Cultural Know-how When Visiting Singapore

Singapore values its local norms and regards them as an important part of its social fabric. These norms embody Singaporeans’ values of discipline, orderliness, and harmony. The city-state places a high value on cleanliness, timeliness, and consideration for others. Visitors who follow these local rules not only display their respect for Singapore’s culture and customs but also contribute to the city’s overall well-being and quality of life. Adhering to Singapore’s local rules allows visitors to fully immerse themselves in the distinctive Singaporean experience, generating a sense of togetherness and understanding among locals and visitors alike.

Cultural Know-how When Visiting Singapore

Here are some fundamental rules to remember when visiting the country:

1. Say No To Chewing Gums

Chewing gum is prohibited in Singapore as a cultural rule, and it’s important for visitors to understand and respect this regulation. The prohibition was put in place to keep the streets clean and to minimize gum-related pollution and vandalism. 

Chewing Gums Singapore

Singaporeans take great pleasure in their clean and well-kept city, and the ban on chewing gum aids in the preservation of the beautiful environment. Visitors who refrain from chewing gum show respect for local customs and contribute to the overall cleanliness and orderliness of Singapore’s public places.

2. Littering Is Heavily Fined

Littering is not only frowned upon but also highly penalized in Singapore. The city-state takes considerable pride in its cleanliness and environmental sensitivity. Visitors should be advised that even a small amount of trash might result in a significant fine. 

Littering Singapore

To demonstrate respect for the local environment and community, waste must be properly disposed of in designated bins. By adhering to this custom, visitors help to preserve Singapore’s pristine surroundings and support the city’s excellent cleaning standards.

3. Refrain From Touching Anyone’s Head

The head is considered sacred in Singaporean culture, and touching it is considered intrusive and insulting. Keep a respectful distance and prevent any physical contact with someone’s head, including ruffling hair or playful patting.

By following this cultural standard, you show that you understand and appreciate local customs, enabling healthy relationships and cultural awareness during your vacation to Singapore.

4. Tipping Is Not Necessary

Tipping is not common or expected in most situations in Singapore. Service costs are frequently added to the bill at hotels, restaurants, and other venues. While tipping is not customary, certain luxury restaurants may include a service charge, and it is acceptable to leave a modest amount as a token of appreciation for good treatment.

It is crucial to clarify, however, that tipping is not required in these situations. Singapore places a high value on fair compensation and service professionalism, so visitors can be confident that the service they receive is already factored into the costs they pay.

5. Use Pedestrian Walkings

Singapore is well-known for its fast and well-maintained transit system, with pedestrian safety being a top priority. Jaywalking is not just a violation of traffic laws; it is also a safety hazard.

Singapore roads

Singaporeans are strict about observing traffic laws, and foreigners are expected to do the same. Using authorized pedestrian crossings helps keep traffic flowing smoothly and assures the safety of both pedestrians and automobiles.

6. Take Public Transportation More Often

The city-state has a well-developed and well-connected public transport system, which includes the MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) and buses. Visitors who use public transport help Singapore reduce traffic congestion and carbon emissions.

It also makes it possible to explore the city’s varied neighborhoods and attractions in a single trip. Remember to queue and make room for those in need, as Singaporeans place great importance on decency and respect.

Taking public transit not only makes it easier to navigate the city but also contributes to Singapore’s commitment to sustainable and efficient urban mobility.

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7. Queue Patiently

Queuing patiently is a basic cultural concept that displays the importance put on order, justice, and respect for others. Singaporeans take queuing seriously and expect others to do the same.

You display your comprehension and appreciation of local customs by patiently waiting your turn in the queue. This cultural standard promotes harmony and guarantees that everyone has an equal chance.

It also adds to Singaporean society’s overall efficiency by allowing businesses and services to run smoothly. 

8. Bring No Durian Fruit Into Public Places

Durian is a remarkable tropical fruit recognized for its strong and distinct aroma, which may be somewhat overbearing for some. Many public places, including hotels, malls, and public transit systems, have severe regulations prohibiting bringing durian inside due to its strong odor. 

This regulation is in place to ensure that everyone has a nice and comfortable atmosphere. To respect the sensitivities of others to the smell of durian, it is advisable to consume it in specified locations or in the solitude of your lodging if you happen to acquire it.

9. Do Not Leave Chopsticks Upright In Your Food

It is considered a cultural faux pas in Singapore to leave your chopsticks upright in your food. This behavior is similar to the traditional practice of making incense offerings to ancestors at their cemeteries.

As a result, leaving chopsticks upright in a bowl of rice or any other dish is associated with death and is considered extremely disrespectful.When you’re not using your chopsticks, place them across the edge of the dish or on a chopstick rest.

By adhering to this cultural rule, you demonstrate respect for local customs and traditions, boosting your cultural awareness and creating healthy interactions with Singaporeans.


Singapore takes great pleasure in its unique cultural standards and laws, which aim to keep the country harmonious and orderly. Locals genuinely think that by following these guidelines, they can create a safe and enjoyable atmosphere for everyone.

It’s like a gigantic game where everyone follows the same set of rules, and guests are expected to do the same. So, accept local customs, enjoy clean streets, and be mindful of cultural sensitivities. It’s all part of the Singapore experience and adds to the city’s distinct character. Just remember to do what the Singaporeans do when you’re there!

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