For so long, Singapore was considered just a stopover destination —somewhere to visit for 1-2 days en route to somewhere more exciting — but in recent years, it’s really come to its own and evolved, and is now a truly incredible destination to visit in its own right, full of fusion culture, delicious food, and breathtaking sights.
Ed and I had the most amazing 6 days in Singapore soaking it all up, so I thought for the first of a bunch of blog posts I’ve got coming, I’d rattle through my 10 best experiences in Singapore — all must-dos and reasons it should be just next holiday, not just your stopover…
be wowed at Gardens By The Bay
Gardens By The Bay was pretty much the reason we decided to go to Singapore in the first place, and I’m glad to say it lived up to the hype. Such beautiful sights your eyes! There are the Super Trees which look magical all lit up at night, and you can take the walkway around the top of them, but it was the Cloud Forest experience that totally took my breath away. So amazing, beautiful and educational too. Loved it.
eat local and super cheap in the Hawker Centres
Singapore isn’t the cheapest of Asian countries, but you can definitely find some good deals. Whether you’re on a budget or not, eating at the Hawker Centres is an authentic Singaporean experience that absolutely shouldn’t be missed — in fact, we ate at least one of our meals in Hawker Centres each day. So join the locals, be adventurous in what you go for, and wash it down with a Tiger Beer!
go back in time and have a Singapore Sling at Raffles
If there’s one touristy thing you should do in Singapore, it’s Raffles. Steeped in amazing history, it’s so iconic; take a wander around and admire the beauty of the place before stopping in the Long Bar to savour a famous Singapore Sling. They don’t come cheap but the experience, complete with the old-school throwing the peanut shells on the floor, is worth it.
chill out on the beaches of Sentosa Island
In a city as metropolitan as Singapore, it’s difficult to believe there are palm trees and white sand beaches, but there are! For an experience that feels more ‘holiday’ than city break, I would definitely recommend spending a couple of days of your Singapore trip chillaxing on Sentosa Island. Whilst it is a tourist-inspired island resort with lots of attractions, there’s a handful incredible luxury hotels that give you pure, unadulterated escapism, so I’d strongly suggest saving coins to blow the budget here! We spent 2 of the most perfect nights at Capella surrounded by greenery and with a private pool, and it felt so beautifully tropical and calm. On the south of the island, don’t miss Palawan Beach, a white-sand beach lined with food stalls and bars, with an impressive suspension bridge that leads to a tiny little island.
explore vibrant Little India
Easily one of my favourite districts of Singapore, Little India is a sight to behold. So vibrant and colourful, it’s bursting at its seams with great food, technicolour buildings, decorations and crazy stores selling everything you could ever think of. We stayed in a hotel on the edge of Little India for 2-nights so had a couple of amazing dinners here — the authentic Indian food has to be the highlight for me.
explore hipster ‘hood Tiong Bahru
Tiong Bahru is Singapore’s hippest neighbourhood, with quirky stores and artisan coffee a plenty. Small enough to fit into a morning, wander its little web of streets then kick back in a coffee shop — Forty Hands, PS Café Petit and Plain Vanilla Bakery are all good spots to join the locals.
visit the beautiful Botanic Gardens
We skipped the zoo but spent the most glorious sunny afternoon wandering through Singapore Botanic Gardens which I would definitely recommend. They’re free to visit (though there are some ticketed gardens) and are so extensive and beautiful, with tropical plants, sculptures and a swan lake. You could easily roam for hours, sunbathe on the lawn, then stop for lunch at one of the cafes — or at nearby Adam Road Hawker Centre like we did!
eat your way through China Town
You certainly won’t starve in Singapore, there’s so much delicious food to eat, from Indonesian to Indian, Malay and Chinese flavours. For the latter, it’s China Town you need to hit up. A bustling mix of old meets new, potter through the arts and crafts stores, be wowed by the temples, then feast at dumplings at one of the many cheap eats.
get lost on Haji Lane
Hidden away in the heart of the Muslim quarter, Haji Lane is a colourful and eclectic shopping street that’s definitely worth a visit. Beautiful old buildings now house chic and quirky little stores, selling everything from handmade clothes to cushion covers, and fun stationery. We also had the most amazing matcha ice cream puff here, and a Happy Hour beer or two in the various bars!
take in the scenery on The Southern Ridges
A lesser known attraction but one I’d definitely recommend; The Southern Ridges is a 10km treetop trail that goes from West Coast Park to Mt Faber, letting you walking through the jungle without even leaving the city. Peaceful and calm, the lush expanses of greenery are beautiful as are the impressive skyline views. Henderson Waves, the undulating pedestrian bridge with its wave-like structure is particularly cool for design lovers!
This post was created in collaboration with Secret Escapes and Singapore Tourist Board.