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Iconic sights a Singapore first-timer shouldn't miss. Here you'll find a mix of the big attractions, some charming local neighbourhoods and lesser-known sights, capped off with suggestions for feeding your hungry belly at the end of a long day exploring. All you have to do is get to it!

Good for
  • History Buff
  • Shopping Fanatic
  • Art and Architecture Lover
  • Nature Lover
  • Foodie
  • Peace and Quiet Seeker
  • Luxury Traveller
  • Thrifty Traveller
  • Trendsetter
  • Like a Local

12 Places

8 City Tips

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12 Places

Day 1

Raffles Hotel Singapore

Hotels

Gardens By The Bay

Gardens

Marina Bay Sands

Hotels

Day 2

Kampong Glam

Neighbourhoods

Tiong Bahru Estate

Architectural Buildings

Orchard Road

Points of Interest & Landmarks, Shopping Malls, Historic Walking Areas

Lau Pa Sat

Restaurants

Day 3

Singapore Botanic Gardens

Gardens, Parks

Haw Par Villa

Gardens

Sentosa Island

Destinations

Ding Dong

Restaurants

Lindene C's City Tips

  • Getting around is a breeze. The public transport system is well connected across the island, and if all else fails taxis are inexpensive and plentiful (except when it rains).
  • It's worth buying a Singapore Tourist Pass for unlimited bus and train rides for 1-3 days. Grab one at Changi Airport or TransitLink Ticket Offices, or buy online.
  • Your hotel location may mean you'd prefer different timings to those suggested in this itinerary's tips, so feel free to mix things up.
  • Most restaurants include a service charge and GST – check your bill, and if nothing is added leave a tip at your discretion. It's not necessary to tip in hawker centres.
  • It pays to make a reservation at restaurants and cafes if you want to eat during standard meal times. At hawker centres, just show up and join the search for a table.
  • As the climate is hot and humid year-round, pack light, comfortable clothing – and get used to the idea of feeling a little (or a lot) sweaty!
  • Hawker centres get very busy at the usual meal times, so when you find an available table, reserve it by placing a packet of tissues on it. Then explore the stalls!
  • Singapore is a very safe country, but take the usual precautions with your personal belongings, just to be sure.
    Day 1
  • Save
    Raffles Hotel Singapore
    Hotels
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    Lindene C Says:

    As far as Singapore icons go, Raffles Hotel is definitely not to be missed. This beautiful hotel opened in 1887 and has played host to such literary greats as Rudyard Kipling, Somerset Maugham, and Herman Hesse. The hotel is named after Singapore's founder, Sir Stamford Raffles, and is an enduring icon of the city's rich colonial history. While many visitors tend to make a beeline straight for the Long Bar to enjoy the famous Singapore Sling, I'd recommend skipping this – it's priced at a hefty premium, even in comparison to Singapore's usual high prices for alcohol, and it's certainly not the best cocktail in town. Instead, I suggest taking a leisurely wander through the hotel, while indulging in some window shopping. It's a lovely way to soak up the classic Raffles atmosphere.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Luxury Traveller
    • Trendsetter
    • History Buff
    • Shopping Fanatic
    Tips
    • Call ahead to reserve a table if you'd like to dine in any of the restaurants, especially on weekends.
    • The "Raffles" name is ubiquitous in Singapore – it's a hospital, a shopping centre, a college, a marina, etc. Make sure you're heading to the right place!
    • If you're in town on a Sunday, try the excellent Champagne brunch in the Bar and Billiard Room (12-3 pm), or high tea in the Tiffin Room (3-5 pm).
    • Skip the Singapore Sling – it's overpriced and underwhelming.
    • For a less "cookie cutter" Singapore shopping experience, check out Front Row in Raffles Hotel Arcade. Your credit card will take a serious hit, but there's no harm in looking.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #3 of 300 Hotels in Singapore
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Overpriced afternoon tea 03/07/2015
    • EXCELLENT AS ALWAYS 03/07/2015
    • Raffles Hotel Singapore
    Address:
    1 Beach Road
    Singapore 189673
    Singapore
    Other:
  • Save
    Gardens By The Bay
    Gardens
    See more photos
    Lindene C Says:

