Is Singapore a good destination for a family vacation? What do we need to know before we eagerly pack our kids on a plane and head to the City of Lion? Today, 6 aspects you need to know about before you travel so that your vacation doesn’t turn into a nightmare.
We’ve mentioned many times that Singapore is a bit underrated by visitors – as a rule, it’s sightseeing in a hurry, in one, two days at most. We encourage you to spend up to a week in Singapore alone! Yes, this is no joke – a week in Singapore with children and we assure you that you will have something to do.
Our plans were initially ambitious: we assumed full days of sightseeing, on the road, and somewhere quietly hoped that we might even be able to pop over to Malaysia for a day or two. At the end of the day, we stayed in Singapore, and we still can’t write that we saw everything we wanted. We constantly find interesting places that were missing from our list, or that we simply didn’t have time to get to.
Singapore abounds with interesting places and attractions, including for children. And if someone asked us the question whether the children would not be bored there, the answer would be obvious: absolutely not! In this respect, we unquestionably recommend Singapore to everyone. However, when planning a trip, there are other aspects to consider, which we write about below (the attractions themselves, too).
When we were in Singapore, Olive was less than two years old (one year and nine months). This is the age when attractive places for children are already important, the child not only observes the world, but wants to learn about it, experience it and is more and more willing to express his own opinion and walk his own paths ;) He notices more and more around, understands what is going on, communicates and establishes relationships. As parents, however, we also paid attention to places and attractions that might appeal to slightly older children, hence we have taken the liberty of offering some advice below.
Table of contents
Travel and communication
Singapore is far away. We won’t teach about geography here, but let’s focus on the journey itself. …And our journey took a long time. Much too long, as we had a connecting flight in London on the way, which we missed for reasons beyond our control.
It turned out that there were no more planes to Singapore that day, and we faced an overnight stay in London. As a rule, we are prepared for such situations: we always keep some basic toiletries, medicines and underwear handy, but something can always slip through the cracks. We also took a lot of diapers and some food for Olive, which we knew she would love to eat, but it’s clear we didn’t have enough to last an extra 16 hours of travel, especially when it turned out that on the next plane no one had ticked off a baby meal in the system…. Fortunately, we had full board at the hotel in London, and a lot of extra snacks were offered on the plane. The kindly flight attendants even gave us the extra portion they had left. We survived :)
Why are we writing about it? To take into account all risks and choose the best airline connection. We combined with the flight to fly at night, assuming that Olive would sleep through the trip, and it turned out that we faced a long daytime flight. The end of the day, the Singapore Airlines flight turned out to be much more comfortable than the British Airways return flight! As they say, there’s no such thing as a bad thing :)
Nowadays, there is already a direct flight from Poland by LOT, so the matter is easier however, it is still worth looking at the hours and prices (it may turn out that, as in our case, a BA flight will be cheaper).
Locally, we used Uber and the subway. The subway works great, there are spaces for strollers and priority seating for caregivers with a child. As for Uber, it was possible to order vehicles with seats through the app, but unfortunately you had to deal with very long waiting times.
Singapore has a tropical climate. This means it is warm, humid and rainy. Even very warm… ok, hot! And on top of that, the humidity is so high that a person who is not used to it walks around covered in sweat all the time. And this is a nuisance for both adults and children.
Fortunately, there are many air-conditioned places where you can cool down and relax, but if you plan to spend the whole day actively outdoors then be sure to take a great deal of water, fans, strong sunscreen, sunglasses and something for your head. We, exceptionally, often took breaks and went into cafes, restaurants and food courts to buy some fresh juices and refreshing drinks.
It’s also a good idea to have some sort of thin cloak or umbrella on hand, as rainfall is quite common.
The choice of venues and pubs on site is huge! Asian cuisine dominates, of course, but you’ll also find European restaurants or well-known fast food joints. We especially recommend you eat in so-called food courts – special spaces with tables and chairs, where food can be ordered from one of the many surrounding bars. The solution was good and economical.
It’s also good for families, because everyone can order a different type of cuisine in a separate place, and you’ll sit down to your meal together or you can take it to go. However, it’s hard to find children’s chairs or any special facilities here, but we’ve encountered this in restaurants.
We have tried food in many strange places and had no adventures, but if you or your children have more delicate stomachs it is better to try local delicacies gradually or eat in places that inspire your greatest confidence, both in terms of the menu and the freshness of the products.
You can also stock up on food in supermarkets or bazaars. There are larger stores in the malls, with a large selection of items, so if you rent an apartment you may be tempted to cook on your own :)
Of course, locally, you will easily get products for children.
Attractions for children
You don’t have to worry about that. Go blind to Singapore with children, and there will be plenty of interesting places for everyone. Even Gardens by the Bay already offers many activities for the little ones, playgrounds, special exhibitions and installations. The evening shows will make you all lie on the ground and look up to enjoy the fever of colors and perfectly caught up music.
In fact, any of the places we visited could be of interest to children: whether Cloud Forest, the Singapore Zoo, Marina Bay, the Chinese and Indian districts or the entertaining Sentosa Island with its amusement park and aquarium, not even to mention the Singapore airport itself. Much depends on the child’s age and interests. In our case, the hit were just the evening shows at Super Trees at Gardens by the Bay, S.E.A. Aquarium on Sentosa and the Zoo with River Safari.
There are plenty of water playgrounds in Singapore – it’s always a good idea to bring swimsuits and diapers with you, as you’ll come out of them all wet. We liked them so much that we could not pass by any of them indifferently.
It is very clean, peaceful and safe
Really. It’s incredibly clean here, by the way, not surprisingly, since there are heavy fines (and even floggings!) for littering, and everyone here respects the law. The fact that Singapore is often referred to as the land of bans has probably already been heard by many of you, but that’s not what we’re going to cover here now (but someday for sure!). The result of these bans is a safe, well-organized country, clean and well-maintained streets, peace and quiet, and widespread respect for other cultures and religions.
That’s why we think traveling to Singapore with a child will save a lot of stress about worrying about whether it’s safe there. We have never had any situation where we crossed the street because there was some suspicious situation or we met types from under a dark star. And it must be said that we happened to return to the hotel in the evenings, after dusk, and even went out later still for some food to local food courts.
We also haven’t heard of any attempts at theft, fraud or robbery, which doesn’t mean you can let go at all and not keep an eye on your belongings!
Singaporeans don’t worship white children that much at all ;-)
And finally, a little tongue-in-cheek ;-)
After our trip to China and the ubiquitous admiration for the white, blue-eyed baby, we expected similar reactions in Singapore. Here, fortunately, it is definitely calmer in this respect ;)
Of course, there were times when someone came up and asked if they could take a picture with us, and some brazenly chased after Olive with a camera, but they were tourists rather than Singaporeans.
Also about this you can rest assured ;)
Singapore turned out to be a hit for traveling with a baby!
It is a place where both young and older children will have a lot of fun and play. You just need to prepare well for the trip taking into account our above tips.
Read more about Singapore and what to see in our post Singapore – TOP 9 places you must see!