Arrived at 12:40am – check-in
Finish check-in at the hotel at 2:00am, rest.
Bugis and Kampong Glam area ( …. – 12pm)
All the best attractions in Bugis and Kampong Glam area revolve around the area’s thriving cultural scene. These two vibrant and ethnically diverse neighbourhoods merge into one another, creating a melting pot of religion, architecture, shopping and cuisine. Let us point you in the direction of a couple of famous streets in the Bugis and Kampong Glam area that no visitor to this vibrant corner of Singapore should miss, together with some of the city-state’s most impressive religious buildings and sites.
- Sultan Mosque
Opening Hours: Daily from 9am to 1pm and from 2pm to 4pm
Location: 3 Muscat St, Singapore 198833, Singapore
A true testament to the multiculturalism of Singapore, authorities often block off the road during peak times to allow worshippers space to mingle around the mosque. The surrounding cafes and restaurants on Muscat Street and Arab Street also have a strict rule of not selling any alcohol (although these pleasant alfresco spots are still well worth a visit for their Middle Eastern menus, good coffee – and shisha pipes! If you’re around Bugis Street, the short walk to Kampong Glam (the Arab Quarter) should be high up on your priorities list. Combining a visit here with a quick look at this fantastic mosque is highly recommended too, even if it’s just for a quick photo-op in between your shopping or cafe-hopping.
A couple of roads down, you’ll also find the fantastic Haji Lane, which does not enforce the no-alcohol policy and is also well-known for its range of boutiques and bars. Find Singapore’s Sultan Mosque at the top of Muscat Street – just look out for the crowds or its iconic glowing dome and it will be easy to find.
- Marina Bay (1pm – 6pm)
Marina Bay has been the biggest winner in the fast-paced development of this cosmopolitan city-state. The whole Marina Bay area has undergone a transformation of epic proportions and is now the de facto centre of Singapore for visitors. The S$5.5 billion Marina Bay Sands complex is the focal point of the bay, and many of the great things to do and see in the area revolve around this epic building and resort.
- Garden by the Bay
Opening Hours: Daily from 9am to 9pm, Outdoor Gardens open daily from 5am to 2am
Location: 18 Marina Gardens Drive, Singapore 018953, Singapore
If you arrive via Bayfront MRT you will first have to walk past the Dragonfly and Kingfisher lakes. If you have enough time, walk along the boardwalk to discover the many birds and insects that have made this area their home. In a nod to the different nationalities that have settled in Singapore over the years, there is a series of four interconnecting gardens with plants and trees from India, China, Malaysia and the Colonial garden. Besides Pollen and Supertree by Indochine, you can also find a host of casual restaurants to try: Cafe Crema offering sandwiches and snacks, Seventh Heaven serving up ice creams, and Verandah, a traditionally inspired black and white bungalow that serves Asian and international cuisines. Gardens by the Bay’s location makes it an easy getaway from Singapore’s traffic and skyscrapers. It offers a fun space to explore horticulture from around the world. But even better than that, the Supertrees, Cloud Forest, and Flower Dome bring plants to life in a way you’ve probably never seen before.
Supertree Grove at Gardens by the Bay
Gardens by the Bay covers 250 acres of reclaimed land on the waterfront. The best spot to get an idea of the sheer size of the Gardens is from the top of Marina Bay Sands, directly opposite the park. Getting here is easy, either via walkways from the hotel, which give you elevated views or by taking the slightly longer riverside promenade to enter the park near the 2 domes. Walking around the park won’t cost you a cent but there is a fee if you want to step inside the climate-controlled conservatories or walk amongst the Supertrees.
There is no doubting the dominance of the steel-framed ‘tree’ plantation, towering over Gardens by the Bay with 12 of the large metal structures in the central grove and half a dozen others placed in other parts of the garden. Over 200 different species of plants and flowers cover the exterior of these tall upright gardens – twice a night, at 7.45pm and 8.45pm, they are a centrepiece of the gardens’ light and music show, casting a glow over the park, and making you feel like you are in a modern fairy tale.
