While I generally recommend to take your time when traveling, Singapore, Asia for Beginners, is the easiest city in Asia to see on a “Perfect Day” itinerary: The compact size of the island nation and the great public transfer make it easy to see the multiethnic heritage, enjoy amazing parks, great shopping and dining, all in a single day! Check out my suggested itinerary for a short visit to Singapore!
For a short trip to Singapore, you want to stay close to an MRT train station to make it easy. Check out my tips for the Best Area to Stay in Singapore!
Singapore is majority Chinese, but also has a Malay and Indian population and of course it’s British Colonial history. If you want to understand Singapore today, it’s great to see where it has come from and check out the rich history! You can start at the oldest Hindu temple in Singapore, Sri Veeramakaliamman, near Farrer Park MRT in Little India and check out this little neighborhood. While you are here, visit the 24h Mustafa Center, the most unusual, affordable and fun mall in Singapore – something you won’t find elsewhere on the island!
Make your way to the Sultan Mosque and Arab Street next for a whole different picture of Singapore. Nearby is the Malay Heritage Center, a good option to learn more about the Muslim and Malay history in Singapore.
From Bugis MRT you can take the short train trip to City Hall MRT – the colonial history is next on your tour. You can see St. Andrew’s Cathedral, the largest in the country, as well as the Singapore Cricket Club and Padang. The iconic Merlion, half lion, half fish is on the waterfront a short stroll away.
After all this walking you’ve earned yourself a lunch – the nearby Boat Quay has plenty of restaurants with nice river views. Your last heritage stop is Chinatown with its narrow alleys, shops and food places with a character all its own! Don’t miss the beautiful Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and nearby Sri Mariamman Temple!
In the last few hours, you have experienced the sights, sounds and smells of three very different cultures that all contribute to modern-day Singapore and no trip to the city is truly complete without experiencing them! Now, it’s time for some peace, quiet and natural beauty – something that you might not associate with a bustling city like Singapore, so take the train from Chinatown MRT to Bayfront MRT and visit the Gardens by the Bay, one of my favorite places in Singapore to take visitors while living in the city. See the stunning Super Trees, something only Singapore could come up with, the landscaped gardens and the amazing domes showcasing two very different climates and faunas!
Singapore is a beautiful city by day, but even prettier by night. And there is no better place to see it than the rooftop bar at the Fullerton Bay Hotel. Relax with a cocktail, watch the spectecular light show at the Marina Bay Sands hotel and let all the experience from this whirlwind tour of Singapore sink in!