Singapore is an amazing country. It is often seen as just a place to stop on the way to somewhere else which is a shame. Singapore is a great place to visit in its own right. I have been there several times in the past, but always as part of a bigger trip. This time, I was very happy to have Singapore as our sole focus.
Singapore is a fabulous place for a vacation, especially with kids. There are just so so so so many attractions and things to do. I am sure you could spend a couple of weeks and still leave Singapore with things on your list for next time. It is just such an easy place to visit with a fabulous transportation system and with english the common language. It is also neat, tidy and orderly. I am struggling to think of a country that is easier to travel to and within with kids.
Earlier this month, S and I had an awesome 5 day/5 night vacation in Singapore. This article will share with you what we did during that time, how I managed travelling with a 4 year old alone and hopefully it will also inspire you to add Singapore to your own family travel bucket list as well as give you some ideas of what you can do when you get there.
You can also read our complete guide to visiting Singapore with kids – which includes out top 43 attractions for families.
Day 0: Flew to Singapore, arrived about 6pm. Very smooth flight except for being late.
Day 1: We headed over to Sentosa Island and did a crazy amount of attractions. You can read more about them in our list of things to do in Sentosa Island. We did most things highlighted in this article on this day except the attractions at Resorts World Sentosa. We finished the day with aperitif hour at Hotel Fort Canning.
Day 2: Singapore’s National Day. We headed to Gardens by the Bay, specifically the amazing Far East Organization Children’s Garden, we had lunch at a food court at Marina Bay Sands, we spent the afternoon in the pool at Hotel Fort Canning and then had dinner at Newton Circus Hawker Centre before our nightly wine and juice at the hotel. In the evening, we watched the fireworks for Singapore’s 49th birthday from Fort Canning behind our hotel.
Day 3: We started day 3 at Resorts World Sentosa visiting the amazing S.E.A. Aquarium. We then had lunch at one of the supposed best dumplings restaurants in the world, Din Tai Fung (awesome!!). We wandered around Clark Quay and Fort Canning on our way back to the Hotel Fort Canning. After a swim, we headed to Chinatown to buy some souvenirs and eat at the Eating Street here.
Day 4: We spent all of day 4 at the magnificent Universal Studios Singapore. We ate dinner at VivoCity shopping mall before getting back to the hotel just in time for our nightly drinks.
Day 5: Our final day 🙁 We headed to Adventure Cove Waterpark in the morning. S wasn’t feeling that well, so we spent the afternoon resting in our room before heading back to the airport in the evening. It was a painful flight home when S wouldn’t sleep for the first half and then couldn’t sleep in the second half as she couldn’t stop coughing.
Day 6: We arrive back in Melbourne sad that our wonderful holiday in Singapore is over but very very happy and elated to see our men.
I had a very positive experience travelling with a 4 year old alone. It was fabulous to get all this quality time together and she is a great traveller by now. It was also nice to finally travel without a baby or a toddler. We were able to just take hand luggage thanks to none of the baby crap. For example, on our Asia trip last year we took a massive 7 tins of formula, a travel cot, stroller, a million nappies, etc. It was also great to not have to work around nap times. We were able to do so much more.
S shocked me with how much walking she was able to do and her stamina. She would never do all this walking at home! I guess it helps when every walk ends up in some type of amazing kid adventure.
What was tricky was doing jobs to help save money and make life easier. For example, I struggled to carry enough snacks around with us. S wants to eat all day long so this was painful at times. Usually J would go to the supermarket at night when the kids are asleep to stock up. The other problem was trying to get work done. This was a working holiday for me, and I was too exhausted in the evenings to get much work done. On other trips I have not been so tired at night as we have had nap times during the day. I would also usually work at times during the day – like J would take them to the pool while I worked.
The other thing I found hard was keeping the little frustrations to myself. I found it difficult to be as patient with S as I usually would be with no adults around for me to let off steam with. I think I told her off more at times than she deserved.
As always, Singapore was a delight for our taste buds. We ate some great food and had some great variety. I ensured we ate all the main cuisines – Chinese, Malay and Indian – at least once. We also had some great Thai and Japanese. A couple of times I accidentally bought spicy food, but otherwise S ate everything I put in front of her.
Our deluxe room at the Hotel Fort Canning was excellent and we loved staying here. We loved the pool and the aperitif hour especially. The location is also a winner and we could not have done nearly so much in Singapore had we not stayed in such a central location. Everywhere we went was just one train ride from this hotel which made it easy to do a lot in our days, or to head back to the hotel in between attractions. See the latest prices here.
You can also read our full list of the best family hotels in Singapore.
All costs in this article are in Singapore dollars unless stated otherwise.
The downside of Singapore is that all this wonderfulness comes at a price. Although it is cheaper than our home country of Australia, it is far more expensive than its neighbours. In fact, I was surprised by how expensive it was this visit compared to our trip last year. I remembered food being very cheap, but we struggled to eat for less than $20 for the two of us, despite often eating at hawker centres and food courts.
The MRT is cheap but it also adds up. I spent about $6 a day on transport on average and that was for just one person as S is free. This was even higher when we caught the monorail across to Sentosa Island as that would add $8 for the two of us. For a family of four where the kids need their own ticket, this is certainly something you will want to budget for.
Attractions also add up quickly. It is possible to keep this to a minimum as there are some fabulous free attractions (like the Gardens by the Bay Children’s Garden) and some great areas to explore. If you want some more ideas for cheaper attractions, check out our fabulous Singapore stopover post from last year.
Accommodation starts at about $70 a night. However for this price, you would be lucky to find a room big enough for a family. Realistically, I would budget $150+ a night and expect more than that if you have older kids or you want to stay somewhere great. I really can’t recommend the Hotel Fort Canning enough. We loved it.
S loved our Singapore vacation and she is still talking about it. Universal Studios Singapore particularly had an impact – she keeps playing games with Z at home where they go on scary rides! The Port of Lost Wonder is still getting lots of mentions as well. She keeps asking if we can go to Singapore for her birthday.
It was an awesome vacation. We had a fabulous time, and I would change absolutely nothing. We did a lot but it was all fantastic and achievable in our time frame. I recommend everything we did.
It was hard being away from J and Z. I made the right call not taking Z with us though. As easy as I found it travelling alone with a child, it would have been very hard with a 2 year old as well. I do look forward to going back to Singapore with both of them to show them all the awesome places they missed out on this trip.
We were lucky enough to get very cheap flights on Jetstar for the 7.25 hour flight between Melbourne and Singapore – AUD$550 in total for the two of us.
Read more about family travel in Singapore.
Any questions? What is your favourite thing to do in Singapore?
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