Upon touchdown you’ll be greeted with a whole host of shopping options once you clear customs & immigration. We’d recommend you make use of the duty free allowance and purchase alcohol to your limit (1 bottles of hard liquor, 1 bottle of wine and 3 cans of beer per person). By purchasing alcohol at the DFS shop, you’ll be saving a lot as alcohol is expensive in Singapore due to the high tax imposed on alcohol.
Travel to your Hotel
Choose a hotel near an MRT station so that you will be able to take a train from the airport all the way to your hotel and thus save the money you would have spent on a cab on your brunch instead. If this is your first trip to Singapore, then you should ask the hotel staff to point you in the direction of a local coffee-shop or kopitiam as they are affectionately known to locals, where you should have a traditional breakfast which starts with Coffee or Tea and served with two half boiled eggs and two slices of toast with kaya and butter.
After you’ve had breakfast and ready to start your trip in Singapore, make the Merlion Park the first stop of your whirlwind tour of the sunny island state. It’s known to bring visitors good luck and positive feng-shui (as the locals believe). Especially if you’re planning to visit the Casino at the Marina Bay Sands when you’re here, do have a selfie taken with the Merlion first.
Walk to MBS through Helix Bridge and try your luck in the Casino
After visiting the Merlion, walk through Jubilee Bridge to reach Esplanade – Theatres by the Bay and from there, it’s a 5 minute walk to the Helix Bridge via the Youth Olympic Park and then another 5 minutes from the start of the Helix Bridge till you reach the Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands Hotel. Once you reach the shopping mall, look out for the signs that point you in the direction of the Casino and prepare to get lucky there!
Gardens by the Bay
After you’ve won some winnings at the Casino, take a relaxing stroll to the Gardens by the Bay. There’s a paid section (Cloud Forest & Flower Dome) which we highly recommend to first time visitors. The iconic Supertree Grove is one of the free attractions the park has to offer and at night, there’s two runs of the award winning light and music show. The themes change from season to season, and some of the special themes have included a Star Wars theme and a National Day theme.
Fine Dining at MBS
You’ll be spoilt for choice if you’re looking for fine dining options at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel. Filled with diners by award winning chefs like Cut by Wolfgang Puck, Adrift by David Myers, Bread Street by Gordon Ramsay, Long Chim by David Thompson and db Bistro by Daniel Boulud. After you’re done with dinner, head over to Ce La Vi for drinks (located at the very top of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel)
Photo Credit: Ce La Vi Official Webpage (https://www.marinabaysands.com/entertainment/nightlife/nightclubs/ce-la-vi-club-lounge.html)
Nasi Lemak for Breakfast
One of the most favourite breakfast dishes in Singapore is Nasi Lemak (Coconut Rice) and the most famous of all the Nasi Lemak shops is Selera Rasa Nasi Lemak. The personal breakfast choice of the reigning King of Brunei and the President of Singapore, Selera Rasa is operated by one of Singapore’s most prominent families in the hawker scene in Singapore. Their version of the classic Nasi Lemak set (known as a Full-House) is premium basmati rice that is soaked with fresh coconut milk for a fully flavoured delight and is matched with a perfectly half cooked egg, spicy fishcake (known as otah otah), fried anchovies, a special chili sauce and a delicious deep fried chicken wing.
Orchard Road Shopping – Lucky Plaza, Ngee Ann City, Mandarin Gallery, Orchard Central
After you’ve had your fill, take a bus and travel towards Lucky Plaza (a popular mall along Orchard Road). Lucky Plaza is popular for being a spot which has some of the best rates of money changers in town, so you’ll be sure to get enough cash for all your shopping needs. This is also a great place to get souvenirs in bulk for cheap for your friends and family back home.
After getting your cash at Lucky Plaza, cross over the road to experience Singapore’s department store, Takashimaya, located at Ngee Ann City Mall. If you’re looking for special avant garde designs, don’t miss out the boutique shops at Mandarin Gallery (which is just next to Ngee Ann City) and finally if you’re looking for casual clothes, visit the mega Uniqlo store at Orchard Central.
Newton Hawker Centre
After a long day of shopping, you’ll be needing the best local food that Singapore has to offer. And Newton Hawker Centre is one of those food centres which combines many of the popular dishes so it makes it a convenient spot for dinner. While you’re there, you have to try Sambal Stingray, Satay and of course, Singapore’s national beer, Tiger Beer, which is proudly brewed in Singapore!
Brunch at the Fullerton
Start off your day with one of the oldest and most celebrated brunch buffets at the Fullerton Hotel. The hotel is a national monument as it was the first post office in modern Singapore and the interiors have been refurbished to provide a luxurious experience while keeping the nostalgia of the architecture and stunning attention to detail and the excellent service standards expected of the Fullerton Hotel.
Historic Walking Tour by the Singapore River
After a full-on brunch buffet, you’ll be needing some walking. As such, we’d recommend taking the scenic historic walk along the Singapore River, where you’ll be able to see the sprawling Asian Civilisations Museum, the Sir Stamford Raffles Statue (which commemorates the founding of modern day Singapore), the Arts House at the Old Parliament (the Parliament house during the time of Singapore gaining independence), Victoria Concert Hall (the house of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra) and of course, last but not least, The National Gallery (built on the former Supreme Court and City Hall building).
Late Lunch at Maxwell Hawker Centre
When you’re done with all the sightseeing, pop by and try the island’s favourite chicken rice, Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice at Maxwell Hawker Centre.
Photo Credit: Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice Facebook Page
Fly out from Changi Airport
After having a late lunch, prepare to head over to Changi Airport. It’s worth being early for your flight as there are endless options for shopping in the duty free section (once you have cleared the customs and immigration checkpoint). Also remember to claim your tourist tax rebates on qualifying purchases you made during your trip. If you’re flying Singapore Airlines, do check out their lounges which are known for providing a comfortable pre-boarding experience. We hope you enjoyed your visit and will visit our sunny island again soon!