore

Singapore

Regardless of its size, Singapore is extremely technologically advanced. Yet, it’s full of gorgeous greenery and unique cultural neighborhoods. 

The following places are a must-visit during your stay in Singapore:

1. Gardens by the Bay 

A single visit here will explain why Singapore is so famously dubbed the “Garden City.” The thousands of plant species growing here and undoubtedly not one to miss. 

The SuperGrove Trees and the magical Cloud Forest is indeed not one to miss. 

2. ArtScience Museum

 Take a trip to this mystical museum to see how art and science come together perfectly. Check out other instagrammable spots on this post.

3. Orchard Road

The famous Orchard road is known globally for its high-end shopping brands. Orchard road also has numerous malls, and its unique architecture attracts shoppers worldwide. 

4. Sentosa

Sentosa is the ideal family entertainment spot for anyone in Singapore. The famous Universal Studios Singapore is located here, along with the S.E.A. Aquarium and the Trickeye Museum. 

Although not in Singapore city, this island adventure land is a short drive off the central coast. 

5. Clarke Quay 

Looking for some more adult fun? Make your way to Clark Quay, known for its bustling nightlife. This waterfront district is full of lively nightclubs and bars, perfect for you to blow off some steam over the weekend. 

Besides these locations, Singapore is full of hidden gems and adorable neighborhoods. These provide the perfect photo opp for digital nomads looking to vlog their experience. Check out our article on the top 10 most Instagrammable places within Singapore. 

Okay, so now that I’ve covered everything there is to know about staying in Singapore as a digital nomad, let’s summarize it all. 

Here’s a list of all the pros and cons of staying in Singapore.

Benefits of Staying in Singapore

  1. The WiFi connection is fantastic. Singapore’s WiFi connection has been rated one of the fastest in the world. 
  2. The city is spotless and organized.
  3. English is widely spoken and understood. So no communication barriers. 
  4. Tap water is perfectly clean and drinkable.
  5. Public transport is extensive and very clean.
  6. A wide variety of authentic cuisines to satisfy your cravings. 
  7. Great shopping destination. Singapore often contains products that are sold out elsewhere. Plus, most items are comparatively cheaper here than in the rest of the world.
  8. Although an Asian country, it has a very Western vibe to it. You will find people of all ethnicities living here.

Downsides of Staying in Singapore

  1. It’s significantly more expensive, so you’ll need a heavy budget for your stay. Especially compared to its neighbor, Malaysia, which is considerably cheaper.
  2. Air quality significantly decreases during the haze season. Visibility also decreases. 
  3. It’s humid throughout the year. 
  4. Alcohol can be pretty expensive here as well.
  5. Except for US and EU citizens, Singapore does not allow foreigners to stay for over 30 days. So, digital nomads must exit the country every 30 days.

Staying in Singapore? DO NOT Make These Mistakes

Singapore
  • Do not litter. The country takes pride in its cleanliness.
  • Do not draw graffiti on the walls (or anywhere).
  • Do not chew gum in public spaces. Especially not on their public transport.
  • Do not smoke E-cigarettes.

If you violate any of these rules, you could face heavy fines. Considering how Singapore’s already expensive, I’m sure you don’t want this additional dent in your bank account. 

Signing Off…

So that covers it all! I hope this article is your little guide to this little country. Let us know down in the comments if we missed out on anything and share your Singapore experiences. Until tell, Happy traveling!

Start Planning Your Singapore Trip Now!

Book Your Flight:

Use Skyscanner to find a cheap flights. A travellers favorite way to book flights, as it searches websites and airlines around the world with one click.

Book Your Bus or Transportation Within Singapore:

There are two ways to book your transporation, ask your hotel or hostel, go to the local bus terminal, or book online, for a less stressful trip using Easybook or 12go.asia

Book Your Accomodation: 

Find the best hotels or hostels at HostelWorld, Booking.com, Agoda.com. Perks include with no upfront payment. Pay when you check out and Free cancellations.

Dont Forget Your Travel Insurance:

Two popular choices are SafetyWing and WorldsNomads. A traveler should buy traveler’s insurance to protect themselves against unexpected events such as trip cancellations, medical emergencies, and lost or stolen baggage. It provides peace of mind and financial protection in case of unforeseen circumstances.

Useful Apps?

Grab/Uber – Local Transportation

Uber Eats/Grab – Food Delivery

Whatsapp – Communication

Want More Information On Singapore?

Be sure to check out my nomad travel guide on the Singapore for even more tips.

Last Minute Travel Deals?

Find a group tour with G Adventures!

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above may be affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase.

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Justin Gonzalez

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