Singapore has always been known for the fact that it is prosperous and well-developed. Founded by a British colony as a means of gaining independence, Singapore has been developing more and more – proof being the beautiful skyscrapers that are adorning the city. Standing high and mighty, Singapore is a beautiful city that attracts a multitude of tourists.
But how safe is Singapore for tourists? We know that the terrorism risk is high in many countries – and we also know that other cities are packed with thieves to the brink. But is Singapore such a country? Or is it actually safe to go there on your next family holiday? This Singapore safety guide should help you determine those aspects.
Highest Risks You Expose Yourself to When Visiting Singapore
Overall Risks in Singapore: LOW
In a nutshell, Singapore is a country that is very safe to visit. It is likely one of the safest Asian countries that you can spend your vacation in. It’s not completely free of dangers – and you may still come across misfortune if you don’t take the proper precautions – but the overall risk is fairly low.
To avoid any risk in Singapore, all you have to do is make use of common sense. Keep your valuables in a safe way – and don’t flash them out in public, for prying eyes (and hands) to see.
Assault incidents are not that common either, but you might want to avoid walking the streets by yourself at night – particularly if you are a woman.
There should be no issue if you are walking in public places, as they are generally very safe. You may, however, want to use common sense and avoid the dark alleys – the ones with no people in sight. Those are the types of places where petty theft often occurs.
Pickpocketing and Theft Risks in Singapore: LOW
Pickpocketing is not very common in Singapore, since the life quality of those living there is usually very high. They can, however, operate in some places – so the fact that they are not common does not mean that they are also “extinct.” These situations may occur in airports, where rushed tourists are not paying a lot of attention to where they are going.
This can also occur in public, in markets, or in plazas where flocks of tourists can mingle with ill-wanting pickpocketers. The only danger you will face there, however, is getting your wallet stolen; instances, where people have left, are actually very rare – and they do not usually lead to casualties.
- How to avoid pickpocketing and theft in Singapore?
To avoid having your belongings stolen from you, you might want to bring common sense to the table. You can easily use your camera or cell phone to take pictures of the surroundings; no one is going to bother with you.
However, do not leave your phone hanging from your pockets, since it may easily be “swiped off.” Do not leave your belongings unattended either – not even for a bathroom break. Being too trusting can always come to bite you back.
Similarly, you may want to leave some of your things at your accommodation – for example, your passport and your credit cards. Only take as much cash as you believe you may need, and leave the rest safe at home. Not only will this prevent any unwanted scenarios, but it will also prevent you from overspending as well.
So, is Singapore safe to visit? When it comes to pickpocketing and theft, it is pretty safe – but you may still want to keep an eye out.
Scam Risk in Singapore: LOW
There are indeed scammers in Singapore, just like every country has its “black sheep;” however, these scammers are fairly easy to pick out and avoid – provided you make use of your common sense.
Most of these scammers are con artists wanting to scam you of your money and your belongings. They can take the form of landlords claiming that they offer rent online – and they disappear as soon as you make your deposit. Similarly, you can also come across vendors that may appear too persuasive, trying to overcharge you for souvenirs and other items.
Taxis and transportation are also very safe – and as long as you do not pick a taxi from a shady location, there should be no issues. Cab rides there are known to be fairly inexpensive and honest. You may, however, want to be careful when renting a boat, since the coast of Singapore may be subjected to piracy.
- How to avoid getting scammed in Singapore?
To avoid being scammed, you may want to avoid renting your accommodations from untrustworthy websites. Use the popular options such as Booking or Airbnb, and look for hosts that have good reviews. If the hosts appear as they have appeared out of nowhere, you might want to look for other alternatives.
Similarly, you might want to learn how to say no if a vendor seems to be too pushy. Check the market first; if a price seems to be too fluffed up, it most likely is. Also, make sure that the taxi driver turns the meter on before taking you to your destination.
If they refuse to do so, you are entitled to leave the ride or refuse to provide the payment. After all, there is no proof that you went that distance.
