Natalie Bannister recently spent three fun-filled days in this city-state and tells us a little about her short break stay in one of the world’s most vibrant and modern cities.
For those who love the good life, Singapore is a heaven with world-class shopping, classy bars, and fine dining restaurants. Foodies and fashionistas alike will find something to love in this city. And with a wide range of luxurious hotels to choose from, visitors can indulge in pampering and relaxation without sacrificing any level of comfort.
Staying at the Ritz Carlton Millenia Singapore was the premier choice to suit our needs, with a central location on Raffles Avenue overlooking the famous marina and city skyline – the ArtScience, Museum, the newly opened Gardens by the Bay, the Singapore Flyer, the Marina Bay Sands hotel and those amazing shopping precincts all close by.
The Club Deluxe room at the Ritz-Carlton Singapore is the epitome of luxury and comfort and made for an incredible base for our time in Singapore. With stunning views of Marina Bay and the CBD, guests can enjoy the breathtaking scenery from every corner of the room, including the bathtub in the luxurious bathroom. The elegant cream and beige decor adds to the serene ambiance, allowing guests to fully immerse themselves in the beauty of their surroundings. The bed is fit for royalty, with 300 thread count sheets and a feather topper that can be removed for a firmer mattress.
The bathroom is equally impressive, with plush robes and Asprey Purple Water products. The highlight of the room is undoubtedly the bathtub, set against a huge hexagonal window that provides the perfect backdrop for an Instagram-worthy photo.
As Club level guests, we were treated like VIPs with our own personalised concierge service, complimentary limousine service, and access to the Club Lounge with its 360-degree views of the city skyline. The Ritz Carlton Millenia truly exceeded our expectations and made our stay unforgettable. When we could drag ourselves away from our sumptuous beds and oversized bathtub with a view of the Flyer, or away from the cool relaxation of the hotel’s pool, it was the city that had us enthralled. Three nights wasn’t nearly enough to do everything we wanted but we gave it a good shot and, quite literally, didn’t stop feasting and sight seeing the entire time we were there.
Days were spent seeing the sights (we had a memorable breakfast date with orangutans at the famous Singapore Zoo; and the Gardens by the Bay impressed our inner botanist) or wandering the culturally diverse neighbourhoods and temples of Chinatown and Little India, lusting after supreme fashion at the high end designer digs of the Marina Bay Sands shopping precinct and the more accessible but equally exciting shops of Orchard Road; and savouring the quirky delights of the shops and cafes of colourful and vibrant Haji Lane (more about what to do and see in Singapore below!).
Afternoons welcomed both the sunset and cocktail time – we loved the rooftop bar Lantern at The Fullerton Bay Hotel where we could kick back with ambient tunes to accompany the delicious drinks and tasty nibbles. All to set ourselves up for another decadent meal at one of the riverside restaurants or, another favourite experience, tasting our way through the more traditional dishes at Singapore’s famous street side hawker stalls, which really is not to be missed!
Singapore is a vibrant and exciting destination with endless possibilities for exploration and adventure. Whether you’re visiting for a short stopover or an extended holiday, there’s always something new to discover. With so much to see and do, it can be hard to know where to start. To help you make the most of your time in Singapore, here are ten must-see attractions and experiences that you won’t want to miss. Keep in mind that even with three days, you may not be able to fit everything in (as we discovered ourselves – there’s just so much to do and see!), but that’s just another reason to come back and explore this amazing city again and again!
10 Best Things to Do in Singapore
Visit Gardens by the Bay
Gardens by the Bay is a must-visit attraction in Singapore. The nature park is spread over 101 hectares and features beautiful gardens, lakes, and conservatories. The Supertree Grove is a highlight, with towering tree-like structures that light up at night.
Explore Marina Bay Sands
Marina Bay Sands is a world-renowned hotel and entertainment complex located in Singapore. It is a popular tourist destination and offers a variety of attractions, including a rooftop infinity pool, a casino, luxury shopping, and numerous dining options. The view from the top is truly stunning, especially during sunset. For those with a bigger budget, Marina Bay Sands offers a range of high-end experiences, from dining at Michelin-starred restaurants to enjoying the panoramic view from the SkyPark. Designed by Moshe Safdie, this massive complex also includes a convention center and an iconic ArtScience Museum, making it a must-visit destination in Singapore.
