Singapore Is Finally Reopening to Australians, So Here’s Where You Should Go First


Aussies love Singapore for many reasons, but mainly because there is something here for everyone — from a diverse food scene that encompasses hawker food to fine dining, to cultural neighbourhoods and iconic attractions like Gardens by the Bay and the Night Safari. The list is honestly endless.

Singapore has announced the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) scheme will include Australia from 8 November 2021, as part of the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore’s (CAAS’) cautious and step-by-step effort to revive air travel and reclaim and rebuild Singapore’s status as an international aviation hub with global connectivity.

Under the VTL, fully vaccinated travellers from Australia may enter Singapore without quarantine and just need to undergo COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) testing. Children aged 12 years and below who are not vaccinated will be allowed to travel under the VTL into Singapore if they are accompanied by a VTL traveller who meets all VTL requirements.

So if you’re ready to sample the cheap hawker fare, the Michelin-starred affairs or the food-enamoured Singaporeans themselves, here is everywhere you should go in Singapore first.

How to Get Into Singapore

VTL flights: Travellers must arrive in Singapore on a designated VTL flight in order to be eligible for the VTL. Travellers currently booked on non-VTL designated flights should check with their airline regarding transferring to a VTL flight.

PCR tests: All travellers except those aged 2 and below in the calendar year (i.e. in the year 2021, those who are born in or after 2019), must undergo a COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test within 48 hours before departure for Singapore.

The pre-departure COVID-19 PCR test must be taken at an internationally accredited or NATA (National Association of Testing Authorities Australia) recognised laboratories, clinics, or medical facilities. The test result certificate must be in English and state the following:

  • the traveller’s name, and at least one other personal identifier such as the date of birth or passport number corresponding exactly with the information in the traveller’s passport used for entry into Singapore;
  • a negative COVID-19 PCR test result;
  • the date and time when the COVID-19 PCR test was taken; and
  • the name of the testing institution conducting the COVID-19 PCR test.

Travellers are responsible for making their own appointments with the testing institutions to take their pre-departure COVID-19 PCR test. They must also bear the cost of their pre-departure COVID-19 PCR test. Please check with the listed testing institutions for the cost of the test.

Travellers who are unable to produce a valid pre-departure COVID-19 PCR test result certificate during check-in at the departure airport will be refused boarding by the airline.


Visitors must purchase travel insurance for the entire duration of their stay in Singapore, with a minimum coverage of S$30,000 for COVID-19-related medical treatment and hospitalisation costs, prior to travelling to Singapore.

Visitors will have to declare, at the point of VTP application, that they will purchase travel insurance. They must also carry with them an electronic or physical copy of their insurance policy to facilitate their entry into Singapore. Visitors must purchase COVID-19 travel insurance prior to their travel to Singapore.

Current Restrictions to Know

Singapore’s tourism sector has shown both resilience and ingenuity to meet the evolving needs of visitors, ensuring that every aspect of their experience is safe and enjoyable. One of the key measures is SG Clean, a national certification programme to identify businesses that meet high standards of cleanliness and hygiene. This applies nationwide from retail through to attractions, hotels and eating places.

Singapore has also implemented Safe Management Measures (SMMs) which includes mask-wearing, physical distancing, limiting of group sizes, etc.

To facilitate contact tracing, people are required to perform SafeEntry check-in and check-out using the TraceTogether (TT) app. All these measures are also constantly reviewed to keep Singapore COVID-19 resilient.

things to do singaporeImage: @HEICHUANHUILI

What’s Been Happening in Singapore?

Despite the pandemic, many new hotels, restaurants and bars opened in the past year, including hotels such as Dusit Thani Laguna, The Clan Hotel, Oasia Resort Sentosa and the newly revamped PARKROYAL COLLECTION Marina Bay opening its doors. There is also a pipeline of new attractions with the Museum of Ice Cream just opening last month, and Changi Museum has reopened its doors again too.

things to do singapore

Image: @1ATICO.SG

What to Eat and Drink

While we were away, Singapore was busy adding new places for people to eat and drink. The cocktail scene welcomed newcomers Barbary Coast and Sago House which both placed on Asia’s 50 Best Bars list, and a new speakeasy, Miss Fitz.

New restaurants include Moonbow in Dempsey and Zodiac which is in a Peranakan shophouse. Sprawled across two levels of ION Orchard and 218 metres into the Singapore sky on the 55th floor of ION Orchard, 1-ATICO offers the ‘penthouse’ of dining experiences. Describing themselves as ‘unpretentious and casually sophisticated’, Clos Pasoh offers ‘chic reimagining’ of the classic French brasserie. Diners have the option of an A La Carte dinner option—complete with escargots, or a set lunch menu complete with Lobster Bisque. The restaurant also offers an array of fine French wines to refresh the palette.

Head to Sommer Dining for their personal approach to modern European cuisine where ingredients are showcased through seasonality. The menu offers a canopy style eating experience. Diners are also offered expert advice on the perfect wine to pair with their chosen dish.

things to do singapore


Where to Stay

There are a few new hotels that opened in 2020 and 2021. Located on the grounds of Laguna National Golf and Country Club in the east of the city, Dusit Thani Laguna is just a 10-minute drive from Changi International Airport. Amenities include eight pavilions, indoor and outdoor event spaces, three swimming pools, three tennis courts, a putting green, gym and a spa.

The Clan Hotel is designed for the tech-savvy modern-day traveller. One of the newest business hotels in Singapore, facilities include a modern Sky Terrace, Sky Pool and Sky Gym. Oasia Resort Sentosa is a new addition to the peaceful resort offerings on Sentosa, designed to relax, recharge and refuel the mind. Offering several luxury wellness activities, the property is the fourth managed by Far East Hospitality Group to open on Sentosa—joining Village Hotel Sentosa, The Outpost Hotel and The Barracks Hotel. The hotel also boasts an infinity pool, gym and all-day dining facilities featuring fresh produce grown in the hotel’s own garden.

things to do singapore


Play in the Museum of Ice Cream

The Museum of Ice Cream was created especially for frozen treat lovers. The Museum features guided tours that take visitors through 14 multi-sensory installations, including a pool filled with sprinkles and a banana split room. Visitors are also entitled to unlimited sweet treats as they explore the museum.

things to do singapore


Visit Newly-Opened Jurassic Mile

A great new attraction for the family, Jurassic Mile is a dinosaur exhibition located near Changi Airport. More than 20 different prehistoric creatures stretch over one kilometre of the cycling and jogging path. From a towering Tyrannosaurus Rex to gigantic dinosaur eggs, visitors will be wowed by the lifelike dinosaur exhibits at the Changi Jurassic Mile, making it a perfect outdoor weekend destination for families and friends.

things to do singapore


Explore the Many Gardens

Singapore might be a concrete jungle, but its gardens are truly magical. Gardens by the Bay is a popular spot boasting a 114-foot indoor waterfall and the cool-moist ecology of a rainforest. The Singapore Botanic Gardens is a must, home to over 10,000 species of plants, including stunning orchids.

The MacRitchie Reservoir Park is perfect for nature lovers and hikers, while the Chinese and Japanese Gardens are ideal for admiring architecture and landscape. You can even feed the reptiles here.

This article originally appeared on Thrillist Australia.

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