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What to See on a Singapore Stopover

Angela Wood

Senior Contributor

You’re heading to far-flung destinations but have decided to spend your stopover in the buzzing metropolis of Singapore. With limited time to explore this fascinating city, here are a few ideas of what to see on a Singapore stopover.

Stroll through Impressive Gardens by the Bay

Gardens by the Bay are spread across 250 acres of reclaimed land in Singapore. It’s a haven for nature lovers and horticulturists containing thousands of exotic flower species and plants from all around the world. With aerial bridges, lakes and waterways it’s a magical paradise on the shores of Marina Bay.

That’s not all. The gardens are also energy efficient utilising cutting-edge cooling technologies which save at least 30% energy! The towering Supertrees are a main highlight of Gardens by the Bay. During the daytime, these 25-50-metre-tall wire trees provide welcome shade and at night, they illuminate to create a breathtaking fairytale wonderland.

If you have time during your visit, wander through the Flower Dome – home to the world’s largest greenhouse, see the tiered hanging gardens draped with colourful floral displays and step into Avatar territory at Cloud Forest – a mist-filled landscape with a 35-metre tall mountain covered in tropical vegetation! 

Gardens by the Bay

See the City from the Singapore Flyer

The Singapore Flyer is Asia’s largest observation wheel standing at 165 metres tall. From comfortable viewing gondolas you gain incredible views across the city, glimpsing iconic landmarks such as Raffles Place and Merlion Park. Onboard you’re treated to an interactive experience, learning about the city’s history and culture as you travel full circle. However, if you’re short on time during your stopover, double up with a Singapore Flyer Sky Dining experience. In the privacy of your own gondola soar high above the city, while feasting on a delicious western, Chinese or vegetarian menu, served by your personal in-flight butler. 

Singapore Flyer

Sip a Singapore Sling at Raffles Hotel

As you reach the entrance of the Raffles Hotel, Singapore, you can’t fail to be impressed. This newly restored hotel first opened in 1887 as a boutique establishment with just 10 rooms, and today it’s one of the most iconic hotels in the world. Synonymous with old-world Colonial charm, it’s famous for its afternoon teas which are served in the elegant grand lobby. These are so popular that bookings are taken months in advance, however, you can pop in during your stopover to sip a Singapore Sling at the Long Bar. The gin-infused cocktail (based on the American Gin Sling) was created around 1915 by bartender Ngiam Tong Boon who worked in the hotel.

Served in a highball glass and garnished with a maraschino cherry and lemon slice, the refreshing drink has been a firm favourite with hotel patrons and tourists for over a century.

Raffles Hotel, Singapore

Feast on Street Food in Chinatown

Chinese people make up over three-quarters of Singapore’s population, therefore, it’s no surprise to discover that the city has a thriving Chinatown district. With ornate Buddhist and Hindu temples, a towering observation point at The Pinnacle@Duxton and a variety of shops and clubs, it’s easy to lose yourself in the wealth of attractions. However, most tourists venture to Chinatown for the cuisine.

You can sample authentic flavours of Singapore within the hawker centres of Chinatown Complex and Maxwell Food Centre. They are famous for their Hainanese Chicken Rice and Char Kway Teow, and even though food is budget-friendly, two of the stalls have been awarded coveted Michelin stars for their cuisine! Pack your plate with noodles, grab a craft beer and immerse yourself in the heady atmosphere.

Who knows, you may even be asked to join older residents for a game of Chinese chess afterwards!

China Town, Singapore

Shop till you drop on Orchard Road

Orchard Road, as the name suggests, was once home to nutmeg plantations and fruit orchards back in the early-mid 1800s. Then in 1958, the first department store was opened by local merchant C.K Tang, thus beginning the bustling Orchard Road shopping complex. Today, it’s a retail paradise with over 5000 shops and restaurants catering to all budgets and tastes.

Begin your retail extravaganza at Tangs, the first-ever department store in the city. It’s home to well-known brands, souvenirs and Asian collectables. Alternatively, if you seek a more upmarket vibe, ION Orchard ticks all the boxes. This futuristic shopping mall houses a host of luxury brands including Cartier, Dior and Prada.

Orchard Road, Singapore

View the Spectacular Light Show at Marina Bay

Every evening from 8 pm at Marina Bay, Singapore springs to life with a kaleidoscope of colours. The Spectra Light and Water Show is fast becoming one of the most spectacular in the world. Shades of indigo, blue, teal and pink illuminate the bay and you become mesmerised by the majestic synchronicity of water, light and sound. Then, as rainbow-hued lasers beam from the rooftop of Marina Bay Sands Resort you are treated to a captivating experience you won’t forget.

Arrive early to gain a seat or view from the opposite side of the bay at Merlion, you won’t be able to hear the music, but you are guaranteed to gain the best photos!

Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

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