Singapore - An ideal holiday destination for Kids

Sachin Jatkar

Well-Known Member
Over the last few years, we have gone for family holidays to the hills, beaches, national parks and historical places. Although my nearly 6 year old son enjoyed each of these holidays, we had always wanted to plan a trip with plenty of attractions for kids or to put it right, a holiday just for my son. The idea was to wait for him to grow up until he could really enjoy the experience and all the attractions. We evaluated Hong Kong, London & Singapore and finally settled on Singapore due to plenty of options available for kids and ease of travel both within the city and from Mumbai to Singapore.

It is always advisable to involve kids in planning your holiday as it builds up the excitement. My son could not wait to reach Singapore after watching the attractions on offer (on Internet) such as Singapore Zoo, Night Safari, Jurong Bird Park, Science centre and Sentosa Island (Universal studios, SEA Aquarium, Underwater world etc.) not to mention other options such as Singapore flyer, Botanical garden and Gardens by the bay. There are plenty of options for the adults as well with Singapore being a shopping paradise (Orchard road). One can also experience the night life at Clarke Quay; explore the museums and culture by visiting places such as Chinatown, Little India and Arab Street.

Our itinerary was as follows:
19th April – Board a late night flight and reach Singapore early morning on 20th April.
20th April – Rest and recuperate from the overnight flight and start out by visiting Night Safari.
21st April – Singapore Zoo & Clarke Quay
22nd April – Universal studios & SEA Aquarium
23rd April – Jurong Bird Park and Sentosa Island (Underwater World etc)
24th April – Science Centre & Orchard road
25th April – Early morning return flight back to Mumbai

There is really no “best time” to visit Singapore, as the weather is warm and humid throughout the year with rainfall being an almost everyday occurrence. However the idea is to avoid the wettest month i.e. November and escape local school holiday season in June and December. Check this link for exact dates Ministry of Education, Singapore: School Terms and Holidays for 2013 . Actually visiting in Feb-Mar is usually a good option with the weather being on the cooler side.

Do carry comfortable footwear as you will have to walk a lot and plan for frequent breaks for food and cool drinks to keep up energy levels, especially when travelling with kids. Another tip when travelling with kids is to carry swimwear as most tourist attractions for kids have wet play areas (mini water parks) where the kids can have a blast. Many Indian kids are fussy eaters (mine is :(), so if that is the case, then book a hotel near the Little India area as there are plenty of options available for Indian food. Do not forget to carry your umbrellas, raincoats or ponchos for the periodic showers. Buying an umbrella in Singapore is very expensive (S$15) but very basic plastic raincoats or ponchos are available at tourist attractions for anywhere between S$3 to S$5. Buying mineral water bottle at tourist attractions is also expensive (S$2 – S$3 per 500 ml bottle), so it’s best to carry your own. Most tourist attractions have drinking water fountains so you can refill your water bottles. The current exchange rate is approximately INR 44 to 1 Singapore dollar.

In this travelogue, I aim to provide as much information as possible with the intention of helping readers plan their trip to Singapore. So you will find information on public transport options and rates, tips on purchasing tickets to multiple tourist attractions to save money, tips on how to plan your travel within the city, some information on local cuisine, tips to beat long queues etc. I also aim to upload lots of pictures so readers planning a trip can get a feel of the place.

Here are a few pictures to start with…

Outside Night Safari entrance with my son Aditya. Don't have much pictures of Night Safari as it was difficult to take pictures in the dark.

Watching White tigers at Singapore Zoo.

Wet play area at Singapore Zoo. Similar areas are also provided at Jurong Bird Park and Science centre. Do not forget to carry swimwear and change of clothes for your kids.

Travelling by MRT is the best, cheapest and fastest way to get around in Singapore.

Outside Universal studios in Sentosa Island

Jurassic theme park inside Universal studios. My son is a Dinosaur fanatic so lots of pictures with Dino's in the background on this trip.

