What to see in Singapore?

Many people over last year have asked me questions regarding best places to see in Singapore. If you are also planning to visit Singapore and looking for places to visit, this post is for you!

Singapore is an ideal destination as it has something for everyone. If you are traveling solo or with Friends or with Family, Singapore will not disappoint you. Special attractions for kids has made Singapore popular among kids and amazing night life has left young people spell bound. Extremely safe for ladies and easy transportation facilities has made Singapore a favorite destination among globe trotters.

If you are a Beach lover or a nature lover and want to get lost in wild, unfortunately, Singapore is not for you. I will suggest heading to nearby countries like Malaysia and Indonesia instead.

When to Visit Singapore

You can visit Singapore round the year. Singapore has a moderate climate throughout the year. Temperature ranges from a minimum of 23-26 degrees at night to maximum of 30-32 degree in a day. Rain is quite unpredictable in Singapore. It may rain in any month so it is suggested to be prepared. However, rain does not continue for days all together so nothing to worry. It may rain for few hours and then stop.

What to See in Singapore

Places covered in this post are not in any order of preference.
So you may choose a maximum number of places you can cover considering the days in hand. At the end of this post, I have created a suggested Five Day sample Itinerary. Please feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions or if you want any help in designing your plan.

  1. Sentosa

    Sentosa is known as “Asia’s biggest playground”. And looking at the number of visitors, estimated at five million every year, this is quite justified. Sentosa has so much to offer to a visitor of every age. Hotels, restaurants, bars, museums, Aquariums, beaches, theme park, adventure park, water park, sky diving simulation, segways, sky trolleys  etc are available to cater ever growing number of tourists. Sentosa island is dedicated to tourists visiting Singapore.

    1. Universal Studios

      Please see this detailed post (Link opens in new tab) for more information.
      Show Times: All Day
      Time to spend: 4-5 Hours


    2. S.E.A Aquarium

      The S.E.A Aquarium is one of the world’s largest aquarium. It has more than 100,000 marine animals of over 800 species. The aquarium comprises 10 zones with 49 habitats. The centerpiece of the Aquarium is the Open Ocean tank. Aquarium has a huge viewing panel. A not to be missed attraction in Singapore.
      Show Times: All Day
      Time to spend: 3-4 Hours

    3. Wings of Time

      Wings of time is open air theater show setup in sea front and also a must see attraction in Sentosa. Featuring pyrotechnics, water fountains and multimedia effects, the show tells the story of two teenagers, Felix and Rachel, and their adventures as they help a bird-like creature named Shahbaz find its way home.
      The 25-minute show was created at an expense of $10 million.
      Show Times: 7.40pm & 8.40pm daily
      Time to spend: 30 mins

    4. Under water World and Dolphin Lagoon

      (Closed Permanently as of 26 June 2016)

      Dolphin Show is known for spectacular performances by the Pink dolphins and fur seals.
      Highlights of Marine life include sharks and rays, Sea Dragons, Sea Angels and living fossils for a kaleidoscope of oceanic perspectives.
      It is indeed a terrific experience seeing sharks swimming over your head.
      Another awesome creature which I liked was, Sea dragon, they are the most beautiful marine creatures I have seen.
      A huge tunnel like oceanarium is one of its kinds and displays marine life in its natural habitat.
      Show Times: Check website for latest schedule
      Time to spend: 3-4 Hours
      Fancy swimming with Dolphins? Check these links:

      under water world

      Under Water World

      Dolphin Show

      Dolphins Show

    5. Trick Eye Museum

      Trick Eye museum as the name suggest refers to a technique that turns two-dimensional paintings into a three-dimensional image through optical illusion. 2D paintings are made on floor, walls and ceiling to provide a 3D effect. Mainly for kids and families, where they can make creative poses and have fun. Make sure you carry your camera along.
      Show Times: All Day
      Time to spend: 2-4 Hours

      Trick Eye Museum

    6. Madame Tussaud’s Museum

    7. Butter fly and Insect Kingdom

    8. Cable Car

    9. Palawan Beach & Southern Most point of continental Asia

      Check this link to find “How to reach Sentosa

  2. Gardens By The Bay

    1. Cloud Forest

      A climate controlled man made dome, mimicking cool and moist conditions on top of tropical mountains between 1,000 and 3,000 m (3,300 to 9,800ft) above sea level. A huge skyways take you through mossy garden with spectacular views. Forest also presents world tallest man-made waterfall.
      Time to spend: 2-4 Hours

