When travelling to Southeast Asia, if you have a chance to stop in Singapore for 24 hours, waiting for your next flight connection, well… Do it!
The first thing that you will notice is how “green” this City – State is, as half of its territory is occupied by more than 50 Parks and 4 natural reserves. It is a real Garden City! The second thing you will feel – it has a tropical rainforest climate with a very high percentage of humidity.
I had the chance to spent 24 hours in Singapore when travelling to Philippines, in January. I have been lucky enough as this is the monsoon season so rainstorms are frequent but not on that day!
We landed at Changi Airport, one of the biggest and most important airports in the world. Full of attractions and very well organised. It deserves a post on itself! Being Italian, a visa was not required, so we just took our luggages and got a taxi to our hotel. The Regent Hotel – Four Seasons is located close to Orchad Road. It is the most famous road in Singapore, full of shops, city malls and restaurants!
If you have time you can also take a city bus. This is probably the cheapest solution, and you will have the possibility to look around while reaching your hotel. I have selected my hotel closer to the Orchard Road, instead of one in the Marina Bay but there isn’t any particular reason why.
Both are the best spots in the city and you can find a hot deal for a 5 Stars Hotel. But, let me say that if you have the chance and the budget, book a room at the Marina Bay Sands, only to experience the Infinity Pool at the top of the Hotel, with a stunnig 360° overview of the city.
Taxi costs around 25$ to reach Orchad Road. We arrived in the early afternoon. Just the time to leave our luggages and get refreshed and get our 24 hours city tour started.
Try to catch the last departure for one of the city tour busses at least to have a quick look at the major tourist attractions. You can decide where to stop the next day. Those tours can last 60 to 90 minutes, depending on the route selected.
Get off the bus at Marina Bay Sands Hotel and reach on foot or by taxi (if you are in another part of the city) Gardens By the Bay, the super-trees just on time to see the Garden Rapsody that take place twice in the evening at 19.45 and at 20.45. This is an amazing show of lights and music. The entrance is free.
What I suggest you, since there is a lot of queue, is to get there around 18.45 and try to watch the 19.45 show on top of the OCBC Skyway. Ticket costs 5 $. The 20.45 show you can watch it from the Marina bay Sands Hotel, just at the end of the bridge that connects the Garden and the Hotel.
Trust me, from the Marina by Sands it is simply amazing!
Once the show is finished, have a look a the magnificent skyline in the Marina Bay, simply breathtaking!
For about 10$ we took a taxi to Chinatown to have dinner. Singapore is famous for its Hawker Centres, where you can experience the best Southeast Asian cuisine at the lowest price and Chinatown has its own!
Don’t be fooled by the variety and excellent flavors, the dishes served in the Hawker Centers are as cheap as they are delicious. You can get a hearty, authentically Asian meal for less than $3.
After the dinner we very tired, and also because of the jet lag, we reached our hotel and we felt asleep instantly!
The next day started very early with a nice walk through Orchad Road. We reached the iconic Raffle hotel and we explored the labyrinth of courtyards and verandas.
While there, sip on the world-famous pink cocktail, the Singapore Sling, created in 1915 by the bar captain Ngiam Tong Boon, and toss some peanut shells onto the floor – the only place in Singapore where “littering” is permitted.
We continued our walk reaching the colorfull Little India. Once there, take a walk down Serangoon Road. Shop in the colourful family-run stores, selling everything from clothing to groceries from India. Refresh yourself with a cup of chai at one of the many teashops dotted around the area.
Since it was to hot and because we walked for almost 4 kilometers, we decided to take a taxi for a short distance. We reached Arab Road and visited the Mosque. This street, like Little India, is colorfull and there are lots of cheap souvenir shops.
We continued walking reaching the Marina Bay Promenade, admiring the skyscrapers’ skyline in its natural daylight.
We jumped on our tourist bus (ticket last 24h) and decided to have a walk in Clarke Quay. It is one of the nicest spots here in Singapore, full of restaurants (so better go in the evening) and colors! Inside one of the Shopping Malls in Clarke Quay, look for the food court. You will have different choices for various cuisines.
A lot of other things needs to been seen and experienced in Singapore! 24 hours are not enough but are usefull to have an idea of what this amazing city is able to offer!