Singapore has been on my bucket list for SO LONG and when I was planning my trip to Thailand this year and had the option of doing a layover, I took it as my sign to go! I ended up going to Singapore for 30 hours and made the most of it!
I basically crammed all of my saved places from pinterest into a day, and I’m going to share with you what I did and what I think are the highlights of the city that you can totally see in a day as well!
I’m used to doing really short trips, like 2 nights around europe to cities and let em tell you, I am such a “go go go” traveler that I normally see everything in a full day and spend the rest of the trip trying to figure out what else to do… often times I visit other nearby cities to get the most of it. And I know I could totally just relax and take in the new destination, but when I travel I always feel like I have to use every second to explore!
Anyways, back to Singapore… contrary to my typical trips, I definitely would recommend staying in Singapore for more than 24 hours. It was the first city that I have visited (other than London) where I felt like I needed more time to see everything. That being said though, if you get the opportunity to go to Singapore (even for a day) I’d 100% say go for it because it’s so amazing, even if you can only get a glimpse.
You guys… you could literally spend a whole day or two at the airport alone. It didn’t even feel like an airport, but more like an amusement park type of place. They had a massive mall, the world’s largest indoor waterfall, bumper cars, a movie theater, a spa, indoor pool, cactus garden, (and tons of other stuff I haven’t even checked out/researched!) Once you arrive in the
Transit is very accessible in Singapore, and they have the MRT (a tube/metro/subway) that covers pretty much the whole city, and branches off at the airport. From the airport, it takes about 30 minutes to get into central Singapore.
I also found the MRT came quite frequently, being within 2-8 minutes.
The MRT costs 2.5SGD, where the Singapore dollar is pretty equivalent to the CAD. They accept payment by card, so you can use your credit card to tap in and out of the MRT, and you will not need to purchase tickets.
I found the MRT closed quite early, where 11:10pm was the approximate time of the latest departures at most stations.
Grab is the equivalent to Uber in Singapore, although it is MUCH cheaper than uber. For a 30 minute drive, it is approximately 15-20 SGD.
There are also buses throughout the city that are easy to use as well, and allow you to pay by cards. The buses are 0.99SGD.
When I visited Singapore it was December, but it was still 35 degrees during the day. I would walk if my next destination was 30 minutes or less, however the heart made everything seem so much farther and more difficult.
I also noticed that I seemed to be the only person walking, and I was really surprised by this because even on the weekend right by marin abay sands, there were barely any people around; the city felt quite empty at all times.
The other thing about Singapore is it can be quite difficult to find a proper path to walk on; so many times I had to walk past my destination just to be able to find a crosswalk to cross the street.
One time a worker at a hotel asked me where I was going and I told him I was walking, and even though I was only 10 minutes away he looked shocked that I was actually walking- that gave me the impression that it is not typical to walk in the city.
When I navigated the city, I used apple maps and city mappers the whole time. I just followed where it told me to get on and off and I was totally fine.
It was also nice because everywhere was in English as well, which made it really easy to get around.
This one wasn’t at all an issue, I just wanted to share because I found the laws here REALLY interesting. And this certainly isn’t a guide on all of the laws, just a few that shocked me compared to what i’m used to, living in London UK.
It is illegal to chew gum and possess gum in Singapore. The fine if caught for the offenses follow based on occurrence: $100, $500, $1000.
You are also not allowed to bring gum into the country; if you have more than 2 packs it is a $5000 fine and/ or 2 years in jail.
You also are not allowed to eat or drink, or it is a 500SGD fine. I kept forgetting this one and was casually drinking my matcha, and kept getting paranoid that I’d get caught leaving the train.
Crossing the road
I briefly mentioned this earlier, but they had signs everywhere that said you couldn’t cross the road. I’m not sure what the fine was, but I wasn’t going to change it. They also had cameras pretty much everywhere, which can fine you as well.
