Are you planning a trip or at least a stopover in Singapore? If so, continue reading to find out more about how to spend a couple of days in Singpoare! As I think many people do, we initially planned Singapore as a stopover destination in very long flight became a multi-day trip – and we’re so very happy for it. As a result of having spent more days in Singapore, we grew very fond of the city, it’s vibrant culture and delicious food.
European union citizens and citizens of the following countries ( Switzerland, United States, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea and Norway) are not required a visa for a stay of under 90 days. Visitors are required to hold a passport with more than 6 months validity. A completed disembarkation/embarkation card will be needed – available on the flight and in the terminal at arrivals before passing customs.
Prices for flights from Copenhagen to Singapore can vary considerably. Flight tickets can be as low as 450 euros or as high as 1100 euros for direct flights. However, the cheaper flight tickets usually include at least one stop, usually through Doha, Qatar or Bangkok. As an alternative, direct flights from Copenhagen to Singapore are available and are operated by Singapore Airlines. The above prices are found more often during low season (August-November, February-June). During high-season ( November – early January, June and July) and over the Christmas period flight tickets are a bit more expensive. During this period, prices are in the range of 600-750 euros for a one-stop return flight between Copenhagen and Singapore.
Oh, there are so many things to do …. and so little time …. our general problem on holidays 🙂
For our entire honeymoon holiday we have split our activities in “must-do” and “would be nice to do if we have time”. We wanted to take advantage of the time we had in each location. We like to plan quite a lot of the details of our holiday beforehand, and I guess that makes our travelling style more organized rather than spontaneous. I think this is a matter of personal preference, but the information about activities in Singapore is very useful even if you do not like planning things in advance.
Though it being monsoon season in Singapore in December, we have been lucky enough to avoid the rain. This time of the year, it’s mostly showers coming in during the afternoon … took a little bit of planning beforehand to avoid them.
We’ve thought we would be quite jet-lagged, so we wanted to take it slow the first day. So, we’ve spent our time wondering around the city. After breakfast we’ve headed towards Singapore River.
We have then continued our stroll across the water and into Fort Canning Park. Meanwhile walking the paths of the park, we’ve found bits of information about the history of the city on neatly placed billboards. Since it was midday on a Thursday, the park was quite empty. We’ve mostly met other fellow tourists on our walk.
To wrap up our first day in Singapore, we have chosen to take a walk to Marina Bay Sands and a visit to the Sands SkyPark Observation Deck. The price for an adult ticket for the observation deck is of S$23 (15 euros). Though it is a bit on the expensive side, the Sands SkyPark Observation Deck offers a panoramic view of the city and at specific hours in the evening a very nice vantage point for the lights and water show taking place over the water.
While in Singapore, don’t skip a visit to the Gardens by the Bay. Gardens by the Bay are rated as one of the top 3 things to do in Singapore. And we couldn’t agree more. The gardens are a testament to Singapore’s government dedication to improving the city’s quality of life and transforming Singapore into a “city in a garden”. It’s quite a large park, spanning over 101 hectares ( 250 acres).It’s quite large, and it’s made up of two conservatories, the supertree grove, OCBC Skyway and the outdoor gardens.
A lot of the attractions and activities in Singapore have different prices for tourists and Singapore residents, so keep that in mind when check prices and buy tickets.
The outdoor gardens and supertree grove are open from 5 AM to 2 AM and are free of charge. The conservatories and OCBC Skyway are open daily between 9 AM and 9PM. The price of a ticket including the 2 conservatories is S$28. The OCBC Skyway ticket can only be bought on the spot, and is not available online. I guess the main reason for this is that the queues tend to be quite long and some people might get discourage for waiting. We have spent approximately 3 hours at the Gardens by the Bay. We were there between 11 AM and 2 PM. It was definitely a good window to be there in! The Gardens started to be way busier by the time we were leaving.
Christmas Wonderland at Gardens by the Bay
Of course, being Christmas time, a lot of the areas had Christmas themed decorations. During the evening the whole place is packed with people. From those gathering at the entrance of the Gardens ( the canopy) singing carols, to those joining in for the lights and music show beneath the supertrees, and those enjoying snacks and drinks from the Christmas market and experiencing “blizzard time” for 5 minutes. The price of the Christmas Wonderland experience is an added S$8.
Having grown up in a country that from time to time sees blizzards, the interesting part about the “blizzard time” was the joy and excitement of children around us to the experience of pseudo-snow. While discussing our honeymoon plans prior to our departure, we have been considering that it might not feel a lot like Christmas. We were very wrong in this aspect! We still felt very much emotional and in the Christmas spirit while listening to carols in 28 degrees.
Once you get to the Gardens by the Bay, go and check the queue for the OCBC Skyway. A limited number of people is allowed to go up at a time and there can be a long queue, especially between 5 and 8:30 PM.
We had planned to spend our third day at Singapore Zoo. We bought the 4 -Park Admission ticket, which is quite pricey, priced at S$80. Moreover, to this the cost of transport to the Zoo and between the parks is to be added. The ticket is valid for 7 days from the date marked on the ticket. So if you’re planning on spending more days in Singapore, consider splitting the parks over 2 or 3 days.
