With the best airport in the world, a melting pot of cultures from around the world, and some of the most interesting attractions, the City/State of Singapore is a must-see on any trip to Asia.

How to non-rev to Singapore

Home to the renowned Singapore Airlines, Singapore can be reached from almost anywhere in the world. Direct flights are available daily from many cities.

Singapore’s Changi Airport has been rated #1 in the world for the past few years and upon arrival, it is easy to see why. From the incredible Jewel that houses the world’s largest indoor waterfall and an incredible garden that reaches from floor to ceiling, to the automated Zambonis that clean the floors, to the incredible and unique artwork and a slide to get to some gates, Changi Airport is a non-rev’s dream. If you are able to peel yourself away from the airport upon arrival, there is so much to explore outside the airport during your 24 hours in the city.

Abu Dhabi
Amsterdam KLM & Singapore Airlines
Bangkok Cathay Pacific, Jetstar Airways, Thai Airways & Singapore Airlines
Doha Qatar
Dubai Emirates & Singapore Airlines
Frankfurt Lufthansa & Singapore Airlines
Hanoi Silk Air, Vietnam Airlines & Singapore Airlines
Hong Kong Cathay Pacific, Jetstar Airways & Singapore Airlines
Istanbul Turkish Airlines & Singapore Airlines
London British Airways, Qantas & Singapore Airlines
Manila Philippine Air, Jetstar Airways & Singapore Airlines
Paris Air France & Singapore Airlines
San Francisco Singapore Airlines & United Airlines
Seoul Asiana Airlines, Korean Air & Singapore Airlines
Sydney British Airways, Qantas & Singapore Airlines
Tokyo ANA, Japan Airlines & Singapore Airlines
Zurich Swiss Air & Singapore Airlines

The Weather

The weather in Singapore is fairly humid and warm year-round and varies between 76-90 degrees Fahrenheit. Typically, the most ideal time for tourists to visit is between February and April during the drier season, but because of Singapore’s constant weather year-round, the best time of year for staff travel is just before the Grand Prix at the end of September and October-December. We visited over the Labor Day holiday at the beginning of September and found that hotels were 50% cheaper than the ideal time of year.

Getting Around Singapore

Getting around Singapore is quite easy. All of the signs in the airport and around the city are in English, and nearly everyone speaks English, so communication is fairly easy. You can take a taxi, bus, or subway and all are efficient and easy to navigate. The only difference between your options is how much money you want to spend and the size of your group. The currency in Singapore is the Singapore Dollar (SD) and you can use a credit card almost everywhere, but should you want or need cash, ATMs are easily accessible across the city. The Singapore MRT (subway) is very well laid out, extremely clean, and connects you to all parts of the city for between $2-$4SD per ticket (Kids 4 and .8m and under ride free) and taxi rates are comparable to most major cities. I recommend taking the subway everywhere except to and from the airport to minimize the hassle with luggage, though you get to anywhere in the city from the airport via subway fairly quickly. If you choose to take a taxi you can pick it up directly outside of customs. The cost is roughly 25SD to the city center and many vehicles fit 4-6 travelers.

Where to Stay

The ideal place to stay in Singapore is in the Central Business District (CBD) due to proximity to several popular attractions and its accessibility to the subway. Most attractions in this area are within walking distance or one subway stop. You can find a variety of hotel options to fit every budget here as well ranging from 62SD- 600sd per night all within walking distance of the city center.

Now what?

Upon arrival at your hotel, you may want to grab a Kaya Toast at the popular Ya Kun Kaya Toast close to the CBD. The wait here is usually short and the food is delicious. Kaya toast is a traditional breakfast in Singapore and is often accompanied by half-boiled eggs. You can find the dish all around the city in small little shops and a complete breakfast is usually less than 10SD.

After breakfast, head to the subway and make your way to the Singapore Zoo. The transport to get to the zoo requires you to take the subway and then a bus from the subway station, but there are signs everywhere at the subway station that make it difficult to miss. The trip takes a total of 55 minutes and you should arrive with just enough time to buy tickets before the gates open. The Singapore Zoo is unique in that all of the exhibits are “open” and surrounded by rainforest. When I say open, I mean there are exhibits where you literally walk through animal habitats and are close enough to touch any animals on display. For a family with children, it is just about the coolest experience.

The zoo has an incredible amount of species on display as well including the largest captive colony of orangutans in the world.

Other notable exhibits are the Asian Elephants, reptile house, and fragile forest where you can get face to face with lemurs, Malayan flying foxes, and Toco toucans to name a few. If you are looking for a slightly untraditional zoo experience, this is a must-see. I recommend spending 2-3 hours to see all of the animals and to grab lunch because the options are endless, delicious, and reasonably priced. Many of the plates are also quite large, so you may want to share.

