At the end of my trip to Bali in the Spring I added on a weekend in Singapore. I could have only had a two hour layover in this capital city but as it was a bank holiday weekend in England and I had heard many good things I decided to spend a bit longer than that! My trip was not quite something out of Crazy Rich Asians (though I highlighly recommend the movie if you have not already seen it) but I did have a busy fun two days exploring this city. I managed to squeeze a whole lot in and have recapped my 10 favorite things for you to do!
(1) Eat at Hawkers Market Visiting a true Hawker market has very high on my list of things to do because I like good food and I like it even better when it is inexpensive. I joke with people I would pick food over ambiance any day but somehow this gives you a bit of both. While there are few hawker markets I went to Newton right as it was opening. Unlike normal street markets this structure is very permanent with nearly 100 different options for food (it was so hard to choose) and actually more locals than tourists.
(2) Visit Little India. It is not a huge area but the few streets are certainly ripe with culture and I particularly enjoyed the colorful beauty that is the House of Tan Teng Niah. This two story villa, which you can see photos of below, dates back to 1900 and is a great example of the colinization of Singapore more than 100 years ago. If you are planning a visit, plug 37 Kerbau Road, Singapore 219168 in Google Maps and it will take you right there!
(3) Botanical Gardens – They were so pretty they already got their own post but worth mentioning again . Whether you want to go for a run in the morning, a casual stroll through the lush greenery, or to check out the world famous orchid garden for a small fee, it is worth paying a visit!
(4) Take a Boat Tour at Night. The city, like so many capitals around the world, was built up around the River and a great way to see this city come to life is via a boat trip down the Singapore river. I opted for the Singapore River Cruise and took the boat round trip from the lively shopping area, Clarke Quay (you can view the route here). It was gorgeous to see the buildings lit up at night and we timed it well to catch a bit of a performance at the Esplanade Outdoor Theatre at Night. While not a live guide, I did enjoy the audio guide that piped through the speakers for an hour and I listened from the back of the boat in the open air. And to reward all of my hard work, I finished the tour with a matcha green tea ice cream.
(5) Visit an Infinity Pool . As mentioned in my Marina Bay Sands post I definitely want to stay at the hotel on my next trip to Singapore even for just one night so I can take a swim in that epic pool. However, I stayed at the Courtyard Singapore Novena which had a pretty decent Rooftop Pool of it’s own, located 33 floors up. I took a quick dip and had a Spritz poolside and even if you are not staying there they have the the Urbana Rooftop Bar open to the public.
(6) Marina Bay and the Gardens – This complex is so many things but primarily a world class hotel and the very modern garden adjacent to it, they got their own post a few months ago but like the Orchid Garden, I would be remiss to not list it here as one of my “must sees” when in Singapore!
(7) Shop on Orchard Street. Like visiting Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles or Fifth Avenue in New York if shopping is on your mind, Orchard Street will be your happy place. I ended up picking up this dress and had a great time popping in and out of the designer boutiques as well as the Paragon Mall.
(8) Drink Outside. Speaking of drinking poolside, make sure you drink outside. It is a tropical climate that is warm year around and that kind of weather just begs for a cold beverage. I had a spritz at the pool, at frozen Singapore sling at a rooftop bar, and drinks on a friends rooftop terrace at their condo in the course of 48 hours. It is a serious must in Singapore.
(9) Walk along the Singapore River. I was not sure what the river had in store but I was so surprised at how many pretty buildings, statues, and pieces of art i came across on my walk, even though it was an overcast day. Things like the white and rainbow Old Hill Street Police Station in Singapore and the Parliament Of Singapore, both of which you can see below!
(10) See the Jewel. Yes, I am actually suggesting you add extra time at an airport which is nearly against my ethos but this is unlike any airport I have ever seen. If you are flying to or from Singapore there is a high probably you will be passing through Jewel Changi Airport and linked to the terminals is a three story shopping complex with the highlight being the world’s tallest indoor waterfall, named the Rain Vortex. While construction began in 2014 it only opened in April of 2019 so I was one of the first people to see it!
And to be far, I could not have put this list together without help from two regulars / locals. In case you want t see their original lists that I morphed into my trip here you go.
What do you think of this 48 Hours in Singapore recap?