UPDATED: February, 2020
Singapore is, without a doubt, the most developed and urbanized country in Asia, if not in the entire world! I am sure you will feel that way, too, when you discover this unique country-city. In this article I have created a round-up of the best things to do in Singapore!
UPDATE: I came back to Singapore a second time in order to discover more of this amazing city!
In case you want to travel to Singapore, continue reading in order to find out more about the best spots to visit while in Singapore as well as how to save significant sums of money on sightseeing and restaurants during your vacation!
In this article you will find out about what to do and where to go in Singapore, as well as tips and tricks for getting around in the city and for saving money on tickets to Singapore attractions, where to stay, as well as where to eat!
Here are my TOP 15 things to do in Singapore:
- 1. SuperTree Grove Light Show
- 2. Spectra Light and Water Show
- 3. The Cloud Forest
- 4. Singapore Botanic gardens
- 5. Singapore Zoo
- 6. Haw Par Villa
- 7. Try some street food
- 8. Sip a Singapore Sling on a rooftop bar
- 9. Have fun in Universal Studios
- 10. Visit Sentosa Island
- 11. Buy Cheap Electronics
- 12. Check out the city view from Singapore Flyer
- 13. Walk around (and eat!) in Chinatown
- 14. OCBC Skyway
- 15. Go shopping
- Bonus things to do in Singapore
- Singapore Public Transport
- Where to stay in Singapore
1. SuperTree Grove Light Show
The SuperTree Grove Light Show is simply mesmerizing and when I visited it, I felt like I stepped in some kind of fairy tale! This definitely should be one anyone’s top 10 things to do in Singapore!
The Garden Rhapsody is a show held in Gardens by the Bay every evening. The futuristic-looking Marina Bay SuperTrees or “mushrooms” are lighted up in fabulous ways on the rhythm of the music. Every detail is perfectly tuned to create an atmosphere that will give you a fantastic feeling of wonder and stimulate your mind!
Even if it is your second, third or tenth trip to Singapore, I definitely recommend you come back to see the Gardens by the Bay Light Show as they change the program pretty often and I truly believe this is one of those places to see in Singapore at least once in your lifetime! The first time I went there, the theme was built around popular European music. When I came back 2 years later, the show was completely different and they played Chinese songs. But the atmosphere was just as spectacular!
I think everyone should see the SuperTree Grove light show and the Marina Bay Gardens, as they really went beyond my expectations and imagination and they are among the top things to do in Singapore! It is one of my dreams to take my parents there now!
TIP: The show runs twice a day: at 7:45 PM and 8:45 PM and it is around 15 minutes long. Make sure to come a bit in advance, so you can have the coolest spot with the best view! Please check this link for the updated schedule, sometimes they change the show times.
HOW TO GO TO GARDENS BY THE BAY: Take the MRT and get off at Bayfront station.
By the way, all the outdoor shows are free in Singapore, which makes them perfect to add to your list of things to do in Singapore on a budget, like, for example, this next one:
2. Spectra Light and Water Show
In case you are wondering what to do in Singapore for free, Spectra Light and Water Show should definitely be a must-do on your list!
The Marina Bay Sands Light Show is an amazing choreography of singing fountains and projections shown on their splashes, so this is one of those great things to do in Singapore at night! You will see that there are bubbles everywhere and you will be happy to know that this holiday atmosphere goes on every day, so make sure not to miss this attraction while in Singapore! This is also a great activity to add to your Singapore budget trip itinerary, as it is completely free to see it!
Sunday to Thursday: 8:00 PM and 9:00 PM
Friday & Saturday: 8:00 PM, 9:00 PM and 10:00 PM
NOTE: The show is 15 minutes long. The times of the show might change, please double check here before going.
The best location to see the Marina Bay Sands show is on the left side when you are facing the Louis Vuitton store. Here is another way to explain it: just go outside from the main exit of the Marina Bay Sands shopping mall and you will find yourself right in the center of the show!
PRO TIP: Did you already notice the timing of the shows? You can easily plan to see both shows (the SuperTree Grove and the Spectra light show) in 1 day if you want to. It only takes about 12-15 minutes by foot to get from Spectra to the Super Tree Grove. Just follow the signs!
3. The Cloud Forest
Ever wondered what a concrete jungle looks like? I mean a real jungle literally built on concrete!
The Singaporeans have created a whole new concept called The Cloud Forest that includes planted walls and artificial waterfalls and it is something absolutely surreal!
