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Singapore Travel Guide | What to See Eat and Do

Singapore Travel Guide | What to See Eat and Do
Reading Time: 8 minutes

Updated: 2/14/2024 | Singapore Travel Guide

Singapore City skyline view from ParkRoyal Collection Pickering Singapore

About Singapore

Singapore is a small country located at the base of Malaysia.

Singapore is extremely safe. There are CCTV cameras everywhere that are often monitored by authorities. There are also very harsh punishments for crimes. 

How to Get to Singapore

Most visitors traveling to Singapore will fly through Changi Airport (Airport Code: SIN).

From the airport, it’s very easy to get to Singapore’s city center. You can opt for a taxi, Uber, or shuttle. We took an Uber into town and it cost us $22 USD.

It might seem odd to tell travelers to hang out in an airport, but Jewel Changi is no ordinary airport (it’s a fixture at the top of our Readers’ Choice Awards best airport list). The transportation hub is also a nature-themed shopping, dining, and entertainment extravaganza designed by architect Moshe Safdie. The project’s highlights include the Rain Vortex, a seven-story-tall indoor waterfall; an indoor forest with suspended walkways; and nearly 300 stores. This is a game-changer for travelers on layovers. It’s so popular (and so worth it) that 20 airlines will let you check in a full 24 hours in advance just to maximize your time inside.

By Bus (from Malaysia) – If you are traveling to Singapore from Malaysia you can get a bus between the two countries. Many companies run regular buses between the two countries for as little as £15 per person. The border crossing is very easy, just make sure that you have all the relevant documentation with you before travelling. You can check what is required on the date you travel, here.

Changi Airport the Jewel Water Fountain Singapore

The Jewel at Changi Airport

How to Get Around Singapore

Singapore is surprisingly very walkable! We were able to walk to most destinations on foot within an hour or less. Just make sure to bring an umbrella, hat, sunblock, and water as it is mostly hot and sunny year-round.

You can also use Singapore’s MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) system to get around via train. 

And lastly, you can always hail a taxi or Uber to get to your destination. We found that Uber was a pretty affordable and reliable way to get around the city. 

Where to Stay in Singapore

There are plenty of lodging options in Singapore. You can opt for a full-service hotel to a convenient AirBnB. 

We highly recommend the following hotels in Singapore:

  • ParkRoyal Collection in Pickering – This is one of the MOST impressive hotels we’ve ever stayed in. The 
  • Duxton Reserve Singapore Collection
  • Westin Singapore 
  • Marina Bay Sands
pool cabana parkroyal collection pickering hotel singapore

Colorful gazebos at the PARKROYAL Collection Hotel in Pickering

ParkRoyal Collection Pickering window bathtub Singapore

PARKROYAL Collection Pickering Hotel in Pickering

What to Do and See in Singapore

#1 Gardens by the Bay

Supertree Grove Gardens by the Bay Singapore

Supretree Grove in the Gardens by the Bay

#2 Clarke Quay

In the 1800s, this quay, or wharf, near modern-day Fort Canning Park, was one of the centers of trade, when barges would transport goods upstream for storage in the warehouses. Today, the warehouses have been restored and painted in rainbow hues, making this a great photo spot. Instagram-worthiness aside, Clarke Quay has also become one of Singapore’s food, drink, and entertainment hubs. The whole area has been converted into an open-air pedestrian precinct filled with restaurants, bars, and clubs.

#3 Singapore Art Museum

SAM specializes in contemporary art from Singapore and Southeast Asia. When it opened in 1996 in a restored 19th-century Catholic boys school, it was the first art museum in the country. It’s a must-see for anyone interested in works by contemporary Asian artists. The collection covers multiple disciplines, including painting, photography, video, and sculpture.

#4 Fort Canning Park

Fort Canning Tree Tunnel Singapore

Tree Tunnel in Fort Canning Park

 

Fort Canning Park Sang Nila Utama Garden

Sang Nila Utama Garden in Fort Canning Park

#5 Buddha Tooth Relic Museum

Buddha Tooth Relic Temple Singapore

#6 Chijmes

 

#7 Merlion Park

singapore merlion statue bridge

Merlion Park

#8 Kampong Glam & The Arab District

Yip Yew Chong baskets Street Art in Kampong Glam

Baskets in Kampong Glam by Yip Yew Chong

Are you a hipster? Or a devout Muslim? Do you like unconventional modern art or traditional Arab crafts? Do you just want that Instagram snap or are you interested in learning more about this historic district, from its red-light leanings to its religious importance? Or maybe you just want a slice of the delicious kaya swiss roll from the famous Rich & Good Cake Shop? If you answered yes to any of these things, this delightfully eclectic enclave is for you. Singapore’s Muslim quarter dates back to the 1800s, but the area has grown and changed, blending the religious and historical with a modern take on the city-state.

