Whether you choose Singapore for a layover or to stop for the weekend, it is just one of those vibrant cities that everyone wants to visit. It is busy every day of the year and at any time of the day. Singapore is a small country (being one of the worlds smallest in fact) with a population of 5,808,339 million and a land area of 682.7 square kilometres. Combine that with the tropical South-East Asian weather; well, you have a recipe for the best of Singapore in 1 Day.
Things to know before you go
Although the weather in Singapore is always hot and humid, rain can also be unpredictable. The tropical showers can come fast and furious but be gone as quick as they arrive. Please note – always bring an umbrella and fan, two fundamental essentials.
Grab/Cab – Transport in Singapore is affordable, but do not be caught out during peak hour where grab prices can double.
MRT – Fast, reliable and affordable, and more importantly, it has air conditioning.
Buses – Buses are frequent, and it is an excellent way to see the city, they also have airconditioning but can sometimes be crowded during rush hour.
Always bring along something to protect you from the force of the airconditioning; this is because there is only one temperature setting here – freezing.
The Start to the Day – Singapore Botanic Gardens
The Singapore Botanic Gardens was included as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2015. This tropical gardens the first and only tropical botanic garden on the UNESCO world heritage list. The gardens open at 5 am for the early risers, and there are numerous paths to walk along. The sun rises typically at around 7 am, and during this time you can see loads of people out and about in the Gardens running, walking and doing yoga. If early mornings are not your thing, then head out a little later and join one of the guided tours or download one of the many maps online and figure out your route yourself.
Next Stop – Fort Canning
At the end of Orchard Rd, at 2 Cox Terrace to be exact, you will find Fort Canning, a beautiful park with many hidden gems. The Battlebox visitor’s centre is open 930-530pm daily, and it is here you can book into one of there highly sort after tours. Whether you choose to wander around yourself or join a guided tour of the underground British command centre, this is a beautiful place to spend the afternoon.
Shopping – Orchard Rd
Why not head down to Orchard Rd as it is a short walking distance from the Singapore Botanic Gardens, most people know this road for one thing and one thing only – SHOPPING!! Yes, one entire street dedicated to those who believe in retail therapy. From department stores to restaurants and everything in between, there is something for everyone and of every age.
Street Art and a funky vibe – Haji Lane
Head over to Arab Street and Haji lane, where you will find quirky boutique-style shops, side by side with great bars and restaurants. These streets are an Instagrammers favourite place, as the graffiti art sprawled along the walls of the lane are beautifully displayed. You can walk across the street to visit the infamous middle eastern area, which makes you feel like you have stepped straight into the streets of Turkey.
Cool places to eat and drink
Breakfast – Jones the grocer @Somerset 111
This place is pretty popular in and around Dempsey Hill, so now you do not have to hop on over to Dempsey Hill anymore, instead take yourself over to Somerset 111 (just off Orchard Rd) and build your individual breakfast burger.
This centrally located cafe is found inside The Singapore Botanic Gardens. Opening hours are from 8 am, so you have plenty of time to work up an appetite walking the gardens before you sit down to eat. Grab a coffee or choose from their delicious breakfast menu.
Morning Coffee – P.S Cafe
P.S cafe is a chain of restaurants found in Singapore, whether you choose to go there for the ambience (yes, it is that nice) or for the food and beverages (which is why I chose this place), you will sometimes be hit with a wait. If you have not yet eaten, then this would also be an excellent stop for brunch. Ensure you head to the P.S cafe in the Paragon as it opens at 9 am, do not be confused with the one in Palais Renaissance that opens its doors at 11 am.
Lunch -Din Tai Fung
With loads of locations to choose from Din Tai, Fung can be found almost everywhere. This famous Taiwanese dumpling restaurant that has taken the world by storm, so you will always find the queue to be quite long. Do not be deterred by this, because of the number of customers that arrive each day; service is fast so that you won’t be waiting long.
Afternoon tea -Selfie Coffee
You can not hit Haji Lane without stopping into Selfie Coffee. Yes, that is right; you can have your picture taken and placed on top of your own drink. Not only is it a fun place to stop by, but the drinks are also delicious.
Dinner – Vatos Urban Tacos
Although there are many delicious middle eastern restaurants to choose from around this area. I could not go by without recommending one of my favourite restaurant in Singapore. This fusion style restaurant (Korean and Mexican, yes you heard right), not only have delicious food, but it encompasses a fun, lively atmosphere, which has me coming back again and again.
Late night beverages – The Atlas Bar
For gin lovers, you will not have seen anything quite like it, as it is the most extensive gin bar in the world. If you aren’t a gin-loving kind of person, don’t worry, the menu is extensive and encompasses everyone’s pallet. Set in the 1920s decore this place is like you have stepped right back in time. Make sure you book, as the wait can be hours long because unlike Din Tai Fung, this place is designed for you to sit back and chill.