Flying in and out of Australia is never an easy thing, especially when you’re headed for (or returning from) Europe – requiring a whopping 20 hours++ in the air! But it can be much more enjoyable with the simple and straight forward effort to find Asia’s best stopover cities to break up the travel. So on my way back to Australia after 6 weeks in Europe, I made a point of stopping in to Singapore for a three day stopover to break up my British Airways flight back to Sydney. Here’s why Singapore is on of the best stopover cities in Asia and how to make the most of just a few days here!
How to Make the Most of A Singapore Stopover
Singapore is by far and large Asia’s most Westernised capital city. It is incredibly modern, safe, and comfortable to travel around. While other Asian cities offer more culture and charm on the surface, once you dig a little deeper in Singapore you will find this in abundance. But if you just want a couple of days to relax and unwind and see the highlights of a new city, here’s how to do it…
Check in: Mandarin Oriental
You will be spoiled for choice when it comes to accommodation in Singapore, as nearly every international chain is here and there are also some great boutique hotels if you’re on a budget. However if you aren’t on a budget and want to experience that quintessential Asian hospitality you’ve heard all about, look no further than booking a room at the Mandarin Oriental Singapore. I’ve stayed with this hotel chain all around the world and it continues to be one of the best – if not the best – especially in terms of a personalised service with a warm smile. The staff remember your name and even room preferences! While it won’t come cheap, you will certainly get what you pay for at MO hotels.
Check it Out: Don’t Miss…
There are a few places in Singapore that absolutely cannot be missed for the first time traveller.
Gardens by the Bay
This huge park (101 hectares) of reclaimed land brings life back into Singapore. The park is a great place to take an afternoon stroll, run, or just to visit in the evenings for the free light show. It is absolutely gorgeous at blue hour (the hour after sunset) as the supertrees light up the night sky.
China Town is for sure one of the most vibrant and happening parts of the city. Be sure to stop by to check out the local street stalls and don’t miss the chance to try a $1.20 ice cream in wafers – great for combating the Singapore humidity levels!
Singapore Botanic Gardens
If you’re a nature lover, would like to see the National flowers up close (orchards), or just want to escape the city vibes, head for the Botanic Gardens – centrally located and they’re also directly reachable by MRT.
See this post for more ideas on where to go in Singapore for Nature Lovers.
This historical riverside gives a solid insight into the colonialist history in Singapore and shows a great variety of beautiful old colonial buildings. Be sure to hop on a traditional boat for a cruise around the quay and Marina Bay for some of the best views of the city!
With just a couple of nights in Singapore, you really have to make some tough choices on where to eat as the city is bursting with so many great restaurants. If you’re after some cheap eats (quick, no frills), head straight for the Hawker’s Centres – here you will try fantastic local cuisine for just a few dollars.
But if you’re after the “best of the best” in Singapore, you’re in for a real treat!
2am Dessert Bar
Life short – have dessert first! One of my favourite places to go for a midnight mission is the aptly named “2am Dessert Bar”. Just as the title suggests, it is a late night dessert bar opened daily ’til 2:00am (closed Mondays).
21A Lorong Liput, Holland Village, 277733
This restaurant is a testament to the foodie culture in Singapore. It is a gastronomic experience without the hefty price tag, meaning there is literally no reason not to book yourself a table here! Expect creative flavour combinations, local fresh produce, and outstanding service.
10A Upper Wilkie Rd, Singapore 228119
If you’re after a rooftop bar in Singapore (at some point you should be, its an absolute must whilst in the city!), then head straight for the best of the best – Level 33.
Marina Bay Financial Centre Tower 1
With thanks to Mandarin Oriental Singapore for welcoming me to experience a Singapore Stopover!