    2. Flower Dome

      Another man made dome beside Cloud Forest, mimics dry climate of between 23-25° C and features a range of plants from Mediterranean, Australian, South American and South African regions.
      Time to spend: 2-4 Hours

    3. Super Tree Grove

      Five giant (25-50m) metallic tree which houses walls of vertical garden. These trees are self-sustainable with solar panels. Twice daily, a free musical light show, called OCBC Garden Rhapsody illuminates these trees. Another must watch show
      Time to spend: 2-4 Hours
      Show Times: 7:45PM and 8:45PM Daily

      Gardens By the Bay

    4. OCBC Skyway

      Connecting these Super Trees is a OCBC sky way. You will have to shell out 5S$ to get on the Skyway but the view from the top are amazing.
      Time to spend: 15-20 mins

      Tips: All Garden By the bay attractions are close to each other and can be covered at the same day.
      Visit Super tree grove after 7PM. They look amazing when lit up with lights.

  3. Marina Bay Area

    1. Merlion Park

      Icon of Singapore, Merlion statue, is  half Lion and half Fish. Body symbolizing Singapore’s history as a fishing village and head represents Singapore’s original name, Singapura, or ‘lion city’ in Malay.
      If you are looking for a perfect “Done it” photograph from Singapore trip, Merlion Park is the place to be. It will be safe to say this is the most photographed place in Singapore, with hordes of tourist flocking in everyday.
      Nearest MRT station: Raffles Place
      Show Times: All Day
      Time to spend: 30 mins
      Merlion park

    2. Marina Bay Sands Water and Laser Show

      A free yet amazing Laser show held twice daily and thrice on Friday and Saturday is “not to miss” attraction. Show can bee seen from open air theater near Marina Bay mall. It is advisable to reach early for the show to get a good seat. The show is named “Wonder Full”.
      Nearest MRT station: Bayfront
      Show Times:
      Sunday – Thursday: 8:00pm, 9:30pm
      Friday & Saturday: 8:00pm, 9:30pm, 11:00pm
      Time to spend: 15 mins

    3. Helix Bridge

      Helix Bridge is double Helix bridge in Marina walk around path. Bridge looks spectacular when lit up at night.
      Nearest MRT station: Promenade
      Time to spend: 15 mins

    4. Singapore Flyer

      Having a overall height of 541 ft, Singapore flyer is one of world’s biggest Ferris wheel or an observation deck. Flyer has 28 air conditioned capsules which complete on circle in about 32 minutes.
      Nearest MRT station: Promenade
      Time to spend: 45 mins


      View of marina Bay Sands and Flyer from Gardens By The Bay East

    5. River cruise

  4. Wildlife and Nature

    1. Singapore Zoo

      Singapore zoo

    2. Jurong Bird Park

      Jurong Bird Park

    3. Night Safari

      Night Safari
      A Fireshow before actual Safari begins. Flash photography is prohibited in Night Safari

    4. River Safari

    5. Botanical Garden and National Orchid Garden

  5. Nightlife

    1. Clarke Quay

      Clarke Quay is the hub of night life in Singapore. Coming to Singapore and not going to Clarke is not fair.
      Clarke has historical significance for Singapore. This place was used as warehouse for traders coming to Boat Quay area. Even to this date we can see revamped warehouse structures on Clarke Quay. Development authorities have made sure that place still ooze old world charm.
      Presently, large restored warehouses house some of Singapore’s best restaurants and nightclubs. Few floating restaurants are attractions that should not be missed. Availability of multiple noisy pubs, bars, disocs, clubs make sure you can’t go wrong with this place. All outlets are located on a pedestrian mall, with open and closed air seating arrangement.
      If you are looking for some adventure, You can do Reverse bungee and Super Swing. Preferably before gulping beers!!
      I believe the best time to reach Clarke is past 10 pm and stay till late night if you want to feel the party nerve of the outlets here. If you are on budget you can buy beer from 7Eleven and drink by beside the Singapore river.
      You can also board the Singapore river cruise from Clarke if you plan to get on a boat ride of Marina bay area.
      Nearest MRT Station: Clarke


    2. Boat Quay

      A amazing river side food court with over a dozen restaurants serving multiple cuisines and sea food delicacies. Boat Quay also boasts of some nice beer bars and lively atmosphere.
      Nearest MRT Station: Raffles Place

