What to do on a layover in Singapore

Are you flying to Australia or New Zealand? Then you will surely have to stop in Singapore. Here are some ways to take full advantage of Changi airport or even to visit the city of Singapore in a few hours.

Stopover in Singapore: what you need to know

In general, layovers in Singapore are long, it’s up to you whether you want to stay at the airport or take the opportunity to visit the city. To leave, a visa will not be necessary if you come from Europe or America. However, it will be important to fill out a form (keep the stub well), to have your stamp as a souvenir and to go through customs.

What to do at Singapore airport?

If for lack of time (less than 4 hours), you cannot leave the airport, do not panic. There are so many things to do inside. Indeed, it is not for nothing that Changi Airport is considered by many to be one of the “best airports in the world”.

This large building is modern, clean, bright and fresh and has several gardens. Thus, in Terminal 3, we recommend that you stop in the butterfly garden: a large glass structure houses, as its name suggests, hundreds of butterflies, as well as a waterfall and carnivorous plants.

In Terminal 2, you will find an orchid garden and a koi (carp) pond, as well as a light and relaxing sunflower garden, with an aerodynamic seating system to help you relax.

The airport also offers travelers a multitude of shops, a fitness center, a supermarket, a clinic, a business center and a hotel, the Crowne Plaza, which communicates with Terminal 3.

There are also cinemas in Terminal 2 and 3 which show films 24 hours a day free of charge for passengers in transit.
And get ready, the airport even has a swimming pool located on the roof of Terminal 1!

10 ideas of things to do in Singapore

1) Hallucinate with the skyline at the Hotel Marina Bay Sands

What I like the most when arriving at a place is being able to see it from some high point. It seems to me the best way to get an idea of ​​its dimensions, it helps to orient yourself and, in some destinations, like Singapore, you get incredible views.

Going up to the viewpoint of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel is almost mandatory on any visit to the city. I recommend you do it around 5:30 a.m. so you will see the city by day, the sunset and the city illuminated at night. If you have the budget to stay in that hotel, you can enjoy one of the most famous infinty pools in the world.

Going up to the viewpoint costs $23 per person, although you can also go to the Kudetá bar/restaurant for free and have a drink. This Bar is located in the same viewpoint. When you get down from the viewpoint you can go for a while to the Singapore Casino which is on the ground floor of the same hotel. They will ask for your passport to enter and there is free drink inside, without alcohol, of course.

How to go to Marina Bay Sands Hotel? You can go by subway going down to the Bay Front stop .

2) Spend the day on a beach on Sentosa Island

Sentosa is a small island connected to Singapore , which they have turned into an amusement park. In it, in addition to museums, attractions and ‘adventure’ activities, is the famous Universal Studios Singapore . Even if you are not interested in this type of thing, going to Sentosa is still worth it to spend a few hours or the day on one of its beautiful beaches . I went on a Tuesday and there was practically no one. On weekends they say it gets to burst.

How to get to Sentosa Island? You can go by subway by getting off at the HarborFront Station stop and then taking the Sentosa Express train ($4) that you will find on the third floor of Vivo City Shopping Mall. According to the Sentosa website, the following buses also arrive at Vivo City Shopping Mall: 65, 80, 93, 188, 855, 10, 30, 97, 100, 131, 143, 145, 166. You can also go by cable car ($29) from near the Harbourfront Station metro stop .

3) Stroll around Marina Bay and the Museum of Arts and Sciences

Marina Bay is perhaps the most famous part of the city . This is where the famous statue of the lion-mermaid, emblem of the city, the most expensive hotels, the casino and where the Singapore Formula 1 urban race takes place . There is also the Museum of Arts and Sciences that is in a beautiful building in the shape of a Lotus Flower (8-19h).

Every night (at 8:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.), in front of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel, they put on an audiovisual show in which they project, on a water screen created by powerful fountains, a story in images, music and fire. It’s pretty good. Similar to Hong Kong.

If you then cross the modern The Helix bridge, you can reach Makansutra Gluttons Bay, where you can dine very well and at a good price. There are basically stalls that offer food of all kinds.