    While some people find Gardens By The Bay a little too artificial for their liking, it's still worth checking out for the ingenuity and uniqueness of its design. The Flower Dome has recently set a Guinness World Record for being the largest glass greenhouse in the world. So there you have it – even non-gardening enthusiasts will find something of interest among the 380,000 plants here.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • The outdoor gardens are free of charge but it's worth paying the entry fee to walk the Skyway – even kids love it, and the views of the Marina Bay skyline are great.
    • From here, walk to Marina Bay Sands for a much needed rest and a refreshing sunset drink.
    • You could spend roughly half a day checking out one dome, or almost a full day wandering the whole site.
    • The whole experience is great for kids – they can play in the Children's Garden and cool down in the water parks, or the Rainforest Tree House is fun for 6-12 year olds.
    • If you want to go inside the domes, try to time your visit during the heat of the day, as they're lovely and cool.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #2 of 723 things to do in Singapore
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Lovely time watching the Marina Bay area 04/07/2015
    • Wow! An overlooked gem at home! 04/07/2015
    • Gardens By The Bay
    Address:
    18 Marina Gardens Drive
    Singapore 018953
    Singapore
    Phone:
    +65 6420 6848
    Other:
  • Save
    Marina Bay Sands
    Hotels
    See more photos
    Lindene C Says:

    Another Singapore icon that's worth taking a look at is the Marina Bay Sands complex, or 'that boat building', as it's often referred to. If you're not a hotel guest, unfortunately you can't access the iconic infinity swimming pool, but you can do the next best thing: catch the elevator to Ku De Ta (level 57), grab a cocktail and a spot on the balcony, and explore the city sights from the sky. Closer to ground level, you'll find restaurants and plenty of shops to keep you amused, as well as the casino if a flutter takes your fancy.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Must See
    • Luxury Traveller
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Nightlife Seeker
    Tips
    • If you'd like to visit the casino, make sure to carry your passport with you.
    • You can pay for tickets to the SkyPark observation deck, but for the same price with the same view, you'll get a drink and maybe even a seat at Ku De Ta. Skip the observation deck.
    • Wednesday night is "Ladies Night" at Ku De Ta, so be prepared for large crowds later in the evening.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #35 of 300 Hotels in Singapore
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Lots to do 04/07/2015
    • beware construction on the pool deck, very large soulless hotel 03/07/2015
    • Marina Bay Sands
    Address:
    10 Bayfront Avenue
    Singapore 018956
    Singapore
    Other:
  • Day 2
  • Save
    Kampong Glam
    Neighbourhoods
    See more photos
    Lindene C Says:

    Kampong Glam is the traditional Malay-Muslim quarter of Singapore, and today is an interesting mix of old Malay culture and young modern local culture. It's a lovely area for a quiet stroll, taking in the sights and smells, and browsing the cute little shops and cafes.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Must See
    • Trendsetter
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • History Buff
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Go to Shop Wonderland, on Haji Lane, for coffee and cake in a lovely whimsical space.
    • For clothing and accessories that you won't find in the large chain stores, head to Threadbare & Squirrel on Bali Lane.
    • When visiting Sultan Mosque try to respect Muslim traditions. Regardless, they will provide a robe if your clothing appears to be a little too revealing. Avoid Fridays.
    • Bar Stories is a relaxed and slightly quirky bar on Haji Lane. Cocktails are their specialty, but there's no menu – just tell them what you like and they'll whip up something good.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #78 of 723 things to do in Singapore
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Authentic malay culture area 26/06/2015
    • Neighborhood with great history and cultural significance! 24/06/2015
    • Kampong Glam
    Address:
    Kampong Glam
    Singapore
    Singapore
    Other:
  • Save
    Tiong Bahru Estate
    Architectural Buildings
    See more photos
    Lindene C Says:

