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The Swiftie's weekend guide to Singapore

Marielle Descalsota   

The Swiftie's weekend guide to Singapore
  • Taylor Swift is set to perform in Singapore for six nights in March.
  • Special activities for fans include a Taylor Swift-themed light show and a pool party.

Taylor Swift arrived in Singapore on Tuesday to get ready for her only stop in Southeast Asia on the Eras Tour.

Swift will be performing at Singapore's National Stadium on March 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, and 9. Fans snapped up all 300,000 tickets available for Swift's six-night performance back in July. Tickets were priced from 88 Singapore dollars, or around $65, for a restricted view seat, to SG$1,228 for a VIP1 ticket.

If you're in Singapore for Swift's concert and looking for recommendations on what to do in the city-state, look no further. Here are some tips on activities, food, and even last-minute accommodation in Singapore.

What Swifties should check out

  • A light show dedicated to Swift's hits — like "You Belong With Me," "Cruel Summer," "Style," and "Shake It Off" — will be shown at Marina Bay Sands from February 28 to March 7. Reservations are required, but admission is free.

  • Fans can also attend a Swift-themed pool party at Resorts World's Adventure Cove Waterpark on March 3. It's organized by a Malaysian Swiftie fan group, and tickets start from SG$32.

What to do in Singapore

  • Swifties can explore Singapore from the airport — which was named the best airport in the world by Skytrax — where you can find the world's highest indoor waterfall, watch a movie at the theatre, go swimming at the indoor pool, and even visit a butterfly park.

  • If you like visiting zoos — one of Swift's favorite pastimes when traveling — spend time at the Night Safari, the world's first nocturnal wildlife park. Tickets for adults start at SG$55. Singapore's last remaining crocodile farm is also an option for just SG$22.

  • Singapore has no shortage of fantastic and unique local food — like tasty frog meat dishes — and you can find the best delicacies the city-state has to offer in Geylang, the red-light district.

  • Marina Bay Sands is the Official Presenting Partner and known for its iconic, ship-shaped hotel and luxurious stores. It's also home to a vibrant community of skateboarders who practice their tricks in the evening.

  • Sentosa is a popular attraction in the city-state for tourists, and for good reason. The island resort has restaurants where you can lounge at the beach, rollercoasters to ride at Universal Studios, and even a hill to race down on a luge. At Sentosa Cove, one of the most stunning waterfronts in Singapore, you can rent a yacht and explore the area for around SG$300.

What to eat in Singapore

  • For breakfast, many locals start the day with kopi, or traditional coffee, and toasted bread smeared with coconut jam and served alongside a soft-boiled egg. Killiney is one of the biggest chains in the city-state, and a cup of coffee there costs SG$2 — seen as a bit on the high side, as the average coffee stall charges around SG$1.20.

  • Singapore is well known for hawker culture so much so that it was added to Unesco's Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. There are over 100 of these open-air food courts to be sampled, as well as some outside the city center, like Changi Hawker Center in eastern Singapore, where locals eat tasty dishes like nasi lemak — a rice dish with meat, egg, and sambal for cheap.

  • You can't miss having lunch at one of only two Michelin-starred street food stalls in the world — the other one is Jay Fai in Bangkok. Try pork noodles for SG$6 from Tai Hwa Pork Noodle, a hawker stall in central Singapore.

  • Singapore's de facto national dish is chicken rice — poached or roasted chicken with seasoned white rice and sambal, a spicy chili sauce — and two of the city-state's best are served by Tian Tian and Hawker Chan.

  • Another favorite among locals is a pork rib soup that's aromatic, peppery, and refreshing. Joo Siah Bak Koot Teh's version is authentic and costs just SG$5.

  • Chili crab — a seafood dish with heaps of sweet and savory chili sauce — is one of the most popular dishes in Singapore. A 2.2-pound portion costs around SG$80.

  • Make sure to try Singapore's famed ice cream sandwich, a local snack that comprises a block of ice cream wedged in between a pair of wafers or rainbow-colored bread. It costs just SG$1.10, but it's now rarer than ever.

What to skip in Singapore

  • While Orchard Towers was once famed for its nightlife and party atmosphere, it's now been mostly shut down. If you're looking to hit the club, Zouk in Clarke Quay is where many partygoers spend the night.

  • There are a lot of fun things to do in Sentosa, but the Golf Club isn't one of them — unless you're swinging balls, there isn't much to do there. Head to beach clubs like Tanjong and Rumours instead, where you can lounge by the sea with a cocktail in hand or play a round of volleyball.

  • The observation deck in Marina Bay Sands is one of the best places to see the city-state — a single entry ticket starts from SG$28. Buy a drink or a snack at one of the restaurants on the same floor for a more value-for-money experience instead.

  • Some capsule hostels in Singapore are pricey and poorly maintained, so it's worth paying a bit more for a budget hotel instead, where you're likely to get a private room instead of sharing a dorm.

Bonus: where to stay in Singapore, if you're out of traditional options

Swift's Singapore concert series kicks off in two days, which means visitors likely — hopefully — have accommodations sorted out by now. But in case you left it to the last minute and are still looking for ideas, here are three non-traditional options for you.

  • If you're looking for a spot that's away from the hustle and bustle of Singapore, staying in a shipping container hotel might be a good option. It starts from SG$288 and is spacious enough to fit four people.

  • The best value-for-money hotels in Singapore are love hotels — they're centrally located, equipped with a private bathroom, and cost less than SG$80 a night.

  • If you're looking for a hostel to meet other travelers — or maybe even Swifties — then check out Dream Lodge. They offer a dedicated female-only room — it's also clean and safe. A night in a single pod costs around SG$50.

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