Experience The Best Of Singapore In 24 Hours

Whether you have two days or two weeks to travel, our Singapore city guide covers the must see sites, local food recommendations, where to stay, how much the city will cost, an example itinerary, and how to get around the city - including how to get to and from the airport.

A view of the city from atop the Singapore Flyer

A view of the city from atop the Singapore Flyer

Singapore is a tiny island nation off the southern coast of Malaysia. This tiny city/country combo lies just one degree north of the equator and is famous not only for being a global hub of finance and innovation, but also for its transition from Third World to First World in a single generation, under the leadership of its founding father. Singapore ranks 9th on the UN Human Development Index with the 3rd highest GDP per capita. The Singaporean passport is second in the world after Japan for visa-free travel granted by the most countries to its citizens. The city-state is home to 5.6 million residents, most of which are bilingual; English, Malay, Mandarin Chinese, and Tamil are the four official languages of this country. Singapore is often referred to as the Garden City for its tree-lined streets and greening efforts since independence. It is also sometimes referred to as the "Switzerland of Asia" in 2017 due to its neutrality on international and regional issues. The country can be rather expensive to explore, the amount of parks, monuments, and museums you can visit for a small fee, offer backpackers and tourists alike an opportunity to delve into the culture, history and politics of this unique and welcoming country. 


Getting To & From The Airport

There are 3 ways to get into the city from Changi International Airport:

1. Taxi (This is the fastest option). The journey takes just anywhere from 20-40 minutes to Changi airport from the city. The taxis are metered.
Cost: one-way trip will cost $27-55 ($20-40 USD + Extra airport fees).

2. Changi Airport MRT. To get to the city, transfer to the westbound train at Tanah Merah station. First train to Tanah Merah Station departs Changi Airport Station at 5.31am on Monday to Saturday and at 5.59am on Sunday and public holidays. Last train to Tanah Merah station that connects to the city departs Changi Airport Station at 11.18pm.
Cost $1-3 ($1-2 USD) for one way ticket.

3. Airport Bus Shuttle (This is the cheapest option). Bus stops are located at the basement bus bays of Terminals 1, 2 and 3. For Terminal 4, the bus stop is located next to Car Park 4B. Please prepare the exact fare as no change will be given. Alternatively, a stored-value EZ-Link card for multiple rides can be purchased from any Changi Recommends store or the Changi Airport train station. 
Cost $6.60 ($9 USD) for one way ticket.

Sunset view of the city from the Singapore Flyer.

Sunset view of the city from the Singapore Flyer.


First Things First - Where/What To Eat?

With the Singaporean population being so diverse, as well as the huge western influence the city has, there are never ending options for food and restaurants in the city. Singapore has some of the finest Michelin Star Restaurants in Asia. You can easily spend anywhere from $30 - $300 on a meal in this spectacularly diverse city. Of course, we are backpackers, and we visited on a budget, so we cannot offer you any recommendations on the fine Michelin dining in this city, instead here are four recommendations for where you can find some amazing food around the city that will fit into any budget and fill any appetite. 

Laksa  - Laksa is a spicy noodle soup popular in Peranakan cuisine. Laksa consists of rice noodles or rice vermicelli with chicken, prawn or fish, served in spicy soup based on either rich and spicy curry coconut milk or on sour asam. Laksa is found in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore.

Laksa - Laksa is a spicy noodle soup popular in Peranakan cuisine. Laksa consists of rice noodles or rice vermicelli with chicken, prawn or fish, served in spicy soup based on either rich and spicy curry coconut milk or on sour asam. Laksa is found in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore.

Fish Head Curry  - Fish head curry is a dish in Singaporean and Malaysian cuisine with Indian and Chinese origins. The head of a red snapper is semi-stewed in a Kerala-style curry with assorted vegetables such as okra and eggplants. It is usually served with either rice or bread, or as a shared dish.

Fish Head Curry - Fish head curry is a dish in Singaporean and Malaysian cuisine with Indian and Chinese origins. The head of a red snapper is semi-stewed in a Kerala-style curry with assorted vegetables such as okra and eggplants. It is usually served with either rice or bread, or as a shared dish.

