Do you have a layover in Singapore in your journey? Here's how you can make the best of Singapore in just 48 hours...
4 April 2016| Last updated on 13 August 2017
Do you have 48 hours to spare in Singapore? Whilst you cannot 'discover' the country in that time, I invite you to experience Singapore in that many hours with me!
Experience the Singapore Carrier
Why not start the adventure on the flag carrier airline of the country to get a feel of the Singapore hospitality! By experiencing Singapore's airline - often referred to as the Singapore bird affectionately - you can enjoy the comfort in air, and even try out their newly introduced premium economy class even... It'll give you a glimpse into what you can expect in Singapore.
We have one of the best hotels of the world in Singapore! With a world class casino, an exclusive shopping mall and celebrity chef restaurants attached to its name, Marina Bay Sands is luxury personified! The "must - do" at the hotel is its infinity pool on the 57th floor! Unwind after the journey and relax in the pool overlooking the grand sights of the country, move next door to Ce La Vi (earlier known as Ku De Ta) for a round of cocktails, followed by dinner at the Michelin star restaurant Waku Ghin By Tetsuya Wakuda. Welcome to Singapore, ladies!
(Ready to experience Singapore in 48 hours now you're here? Right. Ready? Get set - go!)
Experience the 'local'
Start your day of exploring with a power breakfast! You could opt for the cappuccinos or the espressos OR you could try the local teas and coffees for your caffeine kick.
"Teh" is the local name for the black tea, and you have the option to have it with evaporated or condensed milk, or just the black tea by itself. No points for guessing that "Kopi" is coffee and works the same way as the tea. A word of caution - they are pretty strong, you may want to keep away in the evenings!
For the younger and the young at heart I would recommend the Milo Dinosaur! Also known as a Milo Tabur, it is a calorific Singaporean drink, made from a cup of Milo (a chocolate malt drink) poured over ice and topped with a generous serving of powdered undissolved Milo. This weird mix is one only a true blue Singaporean would know (and now you do too) and is available at most food courts but my favorite one can be found in The Toast Box.
You might also be interested in:
While at the Toast Box might I recommend the Kaya toast. Of course do try our other local delights like Mee (noodles) Rebus and Mee Siam for breakfast too but even Hugh Jackman could not resist the Kaya toast! Go on, treat yourself - you're in Singapore!
Experience on foot
Power walk or stroll down past the Merlion Park, stop to the see the iconic Merlion and head to the Gardens by the Bay for one of the most exciting and scenic gardens of the world. Wander around, admire the flower dome and the cloud dome, the metal and concrete trees that come alive during a light show at night. It's a green Singapore!
Experience the health
Carb it up for lunch I say, you will need the energy for all the sightseeing and exploring. The perfect combination of carbs with proteins is the all famous chicken rice. Choose between the steamed or roasted chicken and opt for the "no skin no bones" version for reduced fat and you are good to go. It comes along with a mild flavored soup and the most common condiment is the soy sauce and the "chicken rice chilly".! Use it sparingly though- it does have a kick!
Fish ball noodle soup is another option if you are looking for something leaner, else go crazy on the Laksa! Soft Mee in spiced coconut gravy is a must try in Singapore, too.
Add on the choice of veggies or meat to make it a complete meal. Do look out for the "health tips" often displayed, "ask for less gravy" being the most common. Routine checks are conducted to ensure the standards for hygiene and cleanliness are maintained and most food outlets display their rating visibly in the front! It's a clean Singapore!
Experience the culture
Why not head to the China town for a change in scenery? Visit the Buddha Tooth Relic temples, walk through the markets and shop for traditional gifts on the street. Enjoy the difference in pace, soak in the culture - this is the heritage of Singapore.
Experience the Modern
Orchard Road is the "Manhattan" of Singapore... Beautiful sights, luxury boutiques and food galore! Walk along the road, shop at the stores, check out the latest offers and trends. Satisfy the 4 pm sugar craving and indulge in the local offerings of the Malay "Kuey", pandan cakes, or why not try something that is very unique to Singapore - the bread Ice cream! Selling for under 2 dollars and found easily on Orchard Road, we have the small carts selling - well bread and ice cream literally! You do have the choice to opt for the crackers instead of the bread, but what's so exciting about that now?
If you do not care much for the desserts, try the Singapore version of a spring rolls called Popiah! It is the dough flattened out, steamed, and stuffed with sauces and veggies of your choice! #guiltfree - the choice is yours in Singapore!
SEE ALSO: A guide to Singapore's shopping malls
Experience the ethnic diversity
Head to the Kampong Glam, home to the Sultan mosque and enjoy the aromas and colors around the heart of Singapore's Malay quarters! Serangoon road, often referred to as the "Little India", is the place for an Indian "fix"! Visit the Indian temples, Indian restaurants, and of course the one and only Mustafa Centre which remains open 24 hours of the day - cos no trip is ever complete without a 3 am shopping spree in Mustafa! Singapore never sleeps!
(The clock is ticking ... But before that...)
Experience the sights
Get a bird’s eye view of the country form the largest Ferris wheel in the world. The Singapore flyer offers unmatchable views of the country and is one of the most sought after tourist spots! Touch the skies in Singapore!
Experience the knowledge
Challenge the young minds with exhibits at the Singapore Science Centre, discover the origin of theories and test them out first hand. Or head to the one of the biggest zoos in the world, spread across 26 hectares, the park is home to over 2,800 animals from over 300 species. Stay on for the night safari if time permits, the world’s first safari park for nocturnal animals which spans 35 hectares of secondary forest and is home to over 2,500 animals of over 130 species, of which 38% are threatened.
Experience the hype
Stop by the seafood restaurants along the East Coast Park on your way to airport and try the most talked about pepper crabs among the other fresh catches of the day. Binge into one of the best seafood meals you would probably have and decide for yourself if it lives up to the hype!
(Annnnndddddd time is up!)
To 'discover' Singapore in 48 hours is a tall claim. You do need more time than that to discover the country even though it is often referred to as a "Red Dot"! Singapore has so much to offer... Sentosa islands, Universal Studios, the beautiful walks and treks, the by lanes of Arab street, the fine dining, the night life... The list is exhaustive!
What you can do instead is something I like to call 'collecting souvenirs'. Collect the warmth, the hospitality, the tradition... Collect the diversity, the blend of cultures, the harmony! Collect the old, the new, the future! Collect the 'experience'- your souvenir from Singapore and I bet you will be back to claim the rest!
About the Author
Just a regular person born and raised in India, married to a Singaporean and now living an expat life in Dubai - yup just a normal regular "global citizen"! With an innate love for travel, fashion and all things "healthy", am often referred to as a "junkie" - a tag I wear proudly! My name is Harshika Daryanani and I am an addict - to loving, to laughing, to living! Follow me at Only One Way to Find Out.