Thanks to its strategic location, Singapore is a popular layover hub which means that you’ll most probably stop here on your way to Malaysia, Thailand or Indonesia. Even if you only have a 6-hour layover in Singapore, it’s definitely worth getting out of the airport to experience this incredible city-state that’s filled with futuristic gardens, eclectic neighborhoods and delicious food. So to help you plan an epic trip, here are 7 of the very best places to visit in Singapore.
Getting to Singapore
With direct connections from Malaysia, Thailand or even western countries, there are several ways to get to Singapore whether it’s by flight, bus or train. Most travelers will be coming from Malaysia, so if you’re on a budget, a 5-hour bus ride from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore could prove to be the best and cheapest option.
|Routes||Transportation methods||Starting price|
|Genting Highlands to Singapore||Bus||US $35|
|Ipoh to Singapore||Bus, flight||US $30|
|Penang to Singapore||Bus, flight||US $40|
|Batam Island to Singapore||Ferry||US $22|
Smell the roses at Gardens by the Bay
Spanning over 100 hectares, Gardens by the Bay is one of the most epic places to visit in Singapore. It features the spectacular Supertree Grove, comprising of 18 vertical gardens – with the highest attaining a height of 50 meters, two cooled conservatories – Cloud Forest and Flower Dome and numerous gardens.
It’s completely free to wander around the gardens but you’ll need to shell out some cash to visit the conservatories. A combo ticket for both the Cloud Forest and Flower Dome costs SGD28 (US $20.70). Experience the cool mists of the 35-meter indoor waterfall and smell the fresh aroma of flowers and tropical plants.
Wondering what to do in Singapore at night for free? Head to the Supertree Grove for the light and sound show which takes place every night at 7:45 p.m and 8:45 p.m. Stare in awe as the trees come alive with twinkling lights dancing to a musical soundtrack. If you want to watch the show from a bird’s eye perspective, you can pay a small admission fee to access the OCBC walkway.
Opening hours: 9 a.m to 9 p.m (cooled conservatories); 5 a.m to 2 a.m (outdoor gardens)
See iconic sights at Marina Bay
Marina Bay is another great spot to visit in Singapore. This chunk of reclaimed land is home to the iconic Marina Bay Sands hotel. Those who can afford a stay there will be in for a treat as only hotel guests are allowed to swim in the boat-shaped infinity pool that boasts a panoramic view of the marina. It’s definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience!
You can also head to the esplanade to see the helix bridge (especially at night when it’s all lit up), hop into the Art Science museum to see the Future World exhibit which creatively combines art and science or watch a free performance at the Esplanade theatres.
When the night comes, seek a spot at the Event Plaza, located in front of Marina Bay Sands to watch the free Spectra Light & Water Show.
If you’re celebrating a special occasion or just want to witness Singapore’s skyline from above, a visit to the Singapore flyer is a must.
Half lion and half fish, the Merlion statue is the most famous landmark in Singapore. There are seven of these statues in Singapore but the most popular one is found at the Merlion Park near Fullerton Hotel.
Make sure to visit early in the morning and preferably on weekdays to skip the crowds.
Little India is one of the cheapest places to go in Singapore thanks to its huge selection of budget hotels and affordable shopping. A prime example of that is Mustafa Center, a 24-hour shopping mall selling just about everything at discounted prices. You can also visit Tekka Center and its food court for some delectable Chinese and Indian cuisines.
Little India also serves as a great introduction to Singapore’s multicultural diversity with Indian and Buddhist temples as well as mosques on every corner of the streets. Some of the most notable ones include Sri Veeramakaliamman temple, Abdul Gafoor Mosque and Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya Temple.
Be sure to also check out the rainbow-colored Tan Teng Niah House or the Indian Heritage Center.
This part of Singapore is usually bustling during the Chinese New Year festivities as locals wander around the lantern-lit streets to do their last-minute shopping.
Explore around Pagoda street for souvenir shopping, visit the Sri Mariamman Temple, Buddha Tooth Relic Temple or Thian Hock, the oldest Chinese temple in Singapore which features an impressive 40-meter long fresco painted by the Singaporean artist, Yip Yew Chong. For more of his street arts, keep your eyes peeled particularly around Mohamed Ali Lane, Temple Street and Smith Street.
If you’re hungry, head to Chinatown Food Street or any hawker centers like Lau Pa Sat, Amoy Street Food Center or Maxwell Food Center.
Another neighborhood worth visiting is Kampong Glam, Singapore’s Islamic quarters. Here, you can admire the golden domes and minarets of the Sultan Mosque or wander around the trendy boutiques located nearby.
You’ll also find the quirky Haji Lane just a few minutes’ walk away. This colorful alleyway is filled with bars, cafés and boutiques and is the perfect spot to hang out in Singapore with friends.
Check out Bugis Street Market to shop for souvenirs or eat delicious street food. For more shopping, you have the choice between Bugis Junction and Bugis+, two shopping malls featuring international brands.
If you’re craving for some tropical island vibes, head out to Sentosa Island, dubbed the State of Fun. With three beaches (they are literally picture-perfect since the entire island is man-made), lots of fun activities and a huge selection of beachfront bars and restaurants to choose from, Sentosa is the perfect place for fun and relaxation. The island is also home to the Universal Studios, SEA Aquarium, Adventure Cove Waterpark, Madame Tussauds wax museum and more.
To get there, take either the monorail or cable car. If you’re short on cash, you can walk to Sentosa from Vivo City mall for free.
When to visit Singapore?
When it comes to deciding when to visit Singapore, you can’t really go wrong as the weather is good year-round with the occasional rainfall that doesn’t last for very long. Singapore is particularly lively during Chinese New Year in January or February as the whole of Chinatown is adorned with colorful lanterns. Deepavali is also a great time to visit especially if you’re planning to spend time in Little India.
Despite being one of the smallest city-states in the world, there’s a whole bunch of attractions to see in Singapore. Some honorable mentions include Jewel at Changi Airport, Fort Canning Park, Clarke Quay, Joo Chiat Road, Botanic Gardens and more. Hopefully, this guide has made your task easy in deciding which spots to see during your next visit to Singapore.