Singapore has been a destination city for years, and not just because its giant airport has more duty-free than you can poke a stick at. The food, culture, nightlife and climate make it a fantastic destination for couples, singles and families alike.
Where is it?
Situated literally swimming distance off Malaysia’s south coast and a little east of Sumatra, this former British colony has developed into a cultural melting pot, with strong influences from China, Indonesia and Malaysia.
How to get there?
There are direct flights leaving daily from all major Australian cities.
When to go?
January to April. Spring is the best time to visit Singapore, as it’s after the wet season but before the temperatures get a little bit to warm.
Where to stay?
If beaches are your thing, then Sentosa is the place for you. This little dot of an island off Singapore’s southern coast is home to plush hotels, buzzy beach clubs and big resorts. Great for families.
This monolith of modern luxury can be seen from just about anywhere around Singapore. With just about the best pool and bar in the business, stay here if you’re all about being seen.
Perfect for backpackers and those on a budget (though the hotels can be a bit hit and miss), Little India and its surrounds provide a lively atmosphere without breaking the bank.
2km of the best shopping you could ever ask for, Orchard road is also home to heaps of hotels. If boutiques and brands are your thing, then Orchard road is your destination.
If you want an authentic Singaporean experience, then head to this quaint little neighbourhood famed for its Peranakan culture. With beautiful period homes, great coffee from local kopitiams and heaps of lively restaurants and cafés, you’ll have an experience much different to the average Singaporean tourist.
What to see?
Where to start? Orchard road is THE place to go shopping, while the Marina Bay pool is an amazing place to spend an afternoon. You could go hiking up one of the mountains or visit the beautiful Gardens by the Bay, and the botanical gardens. If beaches are more your thing, head to one of the outlying islands for the day. And if you want the best view of Singapore on offer, head to the Singapore Flyer at night and take a sedate ride around the ferris wheel.
What to eat?
The food in Singapore is amazing. Everyone knows about the chilli mud crab (a must!) and obviously, it’s the home of the very western friendly Singapore noodles, but Singapore is so much more than that. With cultural and culinary influences from all over Asia, you can grab a great meal from myriad cuisines. The hawkers and street stalls are great for a snack on the go, and if you prefer fine dining, track down some of the Michelin-starred restaurants or head to a swanky hotel. Thanks to the British influence, you can also grab some great high tea.
How to get around?
Singapore has a fantastic mass transit system (MRT), with buses and trains running regularly. The signs are in English everywhere you go, so navigating the subway is an easy way to get a feel for the island. There’s also a heap of taxis and Uber is also available. If you’re looking to relive the glory days of colonialism, hire a trishaw and get pedalled around the city at a much more leisurely pace.