There is plenty of fun things to do in Singapore! Experience stunning architecture, modern art, delicious food, futuristic gardens, world-class shopping, and so much more!
After spending several months in Singapore, it was about time to write a guide to one of the most fascinating places on earth! Oh Singapore, I never expected I would like you that much!
Singapore just celebrated its 50th birthday in 2015 - within a short period of time the country turned into one the richest, safest and most modern countries on this planet. Singapore is full of contrast and has plenty to offer to its visitors. Experience culture, food, architecture, greenery, shopping, art, adventure and nightlife... No matter if you spend one day in Singapore, or an entire month, you'll never get bored, the list of activities are endless.
I had the chance to spend a few months in this amazing country, so I carefully picked my top 10 things to do in Singapore, just for you! This guide is for travelers who are looking to explore as much as possible, within a short period if time, and without missing the best places to visit in Singapore. This blog post covers typical Singapore tourist attractions, as well as hidden gems. I also recommend places to eat and where to stay in Singapore.
Together with my friend Zeniqe I filmed several locations in Singapore to show you some of my favorite spots. Let's start with a video to get you into the right mood!
Best THINGS TO DO IN Singapore
You have only one day in Singapore? Technically, you could see all of the following places in one day, Singapore in 24 hours is totally possible, but it might be a bit of a rush. I recommend staying at least 3 days in Singapore to get the vibe of the city.
Further down is a map, so you can navigate your way through the city... If you find this article helpful, make sure to bookmark this guide for your next Singapore trip! Let's get started!
01 | Haji Lane
Start your day with a coffee (and breakfast maybe) on Haji Lane, Singapore's artsy hipster neighborhood, and a place you must visit while in Singapore! Haji Lane is one street full of trendy bars and restaurants with international cuisines, indie boutiques, hip cafe's and loads of colorful street art. Don't miss Haji Lane, it's the perfect spot for some colorful Instagram shots, and one of the best places to go in Singapore!
What to do in Singapore at night? Haji Lane offers a completely different ambiance at night. If you have enough time, I suggest coming back another time in the evening. At night, Haji Lane turns into a party place with live music and sometimes they even have street parties.
Haji Lane is a place I keep returning, if you have more than a few hours to explore, also check out Honeycombers Guide on where to shop, eat and drink on Haji Lane.
02 | Arab Street
Just a street parallel to Haji Lane is Arab Street, don't get fooled by the name, it's actually more than just one road. It’s a vibrant neighborhood in the Muslim quarter of Singapore that is becoming one of the coolest places to hang out.
Arab Street is known for its trendy lifestyle, eclectic eateries with excellent food, glam stores offering brightly-colored textiles, aromatic handmade perfumes, Persian rugs, and more.
Arab Street is very unlike the rest of Singapore and attracts plenty of visitors with its restored shop houses.
The heart of Arab Street boasts a magnificent sight as well: Masjid Sultan Mosque. It’s considered one of the most prominent mosques in Singapore, and you’re sure to be impressed by its golden dome and enormous prayer hall. Dress modest if you want to enter the mosque (they provide shawls to cover yourself if needed).
Stop here for a few pictures and if you're hungry, grab a snack in one of the Middle Eastern restaurants across the mosque.
03 | Malay Heritage Centre
The Malay Heritage Centre is just beside Arab Street and might be worth to visit if you're already in that neighborhood. Set inside an istana (palace) that was built for the last sultan of Singapore, the Malay Heritage Centre museum was officially re-opened in 2005 by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
Since then, it has been a showcase that honors the past and creates a space to celebrate the Malay culture today. There are six permanent galleries, as well as limited time exhibitions and specialty programs to educate and entertain its visitors.
The Malay Heritage Centre is one of the must see places in Singapore if you want to learn about the Malay community, their history, culture and heritage.
04 | Bugis Street & Bugis Junction
Bugis Street is just a short walk away from Haji Lane and Arab Street. If you're a shopaholic, you probably know already that Singapore is a paradise for shopping addicts! I suggest skipping the high-end malls at Orchard Road and head instead to Bugis Street, where you can find some real bargains! I bought a bunch of clothes and accessories there, and nothing was more than S$30! If you get hungry, there are plenty of street food stalls where you can get a taste of some local snacks.
