Singapore, the bustling Lion City, is a vibrant melting pot of cultures, cuisines, and captivating attractions. Nestled in Southeast Asia (14 hours of direct flight from the UK ), this city-state offers an eclectic blend of modern marvels, historical treasures, and gastronomic delights. Join me on my recent adventure on what to see and what to eat in Singapore, where work and exploration are beautifully intertwined, creating unforgettable memories.
Another neat Automattic meetup.
My journey began with a team meetup in Singapore (you can read more about my other documented meetups in Canada in 2016, Canada again in 2017, Madrid, Orlando, Antibes, Budapest, Athens, and Denver) where we had the pleasure of staying at a decent Ibis hotel. While most of our time was spent working diligently in the conference room, we made sure to seize every opportunity to immerse ourselves in the local culture and experience the wonders this city had to offer.
Exploring Singapore’s gems: what to see in Singapore
We visited a lot of places, and picking just a bunch hasn’t been easy, though I hope you appreciated the curated selection of what to see in Singapore, in my opinion.
Stepping into the vibrant enclave of Little India was like entering a world of sensory delights. The lively streets were adorned with colorful shops, aromatic spices, and traditional Indian music.
I could also watch a Hindu celebration from outside the temple, and stare in awe at the floors full of bling of the pricey jewelry malls. I saw gold and sparkling everywhere. And talking about spending money…
Orchard Road and Mustafa Centre
Shopaholics amongst us couldn’t resist the allure of Orchard Road, Singapore’s premier shopping street. From high-end boutiques to bustling malls, we found everything we desired. Additionally, Mustafa Centre provided a unique shopping experience with its extensive array of goods, from electronics to fashion and more. More like… two floors of lush jewelry.
Marina Bay Sands
A visit to Singapore is incomplete without marveling at the iconic Marina Bay Sands. We indulged in a truly memorable experience at the infinity pool (well, we only watched people bathing!) and bar on the 56th floor. Sipping champagne (for real, we squeezed it into our budget!), we relished the breathtaking 360-degree view of the city and the glistening bay beneath us.
Marina Bay Waterfront Promenade
As the sun set, we strolled along the picturesque Marina Bay Waterfront Promenade. The stunning fountains and mesmerizing lights danced harmoniously, creating a captivating water show that left us in awe (I took some videos but they don’t reflect the beauty of the show). The majestic Lion sculpture and the Helix Bridge added to the enchanting atmosphere. It was hilarious to take a group photo in front of the Lion, as we asked two Malesian girls to take the picture for us, but they said they aren’t good at taking photos. We thought they were joking – they were right! The photos are a disaster, but we had a great time and made some funny memories.
Aquarium, Gardens by the Bay, and More
We had plans of spending a whole day off work outdoors, but the exact day we allocated for touring the city, it rained cats and dogs in a very tropical fashion.
We then pivoted to something indoors and explored the fascinating underwater world at the Aquarium, where colorful marine life captivated our imagination. I took some videos for my daughter Lavinia, so don’t mind my narrations in some of them :)
The awe-inspiring Gardens by the Bay beckoned us next, with the magnificent Flower Dome and the captivating Cloud Forest. Well,
captivating is an understatement, I’ve never seen anything like that, and I think I never will again.
The Avatar exhibition at the Cloud Forest enhanced our experience while climbing up and down the waterfall.
We marveled at the Supertree Grove, and for an extra thrill, we ventured onto the OCBC Skyway, suspended high above the ground.
Our journey concluded with a visit to the renowned Changi Airport, which is a tourist attraction per se. Beyond its exceptional facilities and efficiency, the airport also boasts incredible entertainment. We wandered through the captivating Jewel complex, featuring stunning indoor gardens that every Terminal features (Terminal 1 and 3 have two gardens, and Terminal 2 has one garden), and marveled at the enchanting Butterfly Garden, a tranquil oasis amidst the hustle and bustle. We also witnessed a butterfly coming out of its cocoon!
Delighting Our Palates: what to eat in Singapore
The culinary scene in Singapore is a true gastronomic journey, and for me it has been a really dangerous adventure: mostly everything is heavily seafood and nuts based, which are food I’m deadly allergic to. I mostly relied on the excellent hotel’s buffet breakfast and carefully navigated the rest of the meals. The good news is that I’m alive writing this report, so I survived.
My best three picks on what to eat in Singapore (meaning they’re also allergy friendly) are below.
Mr. Biryani in Little India
We savored the most delectable biryani at Mr. Biryani, immersing ourselves in the rich flavors that transported us to the heart of India. Now that I tasted this Indian food, any other Indian or Srilankan restaurants I usually go to at my place would taste a bit less thorough.
The National Kitchen by Violet Oon
We had the pleasure of dining at The National Kitchen by Violet Oon, nestled within the National Gallery. Here, we savored an exquisite blend of traditional and contemporary Singaporean dishes, immersing ourselves in a symphony of flavors.
Ce La Vie Bar at Marina Bay Sands SkyPark.
To top off our experience, we couldn’t resist a visit to the Ce La Vie Bar at Marina Bay Sands SkyPark. Sipping our favorite cocktails and champagne while gazing at the magnificent cityscape from the heights of the SkyPark was an experience that will forever remain etched in our memories.
Bonus – the Beer People Co. 啤酒大叔
Mention of honor for the Beer People Co. 啤酒大叔, an independent little bar not so far from our hotel. The bar is just a big room with one wall completely covered by fridges with any kind of local breweries’ beers.
We savored some peculiar beers, stouts, sessions, sour, and also a Kaya beer! Definitely, a place to check if you’re near Little India and love beers.
Would I recommend visiting Singapore?
Singapore, with its vibrant blend of cultural treasures, modern marvels, and tantalizing cuisine, left an indelible mark on our hearts. Despite our busy work schedule, we managed to explore the city and discover its true essence.
From the charming streets of Little India to the awe-inspiring views from Marina Bay Sands, every moment was filled with excitement and wonder (and also a bit of hunger). If you find yourself in this incredible city, make sure to take the time to savor its many delights and embrace the unique experiences that await you.
I hope you have enjoyed my recommendations on what to see and what to eat in Singapore!