Kampong Glam or Kampong Gelam is known as the heritage Arab/Muslim quarter in Singapore and one of my places to find street art in Singapore. It’s home to the beautiful Sultan Mosque and has quite an unusual mishmash of cloth merchants, Middle Eastern restaurants and hipster shops all rolled into one heritage district, it’s also one of the few places in Singapore where you can find more graffiti styles of street art instead of just murals.

Kampong Gelam is also one of my favorite places in Singapore to hang out and bring visitors. I used to work around this area and spent many days walking up and down these streets, so I will always be fond of it though I think it’s gentrified and I’m not as fond of the current shop mix in recent years. I love that it’s one of the first places that street art became hip.

You’ll see the place also referred to as Kampong Glam which is what I’ve always known this place as (Say ‘Glum’ and not glam like glamorous), but it seems like official tourism is moving back to calling it by its proper name Kampong Gelam, which stems from the Malay word Gelam, a reference to the Gelam tree.

#8 National Gallery Singapore

national gallery singapore

#9 Singapore Zoo

Alex and Larry at the Singapore Zoo 2017

Hanging with the monkeys at Singapore Zoo

#10 Sultan Mosque

Singapore sultan mosque gold dome building

This gold-domed Sultan Mosque is a place of worship but also a popular landmark for visitors.

Golden domed Sultan Mosque Singapore American Hat Makers

Sultan Mosque

Sultan Mosque Singapore Bussorah Street

What I’m Wearing

Ona by Yoon Ruffle Crop Top (similar here and here) | Zesica Pleated Asymmetrical skirt (similar styles here) | Oka-B Loren Sandals | American Hat Makers Barcelona Straw Hat

#11 Helix Bridge + ArtScience Museum + Marina Bay Sands

Helix Bridge Marina Bay Sands hotel and casino Singapore

Helix Bridge and the Marina Bay Sands Hotel

ArtScience Museum Singapore Ona by Yoon American Hat Makers Zesica pleated skirt Oka-b sandals

ArtScience Museum in Singapore

#12 Singapore Botanic Gardens

singapore orchid garden botanic gardensCome here to check out the gorgeous national orchid gardens.

#13  Old Hill Street Police Station

Colorful rainbow Old Hill Street Police Station Singapore

Old Hill Street Police Station

#14 Bugis Street

Bugis street colorful spiral staircases Singapore

Colorful spiral staircases on Bugis Street

Street art on Bugis Street Singapore

What to Eat in Singapore

Singapore is known for its hawker stand food culture. Here you can find budget food options that are often huge portions!

They often take cash only and are open until late night. There are 117 hawker stations in Singapore, but not all of them need to be visited. 

Below are some of the hawker stands we highly recommend:

  • Old Airport Road Food Centre
  • People’s Park
  • Maxwell Centre
  • Tekka Centre
  • Tiong Bahru

Here are our favorite sit down restaurants in Singapore.

  • 328 Katong Laksa – Considered the best Laksa in the city!
  • Legendary Bak Kuh Teh – If you’re not keen on waiting 40+ minutes for Song Fa’s Bak Kuh Teh, consider heading over to Legendary Bak Kuh Teh. This simple bone soup is eaten with rice or alone. They also offer free broth refills, which is what we’re definitely about. 
  • Lime Restaurant – I had one of the top 5 cheeseburgers in my life at the ParkRoyal Collection in Pickering. The meat is ground daily in-house and served on a super soft brioche bun. While Lime is known for its extravagant buffets, they also have an a la carte menu with plenty to choose from.
delicious cheeseburger from ParkRoyal Collection Pickering Singapore

Delicious cheeseburger from Lime at ParkRoyal Collection at Pickering in Singapore

Singapore Hawker Stand Chan Hainanese Chicken

Chan Hainanese Chicken Hawker Stand

Where to Drink in Singapore

Singapore is filled with drinking destinations. Drinking here will cost you a pretty penny. A beer can be anywhere from $10-16 SGD. And cocktails will run you about $22-$26 SGD.

Here are our picks for the best spots to drink in Singapore:

  • 28 Hongkong Club
  • Atlas
  • Cat Bite Club
  • CHIJMES – This repurposed abbey was turned into a commercial center filled with shops, restaurants, and bars. It’s a great spot for groups because there are so many choices. 
  • Employees Only
  • Here Kitty Kitty Speakeasy
  • Jigger and Pony
  • Level 33
  • Live Twice
  • Long Bar
  • Mr Stork
  • Native
  • No Sleep Club
  • Nutmeg and Clove
  • Origin Bar
  • Sago House & Low Tide
  • Smoke & Mirrors
  • Stay Gold Flamingo
  • The Other Room
  • Tippling Club

Singapore archway

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