Bugis Street is too messy for you? Just across is Bugis Junction, a multi-story shopping mall, with a variety of shops, restaurants, and salons that sell anything and everything from outfits, accessories, souvenirs, toys, and so much more. Plenty of food options, too. I love that restaurant called GreenDot on the ground floor, everything is vegetarian and super yummy! Try the lion mane mushroom curry, it tastes like chicken!
05 | Little India
Another Singapore must see is Little India! Once you're done with exploring Bugis, walk over to Little India (or take the train from Bugis to Little India, it's only 2 stops). This vibrant and lively neighborhood offers you a piece of India, with spice shops, sari boutiques, jewellery stores and plenty of authentic Indian restaurants...
If you haven't eaten yet, Little India is for foodie lovers! If you're vegetarian or vegan, this neighborhood will become your favorite place! One of my favorites is a place called Greenleaf Cafe, located on 43 Cuff Road, it offers amazing vegetarian Indian food.
If you want to get a dose of culture, visit Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple on Serangoon Road, one of Singapore’s oldest Hindu temples. You'll be amazed by its colorful decor and all the detailed statues. Please cover your shoulders and legs, before entering the temple. You have to take your shoes off, too. It's such a beautiful temple, well worth to visit.
06 | Joo Chiat
This place is still a bit of a secret and one the lesser known Singapore attractions. If you love colorful houses as much as I do, you have to take a trip to Joo Chiat! There are plenty of well-preserved heritage houses in that area, however, the most beautiful ones are on Koon Seng Road.
From Joo Chiat Road, turn into Koon Seng Road, and you'll see some renowned shophouses in bright colors on your right, and another row of shophouses in pastel colors on your left. Please keep an eye on the cars passing by while taking pictures, there is plenty of traffic.
Walking around this area makes you feel like traveling back in time, it looks like the old Singapore and it's such a contrast to the rest of the city, which is very modern, sterile and futuristic.
07 | Chinatown
Singapore’s Chinatown is one of the top places to go in Singapore, it's such an iconic part of the city, full of history and culture. There is a lot of places to seein that area, I wrote an entire blog post about Things to do and see in Chinatown, if you have more time to explore this part of Singapore, make sure to check out that post.
This neighborhood is an interesting combination of old-world Chinese heritage and new-age modern additions with its tiny alleyways, cafes with a casual vibe, family-run shops, authentic restaurants, and boutique hotels. It's also great for shopping, if you're looking for textiles, head over to People's Park Complex!
The temples in Chinatown are some of the best attractions this area has to offer. Don’t miss out on visiting the beautiful Buddha Tooth Relic Temple with its golden statues. A bit further down the road is Sri Mariamman Temple, which is the oldest shrine in Singapore.
There’s free WiFi all throughout Singapore’s Chinatown, so you can explore the rich history and culture of the area while still being plugged in and sharing all the amazing things you see.
08 | Lau Pa Sat (or any other Hawker Centre)
Where to eat in Singapore? You can't leave Singapore without eating at least once at a Hawker Centre (you probably end up loving it so much that you'll visit a Hawker Centre for every meal.)
What is a Hawker Centre you're asking? Hawker Centres are open air places with a lot of food stalls where you can choose from a variety of local dishes for quite affordable prices. Some of Singapore's signature dishes are chilli crab, hokkien mee, prata with curry, and chicken rice.
Don't worry if you don't eat meat (like me), there is still plenty of choice. Singapore is very vegan friendly. Most of the Indian and Chinese stalls provide a selection of veggie options. I usually go for Indian food.
Lau Pa Sat (also known as Telok Ayer Market) is one of Singapore’s most popular hawker centres. I literally managed to eat there 5 times in my first week in Singapore. Every time I have friends visiting Singapore, I tell them to eat at least once at Lau Pa Sat, because this place is so so good. It's a food market favorite for locals, business people and tourists alike.