    3. Sands SkyPark

      Skypark is a roof top bar located the at the top floor of iconic , Marina Bay Sands hotel. Over looking the pool infinity, Skypark presents a 360 degree view of Singapore Skyline and Southern coast of Singapore. be ready to shell out 100 bucks for an evening with few drinks but satisfaction would be gauranteed.
      Nearest MRT Station: Bayfront

    4. 1 Altitude

      1-Altitude is the world’s highest al fresco bar, where you can get 360 degree panoramic view of Singapore. At 63 storeys, this bar is indeed a magnificent vantage point, with unobstructed views of city of lights. It even has a lowered dance floor and a dedicated indoor disco on a lower storey. Bar charges a cover fee which includes a free drink. Although an expensive experience but totally worth it.
      Nearest MRT Station: Raffles Palace
      View From 1 Altitude

    5. Marina Bay Sands Casino

      The world’s largest atrium casino with 500 tables and 1,600 slot machines. Casino boasts of free entry for foreigners and 100S$ for local people.

  1. Cultural/Local Heritage

    1. Little India

      1. Mustafa Center
      2. Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple
        If you are visiting in January, you may see body piercing Tamilian festival named Thaipusam. Be ready to witness something that can give you goose bumps.
    2. China Town

      1. Buddha Tooth Relic Temple
    3. Arab Street

      1. Sultan Mosque
    4. Telok Ayer Street

      1. Thian Hock Keng Temple
  2. Shopping

    1. Orchard Road

      The complete shopping destination in Singapore. Orchard road is the hub of all international brands. You name a brand and you will find it here.
      Budget: No Budget
      Nearest MRT Station: Orchard Road

    2. Marina Bay Mall

      Another place where you can go broke 🙂
      One stop destination for all international brands and exclusive showrooms.
      Budget: No Budget
      Nearest MRT Station: Bayfront

    3. Bugis Street

      Bugis street is a local fashion center. With smaller road side shops catering non branded stuff, is a fashion hub for youngsters.
      Budget: T-shirt starts from as low as 10$ and dresses start from 30$. Also good place to buy souvenirs.
      Nearest MRT Station: Bugis

    4. China Town

      Visit China town for local Chinese clothes and souvenirs.
      Budget: T-shirt starts from as low as 10$ and dresses start from 30$. Also good place to buy souvenirs.
      Nearest MRT Station: China Town

Where to Stay in Singapore

Singapore has no dearth of hotels. So depending on your budget, if you are ready to shell out 600S$+ per day, you may like to stay in hotels like “Marina Bay Sands” or “Swissotel”, over looking Singapore Skyline. Or a budget hotel in Little India will set you back by 50-100S$ per day. Backpackers hostels charge 20$ a night and will include AC dorm room, wifi and even breakfast. Hotels in Geylang area are also relatively cheap, but remember Geylang is a red light area!

Suggested Five Days Itinerary

Day 1: S.E.A. + Cable Car + any other attraction from Sentosa
Day 2: Universal Studios + Wings of time + Clarke Quay
Day 3: Singapore Zoo/Bird Park + Singapore Flyer
Day 4: Garden By the Bay + City Tour/Marina Bay Area + 1 Altitude/Sands SkyPark
Day 5: China Town + Orchard Road

Travel Tips from a Local

  • Please confirm show timings on attractions website as they keep on changing.
  • Mustafa currency exchange offers best rates for forex conversion.
  • For local transportation, get a prepaid EZLink card from airport. Each card will cost 12$. 5$ is non refundable and 7$ goes to the card. Now you may use this 7$ for commutation. Just swipe the card at entrance and money will be deducted after each ride. You can recharge it later as per requirement.
  • Save on attractions by booking combined attraction deals on local Singapore sites like http://www.deal.com.sg/ etc
  • If you are vegetarian or eat only Indian food, try to stay near Little India or Farrer Park. That is where most Indian restaurants are located.
  • Chewing gum is prohibited by law in Singapore.
  • Almost everyone (cab drivers or local vendors) can understand or speak English.
  • Electronics is not cheaper in Singapore, so compare well before buying.
  • Sim Lim Square mall is full of thugs. Better avoid it at all cost.
  • IF you are planning to see Zoo and Bird park, you can skip Night Safari and River Safari. They showcase almost same animals in different setup.
  • Always carry a cap and extra water bottle as it is generally quite hot and humid in Singapore. Remember mineral water bottle is also costly.
  • When in Universal Studios, top up your entry ticket to express entry to avoid the long queue for rides. Specially if you visiting on weekend.
  • Battlestar Galactica, Transformer, and Mummy are the best rides, do them first.
  • To avoid crowd in Merlion park, try visiting in early hours of day.
  • If you have free time in Sentosa, you can see a free Crane Dance Show.

