24 hours in Singapore

Hannah Galvin writes on how to spend time in Singapore.

Hannah Galvin
14th December 2020
Feature Image Credit: JFP Galvin
Singapore; a country known for strict littering laws, lavish hotels and sweltering year-round humidity. As a stern-faced airport official stamps your passport, your arrival in Singapore may feel intimidating. Yet, beneath its tough exterior, lies a country with a rich and fascinating history, offering experiences for every type of traveller.

It's no wonder that Singapore's public transport systems are praised worldwide for their cleanliness, innovation and efficiency. Travellers can get from Changi Airport into the capital with just one change. Alight at City Hall, and take a short walk towards the Asian Civilisations Museum via Esplanade Park. This park is known for its historic landmarks and public art installations, so it's worthwhile exploring for a taste of Singapore past and present.

Arriving at the museum, you'll find a wealth of information on the evolution of Asia and its civilisations. Singapore, with four official languages and a plethora of cultures, is the ideal setting for the exploration of these stories. An added bonus lies in the museum's affordability, as tickets are currently priced at around S$5 (£2.83) per person. After a few hours exploring the exhibits, head west along the river to Clarke Quay, where I suggest two options for afternoon entertainment.

If you're looking for arts and culture, cross over the Coleman Bridge and head into the district of Outram, the location of the city's Chinatown. Grab some lunch whilst you're here; Singapore's street food is widely regarded for both quality and pricing. My personal favourite is chicken satay with a peanut sauce. From here, you can visit the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple & Museum, or have a browse of the wares at the Chinatown Street Market. You'll find that Outram provides a breath of fresh air in this largely modern city.

However, if you're better suited to adventure, take the MRT from Clarke Quay to Harbour Front Station. From there, follow the signs for 'Singapore Cable Car', approximately 10 minutes walk from the station. Then, it's a stunning cable car ride to Sentosa Island. This resort has everything from aquariums to ziplines, with a backdrop of sandy beaches and crystal clear ocean - ideal whether you enjoy sunbathing or you're chasing your next thrill. There are also numerous restaurants - although many of these cater to Western tastebuds.

After spending the early afternoon exploring (or thrill-seeking), arrive back in Marina Bay for a riverside walk, heading eastward from Boat Quay. Within this 3km stretch are some of Singapore's most recognisable attractions, including the infamous Merlion statue and the distinct ArtScience Museum. Along the way, you'll pass through The Promontory, a viewpoint perfectly located for taking panoramic shots of the city. And the occasional selfie, of course.

Singapore ArtScience Museum, Marina Bay
Credit: JFP Galvin

At the end of your river walk, you will arrive at Gardens by the Bay, which is widely regarded as the top destination for visitors to Singapore. When I visited, I found that the gardens exceeded my high expectations, striking the perfect balance between city and nature. Need I provide more than these stunning images?

Supertree Grove, Skyway and dragonfly sculpture, Gardens by the Bay
Credit: JFP Galvin

Once you've explored the gardens in all their evening glory, complete your (almost) loop of the city by crossing over the iconic Helix Bridge. If you're into motorsports, why not briefly stop at the pits of Marina Bay circuit, home of the Singapore Grand Prix?

For dinner, check out Makansutra; an outdoor dining venue with numerous stalls offering authentic and affordable Asian cuisine. It's also ideally located to watch 'Spectra', a stunning water and light show which takes place across the river each evening - and the perfect conclusion to a day in this incredible city.

'Spectra' Light and Water Show from Marina Bay Sands, Singapore
Credit: JFP Galvin

Whether you love history, adventure, food or nature, Singapore has plenty to satiate the tourist in you.

Feature Image Credit: JFP Galvin

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