First time in Singapore: Overwhelmed by shopping malls, futuristic architecture and delicious food

While my husband travels to Singapore on a frequent basis – I only knew it from pictures. This year in April I finally got the chance to visit this amazing city. Of course I planned to see all the main attractions, such as Marina Bay Sands and the Garden by the Bay. Here’s my two-day-itinerary for Singapore.

ARRIVING AT SINGAPORE CHANGI AIRPORT

Singapore Changi airport is located about 20 Km out of the city centre. We arrived late from Peking, and decided to take a taxi to the hotel. The drive to city centre took us about 30 Minutes and cost approximately 15 Euros.

Arrival Singapore

WHERE TO STAY IN SINGAPORE?

Researching a suitable hotel in Singapore took me quite a while. There are many luxurious hotels to choose from and of course everybody knows the pictures of the famous infinity pool at Marina Bay Sands. My list regarding the perfect hotel was long: Infinity rooftop pool, Skyline view, close to MRT, walking distance to the Bayfront Area… The good news is that there are several hotels that offer all that. The bad news is the price, starting from 400 Euro per night.

Marina Bay Sands

In the end we agreed that we’re not willing to pay these amounts of money for a hotel room. Instead we stayed at IBIS Hotel Bencoolen, which was not luxurious at all, but absolutely ok for just a few nights.

Breakfast Ibis Bencoolen

I appreciated the fact that there was a supermarket next to the hotel entrance. Apart from that, the room was slightly larger than expected (we were able to open up both Rimowa suitcases simultaneously on the floor) and breakfast was good as well. A walk from Ibis Bencoolen to the Bayfront Area took us about 30 Minutes, which was ok.

SINGAPORE SIGHTSEEING DAY 1

As this was my first visit to Singapore, seeing the typical highlights was obligatory. On our first morning we went for a walk in the direction of Marina Bay Sands.

Walk to Bayfront Singapore

The amount of shops and restaurants in Singapore is really unique. On our way to the Bayfront Area we crossed several shopping malls – which was partly because of the incredible heat! Walking through air conditioned shops was so much more comfortable then being out in the heat all day.

Walk to Bayfront Singapore

Even the food courts are a highlight! They offer meals of almost every Asian cuisine, sometimes even with a view:

Drink with a view Singapore

[The Picture was taken at Marina Square]

Singapore’s skyline is really impressive – above all the iconic Marina Bay Sands!

Skyline Singapore

Marina Bay Sands Singapore

Following the river in direction of Clarke Quay we made our way back to the hotel later that day.

River Singapore

In the evening we had dinner at an Indian Restaurant in the “Little India” district.

Little India Singapore

The restaurant served very good authentic Indian food on banana leaves.

Little India Singapore

After dinner we watched the sunset at the Bayfront. To cover it all, we walked from Marina Bay Sands over the bridge along the Bay until Esplanade where we had some amazing sunset views.

Sunset Singapore

Usually this would’ve been a good location to watch the light show at 8 p.m. Unfortunately it was undergoing some re-modelling so that we couldn’t attend this spectacle during our stay.

Marina Bay Sands at Night

SINGAPORE SIGHTSEEING DAY 2

The next day we went to the Garden by the Bay – of course a must-see when visiting Singapore for the first time! The Garden consists of three main attractions.

Garden by the Bay

The Super Tree Grove, which is free of charge, and two air conditioned green houses, called Flower Dome and Cloud Forest. We opted to visit both green houses and were charged 28$ (about 18 Euro).

Supertree Grove

Cloud Forest

Beware: It can get really cold inside the green houses so you might consider bringing a jacket or a hoodie.

Cloud Forest

After leaving the Cloud Forest, we continued walking towards Marina Barrage and were rewarded with some nice views on Singapore:

Singapore view with Flyer

After strolling through the Garden by the Bay we had lunch at the food court of the Marina Bay Sands Shopping Centre.

Marina Bay Sands Mall

Tip: Make sure to return to the Garden by the Bay at night! Especially the Super Trees look amazing when it’s dark! Unfortunately I couldn’t make it to the Garden at night, as we met my husband’s clients for dinner, so it’s still on my list.

CONCLUSION

Singapore is an amazing city. It has an iconic skyline, a lot of shops and restaurants and great infrastructure. Plus, I was really surprised how clean and well organized everything is!

Unfortunately that comes with a price, as hotels tend to be very expensive in Singapore. But if you’re willing to compromise it is possible to find a reasonably priced accommodation.

Am I planning to visit Singapore again soon? Definitely! I’m even considering visiting my husband during one of his next business trips 😉

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