It was our first time in Singapore. And actually – our first stop in Asia for our gap year trip. Would we be able to find our feet backpacking in Singapore with kids?!
It turned out to be a great first stop – safe and easy to get around, and some areas literally seemed set up for families. Aside from that, we wanted to get out and see a more local side to Singapore… namely with the goal for hunting down some ‘Hawker Centres’ which we had heard so much about…
IN SINGAPORE WE LOVED…
The food scene of Singapore is definitely worth all the raving. We became hooked on hawker centres! ‘Hawker Centres’ are a common sight in Singapore, and are literally an open-air complex housing different kinds of stalls and booths that sell a wide variety of food at inexpensive prices.
We ate dumplings (far too many dumplings!):
… and ‘Grass Jelly’. And something else pretending to have something to do with cashews and tofu…
EAST COAST BAY PARK
We knew Singapore was renowned to be well set up for families. And as soon as we set out on day one to explore East Coast Bay Park we could feel it everywhere.
Singapore with kids is easy. The playgrounds are massive, free, and dotted around regularly. Even the public toilets have tiny toilets and special sections for children! We hired bikes, including one for Harry, and cycled right along the waterfront park towards Marina Bay.
GARDENS BY THE BAY AND THE SKYWALK
We definitely took a moment to admit and enjoy being our touristy-selves atop the Skywalk at Gardens by the Bay. It’s incredible!
Amazing views of Singapore and the harbour, and indoor walks that have you literally winding up through tree-top gardens and waterfalls, with different sections dedicated to different climates and regions of the world!
(A note for the Skywalk though… it is also slightly wobbly when walking… I am still in trouble for getting the giggles!) .
EXPLORING JOO CHIAT
Joo Chiat is an area in the east of Singapore known for its multicultural heritage: Malays, Indians, Peranakans and Eurasians.
That is definitely apparent on a first walk up Joo Chiat road – you can find shops, restaurants, food, mosques, and temples that represent all of those cultures.
It is a great location to enjoy parts of that history of Singapore with kids, and to find out a bit more about the colourful cultural mix that it represents today.
WHERE WE STAYED
- Singapore: Betel Box Hostel
We loved Betel Box! We stayed there on week two of our trip (after an amazing week in Fiji) and when we arrived back at the end of the year it was such a nice feeling to be welcomed again by owner Uncle Tong; “Oh my goodness! Look how much you two have grown!”
Betel Box is in Joo Chiat Katong, and is easy to find by bus from the airport (even arriving late at night/early hours of the morning), a great location for nearby restaurants and hawker centres, and about a 20-30 minute walk to East Coast Park Beach.
Its easy to walk and bus around Singapore! We made the most of using the Grab app for taxis, and were supported by the hostel to figure out the best ways for us to navigate Singapore with kids, and to reach each of the destinations we had planned for.
- Average daily spend (food, transport, admissions etc): $140 NZD
- Average accommodation per night: $110 NZD