The face of Singapore is ever-changing, with delicious new culinary experiences, epic shops in historic buildings and adrenaline-pumping outdoor adventures. We asked some recent visitors to Singapore for their top travel tips.
“Singapore is safe, great for the family – and the food is incredible.”
– Alex Christou, Platinum Frequent Flyer
“I've been travelling to Singapore for years, mostly for work but I also love to visit the island city-state for holidays. I flew there with Qantas earlier this year and I’ve never had better service on any airline in 25 years. Quite often for me, the journey starts in the First Lounge. I get spoiled with the food, the treatments and a massage – it’s just an opportunity to unwind and eat a great meal.
“On my most recent trip, I stayed at Raffles in the Cathay Suite. It was an upgrade so I was very fortunate to get it. The hotel is world-class. I've always wanted to stay there ever since I first visited Singapore in 1998. It's just one of those places with a very storied charm and elegance about it.
“One of the Singapore must-dos is the Long Bar at Raffles. Grabbing a world-famous Singapore Sling and throwing peanut shells on the floor never gets old. It always gets me in the mode of, ‘I'm in Singapore now’.
“The city has so many great places to eat at. One of my local favourites is the humble chicken rice. Everybody's got their own go-to for chicken rice – there are so many places that serve it and each one of them is different. On this trip I came across a restaurant called COL which serves woodfired grills and classic cocktails. It’s a 50-seat eatery that offers casual dining with a pinch of sophistication. It's a great place to have a meal and a drink.
“When I’m visiting with my children we’re mostly centred around Sentosa, visiting theme parks like Universal Studios and the beaches. We’re also going to the Grand Prix this year. It's more than just the race. Some of the best global acts have performed at the circuit, including Red Hot Chili Peppers, Calvin Harris, Black Eyed Peas and Bon Jovi. You can see the appeal for a family – in my case, two teenage kids. Meanwhile, my partner will be off shopping on Orchard Road. Everyone's happy.”
“I flew into Changi with a plan to really get under the covers of Singapore.”
– Danny Mandrides, Platinum Frequent Flyer
“I worked for a large tech organisation for 10 years and I was ready for a new challenge. So I quit my job to take a career break. I booked five countries throughout South-East Asia to visit over two months. My first leg was Singapore.
“I’m a Platinum Qantas member, which has many advantages – the extra luggage and the upgrade opportunities I get through the app are pretty cool. I flew into Changi with a plan to really get under the covers of Singapore; for me that means a lot of eating and drinking!
“My Singapore-based friends contacted me with recommendations. One suggested a hawker market called Lau Pa Sat, which is inside a restored Victorian building. It’s a great one to visit at night, it’s always packed and there’s everything from Malaysian and Indian cuisine to traditional Singaporean dishes.
“I like to order a Dirty Martini and Koma, a new Japanese restaurant in Marina Bay Sands, does an excellent one. The sushi bar is fantastic and the desserts look spectacular. Jypsy, on Marina Bay, also does great Japanese food. Singapore has excellent bars: Gibson is an elegant cocktail bar; Sago House is a cool spot on the third floor of a shophouse; and Neon Pigeon is an izakaya-style bar.
“One of the best things you can do in Singapore is the Singapore Zoo Night Safari. It’s a surreal experience to sit on a tram and ride through animals’ habitats after dark. Also, be sure to visit the colourful Peranakan Houses in Koon Seng Road – they’re a must-see.”
“I had such a lovely time in Singapore – I can’t wait to go back.”
– Barbara Zamora, Bronze Frequent Flyer
“I went to Singapore for a week-long work trip. I flew Qantas both ways and the food and service was fantastic. They had some really good movies – older classics as well as new releases.
“I stayed at Hotel Telegraph – it's a 15-minute walk to Marina Bay, so quite central. You must visit the Pan Asian restaurant called Coriander Leaf and order the jackfruit curry, which was absolutely delicious. You can find it in the Chijmes complex, originally a convent.
“One thing I found really fascinating is, if you order a bottle of vodka in some restaurants like Jeffo’s and you only have part of it, you can write your name on it and then come back up to a month later, and your bottle will still be there. You don’t get that in Australia!
“I also went to Mega Adventure in Sentosa for a team bonding experience. There were lots of challenges and activities including a treetop obstacle course where you zip-line all the way down to the beach at the end. We saw couples, little kids and groups of friends doing it. It's really, really fun.”