Hello my loves,
If you follow me on Instagram you will know I have not long come home from some time running around Singapore both with friends and on my own (I actually really love a bit of solo travel). This was my fourth trip to the pretty city and while it was under very different conditions to previous trips (a touch less luxe) I loved it just as much and in some ways more. Singapore is known to be a very expensive business city with great shopping, but it really is soo much more than that. So I thought I would share with you some of my favourite things to do, eat and see.
Having been to Singapore on three previous occasions, I had already ticked off the major tourist attractions; The Night Zoo, The Bird Park, River Cruise, The Merlion, the Light Show at Gardens by the Bay, eating Chilli Crabs on Long Beach, shopping on Orchard Road, jogging in Fort Canning Park and staying at Marina Bay Sands – which yes, I do count as a tourist attraction, that pool is an activity of its own! If you have the time, minus the bird park and the River Cruise, I’d say to do all or any of those activities. The Night Zoo basically being a must. This trip though I was able to just potter about at my own pace which was an absolute delight.
Being so central for international trade and having so many different cultures all packed into one tiny piece of land, Singapore is actually a walking travellers delight – once you get past the sticky heat and the 4pm daily downpour, there are all these gorgeous little pockets to see and wander through and many of them almost interconnect.
We spent one afternoon wandering though Little India trying to navigate our way through it dodging puddles in the rain getting very distracted by the vast amount of intricately detailed Gold jewellery stores and eventually deciding that Little India is more of a dry day destination. So off we went walking through the side and back streets (which are so safe – not once have I felt unsafe in Singapore) past a traditional Indian Wedding ceremony and briefly pausing at Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple to peak inside the most colorful temple I’d ever seen, filled with the intense aroma of incense, across a river and around a corner until we popped out onto Arab Street (no I am not being crass, look it up, it is called Arab Street) which begins what I can only describe as Little Arabia, now this is a cool spot!
It is a small block of narrow streets and laneways lined with all sorts of Arabic delights, from fabric stores filled with the most beautiful silks, gems, glass hanging lanterns, perfume stores with things I have never smelled before, it was a sensory overload of the best kind.
These streets all surround The Masjid Sultan (or Sultan Mosque) on Muscat Street which sits at the top of Bussorah Street which is lined with restaurants, street vendors and bakeries which smell so yummy, and taste even Yummier! Each with their own very charismatic and attractive Middle Eastern gentleman trying to lure you in to eat at their restaurant, this was not an unpleasant part of the evening.
The Mosque itself looks like something (and I mean this with utter respect) fresh out of Aladdin, it is beautiful and I just wanted to stare at it for ages, and did so the whole way through dinner in fact.
A walking travellers delight, Singapore has so many beautiful Gardens to see, you could easily spend your whole trip visiting them all. Jacinta and I decided to venture a little way out to the Chinese Gardens, which I had seen images of on the @visit_singapore Instagram page. It is about a thirty minute drive to get there which is probably why we hadn’t been on previous trips, but wow, was it worth the drive! Firstly it is free, so that was a pleasant surprise, it is also huge, the gardens have gardens within the gardens and each is magical in its own way, the whole place is so tranquil and filled with wildlife like water dragons, turtles and squirrels. If I go again, 100% I will be taking a picnic blanket and lunch provisions and happily spending a whole day there.
Continuing on the Garden Party theme, another afternoon was spent happily meandering through the Gardens By The Bay, which I had briefly visited on a previous trip to see the light show at night but this was different, it was steamy and hot in the sun, but so nice to just wander through finding shady walkways under all the different trees.
I can’t lie, I was mildly heartbroken to discover The Cloud Dome was closed for maintenance as I have really been dying to see that, but when we went into The Flower Dome and discovered there was a special Cherry Blossom Festival display, I accepted that you can’t always have it all and actually this was pretty darn beautiful, and special as it was a seasonal display ending the next day.
Something I absolutely love to do while traveling is look around at a city’s architecture. Singapore is home to some pretty spectacular and world renowned modern architecture. However, it is their older Colonial style buildings that I love the most.
Hill Street is home to two of my absolute favourites. The Old Hill Street Police Station (now known as the MICA building) and The Central Fire Station, which we discovered, whilst it is now a gallery/museum it is also still very much an operational fire/emergency station.
I ended my trip with some much needed rest time spent drinking fresh coconuts in my favorite pool at Marina Bay Sands. It is a slice of paradise in the sky, and while staying there is not cheap, I think if you are wanting to unwind and have some time poolside, it is well worth the room cost.
Quick Guide To Singapore:
- Anywhere on Bussorah Street for Middle Eastern
- At the Satay Markets in Lau Pa Sat
- Dumplings in the food courts underneath ION on Orchard Road
- Chilli Crabs on Long Beach
- Pizzeria Mozza at Marina Bay Sands
- Morton’s at the Mandarin Oriental for Steak – Only if you are really hungry!
- TWG – for Tea and Macarons
- Ding Dong – Very funky Japanese menu and quirky atmosphere
- Oso – Well executed Italian
- Ce La Vie – The top of Marina Bay Sands, ask for a table outside.
- The Tippling Club – Honestly an unforgettable gastronomic experience!
- Waku Ghin – The most beautifully intimate Teppanyaki you will find
- The Bars on Haji Lane
- Cocktails at Ce La Vie – Outdoor Rooftop bar at the top of Marina Bay Sands
- The Auld Alliance – a very old school whisky & cigar bar
- Atlas Bar – A totally worth looking at Gin Bar
- Envie De Pois and Pois Boutique for cocktail dresses and race-wear in the ION building on Orchard Road
- Orchard Road
- The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands
- Louis Vuitton at Marina Bay Sands, even if just to see the building
- On Pedder for Shoes and Accessories in the Takashimaya building on Orchard Road
- Comfy shoes and sandals you can walk all day in, the ones I’m wearing are by Castañer available on Net-A-Porter and are phenomenally comfortable
- Pretty dresses you can wear from Day to Night
- Chic Swimsuits for poolside lounging, mine are both from Monday Swimwear my absolute favourite brand for swimwear that supports my curves
BE A TOURIST
- The Night Zoo Safari – if your budget allows for it, take the private tour option!
- Sit on the ground and watch the light show at Gardens By The Bay at night – Free
- Stay at Marina Bay Sands – even if its just for a night, that pool is so lush.
- Eat Chilli Crabs on Long Beach and don’t wear clothes you are feeling precious about!
- Wander around Clarke Quay in the evening
- Eat street food at the Satay Markets
- Universal Studios – I found this so much less chaotic than the US one.
- Go for a walk or a jog through Fort Canning Park or The Botanical Gardens
- Have a look at the epic shopping on Orchard Road – be careful though, shopping in Singapore is not cheaper by any stretch!
INSTAGRAM WORTHY SINGAPORE
- The Chinese Gardens
- ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands
- Gardens By The Bay & The Cloud Dome
- Old Hill Street Police Station
- Central Fire Station
- Masjid Sultan
- Haji Lane
- The Pool at Marina Bay Sands
- Keong Saik Road
- Koon Seng Road
I adore travelling above all activities. I hope you found this to be a helpful guide. Please comment below if you found this useful or if you have any other spots or tips for Singapore travel.
Much love and safe travels