Singapore has exceptional public transport. The MRT (mass rapid transit) network is brilliant; similar to the London underground – but better. Cleaner, bigger trains, less crammed, even more regular for some journeys, and very fast. This can get you to a station that’s very likely to be within walking distance of wherever you want to be. If not, you can finish your journey on one of their buses. The photo below was taken around 7;30PM one evening – look how empty it is, and naturally the photo is all black & white and hipster!
Travelling this way is very good value for money too, you can have one-day unlimited travel passes for $10, 2 day for $16 or 3 day for $20. You get this by procuring a Singapore tourist pass (see here). These can be used on both MRT trains and buses.
Taxis are another reasonable option; a s a very rough guide, you can expect to pay around $1 per minute of travel. They are tightly regulated, and will always use a meter. Uber is also in operation in Singapore, and is of similar value.
Things to do & see (or not)
You can find our TripAdvisor reviews by clicking the TripAdvisor logo on the right of this page, or clicking here. We have tried to review most things we’ve been and seen, where possible. Our summary rating is given in each place’s title if we’ve been (maximum score is ♦♦♦♦♦)
Asian Civilisations Museum ♦♦
We weren’t too impressed by this at the time we went; but bear in mind the displays do change. It just felt a little did-jointed & didn’t provide much breadth or a means of telling a story about various Asian developments over the ages. So it didn’t meet our expectations. TripAdvisor review here.
Long Bar, in Raffles Hotel – for a Singapore Sling ♦♦♦
This is something tourists are almost obliged to do. It is where the famous Singapore Sling was invented. The place is nice and kooky, and the cocktails are good (not exceptional, but good). It is very pricey now though, I guess due to demand; but at around $30 per cocktail – we thought this was a bit ludicrous. TripAdvisor review here.
VivoCity Cinema – Gold Class ♦♦♦♦♦
We went here as a recommendation for a rainy day, and it was really pretty good. We’ve been to similar places in the UK, but believe it or not, the value here was slightly better; and it was executed better. Nice leather seats with full reclination & waiter service during the film. Great if you’re bored or stuck for something to do, TripAdvisor review here.
Some excellent (and inexpensive) places to eat here, and it has an authentic Chinatown feel to it, with plenty of markets & treats for the eyes and tastebudds.
Little India ♦♦♦♦♦
Excellent food here, in places that don’t necessarily have TripAdvisor profiles. You can have a fantastic meal & eat it from a banana leaf, for around $6 a head. Definitely worth a visit if you’re on a budget, or if you olike Indian food. There’s also a number of temples; both Hindu & Buddhist, and various interesting cultural things to explore.
Tanglin mall & Orchard Rd at Christmas ♦♦♦♦
It’s really quite special around here at Christmas. A lot of effort goes in to making the place look magical. Great for kids. We also had some fun in the snow storm that Tanglin create for you (See below).
Botanical Gardens ♦♦♦♦♦
It’s really beautiful here, and you can see some of the floral pictures we took on the Photos page. It’s also free (with a small charge if you want to go into the orchid garden). TripAdvisor review here.
Gardens by the bay ♦♦♦♦
A very impressive man-made super-garden. Beautiful by day and by night. It’s free to walk around, and there are some bio-domes similar to the Eden project that you can pay to go and explore. There are also these Super-trees that look very impressive. TripAdvisor review here.
Places to stay
We stayed with family when we were in Singapore, so unfortunately can’t comment on this first hand. All we would say is that Singapore is remarkably accessible by public transport – so it doesn’t really matter where you stay in terms of getting around. The little India area seemed to have hostels available as I’m sure many areas do, but will likely be lower cost around here & give you direct access to lower cost food. Sentosa (where we stayed) is beautiful, possibly one of the more remote places (still very accessible); but also has a lot going on, on the island.
Places to eat
For this section, we’ll simply provide links to our TripAdvisor reviews for your consideration 🙂
- Bread Street Kitcken (Gordon Ramsay’s) (♦♦♦)
- Chinatown Seafood Retaurant (♦♦♦♦)
- Little India – generally (♦♦♦♦♦)
- Teo Chefs Italian & Mexican – Sentosa (♦♦♦♦)
- Gin Khao Bistro – Sentosa (♦♦♦♦)
Costs (all in Singapore $)
- Food & Drink
- Single main course – $5 (Little India), $8-14 (Chinatown), $20-40 (in other areas moderate restaurants)
- Beer – $7 in Chinatown or Little India or in some Happy Hour deals; otherwise expect to pay $10-15
- Bottle of wine – $20-40 in supermarket; $50+ in restaurants
- Very roughly – $1 per minute of journey
- Around $1 per short journey if not using a tourist travel card (see top of page)