Singapore – A Vibrant, World-Class City
Singapore is a vibrant, world-class city often on many travellers’ wish. All too often though it is overlooked as somewhere to stay a while. It has always been thought of as the great ‘stop over’ city on the way between Europe or the US and Australia, New Zealand or other Australasian destinations.
After you read this though you will realise that it is so much more than that!
Singapore is a beautiful, clean, easy to get around city. In fact, some people say it’s Asia light. Compared to most other parts of Asia, Singapore makes it easy. It’s safe, easy to get around, and has a huge amount to offer any traveller.
So if you have 48 hours in Singapore here’s how we suggest you spend your time.
Marina Bay District
First on the list for us is the amazing Marina Bay precinct. The entire area is wonderful to stroll around. Many of Singapore’s iconic landmarks are located here. This includes the Singapore Science and Art Museum and the Singapore Flyer. Also in this area is the Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, Singapore’s performing arts complex colloquially known as the Durian.
We love the walk along the Promenade area. This meandering walk brings you to the famous Merlion of Singapore, with it’s spouting water mouth. Merlion Park is a free, open space that visitors can get to all day and all year round. The Merlion overlooks the bay, in front of the Fullerton Hotel. Everyone’s favourite photo opportunity – it’s a selfie waiting to happen!
The Science and Art Museum is a fascinating place in this precinct and should be on your list to visit. If you love science and/or art, then you will truly get a kick out of some time spent here. They have a wide range of static exhibitions but they also offer a raft of visiting exhibitions as well. We recommend the all access pass if this is a place you think you’ll enjoy.
Open – 10am to 7pm
Costs – dependent on how many exhibitions you want to see. Child prices are for children aged 2 to 12 years. Seniors prices apply for the people aged 65 and over.
To see a single exhibition:
Child / Senior / Student S$12
To see two exhibitions:
Child / Senior / Student S$19
All access passes:
Child / Senior / Student: S$26
Marina Bay Sands
Visiting the Marina Bay area is not complete without including the fabulous Marina Bay Sands Hotel. Everyone has seen a photo of this incredible hotel with the boat on the top, and the amazing infinity pool. Well it’s also well worth a visit.
The observation deck has the most spectacular views of the city and bay that you could wish for. An Instagram ready vista if ever we have seen one! The entrance is located on the outside of tower 3 of the hotel complex. The deck is open –
- Monday to Thursday – 9.30am to 10pm
- Friday to Sunday – 9.30am to 11pm
Entry is free for hotel guests and children under two. Otherwise it’s $23 for adults, $17 for children aged 2 to 12 years, and $20 for visitors 65 years and older.
Singapore Botanic Gardens
No visit to Singapore is complete without a walk-through the UNESCO world heritage listed Botanic Gardens, weather permitting. Singpaore is a bustling, beautiful city with many architecturally incredible buildings. What is nice though, is the amount of green space you can find, and its everywhere!
From walking and cycling trails, to gardens and parks, Singaporeans love their outdoor spaces. Admission to the Singapore Botanic Gardens is free and it’s open from 5am to 12midnight every day of the year.
Make sure you check out the ginger garden, the tropical rainforest, and the orchid garden when you visit. You’ll find some orchids in there named after famous politicians if you look closely!
The National Orchid Garden is open from 8.30am to 7pm daily and costs $5 for adults and $1 for students and people aged 65 and over. Children below 12 years of age are free.
Don’t forget your umbrella though because rain storms can come on suddenly in Singapore.
Eating and Drinking at Dempsey Hill
Singapore has some amazing restaurants and bars, however you will find the city expensive when it comes to dining out. The price of alcohol is usually a huge shock for visitors, so if you like a tipple – be prepared to pay well for it!
One of our favourite areas to eat, drink and enjoy is Dempsey Hill. The former nutmeg plantation is now home to some of Singapore’s hippest and trendiest eateries, restaurants, and speciality food stores.
