We travelled to Singapore for the first time with our 12 week old baby. It was February and very hot! But that didn’t stop us or any of the other international families from enjoying the City. We instantly fell in love and were overwhelmed by the vast outdoor spaces and integration of technology into everyday living and the family friendly ethos.
As a popular ‘drop off’ destination, many visitors are there for a weekend on either side of their trip to somewhere else. There is so much to do and public transport is exceptional, get your shoes on, back your bags and explore as much as you can!
BOOKING YOUR TRIP
BEST TIME TO VISIT?
You will find December to June is the busiest time of the year so look at booking your flights in advance to bag the best deal. Make sure to check whether your visit is going to fall when the Monsoon season is in full effect! The NE sees the monsoon from December to March and the SW has the honour from June to September. You’ll find the cheapest flights to Singapore around May to October, depending on exactly where you are visiting
If you’re hoping to visit during the Chinese New Year, you’ll need to secure your flights to Singapore way in advance. The chances of finding cheap flights around the New Year are very low so plan ahead, the Chinese New Year is a 15 day festival that begins around late January to early February depending on the lunar year.
BOOKING YOUR FLIGHT
There are multiple factors that influence the price of a flight so comparing airlines, departure airports and times can help keep costs down. March is the cheapest month to book, with flights ranging from £458 to £485pp. August is the most expensive month, with flights costing on average £642. We recommend using Skyscanner as a starting place and then searching other providers to see if you can beat their price.
Tuesday is the most economical day to take a flight to Singapore. To get the best value, try booking a flight around midday . Generally the prices will increase for flights in the morning as these tend to have higher demand. If you’re visiting during a festival, make sure to book as early as you possibly can to avoid paying over the odds.
HOW LONG IS THE FLIGHT?
Average flight from London to Singapore: 13 hours 5 minutes.
Singapore Dollar. Exchange rates vary, so be sure to check prior to your trip. The Bank of England has an extensive list that is updated every day. If you intend on using your credit charge or debit card, you may incur charges for payments and cash withdrawals. We often use the Post Office for our exchange or use ATM’s in our destinations.
You can get to the city in a few different ways. From terminals 2 and 3 you can walk to the train station, where you’ll want to transfer to the west-bound train at Tanah Merah station. From there you can just relax as the train will take you directly to the city centre. If you decide against the train then you can jump on either the 36 or 36a bus from the basement bus bays of terminals 1, 2 or 3. You won’t get change though so make sure you give the exact amount.
The bus journey takes around an hour but is a convenient and the regular way of travelling after your long flight to Singapore. Lastly, you can jump into a taxi. However these are a lot more expensive than both the bus and the train. If you are travelling with friends then you can split the fare and it might work out more efficient but, generally I’d stick to the other methods unless money isn’t an option. Also make sure to agree on a fee before you get in the taxi as some drivers will try and overcharge you.
You don’t normally need a visa to enter Singapore for stays of up to 90 days for tourism, business or social visits. Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into Singapore. If you are intending to transit Singapore to neighbouring countries, make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months. You may be refused entry or turned away by airlines if your passport does not meet this requirement
Women who are more than six months pregnant no longer need to get permission before travelling, but the final decision on the length of stay permitted rests with the immigration officer on arrival. Prior entry clearance is required for women intending to give birth in Singapore.
Some prescribed and over the counter medicines available in the UK are considered controlled substances in Singapore. You must apply for prior authorisation and a permit at least 10 working days before your travel date from the Singapore Health Sciences Authority in order to bring any such medication into Singapore.
Public transport, Taxis and Uber are all present in Singapore, reliable and safe. If you do wish to rent a car, don’t expect it to be cheap as the country wants to limit the number of cars on the road. We would recommend public transport, the hop on and hop off buses are super handy for getting around to the tourist spots and tickets are very affordable. For travel outside of the City centre, look at catching the train.
THINGS TO DO
GARDENS BY THE BAY
Created in 2012 as part of Singapore’s dedication to showcase a “City In A Garden,” the place is a sight to behold. To increase the quality of life with trees, plants and flowers, the Gardens By The Bay is an enormous futuristic botanical garden. With a price tag of around £ 580,745,000 it is money well spent if you ask me, the place is magical and like nothing, I have ever seen.
Located right by the waterfront of Marina Bay, the Gardens by the bay consists of three parts: Bay South Garden (the most prominent part, 54 hectares), Bay Central Garden, and Bay East Garden.
The Bay South Garden is the highlight of Gardens By The Bay and the part that gets most visitors as this is where the iconic and famous Supertrees are located, as well as the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest Dome. Bay East Garden is the second largest part and is a green lung in the city of Singapore, offering great views of the city skyline.
£13 | Gardens By The Bay | BUY TICKETS NOW
SINGAPORE BOTANIC GARDENS
I really love parks and botanical gardens, being outdoors when travelling is half of the reason we do it! The entrance to the Botanic Gardens is free of charge and you should definitely add it to your to-do list. They feel modern, fresh and ordered. Boasting a wide variety of insects, birds and plants – there is plenty to see and learn as you walk.
The gardens create a beautiful park. You can wander on its alleys and get lost between the trees and the entire area full of endless variety of plants. There are 314 species of plants, 3 lakes, and 47 heritage trees housed in the Garden and I recommend you take your time to explore as much as you can! There are free tours of the Botanic Gardens held every Saturday.
