24-Hour Stopover Tips For Singapore
Progressive Traveller’s 24-hour stopover tips for Singapore
Singapore Changi Airport is one of the largest transportation hubs in Southeast Asia. It is a great functioning airport offering reasonably quick processing through immigration together with a variety of transport options to Singapore city.
The ‘Progressive Traveller’s’ preferred stopover destination is Singapore to break up long-haul flights from Australia. Generally, I try to book flights out of the Gold Coast early in the morning and stay 1 night in Singapore before flying to Europe on a late evening flight the following day.
I never tire of visiting Singapore – there is always new things to see and do, great food and a melting pot of cultures. Chances are if you’re a traveller, a day will come when you’ll have a 24-hour stopover in Singapore.
Time for Sightseeing
Going on a stroll is both pleasant and the best way to get to know a city. There is an abundance to see on foot and good walking shoes, a hat, water and sunscreen is highly recommended.
Skip eating breakfast at your hotel and head to one of the major shopping plazas and eat like the locals, with the locals. There is a huge selection of Asian cuisine outlets to choose from. One of my favourite eateries is located at Clarke Quay Central Plaza. There is a massive selection of food choices located on the basement level – ensure you wander round first and see where the locals gather to eat, that is always a good indication of excellent food.
Best breakfasts places in Singapore http://sethlui.com/best-breakfast-places-singapore/
After breakfast and a quick smooch around the shops, head outside for a stroll long Clarke Quay. From Clarke Quay catch a short river longboat cruise for a glimpse of Singapore from another aspect.
Time for sightseeing. Continue strolling the riverwalk, near the luxurious 5-star Fullerton Hotel. This precinct is a pedestrian area with a good selection of mid to highend waterfront restaurants and bars. Everyone who visits Singapore comes here at least once; to eat, drink and photograph the landmarks of the area together with the backdrop of soaring skyscrapers. Along the river, there are various information boards, statues and bronze sculptures depicting Singapore’s history. The very impressive Fullerton Hotel was the original Post Office.
The nearby national icon, the mythical Merlion with the head of a lion and the body of a fish. Today, you can glimpse this legend at Merlion Park spouting water from its mouth. This water feature attracts tourists by the busloads however I am not sure why that is. Maybe, it’s got something to do with good luck. I will have to do some research!
Continue walking around the bay towards Marina Sands – you can’t miss it!
The Marina Sands is three separate towers joined by a boat shaped piece of architecture that sits on the very top. This world-class grand piece of architecture is a real show stopper, very photogenic and tourists love photographing its beauty from various vantage point. At the very top is a magnificent infinity pool, bar and on ground level, Marina Sands Shoppes. You could literally spend in comfort, hours / days shopping in luxury and people watching but there’s more to Singapore than shopping these days. Come back if you have spare time and see the beautiful store fit outs, restaurants including Gordon Ramsay’s – The Bread Street Restaurant, skating rink and canal boats.
Near the standalone Louis Vuitton store on the riverfront is a huge 21 metre diameter ‘whirlpool’ water feature called ‘Rain Oculus’. A large volume of twirling waters travels around the steel and acrylic sculpture at various speeds before exiting down a drain / sink hole. The water falls 2 floors below through the shopping centre atrium, skylight roof into the canal, where shoppers and children gather to watch.
From Marina Sands Shoppes, go up the escalators on the opposite side to the river and follow the signs to the Gardens by the Bay. At the top, you can view the external construct of the three towers and inside one of hotel lobby before continuing outside towards the Dragonfly Bridge.
‘Gardens by the Bay’ is one of Asia’s foremost garden destinations and continues to earn numerous awards and accolades since opening 2012. The purpose of the national gardens and horticultural attraction was to improve the Greenspace within the city for local and international visitors. The gardens have a showcase of plant species seldom seen in other parts of the world. You won’t have time to see all the garden attractions so do some research beforehand.
• Flower Dome
• Cloud Forest
• OCBC Skyway
• Supertree Grove
Attractions to choose from:
- Far East Organisation Children’s Garden
- Bay East Garden
- Dragonfly & Kingfisher Lakes
• Heritage Gardens
• World of Plants
• The Canyon
• Sun Pavilion
• Art Sculptures
The lunch options are endless, you will be spoilt by choice. I’d chose street food (hawker meal) any day. Hawker meals are small serves of local ‘traditional’ food served like tasting plates; you may need to order multiple dishes. Look down the numerous laneways for these hidden gems.
Best hawker meals in Singapore
Coffee on the other hand is very disappointing and expensive in Singapore which I find hard to believe these day. I’m yet to find a descent coffee place in Singapore. How sad is that!
By now, you will be tire of the heat and looking for an interesting place indoors. The National Gallery is a great place to explore and educate yourself. I just happened to be in Singapore when the National Gallery reopened after extensive renovations. It was such a treat. If galleries and museums aren’t your thing, head to Orchard Street or return to Marina Sands for some shopping. No visit to Singapore is complete without visiting Raffles Hotel for a ‘Singapore Sling’. Alcoholic drinks are very expensive and a cocktail can cost up to $40 AUD at an upmarket bar and 5-star hotels. The Raffles Hotel experience is well worth the price tag. Like Nike says, “Just Do It”, you only live once! There is more to Raffles than “The Long Bar” upstairs – stroll around the hotel gardens and check out the outside bar and boutique shops on each level.
Singapore Chilli Crab and Black Pepper Crab are two specialty dishes at Jumbo Seafood outlets. There are 5 Jumbo outlets in Singapore. Jumbo seafood outlet on the Riverwalk is super popular and it is not usual to see a long line of diners waiting to be seated. Indulge yourself, you won’t regret it and the wait is worth it! I know there are more attractions not to be missed, but if you are short of time, make sure to marvel at the city from above.
To end the perfect day, head to the highest rooftop bar in Singapore, 1-Altitude provides a comprehensive view of the city, sparkling and vibrant after dark and the perfect location to watch the laser light show from Marina Sands. 1-Altitude is a cafe, bar & gallery split over 3 levels, with rooftop area offering 36-degree view of cityscape. Located at Raffles Place.