One day in Singapore is definitely not enough to explore all that this island city has to offer. Should you still consider seeing Singapore in a day? Of course, you should, for it’s a very interesting and unique Southeast Asian city-state.
Even if you only have 24 hours in Singapore, with this Singapore One Day itinerary you’ll be able to hit the ground running. One day in Singapore will be much better if you know where to start exploring the essential sights of one of Southeast Asia’s most modern and technological cities.
But please hear us out: remember that Singapore in a day is no walk in the park (and if you really want to walk in parks, check out Singapore’s recently opened Coast-to-Coast Trail). You will have to know exactly what you want to see and do, stick to a schedule, and avoid wasting too much time because you only have one single day in Singapore.
You are in luck: we are pretty good with itineraries, and if you stick to our suggestions, your one day in Singapore will be one to remember fondly for a long time.
Singapore in a Day: Essential Things to Know Before You Go
Singapore sits close to the Equator, a destination with humid and hot weather year-round — in typical Southeast Asian fashion.
Affected by two Monsoons, Singapore is at its driest between February and March — but don’t worry too much about the rain. Many of Singapore’s activities are indoors, in the comfort of air conditioning. Packing an umbrella is also a very wise move.
What’s the Best Time to Go to Singapore?
Singapore has something to offer each and every month, from festivals to music events and religious celebrations. Check out this list of events to plan the best time to visit Singapore according to your tastes.
Internet and Phone in Singapore
When traveling to Singapore, a data SIM card is a great idea to be immediately connected with friends and family.
Singapore has 3 main telecom operators: M1, Singtel and Starhub. Depending on how long you will stay in Singapore, you can choose a Tourist Sim Card that’s valid for a week and costs 12S$ or a prepaid SIM card with a validity of up to 180 days.
Tourist SIM Cards are a steal: they offer 100GB of data, 500 mins of local calls, and 100SMS.
You could also rent your own 4G Wifi Modem to carry around with you as you explore the city. You can pick it up at Singapore airport and use it to connect up to 8 devices. It’s great for groups of friends and families traveling together. Check it out here.
1 Day Itinerary for Singapore
With only one day in Singapore, you’ll be able to have a quick look at most of the central areas of the city-state and, of course, concentrate on the Marina Bay Seafront.
We have divided our favorite Singapore neighborhoods into different paragraphs, thinking of the absolute must-see for your one-day in Singapore itinerary. Read, pick, and choose your favorites, and combine what to do in your 24 hours in Singapore. From Changi Airport, Singapore’s excellent transportation network will take you everywhere!
Upon Landing in Singapore: Experience the Jewel Changi Airport
If you are flying into Changi Airport, start your 1 Day Singapore itinerary by visiting the Jewel Changi Airport before catching an MRT or taxi to your hotel. Opened in 2019, Jewel Changi is a rainforest-themed entertainment complex on the landside of Changi airport. Its main centerpiece, the Rain Vortex, is the world’s highest indoor waterfall. Spanning ten stories, the Jewel receives 300,000 visitors a day and hosts 300-odd retail outlets and dining spots, including the Shiseido Forest Valley (a magnificent indoor garden spanning 5 stories) and the Canopy Park (with more gardens and leisure facilities on Jewel’s top-level). BUY YOUR DISCOUNTED TICKETS TO THE JEWEL CHANGI AIRPORT
Soak Chinatown’s Hip Atmosphere
Chinatown is one of Singapore’s most iconic quarters, where you can walk along historic streets and understand more about the lifestyles of Singapore’s early Chinese immigrants. Besides shopping for tourist tat, don’t forget to visit some of Singapore’s most important temples, like the Thian Hock Keng Temple, a Hokkien shrine dedicated to Sea Goddess Mazu, and Hindu Sri Mariamman Temple. Don’t forget the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple & Museum, built in 2007 around Gautama’s left canine tooth found in Kushinagar, India. The temple offers free guided tours on Saturdays, but you must register here first.
You can then have lunch at Chinatown Food Street, or hop to the nearby district of Tiong Bharu, an old neighborhood recently upholstered to hipster heaven, where you can find plenty of cool cafes, indie boutiques, and iconic mural art.
Visit kaleidoscopic Little India
Little India is Singapore’s most colorful heart. Start your exploration by browsing the hawker stalls of Tekka Center, or try a dosai (South Indian crisp lentil pancakes, which can be filled with vegetables) at 70-years-old Komala Vilas before you start traipsing down streets lined with shops and temples. Take a turn into Serangoon Road to peek at the elaborate pantheon of Gods etched on the gopurams of the Sri Veeramakaliamman and Sri Srinivasa Perumal Hindu shrines before swinging by Race Course Road to visit the Buddhist Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya Temple, or the “Temple of a Thousand Lights”, with its 15-meter-tall statue.
Pay attention to the walls, decorated with colorful local street art that celebrates the old and the new faces of Singapore’s heritage.
If you still have time before lunch, take a stroll at Little India Arcade to enjoy the 1920s architecture and the stacks of Indian textiles and flower garlands on offer. Have lunch at Banana Leaf Apolo, authentic South Indian cuisine since 1974, and then sweat off the calories by walking down glitzy Orchard Road. In all honesty, indulging in shopping here could as well take up the best part of your 1 day in Singapore.