Botanic Garden | CLICK FOR MORE INFORMATION
28 hectares of animals living in their natural-like habitat! Can you imagine it? During your visit to the Singapore Zoo, you will see otters, pygmy hippos, giant crocodiles, lions, zebras, rhinoceros, orangutans, and many, many other animals! You can visit all 4 sections if you have time, or you can choose the ones that look most interesting to you and the family.
The Zoo is a big complex with 4 options that you can choose from:
- Singapore Zoo – the place where you will see more than 2.800 animals representing over 300 species of mammals, birds, and reptiles.
- Jurong Birds Park – it hosts 5,000 birds from 400 species and it is actually one of the largest free-flying aviaries in the world!
- Night Safari – here you can see over 1.000 animals in their natural nighttime habitat.
- River Safari – one of the world’s largest collections of freshwater fauna, housing more than 6.000 animals including 40 threatened species.
£35 | Breakfast with Orangutans | BUY TICKETS NOW
The Singaporeans have created a whole new concept called The Cloud Forest that includes planted walls and artificial waterfalls and it is absolutely surreal! This magnificent greenhouse-like glass dome can be seen from miles away and is just as stunning inside as it is from out.
The large, climate-controlled dome has spiralling walkways and one of the world’s tallest indoor waterfalls that rains down from over 30 metres above. And with Singapore being hot all year-round, a visit here is more than just a great way to cool off. Thanks to air-conditioning, jets of cool vapour, and that refreshing waterfall, temperatures inside Cloud Forest Singapore are kept low to replicate the moist, damp conditions found on misty tropical mountains from 900 to 2,700 metres above sea level.
Even if you only have one day in Singapore, I think it is worth it to visit the Cloud Forest! While you are there, you can learn about rare plants, take some great pictures, enjoy a magnificent view of the Marina Bay Sands and just walk around this mysterious world built by man. The Cloud Forest also features a 35-meter high hill (in the picture above) covered in lush vegetation, which is also the world’s tallest indoor waterfall!
£13 | Cloud Forest | BUY TICKETS NOW
MARINA BAY SANDS SKYPARK
See Singapore from a new perspective, then explore the city on your own with this package tour. Head up to the Marina Bay Sands SkyPark Observation Deck to view the city from above, and choose to make your own itinerary with a hop-on hop-off bus for 3 routes that take you just about everywhere.
After redeeming your voucher, head over to Marina Bay to check out the Sands SkyPark Observation Deck. Soaring 57 stories above the heart of the city, the deck offers stunning panoramic views of the bay and Singapore’s beloved cityscape below. Relish vistas that extend from Marina South Pier all the way to the Singapore Strait itself, and seize the chance to take unforgettable photos of the experience.
£13 | Marina Bay Observation Deck | BUY TICKETS NOW
NATIONAL ORCHID GARDEN
The National Orchid Garden has over 60,000 plants and a cool house showcasing pitcher plants and orchids from cooler climates. Don’t miss the Vanda Miss Joaquim, Singapore’s national flower. A hybrid orchid which Agnes Joaquim cross-bred in her garden in 1893. Currently undergoing a S$35 million upgrade, the gardens are operating as normal, and the new features will open in 2020.
£3 | Orchid Garden | BUY TICKETS NOW
At a height of 165 meters, the Flyer only recently surrendered its position as the tallest ferris wheel in the world. Nevertheless, the best views of Singapore perfectly sum up the rise of this triumphant modern metropolis!
£12 | Dinner at Singapore Flyer | BUY TICKETS NOW
SINGAPORE MASS RAPID TRANSIT
The efficient Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) subway system is the easiest, quickest and most comfortable way to get around Singapore. The system operates from 5.30am to midnight, with trains at peak times running every two to three minutes, and off-peak every five to seven minutes.
In the inner city, the MRT runs underground, emerging overground out towards the suburban housing estates. It consists of five colour-coded lines: North–South (red), North–East (purple), East–West (green), Circle Line (orange) and Downtown (blue). A sixth line, the Thomson–East Coast Line (brown), will open in five stages and is scheduled to begin in 2019. You’ll find a map of the network at www.smrt.com.sg.
Singapore Mass Rapid Transit | CLICK FOR MORE INFORMATION
The Garden Rhapsody is a show held in Gardens by the Bay every evening. The futuristic-looking Marina Bay SuperTrees or “mushrooms” are lighted up in fabulous ways on the rhythm of the music. Every detail is perfectly tuned to create an atmosphere that will give you a fantastic feeling of wonder and stimulate your mind!
The show runs twice a day: at 7:45 PM and 8:45 PM and it is around 15 minutes long. Make sure to come a bit in advance, so you can have the coolest spot with the best view! Remember to check this link for the updated schedule, sometimes they change the show times.
£13 | Supertree Grove | BUY TICKETS NOW
The historic Long Bar continues its proud tradition as the Home of the Singapore Sling. The famous counter shines like new amidst decor that marries architecture and contemporary plantation-inspired motifs.
The earthy decor of the two-storey Long Bar is inspired by Malayan life in the 1920s. The deep, rich colours and lush greenery transport patrons to the edge of a tropical plantation. In keeping with the relaxed atmosphere, guests are invited to brush peanut shells off the table and bar counter to the floor. This is quite possibly the only place in Singapore where littering is encouraged.
The Singapore Sling, widely regarded as the national drink, was first created in 1915 by Raffles bartender Ngiam Tong Boon. Primarily a gin-based cocktail, the Singapore Sling also contains pineapple juice, lime juice, curaçao and Bénédictine. Giving it the pretty pink hue are grenadine and cherry liqueur. Bartender Ngiam deliberately chose to give the cocktail this rosy colour.
RAFFLES | CLICK FOR MORE INFORMATION