Singapore! It’s big and clean; it’s shiny and modern, and it will dazzle you!
Singapore is known for its upscale shopping, high prices, downtown skyscrapers, nightlife, hawker food stalls, and beautiful, clean outdoor spaces (don’t spit out your gum here–it’s illegal!). I found that there is something for everyone and their budget.
Here are some ideas of what you can do on your visit to Singapore:
1. Don’t Even Leave the Airport
Many people have long layovers in Singapore on their way to various destinations and don’t even need to leave the airport. The Changi airport is rated the #1 best airport in the world. It’s pretty amazing, I must say. Where else can you find a movie theater, the world’s tallest slide in an airport, lounges with napping areas and TVs, butterfly garden, shops, restaurants, spa, rooftop pool, museums, and more! The airport even offers free tours of the city to make the most of your layover. Cool! We opted to venture out into the city on our own to have the freedom to stop and go as we pleased.
If you do decide to explore the city on your own, do take public transportation. The train (known as the MRT) is cheap, easy to navigate (signs are in English), and will get you to the city center pretty quickly.
2. Swim at the World’s Highest Infinity Pool
We purposefully planned a long layover in Singapore to hit one of the major things on my Bucket List: to swim at the world’s highest infinity pool. Wow! The illusion of the water spilling over into the skyline of the city was incredible. I could have stayed there forever! Alas, a thunderstorm rolled in and we had to leave the pool…but not before spending a solid 3 hours of splishing, splashing, oohing, and aahing.
We booked a room at the fabulous 5-star Marina Bay Sands hotel so we could have access to the pool. Yes, you have to be a guest to gain access to the pool. It was a splurge, but so worth it! They gave us free beach towels and robes for the pool. The room itself was scented and had curtains that automatically retracted when entering to reveal amazing city skyline views. It was an ugh-so-perfect place to relax after all our red-eye flights.
3. Explore the Gardens By the Bay
I highly recommend exploring The Gardens by the Bay. These waterfront gardens are quite impressive. The Supertrees are actually vertical gardens in the shape of a tree. You can walk up on the suspended walkway for a birds-eye view of the gardens. Also not to be missed: the Cloud Forest and Flower Dome.
If you’ll be in Singpaore after the sun goes down, do take in the free show of choreographed lights and music at Gardens by the Bay. This show can be viewed from anywhere near the Supertree Grove(Daily: 7:45 pm & 8:45 pm). The trees flash and light up with different colors set to music. It’s pretty spectacular.
4. Visit Merlion Park
Merlion Park is a great photo op. You absolutely must have someone take a photo of you trying to catch the stream of water from the statue in your mouth. Classic. It’s hilarious to watch other tourists posing with their mouth gaping wide open. 😉 The mythical Merlion (head of a lion, body of a fish) is the national icon of Singapore and overlooks Marina Bay, the Singapore Flyer, and the skyline in the background. It’s a neat place to take photos, people watch, and take in the city views.
5. Eat Delicious Food at the Hawker Stalls
For my foodie friends out there, don’t miss out on the delicious street food that can be found anywhere you turn. Your choices can be overwhelming; you can find many different varieties of ethnic cuisine. Here is a great guide to navigating the hawker centers around town.
If you’re a little wary about eating food on the street, I highly recommend the Rasapura Masters food court in the basement of the upscale Marina Bay Sands shopping mall. The food is great quality and reasonably priced.
Singapore is amazing, but I don’t think you really need to spend more than 2-3 days here. It is super easy to see most of what the city has to offer in a layover (or two).
If you do have a longer stay, you might want to check out these activities:
- Shopping on Orchard Road
- Explore the Little India and Chinatown neighborhoods
- Day trip to Sentosa Island – beaches, luxury resorts, Universal studios, and golf courses
- Singapore Flyer ferris wheel
- Drinks at the iconic Raffles Hotel
In Singapore, you can explore beautiful, well-manicured parks, admire the unique, modern architecture, and explore the diverse neighborhoods. Everything was clean, orderly, and dazzling. I felt like I walked right into a futuristic Utopian society and never wanted to leave. I hope you enjoy your visit as much as I did!