Take a stroll along the Singapore River
The Singapore River is a historic waterway flowing through the city’s heart. Take a leisurely walk along the river and admire the beautiful architecture of the buildings that line its banks. You can also take a river cruise to see the city from a different perspective.
Visit the Merlion
A trip to Merlion Park is a must if you’re visiting Singapore. This picturesque promenade offers stunning views of Marina Bay and is home to the iconic 28-foot Merlion statue. The statue is a half-fish, half-lion stone carving that shoots water into the bay, symbolising Singapore’s beginnings as a fishing village and its nickname, “Lion City.” Erected in 1972, the Merlion remains one of the nation’s most popular tourist attractions, so be sure to plan accordingly and snap a photo with this mythical creature.
Chinatown in Singapore is a lively and bustling neighbourhood that offers a unique cultural experience. Visitors can explore the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum, browse through street markets for souvenirs, and indulge in delicious Chinese cuisine. Originally established as a settlement for Chinese immigrants, Chinatown has evolved into a vibrant blend of old and new, with historic temples and medicinal halls coexisting with trendy bars and restaurants. The bustling street markets are a must-visit, with shops and stalls lining the streets of Pagoda, Trengganu, and Temple. Chinatown’s sights, sounds, and smells provide an authentic experience for all the senses. Don’t miss Mao Shan Wang’s durian fruit-topped pizza and ice cream or Super Dream’s bubble tea and frozen yogurt drinks on Terengganu Street. To get there, hop on the MRT subway train’s North-East Line (purple line) and disembark at Chinatown station.
Experience the nightlife at Clarke Quay
Clarke Quay is a popular nightlife destination in Singapore. It features a variety of bars, restaurants, and clubs and is a great place to party and socialise. The colourful buildings and lively atmosphere make it a must-visit spot.
Shop at Orchard Road
Orchard Road is a shopping paradise in Singapore. It is lined with malls, department stores, and luxury boutiques. You can find everything from high-end fashion to electronics and souvenirs. It is a great place to shop and indulge in some retail therapy.
Visit The National Gallery of Singapore
The National Gallery of Singapore boasts an impressive collection of over 9,000 modern art pieces, making it the largest public collection in Southeast Asia. The collection is housed in two stunning national monuments, City Hall and the former Supreme Court building. Visitors can easily spend half a day or more exploring the numerous galleries. To avoid long lines, visiting on a weekday and purchasing tickets in advance online is recommended.
Arab Street/Kampong Glam
Kampong Glam has a rich history dating back to the 1800s when it was a Muslim quarter and home to the Sultan of Johore. Today, the area has transformed into a trendy hangout with a mix of traditional and modern influences. Visitors can explore minimalist boutiques, Mediterranean restaurants, and cultural attractions such as the Sultan Mosque and the Malay Heritage Centre. The area also boasts the only Vintage Camera Museum in the country. Kampong Glam’s history is intertwined with the British colonisation of Singapore, as the British made a treaty with Sultan Hussein Shah to cede the island to the British East India Trading Company. The sultan was given Kampong Glam as a settlement for his palace and subjects, and the area grew as a hub for trade and pilgrimage.
The Intan is a hidden gem in Singapore, a private home boasting an impressive Peranakan artifacts collection. Alvin Yapp, the owner, has dedicated over 30 years to collecting 1,500 objects from Peranakan culture, including the famous kasut manek and hand-painted enamel tiffin carriers. Yapp’s passion for preserving this unique heritage is evident in how he meticulously arranged every inch of his post-war home. However, visits to The Intan are strictly by appointment only, adding to the exclusivity and allure of this cultural treasure trove.
Thinking of enjoying a holiday or honeymoon in SE Asia? You’ll love our guide to the best hotels and resorts for couples!