Hello everyone! I’m back today with a travel diary from my trip to Singapore in February. Last month, my family and I went on a big family holiday to celebrate my dad’s retirement – stopping off at Singapore before moving onto Malaysia. So today I thought I’d break down our time in Singapore and give you all my recommendations for a mini-break there.
We stayed in Singapore for 2 and a half days, arriving late afternoon on a Sunday and leaving early in the morning on the following Wednesday. It was actually Chinese New Year when we were there, which was a really cool experience, but meant that a lot of things were closed over the public holidays. So I’d keep that in mind if you plan to travel there over that time.
I’ve been to Singapore once before, a few years ago, on my way to Australia. Again, it was a short 2-day trip and I was a lot younger then so probably didn’t get to appreciate it as much. So I was excited to return and get to see more of the sights!
Where we stayed
We stayed in the Fairmont Singapore, which is located right across from Raffles Hotel. Raffles was being refurbished when we were there, unfortunately, so we couldn’t visit. It’s worth going for their afternoon tea or for a drink in The Long Bar (the birthplace of the Singapore Sling cocktail).
The hotel’s location was really good – it was around a 20 minute walk away from the Marina and all of the main sights. Orchard Road (Singapore’s equivalent Oxford Street) was also a short walk away, although because of Chinese New Year we didn’t get to do much shopping!
The hotel itself was lovely too, our rooms had a view of Marina Bay Sands and the beds were very comfy. The only downside was that there was some work being done on the hotel, which meant that a few of the restaurants and facilities were closed off. The pool area also was not the best, but we didn’t use it anyway as we were more interested in getting around the city.
What we did
There is so much to do in Singapore – and a lot of it is free or not too expensive! I was expecting it to be like New York or Paris where all the attractions come with a major price tag, but I was pleasantly surprised.
First of all, we went to the Gardens by the Bay. It’s where those famous Avatar-like trees are, as well as botanic gardens. The gardens are located beside the Marina Bay Sands hotel and are free to walk around in. You only have to pay for entrance into the two massive greenhouses, one has an array of exotic flowers in it and the other has a huge man-made waterfall in it that you go up in a lift and walk your way back down.
The gardens were really nice, but it was so hot when we were there. Definitely remember to carry around some water, especially if you are walking there from your accommodation! There is also a bar in one of the Avatar trees that we didn’t have time to go into, but is meant to be lovely for watching the sunset. So it might be worth going later in the day so that you can finish off with a sundowner in the bar!
Next up we went to an exhibition at the ArtScience museum by TeamLab, called Future World: Where Art Meets Science. I had seen pictures of this exhibition on Instagram, it has that really cool room full of lights that looks like space. However, I really wouldn’t recommend going to this. A few of the rooms were quite cool, but a lot of it was geared at kids and there were children everywhere. Ideal for a young family, but not so much for actual art lovers!
The next day, we went down to the marina and took a boat taxi around the canals. This is a nice way to see the skyline and also to get around to different areas! You can hop on and off all day.
Afterwards, we went into the Marina Bay Sands hotel. You can go up to the top for $20, but that amount can be redeemed against any food or drink purchased at the bar. It’s very busy at the top, as you can imagine, but we managed to get a table and got some cocktails. The view is incredible, but the experience isn’t super luxe, however I would still recommend going for the views!
At the end of that day we were suffering so much from jet lag, so we just headed back to our hotel for a nap and some room service. We weren’t that great at going out at night when we were there, just because we were so tired! The jet lag going to Asia from the UK is the worst.
- If you can, go for more than 2 days. We really were killed by jet lag, so it was difficult to get the most out of the short time that we were there.
- I’d recommend staying close to the Marina, as a lot of the main attractions are located there and the views will be amazing!
- Check out Chinatown and get some Michelin-starred street food at Hawker Chan. This is something we really wanted to do, but it was closed for Chinese New Year!
- If you like shopping, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands is the best mall in the city. It has all the high street names as well as top-end luxury, plus it has a mini canal running through it that you can take a boat ride on. Crazy!
Overall, we had a lovely trip to Singapore but it was a shame it was so short. It’s a gorgeous city and I’ll definitely be going back in the future!
I’ll be rounding up our trip to Langkawi in Malaysia next, which was the main part of our holiday so there will be much more to talk about. Follow me on Instagram, Twitter or Bloglovin to make sure you’re the first to know when it goes live!