For those who like a view, take the trip 25 metres up to the remarkable walkway that connects 3 of the trees together. The 50-metre tree in the centre offers 360-degree panoramas of the Gardens as well as Marina Bay.
- Spectra at Marina Bay Sands (… – 11pm)
Opening Hours: Sunday to Thursday at 8pm and 9pm, Friday and Saturday at 8pm, 9pm and 11pm.
Location: 10 Bayfront Avenue, Singapore 018956
The great thing about the light and sound show at Marina Bay is that it is visible from both sides of the water. If you are standing in front of the hotel looking towards the city you can hear the music and see the projected images on the water fountains. From the city side, looking towards the hotel, you see not only the water fountains but also a series of lasers which light up Marina Bay Sands and the ArtScience Museum. Easily the most technologically advanced light and sound show in Singapore, we prefer the view from the hotel. Here, bubble machines create a shimmering cloud above your head and you can see the impressive images of Singaporean children projected onto the wall of water. The music is highly emotive, inspired by live orchestral compositions.
- CÉ LA VI (11pm – whenever you want to stay)
Opening Hours: Daily from 11pm until late
Location: Marina Bay Sands North Tower, 1 Bayfront Avenue, Singapore
CE LA VI is a rooftop bar in Singapore that enjoys one of the best views in the city – from up on the 57th floor of Marina Bay Sands. With a cocktail costing around the same price as entry to the Marina Bay Sands observation deck, and with CE LA VI’s slightly more elevated location, the bar has quickly become one of Singapore’s hottest rooftop venues. As a guest of the refined bar you’ll enjoy uninterrupted views of the city and the scenic bay. For those not lucky enough to be staying at the Marina Bay Sands hotel, a few drinks at CE LA VI Singapore is a perfect way to enjoy a little of the luxury this iconic building has to offer.
Given the glamour that surrounds this hotel, it does sometimes feel like you are being herded through so as not to disturb paying guests. From 6pm they enforce a dress code – no singlets, shorts or flip-flops. Split in halves, there’s the Sky Deck and Club Lounge on one side and CE LA VI restaurant and Sky Bar on the other. The outdoor area is a blend of wooden decking and glass with plenty of chairs and tables under red umbrellas. Most people head for the tables that fringe the edge of the bar for the best views. The bar also looks over the pool, so you can get some great pictures of the sweeping boat-like roof of Marina Bay Sands Hotel.
As the sun goes down the crowd gets busier, but it’s the ideal time to experience Singapore from above by both day and by night. As the night goes on, the DJ starts spinning tunes and the Club Lounge reveals its dance floor – it’s probably one of the coolest places to show off your dancing shoes, with a breeze blowing in and with the city below your feet. It’s worth spending a little extra on the more inventive cocktails, including the Singapore Sawa – a blend of pink champagne, passion fruit-infused plum wine, ginger, kaffir lime, and lemongrass. The Urban Breeze is very refreshing, with vodka, passion fruit with cranberry and grapefruit soda. The mix of Singapore’s impressive skyline, great cocktails, and funky beats make CE LA VI the perfect place to dance the night away. The easiest way to get to Marina Bay Sands is via MRT, alighting at Bayfront. Here, you can walk via the luxury mall directly into the hotel’s gigantic lobby. Entrance to CE LA VI can be found at the bottom of tower 3.
- Orchard Road (10pm – 2pm)
Orchard Road is the epicentre of shopping in Singapore – similar to London’s Oxford Street or Hong Kong’s Nathan Road. This bustling boulevard got its name after the nutmeg and pepper plantations that once lined it in the 1800s. Flanked on both sides by local and international department stores, tiny boutiques, spas, beauty salons, hotels, entertainment spots, restaurants, and cafes. You could spend a whole day trawling the stretch starting from Tanglin Mall on Tanglin Road down to Plaza Singapura at the lower end of Orchard Road.
Malls in Orchard Road are stocked with practically everything under the sun from consumer electronics to international fashion labels. There is always some kind of fair or activity taking place in the malls and centres so there is never a dull moment. And if you are weary, take a breather at one of the many alfresco spots along the road and watch the world go by.
