We lived in Singapore for the first time from 2006-2008 when it was still a quaint charming and very affordable town.  We moved back in 2011 after almost 3 years in Shanghai and in the interim, Singapore grew into a very impressive metropolitan with prices to match. 

WHAT & WHERE

Start with a Hop on Hop off BUS TOUR of the city.  You can get a feel of the city and its key sites.  I’m sure there’s a stop in Bugis Junction where your hotel is.

MARINA BAY AREA:  This is the famous MARINA BAY SANDS hotel - shaped like a ship.  The infinity pool is very cool but you need to be guest of the hotel to use it.  You can buy tickets ($23 each) to the observation deck on the 57th floor for an incredible view. of the city  Or another way is to book a table at Ce La Vie for the view but it will not be cheap.

RAFFLES HOTEL:   If you want to have the touristy Singapore Sling, go upstairs to the Long Bar.  It’s a really cool bar where the drink was supposedly invented.  We typically order 1 sling as it’s $20+.  The beer is cheap-ish and free peanuts where you throw the shells on the floor.  

Not far from Raffles hotel is CHJIMES.  It’s an old church / school converted to restaurant / eventing area.  There are many restaurants in this area.  We LOVE going to Lei Gardens for dim sum lunch…arguably best in Singapore.  The dinner is good too but expensive.  Dim sum is much cheaper.  Prive is nice for casual food and drinks outside.

FULLERTON BAY hotel - very posh hotel in the hood.  Lantern its bar is fantastic place to have a sunset cocktail and view of Marina Bay Sandshttp://www.fullertonbayhotel.com/dining/lantern

Level 33 is another place to have a drink and gorgeous view of the bay

http://www.level33.com.sg

Gardens by the Bay - very cool tourist site.  Singapore gov’t spend a couple of billion on this.  It’s worth a gander. 

http://www.gardensbythebay.com.sg/en/home.html

SINGAPORE RIVER

We usually take guests here.  You can start at Boat Quay and just hug the river.  Or take the boat one way and walk back.  There are ticket booths along the river.  Our favourite spot for nosh is Riverside point (right across from Clark Quay) with Cafe Iguana for Mexican food and next door is Brewerkz (microbrewery restaurant).  Both have large patios facing river.  Nice people watching.  If you’re into Chilli Crab, it’s a tourist must, we go to Jumbo seafood in Riverside point because it’s outdoors and view of river is nice.  Locals swear by No Sign Board on the east coast.

I’ve not been but people in the know rave about Tori Tama (best Japanese food) on the river.  11 Unity Street  #01-02 Robertson Walk

ORCHARD ROAD

Famous shopping street in Singapore.  Mind boggling - every brand is here.  

And on the same level is Din Tai Fung.  Famous dumpling and noodle restaurant form Taiwan.  Yummy and cheap.  It’s always lined up so avoid lunch/dinner crowd.  Across street under Takashimaya is Cold Storage which has nice groceries as well.  

If you are on Orchard, I'd walk a few blocks past Paragon Mall up to Emerald Hill, an upscale neighbourhood with historical (around 1900) Peranakan-style shophouses that have been restored to their former glory.  A smaller two-storey house costs around S$7 million to buy, or more than S$12,000 a month to rent.  Ice Cold Beer and its neighbouring bar No. 5 Emerald Hill.

One of our favourite restaurants in the city is Inakaya Robatayaki.  It’s attached to Orchard Parade hotel.  So fun, memorable and delicious but pricey.  

http://www.timeout.com/singapore/restaurants-and-cafes/inakaya-robatayaki

One of our favourite restaurants in the city is Inakaya Robatayaki.  It’s attached to Orchard Parade hotel.  So fun, memorable and delicious but pricey.  

http://www.timeout.com/singapore/restaurants-and-cafes/inakaya-robatayaki

 

TIONG BAHRU

My brother lives in this hood.  It was the 1st HDB (public housing) the Brits built to house Singaporeans.  Now converted into nice flats and restaurants.  Tiong Bahru club at the beginning of Seng Poh Road is lovely restaurant and inexpensive.  At the other end of Seng Poh Road is another PS Cafe called petite.  Best pasta and pizza.  It’s takeaway but you can eat in the cafe.  My brother lives 8 doors down from here.  There’s lots of little shops in the area.  Fun to just walk around.

ANG SIANG HILL / CLUB STREET

Lovely to go for a stroll along Club street and up Ang Siang Hill.  It’s filled with bars and restaurants.  Use to have many shops but I think most are gone.  Next to Scarlet hotel (Erskine road) is a strip of little shops that are fun to browse.  PS Cafe on Ang Siang Hill (at the end of the street) is a nice reasonably priced restaurant.  They have a roof bar which is lovely for cocktails and snacks.

Cross over Maxwell Road and find your way to Duxton Hill.  It is another area full of cafes and bars.

DEMPSEY HILL

This use to be army barracks now converted into restaurants, cafes and a few shops.  Fun to just walk around.  It’s out of the downtown a bit.  There’s a nice PS Cafe here for breakfast or brunch.

 

ORCHARD ROAD

Famous shopping street in Singapore.  Mind boggling - every brand is here.  A large, multi floor Crate and Barrel just opened in Orchard Gateway.  We lived 2 blocks from Orchard.  In the basement of Paragon mall, there’s Jason’s grocery store.  We usually go to stock up on stuff we can’t get here.  And on the same level is Din Tai Fung.  Famous dumpling and noodle restaurant form Taiwan.  Yummy and cheap.  It’s always lined up so avoid lunch/dinner crowd.  Across street under Takashimaya is Cold Storage which has nice groceries as well.  

 

One of our favourite restaurants in the city is Inakaya Robatayaki.  It’s attached to Orchard Parade hotel.  So fun, memorable and delicious but pricey.  

http://www.timeout.com/singapore/restaurants-and-cafes/inakaya-robatayaki

 

Cafe Iguana & 

Chilli Crab on River

What’s happening around Singapore

http://www.expatliving.sg/Things_to_do/whats_on_calendar/

 

Night safari is popular as is walk through Singapore Botanic Gardens.  They often have plays or dance in the park.  

Sentosa Island is another popular tourist spot with Universal Studios, amazing aquarium and Resort world Sentosa with casino.  It’s touristy but we would go to W hotel for brunch or Capella hotel for drinks.  Gorgeous hotel at $800+ a night.

GETTING AROUND SINGAPORE

http://www.travelfish.org/orientation_detail/singapore/central_region/central_area/downtown_singapore/4