On the way to Australia we enjoy a stopover in Singapore for a few days. The main reason many tourists visit Singapore is shopping but there are many more things to do than that. Here you can find our personal tips and recommendations for your next stopover in Singapore.
SiA Hop-on bus is a good way to explore the city
If you have arrived in Singapore with Singapore Airline, you should keep the boarding pass. You will get discounts on the tickets to different tourist attractions. One of the best ways to get a good overview of Singapore is to hop on the SiA Hop-on bus. With your Singapore boarding pass, the ticket will only cost S$8 for adults (kids S$4) and you can hop on and off the bus for a whole day. If you do not have a Singapore Airline boarding pass you have to pay S$25 (kids S$15). Prices in November 2013.
We love to explore cities with Hop-on busses and get an overview. On the way we can hop off the bus, explore an area and then just hop onto the next bus to get to the next stop. During a short stopover in Singapore this is the best way to explore the city.
The best stops:
- The Singapore Flyer is with 165 meters the tallest observation wheel of the world.
- Esplanade. The view of the Marina Bay Sands and the Singapore Skyline is fantastic.
- At Padang you can visit the Merlion, the city’s landmark, and the Fullerton Hotel.
- Boat Quay. A lovely stroll along the Boat Quay with its bars and restaurants directly located on the Singapore River.
- Chinatown. Lots of shopping opportunities and streets with old, colourful Chinese shop houses during the day. Many good places to have a Chinese dinner in the evening, when the market stalls are open. The Indian temple Sri Mariamman and the Buddha Tooth Relict Temple Museum is worth a visit.
- Clarke Quay. More stylish restaurants and bars directly on the Singapore River. A bit artificial but worth a stroll.
- Botanic Garden. An oasis in the middle of the city and the entry is free of charge. On a walk through the gardens you can see rainforest, bonsais and many other things.
- Orchard Road. Shop till you drop on this road that is lined with shopping centres. Most of the famous and expensive international brands of clothes, perfume, electronics and more are present. If you don’t want to spend all your money just do a bit of window shopping and keep away of Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Co.
- Little India. A different world with many colourful shops, saris, gold jewellery, curries and roti.
Gardens by the Bay
Close to the gigantic Marina Bay Sands are the widespread Gardens of the Bay. It’s a very modern garden with giant flower domes and a canopy walk that connects two of these flower domes. The entry to the gardens is free but to claim up the flower domes and walk the canopy walk costs S$5 (Price November 2013). Fees apply also if you like to enter the two conservatories Flower Dome and Cloud Forest. The gardens feel a bit artificial but it’s nice to spend a bit of time here.
Southern Ridges Walk – Where rainforest meets the city
If you have enough of shopping and sightseeing and want to go for a longer walk in the nature, then the 9 kilometres long Southern Ridges Walk is the right thing to do. Just keep in mind that it can be sunny, hot and humid, so try to do the walk early in the morning or late in the afternoon. The easiest way is to get to the start of the walk, which is the MRT Station Harbour Front, which is also the place where you can hop on the cable car to Sentosa Island or up to Mount Farber. From the station you can take the Marang Trail that leads up through dense forest to Mount Faber.
Over the 274 meters long and 36 meters high Hederson Waves bridge we cross the Henderson Road. After the Henderson Waves we reach the Forest Walk. This is a 1.3 kilometre long elevated walkway through secondary forest. The raised walkway with a maximum height of 18 metres offers a bird’s eye view of the forest. In the brush we find many birds, butterflies and a very colourful lizard.
After we cross the Hort Park, there is another elevated walk. The Canopy Walk, with a maximum height of 16 metres, leads through secondary forest and we can again see many different birds and some squirrels in the tree canopies.
Eating in food centres and hawkers stalls
We love to eat local food and try new things. Freshly cooked, delicious and cheap is the food in these places. There are many places in Singapore where you can enjoy a huge variety of food in food centres. On the Esplanade we found one of these food centres where different stalls offer delicious food. A main course costs between S$ 5 and 10 with a beautiful view of the city light. The place is very popular by locals as well as expats and tourists.
Every evening there is a laser show in front of the Marina Bay Sands. One option to watch the laser show is from the Esplanade. The laser show takes place on 20:00 and 21:30 every evening so you can conveniently combine watching the show and have a nice dinner.
On the MRT station Harbour Front we have found the Seah Im Food Centre. It’s conveniently located close to the MRT Station. So if you do the Southern Ridges Walk or visit Sentosa Island, you can also stop by this food centre. There are many different food stalls and it’s hard to decide what to eat. You can chose between, Thai, Chinese, Indian, and Arabic food and the prices are very low. We have seen meals starting at S$2, our Thai Curry was S$4.
A drink in the highest alfresco bar of the world has to be
There are certain things you just have to do if you travel. On our last evening in Singapore we have been to the highest alfresco bar of the world. At 1 Altitude we enjoy a drink on the rooftop terrace at 282 metres.
With an absolutely stunning view, we enjoy our drinks. To get to the bar you have to pay an entry fee of S$ 25 but there is one drink included in the entry price. It’s definitely not cheap but the stunning view is worth the investment. We have been in the bar by daylight and watched the sunset and the laser show later on.
Is it your first stopover in Singapore?
For us it’s not the first stopover in Singapore. We have been to Singapore before and therefore we have skipped some of the tourist attractions. If it’s the first stopover in Singapore for you, then there are a few more things that are worth to visit. The island resort Sentosa for example. The island is full of attractions including a 2 km long sheltered beach, Fort Siloso, two golf courses, two five-star hotels, and the Resorts World Sentosa, featuring the theme park Universal Studios Singapore.
The Singapore Flyer is with 165 meters the tallest observation wheel of the world. The Singapore Zoo, a night safari or a boat ride on the Singapore river are some more popular things to do whilst in Singapore.
Have you spent a stopover inn Singapore? Which city do you like for a short stopover? We also liked our stopover in Kuala Lumpur.