24 Hours in Singapore
From morning to night, we'll show you the way
Myriam Ohlig for My Guide Singapore
Gracefully poised at the Southern point of the Malayan Peninsula, almost halfway between Europe and Australasia, Singapore offers a privileged gateway to the Asia Pacific region. The island-city also boasts one of Asia’s best-connected airports, a convenient road access to Malaysia and a state-of-the-art cruise centre - hence why travelling to and from Singapore by air, land or sea is simply a breeze. So why not stop over for a while? Come and be awed by the ultra modern garden city, this rich medley of Western lifestyle and Asian culture, this splendid honeypot of attractions and perpetual entertainment.
Is it your first visit to Singapore? Maybe you are coming from other parts of Asia popular with Singaporeans
passing you in the opposite direction at the airport. Do you have any time constraints? Whether you’re looking for an exciting city break, a pain relief between your long-distance flights or just a way to add a bit of rollick to your business
trip, we’ve put together an exciting itinerary to explore Singapore in just 24 hours! From morning to night we’ll show you the way; with just the right amount of fun-filled activities so that from the time you’ll set foot on Singapore, every single hour of your short trip will be filled with memorable and mesmerising moments.
Before you go, you should decide how would you like to spend your one-night sleep in Singapore. Beside staying at the airport
or on your cruise ship, how about an all-day-and-night enjoyment, right in the middle of the action? Book your accommodation
in the Orchard Road
, Civic District
or Little India
area, or else in one of Singapore’s integrated resorts. Most importantly, choose a well-connected hotel
so that you won’t get stuck in case of heavy rain
, you’ll be quickly in bed after a late night
partying and right on time for your early morning flight or meeting. Based near an MRT station
, bus stop
or taxi stand
, you’ll have more time to swing by your hotel
for a short break.
Prepared with My Guide Singapore on your mobile phone
, your one-day Tourist Pass
and a bottle of water to stand the tropical heat, you’re now ready to explore the best of Singapore.
Start off your single day in Singapore with a satisfying local breakfast
at Lau Pa Sat
* or at the Golden Shoe Food Centre
. Don’t be shy, go and mingle with the local business crowd! In the 150-year-old landmark or the humble hawker centre, surrounded by fabulous high-rise buildings, get your fix of kopi, kaya toasts and soft-boiled eggs.
9am: Marina Bay
If there is only one thing you can do in Singapore, go to the Marina Bay area
. From Lau Pa Sat
, walk onto Raffles Quay towards the 18 metre red sculpture 'Momentum' (2007, by Israeli artist David Gerstein) and pause for a short while to dip into the soul of the Central Business District
. Hustling and bustling during weekdays, it becomes all quiet on weekends. Amidst an imposing assortment of gleaming glass towers, this is your chance to capture some architectural shots of Singapore’s most innovative skyscrapers. Then turn right on Marina Blvd. to reach the most visited part of Singapore: Marina Bay
. As you toddle towards the Merlion Park
, this is a spectacular vista that unfolds before you: the awe-inspiring Marina Bay Sands
with its three iconic towers; the ArtScience Museum
also known as 'The Welcoming Hand of Singapore'; Helix Bridge; the heaven of greenery, Gardens by the Bay
; the world's largest giant observation wheel, Singapore Flyer
; the Esplanade
and the Merlion
. Take your time to immortalise your visit to Singapore with a photo session at the Merlion Park
. And don’t forget to take the funny shots too: the one with you holding Singapore Flyer
or drinking from the Merlion fountain
For true refreshment, there’s a good offering of restaurants and cafés
in this area but If you proceed further down, passing under the Esplanade Bridge and going onto the Anderson Bridge, you’ll certainly meet one of the iconic ice cream men with his red and white Wall’s cart, the specialty here is the traditional yam-corn-chocolate ice cream served within plain wafers or atop a cone.
Just off the bridge, take the first path on your right that leads to the shaded Esplanade Park. As you make your way back through the tunnel, spot the S$1,000 fine addressed to bicycle riders who fail to disembark their two-wheels (This is one of the many don’ts you should observe while visiting Singapore). On the other side, two buildings stand tall and gorgeous. Once the Raffles Museum and the General Post Office, today the Asian Civilsation Museum
and The Fullerton Hotel
are dignified reminders of Singapore colonial heritage. They are linked by the Cavenagh Bridge, a popular spot for romantic pictures. Have you noticed the young boys jumping into the river? The sculpture 'First Generation' (2000, by Singaporean artist Chong Fahcheong) has become one of Singapore’s most iconic artwork.