Jelly fish at SEA Aquarium in Sentosa Island

Pelicans at Jurong Bird Park

Science Centre

Merlion Park


Active Member
Thanks for starting this, it will for sure help many who plan to go for a trip with kids. Your insights and inputs in regard to kids make a lot of sense.
It would be nice if you could also put in the cost prospective, like enterance fees at various park, transportation mode cost etc, this would help the travellors to plan accordingly.


Well-Known Member
Hey Sachin, gr8 start buddy & good gesture to include the attractions, ticketing, transport & nitty gritties also. Surely these would be indeed very helpful for the fellows who are planning or might plan now after ur T'log.... pour it more & njoy!!!!

Sachin Jatkar

Well-Known Member
Beautiful info filled start, Sachin...:)

This is what we really want. Save a lot of time and energy when planning a trip...:)
Thank you John. I completely agree :)

Beautiful start Sachin, Very informative as always :)
Aditya seems to have a blast of time.
Thanks Sachin. Yes Aditya had a blast which really justified planning a trip specifically for him :)

Thanks for starting this, it will for sure help many who plan to go for a trip with kids. Your insights and inputs in regard to kids make a lot of sense.
It would be nice if you could also put in the cost prospective, like enterance fees at various park, transportation mode cost etc, this would help the travellors to plan accordingly.
Thanks Viny :). Yes, I will include everything you have mentioned and do ask if you need anything else which I miss.

This is for sure going to be of help to a lot of BCMtians, great start sachin, keep on coming in.....
Thanks Amit and hope that lot of BCMTians with kids are inspired to plan a holiday to Singapore by reading my log.

Hey Sachin, gr8 start buddy & good gesture to include the attractions, ticketing, transport & nitty gritties also. Surely these would be indeed very helpful for the fellows who are planning or might plan now after ur T'log.... pour it more & njoy!!!!
Thanks Pushpinder :). Coming up right away.

We booked our air tickets more than a month in advance and it cost us INR 23k per person (same fare for children as well) for return airfare. We had booked Air India and while booking the flights were direct or non-stop but the schedule was later changed by Air India with 90 minutes halt added in Chennai both ways. Adding to the grief was Air India’s non-functional in-flight entertainment system. More than 50% of the screens were not working and the few which did work had no sound coming out of the headphones. The AI staff could do nothing to help. To their credit though, the flight both ways landed before scheduled time and the meals served were decent.

You don’t need to visit the Singapore consulate for getting a tourist visa. Just approach any authorized travel agent and they will get the visa done for you. The visa is on a piece of paper which can be stapled to your passport. Usually you will be granted a multiple entry visa which is valid for 2 years with a maximum of 30 day stay per visit. Working in Singapore on a tourist visa is illegal. The Singapore consulate charges S$30 /person for issuing the visa and you will require submitting the following documents to the travel agent for processing the visa. However it is best to confirm the documents required from your authorized travel agent as they process the visas on a daily basis.

• Original passports valid for more than 6 months from the date of travel.
• Two recent colour photos (35mm x 45mm, matt finish) with 80% of the face visible.
• Duly filled visa form (14A).
• Copy of confirmed return air tickets.
• Copy of confirmed Hotel booking.
• Cover letter written by you and addressed to the Consulate General requesting to grant visa and detailing purpose of visit, flight details, passport details and confirming that all expenses during the trip including stay, travel and food will be borne by you.
• Proof of purchase of foreign currency or copy of International credit card (blank out the cvv number).
• For blank passport holders i.e. those who have never travelled abroad, you may be asked for documents such as bank statements & last 3 year IT returns. This is not applicable for children.
• The Singapore consulate in Mumbai requires 1 address proof if your passport was not issued in the western region.

Although not required for the visa, I would strongly recommend that you purchase travel insurance for all those who are travelling. All insurance companies such as ICICI Lombard, HDFC etc. provide the option to purchase travel insurance online without having to submit any documents or visiting any of their branches. Depending on the insurance value, number of days of travel and options available, you can get travel insurance from INR 400 onwards per person. Depending on the plan you choose, you can get cover for medical treatment, lost baggage, trip delays, missed flight connection, emergency hotel extension, repatriation of remains etc. I got my family a platinum plan which cost me INR 1059 /person with maximum insurance cover of US$ 50k /person. When you are spending so much on international travel, buying travel insurance is a small amount to pay for anxiety free travel.