Even if you only have one day in Singapore, I think it is worth it to visit the Cloud Forest! While you are there, you can learn about rare plants, take some great pictures, enjoy a magnificent view of the Marina Bay Sands and just walk around this mysterious world built by man. The Cloud Forest also features a 35-meter high hill (in the picture above) covered in lush vegetation, which is also the world’s tallest indoor waterfall! How cool is that?
You can check the Could Forest Singapore ticket prices here or in this picture:
There is another well-known attraction there, called the Gardens by the Bay Flower Dome, about which I’ll talk in the bonus sections..
PRO TIP: Make sure to save at least 1.5 hours for this attraction and also bring a jacket, as it is quite chilly and moist inside the conservation area.
4. Singapore Botanic gardens
I really love parks and botanical gardens and I think I have gone to one in almost every country I visited!
The Botanical Garden in Singapore is such a beautiful park! You can wander on its alleys and get lost between the trees and the entire area full of endless variety of plants. There are 314 species of plants, 3 lakes, and 47 heritage trees housed in the Garden and I recommend you take your time to explore as much as you can!
The Botanic Gardens feel modern, fresh and ordered. Then, out of nowhere, you can just wake up with a huge Asian water monitor lizard in front of you!
The entrance to the Botanic Gardens is free of charge and you should totally add it to your to-do list if you are spending, let’s say, 5 days in Singapore!
PRO TIP: There are free tours of the Botanic Gardens held every Saturday. Join one if you can and you will learn a lot of interesting information!
I also recommend you visit the National Orchid Garden Singapore for $5. Unless you are some kind of orchid expert, you will discover a gazillion new types of orchids (600 species!) which offer a sweet combination of visual beauty and matching fragrance!
I definitely recommend you visit the National Orchid Garden for the various types of orchids that are showcased and the great photo opportunities there! We took hundreds of beautiful pictures and I would definitely go back there one day!
The National Orchid Garden is inside the Botanic Gardens, but you have to use the Tyersall Gallop Entrance.
HOW TO GET THERE: Take the MRT and get of at the Botanic Gardens station.
5. Singapore Zoo
Singapore Zoo is actually one of the top attractions in this country-city and one of the best zoos in the entire world!
28 hectares of animals living in their natural-like habitat! Can you imagine it?
During your visit to the Singapore Zoo, you will see otters, pygmy hippos, giant crocodiles, lions, zebras, rhinoceros, orangutans, and many, many other animals!
The Zoo is a big complex with 4 options that you can choose from:
- Singapore Zoo – the place where you will see more than 2.800 animals representing over 300 species of mammals, birds, and reptiles.
- Jurong Birds Park – it hosts 5,000 birds from 400 species and it is actually one of the largest free-flying aviaries in the world!
- Night Safari – here you can see over 1.000 animals in their natural nighttime habitat.
- River Safari – one of the world’s largest collections of freshwater fauna, housing more than 6.000 animals including 40 threatened species.
Of course, you can visit all of them if you have time, or you can choose the ones that look most interesting to you. I went for a classic option (just the Zoo), but I’ve heard the Night Safari is also pretty cool!
The Night Safari is open from 7:15 PM until 11 pm (last entry at 10.15 pm) and you can experience a jungle at night, where you will be able to see around 120 species of nocturnal animals.
PRO TIP: If you have time to visit it, I recommend you take the electric tram that will take you through the Night Safari, also offering you a guided experience.
I guarantee you won’t get bored during your visit to the Zoo! I totally recommend going there if you are traveling with kids, or if you have more than 3 days in Singapore.
PRO TIP: If you really want to, you can take the electric tram that will take you through the Zoo or the Night Safari and will also offer a guided tour, but my honest opinion is that, unless you traveling are with kids, there is no point in taking it. The line for the electric tram is always long and the distances are not that far.
Jurong Bird Park is another great place where you should go because it’s the biggest bird park on the entire continent of Asia! This place hosts around 400 species of birds (almost 1/5 of them being endangered) living in their natural habitats! For example, you can go to the Flamingo Lake to see colorful, adorable flamingoes and to the Waterfall Aviary in order to admire the coolest, tallest artificial waterfall!
If you would like to save some money on tickets, try to buy them at least a week in advance. There are also some MyFave or Klook promotions available from time to time, so it is worth it to check before buying your ticket!
NOTE: If you have tried searching and no promos for Singapore Zoo are currently available, you can check this tab for MyFave or this one for Klook and it will give you a list of today’s promos on tours in the city. Who knows, maybe you might be interested in one of them?
HOW TO GET THERE: Getting to the Zoo by public transport is not exactly straight forward, so I decided to make a little guide for you.
Even though there is no MRT station within walking distance from the Singapore Zoo, it is quite easy to get there.
