Whoever said ‘the best things in life are free’ had clearly been on a Singapore Stopover Holiday with Singapore Airlines. Opt for one of these, and you’ll get to enjoy reduced rates at a selection of three- to five-star hotels, plus free entry to more than 15 of the city’s biggest and best attractions (together with exclusive dining deals) and free use of the SIA Hop-on Bus – all by flashing your Singapore Explorer Pass. Here are six of our favorite attractions that you’ll get one-time access to, via your Pass, for FREE…
1- National Orchid Garden
Wake up and smell the orchids at Singapore’s National Orchid Garden, housed within the Singapore Botanic Gardens, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Orchids have bloomed here since 1859 and there are now more than 1,000 species and 2,000 hybrids on display. The garden is even home to some very special orchids named after the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, England. Entrance costs $5 for adults; $1 for students and senior citizens (ages 60+).
2- Gardens by the Bay
The ambitious aim of the creators of the award-winning S$1bn park was to turn a garden in a city into a city in a garden and they have succeeded to spectacular levels. The 101 acres of reclaimed land next to the Marina Bay Sands resort is a design marvel. The SuperTrees are vertical gardens between nine and sixteen storeys high; they’re one of Singapore’s most stunning sights. The Flower Dome, Conservatory Forest, Dragonfly & Kingfisher Lakes, World of Plants, Heritage Gardens and Sun Pavilion are equally incredible. Visitors can walk between the SuperTrees and see the magnificent gardens below, as well as visiting the themed gardens, the space-age biodomes and the new S$10m Children’s Garden. You won’t go hungry either: there are 10 restaurants and cafés, from a quick and easy McDonald’s to the sky-high, fine-dining IndoChine.
3- National Gallery Singapore
Experience the world’s largest public display of modern Southeast Asian art (more than 8,000 works) at the National Gallery Singapore, located in the Downtown Core of Singapore. Occupying two of the region’s most iconic heritage buildings – the former Supreme Court Building and City Hall – National Gallery Singapore’s integrated concept space is a world first for a museum. The gallery focuses on Singapore’s heritage and its relationship with other world cultures through Southeast Asian art and international exhibitions. Visitors are invited to join a wide array of guided tours, seminars and workshops, art demonstrations and movie screenings. Visitors can also dine at one of several restaurants or cafés and enjoy spectacular views of the city skyline at one of the rooftop bars.
4- Night Safari
As dusk falls, prepare to admire more than 1,000 nocturnal animals as they start their nightly rituals. Get up close to them as they frolic, graze and hunt. You’ll embark on an exciting tram ride that takes you through seven geographical regions; it’s a fascinating journey through the world’s very first wildlife night park. Opened in 1973, Singapore Zoo is set in a rainforest habitat and divided into 11 zones where you can see magnificent white tigers, Asian elephants, the world’s largest captive orang-utan colony, pygmy hippos, chimpanzees, polar bears and dozens more of the world’s most memorable animals.
If you put Disney World and Las Vegas in a mixing bowl and stirred vigorously, the result would be pretty similar to Resort World Sentosa, known as ‘Asia’s Favorite Playground’ for good reason. RWS sits just off the southern tip of Singapore and is home to attractions such as Universal Studios, the Trick Eye Museum, the SEA Aquarium (with more than 100,000 marine animals), Madame Tussauds, Aventura Cove Waterpark for waterslide mayhem and Dolphin Island, where you can interact with these wonderful mammals. Sentosa hosts the Singapore Open golf tournament; you’ll also find amazing hotels, spas, restaurants, thrills for kids, a casino and a wide range of restaurants here.
6- Singapore River Cruise
Hop on an iconic, traditional bumboat – each one boasting a new and improved engine, powered by electricity instead of diesel – and experience life on this historic waterway. Bumboats have graced the river for more than a century, originally used to transport goods and cargo for trade. Early bumboats had sails, were powered by oars or guided by long poles. Having started with just four bumboats in 1987, the Singapore River Cruise now has a fleet of 24 handsome, open-top vessels, with more on the way. There are three quays – Boat Quay, Clarke Quay and Robertson Quay – and plenty of landmarks to admire during the cruise, including Raffles Landing Site, the Merlion, the Esplanade and Marina Bay Sands. The ‘Tale of Two Quays’ cruise lasts for 40 minutes; boats depart at 15-minute intervals.