Kidnapping Risk in Singapore: LOW
Kidnapping is very uncommon in Singapore – but considering that it can happen almost anywhere, you might want to exercise the usual precautions. There have been “scares” near schools regarding strangers offering rides to students – but so far, they have proven to be less kidnapping, and more citizens trying to be helpful.
- How to avoid getting kidnapped in Singapore?
To avoid an unwanted scenario, once more, you will have to exercise common sense: leave your naivety at home. If a stranger offers to give you a ride or a drink, you might want to rethink accepting that offer – particularly if you are alone.
Similarly, you might want to avoid walking down the streets at night – particularly in dark alleys or shady areas. Danger can befall you in this circumstance, regardless of the place that you are visiting – be it Singapore or any other city. If you follow the standard Singapore safety travel tips, there should be no reason for you to be endangered.
Terrorism Risk in Singapore: LOW to MEDIUM
So far, there have not been any recent terrorist attacks – but there still is a history of terrorist attacks. These attacks are generally indiscriminate, as they can target both locals and tourists. The recipients of the attacks, however, are mostly people of British nationality or those who have UK interests.
Most of these attacks are led either by individuals or by groups – and they are continuously motivated by the attacks happening in Syria and Iraq.
- How to avoid terrorism in Singapore?
This is why, if you see someone acting particularly strange (nervous, looking around continuously, or carrying a suspicious container or suitcase), you might want to get away from that place – but without causing a scene. Once you have reached a safe place, you might want to contact the authorities.
Risks for Women Traveling Alone in Singapore?: LOW
If you are a woman traveling alone in Singapore, you should know that there is no reason for you to worry; Singapore is fairly safe, even if you are a solo woman traveler. There should be no reason for you to feel unsafe on the street, even if you are walking around during evening hours.
- How to avoid crime as a solo woman traveler in Singapore?
Singapore is a well-lit city – and even if you are walking around at night, you will still be very visible. However, as a woman traveling alone, you might want to exercise the necessary precautions.
No one says that you have to stay indoors during the evening, especially considering the multitude of opportunities that Singapore has to offer. However, if you do decide to go out, you might want to avoid going on alleys that seem dark or unpopulated. If needed, take the longer route – the one that is more lit.
Another alternative would be to take a cab to your destination – but make sure that you make the order from a reliable source. Look for official company phone numbers or download the official app. This option is a lot safer compared to grabbing a random taxi since the order was already logged in.
Rape Risk in Singapore: LOW
Most women have been asking themselves this question: “is Singapore safe for solo women travelers?” The answer for that is fairly straightforward: yes, it is. Most women should feel safe when traveling to this place, even if it is during the night.
You can’t, however, predict the nature of every person – and while rape might not be common in Singapore, you might still stumble across the wrong person at the wrong time. This is why you might want to exercise precaution and never leave your guard down.
- How to avoid getting raped in Singapore?
The rape risk in Singapore is fairly low – but this does not mean that it cannot happen. Being at the wrong place at the wrong time might lead to an unfortunate scenario – which is why you may want to keep your eyes and ears open. You might also want to refrain from venturing on dark alleys as a woman, particularly at night, and especially if you are alone.
Common decency will also help you out in this case. When going out in Singapore, try to avoid wearing clothes that are too revealing. Most of the time, this is indeed not an issue – but it can tempt a rapist even more. Read a few Singapore safety travel tips regarding the decent dress code to avoid any unfortunate scenarios.
Risk for People Traveling with Children in Singapore: LOW
Overall, there is no risk when it comes to traveling with your children. The crime rate is low, kidnappings rarely occur – and the city has well-defined policy worse. Technically speaking, the worse that could happen would be to lose your child at the mall.
You might, however, want to exercise the necessary precautions and keep your child close to you. Children can be very “slippery,” and you can easily lose them if they walk away in a crowd.
So, how safe is Singapore for tourists and their kids? Fairly safe, but you need to keep a close eye on the little ones.
- How to avoid unwanted scenarios?