Things to do in Singapore
Ok now for the fun part… lets cram as much of Singapore as we can into a day! This was my original itinerary for the day:
8am: Supertree Grove
9am: Merlion park
10am: Orchid gardens
11:30: Botanical Gardens
1:30: Sentosa island
3pm: Little India st
5:30: Art Science Museum
8pm: Supertree Grove
When I make my daily schedules when traveling, I typically end up so far ahead of schedule, and this is the first time that this was not the case in Singapore…. I actually had to take a couple things off my list for the day lol. This was my original schedule for the day:
-starting w trees, less crowded
-head over to marina bay
-head over to Sentosa island
I was planning on getting up and starting my day at 6am that day, but after a 28 hour travel journey and not sleeping until 3am the night I arrived in singapore, I accidentally slept through so many alarms and woke up at 9… so if you’re not like me you could likely squeeze in a couple more things in those extra 3 hours. After I visited Sentosa island, I realized I definitely wouldn’t have time to do everything, and so I focused on doing the things I wanted to do the most, and then decided to do other things if I had time afterwards.
Another thing I wanted to say about Singapore is that it is not a very walkable city. First of all, 1km in 30 degree weather feels like a lot longer than 1km in 10-20 degree weather! Another thing I noticed about Singapore was that it was really difficult to cross the street at times and sidewalks would just end; on top of this, many areas were explicitly illegal to walk in which made it to difficult and I found myself walking so far past where I needed to cross just to be able to cross the road.
Anyways I would recommend seeing the Supertrees first thing in the morning, this way they are less crowded, and you can start your day in central singapore. From here you can choose to go up the trees, which costs 10SGD and gives a cool perspective of the supertrees as you can fully be immersed in them, as well as having such an amazing view of the island; you can even see the ocean. I would recommend giving yourself an hour in Supertree Grove, which includes time to walk around the park a bit and take in all the views.
From here you can easily walk through marina bay sands and you’ll find yourself close to merlion park, which you may as well see since you’re so close already. It has a great view of the Singapore skyline and you can get your tourist shot with merlion itself.
Once you are here, you can catch the MRT in the basement of Marina Bay Sands, and head to whichever point you want to visit next. From here I would recommend going to Sentosa Island; once you get to the Sentosa express, you can take it for free to the island- entry to the island is also completely free! There are 4 islands in the Sentosa Island group and each one has a completely different purpose, so I would recommend looking ahead of time to see what island you want to visit. I personally visited the beach and it was stunning. When you are on the island they have shuttles to get you around, or you can always walk.
After this you’ll probably want to stop for lunch before continuing your busy day!
After lunch I would recommend you visit the orchid garden, it is 3SGD for seniors, 15SGD for adults, and 3SGD for students. You could easily spend a couple hours here, and again you can access it from the MRT. There is also a massive park outside the gardens that stretches for over 1km in between the MRT station and the gardens, which you can admire as you walk through; the plants are quite amazing and I found it so cool to see so many wild versions of the plants I had in my own home!
After this, you will likely only have time for one more thing before evening, where you will probably want to spend back at supertree grove for the garden rhapsody light show!
Some options you could choose are to visit Little India street, which is super colorful and fun, or head over to the art science museum to see the futuristic mirror room. You could also head back near marina bay sands, and check out the Singapore Flyer! It is absolutely massive in person, I live in London and I couldn’t believe that it was bigger than the London eye!
The garden rhapsody light show was on my bucket list for a while, and it was so mesmerizing in person. It happens twice daily: 7:45pm & 8:45pm. It is also free to watch. Make sure you go to the area with more trees, as there are two areas: one with 16 trees and one with 4.
-The MRT is an amazing way to get around Singapore; it is not too difficult to use and is really clean and safe
-plan your day accordingly, there is so much to see and you can do a lot in one day if you have a plan
-careful about eating & drinking in certain areas, make sure it isn’t illegal!
-Don’t worry about safety, Singapore honestly is one of the safest cities in the world and it is super futuristic and developed