The best of east meets west
Singapore is interesting in that it offers the oriental charm of the east, with the comfort of the west. Flight times from Australia, mean it is accessible for a special long weekend away, or it can easily be added on to a trip to Europe or the Middle East by taking advantage of a stopover. It is a compact destination with many attractions to visit within Singapore city and the outerlying state.
It is the perfect destination for couples, families and even solo travellers. However you come to decide on your trip to Singapore, it won’t be complete without these essential Singaporean experiences!
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1. The Marina Bay Sands
When deciding on places to stay in Singapore, you should do it in style. The Marina Bay Sands is a must for any trip to Singapore. With beautifully appointed rooms, stunning views and of course, that roof top infinity pool, is there any other choice?
We stayed in Tower 3 and had stunning views of the Gardens by the Bay and the Singapore Flyer. No matter which room you’re appointed in, the views are spectacular. If you are a guest, you’ll also have access to the infinity pool and the roof top deck. If you’re just visiting, you can also visit the Sky Park for S$23. Entry is free to guests.
2. Mac Ritchie Reservoir
MacRitchie Reservoir Park is a short drive from the city centre and home to the iconic ‘tree top With a walk.’Accessible by bus or taxi (we recommend the taxi, it is under S$20 a great time saver) the reservoir is home to the famous Tree Top Walk, a 250 metre suspension bridge that spans the two highest points in the park.
The walk itself doesn’t need special hiking clothes and can easily be undertaken in active wear and runners. The view from the suspension bridge is simply spectacular, however it does get busy as only a limited number of people are allowed to cross at a time. Arrive early to avoid the queues.
There are several different paths you can take that vary in intensity and walking surface, so there is a walk to suit everyone. A guide to the treetop walk and paths can be found here. The park is free to visit.
3. Gardens By The Bay
Located adjacent to the Marina Bay Sands, Gardens by the Bay is easily reached by bridge. You don’t have to be a guest of Marina Bay Sands to visit, although it does make for easy access.
Gardens by the Bay is a diverse attraction. By day you can enjoy the gardens, the super trees, lakes, pavilions and domes. By evening, the whole site transforms into a lit up wonderland and completely changes the experience.
4. Singapore Night Safari
or a unique dusk experience, why not join the night safari at Singapore Zoo. Upon entry, you will be greeted with tribal music and a warm festival atmosphere.
There are two areas of the park to enjoy. The first area is explorable by foot. We recommend to do this first as the tram cars, the second option, are very busy early on in the evening.
Most of the nocturnal animals are housed on the walking paths, that weave you through lush jungle gardens. The animals are well looked after at this zoo and conservation is a focus, for anyone who has reservations.
Once the queues die down, you can enjoy a tram safari through the park. This will provide you with a more open range zoo experience and your informative guide will share lots of interesting information about the park and its animals with you.
Being a night safari, the animals are viewed in twilight and are not lit up to be ‘on display’ as such. We loved this concept, as we could still see the animals, but felt that we were viewing them in a more natural setting and one that didn’t disturb their evenings.
The night safari opens at 7:15pm with last admission at 11:15pm. The safari closes at midnight. You can partake in the safari 365 days a year at a cost of S$45 for adults and S$30 for children. We recommend booking your tickets online to avoid the queues.
5. Universal Studios Sentosa Island
A trip to Singapore, isn’t complete without at least one trip to Sentosa Island. It’s a little larger than life here, with Universal Studios, the Aquarium, luxe hotels and a large shopping mall, all hosted on this action packed island.
You will want to set aside a day to explore Universal Studios Singapore. Entry to the park is S$74 per adult. We recommend splurging a little and paying the S$50 add on for the unlimited skip the queue pass. We didn’t wait in line all day and if you’re only stopping over in Singapore, this means that you can enjoy the park in less time and have more time to explore!
When it comes to the ultimate rides, we particularly enjoyed the Transformers Ride and took advantage of our skip the line passes to ride it several times. We also enjoyed the live shows and the interactive street displays. Whether you have kids, or are two adults, like us, Universal Studios is a great day out.
The round up
It was very difficult to pick ONLY 5 great activities to partake in when visiting Singapore. We also enjoyed:
- A lovely dinner at the Equinox Restaurant at the Swissotel – the views over the bay are stunning and if you get a window seat, you can enjoy the free light show.
- A quirky night in China town at Hotel 1929, a boutique hotel featuring a range of unique chairs throughout. Our room had a rooftop deck and outdoor bath. Very cool!
- Obligatory Singapore Slings at Raffles. Mind the peanuts – I nearly went flying a few times!
- A visit to the F1 track to check it out.
- Shopping at the The Shoppes – Marina Bay Sands. The shopping is great in Singapore, and the mall itself is amazing. Check out the rain oculus!
Three days in Singapore is quite doable as the attractions are closely located to each other and transport options are plentiful and reasonably priced.