The Lion City is known for its booming economy, efficiency, cleanliness, high-rise buildings, and loads of attractions for visitors of all age groups and with varied interests. There is no doubt that Singapore is expensive, but with some insider tips, it’s easy to explore this tiny country without overspending.In this post, we give you details about the places to visit, things to do, and places to shop so you can plan your trip to Singapore.
The best way to explore Singapore is by public transportation. The MRT and bus systems are very efficient, and most of the major attractions are close to MRT stations or within a walkable distance. If you are visiting Singapore for three or five days, then spend S$20 on the Three-Day Tourist Pass, which gives you unlimited travel on public transportation and free entry to some attractions. You can read all about the pass on the official website.
If you are planning to book a taxi in Singapore, you don’t have to haggle. Most taxis here run on meters.
Top Things to Do in Singapore
Visit Sentosa Island
This is one of the most well-known theme parks around the world. The Sentosa theme park is situated on Sentosa island, which has resorts, beaches, aquariums, bird parks, Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, skywalks, cable cars, just to name a few of the attractions. It’s a fun destination for children and adults.
The Singapore Tourist Pass doesn’t include tickets for the Sentosa Express, so you need to buy them separately. When you visit, don’t miss the two major attractions, Universal Studios Singapore and SEA Aquarium.
1. Universal Studios Singapore
Unleash your inner child and have fun on the rides at Universal Studios. If you visit on the weekend or a public holiday, be ready to wait for an hour or more for just one ride, as it’s quite popular among locals and tourists.
2. SEA Aquarium
Discover the magical underwater environment at the world’s second-largest aquarium. SEA Aquarium houses the world’s largest collection of manta rays, dolphins, and one-of-a-kind guitarfish. You can find all the attractions and details here.
Gardens By the Bay
The Gardens By the Bay’s Supertrees look straight out of a futuristic alien land. You have to pay to walk on the Skyway, but you can view the light and sound show for free every night at 7:45 and 8:45. Plan to arrive a bit early so that you can grab the best spot to enjoy the show.
When you visit the Gardens By the Bay, you can also tour the Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest. A ticket for both attractions costs $28.
Find Solitude at the Chinese and Japanese Gardens
Also known as the Jurong Gardens, this is one peaceful place to escape the hustle and bustle. Here, you’ll find various pavilions, pagodas inspired by the Northern Imperial style, stone bridges, and waterfalls.
Get Up Close to Penguins at Jurong Bird Park
One of the world’s largest bird parks and home to some 400 species and 29 threatened species, Jurong Bird Park is a great attraction for families and solo travelers alike. The park spans 49 acres and is situated on Jurong Hill on the west side of Singapore.
From flamingos to penguins, the park is home to many varieties of birds. Several bird shows take place throughout the day, and you can even feed the African penguins. As a souvenir, you can get your photo taken with colorful birds near the park’s entrance. To save money, buy a combo pass for the Singapore Zoo and Jurong Bird Park.
Enjoy a Bird’s-Eye View
Many places in Singapore offer bird’s-eye views of the city. Try one of the following spots:
- Singapore Flyer: The best time to visit is post-sunset when the entire city lights up.
- Sands SkyPark Observation Deck: The Marina Bay Sands offers unobstructed views from its rooftop for S$23.
- 1-Altitude: An alternative to the SkyPark Observation Deck, 1-Altitude invites you to order a drink while enjoying the same view.
- Esplanade Roof Terrace: The entry is free and it offers a spectacular view overlooking the Marina Bay Sands.
Take a Photo With the Merlion Statue
It’s not mandatory, but a visit to Singapore without a picture of the Merlion statue is like going to Paris without getting a single photo of the Eiffel Tower. This waterfront photo spot is also quite beautiful, as from here, you can also marvel at attractions like the Marina Bay Sands, the Esplanade, and the Singapore Flyer.
The Merlion is Singapore’s mascot. It’s half lion and half mermaid, hence the name Merlion.
Explore the Neighborhoods
Singapore is home to a mix of cultures. Simply walk around and enjoy the three of the city’s liveliest neighborhoods at your own pace.
Chinatown is full of colorful shops and bright lanterns. Don’t miss the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple or the Sri Mariamman Temple when you visit this neighborhood.
2. Arab Street
The palm trees, the Sultan Mosque, and various shops selling carpets and trinkets will teleport you to the Arab world. Don’t miss the Instagram-famous Haji Lane, which is quite popular for quirky cafés and street art.
3. Little India
Wander past the colorful buildings, soak up the energy, and feast your senses. Visit the old temples, eat at any of the hawker centers, or just stroll around taking in all Little India has to offer.
If you have extra time or if you’re traveling with kids, add the following attractions to your itinerary:
- National Orchid Garden and Singapore Botanic Gardens
- Singapore River Cruise
- Singapore Zoo
- River Safari
- Singapore River Walk
- Hello Kitty Town
- Nature Walks: Don’t miss the Bukit Batok Nature Park Walking Trail, Fort Canning Park, or the Southern Ridges Trail, which passes through Mount Faber Park.
- Museums: The National Museum of Singapore, the Art and Science Museum, the Asian Civilization Museum, the Museum of Toys, the Indian Heritage Center, and the Singapore Chinese Opera Museum are all worth a visit. Most of the museums close by 5 p.m., so plan accordingly.
Day Trips From Singapore
- Changi Museum and Kranji War Memorial
- Bawah Island: For luxury seekers, this is the perfect place to escape. It’s accessible only by seaplane.
- Bintan Island: The island is famous for beaches and resorts. It’s two hours from Singapore.
- Pulau Ubin Island: You can take a ferry from Changi Point to one of the last surviving traditional villages in Singapore.
- Malacca, Malaysia: In four hours, you can reach Malacca, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Where to Stay in Singapore
Singapore is no doubt expensive, but you can find everything from hostels to luxury accommodations sprinkled around the country. If you don’t want to shell out a lot of money but still would prefer to stay in luxury, check out IHG hotels throughout Singapore.
Top Places to Eat
Try the following local delicacies at the People’s Park Complex, Makansutra Gluttons Bay, the Tekka Food Centre, and other locations around Singapore:
- Nasi Lemak
- Char Kway Teow
- Kaya Toast
- Ice Kachang
For fine dining, try Ce La Vi, Iggy’s at the Hilton Hotel, Odette, Restaurant Andre, or Waku Ghin at the Marina Bay Sands. JAAN at Swissotel The Stamford is also great, and the view from the 70th floor is amazing.
Top Places to Shop
Singapore is nowhere close to Thailand or Indonesia in terms of thrift shopping, but you can still find some great deals and steals. If you love Charles & Keith’s bag, you can also get it at an amazing price in Singapore. Here are the top places to shop:
- Mustafa Shopping Center: This mall is open 24/7 and offers everything under one roof at bargain prices.
- Vivo Mall: For high-end collections, this is a great place to shop.
- Marina Bay Sands: From Prada to Louis Vuitton to Gucci, this shopping center can meet all your luxury shopping needs.
- Orchard Road: Go here for both high-end and discount shopping.
- Bugis Street: This is a mecca for shopaholics. You will find loads of amazing fashion at dirt-cheap prices, so do brush up on your bargaining skills.
Singapore Tourist Visa for Indians
If you are planning to apply for a tourist visa for Singapore on your own, then do read about our experience here.
We hope our mini guide is useful for planning your trip to this amazing country. Let us know if we have missed anything in the comment box below.
If you do find our article useful in planning your trip, don’t forget to send a note/picture of your trip to us ( Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
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