Singapore feels like home. Vid lived there for over 8 years and we spent months hunting down local eateries, offbeat gems, and exploring the island country when we were teenagers. But the other day, we ran a poll on our Instagram and so many of you asked for tips for first time visitors to Singapore, so we thought we would pen a day-by-day itinerary for all of you who are visiting Singapore anytime soon.
It is easy to explore the island country as it is safe and easy to navigate. We’ve tried to include all details that will help you plan your trip independently but if you have any other questions about visiting Singapore, then leave them down below and we’ll do our best to answer them
Getting into Singapore
Singapore airlines offers seamless connectivity from all major cities in the world and is one of our personal favourite airlines. Singapore is extremely safe and it’s easy to get around because public transport is seamless. People queue up politely, everything is regulated and there is no scope for bargaining or getting scammed. Upon exiting the airport, you will see a queue for cabs. Just wait your turn and take a cab to your hotel.
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Up above the world so high ⭐️⭐️ It’s always a pleasure flying @singaporeair (one of our all-time favourite airlines) but this flight was extra special because we met so many readers amongst the staff and passengers 😊Can I tell you a STORY? I rarely eat on flights, so I skipped dinner and was huddled over writing an article as everyone else around me slept when I heard a whisper “Want something sweet Savi? Would I even be a Bruised Passports reader if I didnt know about your sweet tooth?” I looked up to see a gorgeous stewardess with tray full of mini desserts and the biggest smile. @deepa_1001 thanks for this random act of kindness – it’s people like you that make the world go round 😊🍫🍫 ✨ ✨ We always love meeting you guys but bumping into Bruised Passports fam is even more special mid air. Thanks Deepa, @vb_solace.seeker, Jennifer and everyone else who made our day! ✈️✈️ The two of us used to travel tons before Bruised Passports and I know we would still be travelling if we didn’t blog BUT we wouldn’t have had this family around the world! Perhaps that’s why this virtual family is the HIGHLIGHT of our blogging journey for us – just penning this down to say we are ever SO grateful for all the love each day 💜💜 #grateful #storytime #bruisedpassportsfamily
Planning Your Trip To Singapore
You could plan an independent trip and pay individually at all attractions listed below. But the most budget-friendly and convenient way of exploring Singapore for first time visitors is by purchasing a Singapore Explorer Pass if you’re flying with Singapore Airlines. They have a counter at the airport itself so you can show your Singapore Air boarding pass and pick 1, 2, or 3 day passes depending on the length of your trip. The pass includes entry to loads of attractions, lots of meals, and even a SIM card. You can find all details of the Singapore Explorer Pass here.
We got the 3 day pass that costs SGD 125. Everything we’ve included in our itinerary below is either included in the Singapore Explorer Pass or is free of charge, so you don’t have to spend even an additional penny to have the BEST time on your first trip to Singapore 🙂
Getting around on your first trip to Singapore
Cabs are affordable and you can take those if you want to get around Singapore. But rides on the Hop On Hop Off buses are included in the Singapore Explorer Pass, so we’d suggest saving some money and taking those instead. Hop On Hop Off Buses have free audio guides and wifi for visitors, making them ideal for a first time visitor to Singapore.
Choosing a hotel for your first time in Singapore
You can find some great hotels in Singapore, irrespective of your budget. We always suggest staying in a centrally-located hotel, close to Orchard Road.
If you prefer mid-range hotels, then Hotel Jen Tanglin is a great option. We spent 5 nights here on this particular trip and really enjoyed it. It was our second time at the hotel and we’d happily pick it the next time too. Rooms are comfortable, they have a great pool, and the breakfast buffet has a vast array of continental and Asian specialities. If you enjoy seafood, then do try their famous J65 seafood buffet one night!
An Itinerary for your first time in Singapore
Day 1: Morning
Spend half a day visiting the River Safari and Singapore Zoo. Singapore Zoo is more like an educational wildlife park that makes for an ideal visit if you’re travelling with kids. It gives them a chance to observe animals such as zebras, giraffes, monkeys, and even pandas in their habitat. The animals are not confined in tiny cages – kids can feed them, interact with them, and learn tons about wildlife conservation too.
Combine this with a visit to the adjoining River Safari. Here a small boat will take you through a replica of the Amazon rainforest. The boat ride is a fun little adventure and lasts 15 minutes.
Unwind by having the cutest panda shaped buns (we had the chocolate custard filling – YUM) and panda-stamped coffee at Mama Panda – it’s definitely the cutest looking coffee we’ve had in a while!