As mentioned before, all you have to do to keep your children safe when visiting Singapore is to keep an eye on them - or at least have someone else keep an eye on them while you shop for souvenirs or such.
As you probably already know, this country is the destination of many tourists every year - almost half a million UK citizens visit Singapore yearly. Thus, you can expect quite large crowds of tourists - and you don't want to lose your children among all of those people.
Natural Disaster Risks in Singapore: LOW
Singapore is one of the cities that you could call “immune to natural disasters.” You can find nothing in its vicinity that could pose a threat – the closest thing being the earthquakes in Indonesia. Those are also fairly far away, so you can barely feel them.
Sometimes, the November-January monsoon brings floods with it – but they are isolated and are not significant enough to cause travel problems. For this reason, you might want to read a Singapore safety guide that will tell you exactly when you should visit this country.
Transportation Risks in Singapore: LOW
As expected, the roads of Singapore are in a good condition - accidents don't happen that often but, if you are involved in one, it is recommended that you stay put until the authorities come and assess the situation.
If you are a UK citizen, you can use your UK driving license here for up to one year - this may apply to the driving licenses of other countries as well. If you plan on staying more than one year here, you should apply for a Singaporean driving license.
Also, you should never drink and drive - there are a variety of penalties when it comes to using alcohol in general and these get heavier when you are caught driving and under its influence. The authorities are known to carry out breath tests regularly.
Night-Clubs, Pubs, and Bar Risks in Singapore: MEDIUM
Alcohol is a matter that has to be taken seriously when in Singapore - first of all, there are no significant reports when it comes to incidents involving spiked drinks or such. Thus, you should take only the basic safety measures when inside such facilities.
Then, you must get informed on what you should not do if you plan to drink alcohol - drunk conduct comes with a lot of penalties, from fines to imprisonment, and even corporal punishment.
Moreover, it is strictly illegal to consume alcohol in public places between 10:30 pm and 7 am - there are also certain areas and Liquor Control Zones in which, on weekends, you are not allowed to drink alcohol for the entire day.
Therefore, it is recommended that you drink responsibly and know when to stop, obviously - stick to your group of friends and make sure that none of you upsets the law, so to say.
Health Risks in Singapore
The country of Singapore comes equipped with high-quality healthcare - which makes it expensive as well. In this respect, it is recommended that you take with you enough of the medication you might need on your trip as well as enough funds to cover any treatment that you might have to take.
Naturally, proper travel health insurance is recommended.
In terms of health risks, there are chances of high levels of pollution, in the form of haze, between June and October. Obviously, this can impact your health - make sure to monitor the local media as well as the online news outlets that publish reports regarding this matter so that you know how to prepare yourself for such conditions.
You should also come prepared with the appropriate precautions for dengue fever, chikungunya virus, and Zika virus - the first two are known to occur all year long; in respect to the latter, Singapore has been classified as having a risk of transmission - you should consult with your medic and get properly informed on how to protect yourself.
List of Vaccines You Need in Singapore
Aside from the routine vaccines that you might want to take (MMR, chickenpox, pneumonia, influenza, etc) – there are a few other vaccines that you might want to get, among which are the following:
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Yellow Fever
- Japanese Encephalitis
Some of these vaccines are recommended for most travelers – but others may be recommended depending on your itinerary. For this reason, you might want to consult with your doctor prior to going on your trip.
Most Dangerous Areas in Singapore
- Yishun North
- Sim Lim Square
Concluding Remarks: Is Singapore Safe to Visit?
So, is Singapore safe to visit? Indeed it is. It is probably one of the safest countries that you can choose as a vacation spot – and it is the type of place that you could go to even as a solo traveler.
No place is spotless, however – and you may still come across the occasional pickpocket or those who want to scam you of your money. Stick to authority domains and keep your belongings close to you.
As a precaution, you might also want to avoid walking alone on dark alleys – particularly if you are a woman. If you want to avoid unwanted attention, you may want to stick to the main roads and stay vigilant