Singapore is truly a unique city, and if you find yourself exploring South East Asia, it is definitely worth checking out. You only need a few days and there are plenty of Singapore accommodations to suit every need and budget.
Here are some tips so you can make the most of a few days in Singapore.
Food and Drink
While heavily influenced by Chinese cuisine, make no mistake, Singapore has its own unique flavours and the world is taking notice. The best places to eat like locals are at the many hawker markets, the most popular being the Chinatown Complex Food Centre. This massive complex offers the most authentic food and drink at the cheapest prices (and I mean CHEAP). Be prepared though — it’s always bustling, so some visitors might feel overwhelmed by the activity.
A tour with the Chinatown Food Adventure is a great way to start your trip. Do it on your first day so you can get oriented with the city — and leave time to keep going back for your favourite dishes! The Chwee kueh and freshly squeezed Cane Juice are popular favourites.
Other Singaporean must-tastes include “Chili Crab”, Singapore-style jerky, Durian (if you dare), and the famed “Singapore Sling” — head to Long Bar in the Raffles Hotel, where the cocktail was invented, to enjoy.
City Must-See Highlights
The Marina Bay Sands Hotel is probably the most iconic building in the city. It’s definitely worth checking it out and pay a fee (SGD $20) to head to the top and enjoy a cocktail or two with the best views of the city.
The Fountain of Wealth is also worth a visit — it’s recognized as the biggest fountain in the world and, during certain times of the day, the fountain is turned off and you can walk around the centre (clockwise 3 times) for good luck. Hey, it can’t hurt! If you are already lucky enough, there is also a laser show at night.
Ride the Singapore Flyer to take in some more unique viewpoints 165 meters above the city. The ride takes 30 minutes and, if you are keen, they offer more unique experiences such as the Champagne Flight and Butler Sky Dining.
Other notables to checkout include the Marina Walk area and The Helix Bridge.
More Than Just Coffee
Coffee lovers looking for something different should definitely consider the Selfie Café or Neko No Niwa Café (a.k.a. Cat Café). At Selfie café, you pay a little more and they will print your selfie picture using edible ink on the foam of your caffeinated beverage. Cat lovers should head over to Neko No Niwa and enjoy your drink in the company of some new feline friends. As a bonus, these cats are rescues and your coffee helps support the organization so they can continue to help cats find a better life. Awwww.
Best Kept Secret
One final tip: look for the hidden speakeasy (Library Bar) in Chinatown. Finding and getting into the hippest bar in all of Singapore is a fun challenge — and not for travelers on a budget (cocktails are SGD $22+). The front of the house rotates and you can find the password by deciphering the “secret” phrase on this Facebook page. Good luck!
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Image via Flickr by jh_tan84