Akshat & I have been hosting many guests for the last 8 months that we have spent together in our new home. The duration of their stay varied and we always found it challenging to create a perfect itinerary for our guests with a mix of touristic and non-touristic experiences. After a few trials, we have been able to create an itinerary that would create a memorable experience for you and your loved ones.
Interesting Facts About Singapore
- This country has absolutely no natural resources and pretty much everything is imported when it comes to your daily supplies. Keep this in mind as you wander around the streets of Singapore as you would totally appreciate the Singapore in an entirely different light.
- Process is the norm. Without even you realizing it, you will become a part of the process. For example: people always stand on left side of the escalators leaving space on the right for people who walk to walk down and are in a rush.
- More than 70% of Singaporeans do not cook at home. There are infinite eating options in Singapore and beyond what you can imagine. Do try the famous “chilli crab” if you are on this island country.
- With this little background about Singapore, let me give you a tour of how your visit can potentially look like with some local flavor. 🙂
- Day 1: Botanical Garden, Orchard Street, Clarke Quay
- Day 2: Singapore Zoo, River Safari, Arab Street
- Day 3: Sentosa: Universal Studios/SEA Aquarium/ Madam Tussauds (1 or 2 days depending on whether you choose to do 1 or multiple attractions)
- Day 4: Chinatown, Singapore Flyer, Gardens By the Bay, Marina Bay Sands & Casino
- Day 5: Jurong Bird Park, Chinese Garden
- Day 6: Little India, Bugis Street, Kampong Glam, Night Safari
- Day 7: Tree Top Tour, Lian Shan Shuang Lin Monastery, East Coast Park
Day 1: Botanical Garden, Orchard Street, Clarke Quay
Most people would recommend the man-made attractions first in Singapore but if you are not pressed for time, I recommend that you start you trip with something more serene, quiet and peaceful. Botanical gardens are not just beautiful but also refreshing.
You can then hit the popular Orchard Street which is famous for shopping amongst tourists. Any and every brand is available within a stretch of 1-2 Kms. However, if you want to buy fakes, you can consider to go to Lucky Plaza which is also on the Orchard street.
Clarke Quay looks best on weekend. The view is phenomenal with restaurants and pubs on either side of the river and there is live music almost everywhere for you to sing and dance along. This street is open till early morning (4 AM) so you can go there late in the evening.
Day 2: Singapore Zoo, River Safari, Arab Street
Singapore Zoo is a must do attraction. I have written a separate post on this. Please click here for more information. If you are an animal lover this might take up your entire day. River Safari is right next to the Singapore Zoo. If you are pressed for time, I wouldn’t recommend River Safari. You can end your day with a walk on the Arab Street. It is a street with amazing restaurants in a very Arabic style.
Day 3: Sentosa: Universal Studios/ SEA Aquarium/ Madam Tussauds
Sentosa is by far THE most popular destination in Singapore. If you have 1 day, you ought to visit this one. Sentosa is an island that is totally commercialized with numerous attractions. If you intend to do all the attractions, it may end up taking upto 3 days. If you have just one day for Sentosa, my pick would be Universal Studios along with the ‘Wings of Time’ light and sound show in the evening on the Sentosa beach.
Day 4: China Town, Singapore Flyer, Gardens By the Bay, Marina Bay Sands & Casino
If you are in Singapore, you ought to see Chinatown. While it is crowded, Chinatown offers very unique experience with assorted souvenirs, which you can take for your loved ones. There are free walking tours for Chinatown on specific days and I highly recommend to do the tour if your schedule permits. Click here for more information.
Gardens by the Bay is an engineering marvel. There are 2 domes: flower dome and cloud forest; both are equipped with centralized air conditioning so you can enjoy the domes even if it is hot and humid outside. These domes have specific opening and closing time so prioritize the domes before you see the rest of the gardens. Light and sound show happens every day in the evening at regular intervals which is free of cost.
