Singapore for Digital Nomads
Singapore has been on my bucket list for quite some time. When I got a House Sit there for over three weeks in 2017, I could hardly believe my luck. In the meantime, I have been to the Southeast Asian metropolis several times and it fascinates me again and again. I especially love the mix between East and West, between city and nature, between so many different cultures.
Singapore for Digital Nomads
Facts About Singapore
Though physically small, Singapore is an economic giant. It has been Southeast Asia’s most modern city for over a century. The city blends Malay, Chinese, Arab, Indian and English cultures and religions. Its unique ethnic tapestry affords visitors a wide array of sightseeing and culinary opportunities from which to choose.
Because of its efficient and determined government, Singapore has become a flourishing country that excels in trade and tourism and is a model to developing nations. The capital city, also called Singapore, covers about a third of the area of the main island.
Singapore’s progress over the past three decades has been remarkable, yet the island has not been overwhelmed by development. Visitors will discover a wealth of historical treasures from the past, in the beauty of older buildings, values and traditions that have survived in the face of profound social and geographical change.
Information About Entry and Departure
You must present yourself for immigration clearance at your point of entry into Singapore. You must satisfy the following basic requirements before you can be considered for entry:
- A passport that is valid for at least six months
- Sufficient funds for the length of your intended stay
- A completed Disembarkation/Embarkation Card (D/E Card)
- A valid Singapore visa
- A confirmed onward or return ticket
- Evidence that you can enter your next destination (for example, a visa)
- A Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate, if applicable
When you leave Singapore, hand the embarkation portion to the ICA officer. If you have lost it, inform an ICA officer at your point of departure.
Singapore is literally one of the safest countries on earth! It’s very unlikely you will see or experience any type of crime. I walk around alone day and night. Once, talking to a local, I started a sentence with “I’m afraid…” and he immediately said “No need to be afraid in Singapore! Even at night, you will always be safe!” What I was actually trying to say was, “I’m afraid to lose my phone, and I forgot how to get back to my apartment.”
Major card brands are widely accepted in Singapore, but some merchants will charge a surcharge. ATMs in Singapore will accept the major brands Visa, Mastercard and American Express. As for travel money cards, most of them support SGD but may not be the most secure option because they don’t have your name on the card.
Singapore has one of the fastest internet speed in the world, so you will be able to work out of your accommodation without the need for a coworking space.
Wi-Fi hotspots are also widely available at various public areas in Singapore. To locate the wifi hotspot, look out for the Wireless@SG decal on display wherever this network is available, as well as the SSID Wireless@SG on your device. You will first need to register for an account with your foreign mobile number at any Wireless@SG hotspot to receive your login details via an SMS message.
Buying a SIM card in Singapore is as easy as walking into a gas station, grocery store, post office, or phone shop. All you have to do is select the SIM card you want, present your passport, and pick a phone number, which is then registered with your passport details.
Singapore has three major telecommunications companies that provide prepaid SIM cards: M1, Singtel, and StarHub. Each offers SIM cards ranging from $5 – $50 for voice + text with enough data (usually 5MB to 30MB) for casual email checking. Of course, you can also get bigger data packages – depending on your needs.
Another possibility for mobile internet access is a MiFi device, which creates a WiFi network for you. I have tested the GlocalMe device and think it’s a really useful addition of my travel equipment. You can either use it as an ordinary wireless router with up to two SIM cards (very useful if you work with mobile TANs, you want to be available on your local number or if you want to use the social networks with a 2-factor authentication) but you can also use it without a physical SIM card but with the built in cloudSIM technology (which is of course more expensive) in over 100 countries worldwide. Apart from that it’s also a 6000 mAh powerbank, which is never bad to have with you.
Living in Singapore as a Digital Nomad
Singapore is one of the world’s most affluent countries and as such offers its visitors a very high standard of living. From the modern transportation system in the form of an extensive MTR network to one of the world’s fastest internet speeds, Singapore embodies efficiency and has everything to help you be as productive as possible. However, all the comforts of the big metropolis come at a price – Singapore has topped the list of the world’s most expensive places to live in for four years running, from 2013 to 2017.
There’s an insane amount of great food to try in Singapore. It is such an incredibly diverse country with so many ethnicities and countries represented, each with their own distinct flavors and restaurants. Most of the food groups in Singapore are Chinese, Indian, and local Malay, but there are also some good restaurants that serve Western food and dishes from around the globe.
The Hive is probably Singapore’s most active coworking space – at least based on the three I have tested. They have morning yoga and events almost every evening: from conversation nights over movie screenings to social parties. The workspace is spread over five levels and the highlight is the rooftop, which is great for working in the fresh air or just taking in the view for a moment’s distraction.
Thanks to its amazing location in the Central Bank District, Collision 8 has the best view! Make sure you check it out yourself in this guide’s free photo guide. You can overlook the entire Marina Bay Skyline from the space’s main area. The offices around it are designed in a very creative way – everyone in a different, soothing style. This is the space for you if you’re searching for a community, workspace, and events.
The Co is the smallest and coziest coworking space I’ve seen – yet with a premium look in black and white. The 8-story building is located right in the heart of downtown. They have a second space in Singapore (Duxton Road) with similar accommodations.