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The perfect transit destination – Singapore has plenty to offer. Follow this guide to ensure you spend your 48 hours in Singapore wisely!
Founded in the 19th century Modern Singapore hosts one of the largest ports in the world which has contributed massively to its growing name.
As one of the greenest cities in the world nearly half of Singapore’s footprint is under green cover, it’s the perfect city escape without feeling as though you are in the city.
I am really not a city girl but I loved it here, the attention to every little detail is incredible. It is a truly beautiful city in both night and day.
Where to stay in Singapore?
Singapore accommodation can often break that backpackers budget but if you book smartly then you should be able to find some good deals.
I recommend having a look at the Singapore MRT map before booking accommodation as the MRT system, similar to the underground in London, is extremely efficient and if you stay on the Circle line you can get into the city in around 10/20 minutes.
We stayed near to the Paya Lebar Station at Hotel Classic by Venue.
Our trip to Singapore was mostly to meet up with friends who, unfortunately for us, were visiting to watch the F1 and so the hotel prices when booking were a lot higher than normal.
So, if you can, avoid visiting during any major event….
Getting around Singapore
I have already mentioned the MRT above but I am going to mention it again because it’s excellent. This is the fastest, easiest and cheapest way to get around.
Top Tip: If you do some research before you visit you should look to use the MRT to get to and from the airport as it will save you some extra money.
You can alternatively get buses or taxis, however the traffic in the city can often be congested and you might end up wasting some of your valuable exploring time.
Gardens by the Bay
One of the biggest tourist attractions in Singapore, and for good reason, is the Gardens by the Bay, located on the edge of the city by Marina Bay.
To get here using the MRT get off at Bayfront and follow the signs.
Gardens by the Bay has plenty to offer all throughout the day and evening. Such as the Cloud Forest, Flower Dome, Floral Fantasy, OCBC Skyway & Supertree Observatory.
We visited both the Cloud Forest, Flower Dome and Skyway.
The Cloud Forest is a fascinating experience. It hosts one of the largest indoor waterfalls in the world and, you can discover thousands of exotic plants from the aerial walkways that weave in and out of the lush mountain.
The Flower Dome is huge and its filled to the brim with beautiful flowers and planting from all around the world. The planting in here is beautiful, the Spanish section was my favourite the olive trees were shipped in and are thought to be 1000 years old and they are so magnificent!
As well as these attractions, Gardens by the Bay also has its famous light show every evening at 8 & 9pm. The shows are only 15 minutes long but what an impressive 15 minutes!
I recommend getting there early so you can grab yourself a good seat in the middle of the action, during the show music is played and the giant ‘trees’ light up in different colours along to the beat.
It is wonderful to watch, the music is upbeat and uplifting and the light display is done perfectly.
Once you’ve finished watching the light show take a stroll out and over the bridge to Marina Bay, lit up beautifully at night you can admire the twinkling city lights across from you.
From here you can get an excellent view of Marina Bay Sands hotel and admire it from a distance as it sparkles in the reflection of the bay.
Makansutra Gluttons Bay Food Centre
Located on Marina Bay, Makansutra Gluttons Bay Food Centre makes perfect sense for dinner after you’ve snapped pictures of the hotel and lion statue from every angle.
These food centres are extremely popular in Singapore and there are many dotted around the city.
They consist of food stalls ranging from all types of cuisine and lots of tables in the centre, very similar to a food court that we have in the UK.
At Makansutra Gluttons Bay Food Centre we decided to have the Malaysian food, I went for a vegetable Mie Goreng (vegetable stir fried noodles) and Jack chose the same alongside 20 satay skewers.
If you are also a fan of coconuts I highly recommend getting one here, the first drinks stall sells ‘Thai coconuts’ and it was one of the best I’d ever tasted. They are more mature than the young coconuts I’d been used to drinking in Bali and Vietnam and had a much deeper flavour.
