Whether you’re making the long-haul journey to Europe, exploring Asia in-depth or looking for a quick cosmopolitan getaway – Singapore is a worthy choice. Even if only for 48 hours to relax and rejuvenate before your onward travels. This post will give you some ideas of what to do on your next Singapore stopover. Singapore is an incredibly diverse country, with so much to offer, you will love it.
Singapore completely took me by surprise. I have said it many times before on this blog, and you’re probably sick of hearing it, but I don’t like cities. Normally. They can be loud, smelly, dirty, heaving with people, and sometimes just downright full on. There are a few cities, which have caught me by surprise in my travels and I am starting to wonder if I should revise my ‘hating cities’ statement 🤔.
Singapore is none of those things. During our Singapore stopover, I found the area to be clean, safe, and not smelly at all. Singapore felt felt more like a compilation of multi-cultural suburbs thrown into a big old melting pot, rather than a ‘city’.
We certainly didn’t cover everything Singapore has to offer, and you should be warned, it’s not the cheapest place to visit, but we sure had fun on our 48 hour Singapore stopover.
Getting There & Away
There are three main airlines that you can use to travel directly to Singapore from Australia. They are Singapore Airlines, Qantas and Scoot (Singapore’s low-cost carrier). At the time of writing, Singapore Airlines fly from Sydney to Singapore direct at least three times daily!
You can pick up airfares with Singapore or Qantas for as low as $600 per person return, if you get a decent sale. Scoot Airlines fly at least once daily, and while their fares are cheaper, they are a ‘no-frills’ airline, so everything you want added, will cost you extra.
If you’re looking at making your Singapore stopover en-route to Europe, you will need to fly with Singapore Airlines, British Airways or Qantas, to be able to fly via Singapore. You will also need to look for a fare than allows a stop-over, as not all will allow it (secret travel agent tip! ☺️).
If you’re looking at making the stop en-route to Europe, you will need to fly with Singapore, British Airways or Qantas to be able to go via Singapore. Look for a fare that enables a stop-over, as not all will allow it.
When to Go?
Anytime! Singapore’s weather remains pretty steady all year round. It is hot and muggy every damn day. If you have hair prone to frizziness 🙋🏼♀️ – leave you’re hair straightener at home (hellooo frizz fest).
As for how busy it is, well Singapore is always thriving. So if you know when you’d like to go, make sure you book well in advance. Accommodation can get really pricey, but there are always ‘stay-pay’ deals around. These are deals where you only pay for 5 nights, but stay 7 for example, so keep an eye out for those also.
Where to Stay?
Pretty much anywhere near an MRT station! The metro is extremely well-developed and cost effective over there. This means that just about anywhere you’ll stay, will be within 5 minutes walk of the closest metro. We stayed in Little India which was a good location for budget friendly accommodation.
Other popular areas to stay include: Clark Quay, Lavender Street and Bugis.
As I mentioned above, accommodation in Singapore is not cheap 😞. You can expect to pay around $80 per night for a bed in a hostel dorm, $100 for a private room, and anywhere from $200 upwards for a small, window-less hotel room 😫. Get in early folks, we sure didn’t!
If you have the budget, there are some stunning luxury hotels in Singapore which are perfect for a special getaway. These are located around the Marina and Bayfront area 😍.
Hot Tip: Be careful to check the room type at your selected hotel! Many properties have rooms without windows which are often the cheapest. If you get claustrophobic like me, pay the little bit extra to at least have some natural light!
What to Do on your 48 Hour Singapore Stopover!
Explore Gardens by the Bay
This was hands down my favourite part of our Singapore stopover! 🙌🏼 It is crazy to think that this 101 hectares of natural oasis, exists within a ‘concrete jungle’. You can easily spend hours wandering around the Garden’s, exploring all its different sections which are cleverly clustered together to represent different climates and natures.
The outside gardens are free 🎉. I found them to be more than enough for those on a budget 🙋🏼♀️. My favourite area was the Supertree Grove. The Supertrees range from 25 to 50 metres tall and some of them have solar energy harvesting powers! The flowers and plant life that are growing vertically up these trees are stunning. Not to mention, by nightfall, these trees come alive with amazing light and sound shows. The theme when we were there was Star Wars for May 4th 😍🤓.