    Tiong Bahru is considered one of the most up-and-coming areas of Singapore, with a fascinating mix of old and new. Within a few minutes of leisurely wandering, you can stock up on fresh tropical fruits at the wet market, browse high quality literature at Books Actually, munch on super-cheap wonton noodles at Tiong Bahru Market, and admire 1930s architecture and the stories behind it on the Tiong Bahru Heritage Trail. When it's time for a break, you can kick back and enjoy a top quality flat white at Forty Hands, or a glass of wine at PS Petit. And don't forget to indulge in a pain au chocolat or lemon tart for dessert at Tiong Bahru Bakery. Whatever you end up doing, Tiong Bahru Estate is the perfect place to get a feel for a peaceful inner city Singapore neighbourhood with loads of character.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Trendsetter
    • Like a Local
    • History Buff
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • To see the wet market in full swing, get there as early as possible, and definitely before 10.30 am.
    • Check opening hours if there are particular shops you want to explore – many are closed on Mondays.
    • For coffee, Forty Hands (in my opinion, the best coffee), Flock, and Tiong Bahru Bakery all open at 8 am, but most other shops and cafes are sleepy until around 11 am.
    • If your feet are getting weary, try a massage on Eng Hoon St – Joneling Chi Spa House, Oriental Traditional Therapy, and Hui Aesthetics are all great.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #130 of 723 things to do in Singapore
    • Nostalgic Feel of Singapore in the 60s 30/06/2015
    • back to the 70s 18/06/2015
    • Tiong Bahru Estate
    Address:
    Tiong Bahru Road
    Singapore
    Singapore
  • Save
    Orchard Road
    Points of Interest & Landmarks, Shopping Malls, Historic Walking Areas
    See more photos
    Lindene C Says:

    I wouldn't normally recommend a shopping mecca full of chain stores, but Orchard Road really is a sight to behold (even if just for a quick look). A 2.2-kilometre stretch of road boasting 22 malls and 6 department stores – most of which are connected by underground walkways – it's all a little bewildering. Do it!

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Trendsetter
    • Like a Local
    • Shopping Fanatic
    Tips
    • For the most upmarket shopping, try Mandarin Gallery (nearest MRT: Somerset) and Paragon (nearest MRT: Orchard).
    • If you like getting lost in bookstores, there's a huge Kinokuniya at Takashimaya Shopping Centre. Nearest MRT station: Orchard.
    • ION is a great choice for a broad range of just about everything, including an excellent food court. Nearest MRT station: Orchard.
    • Orchard Central has a few local designers, setting it apart from most of the other shopping centres. Nearest MRT station: Somerset.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #32 of 723 things to do in Singapore
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Hustle and bustle 04/07/2015
    • highly recommended 04/07/2015
    • Orchard Road
    Phone:
    +65 6733 1700
    Other:
  • Save
    Lau Pa Sat
    Restaurants
    See more photos
    Lindene C Says:

    This Singapore icon is a great place to start if you've never had the quintessential hawker experience. At Lau Pa Sat you'll find a huge range of choices, such as dumplings, prata, chicken rice, fish ball noodles, and even pizza for those less adventurous. Don't forget to wander outside and check out 'Satay Street', as it's known locally, for a classic open-air dining experience. At night, the street is closed off and filled with hawkers selling fresh sizzling satay sticks and 'aunties' peddling cold beer. Once you've finally settled on a few dishes to try, kick back and admire the charm of this beautiful old building, which recently received a multi-million dollar facelift, or grab a seat on Satay St. and enjoy the bustling atmosphere of Singapore at its favourite time of day: dinner.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Must See
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Like a Local
    Tips
    • Place a tissue packet on your chosen table in order to "chope" (reserve) it. Hawker stalls don't provide napkins, so packing tissues is a must!
    • Satay Street opens at 7 pm, and no. 7 is my pick of the stalls for the best satay. Easy to remember!
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #124 of 5,281 restaurants in Singapore
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Satay! Satay! Satay! 03/07/2015
    • One location for different food choices 03/07/2015
    • Lau Pa Sat
    Address:
    18 Raffles Quay
    "#01-94 Lau Pa Sat Festival Market"
    Singapore 048582
    Singapore
    Phone:
    +65 6220-2138
    Other:
  • Day 3
  • Save
    Singapore Botanic Gardens
    Gardens, Parks
    See more photos
    Lindene C Says:

    The Botanic Gardens are a lovely, peaceful way to start your morning, or to retreat to if you need a break from the big tourist spots without venturing too far out of the city. Take 30 minutes for a short wander, or a couple of hours to check out the National Orchid Garden, have a coffee in one of the cafes/restaurants, or just lie down and enjoy the peace and quiet!

