Singapore – 48 hours in the ultimate stopover city

OK ‘stopover city’ is a bit of a misnomer, as Singapore is flipping amazing and worth a trip in its own right! However… with a 13ish hour flight from the UK, Singapore is a gateway to the other side of the world, so you might just find yourself here for a brief stopover. Mr TBST and I stopped here for two nights on route to honeymoon in New Zealand in 2017, and we crammed as much as possible into 48 hours in the city.

Singapore – Gardens by the Bay, and Singapore Flyer.

Singapore is beautiful to walk around as it’s clean, and surprisingly green. It’s also easy to navigate, as English is the first language, there’s a whizzy public transport system, and the taxis are reasonably priced.

The rooftop infinity pool at Hotel Jen Orchardgateway.

I’ve pulled together 10 Singapore hotspots – so if you have a short stopover planned, I hope it helps!

  1. Hop on the Singapore Flyer. This huge observation wheel offers unique views of Singapore’s skyline, and might help you to find your bearings – it also requires zero energy, so it’s a great activity when you arrive in the city excited but exhausted! Visit: singaporeflyer.com
  2. Explore the Gardens by the Bay. This is a gorgeous part of the city, and easily my favourite thing we did in Singapore. Walk the treetop aerial ‘Skyway’ walkway at Supertree Grove, 22 metres above the ground, among the iconic, giant supertrees, and get lost in the giant greenhouses and extensive gardens. The Cloud Walk and indoor waterfall are pretty special too. There are different charges for the various parts of the gardens, but admission to the Supertree Grove is free, and if your body clock is playing up you can head here at 5am for a unique experience. Visit: gardensbythebay.com.sg
  3. Enjoy authentic Chinese food. For delicious Chinese food, head to the street market in Chinatown, which offers street food carts as well as market-side restaurants. Pair with a Tsingtao lager and enjoy!
  4. Visit the spectacular Buddha Tooth Relic Temple & Museum. While in Chinatown, head to 288 South Bridge Road to find this relatively new Buddhist temple. Though not old, its five floors of splendour are remarkable, and you’ll find Buddhist history, culture and art. Admission is free.
  5. Sup Singapore Slings at Raffles Hotel. Head to the legendary Long Bar to try this sweet and fruity cocktail, and throw peanut shells on the floor (it’s tradition!). Outside, admire the colonial architecture through a haze of gin and humidity.
  6. Find a cure for jet-lag! Singapore is a super-cool place with a rooftop life of its own, so party at a rooftop bar, or snooze next to a pool, whatever works for you. We stayed at the reasonably priced and centrally located Hotel Jen Orchardgateway which conveniently has both a rooftop bar and an infinity pool, so we took the opportunity to chill for a few hours above the bustling city, and felt a little more human afterwards.
  7. Marvel at the Marina Bay Sands complex. The website describes it as a ‘hotel and lifestyle destination’, which kind of makes me want to vom, but I can’t deny this man-made wonder is pretty epic. There’s an Observation Deck at the Skypark, offering panoramic views of Singapore, and rooftop bars and restaurants. Apparently there are also theatres, nightlife, shops and more – who knew?!
  8. Lunch in Little India. We loved Amaravati restaurant, near the Little India MRT Station. This busy restaurant offers authentic, uncomplicated Indian food. We found this little gem simply by chance, but I’ve since learned it gets a lot of repeat visitors and is famed for its biryani! Visit: amaravati.sg/
  9. Experience Orchard Road. Multiple shopping malls, creative architecture, restaurants and events make this a multi-sensory Singaporean experience.
  10. Enjoy the airport. This might sound a bit odd, but it is worth
    heading to Changi Airport a little early for your onward journey, so you can spend some time wandering! The butterfly garden, outdoor sunflower garden (I found this really helped with my jet-lag during a short stop while homeward-bound), numerous sculptures and so much more all make this special.
Gardens by the Bay

All photos my own.

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