You’ve just landed in Singapore, which means you’re minutes away from chasing waterfalls, sitting in gardens by a bay, chowing down on the best chicken rice and enjoying a sling or two. By sling, we’re not talking about the arm kind, by the way.
Singapore is an absolutely enchanting city combining the best of Malaysian, Chinese and Southeast Asian culture into one curated little slice of paradise, so here’s how to get in fast, see all the best things, eat all the best things and head back to Changi Airport with a serious smile…
When you land, you don’t even need to leave the airport to hit must see attraction numero uno. The Jewel is Singapore Changi’s newest addition, adding on to the already enviable slew of guest features like a movie theatre, outdoor butterfly garden and swimming pool. The Jewel is the world’s largest indoor waterfall and also features a mall which would be worth visiting in any city, let alone an airport!
But once you’ve ticked that box it’s time to hustle into the city. Thanks to the fact that owning a car in Singapore is crazy expensive, you practically never need to worry about traffic.
Download the Grab app on your phone, and hail a car just like you would Uber. We insist, mainly because there is no Uber in Singapore. Don’t worry though, in many ways Grab is actually a lot better.
In Singapore, it’s hard to go wrong at any four or five star hotel. If it’s your first time, it’s tough to beat a location near Marina Bay or Orchard Road, since you’ll undoubtedly enjoy a rooftop view within walking distance. If you’re looking for a short list: the One Farrer, Andaz, Pan Pacific, Intercontinental Bugis and Ritz Carlton are all pretty stunning.
As odd as it is, with such easy connections to the city, even staying at the Crowne Plaza Changi Airport is a great call for a short stay. There’s nothing wrong with the famous Raffles hotel either, but be forewarned that joining the queue for a Singapore Sling there is a bit of a tourist gouge, since it’s pre-mixed! Shhh.
You’re central, you’re buzzing from a few Singapore Slings and it’s time to see the sights. If you only have one night, and can only see one thing you simply must see the Gardens By The Bay light show at night. Seeing it from the ground is free, and with the music playing and the city in the background you might just shed a beautiful tear. It’s perfect, so get the “ugh it’s touristy” thing out of your heard.
If you’ve got day time to play with, you’ve gotta eat at a hawker stall. Hawker stalls are the centre of culture in Singapore and the home of almost all worthwhile food. Save the fine dining for another city, because $2.60 will get you a plate worth licking. If you see a line, you’ll be fine – but you will be just about anywhere that’s open.
Some of the best Singapore hawker centres to Google Map include: Tiong Bahru Market, Amoy Street, Maxwell Centre, Tekka Centre, Market Street and Old Airport Road.
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For a quick but amusing diversion day or night, Haji Lane is a buzz. Think: artisan shops, cheap beer and the most colourful buildings you could ever hope for. Even if you’re just walking by, do it for the gram’. Neighbouring streets are also gorgeous, so keep that camera phone out and about. Make sure to stop in Supermama, which has some of the coolest glassware and china anywhere. You’ll end up with some, trust me…
If you like a drink, you’re in an amazing city. Singapore has three of the world’s 15 best bars to go along with an endless set of rooftop views from spots like Ce La Vie the Marina Bay Sands. If you’re looking for stronger, proper, potent cocktails you’ll always remember – head instead for Atlas, Native, Manhattan Bar, 28 Hong Kong Street or Maison Ikkoku.
You came, you saw the Jewel, you conquered the Gardens, you had a beautiful stroll through Haji lane, you found amazing street food at a Hawker stall and then you washed it all down with a perfect sundown cocktail at Atlas. Sadly, your time is now up.
If you’ve ticked all these fun things off the list and still have some time, explore further into Jalan Besar, Tiong Bahru or Everton Park. Any of them will give you new streets to wander with so much to offer. From hipster coffee to one off designers, you’ll find it all.