How to go to Marina Bay? By tube going down to the Bay Front stop .

4) Eat something and have a Cofi in Chinatown

Despite being one of the most foreign neighborhoods in the city, Chinatown is still a good option to go and eat something . The small neighborhood is made up of traditional colored houses, very well preserved. There, in addition to good food, you will find a lot of souvenir shops. Don’t forget to have a Cofi, the traditional Singaporean coffee.

How to go to Chinatown? By subway going down to the Chinatown stop .

5) Lose yourself in the New Bugis Street flea market

We found this market by accident and it was an interesting discovery . It is not at all threatened, it was not a feat to run into it, but I was cool that it appeared without having it in the plans. If you go through the Victora Street area with New Bugis Street, you will see it. They basically sell clothes at a very good price. Although there are also food, juices and several Durian shops. Have you already tried the forbidden fruit in all Asian public transport because of its strong smell?

After New Bugis Street, you can continue along Albert Street where there are also markets.

How to go to New Bugis Street? By metro going down to the Bugis stop .

6) Drink a Chai Masala or a Lassi in Little India

The Indian quarter of Singapore is like a small Chennai but clean and without large masses of people . The main streets of the neighborhood are Buffalo Road and Serangoon Road. In the latter you can see the typical temple of South India, Sri Veerama Kaliamman.

I recommend taking a break to drink the typical Indian milk tea, Chai Masala, or the delicious yoghurt drink, sweet Lassi.

You will see that there are several stores that are tired of being the Cheapest Shop in Singapore, it’s funny.

How to go to Little India? By subway going down to the Little India stop .

7) Have a beer at night at Clarke Quay

If you have a large budget or you like to spend on food and drinks, go to Clarke Quay in Clark Street at night . There you will find many restaurants and pubs to dine or have a beer surrounded by an atmosphere of locals, tourists and expatriates. In that area you can also take the boat-tours along the river. The beers were over $10.

How to go to New Bugis Street? By tube going down to the Clarke Quay stop .

8) Go shopping on Orchard Road

Orchard Road is the shopping center street par excellence . If you are looking for international brands, you will find practically all of them there. If what you want are bargains (cheap perfumes, clothes at a good price, etc.) I recommend the Lucky Shopping Mall, a kind of small MBK of Bangkok.

How to go to Orchard Road? By subway going down to the Orchard stop .

9) Visit a park like the Garden by the Bay

Singapore has several parks and botanical gardens that look very cool . Unfortunately, in 3 days I didn’t really have time to visit them but I got to see something of the Garden by the bay and it’s impressive. It is a futuristic park, in which there are two greenhouses with microclimates in which plants with a Mediterranean climate grow. In the park there are also the famous artificial trees that do photosynthesis and which you can climb.

Other famous parks are Fort Caning park or The Padang.

How to go to Garden by the Bay? By subway going down to the Bayfront stop .

10)  See the Sultan Mosque and the Arab Street area

The Sultan Mosque is also one of the typical images of the city . It is a mosque with a very photogenic golden dome, which is located in a beautiful tourist neighborhood where there are several souvenir shops, the occasional hostel and a couple of streets with a good offer of restaurants and pubs to have a drink in the evening. night.

How to go to Arab Street? By metro going down to the Bugis stop .

10+1)  Discover your wildest face in, for example, Geylang at night

Me and my partner stayed at the Fragrance Hotel which is located at Geylang Lor 20. Geylang Road turned out to be in a very authentic neighborhood . During the day it seems normal but at night it transforms and its narrow streets become the typical dark neighborhood where everything that is done seems to have to be illegal (although in the case of Singapore it surely is not). Basically, what you will see will be men playing in makeshift casinos that are set up in the middle of the street, while others walk around looking for the services of one of the dozens of prostitutes waiting along the alleys. A nice neighborhood contrast compared to Marine Bay .

How to go to Geylang? By metro getting off at the Aljunied stop and walking to Geyland Road. You will see the atmosphere I am talking about if you go at night and walk through the different Lor de Geyland Road (alleys).

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