Indulge in Kampong Glam’s Malay Heritage and Hip Vibe
The Bugis and Kampong Glam area, a former red-light district turned artsy neighborhood, is perfect for shopping and cafe hopping. For a stark change of atmosphere, visit the National Museum of Singapore, the oldest in town, and the Malay Heritage Center, where you’ll learn about the arts and crafts of the Malays. From here, skirt the golden-domed Sultan Mosque to the charming heritage and shopping galore of Arab Street and hip Haji Lane.
Haji Lane is, of course, a street that deserves your time: packed with shops, Middle Eastern restaurants, and plenty of colorful street art, it’s a youth magnet and a perfect strip to while away a few happy hours — literally. Remember that you need to see Singapore in one day? Grab that coffee, take one for the ‘Gram, and move on to Singapore’s promenade of Marina Bay.
Feel the Breeze at Marina Bay
You should start your exploration by the sea by visiting the iconic Merlion Park, the city-state’s landmark. But first off, grab a bite or a kopi O at Lau Pa Sat, a popular food court in the financial district — if you come in the morning, go before 12 pm to avoid the crowds, or come back in the evening for BBQ fish and casual outdoor dining.
In the evening, climb to Marina Bay Sands Skypark, perched 55 stories above ground like a surfboard on top of three hotel towers, a perfect spot to catch a sunset over the bay. You can get a 20% Admission Discount if you pre-book your Skypark entry ticket with our partners at Klook. We always avail of their great offers when we travel to Singapore!
Close the day with a spin on the Singapore Flyer, a giant observation wheel soaring up to 165 meters above ground, a 20-minute walk from Marina Bay Sands. Again, skip the queues and buy a discounted ticket online via Klook.
See the Future at Gardens by the Bay
The Gardens By the Bay deserve some time to explore — consider you’ll need about three hours to walk around these 101 hectares of reclaimed land with their three well-manicured waterfront gardens. You can explore the Cloud Forest, the Flower Dome, and of course, the futuristic electric trees of the Supertree Grove. For the best picture opportunities, time your visit to end your one-day in Singapore itinerary so that you’ll see the giant electric trees flare up at sunset.
Not tired yet? You can continue partying your night away by returning to either the hip bistros or Kampong Glam, the expat beer bars at Clarke Quay (an easy stroll on foot from Gardens by the Bay), or consider a bar-hopping tour through Singapore’s best night haunts.
Alternatively, you can head to Geylang, a former red-light district turned foodie heaven. Get on this Geylang walking and food tour to find the best eats in no time! You only have one day in Singapore!
Time to call it a night? Great, scroll below to see our selection of good places to stay to end your Singapore on a Day trip.
Where to Stay for One Day in Singapore
Singapore has an incredible array of hotels, guesthouses, and holiday homes. Check some options on Booking.com.
There are a few hotels we’d like to recommend for a night in Singapore, too:
One Day in Singapore Like a King
For a splurge, Marina Bay Sands has the world’s largest rooftop infinity pool, a superb view over the bay, 20 dining options, and a world-class casino. Don’t forget your wallet.
Mid-range accommodation in Singapore
3br Bugis offers cozy apartments with an outdoor swimming pool in the heart of Kampong Glam’s action.
Stay One Day in Singapore on a Budget
Backpackers on a budget should consider the InnCrowd Backpackers Hostel in Little India. Affordable and social, it has a great location.
Spacepod@hive in Lavender is a classy flashpacker dig with modern capsule-style, futuristic accommodation.
The Hive Singapore Hostel, always in Lavender, it’s 10 minutes away on foot from Little India and has simple yet clean dorm beds.
Best Singapore One-Day Guided Tours
With this perfect one-day Singapore itinerary, you can certainly explore the Little Red Dot all by yourself, but there are a few cool tours you may consider, too. Trust us; it’s all pretty unique stuff you would miss otherwise… remember that you have 1 day in Singapore, right?
We love a good scare, and Singapore’s history and folklore is a hive of ghosts and weird tales. The Creepy Tales of Singapore Night Tour is a great way to know this underworld.
Love taking pictures? Need some colour on that Insta-profile? The Highlights of Singapore Instagram Tour is for you, then.
Hate sweating and love to chill? The Trishaw Uncle Tour could be the best, old-fashioned way to get around Singapore’s historical districts.
Fancy a stroll around Singapore in a vintage Vespa? Check this out.
Getting to Singapore
By Air: Singapore’s Changi Airport is a major Asian hub connected to the rest of the world. Some major airlines flying here are AirAsia, Singapore Airlines, Scoot, Qantas, and United.
By Land: Singapore is connected to Malaysia’s Johor Bharu via the famous Causeway. Here is a complete guide to crossing the Malaysia-Singapore border. You can easily catch a bus from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore for about 30MYR. Use that link to book a ticket via our partners at 12GoAsia.
By Train: Since 2016, there’s no longer a direct train connection from Penang to Singapore via Kuala Lumpur. You now have to catch an ETS train up to Gemas, then a shuttle train to Johor Bharu’s checkpoint, and from there, you are better off walking across the border and catching a bus to Singapore’s city center.
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