Is Singapore safe? Things to know before you go
While Singapore is very modern, non-locals would be wise to prepare in advance for potential health concerns, along with making themselves aware of local laws.
Despite its small size, Singapore has a sizeable population of 5.6 million people, which means pollution can pose a problem. As such, some travellers struggle with the effects of smog and should plan accordingly. You can check government indexes on airborne pollutants in advance and follow any guidelines given.
Some travellers also struggle with the noise of the crowded city, which is constant. Prepare for the usual noise of a large city, and don’t forget to pack earplugs if you struggle to sleep.
Finally, being so close to the equator, Singapore benefits from warm, humid weather all year around, so take appropriate precautions against heatstroke. Stay hydrated, wear sunscreen anddress in light fabrics that cover your skin. Finally, make sure to take out travel insurance, and double check if any pre-existing medical conditions are covered.
Crime and punishment in Singapore
Singapore is one of the safest countries there is. However, pickpockets are still common, especially in tourist areas. With this in mind, leave any valuables at home. If you must bring them with you, keep them close to you and be aware in large crowds.
While you likely won’t become a victim of crime in Singapore, the country’s strict legal code might put you at risk of trouble with the law, with many things that are legal at home warranting punishment in Singapore.
Many of these laws aim to enhance the harmony of the densely and diversely populated country. For example, spitting, chewing gum and smoking in public are all illegal, as is eating or drinking on public trains and any type of littering.
When it comes to drinking, alcohol may not be publicly consumed between 10pm and 7am, though licensed bars and restaurants may continue to serve. Public drunkenness is illegal at any hour, and drug use and possession is illegal (including drugs already in your system). Remember to check that any over the counter or prescription medications you plan to take are legal in Singapore before you go.
Singapore is also very conservative, and public displays of affection are forbidden and homosexuality is illegal in Singapore.
If you break these laws, you may be punished with fines, jail time or corporal punishment (caning, which is very painful and leaves permanent scarring).