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Like a Local
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • If you have kids, the Jacob Ballas Children's Garden is great fun (and educational as a bonus!).
    • Botanic Gardens has its own MRT station. Just across the road from the station there are a few nice cafes and shops at Cluny Court.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #4 of 723 things to do in Singapore
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Garden wonderland 04/07/2015
    • Beautiful gardens! 03/07/2015
    • Singapore Botanic Gardens
    Address:
    1 Cluny Road
    Singapore 259569
    Singapore
    Phone:
    65 6471 7361
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    5:00 - 14:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Haw Par Villa
    Gardens
    See more photos
    Lindene C Says:

    This won't be everyone's cup of tea, but it's certainly worth visiting if you'd like to see something a little further removed from your average Singapore tourist attraction (and one that's free of charge). Haw Par Villa was opened in 1937 by Aw Boon Haw, who wanted to provide education (and entertainment, I suspect) on the moral values behind a range of Chinese legends. He achieved this by building a theme park of more than 1,000 statues and dioramas – including the Ten Courts of Hell, which illustrates, in graphic detail, the various stages of punishment one must pass through for the sins committed in a lifetime. It's horrific, bizarre, and wholly fascinating.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Hidden Gems
    • History Buff
    Tips
    • Given the graphic nature of the Ten Courts of Hell, it's probably not suitable for children.
    • Haw Par Villa has its own MRT station, which is on the same line as the Botanic Gardens – you may wish to head there to relax afterwards.
    • Take mosquito repellent if you're susceptible to bites.
    • There's absolutely nothing else to do nearby, so just catch the MRT (train) or a taxi in and out.
    • The food court there is only open sporadically, so don't arrive hungry. There are cold drink vending machines.
    • It's mostly outdoors, and even the covered areas are hot, so it's better to go early in the day. Opening time is 9 am.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #92 of 723 things to do in Singapore
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • An extraordinary place well worth a visit 01/07/2015
    • Interesting visit for children 30/06/2015
    • Haw Par Villa
    Address:
    262 Pasir Panjang Rd
    Singapore 118628
    Singapore
    Phone:
    (65) 774 0300
    Other:
  • Sentosa Island
    Destinations
    See more photos
    Lindene C Says:

    If you've had your fill of sightseeing, shopping, and walking, you may just feel like hitting the beach. The good news is that at Sentosa you can do exactly that – or carry on with a few more adventures if that takes your fancy. The beach is certainly not amazing when compared to the best beaches in the world, but it's still a welcome respite if you just want to relax in the sun. If you're looking for something with more action, try riding the waves at Wave House, navigating the hillside track at Skyline Luge, or experience the thrill of simulated skydiving at iFly. Check out Resorts World Sentosa if you're into theme park-style action – here you'll find Universal Studios, SEA Aquarium, Adventure Cove Waterpark, and more.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Beach Goer
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Coastes is a more casual and less costly beach club with pub style food, but there's no swimming pool.
    • Catch the cable car to Sentosa from Harbourfront for a fantastic view.
    • There are plenty of restaurants, cafes, and takeaway options on the island for lunch and dinner.
    • Tanjong Beach Club is a great spot to lounge around, swim in the pool, and enjoy a cocktail and a meal. Call ahead to check whether bookings are required on the day you wish to go.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    • Sentosa Island
  • Save
    Ding Dong
    Restaurants (Vietnamese, Wine Bar, Asian fusion, Nonya/Malaysian)
    See more photos
    Lindene C Says:

    Ding Dong is the place to go to sample a modern interpretation of a wide range of Asian cuisines. On the one menu you'll find influences from Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, and Japan, which makes for a richly varied and fun meal. Coupled with an equally interesting cocktail menu and top-notch service, Ding Dong is perfect for a fun night out.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Trendsetter
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Nightlife Seeker
    Tips
    • My pick of the cocktails is the Golden Mile. Dangerously "more-ish".
    • Ding Dong is located in a lively area known as Club St/Ann Siang Hill. Streets are closed to traffic on Friday and Saturday nights, creating a fun atmosphere. Make a night of it!
    • To get the best variety, ask for the 'Feed Me' tasting menu – the chef decides, while you sit back and simply enjoy eating.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #494 of 5,281 restaurants in Singapore
    • Great Food & Lovely Ambiance at Ding Dong! 09/06/2015
    • East meets West in style 04/06/2015
    • Ding Dong
    Address:
    23 Ann Siang Road
    Singapore 069703
    Singapore
    Phone:
    +65 6557 0189
    Price range:
    40 $ - 60 $
    Hours:
    Mon - Fri
    12:00 - 5:00
    Mon - Sat
    18:00 - 14:00
    Other:
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