15 thoughts on “What to see in Singapore?

  1. hackernewbie

    Brilliant compilation! Something which I would have asked you in the coming days very soon. Now I can be more specific with my questions

    So, what according to you should be the budget for a weeks trip for 2 (simple and basic accommodation) to see all of Singapore?

    Wonderful post, sharing it !

    1. Ankur Post author

      Thanks Rajiv. Budget is something that is highly variable. However I will try to provide some points that can help.
      A budget/basic hotel will start from 50$ in lean season to 70$.
      One veg/non veg meal in local food center will vary from 6-10$ pax. A beer costs another 7$
      A meal in a restaurant will set you back by 15-30$ pax
      One metro/bus ride will cost you nearly 2$ pax. All metro and bus are AC and have a fantastic network in Singapore. Better get pre paid card from airport. One card will work in all metros and buses.
      Different attractions have different entry fees. Look for combined deals on http://www.deal.com.sg/

        1. Ankur Post author

          Sure buddy I can help with whatever information you will need. Beer is indeed costly in Singapore that why a specific mention 🙂

    1. Ankur Post author

      Rumpa, I am glad this post was helpful. I will be happy to provide any more information you may need for planning your trip.

  2. Andapo

    Chalo… I got mixed emotions reading this because I have been to Singapore long before as a teenager with family and did not like it… first the place was too hot, second it had no trees and third the taxi guys did not go where we wanted to go and we had a difficult time coming back home(:… these were reasons I hated the place… it was ages a ago… but got some recollections of seeing that parrot show, the lovely night safari and dinausour stuff… and journey on the metro which was not so great for me but dad thought we would like it… there was a box on rail…zipline I guess… but again though it may have had lot of things, it was just hot… I did not like travel those days too and I did not understand why they called Singapore safe when the taxi driver won’t take you where you want to go… maybe I was just very closed minded creature then… anyway… I still don’t think that place is good… full commercial place and not tourist friendly… but some stuff was god, I remember the acquarium too and those nice chips that tasted good(: now it sells in india too… its in a very long box…anyway

    1. Ankur Post author

      Its unfortunate that your experience was not good in Singapore. However I can vouch that your concerns will not recur if you decide to visit Singapore again. I have never felt taxi drivers to be uninformed. Every taxi now a day have gps maps, though they mostly know in and outs of Singapore. Remember Singapore is a very small country.
      Singapore has no natural beauty that’s why i recommended people to go to nearby countries, if they are looking for pristine beaches or hillocks. Singapore is good to see man made wonders though 🙂

  3. Andapo

    yeah… it is very touristy place too… hot also): without trees… but it’s a creative space for sure… maybe I won’t have a bad time now (: things and people change over time(:… but there was a person with pynthon on his neck and all, some interesting things were there, but I was not open to enjoy that those days(:

    1. Ankur Post author

      Sonia, unfortunately SG has no natural beauty to offer. Before I came to Singapore I expected beaches to nice and blue as it shares the same water as Indonesia and Thailand but that’s not the case. Singapore government reclaimed land from sea to increase area. Singapore has added a whopping 20% of the original size or 135 square kilometres (52 sq mi) using land reclamation.
      Singapore is a major sea port, so we only see huge ships till horizon in Singapore.
      The only silver lining is small nearby island like Pulau Ubin, St John and Kusu Island etc which have been preserved by government. It makes for a nice one day trip where we can cycle and perhaps camp.

  4. Charley bellow

    Superb!, I really want to go there in Singapore to try their different culinary excellence. I am a food lover and I am sure I will enjoy the food in Singapore. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Ankur Post author

      Hello Charley,
      You should definitely visit Singapore. It is a hub of all Asian delights. Almost all food courts serve foods from various countries. It’s a foodies paradise!
      Singapore maintains a high standard of cleanliness and hygiene so it is totally safe to try street food anyhwere.

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