Bak Kut Teh  - The name literally translates from hokkien (dialect) as "meat bone tea", and at its simplest, consists of meaty pork ribs simmered in a complex broth of herbs and spices (including star anise, cinnamon, cloves, fennel seeds and garlic) for hours. Despite its name, there is in fact no tea in the dish itself; the name refers to a strong oolong Chinese tea which is usually served alongside the soup in the belief that it dilutes or dissolves the copious amount of fat consumed in this pork-laden dish.

Bak Kut Teh - The name literally translates from hokkien (dialect) as "meat bone tea", and at its simplest, consists of meaty pork ribs simmered in a complex broth of herbs and spices (including star anise, cinnamon, cloves, fennel seeds and garlic) for hours. Despite its name, there is in fact no tea in the dish itself; the name refers to a strong oolong Chinese tea which is usually served alongside the soup in the belief that it dilutes or dissolves the copious amount of fat consumed in this pork-laden dish.

Carrot Cake (Chai Tow Kway)  - Also known as "fried carrot cake" or simply "carrot cake" in Southeast Asian countries. It is a much-loved local comfort food in the region, and can be consumed at various times of the day. It is made with radish cake (steamed rice flour, water, and shredded white daikon), which is then stir-fried with eggs, preserved radish, and other seasonings.

Carrot Cake (Chai Tow Kway) - Also known as "fried carrot cake" or simply "carrot cake" in Southeast Asian countries. It is a much-loved local comfort food in the region, and can be consumed at various times of the day. It is made with radish cake (steamed rice flour, water, and shredded white daikon), which is then stir-fried with eggs, preserved radish, and other seasonings.


Must-See's Of Singapore

Singapore is a thriving metropolis, but with the right plan, the city can be explored and mastered in 24 hours. Here are the must see sights of Singapore that you can explore and conquer in 24 hours. There are 6 must see attractions in the city that have come to define the city's wide spread popularity.

ArtScience Museum   - Cost $30 -  Referred to as "The Welcoming Hand of Singapore", the ArtScience Museum is the first museum like it in the world. The ArtScience Museum has 21 gallery spaces, and although it has a permanent exhibition, ArtScience Gallery, the ArtScience Museum mainly hosts touring exhibitions curated by other museums.

ArtScience Museum - Cost $30 - Referred to as "The Welcoming Hand of Singapore", the ArtScience Museum is the first museum like it in the world. The ArtScience Museum has 21 gallery spaces, and although it has a permanent exhibition, ArtScience Gallery, the ArtScience Museum mainly hosts touring exhibitions curated by other museums.

Shopping Malls around Marina Bay Sands  -  Free to visit - SHOP TILL YOU DROP…OR GO BROKE!  Ralph Lauren, Chanel, Cartier, Prada, Gucci, Hermès, Emporio Armani, Chopard, REDValentino, Dior, Dunhill, Vertu, Miu Miu, Saint Laurent Paris, Salvatore Ferragamo, Montblanc, Blancpain, Vera Wang Bride, a Hermès watch boutique, and Herve Leger.

Shopping Malls around Marina Bay Sands - Free to visit - SHOP TILL YOU DROP…OR GO BROKE!
Ralph Lauren, Chanel, Cartier, Prada, Gucci, Hermès, Emporio Armani, Chopard, REDValentino, Dior, Dunhill, Vertu, Miu Miu, Saint Laurent Paris, Salvatore Ferragamo, Montblanc, Blancpain, Vera Wang Bride, a Hermès watch boutique, and Herve Leger.

Marina Bay Sands  -  Cost $$$$$$ -  At its opening in 2010, it was billed as the world's most expensive standalone casino property at S$8 billion, including the land cost. The resort features The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands mall, a museum, two large theatres, "celebrity chef" restaurants, two floating Crystal Pavilions, art-science exhibits, and the world's largest atrium casino with 500 tables and 1,600 slot machines - as well as 150m infinity swimming pool located on the roof.

Marina Bay Sands - Cost $$$$$$ - At its opening in 2010, it was billed as the world's most expensive standalone casino property at S$8 billion, including the land cost. The resort features The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands mall, a museum, two large theatres, "celebrity chef" restaurants, two floating Crystal Pavilions, art-science exhibits, and the world's largest atrium casino with 500 tables and 1,600 slot machines - as well as 150m infinity swimming pool located on the roof.

