Jordan and I had an absolute blast in Singapore, even though we were only there for two days and two nights! We highly recommend a visit to the city state. Below are our list of suggestions for a smoother time.
- Taking the subway/metro is the much cheaper transportation option. It can be tricky buying passes, though. The ticket machines don’t take any bills higher than 5 Singapore dollars and the ticket counters have their own rules. The airport is the trickiest. For the smoothest transitions and purchasing possible always have small bills and coins.
- Singapore is good for two or three days, probably not much more. It’s an expensive place to visit and somewhat small, so it’s easy to hit all the highlights pretty quickly. In two days Jordan and I saw almost everything we had wanted to see. A third day would’ve been nice to perhaps visit the islands or the Malay Heritage Centre, but we were content with two.
- If you’re interested in culture, history, and museums, don’t miss out on the heritage centers around the city! the Chinese Centre, Malay Centre, Indian Centre, and the Peranakhan Museum each show the formation of Singapore as it is today from the perspective of those ethnic groups. It’s pretty cool.
- If you’re on a budget, don’t worry about entering the Gardens by the Bay. Yeah, it’s amazing inside, but it’s also really expensive for a garden. There are outdoor exhibits that are free, like the trees, and in many people’s opinions, that’s the highlight of the garden anyway.
- If you do the Night Safari (which you should!) save the tram ride for last. We arrived at 8 pm and all the lines were crowded and an hour-long wait. Jordan and I saw the animal show, strolled through the walking parts of the zoo, and saved the tram for last. At 10:30 there was a five minute wait and we happily got an entire row to ourselves rather than sharing with four other people.
- Singapore cabs aren’t terribly expensive considering where they are. But they do charge a 50% surcharge for any rides after midnight. And the subway stops running at midnight.
- The sights and the shopping and the clubs are fun, but don’t forget about the gardens. Take your time through Ft. Canning park or one of the other many parks in the country. Singapore is at the world’s cutting edge for incorporating green spaces in urban zones and vice versa, and their leader has declared Singapore to be a “City in a Garden,” which everyone takes seriously. Enjoy the ivy and flowers and trees. It’s beautiful.