Some cities are known for their iconic skylines: New York, Sydney, Hong Kong, Seattle.
Some cities are known for their vibrant nights: Tokyo, Las Vegas, Bangkok, Miami.
Missing from both: Singapore.
Despite its proximity to the usual SE Asia circuit, I think Singapore is one of the lesser touristed countries. Which is crazy because it’s one of the most tourist friendly places I’ve been to outside of the United States:
– It’s clean AF
– There’s great public transportation
– Prices are reasonable (high for SE Asia backpackers, but okay for a break from the US)
– There’s an attraction for every kind of traveler (clubs, hiking, beaches, shopping, theme parks, you name it)
– English is widespread
– It’s a melting pot of cultures.
I’d liken it to a more upscale version of Orlando, or a cleaner version of Las Vegas.
I didn’t have many expectations for Singapore (basically good food and nice shopping) but my favorite part, and what most surprised me was how beautiful the city becomes at night. With a skyline and downtown to rival most major cities, they have really figured out how to take advantage of lights and colors to accentuate the city after the sun goes down. I’m really surprised it’s not a more mainstream destination.
Singapore by Night Walking Itinerary
1. Start the night at Lau Pa Sat for a sate dinner. Or any of the other hundreds of options. But trust me just go with the sate.
2. Head along Marina Blvd to Marina Bay Sands, getting great views of the skyline as you walk.
3. Hopefully you arrive a few minutes before the hour so you can get a good view of the free light show. Don’t forget to check out the sparkly Louis Vuitton (which also has a great, if wet, view of the light show).
4. If you’re feeling ambitious, cross through the Sands to Gardens by the Bay and catch a second free light show (with better music)!
5. Head back through the sands and continue along the bay across the Helix Bridge.
6. Walk along the Bay to Esplanade on the Bay, maybe watch the light show again!
7. Cross Esplanade Bridge to see Merlion (and more amazing skyline).
8. Head underneath the road to walk along the Quay.
After that head back to your hotel for a cold shower because all that walking definitely worked up a major sweat, even at night.