The Best Insider Tips For Singapore | Short Getaway
Asia is full of hotspots and Singapore is definitely one of them. Yes, Singapore is known its shops and restaurants, but the green city much more to offer. And guess what, it’s a surprisingly nice destination for families. It’s full of parks, great facilities for kids and easy to get around. We’ve made you an itinerary full of tips from locals. Go check it out!
Best things to do in Singapore
Depending on how much time you have, take your pick: a stroll in the fabulous botanical gardens, explore the city center or go to the beach at Sentosa, which is just 20 min away from the city center.
But you can also start with a proper view of the city and take the boat cruise near the Fullerton hotel. This small tour will show you several highlights, like the Singapore Merlion and Clarke Quay and you won’t be disappointed.
Shopping in Singapore: malls and boutique
Indeed, there’s no shortage of stores in this town. In the Central Business District, you can find Orchard Road, where most of the shops and malls are. Malls like Paragon and the ION, carry all the high-end brands and more. Wisma Atria Mall and Tanglin Mall host some good kids brands like the Aussie brands Seed and Cotton On.
For boutique shopping, we recommend Haji Lane or Cluny Court near the Botanical Garden. Stop by Tiong Bahru, the hip and happening hood in Singapore, with some nice bakeries like Tiong Bahru Bakery and several interior design shops. Also check out the streets around Eng Hoon Street.
Explore Singapore’s coolest areas
Other great neighborhoods in the Lion City are Chinatown, Little India, and Tiong Bahru. In Chinatown, we love the Chinatown Heritage Museum, which tells about the early days of Singapore. Not too large, vividly told and entertaining for the little ones as well.
If you want to know more about Singapore’s urban planning vision and have some interest in city planning, check out the Singapore City Planning museum, near Chinatown. Here you can see what Singapore was like, what it is now and what it will be – all built on scale. Really interesting and the kids will love it too.
Going with the clan: great kids activities in Singapore
Our favorite pick for the kids is the Singapore Zoo, an epic zoo where a group of orangutans climb the trees above your head. Make sure you go early when it’s still quiet and the animals are active. And don’t forget to bring some swimwear for the little ones- there is an awesome little play park with water sprinklers all over. Water galore!
We also love the aquarium at Sentosa. Make sure you go to the right (new) one, for some reason there are two. Don’t go too late, unless you like queuing.
Eat like a king: great places to eat in Singapore
For many Singaporeans, food is the focus of the day and because of that, there’s a ton of choice for every budget! You can eat like a king in a local food stall for 3 dollars; try the ones at Newton or Maxwell Food Center. Like in the rest of Singapore, everything is clean and well organized, so no need to avoid local street food here.
A local favorite are the the mouth-watering dumplings of the Din Tai Fun, very popular with adults as well as kids. At Dempsey Hill, you can find our personal lunch hang out; PS Café. Their display of cakes makes us happy any day. More hip and happening waterholes and restaurants can be found at Duxton Hill, Telok Ayer Street and Keong Saik Road. Note that you need to make reservations and dress up.
The coolest Singapore drinks and rooftops
Want to go out? Club street is the place for Friday night drinks; go up the stairs to visit the rooftop of the Screening Room and you can sip your Negroni while taking in a beautiful view of the city. But the ultimate cocktail should be ordered at the top of the Marina Bay Sands hotel– the iconic hotel in the city center. Make sure you are dressed properly (definitely no flip flops); like most restaurants and high-end bars, there is a dress code.
Yep, we can do sleepless here
Sleepless in Singapore: where to stay
We love Singapore, but its prices not so much! Unfortunately, the hotels are no exception, but there are some better-priced ones outside of the Central Business District.
The much appraised Park Royal at Pickering street is a fantastic eco-friendly hotel, built only a few years ago. We love their green roofs and their breakfast. At Sentosa, there is the great W hotel. The hotel at the Hollandse (Dutch) Club offers some nice rooms for equally nice rates and there is enough space for the kids to run around. And no, you don’t have to be Dutch.
How to get to Singapore
Getting there is the easy part. There are several direct flights to Singapore. From there you can take the train into town, but we recommend taking a Grab or taxi. In Singapore itself, you can travel by car, but we often take the MRT (Metro), which is much cheaper and will bring you almost everywhere. Hop on, hop off.
When to go to Singapore
The good news is, you can go to Singapore all year round. In the rainy season (normally from September to February) there can be heavy showers, but they usually don’t last long. It will give you the perfect excuse to find shelter in that great lunch or shopping spot!