Ensure that you buy foreign exchange from an authorized dealer and that you get a receipt for the same.

Sachin Jatkar

Well-Known Member
We landed at Changi airport just before 7AM, and went through the baggage claim and immigration in a jiffy. The Singapore immigration forms were given to us in the flight itself. While clearing immigration in Singapore, a portion of the immigration slip is given back to you which you have to retain as the same has to be returned to the immigration official when you exit the country. We quickly followed the signs for “Taxi” and got in to a spacious and very clean Hyundai Sonata from Comfort cabs. The driver was polite and introduced himself, helped us tucking the luggage in the boot and asked us where we were from etc. You also have the option to take a MRT (Singapore term for Metro) but after an overnight journey, we wanted to get to the hotel as quickly as possible. The distance to our hotel from Changi airport was 22 Kms and we reached there in just about 20 minutes as it was a Saturday and there was no traffic on the roads. My wife had been to Singapore twice before, but I was amazed at how green and clean the city is. It was as if some invisible team is always at work to keep the city spotless. We were at the hotel by 8AM.

Before moving any further, I will take this opportunity to explain the way Taxi’s function in Singapore. There is a designated area at Changi airport from where you can get Taxi’s. All you need to do is follow the signs to get there. There was no queue when we got there and an old guy guided us to one of the waiting Taxis from Comfort cabs which is one of the many Taxi companies in Singapore (just like we have Meru, Mega or Tab cabs in India). There are taxi stands outside most tourist attractions similar to Changi airport.

However, taxi fares in Singapore are not as simple as just paying the charges displayed on the digital meter. The amount that is displayed on the meter while you are travelling is just the basic fare. The basic fare includes a flag-down charge of anywhere between S$3 – 3.40 (inclusive of the first Km or less), a charge of S$0.22 every 400m for the first 10Kms and S$0.22 every 350m after 10Kms. The basic fare also calculates a waiting charge S$0.22 for every 45 secs or less. So far this calculation is very simple and just like the system we have in India.

The basic fare that is displayed on the meter may not be the only applicable fare as there are many different surcharges for taxis in Singapore. Examples include midnight surcharge, peak hour surcharge, city area surcharge, advance booking fees and location surcharge etc. Please refer to this site for details regarding the various surcharges Taxi Fare, Rates & Charges | Singapore Taxi Cab Meter Fares, Rates & Surcharges | Taxi Singapore | Taxi Singapore . At the end of your journey you have to pay the basic fare as displayed on the meter + any applicable surcharges. For e.g. when we took a taxi from Changi airport to our hotel at 0730 on Saturday, the basic fare as displayed on the meter was S$18 + we had to pay an airport surcharge of S$3 as applicable. When we took an advance booked taxi from hotel to Changi airport at 0540 in the morning on a Thursday, we had to pay the basic fare of S$17 + S$8 for advance booking + midnight surcharge of 50% of metered fare i.e. approx. S$8. So the total fare while returning back to Changi airport came to S$33 as opposed to S$21 on our arrival.

Hope the above has helped in determining how taxi fares are calculated in Singapore. Another option to calculate public transport or taxi fare is to go to and enter the source and destination. It will give you detailed directions on how to reach from source to destination by Bus only, by Bus + Train (MRT), or by Taxi. It also displays the approximate fares for taxis, and accurate fares for bus or trains. The following pictures may further help you in using the website.

Enter the source and destination

You can select the time and date. You can also select Bus Only, Bus + Train, or Taxi.