Singapore Flyer is a one-time experience. It is a 30 mins ride on a giant-wheel and gives you a panoramic view of the whole city. It opens daily from 8:30 AM to 10 PM. The best time would be around 6 PM so that you can see the city both in the day and with the lights. You can find more by clicking here.
You can end your day with a visit to Marina Bay Sands (MBS) which is walking distance from the Gardens by the Bay. It is the iconic building of Singapore and you simply cannot miss it as it visible from everywhere in the central part of Singapore. The entry to the casino at MBS is free of cost and it is quite an experience to see folks playing with $1000 chips on the blackjack tables. Please do carry your passports as you will not be allowed to enter without the passports. The experience of the roof top bar (Ku De Ta) in MBS is also quite nice but I would recommend 1-Altitude as it offers better views and cheaper than Ku De Ta. If you have seen casinos in Vegas before, dont be surprised to see people dressed in casuals and shorts. There is no dress code here except closed shoes.
Day 5: Jurong Bird Park, Chinese Garden
Jurong Bird Park has gorgeous colorful collection of birds and some of them are rare species. If you want to get close shots with birds, this makes a perfect place.
Chinese garden is not very far from Jurong Bird Park (Nothing is far in Singapore!). It will retract you from the busy city life of Singapore and will take you into another world. I love these gardens. And yes, don’t forget to check out the Turtle sanctuary inside Chinese garden. It is quite an experience to see tortoise and turtles moving around and you can feed them too! Adjacent to these are Japanese gardens whose architecture is very different from the Chinese gardens. Indeed, a great place for photography! Click here to read more about Chinese gardens. I recommend you do either of the 2 gardens: Chinese Garden or Botanical Garden depending on time availability.
Day 6: Little India, Bugis Street, Kampong Glam, Night Safari
Similar to Chinatown, Little India also very unique and distinct. One of the most fascinating places is Mustafa which is a huge shopping center that sells everything from groceries to luggage. It beats Walmart in a lot of ways! Little India also has various options for good Indian food. Note: If you are an Indian and do not crave for crowd or Indian food, I do not recommend it as you will not find anything exclusive.
Bugis Street is the shopping street in Singapore where you get very cheap stuff. Some people really enjoy going there. If you enjoy street shopping, this street is worth your time. The area adjacent to it is Kampong Glam which is very rich in culture and heritage.
Night Safari is closer to the Singapore Zoo and I donot recommend to club this with the Zoo unless you are running out of time. Doing Night Safari on a different day will enhance your experience and make you love the safari even more! Do not miss out on the walking trails. Do every single of them. It’s fun!
Day 7: Tree Top Tour, Lian Shan Shuang Lin Monastery, East Coast Park
This is really something which the locals do so if you don’t have time, I wouldn’t recommend it. Tree Top Tour closes at 5PM and is a wonderful experience to get a bird eye view of the forest and experience the city in a slightly different way.
Tree Top Tour can become very strenuous is you are not into walking/trekking of sorts. The other great option would be to go to Lian Shan Shuang Lin Monastery. This monastery is about 100+ years old and very historic. This is what I really love about Singapore. You can see really beautiful mosques, monasteries, hindu temples & churches all in this really small country. Below is my Instagram feed for the monastery. It is indeed very beautiful and the pictures do not do a justice at all.
Best time to visit East Coast Park (ECP) is around 5 PM you can ride bikes and cycle around the coast overlooking the sea. I love visiting ECP as this place is so vibrant. You can watch kids skating, folks running, people hosting barbecue, boys playing volleyball and some adventurous folks camping in this beautiful stretch.
While there is lot more to do, these places form the essence of this truly inspiring city! Hope you truly enjoy your stay here in Singapore. I would love to hear back from you if you are travelling to Singapore anytime soon and would need any assistance. 🙂
Have you already been to Singapore? Which was your favorite place? Do pen down your thoughts here…
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