Many people are choosing Singapore as a stopover while travelling to Asia but not many are staying for more than a day. I’d like to show you here that there’s a lot more to see in Singapore than you might think.
Traditional Peranakan houses
The best spot to see the traditional Peranakan houses is Joo Chiat Road, where you’ll find early 20th century shop-houses, terrace houses and bungalows - in a myriad of rainbow colours! The area is quite residential and is slightly off the centre but a quick trip there is really worth it.
The easiest and cheapest way to get around Singapore is by public transport with an EZ-Link card (similar to Oyster card in London) - it can be purchased from the customer service counters at MRT (underground) stations for $12 (this includes a $5 nonrefundable deposit). You can use it both in buses and underground. Taxis are also reasonably priced, download Grab app (analogue of Uber).
Gardens by the Bay
If you have a limited amount of time in Singapore, one spot not to miss is Gardens by the Bay. They look equally amazing during the day and at night.
For a different perspective of the gardens and the surrounding Marina Bay area go on a Skyway (a separate ticket is required but it’s worth it). Make sure to be around the Surertree Grove at 7:45pm or 8:45pm for a spectacular free light and music show Garden Rhapsody.
There’s another free light and water show Spektra at Marina Bay Sands. Both shows are really beautiful and worth watching if you have time.
One of the most vibrant areas of Singapore is Little India. Don’t miss the colourful Residence of Tan Teng Niah, one of the last surviving Chinese villas in the area.
Another famous Instagram spot is the rainbow coloured MICA Building, or the "Old Hill Street Police Station", one of Singapore's most colourful colonial buildings.
When in Singapore, you can’t miss the Chinatown - perfect for trying all the street food and admiring the colourful Peranakan shop-houses.
Nowadays the area is most famous as a shopping destination but I went there mainly to visit the modern Library@Orchard located inside the shopping centre Orchard Central.
After admiring the library, don’t miss Emerald Hill Road just off Orchard Road, lined up with traditional houses and a cool bar with quirky interiors in one of the shop-houses.
The Pinnacle at Duxton
I didn’t have an opportunity to visit any other viewpoints in the city but the 360 views from the Pinnacle at Duxton are quite impressive. It’s a residential building with a public rooftop on the 50th floor. Getting access to the rooftop is a little tricky - you need to have a transport EZ-link card I mentioned earlier (you’ll have to tap it to get in and out) and $6 cash to pay the entrance fee.
The building of the museum surrounded by water lilies is very interesting to see on its own. If you have time pop into the Future World exhibition - fun both for kids and adults.
Located well off the city centre Chinese gardens are a piece of calm in the busy city and a nice place to hide from the heat. Plus there’s a free viewing point on top of the 7-Storey Pagoda.