Which is the Best Singapore Travel Guide Book for Me?

Join a package tour in Singapore?
Or use a good Singapore travel guide?



Singapore travel guides - books for planning your Singapore tour.

If you pick up a good Singapore travel book, it is easy and safe to move around Singapore on your own.

Allow me to recommend the following guides - all of which could make your Singapore tour enjoyable.

My Top 5 Singapore Travel Guides

I unreservedly recommend Lonely Planet's Singapore and Insight Guide Singapore as the two best Singapore travel guides. But here's my Top 5...

Lonely Planet Singapore's write-ups are brief, but cover Singapore's travel gems most comprehensively.

Insight Guide Singapore provides the most meaningful and substantial background information to Singapore's best spots.

The DK Eyewitness Singapore Travel Guide is great for its spell-binding photos and 3-D drawings.

The Rough Guide to Singapore
will be loved by budget travelers.

Fodor's Singapore makes my Top 5 list for daring to say specifically which is the best hotel, the best restaurant, the best walking tour and so on.

Once you have decided on which of these to get, consider a good companion to your main Singapore travel guide - Singapore Cityscoops. As the name suggests, they compile the latest happenings in town. I strongly recommend Cityscoops as an alternative travel guide for repeat visitors.





Read my Singapore travel guide summary below...


1. Lonely Planet's Singapore - Highly Recommended!

Lonely Planet Singapore - A comprehensive travel guide book for DIY Singapore tour. Strengths:
  • concise, to the point
  • long list of hotels- budget to luxury to boutique
  • many spot-on restaurant recommendations
  • interesting walking tour routes
  • detailed, readable maps
  • exact prices of hotels, restaurants, tours, etc
  • tips on excursions to nearby Malaysian and Indonesian spots

Weaknesses:
  • photos are few and uninteresting

My recommendation:

If there's just one Singapore travel guide you want to get, Lonely Planet Singapore is the one.

Read the full review of Lonely Planet Singapore.

Or get at a low-low price.






2. Insight Guide - Singapore - Highly Recommended!

Insight Singapore Travel Guide - A book to guide you with your Singapore tour. Filled with substantial information. Strengths:
  • substantial, relevant background information to major issues, spots
  • hidden gems revealed
  • evocative photos - capture the essence of a place; great souvenir
  • useful, non-travel-related commentaries - politics, cultural oddities, new happenings
  • clear maps
  • pull-out list of the best restaurants
  • excellent tips for excursions to nearby Malaysian and Indonesian spots
Weaknesses:
  • very short list of hotels
  • prices shown in range rather than in exact figures

Read the full review of Insight Guide Singapore.

My recommendation:

Buy this Singapore travel guide, but don't rely on its accommodation listing. Use a hotel comparison tool and book a good Singapore hotel online. In this way, you could enjoy your Singapore tour, and not worry about where to stay.



3. The Rough Guide to Singapore

Rough Guide Singapore - A great travel book for budget travellers on a Singapore tour. Strengths:
  • excellent list of budget accommodation - budget hotels, atmospheric hostels
  • engaging background information, including a nostalgia section
  • a time-saving 'Top 20 Attractions' list
  • well-organised 'travellers' needs' section
  • meaningful commentary about each recommended spot

Weaknesses:
  • I took a while to get used to the organisation of the book - the information is grouped according to places, hotels, eating etc, rather than by geographical zones.
  • no across-the-border excursion tips

Read the full review of The Rough Guide to Singapore.

My recommendation:

Get this Singapore travel guide if
  • you are traveling on a budget.
  • you like concise, meaningful background information weaved into each recommendation.
  • you have no intention to make short trips across the border.



4. The DK Eyewitness Singapore Travel Guide


DK Eyewitness Singapore Travel Guide - A nice travel book with many nice photos. Strengths:
  • the most attractive looking guide - with the most number of photos, diagrams
  • relevant photos next to recommendations
  • see-through 3-D drawings of major tourist spots, revealing the gems inside buildings, around the neighbourhood
Weaknesses:
  • numerous photos, but text descriptions are sometimes very brief
  • prices are shown in range rather than in exact figures
  • mainly 'touristy' recommendations

Read the full review of DK Eyewitness Singapore Travel Guide.

My recommendation:

Get this guide if
  • you are a visual person and like a photo-filled guide.
  • you want a keep your guidebook as a souvenir for years to come.
  • you intend to visit just the 'most famous' sites.



5. Fodor's Singapore

Strengths:

  • has a very good 'Smart Travel Tips' section - how to save time and money
  • enriching background information to attractions
  • short list of hotels and restaurants, but very helpful insights about these places
  • a trustworthy 'Fodor's Choice' section, listing the top attractions to see
Weaknesses:
  • maps are not specific enough
  • prices are shown in range rather than in exact figures
  • no excursion tips to nearby Malaysia or Indonesia spots

Read the full review of Fodor's Singapore.

My recommendation:

Buy Fodor's Singapore if

  • you like 'this-one-is-the-best' recommendations, said with conviction.
  • you are visiting Singapore only
  • you consider restaurant recommendations and the dining experience important.
When you arrive at the airport, go to the Visitor Information Centre. There, pick up one of those free Official Singapore Tourist Maps to go with this guide.  


And a great companion to go with any of the books above...


Singapore CityScoops
- the Alternative Singapore Travel Guide


Strengths:
  • the quickest to uncover the new hotspots in town
  • discoveries that surprise even the locals
  • captivating photography
  • intuitive grouping of new attractions
Weaknesses:
  • cannot be used on its own by first-time visitors
  • a few recommendations are actually yesterday's news, not as novel as claimed

Read the full review of Singapore Cityscoops.

My recommendation:

Get this Singapore travel guide if you want to see the spots that wow the locals, or if you like discovering those charming nooks and corners that don't feature on postcards (yet). As it does not include essential travel tips for tourists, first time visitors to Singapore should use this book together with a 'mainstream' guide.


In summary

Buying just one Singapore travel guide?
Get Lonely Planet's Singapore or any of the 'Top 5'.

Buying two Singapore travel guides?
Get Lonely Planet's Singapore and Singapore Cityscoops.



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