I went from “Choa Chu Kang” MRT by bus number 927, which was free. You can also get down at Ang Mo Kio MRT and then take bus #138. See the picture above for more options to get there from different MRTs.
6. Haw Par Villa
Are you searching for something special and ready to see some strange things? Haw Par villa is one of the most unique things to see in Singapore!
Haw Par Tiger Balm is one of those unique places that you will not see in a typical tourist picture of Singapore! This is one of the world’s weirdest theme parks depicting scenes from Chinese folklore with the use of over 1.000 statues. Some of the statues you will see there are: an old woman being breastfed, demons pitchforking loan sharks in hell and many other strange things that you definitely won’t forget!
One of the highlights of Haw Par Villa is the “10 Courts of Hell”, where the various punishments from hell are depicted.
This is a truly fascinating place to visit during your stay in Singapore! I am sure you will not regret including it in your itinerary, as it is unforgettable, easy to access and it even has a free entrance. So why not check it out?
I would set aside about 2 hours for the visit if you want to read some information about those mysterious statues, too.
PRO TIP: There is no Haw Par Villa entrance fee, it is free of charge to visit! I recommend you try to go in the morning because later in the day it gets really hot. I went at about 2 PM and I was dying from the heat, as there was no shade at all!
HOW TO GET THERE: Get the MRT station and get off at “Haw Par Villa” station. Address: 262 Pasir Panjang Road, Singapore 118628
7. Try some street food
The street food scene is absolutely a-m-a-z-i-n-g in Singapore! You will thank me later for this tip!
You have probably heard that Singapore is not the cheapest city in the world. While this is definitely true, the food can be surprisingly cheap! It is still a mistery for me how a dish can cost $2-3 when a kilo of tomatoes in the supermarket costs the same!
Are you wondering where to go in Singapore for the best food? I recommend just walking around Chinatown district and trying out everything that looks interesting, as this is the perfect spot to taste the most delicious and authentic Singapore street food! The variety of choices is endless and I promise you that the local cuisine is mouthwatering!
If you do not want to go by yourself and wish to get the guidance of a specialist that will walk you through Chinatown and will show you the best dishes and the best places in Singapore, I advise you take this 3,5 hours Food Adventure. You will never forget the feast on typical goodies such as rice cakes, poh piah, chicken rice, and more!
But what if you would also like to check out the restaurant scene for some really good food in Singapore?
Let me tell you how to save a great deal on fine dining in Singapore:
There is an application called The Entertainer.
The app will give you access to endless restaurants promotions. I would not even have known about it if my Russian friend, who worked as a server in Singapore, didn’t tell me that EVERYONE uses it in Singapore.
A typical promo on The Entertainer would be: buy a dinner course, the second one is free. This application is so popular right now, you will hardly see any local eating out without a coupon from this app!
In order to access the promos, you have to buy the access for 265 SGD (but right now they have a special offer of buying it with only 95 SGD!) first and then enjoy the unlimited offers for 1 year. It is a pretty good deal if you are staying in Singapore for, let’s say, more than 5 days and you are planning to dine in restaurants a lot.
8. Sip a Singapore Sling on a rooftop bar
If you are in Singapore even just for just a day, you just have to climb up one of its futuristic-looking skyscrapers and enjoy the city’s skyline!
Going up to a rooftop bar is definitely one of the places to visit in Singapore in a 3-days long vacation, for example! I have a couple of great places that you can choose from:
CE LA VI Rooftop Bar
PRO TIP: The price for the observation deck above Marina Bay Sands is 26 SGD$, so my suggestion is to go to CE LA VI Sky Bar Singapore (which is a bit more elevated) and spend that money for a drink. How about that?
The bar is on the same floor, just past the observation deck entrance (which is usually where 2 or 3 stewards are waiting to check the tickets).
You can enjoy the view with a drink in your hand for more or less the same money. Just make sure not to wear flip-flops and shorts, and you will get in without any problems!
One Altitude Rooftop Bar
The other rooftop bar that I highly recommend is One Altitude. No wonder why – it is located on one of the tallest buildings in the country!
I liked One Altitude even more than CE LA VI and I consider it to be one of the best rooftop bars in Singapore because it has a view TO Marina Bay Sands (and not on top of it) and it is also more spacious, with a 360 degree view!
The entrance is 40 SGD$ if you arrive before 9 PM, or 50 SGD$ if you arrive later. 2 drinks are also included.
NOTE: As the place is quite fancy, the dress code is the same – smart casual. No flip-flops and no sleeveless tops for men.
