Heading through Singapore in 2020? Our resident expert, Indi, has the low-down for you. A whopping 30% of Singapore’s population are non-residents, so it’s a pretty multi-cultural place, and you’ll fit right in. Here’s how to do it like the locals (…and the not-so-locals!).
The Andaz Hotel is well connected, well appointed, has incredible views and is totally serene. Raffles Hotel is the heart of Singapore but Andaz represents the new pulse, and is in one of the hippest areas of town, just a stone’s throw from Haji Lane and the National Design Centre.
Head to Le Bon Funk for an aperitif. They have a fabulous selection of organic wine and delectable snacks to enjoy while you watch the traffic amble by on Club Street. Head round the corner to Olivia for dinner afterwards. It’s wonderful new Spanish restaurant that truly represents the diversity of dining in Singapore. The sumptuous interior is matched by delicious and fresh fare - perfect for small groups. You’ll need to book.
Or for something more Asian, the best (and most economical) way to enjoy Singapore’s vibrant food scene is on the second floor of the China Town Complex. Get a bowl of humble dumplings from Zhong Guo La Mian Xiao Long Bao (#02-135) which is reassuringly listed in the Michelin Guide. The dumplings are best washed down with either a cup of tea from one of the many Kopi stalls, or a craft beer from Smith Street Taps (#02-062). Cash only!
And for coffee, head over to Nylon Coffee Roasters, one of the many secret gems hidden in housing complexes across the city. Tucked away in a housing development block in Everton Park, this bijoux coffee shop is passionate about brewing and has a charming bougainvillea adorned courtyard to enjoy your brew from. Take cash
The National Gallery of Singapore features a rich collection of historical works and new acquisitions from across South East Asia (including several pieces from Myanmar). The permanent collection is complimented by seasonal shows. Always best finished with a drink on the rooftop at Smoke and Mirrors, overlooking Marina Bay Sands, the Padang, Singapore Cricket Club and the Esplanade. Children’s exhibitions rotate seasonally too. Fabulous gallery shop.
This second-hand furniture shop has a wild array furniture from Singapore (read: the good, the bad and the ugly). Great for picking up lamps or an original Kopi table.
The Tan Boon Liat Building is also worth a visit. Filled with interior stores, and a beautiful florist - look past the industrial exterior and explore the floors of diverse boutiques. Our pick is Charlotte Puxley Flowers’ beautiful studio which has an array of vases and fresh cuts.
And if you still want more, head to Yong Siak Street in Tiong Bahru, home to many small boutiques. Check out Books Actually, Nana & Bird and Woods in the Books, before recovering at Forty Hands Coffee.
Public transport in Singapore is efficient, cheap and punctual. It’s often faster than a taxi, and an insight into the superb infrastructure that makes Singapore a remarkably orderly city. Get an EZ-Link card from any MRT station and use the bus, trains and enter public facilities such as swimming pools and gymnasiums.