Known as the Lion City, Singapore is one of the world’s most visited cities and it is easy to see why. Both a city and a country, Singapore is located just off the southern tip of Peninsular Malaysia in Southeast Asia. The vibrant city-state is filled with the most incredible architectual buildings, delicious eateries, artistic murals, state-of-the-art accommodation and an exciting night scene. Not only that, but Singapore is considered one of the cleanest and safest cities in the world which I totally agree with. There is no place quite like it.
Without further ado, here is the ultimate Singapore travel guide of places to visit and travel tips to help you plan your own adventure!
BEST TIME TO VISIT
Honestly, all year round! No matter what time of the year, there is always something going on for every type of traveller. It just depends whether you want to avoid the busy crowds during festival periods or join in the party, so be sure to check the cities calendar of events before planning your trip.
HOW LONG SHOULD I SPEND IN SINGAPORE
We spent one week in the country and I felt that was too long. I’d recommend anywhere between 3 – 5 days to see and experience Singapore’s true beauty and culture. It is the perfect city break destination.
Prepare for hot & humid 24/7. Singapore’s has a tropical climate that is consistent all year round. With no distinct seasons, temperatures average around 31 degrees Celsius (88 degree Fahrenheit) during the day.
Most Singaporeans are bilingual in English and one of the other three official languages: Mandarin, Malay or Tamil.
The Singapore dollar (SGD) is the countries official currency. Currently $1 USD will get you $1.38 SGD, $1 AUD – $0.95 SGD, £1 GBP – $1.75 SGD and €1 EUR – $1.54 SGD.
Do keep in mind when planning your trip that in comparison to Malaysia and Indonesia, Singapore is a lot more expensive. In fact, it is one of the wealthiest countries in the world so don’t expect to find a bargain.
CARD OR CASH
Take both. You’ll have no problem paying by card as they are widely accepted across the country. But do carry some cash for street food, market stalls and coffee shops.
Although Singapore is a small country measuring just 31 miles East to West and 17 miles North to South, you still need to think about how you’ll get to and from all of the must-see city destinations.
Taxi: This was our prefferred choice of transport. Download an app called Grab – the Uber equivalent of Asia. Most of the time the rides worked out cheaper than the traditional taxi ride, however on some occasions we found the city taxis cheaper. This was typically at nighttime when the Grab taxis were in high demand and upped their prices, so be sure to double check the best option for you.
Public Transport: The Mass Rapid Transit or the MRT is another easy and affordable way to navigate your way around Singapore. If you’re planning on exploring as much as the city as possible, then the Singapore Tourist Pass is the way forward. There are multiple options for unlimited travel for a set period.
WHAT TO DO IN SINGAPORE
It’s no question that Singapore has some of the best culinary experiences on the planet! I don’t now about you, but whenever I find myself exploring a country that I’ve never been before, I am all about trying the local cuisine. Around the city you will find Singapore’s most popular style of dining – the food courts otherwise known as the hawker centres. TRAVEL TIP: The hawker centres will save you a ton of money and actually, you’ll find the food is tastier than any stand alone restaurant. We didn’t eat anywhere but the hawker centres during our trip. The portion sizes are also HUGE!
Till you drop. If you’re like me, you’ll drop pretty quick because Singapore is famous for its designer brands, huge shopping malls, cafes and restaurants. It is easy to spend your money and the place to do it is Orchard Road. Even if you don’t buy anything, walking around and taking in the atmosphere is quite something. Plus it is great excuse to escape the heat and cool down in the air-con.
My favourite street in Singapore. Haji Lane is filled with boutique hipster shops, scrumptious cafes, trendy bars, creative street art and even a selfie coffee shop! The name says it all. During your trip make sure you take a walk down Haji Lane.
You can’t leave Singapore without a trip to Chinatown. We spent an evening here walking through the streets, trying and tasting the most delicious local cuisines, wandering the market stalls and gazing at the floating lanterns. Chinatown is rich in culture and definitely worth visiting. TRAVEL TIP: Be sure to visit the Michelin Star Liao Fan Hawker Chan, the best chicken in Singapore and the cheapest Michelin star meal you will ever have!
This lively and colourful neighbourhood is a slice of India in central Singapore. Set a side some time during your trip to take a stroll around the vibrant district of Little India where you will be welcomed by the smell of spice and flower shops, Indian music, jewellery stores and delicious trendy eateries.
THE CITY FROM ABOVE
The best view of Singapore city is of course the view from the iconic Marina Bay Sands. As much as I wanted to spend one night at this hotel, I just didn’t have the budget for it this time round, but I couldn’t leave without experiencing the view from the top.
One evening, Farley and I purchased a ticket to the Observation Deck for $23 SGD each and headed up to the 57th floor for a once in a lifetime view of the city skyline. The Skypark is open daily from 09:30 – 22:00 Mon – Thurs and until 23:00 Fri – Sun. Whilst the view was incredible and I am glad we experienced it, I’m in no rush to do it again as I don’t think its worth the entrance fee. They call it an “all day ticket” but we spent a maximum of 30 minutes up there.
GARDENS BY THE BAY
I imagine everybody already knows about this garden. It goes without saying that Gardens by the Bay is unlike any other garden I have ever visited. It was a place I had only ever seen pictures of, and then, when stood in front of the SuperTree Grove I was left completely speechless. Has that ever happened to you?
THE GARDEN RHAPSODY
As night falls over Singapore, the SuperTree Grove is illuminated and travellers can be dazzled by the most mesmerizing night show. Every day at 7.45pm and again at 8.45pm the trees come alive and dance to music. During our trip we watched the show three times and each time I was given goosebumps.
SPECTRA LIGHT SHOW
After being captivated by the Garden Rhapsody, wander round to the front of Marina Bay Sands to catch the Spectra Light Show. This time the water is dancing and you’ll witness a beautiful display of waterworks, lights and lasers mixed with music and the backdrop of Singapore City. It is a MUST on your agenda.
VISIT THE ARTSCIENCE MUSEUM
The ArtScience Museum is an iconic cultural landmark that combines art, science, technology and culture. Their exhibitions are very impressive, in particular their current Future World exhibit which is filled with a beautiful display of lights. The experiences do change so be sure to check out their website at the time of your visit.
I am always a little apprehensive when visiting a zoo. During our trip, we visited Singapore Zoo and I was so impressed by the spacious, open air enclosures. The animals even live in different zones which replicate the diverse animal habitats and climates around the world. If you have time during your trip, then it’s definitely worth a visit.
DAY TRIP TO SENTOSA ISLAND
Known as the playground of Singapore, Sentosa Island is literally an island of theme parks. Located off the southern coast of Singapore, Sentosa is home to some of the worlds most reputable resorts, theme parks, golf courses, spas, restaurants and beaches. There is plenty of attractions to keep you busy.
We unleashed our inner child and spent the day at the action packed Universal Studios Singapore which was one of my favourite experiences during our trip. TRAVEL TIP: We thought by going mid week it would be less busy, we were wrong! In fact, I think its best to go on the weekends because everyone avoids it!
Have you ever travelled to Singapore? Or is it still on your bucket list? I hope you found this blog useful. I would love to hear from you so please leave a comment below!