- National Museum (2pm – 4pm)
Opening Hours: Daily from 10am to 7pm
Location: 93 Stamford Road, Singapore 178897, Singapore
National Museum of Singapore is truly an architectural marvel, boasting a breathtaking 11-metre-high glass passage that enables you to tour the modern building through the older one. A unique rotunda showcases meticulously restored Victorian glassworks. The Canyon, the main entrance area, has distinctively textured walls reminiscent of stratified earth, and the Concourse is a noteworthy blend of classical and modern designs.
The exhibits are spread across 6 galleries, with the Goh Seng Choo Gallery and Singapore History Gallery having some of the museum’s most incredible items. On display in the Goh Seng Choo Gallery is the William Farquhar Collection of Natural History Drawings that includes more than 450 drawings of Farquhar.
As you enter the Singapore History Gallery through the striking glass rotunda, you’ll be taken on a journey through the rich history of Singapore that dates back to the 14th century. A storytelling approach is utilized to provide a better understanding of the obstacles that early inhabitants had to endure and overcome.
Additionally, there are 4 separate living galleries that throw light on the lifestyle and inventiveness of early Singaporean society. Exhibits include:
- Film and traditional wayang puppetry, including early movie paraphernalia and intricate costumes of early Chinese operas.
- Photography – albums and portraits collected over a century.
- Food, inclusive of artifacts that correspond to the ethnic multiplicity of the region, like colourful jars adorned with the reproductions of The Farquhar Prints & Drawings donated by Mr. GK Goh, the son of Farquhar, and aromatic spices used to add flavour to local cuisines.
- Fashion-related objects that echo the changing trends of Singaporean women from 1950 to 1970s.
In addition to permanent exhibits, the museum also holds special exhibitions and a variety of events in the form of public art, festivals, workshops, and lecture programmes throughout the year.
Even though entry to the museum building is free, you’ll be charged to gain access to living galleries as well as certain shows and events. The museum is easily accessible with a 5-minute walk from Bras Basah MRT Station or Dhoby Ghaut MRT Station. City Hall MRT Station is just 10 minutes away. Stamford Road Bus Stop and YMCA bus stop are nearby.
- The Merlion (4pm – 6pm) sunset picture
Location: Merlion Park, 1 Fullerton Rd, Singapore 049213, Singapore
The Merlion is the mythical symbol of Singapore and easily the most popular attraction on the whole island. Come to visit this half-fish, half-lion statue during the day to witness crowds of tourists all bustling for position for Singapore’s most sought-after photo-op in front of the 70-tonne concrete figure. The statue stands 8.7 meters tall and has a fountain of water spurting out into the picturesque Marina Bay. You can find the statue at Merlion Park, situated at 1 Fullerton near the waterfront at Marina Bay. This must-see Singapore attraction is just a short walk from Raffles Place MRT Station, and can also be visited via day tours which stop off at all of the other most popular attractions in Singapore.
Merlion Park, which is completely free to visit, includes several cafés, restaurants, souvenir shops, and onsite restrooms. You can get up close to the statue or walk along the purpose-built jetty that sticks out into the bay, which presents the best position for that all-important holiday snap. Bonus points if you can position yourself so it looks like the fountain of water from the Merlion is falling into your own mouth! It’s said that the fish’s body of the Merlion represents Singapore’s humble beginnings as a small fishing village at the southern tip of the Malaysian Peninsula. The Lion’s head is derived from the country’s original name, Singapura, which means Lion City in Malay. Whilst nowadays most locals regard the Merlion to be more of a shrewd marketing tool rather than holding any deep mythical or historical significance, the statue remains an iconic symbol of the country and certainly is a must-see Singapore attraction. Come early enough in the morning or late at night to avoid the crowds, and enjoy the particularly pleasant view across the bay.
- China Town Street Market (6pm – 9pm)
Opening Hours: Daily from 9.30am to 9pm
Location: Pagoda Street and Trengganu Street, Singapore 050005
Singapore’s Chinatown Street Market is one of the city’s most popular spots to visit. The shops and stalls in this bustling downtown area cover whole streets, including Pagoda Street, Trengganu Street, Sago Lane, Smith Street, and Temple Street. The sights and sounds of the street market are exactly what visitors expect of Chinatown, with hundreds of stalls selling everything from clothing to homeware, technology to handicrafts.
