Singapore is both a bustling metropolis and a relaxing refuge, it depends on what you are going for when you visit. You may be thinking that it’s a bit of an oxymoron but I can tell you that this city is a master planned city that is always thinking “at least 60 years ahead”, we were told. You have a few major areas to the city; the coast, the downtown – Orchard street area, and the Marina Bay area. We made sure to pay a visit to all three while we were there. Our main reason for visiting the city was to celebrate Liana’s 27th birthday ( in November) so all of the decisions on “things to do” where made by her!
Downtown – Orchard Street:
This is where all the hustle and bustle of the city is. The shops, the hotels and the people all congregate here. We were fortunate enough to be here during the Christmas season and boy does this city dress up for it! Liana and I both love Christmas but I don’t know any one else that gets exited for it as much as she does.
The streets and shops are all decked out in Christmas decor. In fact, the buildings on Orchard road hold competitions for Christmas decor and boy do they put on a show.
Orchard Street is also where all of the main shopping is located, so all of you shopaholics would love it here.
Marina Bay Area:
The Marina Bay area is where you are going to find the museums, gardens, shopping and of course the beautiful Marina Bay Sands Hotel! We absolutely loved this area of the city and in retrospect would have stayed in this area and simply taken and Uber to the city when we wanted to visit. Why, you might ask? Because there is so much to do in this area.
The ArtScience Museum:
We came to visit one of the fun exhibits here on modern art called Future World and were blown away by how cool it was. It was very interactive and would be good for kids and adults alike to visit. One of our favorite displays was the Crystal Universe room where there are thousands of lights shimmering through crystals making it feel like you are standing among the stars. We highly recommend paying it a visit.
Cloud Forest and Botanical Gardens:
Inside the Cloud Forest is the worlds tallest indoor waterfall standing tall at about 170ft. This is a beautiful exhibit that has a lot to see and you will easily spend a couple of hours exploring it. We recommend coming to visit, you will see lots of flora and fauna that you have probably never seen before along with other creative displays. The Botanical gardens were also great! They change some of their exhibits based on the season. Of course, they had a large Christmas theme going.
Marina Bay Sands – Sky Bar and Observation Deck:
The Marina Bay Sands is the hotel with the famous infinity pool, that is both the highest and largest in the world. The views from the top of the sands are breathtaking! If you are fortunate enough to be there on a clear day you will be able to watch an incredible sunset over the city. Be warned though, you will not be able to gain access to the infinity pool unless you are staying at the hotel.
We ended up hanging out at the Sky Bar where you can grab a coffee or a meal and hang out right next to the infinity pool with the same view. You do not have to pay for the observation deck, simply go to the Sky Lounge. This is a must visit when you are in Singapore.
The Coast/West Side
This was a fun little area to visit for half a day. This is were you will find the beautiful, historic row houses and some cash only food hawker stands.
You can also head to the coast, a couple miles down the road from the row houses for chili crab and to walk the boardwalk at the city park.
One activity that we did that wasn’t in the areas mentioned above was the Night Safari. Its about a 30 minute Uber ride outside of the city. It was such a fun experience! There is a small show with nocturnal animals and then you ride a trolley that goes through different environments. You can buy a ticket to just the Night Safari or they offer a combo deal for all four: Night Safari, River Safari, Singapore Zoo, and Jurong Bird Park.
Where to stay in Singapore
We stayed in downtown on Orchard Street at these 2 hotels, and would recommend them. We would also highly recommend the Marina Bay Sands area.
This is a great hotel that is part of the Shangri-La hotels. You can expect a comfortable bed, clean room and all of the class that you would from the Shangri-La group. We liked how close it was to Orchard street but that it was still quiet since its not directly on Orchard.
Be sure to eat at the buffet here even though it is a bit on the pricey side, it is the very best value you will find on chili crab along with lobster, snow crab and other great seafood.
This is a fun and hip hotel one street over from Orchard. The rooms are a bit on the smaller side but it is priced very affordably and is brand new (Nov 2017). They have a nice pool deck on one of the upper floors and you can see the city skyline from your toilet.
Singapore is a fun city to visit but you only need 4-5 days to explore it.
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