Newtons Food Centre
Newtons food centre rose to fame after it starred in the well known movie Crazy Rich Asians, it also hosts 2 Michelin star stalls.
This was my first time eating Michelin star food and I didn’t expect it to be from a food stall but I have to say it was delicious!
We went to R&B Express Satay and ordered the chicken satay (of course) and chicken wings, I then ordered vegetable fried rice from another stall.
The peanut sauce they give you in the bucket load which we pretty much finished as it was so good and the chicken wings have that perfect crispy roast chicken skin and are tender and juicy on the inside.
It was the best meal we ate during our stay in Singapore by far and somewhere I highly recommend checking out!
Another great local dish to try while you’re there is chilli crab, this is stir fried crab in a sweet and savoury mild spicy sauce.
Top Tip: If you are looking to have a couple of drinks these food centres are a great option as alcohol prices are generally much lower here than regular bars.
Long Bar at Raffles Hotel
Famously known for its invention of the Singapore Sling the Long bar at the Raffles Hotel was somewhere we had to go to get a feel for the history.
The original Long Bar dates back to 1910. The Long bar you visit today was refurbished in 1991 to give it that authentic 1920 Malaysian feel.
With it’s tropical green interior, and traditional features you really do feel as if you are stepping back in time here.
The Long Bar also provides unlimited peanuts for you during your visit which in keeping with its tradition allows you to throw the shells onto the floor. It remains one of the only places in the city it is legal to litter!
However despite it being a great experience I have to inform you of the prices at the Long Bar… The famously known Singapore Sling comes in at $37 (£23) each!
Also note that tax and service charge is added to the bill in addition to this so our total bill for 2 Singapore Slings came to $87 (£54)
Despite the price of the famous cocktail I would still recommending visiting, the bar is worth seeing and if you do not want to spend that much money there are cheaper drinks available such as soft drinks or beers.
Bustling with life and full of colour the Singapore Chinatown is the perfect place to go for a stroll round the markets or to grab some good food.
Chinatown here in Singapore is well known for its mix of old and new, you can find temples and medicinal halls weaved in between new shops and bars.
Visit the street market, located on Smith Street, here is it expected that you haggle so don’t forget your skills!
There are many temples around Chinatown to visit, the most famous of them all is Buddha Tooth Relic Temple. This remarkable temple is 4 storeys high and hosts a stunning main hall.
If you are interested in Chinese medicine then make sure to check out Eu Yan Sang Chinese Medical Hall, built in 1910 by the Chinese millionaire Eu Tong Sen the hall has become an important centre serving the community.
If shopping is your thing then Orchard Road is a must. This is retail heaven, there are different malls everywhere so take your pick and get shopping!
Personally my favourite was the Orchard Road underground mall, if you are in Singapore on a stop over and not a holiday this is a good choice to not break the bank!
There are plenty of high street shops such as H&M, Pull & Bear, JD, Zara and tons more. The underground mall is 4 floors and has plenty to keep you busy.
We ended up spending 2 and a half hours down here completely unaware of the time, clearly we were having way too much fun.
How long should you spend in Singapore? I recommend 2 nights minimum. Yes this city has a bad reputation for being really expensive but you can do it smarter. Staying out of the centre, using the MRT, eating at food halls and doing as many free sight seeing actives as you can will help massively. This incredible city has so much to offer so in order to see it all and not feel you have missed out then definitely extend your layover to 2 or even 3 nights.
What was your experience of Singapore & how many days did you stay? Let me know in the comments below which was your favourite part.
WIth love, Izzy ✨💛
Looking for more things to do during your stay in South East Asia? Then you’ll want to check out these posts:
- Your ultimate guide to Bali including Nusa Penida & The Gili Islands
- Gili Islands Guide 2022: everywhere you’ll want to visit, eat, swim, snorkel & relax
- The First Timers Guide to Hoi An, Vietnam
- Why Canyoning in Da Lat is a must during your stay in Vietnam
- My top places to visit in Ho Chi Minh city