We unfortunately left our hotel quite late for such a full day, due to a pharmacy visit beforehand. So, this meant that we could only choose 2 out of the 4 parks. We have decided on Singapore Zoo and Jurong Bird Park, which made for a very packed half a day. Singapore Zoo has very good reviews and considered to be one of the best zoos in the world, mainly due to its open-concept display of the animals. We had a great day walking around both parks. Even though we’ve planned our way through the parks to be efficient we have spent about 4 hours at Singapore Zoo and 1.5 hours at Jurong Bird Park. That is to say, we could have easily spent some more time in both locations!
Singapore is well know for its hawker centers ( cooked food centers) with 2 street food stalls having been awarded a Michelin star and a few others receiving the Michelin’s “Bib Gourmand” designation. Singapore’s hawker centers were initially built to address the problem of food preparation by street hawkers in unhygienic conditions. As a result, these have since become one of the first things that come to mind when thinking about Singapore. While in Singapore, we’ve seen signs everywhere about Singapore’s nomination of the Hawker Culture for Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Finally, in March 2019 Singapore has submitted it’s nomination of the Hawker Culture to be considered for UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity ( read more here). Here are the few hawker centers we have visited on our trip and our impressions of them.
Lau Pa Sat ( also known as Telok Ayer Market)
Lau Pa Sat is located at 18 Raffles Quay in the central business district of Singapore. It’s name translates to “Old Market”. The current building of the Lau Pa Sat food center is the oldest Victorian design structure in South-East Asia. The building it currently part of the national monuments list of Singapore.
I was very surprised to see that every evening, starting with 7 PM one of the streets to the side of Lau Pa Sat is closed down. The street becomes an extension of the hawker center. A line of satay stalls and and plenty of chairs, benches and tables are set up to accomodate more people. In terms of food, the hawker center has a wide variety of asian food (korean, japanese, chinese, indian) as well as local hawker cuisine. The price of a meal is around 4-5 S$. Our favourite eating spot in Lau Pa Sat was Bao Luo Wan Xiang – Dim sum, a food stall dedicated to dim sum ( dumplings). A big bao here costs around 1.20 S$, while a small one is less than a Singaporean dollar.
|Address:||18 Raffles Quay, Singapore 048582|
|Opening hours:||24 hours|
Maxwell Road Food Center
Maxwell Road Food Center is located at the edge of Chinatown, across from the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple. Due to its location, the center offers a variety of singapore-style chinese food. The hawker center is just as popular among locals, despite it’s very touristic location. There are so many great options to choose from. To name a few: fish porridge, tian tian hainanese chicken rice, cantonese roast meats, ramen. The food center is clean and open. We have arrived there sometime in the afternoon, before heading to the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Chinatown. Since we rarely eat a full lunch while on holiday, so we’ve taken two dishes to share. We have paid less than S$10 for two dishes and 2 sodas.
|Address:||1 Kadayanallur St, Singapore 069184|
|Opening hours:||08 AM – 10 PM ( stalls have individual opening hours)|
Chinatown Complex Food Centre
The Chinatown Complex Food Center is a massive center that spans multiple floors. The lower floors consists of stalls selling clothes, electronics, spices and everything else you might like to find. The hawker center is located at the top floor and it houses over 200 food stalls. It is one of the largest food centers in Singapore.
The worlds first Michelin starred hawker stall can be found in the Chinatown Complex Food Center, Hawker Chan by Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle. There is almost always a queue and sold out quite early during the day. They have later opened ( in 2016) a flagship restaurant across the street from the Chinatown Complex Food Center. Though ordering has been made easy and there is not generally a queue, finding a place to sit still can be a problem.
Definitely worth spending some time walking around Chinatown, and for sure you will find something interesting to try out!
|Address:||335 Smith St, Singapore 050335|
|Opening hours:||07 AM – 10 PM|
Newton Food Center
The Newton Food Center is an open space hawker center, that offers both covered and outdoors seating. One of the most popular items are the chili crab and sambal stingray. That is to say, almost every third stall had its own version of this dish. We have decided to go with the chili squid dish which is exactly what the name says squid in a chili paste. While waiting for our dish we’ve decided to try the white carrot cake . We later found out that it’s neither a cake, nor it contains any carrots. Certainly, this is a very common mistake made by tourists :). It turns out that our white carrot cake was made with radish ( also known as white carrot), rice flour, egg and garlic.
I have read many articles which stated that Newton Food Center is an overpriced hawker center and a tourist trap. It is my impression that the most pricey dishes in this market are the seafood based dishes. However, other dishes (for example satay) have similar prices between the food markets.
|Address:||500 Clemenceau Avenue North|
|Opening hours:||12 PM – 02 AM|
The food markets that impressed us most were Maxwell Food Center and Lau Pa Sat, in atmosphere, cleanliness and food taste. In short, we recommend checking out either of these two food centers when in Singapore. We are looking forward to our next trip to Singapore and trying out new hawker centers and dishes.
When planning to eat in one of the hawker centers, remember to bring your own napkins; you can have another dim-sum for the cost of a pack of napkins 🙂
If you are in need of a pharmacist’s advice during evenings / weekend / public holidays head over to the Guardian Pharmacy in The Shoppes by Marina Bay Sands
So, that wraps up our first article – we hoped you liked it and found some useful information for your next trip. Remember to check back with us next week for a new post. Next up, stories from our travels to our second destination of our honeymoon: Auckland, New Zealand.