There is so much to do and see in this cosmopolitan city that your only constraint is your schedule. If you are here for just 48 hours you need to allow plenty of time for shopping and eating, these are the locals’ two favourite pastimes – and both are outstanding!
The glitzy shopping centres along Orchard Road are a must to fit into your visit, the incredible mega centres offer floor after floor of designer-wear on a scale that is simply mind-blowing. There are also good markets in Chinatown, Arab Street and Little India which are great for mementos and knick-knacks and give you a glimpse into old-style Singapore.
Head to Gardens by the Bay, the incredible ‘City in a Garden’ has several different zones for you to explore. The Cloud Forest Garden is veiled in mist and mountain views, there’s also a 22m-high walkway that offers fantastic views over all of the gardens as well as beyond, over the Marina Bay area.
For an extravagant lunch head to Spago on the 57th Floor of the Marina Bay Sands. Run by celebrity chef, Wolfgang Puck, the restaurant has an al fresco terrace where you can enjoy the spectacular view over the hotel’s famous infinity pool and the cityscape beyond – hold on the pudding, you need to save some room for later!
Beside Marina Bay Sands, hop on a River Explorer commuter bumboat from the Bay Front North Jetty – take it up the river to the Raffles Landing where you can visit the old grand dame, the Raffles hotel for an original Singapore Sling. If it’s a bit early for that try the Dim Sum at Ah Teng’s bakery on the first floor – it is a truly unique experience and you’ll be glad you saved some room for all the delicious cakes too!
For some culture choose one of the city’s great museums to visit - the Asian Civilisation Museum (ACM) has an excellent collection of Chinese and Islamic artefacts. The Singapore Art Museum (SAM) is in a beautiful colonial style building and has an extensive modern and contemporary South East collection and MOCA is a small art museum in Dempsey is unusually set against tropical vegetation.
To make the most of the mouth-watering local cuisine in the evening, head to Lau Pasat Hawker Centre, this octagonal shaped colonial market is in the heart of the financial district and has some of the best local food – do try the chilli crab and the chicken rice. After you’ve refuelled head to the very cool Employees Only bar, situated on Amoy Street, for some outstanding cocktails.
Take the cable car from Mount Faber on the mainland to the man-made Sentosa Island for fantastic views of the city. Sentosa is like a giant playground with great beaches and loads of activities; there’s Mega Adventure for zip lining, wall climbing and bungee jumping, The Luge, with a wheeled luge track, as well as Sentosa’s Universal Studios.
On the beach head for the Tangoing Beach Club for an excellent laid back brunch venue overlooking the South China Sea.
In the afternoon visit the art deco neighbourhood of Tiong Bahru. With its individual boutiques, bookshops and cafes it is a great place to hang out and people watch. Don’t miss the Tiong Bahru Bakery for divine pastries and also pop in to the Qi Tian Gong Temple that is dedicated to the Monkey God. Dempsey Hill is also another area worth visiting. The former military barracks has been converted to a unique area full of restaurants and bars.
Whilst in Singapore you must have at least one Roti Prata – you can be sure that any stall in Little India will make good ones. These cheap Indian flat breads are excellent with curries or great any time just on their own like an Indian-style pancake. You’ll leave Singapore having had a great taste of this beautiful city - and in dire need of a few days on minimal rations!
Singapore is best enjoyed as part of a Multi Centre Holiday, have a look at our holidays for some inspiration.
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