As a focal hub for all South East Asia, Singapore is too often treated as a fly through city. January is a great time of year to visit Singapore as the weather is typically tropical with the mixture of cooling tropical rain storms and sunny humid climate. With so much to see and do on a holiday to Singapore, Cox & Kings makes some recommendations to make the most out of a two-day stopover.
Getting to Singapore from the UK
Singapore Airlines flies twice daily from London Heathrow and once from Manchester. British Airways and Qantas both fly daily from Heathrow.
Just arriving into Changi airport is a pleasant experience in its own right – it’s one of the largest terminals in the world and the first in Asia to offer five-star services. Amongst hotels, cinemas and a rooftop swimming pool, there is an impressive collection of shops and boutiques, gym and spa facilities and even a butterfly garden. For more info check out changiairport.com.
Where to stay in Singapore
The Mandarin Oriental is a slick hotel with great restaurants and one of the best spas in town. Ideally located on Raffles Boulevard, the Mandarin Oriental has great views of the city and the water from its guest rooms and the rooftop swimming pool.
The place to see and be seen in Singapore, Raffles dates from 1887 and is one of the world’s great iconic hotels. Its sizeable guest suites are decorated in colonial style with teak and marble. Elegant and stylish, Raffles is a haven amid the bustle.
The Fullerton is set on the Singapore River and its landmark building has had a colourful history, serving as a Post Office, Singapore Town Club and Chamber of Commerce before being turned into a luxury hotel.
What to see in Singapore
Take a ride of the Singapore Flyer, which opened on Raffles Avenue in 2008. The Flyer is 30 metres higher than the London Eye – on a clear day you can see Malaysia to the north and Indonesia to the South.
Wander around the Singapore Botanic Gardens, which have been at their present site for 150 years and contain 64 hectares of beautiful horticultural and botanical displays. Don’t miss the National
Orchid Garden with its collection of more than 1,000 species and 2,000 hybrids of orchids.
The Asian Civilisations Museum is well worth a visit, packed with interesting artefacts and ornaments from all across South East Asia. Have a look at the museum website for more information.
From just outside the museum, take an hour-long cruise of the harbour – recommended in the evening, when the city’s riverside monuments are lit up.
Where to drink in Singapore
The Singapore Sling cocktail was invented by a Raffles’ barman and can still be enjoyed in the hotel’s atmospheric Long Bar. Or try Loof Bar, an open-air rooftop bar on top of the Odeon Towers, which has some of the best views in the city.
Where to eat
La Dolce Vita at the Mandarin Oriental has views over the city and the sea, and serves fine Italian cuisine, created by Michelin star chef Marco Pedrelli, alongside an impressive wine list.
Satay Club is a stretch of stalls, recently relocated to Clarke Quay, that sell a variety of meats, fish and vegetables all with the obligatory peanut Satay sauce. Each stall has its own special recipe and there is great vibrancy as they compete (in good humour) for your business. Each stall appears to claim its own accolade of awards, so choosing one can be tough. The hawker stalls in the Clarke Quay area are also well worth a try, and are a great place to sample more traditional Asian cuisine.
- Remember: generally, the longer the queue, the better the food.
- Check out what else is at Clarke Quay at clarkequay.com.sg.
Booking a Singapore holiday
A stopover in Singapore makes an ideal break en route to Australia, or as part of a luxury holiday to the Far East. It is possible to travel overland from Singapore to Bangkok, through Malaysia, on the Eastern & Oriental train.