Day 1: Afternoon
After a fair bit of activity in the first half, you would want to cool down in the second half of the day. If you are an art or culture enthusiast you could visit the National Gallery Singapore. The historical building (a combination of Singapore’s erstwhile Supreme Court and City Hall buildings) is gorgeous and it houses a huge selection of South East Asian Art and several temporary exhibits too. We absolutely loved the exhibit on minimalism and would highly recommend it. It is on till April 2019.
The area around the National Gallery Singapore makes for some great photographs, so make sure you take a stroll in the area. If it’s too hot for photos, you could also cool down with a drink at the uber-scenic terrace bar at the National Gallery called Smoke and Mirrors.
Day 1 : Evening
You’ve been exploring all day. It’s time to unwind. Take the river cruise and enjoy the panoramic views of skyscrapers and colourful buildings. Get off at Boat Quay or Clarke Quay, the focal points of nightlife in Singapore. Walk around enjoying the view of the distinctive coloured houses in the area and have dinner at Violet Oon Satay Bar and Grill. A satay meal here is included in the Singapore Explorer Pass, so we’d suggest having dinner here and then grabbing a drink at any bar that catches your fancy.
Day 2: Morning
This is a day of adventure and loads of fun, so make sure you dress comfortably. Also pack a change and swimwear because you’ll need it.
Make your way to Mt. Faber to take the cable car to Sentosa Island. Kick start your day with some fun at the Skyline Luge. The Singapore Explorer Pass offers access to any one of 11 attractions available at Sentosa but we would highly recommend the Skyline Luge, irrespective of whether you’re 6 or 60 years old. The karting track is so much fun and completely safe. Once you’ve reached the end, you can take the skyride (an open-air cable car similar to ski lifts) back to the entrance.
Day 2: Afternoon
You could head to Madame Tussauds to marvel at wax figures of your favourite celebrities. But if you want to burn some calories on holiday, head over to the obstacle course called Mega Climb and indulge in a bit of zip lining, climbing ropes, and breaking into a sweat. After you’ve exhausted yourself, head over to Good Old Days Restaurant for a meal – a set meal is included in your pass, so choose one you like but make sure you try the Ice Kacang (Singaporean shaved ice) for dessert. Yummy!
We suggest spending an hour or so at one of the beaches in Sentosa too 🙂
Day 2: Evening
Now that you’re well fed and well rested, it’s time for round 2 of fun activities. Head over to Resorts World’s Adventure Cove Waterpark in the vicinity. If you’re with kids or just love sugary treats, make sure you take a pit-stop at the gigantic candy store called Candilicious. It’s candy heaven 🙂
Once you’re at Adventure Cove Waterpark, change into your swimwear and let the adventures begin. Waterparks are always fun but kids especially love Adventure Cove Waterpark because of the range of activities available. There are several rides for kids and adults alike. You can go snorkelling in a tank full of thousands of colourful fish called Rainbow Reef or try out Asia’s first hydro magnetic roller coaster (loads of fun). One thing is for sure – your second evening will be packed with memories, smiles, and adventures.
Day 3: Morning and Afternoon
All that activity on Day 2 is bound to leave you tired. So wake up late on Day 3 and go for brunch to Ya Kun at Suntec City to sample the traditional Ya Kun Kaya Toast (included in SEP). After that you can choose between two options below (we recommend and enjoy both!)
- Explore Chinatown: Visit the Chinese Heritage Centre to gain a better understanding of Singapore’s history, sample some scrumptious street food at the Chinatown Food Street where several hawkers cook a feast for tourists, and walk in the bustling alleys of Chinatown for a spot of shopping.
- Explore Little India and Arab Street: The colourful by-lanes of Little India have some amazing murals and street art. Explore them and walk to Arab Street to sample local delicacies like Roti Prata or Murtabak at hole-in-the-wall eateries in the area. We definitely suggest stopping by the former house of Tan Teng Niah in Little India and Masjid Sultan near Arab Street sometime during the morning
Day 3: Evening
Wrap up your trip to Singapore by visiting some of it’s premier attractions. Hop on to the Singapore Flyer to get panoramic views of Singapore. Walk to Gardens By The Bay and explore its 2 colourful domes, lined with flowers, plants, and even a waterfall! Expect to spend at least 2 hours exploring Gardens By The Bay. As the sun sets, make your way to the super trees for the amazing Garden Rhapsody Light and Sound Show that begins at 7.45 pm. The 15 minute show is sure to leave you spellbound and you might want an encore when it’s all over. What better way to end your first trip to Singapore than on this high note? Highly recommended!
Visiting Singapore? Also read Planning A Short Trip To Singapore for more information about shopping and dining options before you finalise your itinerary