Sachin Jatkar

Well-Known Member
We had booked Hotel Holiday Inn, Atrium as recommended by a family friend who had stayed there with her family in December. One of the important things to consider while booking a hotel in Singapore is its proximity to an MRT station if you plan to get around using MRT. The Outram Park station on green line is just about 1 Km from Holiday Inn, Atrium and easily accessible either walking or by bus. Bus stops for bus services going to different parts of Singapore are also just 150-300m from the hotel, and so are a couple of 7/11 convenient stores. There are lots of Chinese, Japanese and Singaporean cuisine restaurants in a 0.5 Km radius and we also spotted an Indian restaurant “Prata place” close by. The hotel itself has a good room service menu on offer and my son particularly enjoyed their kid’s meal which consisted of chicken nuggets, Belgium waffle with strawberry sauce and potato wedges with complimentary dessert for approx. S$16 including taxes. However most other dishes from burgers to meals cost S$25 upwards + taxes. The hotel also offers lunch and dinner buffet which costs S$38 + taxes per person. So it’s best to have your lunch and dinner outside as you can also experience local and other Asian cuisines.

Hotel Holiday Inn, Atrium

The cost of an average meal in Singapore (at options available inside tourist attractions) with soft drinks and water costs anywhere between S$12-15 /person. Meals in Little India area in Indian restaurants can cost about S$7-10 /person. If you only eat a dosa it will cost around S$2.5-3. For a family of three i.e. 2 adults and 1 less than six year old child be prepared to spend around S$35-40 for each meal.

There are plenty of hotels in Singapore to cater to every budget and need from backpackers Inns to 5 star hotels and resorts. You can search on websites such as Online Hotel Booking for Cheap, Budget & Luxury Hotels in India | for hotels that will suit your need. We had booked Holiday Inn directly from their website Holiday Inn Hotels & Resorts | Book Hotel Rooms & Hotel Accommodations as they guaranteed best prices. Holiday Inn, Atrium is a 4 star hotel and it cost us S$205 /night (inclusive of all applicable taxes and fees) and included a Deluxe room for 2 adults and 1 child with a king sized bed, free internet access and breakfast for 2 (breakfast for children is anyways free). Check the hotels website for different plans and offers and choose the one best suited for you. It’s a 27 storied hotel and we had while booking requested for a room as high as possible to enjoy the amazing views of Singapore. We were allotted a room on the 23rd floor and I have posted a picture of the view from our room.

View from our room on 23rd floor

The breakfast buffet at the hotel is an amazing continental spread consisting of a live egg station where the chef will make eggs of your choice, bacon, different sausages, hash browns, noodles, pancakes, different types of bread, croissants, cakes, muffins, milk, tea, coffee, juices, fresh fruits and fruit yoghurt etc. There are a couple of Indian options like Idli, dhokla etc. and many options for cereals as well. Overall we really enjoyed the service at the breakfast restaurant (Melting Pot) and the quality/taste of food and used to start every day with a hearty breakfast which would set the tone for the day. I would not recommend this hotel to travellers who only prefer Indian food though.

The facilities in the hotel room consisted of a king sized bed, wardrobe, bathroom with bathtub and all possible toiletries and loads of towels, hair dryer, LCD TV with 30+ channels, telephone with facility to call local and international numbers, digital alarm clock, free internet port and WiFi, mini bar/fridge, locker, ironing board with steam iron, tea/coffee maker with different types of tea bags and instant coffee sachets, bottled water (although tap water is safe to drink in Singapore), room and laundry service, centrally AC room with temperature control etc. The hotel also used to keep excellent quality apples on each floor near the lifts for customers. The hotel has a well-equipped Gym and a swimming pool with a separate baby pool for kids. The room was serviced and essentials replenished every day and if needed, we could request for extras on the phone and it would be delivered immediately. The mini bar was stocked with beer, soft drinks, fruit juice, Evian mineral water etc. and the rates for each item was clearly mentioned. The charges for laundry service and telephone calls were also clearly specified in a bound folder in each room.

Swimming pool at the Hotel

Overall we loved our stay at Holiday Inn and were happy with their courteous and helpful staff. The only problem is that we felt the bed was a bit small for 2 adults and a child but you can pay and get an extra bed.