Singapore is one of the most remarkable cities/countries on the planet. It’s proximity to the equator also makes it one of the most humid cities on the planet. They say they easiest job in the world is being the Singaporean weather girl, “So today it will be hot and humid and then it will rain briefly.” Back in 2015 when we were living in Bali, we had a chance to stop over in Singapore on a visa run and were able to spend 2 days exploring the city with our friends who were teaching English there at the time. You see, in Indonesia, you can pretty much circumvent any real visa requirements if you leave the country and come back every 30 days. You can actually just fly to Singapore (usually the cheapest option), get off the plane, and get right back on another plane bound for Indonesia. We chose to spend a couple days exploring Singapore with our local friends, and were able to put together a simple Singapore guide. This spring we returned to Singapore after 4 years, but this time we were able to spend 2 weeks living out of a hotel. This gave us the chance to really see the myriad things to do in Singapore, discover our favorite restaurants, and put together a new blog for you guys!
In the 4 years since we visited Singapore for the first time, 1 thing didn’t change: Singapore is expensive as shit. The Singaporean dollar is only about 75 US cents, but the prices you’ll see will probably still blow your mind unless you’re from LA, NYC, or SF.
FYI, a lot of restaurants and shops are in B1-2 under buildings. Like fancy food courts. Singapore has over 5 million residents and tons of tourists, but you don’t realize that until you go underground. You walk around the streets and think, “Where the hell is everyone?” Well, they’re escaping the humidity underground!
We are HAPPY campers any time we find a Venchi gelateria. Being one of our favorite gelaterie in the world, it’s awesome that they have scaled and expanded their global business. You can find Venchi in the Marina Bay Sands near the food court.
Most things in Singapore is man made, but the country of Singapore is actually quite lush when it comes to trees. Gardens by the Bay is a 100+ hectare (247+ acres) nature park with a number of things for families, couples, and solo travelers to enjoy. The park’s attractions include:
Gardens by the Bay is constantly innovating and rolling out new exhibits. Currently the new exhibits include Floral Fantasy and Serene Garden
If you’ve seen Crazy Rich Asians, you’ve seen Marina Bay Sands. The most expensive hotel project in the world boasts a hotel, casino, several restaurants, and much more. You can take the elevator to the top to dine at one of the restaurants that overlook the city, but keep in mind you’ll have to pay to use the elevators. They will, of course, give you a credit toward your food or drinks. This is simply to mitigate tourists with selfie sticks loading into the elevators to take a photo on top of Marina Bay Sands.
At night, there is also an awesome music and light show display in front of the Marina Bay Sands. The best view is from all the way across the bay to the north, but you can see the show from a number of spots around the perimeter of the bay. You’ll know when it starts because you’ll hear loud heavy rock music.
If you’re not keen on walking around the Bay and you want to see CBD, Marina Bay, and the outskirts of Singapore from the water, then the ferry ride is perfect. It’s cheap, and is a great way to get around the center of Singapore.
Little India, Arab Quarter, Haji Lane, and China Town, are all great escapes from the wonderfully sterile and seemingly culture neutral central business district (CBD). Spend some time in Little India on a Saturday or Sunday night and you’ll forget you’re in Singapore. The rich culture in these little ethnic quarters is one of our favorite parts of Singapore.
Fortunately for us, we have an roof-top infinity pools at both places we have stayed at in Singapore. When it’s humid, being in a pool is about the best option in our book.
The Botanic Gardens of Singapore are the only tropical garden to be honored as a UNESCO World Heritage site. As with most things in Singapore, they are man-made, but they are still worth walking through if you don’t have something else planned for the day.
If I’m being honest, Alex dragged me here and we both ended up being underwhelmed. It’s a man-made garden. It’s cool, but we would both rather immerse ourselves in nature sans gift shops, walking paths, and a hoard of selfie sticks.
Comment below with any other suggestions you have for things to do in Singapore!