Although travel is more accessible than ever, getting from one location to the next can still take a lot of time. Stopovers are the best way to deal with this issue, and if done right, they can even enhance a trip altogether. For British travelers who are heading to far-away destinations like Australia and Japan, one stopover destination stands out above the rest. Singapore is so good for this, in fact, that you’ll be hard pressed to find any country in the world that’s better suited.
Singapore: The Best of Both Worlds
For a country to be great for stopovers, it needs to be great to visit in its own right, and Singapore is exactly that. One reason it’s so highly visited is because of how well-connected it is, and this becomes immediately evident when you search for flights to Singapore. AirAsia, Jetstar, and Singapore Airlines are just a few of the major carriers that fly many routes that touch Singapore.
For those on short layovers, Singapore caters perfectly due to its relatively small size. Whether you want to wander around and try some local cuisine or visit the futuristic Gardens by the Bay, it’s all very accessible. If you plan to stick around a bit longer, you might spend a day shopping on Orchard Road and another relaxing on Sentosa Island. You won’t be bored, that’s for sure.
Another major benefit of Singapore’s connectivity is that you can use it as a launching pad for the rest of Southeast Asia. With countries like Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Cambodia all less than a two-hour flight away, Singapore can be the perfect introduction for a longer adventure in the region.
Singaporean Food and Culture
Singapore is a gastronomic paradise, where the love for food is as diverse as its culture. The country’s food scene mirrors its multicultural population and history with dishes that have Chinese, Malay, Indian, and even British influences. Some of the best restaurants in the world are here, too, with over 50 Michelin-starred restaurants throughout the country. That’s a pretty considerable amount when you factor in that Singapore has a population of less than six million people.
Just picture it. You start your day with kaya toast, a traditional breakfast of coconut jam slathered over buttered toast. You then head to the vibrant Little India area for a laksa noodle soup lunch and end up in Chinatown to try some Hainanese chicken rice for dinner. The diversity of options to choose from cannot be understated.
The best way to experience all of these options at the same time is to visit one of the many hawker centers throughout the country. These are open-air complexes that house many stalls that serve up affordable and delicious food. You can think of them as the heartbeat of Singapore’s dining experience, with Maxwell Food Centre and Lau Pa Sat both being good choices.
As you wander through Singapore’s streets, you’ll also start to notice the different cultures that influence modern Singapore. Whether it’s old Hokkien temples like Thian Hock Keng or the stunning Sultan Mosque with its massive golden dome, both serve as a reminder of very different cultures living harmoniously side by side.
The different cultures are celebrated with festivals throughout the year, as well. You can expect to see parades around Chinese New Year, in addition to Deepavali celebrations from Singapore’s Indian population. This all takes place amidst colonial architecture built during past British rule, as well as modern skyscrapers that speak volumes about Singapore’s current standing in the world.
Endless Attractions and Activities
Beyond being a cultural melting pot with incredible food, Singapore includes a wealth of attractions and activities. The city-state caters to every type of traveler, ensuring you’ll leave with memorable experiences, even if your stay is brief.
If you’re a traveling family, the first thing that should be on your radar is The Singapore Zoo. One of its main selling points is that it has open-concept exhibits that bring you face-to-face with creatures from all over the world. Children can marvel at elephants and orangutans in their natural habitats or enjoy more hands-on experiences like feeding giraffes. Another family favorite is Universal Studios Singapore on Sentosa Island. This is best described as an entertainment paradise filled with thrilling rides and shows inspired by blockbuster movies.
One must-visit for all travelers in Singapore is the Gardens by the Bay. This is a futuristic outdoor park with massive supertree structures, and it has to be seen in person to be believed. Another must-visit that’s just a few minutes away from Gardens by the Bay is the Marina Bay Sands Skypark Observation Deck. This is unquestionably the best place to view Singapore’s skyline, especially if you visit at night.
If you’re a British traveller flying east, Singapore must be on your radar. You won’t find a better place to reenergize for the next part of your trip, even if your stopover is only a short one. If you do choose to visit Singapore, don’t be surprised if you find yourself booking a longer stay there the next chance you have.