The food market is located in a striking, historic building from the 19th century, right in the middle of the financial district. Lau Pa Sat is known for offering a wide variety of authentic local cuisines, as well as plenty of international food, while also providing a scenic atmosphere with its mix of cast iron and filigree. It's open 24-7, so come anytime!
09 | Gardens by the Bay
Hands down, this is probably the most iconic sight of Singapore and a must see for every visitor who is traveling to Singapore! The Gardens by the Bay is a massive, 101 hectares nature park that brings to life garden artistry in its truest form.
You can easily spend an entire day wandering around at the Gardens by the Bay, there is so much to see and explore, you'll be amazed by all the sculptures, flowers and plants along the way. The garden contains more than 400,000 plants combined. Here is a map of the Gardens to get an idea of its size.
Once you enter the gardens, you will see 2 massive glass domes. The Flower Dome is one spectacular place to visit, it's the largest greenhouse in the world featuring some of the most amazing plants and flowers on this planet. The taller dome beside is called the Cloud Forest, featuring the world's tallest indoor waterfall, surrounded by lush vegetation. No matter which one you'll visit, you'll be amazed, either way. If you have time, visit both!
If you have limited time, head straight to the Supertree Grove! These famous futuristic-looking trees are between 25 and 50 meters tall and light up when it's getting dark. You have probably seen more than one drool-worthy photo of these Supertrees on your Instagram feed, they look incredible and make you feel like you stepped into the film set of Avatar.
The best time to visit is around sunset, you'll get magical views! Every night at 07:45PM and 08:45PM hundreds of people gather under the Supertrees to witness a spectacular light show where the trees are glowing hypnotically at night. Don't miss this spectacle, it's absolutely incredible! Plus it's free!
10 | Marina Bay
Marina Bay is Singapore’s modern treasure that has been wowing visitors for decades. Ever since its transformation that started in the 1970s, Marina Bay is one of the major reasons why Singapore has become well-known as a luxury travel destination.
Marina Bay is situated at the entrance of the Singapore River and features some of the most iconic luxury hotels, one-of-a-kind skyscrapers, and upscale attractions including Sands SkyPark and Marina Bay Sands.
If you come in the evening, you can witness Singapore's spectacular skyline during the famous lightshow "Spectra" that takes place every day at 8 and 9PM. It's free!
Above is a map with all the places and things to do in Singapore. Number 01-04 are all close to each other and within walking distance. If you don't like walking, the public transport is a breeze in Singapore. Alternatively, Grabcar is a very affordable taxi option, most rides will only cost a few dollars.
Another great option to explore Singapore is via bycycle. I recently started using OFO bikes and I love it! Grab a bike anywhere, no docking stations and rides are super cheap! With this link you can get 3 free rides!
WHERE TO STAY IN Singapore?
There is an incredible amount of hotels in Singapore, from budget to high-end hotels. However I suggest to book ahead of time, tourism in Singapore has increased over the years and during high or peak season you might have a hard time finding a place to stay in Singapore. Make sure that you're staying in the city center, so you can easily walk to many Singapore attractions, or take a quick ride from one place to another.
A great area to stay is Bugis, you have plenty sights in walking distance, plus you have public transport (MRT Bugis), connecting you with the airport, but also with the downtown area.
Andaz Hotel Singapore
I had the pleasure of staying an extended weekend at the wonderful Andaz Hotel Singapore. It's connected with the MRT station Bugis which makes it super convenient. The hotel occupies the 25th - 39th floors in one of the iconic DUO skyscrapers, some of the most impressive buildings in Singapore when it comes to contemporary design. The DUO twin towers won a Silver award in the “Best Futura Project” category at MIPIM Asia Awards 2012.
You can not imagine how excited I was when I got upgraded to a corner suite! The room had a spacious layout, with loads of natural light coming in through floor-to-ceiling windows. Everything was in earth colors, mixed with blue/purple and mustard tones. The bed was super comfortable, soft mattress and plenty of pillows, I had no problems falling asleep.
