Singapore is a great country to have an extended layover and we did just that on our flight home from Bangkok. We landed in Singapore at 12:40PM and weren’t departing until 2:05AM. Here’s why Singapore is a great extended layover destination.
Clearing Customs and Visa Requirements
Singapore does not require US citizens to have a visa if you are visiting for less than 90 days. The immigration officer did ask us how long we were staying and proof of our departure flight so I would be sure to have this handy. Ours allowed us to show him on my phone but I’d recommend having a screenshot in case you don’t have cell phone service to pull it up.
Our flight from Thailand to Singapore and from Singapore to home were not on the same airline so our bags did not check all the way through. Qatar Airways only allows check in 3 hours prior to the flight so we couldn’t check our bags in so early. Obviously walking through Singapore with all of our luggage was not an option so what did we do? Changi Airport has baggage storage in each terminal in both the transit and public areas of the airport for easy drop off. It cost us about $15 USD to hold our bags and you can find more information on prices here.
Getting From the Airport
Singapore has great public transportation including a train at both Terminal 2 and 3 that will take you into the city. All the stations are luggage friendly with escalators and elevators. It took us 20mins to get to Merlion Park and cost a mere $1.50 Singaporean Dollars. You can see a fare calculator here.
What We Did
Merlion Park Merlion Park gives you a great view of the infamous Marina Bay Sands hotel and a chance to take the obligatory picture of catching the water spraying from the Merlion’s mouth. Unfortunately the big Merlion had scaffolding around it during out visit as it was closed for cleaning but Jordyn still got to attempt the photo with the Merlion cub. There are tons of restaurants and bars in this area as well if you want to eat.
Marina Bay Sands You can technically walk here from Merlion Park, someone told us it would take about 20mins. We didn’t have a stroller and I wasn’t interested in Jordyn getting tired halfway through and asking us to pick her up so we caught an Uber. If you’re into shopping you can definitely spend some money here as their are tons of high-end stores. If you’re only coming for the view of the city like we did you have two options. Unfortunately the infamous Infinity Pool is only accessible to hotel guests but you can get to the 57th floor by dining at one of the restaurants open to non-hotel guests or paying admission to access the Observation Deck. It’s open 9:30AM-10PM Mon-Thurs and 9:30AM-11PM Fri-Sun. You can pre-purchase tickets online and if you sign up for Sands Rewards you will receive 20% off admission.
Gardens by the Bay A trip to Singapore wouldn’t be complete without seeing the magical Gardens by the Bay. It’s a quick walk here from Marina Bay Sands you can ask valet to point you in the right direction. The attractions include two conservatories, the outdoor gardens, and the Skyway. The conservatories and Skyway are open from 9AM-9PM and have an admission fee. If you only want to see the garden show at night and watch it come to life it’s free and there is a 7:45 and 8:45PM show however this area is open from 5AM-2AM. There is also a Children’s Garden which has a splash pad and free of charge but it’s closed on Mondays.
Back at the Airport
While I don’t know anyone who wants to be stuck at the airport for an extended time if you are hope it’s Changi Airport. There is a movie theater, pool, a thriller slide, and tons of play areas for kids. The airport also provides free wifi, plenty of charging stations, and you can borrow strollers and carts to carry your luggage throughout the terminals free of charge.