Singapore is pretty much everyone’s stop as a layover on their way to another destination. I was curious about this tiny country and decided to spend a night there on my way home from Vietnam. So if you would like a day to kill in Singapore then this post is for you. One thing to note is that Singapore is expensive, it is not like the rest of South East Asia and is definitely not a ‘budget’ destination. Saying this, there are definitely ways you can save money, like taking advantage of the happy hours and staying at a backpacker hostel instead of a hotel. But if you are just in Singapore for one night, I recommend you splurge and stay at a nice hotel – it will add to the experience. You also soon notice that Singapore is surprisingly green!
My 24 hours in Singapore went like this. I arrived in the morning and checked into the Five Stones Hostel, which was in a pretty good location and cost US$30 for a dorm bed at the time. However, you can probably find a slightly cheaper option, just look online. I then started my self-guided walking tour of the city. The public transport system here is also fantastic so I utilised that as well! I quickly discovered that Singapore has fantastic food. The city has many different cultural districts, which I enjoyed exploring. My favourites were Chinatown and Little India where I had amazing food. The duck in Chinatown is delicious, but the Murtabak dish in Little India stole the show. Murtabak is stuffed pan-fried bread, similar to a naan or roti but stuffed with curried chicken. It is seriously good and I highly recommend you try it.
I strolled through the historical district and learnt a bit about Singapore’s colonial history. Colonial Singapore was founded by Stamford Raffles in the early 1800s so I made sure to pop into the famous Raffles hotel for the signature Singapore Sling cocktail. The hotel bar is pretty interesting and has kept its historical character with peanut shells scattered all over the floor and wooden fans on the ceilings.
Walking down to Marina Bay is a must with the Marina Bay Sands Hotel dominating the skyline. I enjoyed walking around the bay and visiting the Gardens by the Bay both during the night and day. It’s a great place to stroll around and the gardens are beautifully kept and lit up at night.
Any visit to Singapore would not be complete without a shopping excursion. The malls are gigantic and pretty pricey to be honest, but they do have everything. The next morning I left for the airport, which is an attraction in itself, and a good place to kill a few hours if you have a shorter layover. While I enjoyed my time in Singapore, I found that one night was enough for me. Overall I spent about US$140 (NZ$200) during the 24hrs I spent in Singapore, but you could easily spend much more.
Editor’s Note: Visited Singapore in 2015, updated in 2017.