Can a big city be kid-friendly?
It can when we’re talking about the incredible city-state of Singapore. This Island nation has a lot to offer when it comes to family travel – from the adventurous to the educational. Whether you prefer your kids to see the city skyline or want them to learn about Singapore history, you will be spoiled for choice with a never-ending list of must-see attractions.
We are so pleased to have Agness Walewinder of eTramping.com be our guest blogger and guide to the delights of Singapore. Here are her best picks for Singapore in 48 Hours – a great two-day itinerary packed full of food, fun, and fantastic things to see and do.
1. Eat breakfast at a Hawker Centre
If you want to dine out with your kids on the cheap in Singapore, it’s time to learn all about hawker centres. Hawker centres are open-air complexes housing many stalls that sell a variety of inexpensive Chinese (and other) food. When in Singapore, you just have to make it to Maxwell Hawker Centre. It is located at the edge of Chinatown, and has more than 100 different stalls, so there is a great of variety of Chinese, Indian, as well as Western food to choose from. Locals and tourists alike flock here for the variety of cuisines and local specialties. The quality is also unbeatable! Order some Thai pancakes or Chinese dumplings for your kids and drink some Chinese bubble tea so you can get yourselves ready for a busy day in the city.
2. Visit Sentosa Island
Sentosa Island is the Mecca of fun things to do with kids, especially when it’s sunny as it has playgrounds surrounded by beautiful beaches. Sentosa, marketed as “Asia’s Favorite Playground” is where you can find Universal Studios, the S.E.A. Aquarium, beaches, hotels, spas, and restaurants. There is no shortage of family-friendly attractions and activities, including swimming, playing badminton, skating or cycling.
3a. Head to Universal Studios Singapore
If you have kids of a certain age, visiting Universal Studios could well be the highlight of your stay in Singapore. Here your kids will experience shows, cutting-edge rides, and watch Shrek 4-D or Madagascar movies. You will be certainly dazzled and delighted by an immersive entertainment experience that brings the silver screen to life so make sure you make it there on your first day.
3b. Dive into Marine Life Park
Is there a budding marine biologist in your midst? They will delight in visiting the world’s largest oceanarium, and be inspired by the myriad marine wonders of our blue planet. Marine Life Park essentially consists of 2 paid zones within Resorts World Sentosa: SEA Aquarium (a bigger and better version of Underwater World Singapore) and Adventure Cove (a water theme park with some innovative bits). Admission fee is only $29 for adults and $20 for seniors and children. The highlight of the Aquarium was undoubtedly the Ocean Dome and Shark Seas. Truly a majestic and fascinating sight (with reference to HK Ocean Park and Underwater World SG).
4. Enjoy a picnic at the beach
Take your pick from the pristine beaches on Sentosa Island, and pack a picnic of fruit, sandwiches and freshly squeezed juices from nearby shops. Relax in the sun and waves, and try your hand at flying a kite.
5. Go for a night walk
If you’re all not too exhausted by the busy day’s events, gather your kids and head down to the Marina to take some shots of this magnificent city lit up at night and reflected across the water. The cityscape of Singapore is beautiful at night and you can chill out by the water’s edge with a jazz band playing in the background, the humid air keeping you warm and take some time out to appreciate the city’s amazing skyline.
1. Take a morning bike ride
Renting bikes and cycling with Singapore’s first eco-friendly electrical bicycles at the Gogreen Heritage & Island Explorer in Sentosa is a great way to see the island and city, and at a reasonable cost.
2. Ride the world’s highest observation wheel, the Singapore Flyer
Singapore Flyer is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Singapore. The wheel’s capsules offer a bird’s-eye view of the city centre, Marina Bay Sands and Gardens by the Bay. You that your kids will love the experience. When the weather is nice, you can see far south across the water to Indonesia and north to Malaysia!
3. Have your lunch at Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands
From Singapore Flyer you can easily get to Marina Bay Sands complex, which has an enormous range of restaurants, from fine dining to casual and quick treats. Tasty items include, delicious seafood (grilled fish, crabs and prawns) and local desserts (Sticky rice with mango, sweet dumplings). It’s a great place not only to try some Chinese and Malaysian cuisine, but Western food as well.
4. Visit the Singapore Zoo
Singapore Zoo is famous for its rainforest environment and great variety of rare animals, making it an impressive place to visit and explore. You can see orang-utans hanging in the open air right above your head, and if you get there early enough there is a program to have breakfast with them, as well as monkeys, tigers and elephants.
5. Enjoy a dinner at East Coast Seafood Centre
Finish your whirlwind Singapore experience with a visit to the East Coast Seafood Centre, a super family-friendly area of restaurants where you can experience authentic local cuisine. You can find up to 150 of the best, “die-die must-try” foods in Singapore. My personal recommendations would be:
• Bak kut teh – meaty pork ribs boiled for hours served with lots of garlic, pepper, medicinal herbs and spices.
• Fried Hokkien mee – thick yellow egg noodles mixed with rice vermicelli are cooked in a rich seafood stock, and tossed with prawns, squid, small strips of pork belly and deep-fried lard pieces.
• Chili crab – served with the spicy chilli-tomato gravy, real yum!
Once you are here, you can also rent a scooter or roller skates so your kids can run amok while you enjoy a cold beer when all the stomachs are full!
Have you been to Singapore? What were your favorite things to see and do?
About the author: Agness Walewinder and her fellow tramp Cez, are Polish world explorers, dreamers and founders of eTramping.com. On their travel blog they share budget travel tips on how to travel the world with $25 in your pocket. Agness and Cez are both passionate about photography and obsessed with Chinese cuisine and culture. You can follow their adventures on Twitter at @Agnesstramp.
Photo Credits: Agness Walewinder