TIP 1: Remember that the night city skyline from the rooftop perfectly matches with a Singapore Sling cocktail! 🙂
TIP 2: If you are a fan of pub crawling or have never tried it before, Singapore is one of the best places to do it! You can take a 4-Hour Pub Crawl and enjoy free shots in the best bars and clubs in the city, while also making new friends with the other tourists!
TIP 3: If you want to properly admire the Singapore skyline in an awesome way, I recommend you take a 40 minute Boat Cruise that includes great information about the history of the city and the way it has evolved with time!
9. Have fun in Universal Studios
Another great attraction of Singapore – Universal Studios amusement park – is also located there! And you know what? This amusement park is one of the top tourist attractions in Singapore, as it is sooo amazing!
Universal Studios Singapore on Sentosa Island is the perfect idea for things to do in Singapore with kids, as it will provide endless fun for the entire family! This is one of the most popular activities in Singapore and some of the attractions waiting you there include the world’s tallest dueling rollercoaster, cute shows for smaller kids and more!
FULL PRICE: 70.00 SGD$ (see a time-saving tip below)
PRO TIP: I recommend you check the offers for the tickets you want to buy on Klook as well! They run very good promotions often and sometimes their prices are even lower than the tickets from the officia website!
Buying tickets to Universal Studio Singapore
First of all, you should be warned that the lines are quite long! The photo above is taken a few minutes before the opening and, as you can see, the lines are already super long!
So, my suggestion would be to buy an early bird ticket, which is just a bit more expensive than the normal one. This will grant you access in the park through the fast line and once you’re in, you can decide for yourself if you also need a fast pass or not!
- Normal entrance Official website – 70 SGD
- Klook Early Bird Access (30 minutes before park the opens, no lines!) – 79.80 SGD
When you select your ticket on Klook, make sure you check the box for “1 Day Ticket (30-minute Early Entry)”, this will grant you the Early Bird access!
Fast Pass tickets for Universal Singapore
Fast Pass Access – 70 SGD (instead of 90 SGD if you buy it inside the park!)
The fast pass will grant you access in a special waiting line for each of the attractions. Usually you’ll get there by waiting around 5 minutes, but sometimes the lines get longer here too, so then you’ll wait around 20 minutes.
The good thing about this is that you can decide whether you get the fast pass or not on the spot! Take a look at the lines when you get there – next to them you’ll see a sign with the estimated time spent in each line – and if that’s too long, then you can opt for the fast pass! You also don’t need to buy the 90 SGD one from the entrance, you can just go online on Klook and buy the 70 SGD one!
Keep in mind there are two options for the tickets: “Universal Express” – which grants you one access per attraction and “Universal Express Unlimited”, which grants you unlimited access to each attraction! If you choose the first option, once you go on a ride, they will cross it out with a pen on the back on your ticket. I chose the first one and it was completely fine!
PRO TIP: If you get in the park right when it opens you can go to some rides almost with no line (aim for the most popular ones, like Transformers) and then use your pass if you decided on getting it to get there again! 😉
PRO TIP 2: Wear something that dries easily! There are some rides that include water and you won’t want to spend the rest of the day wet or have to give up some really fun rides because of that!
10. Visit Sentosa Island
Are you tired of sightseeing and just want to relax on a beach? Sentosa Island Resort is the perfect place for this and one of Singapore’s main attractions!
Sentosa is a super popular resort (and Universal Studios from my recommendation above is also located there by the way!), but please do not expect a Bounty-commercial-type-of-beach from it. To be honest, Sentosa is far from the beauty of the Malaysian island of Langkawi for example. Otherwise, it is very alive and easy to access.
Except for the Universal Studios, there are plenty of other things to do, like the S.E.A. Aquarium!
9.1 The S.E.A Aquarium
Sentosa Island Singapore is the place where you will find the S.E.A Aquarium, a huge fashion mall, where you will be able to play golf or go up the Tiger Sky Tower!
The S.E.A Aquarium hosts more than 100,000 fish and sea creatures and it is a very popular attraction on Sentosa Island! There you will get to see sharks, “Nemo” fish, eels, a gorgeous reef, lionfish, hammerhead sharks and much, much, more!
HOW TO GET THERE: There are 3 ways to get to Sentosa:
- By foot. (free!) From the Harbor Front there are travelators that will help you go faster, so it will take you only about 20 minutes to get to the island by foot. If you use this choice, you can go back to the Harbor Front free of charge by train! 🙂
- By train. From 7 AM until midnight. Price – 4 SGD$. If you are tired and don’t feel like walking, you can use the train that goes parallel with the travelator.
- By cable car. From 9 AM to 10 PM. The price on the official website is 35 SGD$ for a two-way ride. It is a good idea to check on Klook as well, as they currently have an offer for 24.5 SGD$ for the roundtrip ticket, which is a very good save!