Singapore Flyer  -  $30 -  It has 28 air-conditioned capsules, each able to accommodate 28 passengers, and incorporates a three-storey terminal building. The Flyer has an overall height of 165 metres (541 ft) and is the second tallest ferris wheel in operation in the world. In our opinion, this is the best view of the city during sunset!

Singapore Flyer - $30 - It has 28 air-conditioned capsules, each able to accommodate 28 passengers, and incorporates a three-storey terminal building. The Flyer has an overall height of 165 metres (541 ft) and is the second tallest ferris wheel in operation in the world. In our opinion, this is the best view of the city during sunset!

Gardens By The Bay   -  Spanning 101 hectares (250 acres), the park consists of three waterfront gardens: Bay South Garden (in Marina South), Bay East Garden (in Marina East) and Bay Central Garden (in Downtown Core and Kallang). Its Flower Dome is the largest glass greenhouse in the world (pictured). It replicates a mild, dry climate and features plants found in the Mediterranean and other semi-arid tropical regions

Gardens By The Bay - Spanning 101 hectares (250 acres), the park consists of three waterfront gardens: Bay South Garden (in Marina South), Bay East Garden (in Marina East) and Bay Central Garden (in Downtown Core and Kallang). Its Flower Dome is the largest glass greenhouse in the world (pictured). It replicates a mild, dry climate and features plants found in the Mediterranean and other semi-arid tropical regions

Gardens By The Bay Super-Tree Grove Light Show  - There is an elevated walkway, between two of the larger Supertrees for visitors to enjoy a panoramic view of the Gardens. Every night, at 7:45pm and 8:45pm, the Supertree Grove comes alive with a coordinated light and music show known as the Garden Rhapsody. The accompanying music to the show changes every month or so, with certain themes such as A World of Wonder and A Night of Musical Theatre, which features excerpts/pieces from films like Jurassic Park and Pirates of the Caribbean.

Gardens By The Bay Super-Tree Grove Light Show - There is an elevated walkway, between two of the larger Supertrees for visitors to enjoy a panoramic view of the Gardens. Every night, at 7:45pm and 8:45pm, the Supertree Grove comes alive with a coordinated light and music show known as the Garden Rhapsody. The accompanying music to the show changes every month or so, with certain themes such as A World of Wonder and A Night of Musical Theatre, which features excerpts/pieces from films like Jurassic Park and Pirates of the Caribbean.


Exploring Singapore On Public Transportation

Travelling from one part of Singapore to another is a breeze thanks to a highly penetrative public transport system. The three main modes of public transport in Singapore are the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT), buses and taxis.

Buses are, by far, the most common form of public transportation in Singapore, followed by the MRT and taxis respectively. Public buses serve almost every part of Singapore, making it the most extensive form of public transportation, while the MRT provides speed and efficiency, especially during peak hours.

For more information about Public Transport, Prices, and Time Tables, visit Working Singapore.

MRT  - The MRT may be well over 20 years old, but thanks to regular maintenance and facelifts, it'd be hard to notice its age. Most Singaporeans can no longer remember a time without the MRT. It has become a very indispensable way to get from one end of Singapore to another, and it is particularly useful for getting to downtown areas such as Orchard Road or the Central Business District, where traffic can be heavy.   LRT  - More recently, the Light Rapid Transit (LRT) system was also added to the existing train network. Unlike the MRT, the LRT are intra-town loop services – passengers switch from the MRT to the LRT to get to other parts of the town.

MRT - The MRT may be well over 20 years old, but thanks to regular maintenance and facelifts, it'd be hard to notice its age. Most Singaporeans can no longer remember a time without the MRT. It has become a very indispensable way to get from one end of Singapore to another, and it is particularly useful for getting to downtown areas such as Orchard Road or the Central Business District, where traffic can be heavy.

LRT - More recently, the Light Rapid Transit (LRT) system was also added to the existing train network. Unlike the MRT, the LRT are intra-town loop services – passengers switch from the MRT to the LRT to get to other parts of the town.

