Singapore is a fantastic destination for a super-cool city break, but it is also a prime candidate for a layover if you’re heading to somewhere else in Southeast Asia or to Australia or New Zealand. So I think it’s key to prioritise what you want to do there if you’re low on time. I’ve been twice – once as a visa run whilst backpacking Southeast Asia and again recently as a stopover on the way back from Bali and I feel like it’s definitely doable in a couple of days. Here’s my list of the top sights and attractions to hit whilst you’re there…
1) Singapore Zoo and the Night Safari
As you probably already know from my post ‘Why Singapore Zoo is Cool AF‘, I really like this zoo. Their whole ‘Open Concept’ model means the animals are out in the open instead of in cages and it just feels a lot more natural. There’s also the ‘Night Safari’ in the same location which offers a deeper insight to the nocturnal animals and can actually be a bit scary in the dark! Definitely a cool attraction.
2) Garden by the Bay
The instagram-addict in me couldn’t wait to get the Garden by the Bay and get a load of the immense Supertrees. They are beautiful light installations that glow different colours, you can walk between them on the skywalk and there’s even a bar in one of them! They’re pretty cool.
Other than the Supertrees there are also lovely attractions such as the Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest for a bit of insight into rare species of plants. Definitely a winner for you green-fingered babes.
3) View the skyscrapers and the bay by night
The Singapore skyline is really just a sight to behold in itself. It is refined and clean and you can tell it has been designed to look so impressive. The bay is a lot bigger than it looks and a night-time stroll took us ages, but it’s nice to see the view from all angles. And you know, it’s free!
4) Hang out in the shopping malls
This sounds a bit weird but on my first visit to Singapore I spent ages in a Shopping Mall near Clarke Quay. The shopping centres are just so huge and there’s so much to do there that it feels like a bit of a cultural experience to just wander around and people watch.
Sure there’s loads of shops but they’re mainly designer (except the first Topshop I had seen in 4 months) so I couldn’t afford anything, but I ate cool snacks and played in the arcade and even went to the cinema. Because why not. But the thing is because buildings are all connected in Singapore, it’s like a maze trying to find your way out. Definitely worth a look-in though I think.
5) Try a Singapore Sling
It’s normally the number 1 recommended thing to do in Singapore – have a Singapore Sling at Raffles. Well the thing is, Raffles is super expensive and you have to dress nice and it felt like a big effort. So I tried a Singapore Sling in a grungy bar round the corner! Because who needs glitz and glam when you can have rock music and peeling posters on the walls?
The verdict? Singapore Slings are overly sweet and not at all pleasant. Next time I’ll go for a Long Island Iced Tea instead, but when in Singapore and all…
There you have it, my top 5 recommended things for backpackers to do in Singapore. Although an honorary mention to staying at a pod hostel in Singapore while you’re there – check out my review of MET A Space Pod hostel! Super cool.
What do you think of my Singapore top 5? Anything I missed out? Let me know in the comments below or tweet me @HeelsInBackpack!