- By taxi. This is only a pretty good option if you want to get there as fast as possible. For us a ride from the city center to the studio was around US $15.
11. Buy Cheap Electronics
If you were planning to buy a new smartphone or, let’s say, a new camera, there is no better place to do it than Singapore!
Going shopping is really one of those fun activities in Singapore and a good thing to do on a day with bad weather! I think Sim Lim Shopping Center would be the best choice for your Singapore travel, as it is in the city center and it has 6-7 stores containing all the electronics you can think of!
I bought a new mirrorless camera with 2 lenses for a better price than at home and I even changed my laptop’s screen for less than $65 USD service included. Then, when I went back, I got my tax refunded for what I paid.
Even if you are not looking to buy anything, I still advise you to stop by. There are plenty of little gadgets that you might need as a traveler. For example, I also bought a portable battery (of 12000 MAh) to charge all my electronic devices for $7 USD!
Plus, there is also a great food court downstairs that offers all kinds of Asian dishes for 2-3 SGD!
PRO TIP: If you are going to buy some electronics, do not forget to ask the seller for a tax refund form. You will be able to receive 7% of the price back in cash when you leave the country.
PRO TIP #2: If you are serious about getting something you should know that not all shops are very honest so please first check the price of the item on Amazon. You don’t want to make “a good deal” and end up paying more, tax returned or not! 🙂
When I bought my camera, I checked the price before, got my tax returned and it all went smoothly!
HOW TO GET TO SIM LIM: Get the MRT and get off at Rochor MRT, using exit A.
12. Check out the city view from Singapore Flyer
How does it sound to you to go up the second largest observation wheel in the entire world and admire Singapore from up there?
If you want to get a panoramic view of the entire city, you should get into one of the most desirable tourist attractions in Singapore – the observation wheel! It claims to be Asia’s largest Ferris wheel and, while you are up there, you will get to enjoy a breathtaking view of Singapore from 165m (540ft) above, with all the iconic landmarks right in front of you at a bird’s eye view! On a good, sunny day you can see as far as Malaysia and Indonesia!
The full circle takes around 30 minutes and the Singapore Flyer ticket cost for an adult is 33 SGD$. If you don’t want people in your picture you can upgrade to a Private Capsule. Or you can say that you want to celebrate a special occasion – they also offer Premium Champagne Flights! 🙂
PRO TIP: For the best view, try to avoid visiting the Singapore Flyer on a rainy day. I visited it on my last day and it was heavily raining, and as you can see the pictures are not that spectacular. If it rains, you can check out a museum, for example the National Museum of Singapore!
HOW TO GET THERE: Take the MRT and get off at The Promenade Station, using exit A. The Singapore Flyer is only 5-minutes away by foot.
13. Walk around (and eat!) in Chinatown
Many Singaporeans are of Chinese descent, so you will find Chinese influences everywhere!
From wood carving shops to tea houses, mouthwatering local dishes and flower sellers on the street – this multicultural place will tell you the authentic story of its heritage.
For a truly Chinese experience, these are the best things to do in Singapore, Chinatown: you can check out the oldest temple in Singapore, Thian Hock Keng (which was built without using a single nail!). Next, you can stop by the famous Sri Mariamman Temple – this is a colorful Hindu temple, absolutely perfect for your Instagram shot!
PRO TIP: There is a free walking tour in Chinatown every Tuesday and Friday, between 9:30 AM and 12:30 PM! Booking is required, so please check the link.
HOW TO GET TO CHINATOWN: Take the MRT and get off at Chinatown stop.
Liao Fan Hawker Chan
If you’re going out to eat in Singapore, this is the one place you shouldn’t miss! Liao Fan Hawker Chan might look like any random fast food restaurant, but that’s not the case!
And by this, I mean that, yes, it is a fast food restaurant, but it’s a fast food restaurant with a Michelin star! Now, that’s something you don’t hear every day, right?
Forget saving up in order to afford enjoying some Michelin star restaurant during your holiday, at Liao Fan Hawker Chan you can enjoy the best meal and spend from US $1.5 to US $5 for a meal!
PRO TIP: While you’re there definitely try their famous chicken rice!
14. OCBC Skyway
Do you think the Gardens by the Bay’s Supertrees light show is spectacular? Well, wait ‘till you see it from above! If you’re ready to be blown away, just climb on the OCBC Skyway, stroll along the huge canopies and enjoy the show from a totally different perspective!
OCBC Skyway is a 128-metre long walkway where you can walk around and for the whole duration of the show!
