Citycation: 5 Things to Do in Singapore
Planning a trip to Singapore? We went for a few days last year and, despite its small size, the island city-state has a lot to offer. From admiring the culture to exploring the nightlife, you have plenty of options to enjoy Singapore. So, here are my top 5 things to do in Singapore:
1. Check out the Culture in Chinatown
Perfect for: learning about the culture
Schedule: A few hours
A large amount of Singaporeans are of Chinese descent. So, you will probably notice a Chinese influence in Singaporean culture. Chinatown is a great place to learn more about this aspect of the country’s history. Possibly the most prominent landmark in the area is the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum. BTRTM is a large Buddhist cultural complex with a museum and temple. BTRTM also hosts culture classes and other services.
2. Swipe Your Card and Shop Orchard Road
Perfect for: hanging out with friends
Schedule: A few hours or a whole day!
Orchard Road is a 2.2 kilometer boulevard located in the Central Area. Lined with shopping malls and restaurants, this street is Singapore’s premier entertainment and shopping district. Browse around and, when you’re tired, take a break at one of the coffee shops. Prep your wallet, though—with stores by just about every big designer, a trip here is not a cheap one.
3. Grab a Bite at a Hawker Center
Perfect for: a casual lunch, a quick dinner
Cost: Around SGD7 per dish
Schedule: A half hour
Hawker centers, or food courts, are all over Singapore. These outdoor clusters of small food stalls offer authentic, local grub at cheap prices.Don’t be fooled by their humble appearance; food celebs like Anthony Bourdain have eaten at these courts. Take a look and you’ll be able to find all the favorites, from satay to chicken rice to laksa! Don’t know what to try? Just walk around and look for the busiest shops; you are guaranteed a good meal.
4. Take a Stroll at the Gardens by the Bay
Perfect for: a family outing, casual date, enjoying nature
Cost: The outdoor gardens are free and the conservatories and the skyway are an additional cost
Schedule: Anywhere from two hours to a full day, depending on what you want to do. Each conservatory takes about an hour each
Who said all cities are concrete jungles? Enjoy the best of both worlds and get in touch with nature at the Gardens by the Bay. Made up of three waterfront plots spanning over 100 hectares of land, the Gardens establishes Singapore as a ‘City in a Garden’. And, not only is the Gardens by the Bay breathtaking, it is also an amazing example of environmental sustainability. GBTB uses sustainable design to optimize water and energy use and highlights the importance of biodiversity in a healthy ecosystem.
5. Clink Glasses at the Marina Bay Sands
Perfect for: a night out, to show off, a dinner date
Cost: Cocktails at the SkyBar average around SGD20-30. Dinner at CÉ LA VI is SGD168+ for the tasting menu
Schedule: Two to three hours
Enjoy a night out at the top of the Marina Bay Sands. Ever see those photos on Instagram and Pinterest of a boat on top of three tall buildings? Yup, up there on the 57th floor. So, you’ll get beautiful views of the city whether you’re dining at CÉ LA VI or enjoying a drink at the SkyBar. This hotspot is where to go in Singapore to see and be seen, so make sure to bring the Loubs and the Boy Bag. Reservations are recommended for the restaurant, while entrance to the SkyBar is first-come, first-serve. Keep in mind, however, that this place is very exclusive, so expect to wait. Live DJ sets from 6pm.