There’s a nice amble along Singapore River
passed Sir Stamford Raffles
statue, the Parliament House towards Clarke Quay
with bumboats plying up and down the river, but let’s keep this part for later. It’s time to explore some of Singapore’s most vibrant cultural heritage in Chinatown
A 15 minute walk from the Parliament House will take you to the heart of Chinatown
. On North Bridge Rd, cross the Elgin Bridge and take a leisurely stroll on South Bridge Rd. Observe how the street turns from high rise buildings to HDB public housings and then to charming Chinese shophouses. You have reached Chinatown
. South Bridge Road is nearly unique as it displays not only a Buddhist temple but also Hindu and Muslim houses of worship: Masjid Jamae Mosque
, the first mosque of Singapore; Sri Mariamman Temple
the oldest and most important Hindu temple of the country; Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum
, known for being home to one of the Buddha’s teeth.
From here, wind your way through Chinatown
's narrow streets: Sago Street, Smith Street, Temple Street, Pagoda Street and Mosque Street, with their load of cheap and pretty souvenirs stalls, electronic stores, and restaurants serving Chinese and local fare. During Chinese New Year
, the ethnic enclave becomes even more vibrant with its myriad Chinese decorations, delicacies and thousands of lampion lights. After all your wandering, your stomach must be growling by now and your legs asking for mercy. Choose your lunch stop at one of the local restaurants
, at Maxwell Food Centre
or on the hip Club Street, Ann Siang Hill and Duxton area for some Western delights.
Depending on where you’ve had lunch, you might be ready around 1.30pm to experience a shopping
spree on Orchard Road
. Head to Chinatown MRT station and alight at Orchard MRT station.
2pm: Shopping Afternoon on Orchard Road
is the one street every visitor to Singapore must experience. The 'Great street' draws fashionistas in search of luxury-brands and high-street shopping. With its 22 shopping malls, there are enough options for you to go on a serious shopping trip. From Orchard MRT station to Dhoby Ghaut MRT station, gaze at some breathtaking architectures such as Ion on Orchard
, Mandarin Gallery
and Orchard Central
. They are simply beautiful from the outside and the inside, sparklingly clean and comfortably air conditioned. If you have the choice, don’t miss the frenzied atmosphere of the Great Singapore Sale
or feel the enchanting spirit of the Christmas season
and see how Orchard Road
turns into a dazzling wonderland of lights and decorations.
After all your excursions, take a short break at your accommodation
. Drop your precious shopping
finds or just pause and relax, especially if you desperately need a nap to beat your jet lag.
5.30pm: Gardens by the Bay
Your stopover in Singapore won’t be complete without a visit to Marina Bay Sands’ rooftop
and Gardens by the Bay
. Showcasing the best of tropical horticulture and garden artistry, the national gardens offer their mind-blowing Supertrees and cooled conservatories, a splendid heaven of greenery.
7pm Marina Bay Sands
Tower 3, 57th floor: this is the place where you should head to. The SkyPark
’s public observation deck allows visitors unique experiences, lush garden ambiance and spectacular scenery. It is also at this level that you’ll find the trendy rooftop bar KU DÉ TA
and the famous infinity pool only accessible to the hotel’s guests.
At 7.45pm gaze at the ravishing illumination of the Supertree Grove
followed at 8pm by the laser show
at Marina Bay Sands
itself. Several timings are available and the shows can be seen from the top or from the Merlion Park
. But the best spot is certainly the Event Plaza at the Waterfront Promenade just in front of the whirlpool installation, 'the Rain Oculus' (2011, by American artist Ned Kahn).
8.30pm Dinner at Clarke Quay
Enjoy the magical sight of the city lights with a scenic ride of Marina Bay and Singapore River. From the Artscience Museum, come on board a river taxi to end your evening on Clarke Quay. The bustling waterfront promenade stretching from Boat Quay to Robertson Quay is a main draw for both locals and tourists alike. Renowned as some of the best nightspots in Singapore, terrace and sophisticated bars, al fresco dining outlets and fancy clubs also include Western, Asian and fine seafood restaurants. This is a perfect site for night owls to end up their exploration of Singapore unless they prefer a return to Marina Bay
or Club Street in Chinatown
for post dinner and late night
dancing. Some places stay open until dawn and then it’s time for another local breakfast
* Lau Pa Sat is currently under renovation and will reopen in 2014.