NOTE: The last show starts at 8.45 pm but the last entrance it’s at 8, so make sure you’re there on time to catch the show! After 8, they’re no longer allowing people to enter. During our first attempt to visit, we arrived at 8.35 considering we still have 10 minutes before it closes, but we only found a closed door, so learn from my mistakes! 🙂
Tickets: The lines are not so big, so usually you can just buy the tickets on the spot. However, on the busiest days (for instance, on the weekend), I’d recommend you buy in advance. Here you have a ticket with entrance for both Gardens by the Bay and OCBC Skyway.
15. Go shopping
Singapore might be one of the most expensive cities in the world, but when it comes to clothes, as well as electronics, you can find some really great deals!
I am not a crazy shopper and you will not see a recommendation from me to go shopping in ANY of the previous destination guides that I have written. But shopping in Singapore is FUN (Update – the shopping craziness got me only here, in Japan and in Korea – impossible to resist!). Shopping in Singapore is not expensive and the variety of merchandise is broader than in any chain stores in Europe or North America.
My personal favorite is Bugis Street and I can recommend it as the best destination in Singapore for shopping. You will find all sorts of cool stuff there and it is well-known to be a budget shopping area. Along with clothing, shoes, accessories and retro shops, it is also the perfect place to buy souvenirs. Oh, and don’t forget to bargain! There is also the Bugis night market, which is very popular among youngsters – so it might be worth checking out! In order to get to Bugis street, you can take the MRT and get off at Bugis station.
If you are looking for unique, cool independent designer stores, tattoo studios or chic cafes, head over to Haji Lane, which is actually one of the narrowest streets in the city! Haji Lane is located in Kampong Glam and the nearest MRT station is Bugis.
Another good shopping option is Orchard Road – Singapore’s most famous and biggest shopping avenue, which offers 22 shopping malls with around 5,000 brands to choose from. Quite impressive, right? Oh, and you can even indulge at some of the food courts in the malls when you get hungry! In order to get to Orchard Road, you can take the MRT and get off at Orchard, Dhoby Gaut or Somerset stations.
Another cool thing is that you can get a 7% tax refund on your shopping! This applies if you made any purchase of more than SGD $100 in the last two months (for goods that haven’t already been used or consumed in Singapore), from any of the participating shops. The shops that are part of the Tourist Refund Scheme will have a “Tax Free” sign displayed at their shop.
You can reach that minimum total of SGD $100 also by using 3 same-day receipts from shops with the same Goods and Service Tax registration (in other countries this tax goes by the name of VAT, but it’s basically the same thing).
If you’re not sure whether a shop qualifies for this refund or not, simply ask the seller!
In order to claim the refund, simply go to the designated area for this at the airport and there will be some machines (the ones you can see in the photo above) where you can request and take this tax by yourself, it’s an automated process!
NOTE: This only applies for the Changi Airport and Seletar Airport.
Bonus things to do in Singapore
1. Visit the truly iconic Raffles Hotel
NOTE: Raffles Hotel is closed for restoration and will reopen in August 2019.
Your experience won’t be complete without enjoying a Singapore Sling at the Raffles Hotel, the most iconic hotel in the entire country and a Singapore must see!
Slurping on this iconic cocktail while you are in this iconic hotel at the Raffles Bar is truly one of those things that everyone wants to do, but the activity still has its charm!
Visiting the Raffles Hotels is a unique experience by itself, as this is a truly historical luxury hotel which has kept its aesthetic beauty and traditions ever since 1899 when it first opened to the public! So, the Raffles Hotel is on my list of gorgeous Singapore tourist spots!
Raffles Bar is not as authentic as it was back when it first opened, but it is still very beautiful and worthwhile.
PRO TIP: You can even ask the waiters to tell you true stories about the history of this hotel and you will hear many fascinating things for sure!
PRO TIP 2: Even though the bar doesn’t have a strict dress code (as it is separated from the main hotel bar), you might want to dress casual smart so you will fit right in!
NOTE: You might wonder what a “Singapore Sling” is, right? This is the iconic cocktail of Singapore, made out of Cointreau, pineapple and lime juices, grenadine and cherry liquor! The cocktail was firstly made in the Raffles Bar
HOW TO GET THERE: Take the MRT and get off at City Hall stop.
2. Walk above a real jungle at MacRitchie Treetop Walk
Yes, you read that right! While in Singapore, you can walk on a bridge above a real jungle and enjoy some lush nature right near the lively city!
Are you wondering which are the best Singapore sightseeing places? The MacRitchie Treetop Walk is located in MacRitchie Reservoir and it features a beautiful 250m long bridge, 25m above the jungle! The bridge is not that long, but getting there requires you to hike to the reservoir, then go to the Treetop Walk using the MacRitchie Nature Trail or the Venus Drive.
