Singapore is well known as a stopover destination, but it has a lot more to offer than you may think. Parks, nightlife, skyscrapers, local and international food, shopping, museums, you name it! So before you take off, make sure to take note of my top 9 must do’s for Making the Most of a Singapore Stopover.
Firstly, grab yourself a Singapore Tourist Pass. These passes give you unlimited rides on bus and train journeys for the number of days you select and for most places you are likely to want to visit, making it very easy and less expensive to get around town. You can pick one up at the service desk at the airport station and at selected stations in the city too.
So you’re ready to start exploring! Well your first port of call should be to hop on over to the National Museum of Singapore for a brief history. It’s always good to start by learning a little about a new country and Singapore does a fantastic job of making it feel less like a history lesson and very much interesting! Don’t bypass the Peranakan Museum just around the corner either, as you get taken through the traditions and typical daily life of Peranakan people.
I’m sure by now you’re thinking about where you can fill your belly with some good Singapore style cuisine, and I’ve got just the place! Let’s take the East-West Metro Line to Telok Ayer which is just a skip, hop and a jump to the popular Lau Pa Sat Food Market (also known as Telok Ayer Market). Just ask the friendly station staff to point you in the right direction upon exit. You may be surprised to find stalls of Asian influence in an old Victorian market shelter located in the cities business district – this won’t be the last interesting juxtaposition you’ll notice in Singapore.
The afternoon is a great time to walk off that food coma with some fresh air at Gardens By The Bay. If you don’t have time for all the attractions, don’t miss descending through the misty foliage of the Cloud Forest Dome. You’ll be greeted by a waterfall of impact and have the chance to learn about how the structure was created with sustainable design principles. This attraction really is a modern day architectural delight for the senses.
What better way to round up your first day than with an Insta-worthy view over Singapore from the Marina Bay Sands SkyPark. The ticket will set you back around $23 SGD, but this is a one time must-do.
Don’t think you’re heading to bed yet, the evening is when the city really comes to life and the best time to visit Chinatown. If you visit during the day many stalls won’t be open. Here you can find inexpensive souvenirs, the infamous Durian and other fruit, and many food stalls if you haven’t eaten yet (or if you need a second helping). Visit before 8pm if you’d like to taste the Pineapple Tarts voted Singapore’s No. 1 (so they claim).
Good morning! What’s for breakfast? How about some Kaya Toast? Made from egg, coconut milk, and sugar, this is a common local spread to have on toast. If you’re not sure where to find some you can google a local cafe or try Toast Box, found in many convenient places like shopping malls and stations.
If you’re up for some jaw-dropping natural views and a bit of walking today, why not take some time to head out to the Treetop Walk in the Central Catchment Nature Reserve. Though it will take a little time and transport planning to get to, you will thank yourself for the experience. Please take note of their requests and safety warnings.
If walking between shops is more your thing, you’ll be keen to get to Orchard Road, where you’ll find stores for every price range. Try 313@Somerset for more affordable labels.
What did I say about a contrasting city? This afternoon head to Kampong Glam, featuring the Sultan Mosque, hipster stores and street art to Instagram. If you’re interested in visiting inside the Mosque be sure to check their public opening hours. Grab a drink from Blu Jazz and people watch the afternoon away.
Tonight I’m sure you’ll be keen to check out downtown Singapore and watch the Marina Bay Sands Light Show, free each night at 8pm. There are many restaurants and bars lining the waters edge so snap your photo with the Merlion then relax with a drink and wait for the magic to begin!
See the above recommendations in my two part vlog of Singapore and make sure to subscribe to WorldFanFair on Youtube for more.