You’ll find a wide range of restaurants in Dempsey Hill, including ones specialising in Mexican, Steak, French, and Italian food. In this area you will also find high-class bars, cafés and other venues, including a church converted into a restaurant called The White Rabbit.
Our Favourite Places to Eat
Seriously, even in Greece we struggled to find food that topped this place! Effie and Dennis Tsakiris started the restaurant because they wanted to share hearty Greek meals and great wine with friends. Our hearts and our stomachs are ever grateful to them both!
Blu Kouzina: 10 #01-21 Dempsey road, Singapore 247700
Lunch: Fri – Sun 12pm – 2.30pm
Dinner : Mon – Sun 6pm – 10pm
First Seating from 6pm – 8pm
Second Seating from 8.15pm – 10pm
Last Order at 8pm (First Seating) & 10pm (Second Seating)
Tel: (65) 6875-0872
Awesome Watering Holes
If you love wine, and you’re happy to pay Singapore prices for it, then you should also spend some pre-dinner or post-dinner time (or both!) at The Wine Company. They have a great selection of wines to taste, drink, and buy to take home.
The Wine Company: Blk 14-D/E Dempsey Road
Mon-Thu – 3.00pm to 12.00am
Fri & Eve of PH – 3.00pm to 1.00am
Sat – 12.00pm to 1.00am
Sun & PH – 12.00pm to 11.00pm
Tel: 6479 9341
Another watering hole worth some time is the RedDot Brewhouse. The brew house is a speciality, micro-brewery not to be missed if you are a beer enthusiast. They offer a selection of classic craft beers for the everyday drinker and the connoisseur.
RedDot Brewhouse: Blk 25A #01-01 Dempsey Road
Mon – Thu & Sun – 12noon to 12.00midnight
Fri, Sat & Eve of PH – 12 noon to 2.00am
Sun brunches – 10am to 2.30pm
Tel: (65) 6475 0500
The Singapore River
We love the river, which runs right through the centre of Singapore. The river is the lifeblood of this city and you’ll find many wonderful areas with restaurants, bars and walking trails along the riverside.
Spending some time along the Singapore River is a complete must! From Clarke Quay, with its hustle and bustle of the many night clubs and bars there, through to Robertson Quay, with its more laid-back ambiance and lovely restaurants. Carve out an afternoon or an evening and spend some time on the river.
Whether you only have a short time, or are staying longer, in Singapore don’t miss the opportunity to take a river cruise on a bumboat. Adult tickets are $25 and children’s $15. The night time, laser show cruise is absolutely unforgettable!
It’s also a great way to orientate yourself and to see the city from the river, giving you another perspective on this amazing Asian icon.
Many would say that you can’t miss a visit to Sentosa Island when you go to Singapore. We would agree! It is a playground designed for all ages, with everything from theme parks to casinos on site.
Major attractions like Universal Studios, Adventure Cove Water Park, and the S.E.A. Aquarium attract people of all ages and shouldn’t be missed. Sentosa Island is a great place to spend some time, especially if you are a bit of an adrenaline junkie.
Sentosa also has some very high-class hotels and restaurants. Well worth a visit is the Shangri-La Rasa Sentosa Resort, which has fantastic views over the water and is in a very relaxed location, and features an amazing swim-up pool bar.
We highly recommend staying at the Shangri-La Resort, away from the centre of Singapore, but within easy reach of all of its attractions.
Other Places to Stay
If you’re not liking the idea of staying on Sentosa Island, there are numerous great hotels in Singapore, so you are spoilt for choice. Check out our reviews of the Goodwood Park Hotel, the Swissotel the Stamford, and the Hotel Jen Tanglin, for our recommendations.
However you choose to spend you time in Singapore, we are certain you will enjoy yourself. Make sure you try some of the great local cuisine at a Hawker Centre whilst you’re there as well! No trip to Singapore is complete without a Hawker Centre visit!
Are you ready to start planning your Singapore adventure?