PRO TIP: Don’t go there on rainy days, as it might be dangerous. Make sure to bring enough water with you as you are going to be in the middle of nature, there won’t be any shops around and the weather will most probably be extremely hot! Don’t forget to bring comfortable, hiking shoes as well!
HOW TO GET THERE: You can take the MRT and get off at Caldecott station, then you will have to walk for 10 minutes to the Reservoir. Or you can take any bus and get down at the MacRitchie Reservoir stop located on Lornie Road.
3. Enjoy a chill evening at the Esplanade Roof Garden
Are you interested in a relaxing, romantic and free activity that you can do after sunset during your Singapore vacation?
If you would like to enjoy Singapore at night as well, you can go to the Esplanade Roof Garden in order to get an amazing nighttime view over Marina Bay Sands and the river!
You should definitely see Singapore at night when all the buildings are lit up and shining, otherwise, you won’t get to truly experience this authentic city! This is also one of the most romantic things to do in Singapore for couples as well!
HOW TO GET THERE: You can take the MRT and get off at City Hall MRT, East-West or Esplanade stops.
4. Flower Dome
The Flower Dome is another great place to add on your list! This is your chance to step in the largest glass greenhouse in the world and see the multitude of flowers and plants from the Mediterranean and semi-arid regions.
This is the land of an utopian paradise! In the Flower Dome, you’ll walk through nine gardens, each showcasing exotic plants from all over the globe. The Flower Field changes displays to reflect different seasons, festivals and themes.
PRICE: 28$ SGD
Admission time: Open from 9.00 am to 9.00 pm daily, with last entrance at 8.00 pm.
5. Artscience museum
I couldn’t end this list without mentioning the ArtScience Museum! This is the place where art, culture, science and technology collide to form an absolutely unique place!
The building has a spectacular lotus shape. It features 21 gallery spaces and they hosted large-scale exhibitions of artists like Leonardo da Vinci, M.C. Escher, Van Gogh, Andy Warhol etc. along with exhibitions on big data, particle physics, paleontology, marine biology, cosmology and space exploration.
Take a walk through their temporary exhibitions, that glimpse into our future and enjoy their permanent exhibition, Future World: Where Art Meets Science, where science, art and installations make magic come to life!
PRICE: $19 SGD for one exhibition, $32 SGD for any two exhibitions
Admission time: 10 am – 7 pm. Last admission at 6 pm
PRO TIP: You can get 2 tickets for the price of one! How? He is a little trick: you need to make an account on Sands Rewards Lifestyle and show it to the cashier – there is WI-Fi in the museum, so you can even download the app and register right at the place, that is what we did (and saved $32 SGD, so not bad at all for 2 minutes of your time!).
Singapore Public Transport
This is actually really funny, but when I was visiting Singapore for the first time, I completely relied on my friends who gave me a metro card and guided me around everywhere.
The second time when I was a Singapore tourist without my friends, I had absolutely NO IDEA how to use it! As the ticket price depends on where you are going, it can be pretty confusing for a tourist to get around, but let me make things clear for you.
Actually, you have three choices:
- Transportation card. Any given ride will be, on average, two times cheaper than if you bought an individual ticket. The card costs 5 SGD$ and you can charge it with a minimum amount of 7 SGD$. When you leave the country, you can either redeem the credit left on the card in cash, or save the card for later use when you come back to Singapore, as the credit won’t expire for 5 years.
- Standard ticket. The price of an individual ride will be more expensive (70-100%). Add on 10 cents for the cost of printing the ticket. You can top up your card, as it is reusable, so you only have to pay those 10 cents the first time you use it.Singapore Tourist Pass. The pass offers you unlimited metro and bus rides for one day (10 SGD$), two days (16 SGD$) or three days (20 SGD$). You can buy the card right at the airport and you can find more details about it here.
We were really confused about which one would be better and decided to buy both of them – individual tickets for me and the card for my partner, and see which one was best for the Singapore transport system and for different kinds of travelers.
So, which one is better?
In our experience, when taking around 4 rides, the card performed better. While an individual trip would cost 1,4$, the ride with the card would be about 0,7$. So I’d say it is worth it to pay 5$ extra, you will beat that 5$ investment pretty quickly.
If you want to use the metro (called MRT in Singapore) just once or twice, I would go for a normal ticket. If you want to use the metro more than 5 times and on long distances, Singapore Tourist Pass would be great for you.
