A Local's Ultimate 5-Day Singapore Itinerary
Arts & Culture
Food & Wine
Singapore needs no introduction. This futuristic, clean and green garden city, which is home to one of the world's best airports, is the perfect place to explore what the vibrant city has to offer. Housing the world's tallest indoor waterfall, the first and only tropical botanic garden on the UNESCO’s World Heritage List and the world's first nocturnal wildlife park amongst many other accolades, Singapore truly offers something for everyone. Follow this guide — lovingly curated by a local born and raised in Singapore — for the ultimate experience for first-timers.
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Where to stay
The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore
Luxury hotel with polished rooms and marble bathrooms, located in the heart of Singapore's Marina Bay.
$100 hotel / resort credit.
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Four Seasons Hotel Singapore
Classic Four Seasons sophistication and charm with four tennis courts and two pools in downtown Singapore.
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Luxury hotel in a restored 19th-century British Colonial building with upscale quarters in the heart of Singapore.
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Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.
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Day 1: Arrive in Singapore
Arrive Changi Airport, named World's Best Airport for eight years in a row and home to the tallest indoor waterfall in the world (HSBC Rain Vortex). Stretching over seven floors in Jewel Changi Airport, this center of attraction is hard to miss when arriving at Terminal 1. Catch the train, taxi or private hire car to your accommodation for check-in and freshen up for the day.
Check out Singapore's iconic skyline. Starting from Marina Bay Sands, head anti-clockwise via Helix Bridge, Esplanade and Marina Bay Waterfront Promenade and ending at the Merlion. For museum buffs, check out the ArtScience Museum or the National Gallery.
Being in a food paradise means being spoiled for choice. Sip cocktails at Smoke & Mirrors, the rooftop bar situated in National Gallery with superb view of the Marina Bay skyline, or have an exquisite dining experience 70 floors up in the Skai at the Swissotel Stamford.
End off the day with a visit to the historical Long Bar in Raffles Hotel to indulge in the one and only Singapore Sling.
Day 2: Explore Chinatown
Start the day early exploring Chinatown (a favorite amongst locals and tourists) or join a walking tour. Here you will find the epitome of racial harmony in Singapore - a mosque, a Hindu temple and a Buddhist temple situated next to each other.
Check out Maxwell Food Centre, savoring local delights such as Chicken Rice and Roti Prata. Try your hand in ordering your beverage the local way - Iced Americano / Kopi-o Peng anyone?
Visit the oldest Chinese temple in Singapore (Thian Hock Keng) or Baba House, a Peranakan Museum housed within a traditional Peranakan house filled with authentic artefacts. Stroll along Keong Saik Road, a hipster area which used to be a red-light district or Ann Siang Hill, a popular hangout spot filled with bars and restaurants.
Head over to the many eateries near the Singapore River for a hearty lunch. Chinese fusion Restaurant Ibid by local MasterChef winner to local favorites such as Bak Kut Teh or Nasi Padang, the choice is yours.
Explore Kampong Glam or take a leisure boat ride along Singapore River to take in the sights and skyline with commentary in multiple languages and different routes available.
Check out Lau Pa Sat for dinner and be spoiled for choice.
Day 3: Spend the day at Sentosa
Today, spend a fun-filled day at Sentosa. Fuel up at the local kopitiam (coffeeshop) before heading over to Sentosa via Monorail or taxi.
Head to the beach or simply chill at 1-Alitude Coast, sipping cocktails and people watching. More of an adventure junkie? Head to the Mega Adventure Park to zipline across the beach, sea and jungle or Skypark by AJ Hackett to jump off the only Bungy Tower in Singapore.
Check out Universal Studios Singapore, Southeast Asia's only Universal Studios theme park in Resorts World Sentosa. Located within the same RWS compound is the S.E.A Aquarium, the largest aquarium in Asia.
Take a break and indulge in marina-front dining at Quayside Isle. Some favorites are Gin Khao Bistro for fusion Thai food and Mykonos on the Bay for a Mediterranean feast by the sea.
For those looking to make it a truly memorable experience, book the Sunset Sail and Dinner Cruise aboard the Royal Albatross - awarded TripAdvisor's Best of the Best accolade in 2022, making it the top 1% of attractions worldwide.
Day 4: Explore Singapore's Botanic Garden
Visit Killiney Kopitiam, the oldest Hainanese coffeeshop in Singapore at its original location (Killiney Road). Established in 1919, it is famous for their kaya toast, traditionally brewed coffee and soft-boiled eggs. Avoid the crowd by heading there early - it's a local favorite as well.
Cross the street to Orchard Road, Singapore's main shopping district for some retail therapy. Enjoy authentic Argentinian cuisine at FIRE, 55 floors above ION, one of Singapore's largest malls. Book a table by the window for a truly panoramic view of the city.
Explore Botanic Garden, the only tropical garden in the world to be honored as an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Join the many free guided tours led by volunteers, pick any one of the many trails that suits your interest or visit the iconic National Orchid Garden.
In the evening, head over to the Night Safari, the world’s first nocturnal wildlife park. The park offers visitors the rare opportunity to peek into the lives of animals after dark and can be explored on foot or by tram. Book the Evening in the Wild experience - dine under a Tipi Tent by a secret lakeside location and get up close and personal with some of the park's exotic animal friends.
Day 5: Visit Gardens by the Bay
Kick off your Gardens by the Bay visit with a visit to the Cloud Forest and Flower Dome that houses exotic floral and plants from around the world. At the Supertree Grove, traverse the 128m long Skyway that is elevated 50m above ground and come up close to the futuristic looking Supertrees. Satisfy your hunger with a wide array of dining options - 1 Michelin star Marguerite by Chef Michael Wilson to local delights at Satay by the Bay.
Head over to Little India's Mustafa Centre to pick up souvenirs to bring back home. This megastore sells nearly everything and opens till 2am - perfect for last minute shopping spree.
Set aside some time to check out Changi Airport before departure. Walk along the glass-bottomed Canopy Bridge or trapeze through the elevated Bouncing Net at Jewel. Take a walk at the Sunflower Garden or among over 1000 tropical butterflies in the world's first butterfly garden in an airport at the Butterfly Garden. Fancy one last adrenaline rush? Slide down the world's tallest slide in an airport - four stories high!
A note from Angela
Use the Early Check-In facilities to check-in your baggage and enjoy Changi Airport hands-free before departure.
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