Bus -  Public buses run daily from 5.30am to midnight. There are also extended night services, namely Nite Owl and NightRider, which cost slightly more (a flat rate ranging from $1.50-$3.00). Otherwise, most fares depend on distance travelled and range from 67 cents to $1.58 for air-conditioned comfort.

Bus - Public buses run daily from 5.30am to midnight. There are also extended night services, namely Nite Owl and NightRider, which cost slightly more (a flat rate ranging from $1.50-$3.00). Otherwise, most fares depend on distance travelled and range from 67 cents to $1.58 for air-conditioned comfort.


Singapore Is Fancy AF!

Singapore is a shopaholics dream. You can literally find anything you will ever need or want within the city. There are a few cool street markets and numerous malls - not to mention all the boutique shops and designer stores scattered throughout the city. From Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Prada to massive bookstores, toy shops, and souvenir stands in the markets, if you are here to update your style, or just want to window shop, Singapore has everything you could possibly imagine.

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Where We Stay

There are tons of accommodation options in Singapore, from hostels, Airbnb, bed & breakfasts, or many five-star hotels.

We choose to stay at Venue Hotel. “Venue Hotel 新加坡八方酒店 is fabulously located in Joo Chiat in the eastern part of Singapore which has been designated as a national conservation area by the Singapore Government for its rich history, culture and architecture. Surrounded by traditional shop houses with a reputation as a haven for food lovers, it makes the perfect getaway for those who want to experience the local culture while also offering the accessibility to a range of amenities.”

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Travel Tips & Helpful Hints

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Do I need a visa? Citizens of almost 80% of the world's countries may travel to Singapore for a period of 30 days or 90 days without a visa.

All visitors to Singapore must:

  • Hold a passport or a travel document valid for more than 6 months at the time of departure,

  • Hold an onward or return ticket,

  • Have sufficient funds to stay in Singapore,

  • Have entry documents (including a visa) to their next destination, if required,

  • Have a completed Disembarkation/Embarkation Card, and,

What is the power voltage? The voltage is 230v whereas the US is 110-120V - so your devices may get a little warm while charging.

What about smoking weed or drinking in the streets? If you’re wondering if this is ok, you have not done enough research about Singapore. DON’T DO IT!

What is the currency and its value? The currency used in Singapore is called the Singapore Dollar (SGD).
The current value (at the time writing) is SGD 1 = $0.75 USD


24 hours in Singapore Example Itinerary:

Under the OCB walkway right before the light show begins

Under the OCB walkway right before the light show begins

First things first, grab some breakfast and head to the Gardens by The Bay for a long morning of exploring the super groves, botanical gardens and numerous outside gardens and art sculptures.

Head to Marina Bay Sands for some shopping/sight seeing. There is a lot to do in this area so give yourself some time.

Go to the top of Marina Bay Sands for a wonderful lunch with a view!

Visit the ArtScience Museum located directly next to Marina Bay Sands.

As the sun starts to go down, head to the Singapore Flyer for a great view of the city during sunset! Bring your tripod for an awesome time lapse!

Grab some dinner and head back to Gardens By The Bay for the light show!

Head back to your hotel or hostel.


So What's It Going To Cost?

Here is how much we spent, and what we spent it on, in 24 hours. 

Food: Breakfast: $5
Lunch: $35 - lunch atop the Marina Bay Sands
Dinner: $15 local Singaporean restaurant
Total for Food = $55 USD

Beer: Between the beer we bought from the convenient store and from Marina Bay Sands, we spent anywhere from $2 -$15 per beer.
Total for Beer = $30 USD

Accommodation: Venue Hotel
$100 USD

Transportation (Including getting to and from the airport): We took a GRAB to and from the airport which cost $20, each way. In order to get around the city, we mainly used MTR and LTR and would also walk as the city is fun to explore by foot.
Total for Transportation = $50 USD

Activities: Singapore can be expensive, but everything is located pretty much in one area. Between all the cool activities we talked about in this post, you can plan on spending around $60. The light show and views from atop Marina Bay sands are free.
Total for Activities = $60 USD.

So, What Did We Spend In 24 Hours?

295$ USD. If you split the hotel and transportation cost with someone, obviously your cost per person will drop significantly.

Where's Your Money Going?


A Few More Pics From The Lens Of SMP

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Enjoy Your Trip!


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