If you have any form of social media then you’ve probably seen the circulating videos of Garden by the Bay located in Singapore. Those avatar-like trees grab your attention and makes you want to visit this country for that reason alone. This attraction was DEFINITELY worth the hype and will not disappoint you in any way, but Singapore has so much to offer beyond the gardens. I was there for 5 nights (I debated on going to Malaysia for a few days during that time but I am so relieved that I decided against it) and was never once bored or thought to myself, wow there’s nothing else left to do. It’s a country you can just wander around and enjoy the mixed cultures. You get both traditional and modern experiences, which I loved.
Here are some of the best things I was able to do during my time in Singapore!
1. Explore Gardens by the Bay
As mentioned above, Gardens by the Bay is a must visit! You can honestly spend the whole day here. You have to stay for the light show at night! It was especially special while I was there because it was Lunar New Year themed. I ended up visiting the Supertree Grove twice because I wanted to witness the beauty during the day and night. I also found that the early morning was a lot less crowded, so I opted to do the Skyway during that time. The best part about this attraction? It’s super inexpensive!
Outdoor Gardens: FREE ADMISSION
This includes the Supertree Grove, Sun Pavillion, Heritage Gardens, World of Plants, and Dragonfly & Kingfisher Lakes
Cooled Conservatories: 28 SGD for Both Conservatories
This includes the Cloud Forest and Flower Dome
OCBC Skyway: 8 SGD
Get amazing panoramic views of the Garden and Marina Bay
The one piece that didn’t necessarily do much for me was the Flower Dome. It was filled with gorgeous plants, but honestly I’m not much of a flower lover. The Cloud Forest is worth the visit though! (Pictured above and below) I loved the indoor waterfalls and even the views from the dome were breathtaking. You felt like you were in some tropical forest when in reality you were in a huge dome.
2. Grab a Drink at Clarke Quay
Clarke Quay is a historic riverside quay in the Singapore River Planning area and by far my favorite area to hang out at in Singapore. Come here to admire the colorful buildings and stay for the drinks along the water. Whether you visit during the day or night, you won’t be disappointed. I’m glad I stopped by for both! The colorful lights reflecting off the water is a sight to see in itself. You can also enjoy a boat ride along the river if you wish! I opted for a few drinks at a bar while the music was blasting all over the place. Definitely an area that you can bar hop at as there’s an abundance of bars and restaurants with great happy hour deals.
3. Eat at Hawker Centers
You cannot go to Singapore and skip out on eating at hawker centers. It’s an absolute must! The best food I ate was at hawker centers and for a fraction of the price you’d see at restaurants. I still catch myself salivating over the Hainanese chicken rice I had. It may not look appealing, but trust me when I say it was the best thing I had there and only set me back 5 USD. You can also find food stalls with michelin stars! Some of the hawker centers that you definitely need to check out are Old Airport Road, Maxwell, Chinatown Complex, and Chomp Chomp Food Centre.
4. Take in the Views at Marina Bay Sands
Marina Bay Sands is that iconic hotel that you immediately think of when you hear about Singapore. The home of the amazing infinity pool that you hope to one day get a picture of to post all over social media. The price tag is quite hefty for a night’s stay, but no fear if you don’t want to splurge on a room there. There’s plenty to do at the hotel as a visitor and you can still get the amazing view for a small price. While you aren’t able to get into the pool area unless you’re a guest of the hotel, you can head up to the Skypark or bar/lounge to see the amazing panoramic view of Singapore. You can also see the pool from the area! So, you can either get a ticket for the Skypark or for the same price (20 USD) you can get a ticket to the bar which acts as a voucher towards your drink order. In my opinion, the bar is well worth it! We went around 7PM and was able to snag a table. It was initially away from the view but a quick walk around the space and you could see everything. Then once the sunset we headed over to the lounge area where we got perfect seats to take in the beautiful skyline views.
5. People Watch at Merlion Park
Okay, so I don’t really know the back story on how the half lion, half fish came about but I know that it’s infamous in Singapore! I’ll admit that the Merlion statue was a littleeee underwhelming due to the size and such, but it’s still something to check out because it’s so famous in the country. It’s also a great place to people watch. Seriously, we spent so much time there just watching the crowd and seeing the different ways people would pose by the fountain. That classic drinking shot? Or how about catching the water in your palms? We saw every way you could think of.
6. Shop at the Various Plazas
I had no intention to spend so much time at the mall while in Singapore, but there was no escaping! These shopping plazas are everywhere! My hotel was located on Orchard Road, which had about 5 different plazas within a 2 mile radius. There were stores from all over and although a lot of them you can find in the states, I still enjoyed roaming around to see what they offered. Also, the food courts located in these malls were great! You got a huge variety of stalls which was so convenient and delicious. The fanciest mall that I went to in Singapore was definitely the one located at Marina Bay Sands (pictured above, right).
7. Indulge in Singaporean Crab Dishes
You can’t leave Singapore without trying their signature crab dish, chili crab (pictured above). I actually enjoyed the black pepper crab (below) more, so that means you need to order both like I did! The chili crab is covered in a thick, sweet, tomato based sauce with just a little kick to it. I am a spice lover, so I enjoyed the peppery bite I got with the black pepper crab dish. There are various places that offer this famous dish, from fancy restaurants to foods stalls at hawker centers. I chose a small restaurant with fair prices called Momma Kong’s (34 Mosque St, Singapore 059512) which offered a discount during lunch! They had a bunch of options to choose from, so that’s what really caught my attention. The crab itself was full of sweet, delicious meat. Don’t forget to order a side of white rice to soak up all the sauce.
8. Walk Across the Helix Bridge
This eye catching bridge leads to you the Marina Bay Sands hotel. It was really cool to walk across this bridge and just capture photos from different angles. The adrenaline junkie in me kind of wished it was a bit higher though. I didn’t catch an image at night, but different color lights lead your path on this bridge once it’s dark out. Besides the design, this is something to check out to get a great view of the city skyline.
9. Visit Temples in Chinatown
A lot of Singapore has a modern feel to it, especially around the marina bay area. Take a break from that scene and explore Little India and Chinatown. Aside from amazing places to eat, you’ll come across beautiful temples such as the ones pictured here. Above is the Sri Mariamman Temple and below is the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple & Museum. The details to these buildings are truly amazing and breathtaking. I loved how the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple lit up against the dark sky at night. I felt like I was walking amongst a building featured in Spirited Away.
10. Grab a Coffee at Central Perk
If you’ve never watched the show Friends, you need to stop what you’re doing right now and go binge watch this classic show. It’s one of my favorites and I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve watched the entire series multiple times and I’m still not sick of it. I was so happy to discover that Singapore had a Friends themed cafe. It did not disappoint! I felt like I transported to the real Central Perk sitting on that couch, drinking coffee, and enjoying time with my friends. The attention to detail was unreal and I loved that they played episodes of this amazing show on a projector. I could’ve sat there for hours watching episode after episode. The place itself wasn’t packed which was great because we were able to score great seats for photos! They also had a section that was dedicated to each character. It really made me want to restart the series again…
So there you have my top 10 things to do in Singapore! I loved my time spent there and I can assure you that you won’t be disappointed. If you have any questions, please feel free to comment down below!
Check out Skyscanner to find cheap flights to Singapore! I scored my roundtrip flights from New York for only $366.00!!