I visited Singapore with my now hubby as part of our travels when we finished university (so quite a while ago!). We both loved it but so much has changed since we last went and I would love to go back again one day. My parents are lucky enough to be going soon and asked me for some ideas on what they should do while they are there. As its been a while since I went I got hold of a guide book and did lots of research on the web to come up with a bucket list of things to do in Singapore.
Things to do in Singapore –
Gardens by the Bay
Gardens by the Bay consists of two big bio-domes, Flower Dome and Cloud Forest, and they contain exotic flora and fauna from all over the world. Both can be visited for £28 per person and are a very popular attraction in Singapore. The Outdoor Gardens are free to visit and the main attraction, Supertree Grove is a must for most visitors. These tree like vertical gardens measure between 25 to 50 metres and come alive at night with lights and music. The 22 meter high OCBC Skyway connects two of the trees and is worth a stroll to get a different view of the gardens (£8 per person).
Gardens by the Bay has its own hawkers centre with lots of stalls selling a variety of dishes. Satay by the Bay looks like a good place to experience a hawkers centre if you are a novice. It is seen as more expensive than some of the other hawkers centres but looks easier to navigate for first timers.
The Raffles Hotel
The Raffles Hotel in Singapore is one of the worlds most famous hotels. It first opened its doors in 1887 and has become an icon where all kinds of celebrities have visited. It is very expensive to stay here but well worth a visit to experience its beauty and elegance and have a Singapore sling at the bar! The hotel lobby is open to the public and is a popular tourist attraction but be careful as dress standards apply and no shorts or sandals are allowed.
Marina Bay Sands
This crazy building looks like a huge ship has been stranded on top of three sky scrapers! Marina Bay Sands is a hotel but its worth a visit as it is much, much more. I was surprised to read what you can do and experience in this hotel. It has everything from restaurants, bars, cafes, shops and casinos to museums, a canal with gondola rides and an ice rink. It also has the worlds highest rooftop infinity pool (this can only be used by hotel guest though :(). The Observation deck at the top is open to all ($23 SGD per adult) and can be booked in advance.
It also has its own light, laser and water show called Spectra. This takes place at 8pm & 9pm Sunday to Thursday and at 8pm, 9pm & 10pm on Friday and Saturday. It is a 15 minute show and from watching a clip on their website it does look spectacular! The best views are meant to be from the city side of Marina Bay.
Clarke Quay is a historical riverside quay next to the Singapore River. Its a great place to visit in the evening for a romantic stroll and to fill up your stomach with food from one of the many restaurants, bars and cafes. Its also possible to catch a boat trip on the Singapore River from Marina Bay to Clarke Quay.
A restaurant that looks good to try while in this area is Tongkang Coloniel Bar & Restaurant. Dining takes place on the last surviving pair of tongkangs (light boats for carrying goods) in Singapore. Wagyu Ribeye seems to be the dish of choice for many people.
A great place to escape the afternoon heat, Orchard Road is one of the worlds most famous shopping meccas with over 20 malls. Most of the malls don’t open until 10 am but its a great excuse to arrive early and visit Killiney Kopitiam for a Singapore breakfast of Kaya (coconut jam) toast, soft boiled eggs and a Kopi (coffee).
Inside the Ngee Ann City Shopping Mall you can find Kinokuniya Bookstore, one of the worlds largest bookstores. For anything electrical head over to Sim Lim Square which is close to Little India.
A bustling mix of old and new, China Town has lots to explore including museums, temples, markets and lots of street food. The Chinatown Heritage Centre provides a background into the history of Chinatown and how the early Chinese Immigrants have influenced the language and culture of Singapore.
The Maxwell Road Hawker Centre in Chinatown is very popular with tourists. This is where you will find Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice (stall 10) which is meant to serve the best chicken rice in Singapore.
When talking food in Singapore a dish that is always mentioned is Chilli Crab. A place that I would love to go for this delicious dish is Momma Kong’s (34 Mosque Street) which serves a number of crab dishes and fresh mantou (Chinese bread buns).
This is the most colourful and vibrant part of Singapore. There are lots of brightly coloured buildings and temples to see. The temple of a thousand lights (The Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya temple) houses a 15 metre tall Buddha statue that draws worshippers and tourists for its religious significance and beauty (8 am till 4.45 pm, 366 Race Course Road).
Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple is Little India’s most colourful temple and located in the heart of the neighbourhood (141 Serangoon Road). It is free to enter and is open from 8 am – 12.30 pm and 2 pm – 8.30 pm everyday. You do need to dress respectfully and remove shoes before you enter.
As with most areas in Singapore there are lots of places to eat in Little India. Lagnaa Barefoot dining serves up home style cooking and lets you choose the level of spice (level 3 being the standard spiciness). The Banana Leaf Apolo (48 Serangoon Road) looks great and is another option for dining in Little India. All food is served on banana leafs and if you are not keen on things being too spicy you can ask for less spice.
I loved our trip to Singapore and doing all this research has made me want to go back again very soon. Thank you for reading my post and I hope it helps you plan your trip.
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All of the photos in this post are from pixaby.com. Thanks to the great photographers that donate their photos!
I used the Lonely Planet Singapore guide book to help with my research. These are available on Amazon.