Singapore – Travel Tips

We fell in love with Singapore the first time we visited, and we weren’t disappointed when we returned. If it wasn’t for the unrelenting humidity, we even think we could live here, at least for a short-term work contract. Singapore is a modern, clean, innovative city that has so much to offer. It appealed to our love of nature and challenged our foodie inhibitions. Be forewarned though, Singapore isn’t easy on the pocketbook, in fact, it reigns as the world’s most expensive city for the fifth year in a row, based on a report by The Economist.

Thinking of visiting? Here are some travel tips based on our recent visit.

Where we stayed:

  1. Marina Bay Sands Hotel, Marina Bay
  • Great location to explore Marina Bay
  • Close to MRT
  • Access to rooftop infinity pool and observation deck
  • Beautiful view
  • Comfortable and spacious room
  • TIP: Pay a little extra for a high room with a harbour/garden view. Definitely worth it.

2. Furama City Centre Hotel, Chinatown

  • Close to 2 MRT stops, Buses right outside the door
  • Walking distance to Chinatown and Craig’s Quay
  • Comfortable bed 
  • Friendly and helpful staff 
  • Affordable (Mid range price)
  • Very clean
  • Tired, shabby décor but it is undergoing renovation (October 2019) inside and out so hopefully it will look more updated soon.
  • TIP: Splurge for the concierge lounge – free alcoholic drinks and snacks from 6-8 pm; free non-alcoholic drinks all day including delicious cappuccinos; free buffet breakfast that offers wide variety of food. We picked an executive suite which was far too big for two people, but it was on the top floor with a beautiful city view.

Getting around:

  • Grab is the equivalent of Uber in North America and is super easy to use as long as you have internet (download the app before you go)
  • Public Transit (MRT and buses)
    • Easy to navigate
    • Fast and reliable
    • Very economical; prices based on distance (ranged from 0.72 – $1.50)
  • TIP: Bus 166 stops right in front of Furama City Centre Hotel and will take you to Little India, and the MacRitchie Reservoir Park.
  • TIP: We used Grab ($16 SGD) to get to the Jurong Bird Park because public transit seemed too complicated. But we took public transport back to Chinatown: Bus 194 stops right in front of the park. Take the bus to the bus station at the end of the line, and transfer to the East West Line at the Boon Lay MRT station (just a few minute walk from the bus station). You won’t get lost as there are plenty of signs to help you navigate from the bus station to the MRT station.
  • TIP: Use pubic transit to visit the Night Safari or the Zoo. Navigate to the Khatibi MRT Station. From there, just outside the MRT station (look for the sign) you can catch a zoo shuttle that will take you directly to the park entrance ($1 SGD).

Where we ate:

  • Hawker Food Centres
    • Maxwell Food Centre (Chinatown)
    • Chinatown Food Market
    • Lau Pa Sat Food Centre (business district)
    • Food is tasty and cheap
  • Michelin rated restaurants
    • There are plenty of these throughout the city; we went to one on a whim and enjoyed our meal, but really didn’t know what all the fuss was about.
  • TIP: Alcohol is very expensive in Singapore (and Bali) as there are lots of taxes on booze. The best deal we found was at the airport, on the way to Bali. We found 1L of Smirnoff Vodka for $18 SGD. Glad we picked up a couple of bottles to enjoy our own homemade cocktails on the beach in Bali.

What we did:

  • Gardens by the Bay including Flower Dome and Cloud Forest
  • Botanic Garden
  • MacRitchie Reservoir Park
  • Jurong Bird Park
  • Wandered through neighbourhoods
    • Chinatown
    • Little India
    • Orchard Street
    • Haji Lane / Arab neighbourhood
  • TIP: On our way to Haji Lane, we discovered a gem of a free museum/art gallery on the 3rd floor of what turned out to be the most expensive office building in Singapore – Parkview Square. It is worth a visit if only to admire the stunning architecture and to wander through the lobby that is designed in the Art Deco style and features a 15m-high ceiling with hand-crafted details. The bar in the lobby of the building has a unique 3-storey gin tower housing over a thousand gins.
  • TIP: Don’t waste your time or money on the Night Safari – we did not like this at all. The animals looked distressed, visibility was low, it was very noisy and touristy.
  • TIP: Singapore is known for its many rules which are often displayed on signs with accompanying penalties. Pay attention as some of the rules are pretty strange (e.g. no chewing gum) and penalties can be stiff.
  • TIP: We didn’t bother to get a SIM card for our phones while in Singapore. We found wifi readily available in most restaurants and hotels.
  • TIP: Download the google map for Singapore (do this before you go as it is a sizeable download) so that you have offline access to it.
In case you weren’t sure…..
$50,000 and/or jail time seems a little steep for feeding the monkeys!
Category: Singapore  Tags:
Please leave a comment below. We'd love to hear from you!
Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>