Home Latest News A Canberran Guide to a Weekend in Singapore

A Canberran Guide to a Weekend in Singapore

Singapore skyline at night.

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As winter hits Canberra this week, we’re dreaming of warmer times and tropical climes.

To help defrost, and in exchange for a few days off, we’ll trade you a fantastic weekend in Singapore – one of the easiest and safest destinations in the world to travel.

In a city of five million people smaller than Canberra, it’s easy to feel a little intimidated – but we promise you that with just a two-hour time difference, an amazing mix of cultures and options for every type of traveler, you’ll be amazed how easy it is to get around Singapore.

We hit the sidewalk, hail the cabs, squeezed ourselves to the limit and sweated through our shirts to bring you the best spots we’ve found in 2022 that we’d recommend for an extended weekend in this sparkling city.

Day one – the greatest hits tour

Head to Marina Bay first for the day – meander through Gardens by the Bay and explore the Cloud Forest and Flower Dome (both are air-conditioned oases against the humidity and heat). Visit the ArtScience Museum, explore hundreds of shops in the Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, and take a moment to admire the breathtaking views of the skyline from the riverbank (all within a 20-minute walk or short taxi ride).

View from the top of the amazing Cloud Forest.

View from the top of the amazing Cloud Forest.

River cruises sail past the harbor from late afternoon and it is one of the most relaxing hours to spend in Singapore. If you’re lucky (like us) and hop on a WaterB, you can even score a SpongeBob SquarePants themed ship to spice up those skyline selfies.

After dinner at one of the district’s numerous food courts or restaurants (we recommend sampling Singapore’s national dish, chicken and rice), round off your evening with a quintessential view of Singapore and some snapshots of the city ‘in the evening.

From 7pm, the world famous Gardens by the Bay Supertree Grove comes alive with music and lights. If you’re feeling wild, buy a ticket to walk the suspended OCBC Skyway, where the sweeping harbor views and glittering trees are truly magical (they even manage to distract from clammy hands or trembling legs caused by the 50 meter long drop).

The OCBC Skyway at night

Singapore’s famous Skytrees and the OCBC Skyway at night.

If you’re not ready to round out your evening, consider grabbing a Singapore Sling at its place of origin: the Long Bar at the Raffles Hotel, or head to CE LA VI Skybar for a visit the roof of the iconic Marina Bay Sands Hotel.

Day Two – Choose Your Own Island Adventure

Despite the cocktails from the night before, try to get an early start today and take the Sky Network cable car from Faber Peak to Sentosa Island – enjoy stunning panoramic views of the city and free access to the island’s monorail, funiculars and buses .

For adventure seekers, there’s the Adventure Cove Waterpark, MegaZip zipline, a Hydrodash floating obstacle course, and as many rides and roller coasters as you could ever need at Universal Studios.

For those seeking a bit of luxury, sip cocktails, sample a sophisticated menu and relax on the beach or pool at the Tanjong Beach Club of Coastes.

For animal lovers, there’s the SEA Aquarium, with thousands of species of fish and some truly wondrous displays of aquatic life from around the world.

If you’ve enjoyed the island, consider a late afternoon break from the heat and crowds of Sentosa. Head back to town and enjoy afternoon tea at the Hilton Orchard’s Ginger.Lily, where they offer a “luxury storybook” of sweet and savory treats. In combination with exclusive tea and artisanal cocktails, this is not to be missed!

After napping from your generous afternoon tea, head to Lau Pa Sat to experience street dining and sample some of the world’s best satay – smaller portions and share plates mean you can fill up by mixing stacks of different dishes and match.

Day three – the essentials: shopping and eating

Start your last day with a stroll along Orchard Road, Singapore’s famous shopping district. It’s known as the city of malls for a reason – there’s a cool haven at every turn with a web of malls interconnected throughout the city. If you’re traveling in September/October, be sure to check out the Great Singapore Sale along Orchard Road, where you can save big.

Take a 20 minute walk or a 5 minute taxi ride from Orchard Road to one of Singapore’s most famous street food locations, Newton Food Centre. Made famous by recording in the blockbuster Crazy Rich Asians, it’s home to two Michelin star hawker stalls (we loved the Chili Crab!) and an array of other great dishes from all over Asia – most meals will run you between $5 and $15.

From here you can hop on the clean and affordable tube at Newton Station, get off at Burgis and enjoy the 10-minute walk to the famous Haji Lane (past ATLAS Bar, where you can choose from over 1,300 gins, including our very own HerCanberra French Early Gray Gin). Haji Lane is home to younger travelers who frequent hipper, slightly grittier bars and restaurants; capture the perfect insta-worthy shot for Lane’s unique boutiques and colorful facades.

The trendy Haji Lane is home to an array of bars, restaurants and boutiques.

The trendy Haji Lane is home to an array of bars, restaurants and boutiques.

One of the newest boutiques on the Lane is StudioNeon, opened by artist Idris Johor, who is responsible for much of the colorful artwork and murals in some of Haji Lane’s best-known locations.

Flying in and out

Don’t forget to make time to explore the world famous Changi Airport as you pass through it as well. It features the Jewel, with the most unexpected array of gardens and a very impressive central water fountain complete with nighttime light show, as well as a host of other exciting and unexpected attractions for an airport (free movies, the world’s tallest airport slide, and a butterfly garden someone ?).

With a post-COVID influx of travelers yet to make their way to the city, you may want to consider a sneaky stay in Singapore for your next overseas trip.

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