After lunch hop back on the subway for 40 minutes to check out the renowned and recently remodeled Raffles Hotel for an afternoon refreshment. Did you know this is where the Singapore Sling was created? The hotel itself is gorgeous and definitely worth checking out even if you choose not to partake in the famous cocktail. The architecture makes you feel like you are taking a step back in time and the grounds are flawlessly maintained.

Once you leave the hotel head back to the subway for the 20 minute trip to Sentosa Island. Sentosa Island is an island just south of Singapore where people go to have a day of fun. The island is home to beautiful white-sand beaches, Universal Studios, Resorts World, an Aquarium, and 30 other adventurous activities. If you are not big on adventures, there are also restaurants and spas to keep you entertained. I recommend a visit to the S.E.A. aquarium to fit in with the time schedule, but if you should return to Singapore on your trip home, Universal Studios is also fun for every age. The S.E.A. aquarium houses more than 100,000 marine animals throughout the various exhibits. Two of the most impressive tanks are the shark tank, where you can walk through a tube and see the sharks swim all around you, and the Open Ocean Gallery. The museum is so well-appointed that there are rarely too many people at each exhibit, so you can get up close and personal with any animal you choose. I recommend allowing 1.5-2 hours to see every exhibit and grabbing a snack at the Open Ocean Gallery to munch on while you watch all of the sea life pass you by.

Before heading back to the CBD you may be ready for an early dinner. One delicious option directly outside the aquarium is Din Tai Fung. Known for their dumplings, the restaurant provides options for even the pickiest eaters with most dishes being shared family-style, while providing quick service to ensure you can get on to your next destination. Also located close by are a quick grab and go restaurants that served one of the most popular dishes in Singapore called Hainanese Chicken Rice. If you are looking for a quick grab and go dinner, this is also a great and tasty option.

Once you leave Sentosa Island, head back to the Central Business District to explore the Gardens by the Bay. This attraction offers both indoor and outdoor options so it is a nice way to cool down after a busy day. The most popular exhibits are the Cloud Forest and the Flower Dome. Depending on the time of year, the outside grounds change. We happened to visit during the Mid-Autumn Festival and the grounds were decorated with beautiful lanterns and colorful light exhibits. Around the Christmas holidays, the exterior of the gardens turns into a winter wonderland. You can buy different packages to visit one or all of the domes, but I recommend that whatever bundle you buy include tram transport to save some time walking between the domes and enable more time to explore the exhibits.

The Cloud Forest has you start at the top of the forest and slowly make your way down. Look in all directions as you wind your way down the exhibit in order to not miss anything. There are beautiful arrangements tucked into every nook and cranny.

As you make your way to the Flower Dome you will notice that there are different sections based upon the landscape. There is a Mediterranean Section, a California Section, a succulent section, and orchids upon orchids. Everywhere you turn there is something new to explore…

You could easily spend 1-2 hours between just these two domes, but make sure to save a little bit of time to see the Supertree Grove at night. The grove is beautiful during the daylight hours, but like many things in Singapore, as soon as night arrives the trees take on a completely different personality.

As you head into the night portion of your day you will head to the most iconic building in the CBD, the Marina Bay Sands Hotel. The hotel is beautiful both inside and out, houses luxury shops, a casino, three towers of hotel rooms, and an iconic pool and a viewing deck that you can see the entire city and beyond. The hotel may be quite pricey to stay in, but for 23SD you can travel to the 57th floor to the Sands Skypark Observation Deck and take in the panoramic views. It is quite breezy at the top, so make sure to be prepared with a light jacket or sweater!
Once you are finished taking in the views travel back down to the bottom of the hotel and make your way to the other side of the harbor for the famous light show at either 8 or 9:30 pm depending on how long you stay at the observation deck. The show is a perfect way to end your day and lasts about 20 minutes.

The Return

When it is time to head back to the airport make sure to leave a little time to explore. As I said earlier, Changi Airport is the best airport in the world and you will not want to miss any of the main attractions. The must-see attraction, if you are pressed for time, is the Jewel. The Jewel is the largest indoor water wall in the world and boasts both a canopy bridge and park with gardens that surround the waterfall viewing area. Enjoying exploring or just sit and take in the view before you hop on your flight.
I hope you had the most fun on your epic day in Singapore and hopefully, you will make your way back again soon. Safe Staff Travels!

We can’t get enough of Singapore! Brooke’s outline is a great framework for an unforgettable adventure in Singapore. Check out your loads on the StaffTraveler App today!

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