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Q&A: I’ve got a 24-hour stopover in Singapore, what is there to do?

Singapore is compact enough to explore in a day. So anyone with a longish stopover can enjoy the warm and often balmy weather and get around easily on their brilliant public transport.

by Sharron Livingston
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Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

I’ve got a long stopover in Singapore and am wondering what can I visit in just 24 hours?

Singapore, located just off southern Malaysia, is dinky enough to explore in a day. To give you some perspective, London is twice as big and Hong Kong almost a third bigger. So anyone with a longish stopover can enjoy the warm and often balmy weather and get around easily on their brilliant public transport.

The first thing to do before you leave the airport is to get hold of a one-day Singapore Tourist pass ($10 – around £6). It’s available at the TransitLink office in the airport. This card is a great investment as it gives you unlimited access to travel on busses and the subway and you won’t have to waste time buying tickets.

Singapore Tours and Activities

If you want to save time, you may want to prebook selected tours and activities before you get to Singapore. Here is a selection of a few bestsellers:

 

Free light show at Supertree Grove

Supertree Grove, Singapore

Supertree Grove, Singapore

If your flight arrives in the late afternoon (most do) then start at the Supertree Grove planted outside the Gardens by the Bay conservatories. You’ll be treated to a free light show which starts at 7:45.

Fort Canning Park

Spend the next morning strolling along the iconic hill-top 8km trail from Fort Canning Park at River Valley Rd. Enjoy its stunning and unusual trees while making your way to the former British military barracks and to the waterfront.

World’s cheapest Michelin-starred lunch

crunchy fried chicken

crunchy fried chicken

There are 29 Michelin starred restaurants in Singapore. However, if you like chicken, then cross the Helix Bridget to Chinatown you will find the world’s cheapest Michelin-starred lunch at Liao Fan Hong Kong, Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle ($1.42, less than £2). This was the only place you could try Chan Hon Meng’s iconic S$2 ($1.42) chicken rice dish which is also Singapore’s signature dish. However, he partnered with Hersing Culinary to open Liao Fan Hawker Chan, a casual dine-in offshoot located meters away from his Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre-based stall in Singapore.

Mariaman Temple

Located at 244 South Bridge Road in Chinatown is the Sri Mariaman Temple. It is the oldest and most important Hindu temple and national monument. It’s best known for its intricately sculptured and bight painted gopuram (entrance tower) of Hindu gods. It’s free to enter.

Chinatown Complex

Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, Singapore

Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, Singapore

Chinatown Complex built in the 1820s has a red-and-gold Buddha Tooth Relic Temple. that’s worth taking a look. But more well known for its wet market and delicious hawker food with plenty of individual stalls that still dish up food based on traditional recipes.

The wet market is one of the rare few in Singapore where you can still marvel at barking stallholders selling live fish, frogs, terrapins and alligator meat alongside fresh meats, fruits and vegetables.

While there head for Amoy Street where you’ll find the old Singapore shophouses. Check out the, Stay Gold Flamingo cocktail bar which can be found there. It’s a cafe by day and bar at night and is a great example of Singapore‘s sleek cocktail culture.
 

Singapore Sling

The famous Singapore Sling cocktail was invented here at the Long Bar of the famous Raffles Hotel back in 1915. Can you really miss the opportunity to try it?

The best cocktail bar in town

Another great drinking place would be MO Bar – a hotel bar at the Mandarin Oriental. It’s very slick and possibly serves the best cocktails in town which you can sip while enjoying brilliant views over Singapore’s Marina Bay. Their signature cocktail is Anko, a heady melange of gin, sencha and azuk.

Stay:

The Oasia Hotel Downtown  

From £106 for a double.
This hotel in its tall oblong shape in an unmissable oblong-shaped building is home to more than 20 species of creepers and 1,500 planters in and outside of the building. It is perfectly placed on Peck Seah Street to eke out as much culture in town as you like. It’s stylish and offers two rooftop pools and two restaurants.

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