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Where We Are: Singapore

There are very few cities that so quickly steal our hearts and so fully take our breath away. There’s Munich, where we’ll never forget the moment we stepped out of the train station at Marienplatz and were awestruck by the imposing beauty of Neues Rathaus for the first time. Then there’s Seoul (swoon), and its electric and contagious energy that just reverberates through every winding street and up through every stacked building.

And newest to this list of love-at-first-sight cities: Singapore. This “City in a Garden” is a master of urban landscaping, making it one of our favorite cities to “be”. While it’s a city that has so much to do, we love it because we don’t feel like we have to be “doing” anything at all to enjoy it.

Singapore’s downtown is clustered around a bay, surrounded by waterfront promenades, the business district, and the massive Marina Bay Sands hotel, with helix bridge connecting to the city’s tourist epicenter: Gardens by the Bay. This urban design injects you into the heart of Singapore. With every turn, you find yourself immersed in a new part of the city, with a different skyline view and a different energy. It’s one of the only major cities where you don’t have to look up or out to see the city, but instead you are truly a part of it.

We filled two full days in Singapore before getting rained out on the third. During our time here, we explored Little India, Bugis and China Town, which were some of the best neighborhoods we’ve seen around the world. But what really sold us (and everyone else who visits Singapore) was Gardens by the Bay. We made our way back here every single day — during the day, sunset, and nighttime — and every time it was breathtaking.

Gardens by the Bay is a 101 hectare park that is home to two indoor conservatories, plenty of open green space, and the iconic Supertree Grove. Every night, the Supertrees (which actually serve environmentally sustainable functions like solar power) light up with a stunning performance of light and sound. It was so magical that we watched it twice.

To be honest, contrary to the title of this post, we’ve actually already left Singapore. We were only in town for three days, and we packed them full; so I was a little behind. But I wanted to be sure to share this stop with anyone who’s following along with our journey (I’m looking at you, Liz!) and also just because I loved Singapore and couldn’t resist the urge to write about it. (Don’t worry, I hope to share plenty more Singapore content with you soon.)

What you need to know — Singapore:

  • Population: 5.6 million
  • Altitude: 165 meters
  • Exchange Rate:  1.32 Singapore Dollars to $1 USD
  • Primary Language: English, but also Malay, Chinese & Tamil
  • Walking Tour: No
  • Time Zone: Singapore Standard Time, UTC +8 (12 hours ahead of US Central Time)
  • Taxi: Yes.
  • Uber: Yes (but we got cancelled on a lot so plan accordingly.
  • Public Transit: Yes, trains and buses
  • Emergency Number: 995
  • Running: We thought about running, but didn’t follow through. There’s some great routes in and around Gardens by the Bay.
  • American Football: No longer in season.
  • Starbucks: Yes!
  • Local Starbucks Specialty: Yes! Butterfly Pea Lemonade Cold Brew, Tahitian Vanilla Macchiato, Macadamia Cocoa Cappuccino
  • McDonald’s Veggie Burger: No
  • Coffee Price: Usually around 6 Singapore dollars (~$5 USD)
  • Beer Price: A pint usually goes for about 15 Singapore dollars (~$11.50 USD)