Singapore is a beautiful and multi-faceted country. Despite being the world’s 20th smallest sovereign state at a mere 719 square kilometers in size, this stunning island-nation has enough going on to keep any holidaymaker enraptured for weeks.
It is a financial powerhouse, and a hub for commerce in the Far East, with many people seeking work in the country which has exemplary employment legislation. Working visas are highly sought after amongst professionals, and a lot of foreigners have Singapore at the top of their list of employment pass options.
Of course, with its convenient positioning and its eight airports, the island is a popular stopover location for long-haul flights travelling through the Far East en route to Australia and New Zealand. So, many tourists don’t have the option of a long-term stay, often having to make do with twenty-four hours or less in this magnificent country.
Let’s see what can you do in Singapore with just twenty-four hours to fill.
Let’s not pretend here – this is not going to be an in-depth trek through the ins-and-outs of Singaporean culture. Indeed, this will be the tourist equivalent of a tasting menu at a high-class restaurant: enough to whet the appetite.
Speaking of which, why not start the day in style at the food centre in Tiong Bahru? Taste their breakfast: a set of peppered eggs and kaya on toast, served with the local coffee which is a potent and delicious brew, known as kopi. With sufficient protein and caffeine to fuel your body for the day, you can head on to the nearby wet markets where there are impressive displays of locally sourced meats, vegetable, fruits, and flowering plants. Of course, day visitors to the island will be unable to take any of these goods on the plane when they leave, so only buy what you intend to eat, perhaps on a walking lunch.
A quick journey from the markets via metro will take you to Gardens by the Bay – an awe-inspiring piece of botanical engineering, with its open skyway and conservatories that look like something out of a science-fiction novel.
Singapore, as a nation, has a rich and varied history, from its indigenous peoples, through its time as a Sultanate, later as a British colony, until its independence in 1965. It is widely recognized as a commerical and financial behemoth. The many aspects of this history can be sampled at both the Heritage Garden outside Gardens by the Bay, and the National Museum. Of course, any culture can be judged by its contributions to the arts, and Singapore is no slouch in this area, either, as the exhibits at its National Gallery will show. A more eclectic museum experience can be had at the Museum of Toys, which hosts over 50,000 individual exhibits.
If you prefer shopping to sight-seeing, you will not come away disappointed. From the main shopping precinct of Orchard Road, to the underground marketplace of ION Orchard, and the bespoke boutiques of Haji Lane, there is something for everyone.
As night falls, Singapore begins to light up, so it might be time to find a rooftop bar and see the magnificent skyline illuminate before your eyes, perhaps with a cocktail in your hand. Or, if you prefer something more impressive, head to Fullerton Bay, where they host a nightly water-and-light show for guests.