I would say we spent 3 solid hours relaxing on the grass, wandering to different areas of the park, and taking photos from 1 million different angles of these Supertrees, and I did not get bored of it.
When I return to Singapore, I would 100% spend the money to enter the Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest. I think the way they’ve managed to replicate plant-life and the atmosphere of 2000 metres above sea level in these domes is amazing. To enter these exhibitions, you’re looking at $28 per person. After spending 4 weeks travelling around Asia, we just didn’t have the room in our budget for it 😢.
Hot Tip: My honest opinion is not to bother with Satay by the Bay. This is the Hawker style eatery area inside of Gardens by the Bay. We found the food pricey (for street style food) and really underwhelming. I left feeling hungry and out of pocket 👎🏻.
Marina Bay Sands
Your Singapore stopover would not be complete without a visit to the infamous Marina Bay Sands. I’m not normally one for man-made architecture – but I’ve got to say I was quite impressed by this building.
Sadly, if you’re wanting to swim in the infinity pool, you will have to spend the night at the Marina Bay Sands… at about $500 per night 😬. You can still admire the view from the top by purchasing tickets to the Sky Park, or heading up to the bar for a drink.
Hot Tip: If you want to visit the bar, make sure you wear appropriate clothing and footwear. This includes long pants and enclosed shoes for males. Don’t forget your photo I.D. either!
Hot Tip #2: I would also recommend calling ahead to the hotel to check that the bar is open and not booked out for a private event. We were shattered when we turned up, on the only night possible, in our best, backpacker clothing, to be turned away for this reason 😫.
You could also spend hours wandering through the Marina Bay Sands shopping complex. In the centre, you will find gondola rides, speciality cafes, designer brand shops, and shops to buy anything from super hero paraphernalia or a brand new Ferrari – whatever your little heart desires!
Haji Lane, Arab Street & China Town
You could easily spend the whole of your second day venturing around Singapore’s multicultural hot spots. It is incredible how people of such different cultures, religions and walks of life, can exist so peacefully so close to one another in Singapore. Especially when this unfortunately does not always happen in other parts of the world.
In Arab Street, you’ll find the Sultan Mosque, so beautiful and welcoming. Be prepared to pull a robe over your clothing to enter the mosque, if you’re not covered up, but definitely take the time to wander around. Not knowing much about the Muslim religion, I found it interesting to read about the history of their religion and culture, and the basis of their beliefs. The whole Kampong Glam area was really quite trendy and fun to meander through.
Two streets over, and you’ll find yourself in gorgeous Haji Lane. Filled with murals, street art, cute cafes and niche clothing stores – Haji Lane is every budding travel photographers dream playground. We were there on a Sunday, so many things were closed, but I would’ve loved to have sat, drank a coffee and people-watched in this area.
Finally, would a city, even be a city, without a China Town? Singapore’s China Town bares similar resembles to those of other major cities, however, it is home to two of Singapore’s most famous temples – the Buddha’s Tooth Relic and Sri Mariamman Temple.
You can enter them both for free, however you will need to cover your shoulders and have at least up to your knees covered. You can also wander through the markets, which sell classic Asian souvenirs for you to buy and then likely never look at again 🤷🏼♀️. Who isn’t guilty of doing this?
LeVel 33 Brewery
Whether your unlucky with getting to the top of Marina Bay Sands (like us) or not, a trip to LeVel 33 Brewery is well worth it. Hidden in Marina Bay’s financial district – LeVel 33 Brewery has nailed casual elegance, with a jaw-dropping view of the entire bay.
The craft beer was cold, and delicious, and the decadent food was a welcome luxury after 4 weeks of street food. LeVel 33 is not one for the backpacker budget (thank god for credit cards hey 😬). But it was the perfect way to round up our 4 week adventure around South East Asia.
If we had an extra day in Singapore, I would have popped over to Sentosa Island. I’ve heard that Universal Studios there is amazing!
If you’re planning a wider trip through South East Asia, make sure you check out some of my other posts such as, ‘Why Hoi An Should Be Apart of Every Vietnam Itinerary’ for inspiration.
Have you been to Singapore? What are your must see’s and do’s? If there was anything else we could have squeezed into our 48 hour Singapore stopover, let me know in the comments below ☺️.