Singapore is probably the cleanest place I have ever visited! It is an island city-state off southern Malaysia and consists of 63 islands, including the main island, Pulau Ujong.
The flight time from London to Singapore is approximately 13 hours on a direct flight, arriving into Singapore’s Changi Airport which is considered by many to be among the best in the world with three main terminals, loads of shops, movie theatres, game rooms, playgrounds, spas and even a ‘nature train’ and gardens! Getting from the airport into the city is really easy; taxis are available at the pick-up points at the arrival levels with fares ranging from S$18-S$38 for a 30-minute trip to the city. You can catch a public bus at the bus stops under Terminals 1, 2 or 3. Operating from 06:00-24:00 daily with a fare up to S$2; it takes about an hour to reach the city centre. You can also opt to take the train (MRT) for the 30-minute journey into the city with fares around S$2.70. There’s also the option for airport shuttles, limousine taxis, large taxis and car rental.
If you hold a U.K. passport, you won’t need a visa to enter Singapore for stays of up to 30 days for tourism, business discussions or social visits. You’ll need to make sure that your passport is valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into Singapore too. For the latest information, check out the GOV.UK website.
The local currency is the Singapore Dollar and what got me excited was the fact I didn’t need travel adaptors as the power sockets are of type G which is the same as we have in the U.K. (yes I am easily pleased!).
Many people use Singapore for a stop-off to their final destination, only spending a short amount of time but there is so much to do here!
That’s enough of the useful information, here’s what Lloyd and I got up to during our three night stay in Singapore!
After travelling from London Heathrow, via Kuala Lumpur with Malaysia Airlines, we arrived at Changi Airport at 8:10pm. We proceeded through immigration, collected our luggage and picked up a taxi to take us to our hotel for S$25.00.
We checked in to our hotel, Hotel Boss, which is located in the city centre, nestled between Kampong Glam (Arab Street) and Little India. We paid £248.88 for three nights without breakfast, which was a lot cheaper compared to Marina Bay Sands which is where I wanted to stay but couldn’t justify the cost! The rooms were a little on the small side with nowhere to put your clothes but as we were only there for three nights, we were living out of our suitcases anyway!
The closest MRT station to Hotel Boss is Lavender Station, just a short straightforward 5 minute/400 metre walk away. Bugis Junction Station is also relatively near, and the station we used the most to navigate ourselves around Singapore, just 11 minutes by foot/900 metres from the hotel.
After a restless nights sleep due to Lloyd not adjusting to the time difference, we embraced the Singapore heat and 80% humidity (!!!) and walked to well-known Haji Lane for breakfast at Juice Clinic. After only eating aeroplane food for the past 24 hours, pancakes went down a treat!
After breakfast we walked to Bugis MRT. We purchased a 2 day MRT pass for S$26.00 each – S$10.00 is paid as a deposit which you get back at the end once you have returned the card. You can use this an unlimited amount of times on the buses, MRT and LRT and they are available in 1 day, 2 day and 3 day passes. The MRT is very easy to navigate around too! We took the MRT to Downtown and walked to the Marina for our first glimpse of the famous hotel which steals the show, Marina Bay Sands, as well as the popular attractions Singapore has to offer such as The Singapore Flyer, ArtScience Museum and Gardens by the Bay which are tucked behind Marina Bay Sands.
We spent some time at the iconic Merlion which is situated at One Fullerton near the waterfront at Marina Bay. The mythical Merlion has a head of a lion and a body of a fish. Spouting water from its mouth, the Merlion statue stands 8.6 metres tall and weighs 70 tonnes. The body symbolises Singapore’s humble beginnings as a fishing village when it was called Temasek, meaning ‘sea town’ in Old Javanese. It’s head represents Singapore’s original name, Singapura, or ‘lion city’ in Malay. The Merlion was built by a local craftsman Lim Nang Seng and it was unveiled on 15th September 1972 at the mouth of the Singapore River to welcome all visitors to Singapore. However in 2002, the Merlion was relocated 120 metres away from the original position to where it stands Merlion Park today, in front of Fullerton Hotel and overlooking Marina Bay.
We continued our walk along the Jubilee Bridge, which was built to mark Singapore’s Golden Jubilee in 2015 across the Singapore River, to the Singapore Flyer. The Singapore Flyer is the world’s largest observation wheel (outside United States), standing 165 metres above ground – 30 metres taller than the London Eye! For S$33.00 each, we got to see Singapore’s magnificent cityscape on our 30-minute 360-degree journey.
Next up was Gardens by the Bay, just 11 minutes by foot from the Singapore Flyer. The park consists of three waterfront gardens: Bay South Garden, Bay East Garden and Bay Central Garden covering an area of 101 hectares. You can walk around the Outdoor Gardens for free between 5am-2am. The Outdoor Gardens consists of the popular Supertree Grove, Sun Pavillion, Heritage Gardens, World of Plants and Dragonfly & Kingfisher Lakes. If you’d like to visit the Conservatories (Flower Dome and Cloud Forest), the admission fee is S$28.00 each for the Double Conservatories. Lloyd and I just stuck to the Supertree Grove section as it was too hot and we were getting hangry! I would’ve liked to visit the Conservatories as I had been told they were worth it, and walked the OCBC Skyway for S$8.00 but it was closed when we visited.
