How to spend 24 hours in Singapore

Nicole Bittar visits Singapore and discovers there’s no time for sleeping in one of the world’s most exciting cities

Semi-detached houses at the sreet of singapore koon seng road.
  • Nicole Bittar
  • May 2018

Breakfast

For a classic Singaporean breakfast, opt for kaya toast, a thick toasted bread served with butter and jam made from eggs, coconut milk and pandan leaves. It’s a Singapore favourite so it’s on the menu on cafés everywhere (although you can be sure of a great version if you head to Chinatown). Or, if you need a caffeine fix, make your first stop of the day The Providore opens in new window, a café, deli, grocer and wine store at Mandarin Gallery on Orchard Road. Sit on the deck and sip a delicious doppio or caffe latte, made using beans that are roasted at Brother Basil Coffee Co. in Melbourne, Australia.

Culture vulture

In Singapore, art fiends are truly spoiled for choice. Don’t miss the National Gallery Singapore opens in new window, housing the region’s largest public collection of modern art in the beautifully reimagined former Supreme Court and City Hall. After immersing yourself in art, take a short 10-minute walk to the Peranakan Museum opens in new window, where you can find a fascinating insight into Singapore’s Chinese and Baba-Nyonyan trader roots.

A two kaya toast on the plate.
Kaya toast, Singapore

Lunch

Grab a taxi and head to Lau Pa Sat (2 Shenton Way), one of the city’s famed hawker centres set in an historic building that once housed a wet market and is now a national monument. Local hawker food and regional Asian cusines make up the 54 food stalls, and it gets super busy from 11.30am when office workers throng the centre. Your biggest challenge will be how to choose from the intimidating array of otions. Top tip? Try the beef noodles at The Beef House (stall #17). Local legend has it that the owner has been perfecting his recipe for more than 60 years.

A night market at singapores china town.
Singapore's China town at night

Action packed

A leisurely 20-minute walk from Lau Pa Sat, slip into the driver’s seat of a Ferrari F430 or Lamborghini Spyder for an adrenaline-pulsing spin with Ultimate Drive at Marina Bay Sands opens in new window on the official F1 circuit. After, apply the brakes with a leisurely stroll around Singapore’s extraordinary green oasis, the Gardens by the Bay opens in new window. Absorb the full city scale and the Singapore straits from an on-high botanical setting.

Late afternoon

Need some chill-time? Jump in a taxi and venture to Wine Connection opens in new window at Robertson Quay. The group sources excellent international wines from the makers, meaning the quaffer is the beneficiary. The bar’s neighbouring Cheese Bar, which has more than 40 European farm cheeses on the menu, also serves a top drop.

Green water and green trees on the singapore gardeny by the bay.
Gardens by the bay, Singapore

Tapas-style dinner

Singapore is a truly international city so, for a taste of Europe, make your way up Orchard Road and find a little slice of Spain at the intimate La Tapería opens in new window at the Shaw Centre. Try the slurpable Caldereta Asturiana (Asturian fish stew) and a delectable glass of red.

Late-night retail therapy

Why not enjoy a post-prandial perusal of high-end retail? Designer temples abound at VivoCity opens in new window and ION Orchard opens in new window (open to 10pm daily), find high street brands at Bugis Junction opens in new window (10pm), chic designer wares at Mandarin Gallery opens in new window (9.30pm) or check out Ngee Ann City opens in new window,  which includes Takashima department store (9.30pm), the vast Suntec City opens in new window (10pm), and the market-style Mustafa Centre opens in new window in Little India, open 24 hours a day, so you can shop ’til you drop.