Lisa Owen

You might have transited through Singapore many times on your way to Europe or Asia – but have you ever taken the time to explore the city?

I transited through Singapore at least three times before I actually left the airport and had a look around - and now I wish I had stopped by sooner! Next time you have a stopover in Singapore, get out of the airport and follow this guide to discover the best of the city in less than 48 hours.

gardens by the bay

1. Head up to the Gardens by the Bay Skyway

First stop on your Singapore stopover should be the beautiful Bay of Gardens – one of Singapore’s most popular sights. Take the lift up to the 22-metre high Skyway and get a great view of the manicured gardens and lakes below as you walk through the Supertree Grove.

It’s also worth heading up to the Skywalk at night when the trees are blooming with coloured lights and you might even catch the sound and light show held at 7.45pm and 8.45pm daily.

If you’re planning to walk the Skyway at night, remember that ticket sales close at 8pm – sometimes the ticket sales can be closed off earlier if there’s already long queues to enter the Skyway. Only a limited number of people can walk its length at one time so plan ahead.

The Skyway opens at 9am daily. Ticket sales are right next to the Skyway and are $8 Singapore Dollars each. The ticket booth only accepts cash.

2. Check out one of the conservatoriums

Near the Skyway is the Cloud Forest and Flower Dome conservatoriums. The Cloud Forest is the perfect place to escape the Singapore humidity with a constant temperature of 23 to 25 degrees.

The Cloud Forest is a magical mist strewn landscape made up of walkways cascading through the dome. There’s even a 35 metre man-made waterfall (the world’s tallest indoor waterfall) backlit with purple lights. Head up to the top of the dome for a bird’s eye view of the forest canopy below.

The Cloud Forest is best seen at night when the mix of lights and mist creates a surreal and mesmerising vista. Mist times are every two hours from 10am to 8pm daily. Last ticket sales are at 8pm.

The Flower Dome is in stark contrast to the Cloud Forest, and features plants and flowers from Mediterranean regions, South Africa, and parts of Spain and Italy. Tickets cost $28 Singapore Dollars to enter both conservatoriums.

food in singapore

3. Eat, eat, eat

When in Singapore, eat all the food. Singapore is a melting pot of cultures which means there’s delicious food to try everywhere you go.

You have to eat at one of the many ramen places at least once, and grab a meal at Chinatown or Little India.  One of my favourite dishes was marinated duck – so tasty.

Be warned that Singapore is super expensive – especially the food. If you’re a budget traveller, head to one of the many Hawker Centres across Singapore for a bite to eat.

singapore city

4. Stop by the Marina

While in Singapore, make sure you take the time to roam the Marina area for a great view of the city’s skyline and the impressive Marina Bay Sands hotel. This area is particularly nice at dusk with the sun setting behind the skyscrapers.

5. Go shopping

You can easily sneak in some retail therapy in Singapore with huge shopping complexes every couple of blocks. All the major chains you’re familiar with such as H&M, Zara and Uniqlo are represented, and there’s also a broad choice of high end stores. If you’re looking for electronics such as cameras, head to Sim Lim Square.

shopping in singapore

Things You Should Know:

  • It’s easy to get around Singapore with the very clean, modern and efficient metro system. Tickets can easily be bought on the machines at every station. You can also buy a 10 pass ticket.
  • Singapore is expensive! If you’re looking to cut down your costs, Singapore is a very walkable city and you can eat at the hawker centres instead of the pricey restaurants and cafes.
  • You won’t have any issues getting around Singapore with English. English is a primary language in the city and I didn’t encounter anyone who couldn’t speak perfect English during my trip there.
  • The airport is well connected to the city and you can catch the metro into the centre. 


Lisa Owen is a pint-sized Australian following her dreams to travel to as many places as she can, and loves to share her photography, travel hacks, hiking adventures, and food discoveries along the way. At last count, she has travelled to more than 60 countries in between working in public relations and discovering hidden gems in Australia's great outdoors. Instagram: @thelittleadventurer. Facebook: The Little Adventurer Australia.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by the author and those providing comments are theirs alone, and are meant as travel inspiration only. They do not reflect the opinions of Cover-More Insurance. You should always read the Policy Documents available from your travel insurance provider to understand the limits, exclusions and conditions of your policy and to ensure any activities you undertake are covered by your policy.