ULTIMATE GUIDE TO VISITING SINGAPORE- EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW
Singapore sometimes feels like my second home, as I’m back there almost every 2-3 months. With a tropical climate and year-round warmth, Singapore is the perfect destination to travel to at any time of year. As such a regular to Singapore, I wanted to share some of my favourite things to do around the island.
Singapore has two national pastimes, the first being eating and the second, shopping. With Singaporean food being so damn good, there’s a great reason why Singaporeans love to eat. Whether you are after fine dining restaurants or top quality out door food markets, Singapore has all the options.
Here are some of my favourite places to eat:
Outdoor food markets in Singapore are not like what you would expect, especially if you have travelled through other parts of Asia. The outdoor food markets in Singapore are clean and hygienic and serve up some of the tastiest food you will ever eat. My two favourite in Singapore are Lau Passat and Newton Circus.
- At Lau Passat, they have a huge indoor and outdoor food market. After 7pm they shut one of the side roads down to make the space even larger. My favourite thing to do of an evening is sit outside and enjoy some tasty satay and beer from the best hawker centre on the property, called Best Satay number 7&8 (original I know).
- The other location I mentioned is Newtown Circus, which is known for its seafood. On every visit to Singapore I head there of an evening and enjoy the best pepper crab in the world. It’s very messy, so wear black and come prepared with lots of tissues, it’s definitely not somewhere to take your date!
Aside from outdoor markets there are a range of fine dining and causal restaurants. Here are some to try on your next visit:
- Dempsey Hill is a former military camp that has been transformed into a tranquil restaurant hideaway. The redeveloped space is home to a few of my favourite eateries including The Dempsey Cookhouse, Como and Margarita’s.
- Club Street is an area full of restaurants and bars. There is everything you can imagine, but the stand outs for me must be the French restaurants. Who knew, some of the best French is Singapore? L’Angelus, Les Bouchons and the Club Street Brasserie are some of the best options.
- In the National Gallery is a two Michelin star restaurant called Odette. No Ala carte, but wow. The moment you step inside Odette you know that this is going to be great, as the attention to detail in the place and dishes is amazing. Keep the camera ready for the “55 degrees Pine-Smoked Organic Egg” served on an egg tray with dry ice. Amazing!
- Chinatown is home to two of the best non-Asian restaurants. The first is an Australian BBQ restaurant called Burnt Ends. It’s only a very small place and it’s always busy, so make sure to book because they have some of the best Australian BBQ you’ll taste inside or outside of Australia. There second is beautiful French restaurant called Brasserie Gavroche. With authentic French cuisine and an extensive wine selection, you’ll want to check this out.
- Marina Bay Sands is home to two beautiful restaurants, those being Osteria Mozza by Mario Batali and Cé La Vi Restaurant and Skybar. While there are many others throughout the complex these as my personal favourites. I fell in love with Mario Batali’s restaurant in LA where I was served up some of the most incredible fresh mozzarella cheeses and like LA, he’s brought this same format to Singapore. Cé La Vi is considered slightly more touristy because it’s often where the hotel patrons go, but the food is so tasty and the view so incredibly good that I’m happy to sit with the other tourists (just like me).
THINGS TO SEE AND DO
- Gardens by the bay consists of 18 super trees measuring up to 16 storeys high. The iconic trees light up at night and twice a night they have a light show. For a different view than down below you can head up to the 22-metre-high walkway.
- Little India has several beautiful stores including clothing, jewellery and of course food. Explore the colourful outdoor markets and immerse yourself in the colour and culture that is India. Another shopping spot that I love is Mustafas Centre. Mustafas is a one stop shop of all things ladies and mens fashion, jewellery, electronics, watches and much more. It’s like a multi-level department store with the lot.
- China Town is home to two beautiful sites that I recommend visiting, both within 3 minutes’ walk of each other. The first is called Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum and the second is Sri Mariamman Temple.
- Marina Bay Sands is probably the most iconic spots in Singapore. The arc shaped building features a hotel, shops, restaurants and an incredible rooftop lookout and bar. One of my favourite things to do on a warm balmy Singapore afternoon, is head to Ce La Vi Bar on the rooftop pool level and enjoy a cocktail, while watching the sunset.
There are three areas that I would highly recommend for shopping in Singapore:
- Orchard Road- Flanked with iconic shopping malls, designer stores, art galleries and restaurants, Orchard road is known as Singapore’s top shopping location.
- Marina Bay Sands is not just a hotel with a lavish rooftop bar, but it’s also a shopping centre. You will find mostly high end designers in the mall, but it’s a great spot to shop because of its proximity to the rooftop bar, Ce La Vi and the restaurants listed above.
- If you are looking for boutique shopping, then I recommend heading to Haji Lane. It’s only a small area, but it’s full of boutique clothing, jewellery and homeware stores. It’s also a very trendy bar and restaurant area, so once you’re done shopping you can stop at one of the pubs to enjoy a casual eat.
There are some exceptional places to enjoy a cocktail (or two) in Singapore, in particular ones with an expansive view of the Singapore skyline. Here I’ve covered some of the bars I recommend that come with a 360 view of the city.
If you only have a short amount of time in Singapore, then I’ve also provided a quick 48 guide which you can read about in my blog:
Ultimate guide to visiting Singapore written by Melanie Duca.