You can hop onto an Audio Tour for a leisurely 20-minute informative commentary tour around the Gardens for S$8.00 each.
A late lunch was at Level 4 in Marina Square for curry chicken and rice from the food court before heading back to our hotel for a quick freshen up and outfit change for the evening.
We got the MRT to the famous Raffles Hotel for a Singapore Sling cocktail – it’s got to be done! Raffles Hotel is named after British statesman Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, the founder of Singapore and was opened in 1887. The Singapore Sling was founded at the Long Bar in Raffles Hotel. With Long Bar undergoing restoration, we had our cocktails in the Bar and Billiard Room which is regarded as the oldest existing bar in its original location in Singapore!
Served with a free bag of monkey nuts, our Singapore Slings cost us S$33.00 each – not including GST and service charge! Possibly the most expensive cocktail I have ever had, but it has to be done during a trip to Singapore.
Dinner was at the Hard Rock Cafe located near to Orchard MRT station; we got inside just before it absolutely tipped it down with rain!
After my twisted mac & cheese, we took the MRT to Bayfront to see Gardens by the Bay lit up. What a stunning view. My pictures do not do it justice so go and see it for yourself! It was really worth going back and walking around in the evening.
We returned back to the hotel after 14 hours wandering around Singapore in the blistering heat for a well deserved sleep!
Day two started with rain, and lots of it. We decided to have breakfast in the hotel rather than walking around looking for somewhere to eat. Bad idea. Breakfast at Hotel Boss was terrible! It was S$12.00 each and I literally had some rice and watermelon, on the same plate of course. Tip: Save your money and find somewhere else to grab breakfast!
I had pre-booked tickets to Universal Studios Singapore for day 2 through the Resorts World Sentosa website. The tickets cost S$76.00 each plus S$80.00 each for Universal Express Unlimited fast-track so approximately £80.00 each.
We embraced the rain and walked to Bugis MRT station in our rain macs and got the train to Little India before changing to the purple line to Harbourfront Station. We followed the signs throughout the VivoCity shopping centre to the cable car and purchased tickets to Sentosa for S$33.00 each.
Sentosa Island is a man-made island built purely for fun and recreation! It offers plenty of attractions appealing to children and adults alike from Universal Studios Singapore, SEA Aquarium and Singapore Butterfly & Insect Kingdom. There’s also 7 man-made beaches to relax on!
Once on Sentosa Island, we got the free bus shuttle, bus 1, to Universal Studios Singapore.
We entered the themepark and proceeded to Guest Services to redeem our fast-track wristbands and worked our way anti-clockwise. The fast-track tickets were really worth the money; it wasn’t even a super busy day at Universal Studios and the queues were averaging about 30-minutes to 1-hour per ride, we saved so much time walking through the fast-track line straight to the front. I don’t think we would’ve been able to complete all of the rides in one day without the fast-track. The rain didn’t ruin our fun either as quite a lot of the themepark is undercover and by the time we came out from the canopies, the rain had eased off.
We had lunch in New York’s Loui’s NY Pizza Parlor™. For S$16.00, I got a big thin slice of pizza, 1 drink and dessert of the day!
There’s seven zones within Universal Studios; Hollywood, New York, Sci-Fi City, Ancient Egypt, Lost World, Far Far Away and Madagascar with each zone offering thrilling rides, shows and parades. You can view the interactive map with all the rides on here.
After our thrill-seeking day, we made our way back to the Cable Car and got the MRT back to Bugis and returned to our hotel for a quick freshen up.
Dinner was quite near to our hotel, en route to Bugis MRT, where we had a really good chicken biryani for S$6.50 each at an Islamic restaurant. We shared our table with an Asian man who offered me his dates. We we’re in Singapore during the Holy Month aka Ramadan and muslims break their fast with dates.
We then headed to CÉ LA VI Bar on level 57 at Marina Bay Sands Tower 3. Entry is S$20.00 each, but you can redeem this cost back off of food and drink. Cocktails start at S$24.00. You can enjoy the views from Marina Bay Sands’ SkyPark at a cost of S$23.00 each which is literally just an observation deck with nothing included, but we thought it made more sense to get a cocktail thrown in for the same view. We sat overlooking the Gardens by the Bay and the view was phenomenal! The skyscrapers completely lit up the sky!
After I had finished my two mojitos, we walked back to Downtown MRT Station so we could see the Singapore Flyer, ArtScience Museum, Marina Bay Sands and the skyscrapers all lit up one last time before heading off to Malaysia the next morning.
Before I knew it, we we’re heading off to Changi Airport in the taxi ready to move on to our next part of our adventure.
Click here if you’d like to read up on the other attractions Singapore has to offer.