Singapore is a small island city-state thought of as modern and very expensive — especially compared to its Southeast Asian neighbours. OK, Singapore may not be a cheap holiday destination, however, it can be done in an affordable manner should you desire.
Singapore has a tropical climate averaging from 29°C to 22°C in December and January, so is yet another great place to try for some winter sun.
There are so many things to do in Singapore, but we’ll start with a hotel that some say is one of the most impressive buildings in the world, and is one of the top tourist attractions in Singapore. The Marina Bay Sands Hotel may not fall into the budget category, but we simply had to mention it, and if you want a treat, then this is most definitely it!
The hotel is so big that at first it may take a while to find your way around without getting lost! There is a maze of lifts and corridors, and it’s easy to lose yourself admiring its impressive modern architecture.
As soon as you open the door to your room, you will be struck by amazing views from the floor-to-ceiling windows. Some rooms overlook The Gardens by the Bay (which are also an iconic attraction of the city) and there’s a bridge linking the hotel to the gardens so you can pop out and enjoy them any time (we’ll talk more about these magical gardens further down).
For panoramic views of Singapore and to swim in the world’s highest and longest infinity pool, all you have to do is head up to the 57th floor.
The SkyPark is frequently listed as one of the top attractions of Singapore, which is a little nuts considering it’s really just a swimming pool. However, it’s not just any old pool… set on top of the hotel’s three 57-sory towers, with landscaped gardens and an observation deck (with the most amazing views of the city) it’s an infinity pool that legends are made of!
Imagine yourself swimming and floating on top of the world, or if you don’t want to get to close to the edge (as it is quite high up), then enjoy one of the many sun loungers and gaze at the city-skyline from a more chilled perspective.
So asides from an exhilarating dip, what else does Singapore have to offer?
One of the first things you should do, is check out the amazing street food markets in the city. Singapore is full of hawker centres, which are basically open-air food courts full of a massive variety of ready-to-eat dishes, influenced by a variety of cuisines.
Maxwell Food Centre, on the edge of China Town, hosts over 100 stalls and serves Gordon Ramsey’s favourite chicken rice, so is a great place to start.
Every city’s Chinatown is unique, and Singapore’s will not disappoint. Aside from its endless main street of market stalls selling a variety of souvenirs, the district is enormous and full of cultural sights to explore. The gigantic Buddha Tooth Relic Temple is probably the first building you will notice when you arrive — it has a very distinctive Chinese design with bright colours, and it is strikingly illuminated by night. It is also home to an impressive collection of Buddhist statues from all over Asia, and a gorgeous roof top garden.
If you fancy a night out in Chinatown including dinner and a traditional Trishaw ride, tours are available.
Singapore’s mascot and national icon, the mythical Merlion has the head of a lion and the body of a fish. It symbolizes Singapore’s original name “Lion City” and its history as a fishing village in the past. It is a must-see for tourists, especially those who like a humorous photo opportunity!
Gardens by the Bay
The Gardens by the Bay is Singapore’s largest and most impressive garden. It’s known as a Garden City because of its size, and you could make a whole day of it if you wanted. The garden has three water-front gardens and two conservatories; Flower Dome and Cloud Forest, plus a Supertree Grove featuring 18 “supertrees” which are up to 50m tall! The Gardens were created by the government to reclaim land and turn Singapore into a city in a garden.
Sentosa is essentialy an island resort for locals and tourists alike and has been rated as Asia’s favourite playground. The island features a variety of things to do such as spa retreats, beautiful beaches, golf courses, theme parks and beach clubs, and it’s very easy to reach from the centre of Singapore by taking a cable car called Sentosa Express. It is a great place for families, who can explore the many attractions, including an aquarium, waterparks, a butterfly park and its very own Universal Studios!
Fancy seeing all of this for yourself? Then check out our holidays to Singapore
Photos by Beatrici Photography