How to explore Singapore like a Pro aka Local


The best way to know any place is through a local person. My tryst with Singapore goes back to 4 years ago. The first time I set foot in this city/ country was in 2012 and “Man!” it doesn't get enough of me :) I visited the country multiple times ever since and so here are my top picks to explore this incredible island “like a Pro”.

Chinatown: Your first stop should be this place. I know that Singapore is about Marina Bay Sands but trust me you should save the best for last. Chinatown is a MRT station and soon as you disembark you will be welcome by hoards of stalls selling souvenirs, apparels etc. This is the cheapest place to shop souvenirs and save yup those dollars from other costly outlets. From the shoppes, head to the Hindu temple a few steps away. Here you will require head to toe clothing. This is a traditional Tamil temple with many Hindu deities to worship. Next head to the amazing Buddha Tooth Relic temple. This is a must visit place and is open only until 7 PM. It is a museum as well. The Buddha residing at the first level is mesmerising and it’s not just one of it! Explore other floors of the museum while you are there.

Gardens by the Bay: Get enchanted by the almost Wonder of the World. This manmade garden structure cum recreation area is one of my favourite places of Singapore due its sheer dimension. It is a free public area except for the two Domes which are paid attractions. Get down at the Bayfront MRT and walk towards the gardens. The park organises a daily “light and sound” show at 7:45 PM for FREE! Believe me it is tough to hear the word free in Singapore.

Sentosa islands: One of the most popular attractions home to the Universal Studios. If you plan to do the Studios, you will need one full day to get to pretty much every ride. I recommend a visit on weekdays to skip the long queues. Given the ticket prices at various attractions, you should spend at least 2 days at Sentosa. Start from the cable car ride from Harbourfront MRT station. This is a fun ride taking you across the various parts of Sentosa. You can hop on-off per your own timings while enjoying the multiple attractions. Visit the aquarium, the Merilion, the shoppes and soak in the harbour view of the city.

Daytime attractions: Visit the Singapore Zoo, Bird Park, Botanical Gardens or the Macritchie treetop walk during your free daytime. These are good excursions which are well maintained natural spaces and call for your one time visit. Make sure of your timings before you head to them. There are tiny islands around Singapore where you can reach through a ferry. They are ideal for picnics, cycling and snorkelling.

Clarke Quay: The party hopping street of Singapore. This place is on every traveller’s list. I would recommend visiting this place while the sun sets to get a hang of the bars, pubs and the overall vibrancy of the place. Drinks are priced high everywhere in Singapore and hence you may want to pre-game before you hit the Quay. Cheers!

Marina Bay/ Barrage: No trip to Singapore is complete until you hit “the Sands”. Yes, the iconic 3 towers with a roof top like a surf board. Get ready to be in awe of the poster boy at the first glance. Here you can take a swing at the casinos or hit the 57th floor for drinks with a view or shop at the luxury shoppes; all housed inside the towers. And the best part, they have an in-house man-made waterway that runs boats!! Marina Barrage is the full circle that starts at the Sands and goes all the way through Downtown, Fullerton, Merilion and the national stadium. You can walk to the Sands from the Gardens too through the exclusive connecting skywalk that gives you a peak into the Sands lobby. Do enjoy the free for all sounds and light show at 8 and 9 pm everyday.

Also visit the iconic Singapore Flyer for a one of kind experience which lasts for about 45 minutes for the wheel to make full circle. My preference would be a daytime visit.

Esplanade/ the Flyer: The twin durian inspired theatres are poster boys of Singapore’s skyline. Visit them to explore the art forms that breed in Singapore. Head to the rooftop here for bars and cafes that offer a great view of the Sands in the night.

Bugis: For all you ladies, if you are looking for some cheap stakes in Singapore, look no further than Bugis. The old “Bugis Street” houses shops with reasonable price tags for apparel, shoes, bags, accessories, chocolates etc. It is a must visit place to pick up souvenirs too.

Orchard Street: High end luxury is what this place is all about. Street full of malls and eye popping stores. You should visit this place to make sense of the sheer breadth of style that Singaporeans live in. At the ION Orchard, visit the Art gallery on the 4th floor and from there you can head to the the top floor for a free admission to catch the Singapore skyline from another angle altogether.

I am rookie blogger and Singapore being my first travel country will always be special. So this blog was just a quick TerimaKasih to this wonderful and out go the box country. For suggestions and comments, please drop me a line :)