There is a desk to get some work done, with plenty of outlets and USB sockets. The living room area is big enough for 4-6 friends. The minibar offers a few sodas, juices, water and milk, some snacks such as popcorn, a granola bar and almonds covered in chocolate. Every item in the minibar is free, except for alcoholic drinks. I loved that!!
There is also a Nespresso coffee machine, so you can make yourself a coffee at any time! If you fancy some alcoholic beverages, there is actually a way to get free drinks, too! Every day from 5-7PM is Andaz Lounge Hour (on the 25th floor) where you can enjoy a selection of white and red wines, Andaz Pale Ale, some snacks - all complimentary for in-house guests! Who doesn't love complimentary drinks and snacks? Well, I do!
The breakfast buffet is huge, spread over 3 restaurants, you can take food from any of them and mix it up. I was impressed with the selection they offered, from Western to local dishes, egg station, plenty of fruits and veggies, cheeses, good selection of fresh juices, too. I loved the freshly made waffles and pancakes, mixed with berries.
There are 4 or 5 restaurants at Andaz, I tried 3 of them, I highly recommend Auntie's Wok and Steam for some local dishes! The veggie dumplings were to die for... So delicious!
After all those fantastic meals I supposed to go to the gym on the 38rd floor, but instead I went to the infinity pool on the 25th floor. Beautiful views over Singapore's skyline, you can definitely take a few awesome Instagram shots up there.
The rooftop on the 39th floor is a hidden gem, it's open all day, but the rooftop bar Mr Stork opens at 5PM. You can walk 360 degrees around on the rooftop and enjoy some fantastic views over Singapore. In case you were looking for things to do in Singapore for couples, this is the place! There are some tiki tents to sit as well, perfect for a romantic date.
Andaz Hotel has everything you'd expect from a good hotel. Perfect location, modern and comfortable rooms, gorgeous skyline views, fabulous food options, but most important: extremely friendly and welcoming staff! I would stay anytime at Andaz again, and already recommended my friends to check out this hotel for their next Singapore trip.
Click here for more info, room rates and availability.
HOW TO GET TO Singapore?
Singapore's International Airport, also known as Changi Airport is one of the largest hubs in Asia, serving more than 100 airlines, flying to over 100 countries in the world. Pretty much all major airlines have flights to Singapore, including the budget airlines such as Scoot, Jetstar, Air Asia, Cebu Pacific Air and many more. If you're looking for the cheapest flights to Singapore, I recommend Kiwi.com! It's a great flight search engine that compares all airlines and will find the best fares for you! I use it all the time.
The airport won several awards (including the best airport in the world) and is not a bad place to kill some time. There is a swimming pool with jacuzzi, a butterfly garden, a movie theatre and plenty more attractions. Here is a list of all facilities at Changi Airport.
How to get from the International Airport to Singapore's city center?
By Train: There is an MRT station between T2 and T3. You need to change trains at MRT station Tanah Merah to connect to a train that goes to the downtown area (about 45 min). Trains can be busy during rush hours and are only recommended if you travel light.
By Bus: Another cheap option to get to the center is by bus. There are bus stops at the basement of T1, T2 and T3. Bring small cash, a ride is about SG$2 (US$1,50) or less, no change given.
By Taxi: The most hassle free transport is by taxi. I always go for that option. A taxi from the airport to the city center cost aboutSG$20 -30 (US$15-22). Grabcar is a bit cheaper, I usually pay under SG$20 (US$1) for a ride downtown. There is free WiFi at the airport, you might be able to order a cab without using your data.
Changi Airport is about 20 kilometers away from the city center, a cab ride will take about 20-40 minutes, depending on the traffic.
I hope you enjoyed this travel guide to Singapore and have a fantastic time in this amazing city! If you have more ideas about things to do in Singapore, please leave them in the comments. Happy travels!
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Thanks to Andaz Singapore for hosting my stay in Singapore.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sabrina Iovino is the founder of JustOneWayTicket.com. She's half German, half Italian and has traveled to more than 50 countries around the globe.
She feels weird to write about herself in the third person, so she'll switch now. Phew...much better! Let's restart:
Hi, I'm Sab! This is my blog and I write about the things I love. Mostly.
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