PRO TIP: Just like in London, you can simply pay with your contactless card in the metro and that is apparently even cheaper than buying your ticket at a counter (and no lines, how awesome is that!). Just tap in your card when you enter the metro and tap out when you exist – the system will automatically calculate the price (one card per person).
Local transportation is very efficient and you can even get to the airport by metro!
If you want to use a taxi you can trust that they won’t trick you! At least in my experience and we used them quite a lot.
NOTE: There are designated areas where you’ll find the taxis (they are marked with signs and marks on the road) and that’s the only place where you can take them from. Don’t try to stop them from the street, because it won’t work, they get fined if they stop this way!
- The first km is US $3.70
- Every 400m thereafter or less up to 10 km: US $0.22
- Every 350m thereafter or less after 10 km: US $0.22
- Every 45 seconds of waiting or less: US $0.22
Oh, and by the way, most taxis also increase the fare after 7 pm (about 50%!), so beware, your ride will cost twice more on average in the evening too!
Where to stay in Singapore
I stayed at the Intercontinental Singapore which was by far one of the best hotels I have ever stayed in! Let me tell you a bit more about it:
Everything from the beginning of my stay until the end was simply flawless. As a travel blogger, I am always very attentive to details and I feel responsible to not only recommend the best places to you but also recommend the ones that truly deserve it.
The rooms are designed in an elegant colonial style (as you can see in the photos below), the service was beyond fantastic and the breakfast had one of the broadest choices I have ever seen: Asian cuisine, European cuisine, fresh juices, desserts, fruits, cheese bar, pastries, waffles – you name it, they have it all!
Another super cool thing about my room was that they provided me with a complimentary smartphone to use while I was out exploring the city. You can use the smartphone to call by Skype, make local phone calls, browse the internet, and install the apps that you need. I mean, how awesome is that? Thanks to that, we did not need to bother about buying a Sim card. I think every hotel should have this in their rooms, it is such a great bonus!
Some other great amenities include a swimming pool with a nice view and a fully equipped gym where you can work out if you wish! I really wanted to do it, I even came to check it out at one point, but I couldn’t convince myself do it on any of the days while I was there. You can even enjoy live jazz every evening in the hotel lobby in case you would prefer to just relax in the hotel. Oh, and did I mention they have an ironing board in the room? This way, we were able to iron our clothes to go out to a fancy rooftop!
On my last day in Singapore it was raining (of which I was notified by a personalized letter in the morning), but we were allowed to just grab a huge umbrella provided by the hotel and still discover the city. This is what I call attention to detail!
You will also get a lounge club access that I feel people should take an advantage of, so I will explain how it works:
The pass itself is 120 SGD$ (around $85 USD per day per room which gives you an access to the breakfast in Ash&Elm restaurant that I described above, then a Royal Heritage Afternoon tea with many appetizers and pastries and evening cocktails from 6 to 8 PM. The buffet always had such great choices that we did not even feel hungry for dinner afterward!
That’s too bad because the hotel is located at the Bugis intersection – a busy area full of great restaurants, but we were always too full to visit it!
What is more, you can invite 1 of your friends/colleagues to stay in the lounge with you and if you are checking out late, you can still use all the facilities of the lounge.
My flight was at 7 PM, so I enjoyed complimentary Wi-Fi while sipping my Singapore Sling cocktails until I had to leave.
I don’t know about you, but from now on I will always ask if the hotel I’m staying in has lounge access – it is a very good deal! 😉
Other great hotel choices in Singapore
There are plenty of other great choices to stay in this country-city fit for every wallet. Here I selected some good hotels with perfect amenities and reviews, so I am recommending them to you! Click on my suggestions to see the prices for your dates:
- Luxury stay – Marina Bay Sands is the most famous and surely one of the best hotels in Singapore for luxury travelers, and it is definitely worth it for its stunning infinity pool. InterContenental Singapore – this elegantly decorated 5-star accommodation with an outdoor pool is one of the top luxury hotels in Singapore!
- Great value for money – Carlton Hotel Singapore this 5-star hotel can be surprisingly affordable if you book it well in advance! Alternatively, Hotel Bencoolen is even cheaper and has a mind-blowing terrace with jacuzzi on the rooftop!
- Budget stay – Adamson Lodge is one of the best budget hotels in Singapore when it comes to price and hospitality and it is located very close to everything you will need. If you are looking for affordable hotels in Singapore, my second recommendation would be Chic Capsule Otel for its chic decor and top location!
UPDATE: As I received many questions from you regarding best choices for accommodations in Singapore, so I decided to write an article about where to stay in Singapore – you will see which neighborhood to choose and it is easy to book in one click as it is sorted by prices.
Click below to read it: