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Singapore is known all across the world, and before arriving I wasn’t sure what I was going to make of it. Throughout our travels we had always preferred the smaller cities and towns due to the chaos and large populations of the capital cities. But Singapore is so unlike any other capital city I have been to. Yes, it is expensive compared to most of South East Asia and for this reason we only stayed four nights in total. However it is doable on a budget, especially if you do a bit of research beforehand. If you are wanting to know the top things to do in Singapore, keep on reading!
1. EXPLORE THE GARDENS BY THE BAY
If you have ever read or heard anything about Singapore, Gardens by the Bay was most likely mentioned. Luckily it is actually free to enter and you don’t need a ticket to see the Super Tree Grove! But if you want to make more of a day of it and visit the Cloud Forest and Flower Dome you have to buy a ticket. At S$28 it isn’t very budget friendly, but in my opinion it was worth it. We spent a few hours looking around as there was so much to see!
2. WATCH THE GARDEN RHAPSODY LIGHT SHOW
We made a trip back to the Gardens by the Bay the next day to watch the free light show. The show times are 7.45pm and 8.45pm and it lasts around 15 minutes. It is definitely worth arriving about 20-30 minutes early to get a good spot. Just before it started so many more people arrived and they found it tricky to find any free spaces! It was really well synchronised, and it even managed to give me goosebumps!
3. TAKE A PHOTO OF THE MARINA BAY SANDS HOTEL
You can’t really write about Singapore without mentioning this hotel. Unless you are lucky enough to stay in it, it is just worth taking a few photos to capture the iconic building. Just across the road you should also take a wander through the shopping mall. It is full of designer shops, of course we didn’t buy anything, and it even has a river complete with boats running through it!
4. WALK WITH THE WILDLIFE AT THE SINGAPORE ZOO
If you are looking for something to do to fill a fair few hours, whilst it isn’t the cheapest option at S$33 per person, the zoo was one of my favourite experiences in Singapore. The journey took quite a while as we had to change lines on the MRT and then get a bus to the zoo. But we were so lucky to meet a couple from the UK on the bus who had a family member that got a free family pass in as a perk of her job! So even though we were prepared to pay ourselves, we got in for absolutely nothing! It was by far the best zoo I have been to. There were open areas where gibbons, orangutans and monkeys were swinging around in the trees above you. I often find with zoos that you can never see it all in one day, but it actually didn’t take too long to walk around and we weren’t absolutely knackered by the end of it!
5. SPEND TIME RELAXING IN THE BOTANIC GARDENS
The Botanic Gardens are so big that I had to sit down multiple times whilst walking around. It would have been great to spend a day here, and to have lunch on the grass. It seemed like the go to spot for people on their lunch breaks. However we only had time to quickly walk through. There were so many different areas that you would probably come across something new every time you went.
WHERE TO STAY
Singapore is an expensive place to sleep. So we took to Agoda to find the cheapest whilst still alright looking place, and we were so happy with our hostel! We stayed at Dream Lodge, which is pretty central and only a five minute walk away from the MRT. Our couple pod in a dorm was £38 but the single pods are about £20. The hostel was really clean and the staff were so friendly and always offering information to help us get around the city as easily as possible. The breakfast they provided was also the best we had experienced on our travels!
If you are looking for your own private room we also stayed one night at the Arton Boutique Hotel right next to Dream Lodge for about £60 for the night.
HOW TO GET AROUND
The best and only way you should be getting around Singapore is by the MRT. We found it so easy to use, and were really impressed by the service! You can get a Tourist Pass that includes unlimited travel for not only the MRT but also the buses. We got the three day pass for just S$20!
Whilst we only had time to see the main attractions, Singapore has so much more to offer than what I have told you about. Take a visit to Chinatown and Little India to taste the amazing street food. Or if you are into your museums the ArtScience Museum would be a great pick!
If you are heading to Indonesia next, make sure to read my post about a trek in Sumatra to see wild orangutans!
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