48 Hours in Singapore
Experience the best of Singapore on your next business trip. There’s so much to see and do when you combine business with leisure in the city-state.
Located in the heart of Asia, Singapore is a buzzing metropolis. Its vibrant business ecosystem, state-of-the-art infrastructure and seamless connectivity is home to over 7,000 MNCs and hosts over 400 Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) every year, making it a top choice for business travellers.
With the nation’s obsession with food, corporate entertaining will be high on your agenda in Singapore . A diverse range of cultures, attractions and world-class venues make the little red dot a melting pot of unique experiences to uncover.
8am Jog through a World Heritage Site
Beat the jet lag and join the locals for a morning jog at the Singapore Botanic Gardens. It’s hard to imagine that a nation of 53 years is home to a verdant garden more than 150 years old. Recently appointed a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the 82-hectre Gardens are filled with lush tropical flora and fauna, and steeped in history. This was where rubber research and the tapping technique was cultivated, leading to its growth as a major crop for trade in the region. Enjoy the crisp air and join in one of the many community groups practicing Tai-Chi, Yoga or a session of quiet meditation.
12pm Lunch away from the CBD
Time for lunch. Don’t stress about rushing through the meal. Locals enjoy maximising their lunch hour and talking business over food. Schedule a lunch meeting at a relaxed location. Book a car and ferry your guests away from the CBD to Tamarind Hill, where dining is never a rushed affair. Set in a historic colonial bungalow perched atop the forested Labrador Nature Reserve, enjoy authentic Thai and Burmese cuisine crafted by a team of Thai chefs.
5pm Drinks with a killer view
As golden hour approaches, prepare to kick-back a few with your clients. Take your pick from one of the many rooftop bars that have sweeping views of the city. Less than a decade ago, Marina Bay was but a piece of reclaimed land and now is transformed into a spectacular promenade and reservoir basin with the iconic Marina Bay Sands Integrated Resort and other commercial developments that light up the dramatic skyline. Our top picks to enjoy the breath taking view include Spago at Marina Bay Sands and Lantern at Fullerton Bay Hotel just across the river. If you choose to have dinner at the National Gallery below, you can also always have a tipple at Smoke & Mirrors or Sky Lounge before proceeding to Aura.
8pm Dinner in a National Monument
Maintain the energy with your guests and host a memorable dinner at the National Gallery. Formerly the Supreme Court and City Hall, they have been beautifully restored and transformed to house the largest public collection of Modern Art in Southeast Asia. Make a grand statement with dinner at Aura located on the top floor. This Italian restaurant showcases exquisite classic cuisine inspired by homely recipes. Pair your dinner with a unique selection of wines and cocktails on offer.
11pm Night Cap at a Speakeasy
End the evening with a night cap. Head to one of the cool speakeasies around town that provide quiet nooks and fun drinks for stimulating conversations. Bars like 28 HongKong Street or Operation Dagger take cocktail craft and innovation to the next level. For Singapore inspired cocktails, Nutmeg & Clove incorporates the island’s historical perspective into tipples that celebrate local flavours and spices. Or check out Native, one of Singapore’s more recent cocktail gems that serves up libations showcasing foraged local and regional produce.
10am Brunch, local style
Head to Tiong Bahru Food Centre and grab brunch, local style. Singaporeans love hearty fare with variety and there’s no better way to satisfy this than a visit to a local hawker centre. You will find over 30 ready-to-eat food stalls that prepare your meal to order, all for less than 3 USD. Singaporean brunch classics include “Chee Kwey” (Rice cakes topped with preserved chopped radish and a dollop of sambal chili) and Roti Prata, an Indian dish of crispy flat bread ordered plain, egg or even tissue (a paper thin dough fried to perfect crispness). There’s no better way to eat this than to go in with your hands, tearing off a piece and dipping it into a tangy curry sauce. Locals also enjoy sprinkling it with sugar for a sweet take on the savoury dish. Bib Gourmand recipients, Hong Heng Fried Sotong Prawn Mee and Tiong Bahru Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice are also located within the food centre and are definitely worth a try.
Work off your meal with a stroll. Peruse local herbs, fruits and spices at Tiong Bahru Market(situated just below the food centre), before heading to the adjoining Tiong Bahru Neighbourhood with its unique art-decor style houses. This traditionally sleepy public housing estate has been injected with new life from modern cafes, eateries and trendy stores. Pick up a few handcrafted finds or sift through the shelves at Books Actually for some Singaporean fiction and literature.
2pm Retail Therapy
Seek respite from the afternoon heat and indulge in Singaporeans’ favourite pastime, shopping! Head to Orchard Road, named after being lined with fruit orchards, nutmeg plantations and pepper farms in the 1800s. Though it may be easy to get mall fatigue, there are hidden gems to be found with shops selling unique local souvenirs. Visit TANGS which celebrates local designers and brands including 1872 Clipper Tea Co, Singapore’s oldest tea producer. Unique tea blends including a Singapore inspired collection and tea set that make for perfect gifting.
4pm Walk amongst Giants
No visit to Singapore is complete without a photo opportunity at Gardens by the Bay – a 101-hectare garden located in Marina Bay and an architectural marvel. Visit the two cooled conservatories with its thematic and rotating flower display and the world’s tallest indoor waterfall. At the Supertree grove, look up in wonder with the towering super trees that grow up to 50 metres in height. These avatar-like structures also provide shade while collecting rain water and solar energy, making the Gardens entirely self-sufficient. Enjoy an exquisite afternoon tea amidst lush greenery at Pollen Terrace, located within the Gardens by the Bay Flower Dome.
8pm Dinner in a Chapel
For your final evening, visit Dempsey – a former British army barracks now converted into a bustling lifestyle cluster of F&B establishments, galleries and oriental furniture shops. For a unique dining experience, host your soiree in a beautifully restored 1930s Ebenezer chapel at The White Rabbit serving up Modern European classics.
9.30 am Three cultures, one road
Time for a culture fix before you leave! Head over to Chinatown and be immersed in shops selling traditional Chinese medicine and herbs. You will also find a throng of calligraphy artists and fortune tellers in the area. Along South Bridge Road, walk past a Mosque and Hindu Temple before arriving at the Buddha Tooth Relic Chinese Temple; a representation of how Singaporeans live harmoniously with one other. Squeeze in a visit to the Chinatown Heritage Centre for a glimpse into the stories and lives of our early immigrants. Stop by Tong Heng for a pastry snack of Egg Tarts – smooth egg custard filling cocooned in a butter flaky pastry that is pure bliss and worth a special trip before you get on that flight!
Discover and Book for these and other unique dining experiences in Singapore with TAB – Asia’s first online destination for personalised group experiences.
Photo Credits: Singapore Tourism Board