I spent a weekend in Singapore while I was traveling in Malaysia for work and I have to say I LOVED IT! Singapore is beautiful, full of history, has amazing food, and is one of the most organized, clean cities I’ve ever been to.
Where to Stay: I stayed at the JW Marriott Singapore South Beach, for that taste of luxury for less than the Marina Bay Sands, and absolutely loved it. Everyone says MBS is worth it but I just couldn’t justify the price. I would say anywhere that is walking distance to the MBS area is a good choice!
Itinerary: While a weekend was enough time to get a good taste of Singapore, I will say it was packed! I was lucky enough to have a friend from college who lived there to make recommendations and take us around, and that was a great luxury. Here is how we spent our two days!
Day 1 Morning: Get the touristy items out of the way! Start at your hotel and walk down the Gardens by the Bay. Stroll across the Helix Bridge and then head down into the Gardens. Be warned – if you take a wrong turn it is hard to turn back around so double check your walking directions! Also start early to avoid the obscene humidity.
In the Gardens, I found it worth it to do both the Flower Gardens and the Cloud Gardens, but if you had to choose one do the Cloud Gardens. Both are incredible indoor greenhouses that contain a huge variety of flora from around the world. Make sure to time your visit in the cloud forest with the misting! Then head through the park to the huge, famous Supertree Grove as you head back the the MBS hotel. You’ll be able to capture these iconic views from many angles on this journey.
Once you reach MBS, head up to the roof! Make sure you go up to the rooftop bar, the entrance is inside the hotel near door 3. They will charge you ~20 Singapore Dollars to go up, and return that to you in credit for the bar, so you get your money’s worth. We naturally had to order Singapore Slings as we were being tourists, and the view is worth drinking in for quite a while. You can also see the infinity pool from up here, although you have to be a guest to swim there.
Then walk through the Casino Mall across the street and see the ArtScience Museum. We visited the TeamLab exhibit here, which was slightly geared towards children but still awesome. Then check out Louis Vuitton’s man made island, and make your way around to the the famous MerSea Lion!
Day 1 Lunch: You’ve officially accomplished the major tourist attractions! Head to a hawker market for some well earned lunch. We headed to VivoCity Mall, which has a hawker market on the top floor, to avoid the heat and lines of the other more popular places. It was amazing and I cannot imagine that the food anywhere else was THAT much better. You have to try Hainanese Chicken Rice, as well as any of the noodle dishes. Each stand makes only 1-2 dishes that they have perfected, so make sure to try food from a few!
Day 1 Afternoon: In the afternoon, take it easy! Stroll around the city, head over to Sentosa Island (missed this one on this trip unfortunately) or do some shopping!
Day 1 Evening: Head over to Clarke Quay for your evening activities! The area is known for nightlife and includes a lot of great clubs and bars! Before you head out though, grab dinner at Jumbo Seafood and get yourself a Singapore Chili Crab. It will be the highlight of your trip. Be prepared to get your hands dirty and dig in! If you want something a little more low key than a club, head over near Chinatown and stop by Potato Head Bar (same as the Bali company) for some rooftop views and yummy drinks!
Day 2 Morning: Start slow! Get some breakfast in your hotel, then head to Haji Lane to see some cute and trendy shops and cool wall art! Afterwards, check out a gallery or museum. We chose the Singapore National Gallery which had a lot of beautiful pieces and we got to learn a little bit more of the the art history of the region.
Day 2 Lunch: We ate lunch at Blue Ginger again on my friend who lives there’s recommendation. This place was delicious, and I was so glad he was there to order things I would have never picked off the menu. Speak with the waiter and try some different things. This restaurant is a great representation of the blend of cultures between Malay and Chinese in Singapore, and is another representation of my favorite reason to travel – learning about food from around the world!
Day 2 Afternoon: Spend the afternoon exploring Chinatown! You can see all of the beautiful shop houses walking around and there are tons of cool souvenirs and trinkets to pick up. Be warned it will be very crowded but that’s part of the experience! Then head back to your hotel and enjoy the views before heading to the airport. Be sure to leave yourself some extra time at Changi which is consistently voted one of the world’s best airports!
I guarantee you’ll be itching to come back to this lovely place as much as I am! As with any travel, be sure to familiarize yourself with the laws before going, because in Singapore they are especially strict.
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