A guide to a few days in Singapore
Singapore is a city and a small country between Malaysia and Indonesia. It is incredibly clean, efficient, futuristic and full of rules. While Singapore is truly a beautiful place to visit, you really only need a few days to experience the highs of what the city has to offer.
Where to stay?
The best location hands down to stay is right on the waterfront but that comes with a hefty price tag of $400 plus per night if you want to be a little friendlier on the wallet Chinatown and the surrounding area is more reasonably priced and still quite central. If you are okay with the unknown, Hotwire is a great site to get a good deal on a nice hotel last minute. We did this and paid $70 a night for a hotel with a posted rate of $130.
What to do?
- Gardens by the Bay (Flower Dome + Cloud Forest)
Gardens by the Bay is by far the most impressive of the attraction in Singapore and is a must visit. Most of the gardens you are able to walk around for free but entrance into the Flower Dome or Cloud Forest is ticketed, it is 100% worth going in. If you can time in right, every two hours the mist goes off in Cloud forest which adds a great effect (8 am, 10 am, 12 pm, 2 pm, 4 pm, 6 pm, 8 pm). Be sure to check out the light show at 7:45 and 8:45 as it is quite impressive (free area). The pillars in the middle of the gardens have a magical light show with music for about 20 minutes.
PROTIP: Buy your tickets at the airport to save money at one of the Changi Recommends kiosks (they are light blue and white).
- Walk around Marina Bay
The Marina Bay area is beautiful, you can look at the city skyline, the water or enjoy one of the many festivals or events going on through the year. I would definitely recommend checking out the calendar f events to see what is going on during your stay. If you are at all interested in photography be sure to bring a trip pod because everywhere you look you will want to take a picture.
- The Shoppes, Marina Bay
You don’t have to like shopping to appreciate this awesome mall. It boasts a skating rink, the river with gondola rides, many water features, a casino, restaurants and every expensive luxury brand you can imagine. It is worth a walk through just to window shop and look at all the beauty inside.
- Grab a drink at Spago roof top bar (Marina Bay Sands)
If you want a beautiful view of the Gardens of the bay or of the city skyline head up to the 57th floor in tower two of the Marina Bay Sands (The three towers with the surfboard on top- you can’t miss it). Spago boasts an impressive view, overpriced drinks, and apps- trusts us, the view is worth at least a drink. A cocktail or a glass of wine will set you back about $26, a beer about $15. Apps started at $20 heads up they are very small portions.
PRO TIP: If you are on a serious budget, happy hour is from 4-7 pm with drink specials for $10 and app specials at $12 each.
How to get around?
Public transit in Singapore is very well connected, with many different subway lines and buses to choose from so getting around is a breeze. It is also very cheap, one of the most affordable places we have visited thus far. The cost to get from the airport to the city center is less than 2 dollars and is about an hour by subway.
Once you are downtown by the water you can walk everywhere. Singapore is incredibly friendly for walking around. The sidewalks and staircases are very wide and open to accommodate all the visitors. Get those steps in and explore!
Where to eat?
There is no shortage of different food options and places to eat while you are in Singapore. From Michelin Star restaurants to the food courts there is something to fit everyone’s tastes and budget. While Singapore is not known to be a cheap country there are deals to be had at the local food courts. They resemble a food court from a mall but are generally outside in an open air type building. The options are endless at these food courts, you will find any kind of food you can imagine. The average meal is $4- $10. If you are interested in eating chili crab, a local dish expect to pay $35- $55 (be sure to order the delicious bun that goes with it for dipping).
If you prefer to eat at an actual restaurant you will find some really nice ones with views of the waterfront. We had a fabulous fixed price lunch at The Clifford Pier, it was $35 SGD per person for 3 courses. Gordon Ramsay’s Bread (in The Shoppes) is $40 SGD for a 3-course lunch.
Our recommendation, eat lunch in the comfort of an AC restaurant and dinner in a local food court once it has cooled down. One thing to note about restaurants & food courts they often close between dinner & lunch so eating at off hours can involve extra searching.
What not to do?
The list of what not to do is surprisingly long, but not with things you might expect. Singapore was dubbed fine city for a reason, this place is full of rules that may not be what you are used to at home. Some of the things you should not do include, chewing gum, spitting, littering, forgetting to flush the toilet, and picking flowers. If you get caught fines are about $1,000 for each offense.
Are you planning to visit Singapore? Have you been before? What are you top tips fo visiting Singapore? Share them below!