- What to Buy at Singapore Chinatown Street Market
It should come as no surprise that many of the stalls sell similar types of souvenirs. These range from somewhat tacky silk robes and waving lucky cats to some impressive lacquerware and handmade fans with calligraphy drawn on them. Remember to haggle with a smile if you want the best price. There’s also a fantastic range of street food carts among the shopping, with fresh dim sum and crispy duck. For the best range of street eats, head to the designated Food Street on Smith Street. The market is mostly open during the day from around 10am, but it’s most picturesque at dusk, with the lights shining brightly and the sound of hawkers tempting you to check out their wares. Just strolling the evening streets is a wonderful experience.
The colonial architecture, coupled with the hanging red lanterns, is an unmistakable snapshot of Singaporean culture. The market starts to wind down around 8 and 9pm, but some stalls stay open a little later, particularly those selling snacks,.
- Esplanade (9pm 12am)
Opening Hours: Daily from 8am to 2am
Location: 1 Esplanade Drive, Singapore 038981, Singapore
Singapore’s Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay and Esplanade Mall comprise a multipurpose arts centre which incorporates a concert hall, theatre, and an outdoor performance area. The venue brings a fantastic array of shows to the city’s bay area as well as some great shopping and dining experiences. The Esplanade is a great place in Singapore to enjoy an evening of culture, whether watching local bands on stage or enjoying traditional dance performances from Malaysia and Thailand, plenty of which are free.
Locals nicknamed the building ‘The Durian’ for its looks. Pointed metallic shades cover each triangular glass pane on its dome roof, and some even say it resembles the eyes of a fly. Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay offers a romantic scene, right on the water’s edge, with sweeping views to the Singapore Flyer, Marina Bay Sands, and the Promenade. All outdoor performances are free to the public and don’t need to be booked, which make Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay a great place for an evening stroll with a lot more to it. The covered stage resembles a trio of white sails, and there is enough seating for over 450 people.
The most impressive performance space at Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay is, without doubt, the Concert Hall, shaped and designed with optimal acoustics in mind. You feel like you’re inside a boat with curved wooden slats lining the walls and balancing the sound. There’s room for about 1,600 people over 4 levels, with an imposing organ built in the hall. Classical concerts, and popular pop and rock bands perform here.
The other main venue is The Theatre, inspired by European opera houses with a horseshoe shape, curved seating for 1,942 people, and in traditional red and gold. The space feels cosy and even in the top circles, there is a sense of intimacy between the performers and the audience. The Theatre presents both western and Asian performing arts.
Esplanade Mall is an integral part of the complex, between the 2 domes. It offers a great place to grab a bite before or after performances and to browse fantastic specialised shops – check out POPCORNPOP, where you can buy movie posters and other unusual cinema memorabilia. For the love of orchestra, Gramercy Music is where you can pick up a new violin and some sheet music.
When feeling peckish, you can feast on a great variety of local dishes from selected hawkers at the Makansutra Gluttons Bay nearby. You can easily reach the Esplanade by taking the MRT to City Hall or Esplanade Circle Line station, followed by a 10-minute walk.
Clark Quay (9am – 11pm) Breakfast
Clarke Quay is Singapore’s historical riverside. Named after Sir Andrew Clarke, the city-state’s second governor and Governor of the Straits Settlement from 1873 to 1875, this quay played a significant role in Singapore’s trade and industry. Since the foundation of modern Singapore, Clarke Quay has been the commercial centre. However, when the government cleaned up the Singapore River from 1977 to 1987, the area was revamped and was turned into a commercial, residential, and entertainment hub. Clarke Quay is regarded as one of Singapore’s most popular night haunts for visitors. The designers took pains to further improve the appearance of Clarke Quay by incorporating whimsical installations, with some of the best photo opportunities. Various restaurants and clubs line this stretch of riverfront with a wide variety of options when it comes to culinary specialties.
- Universal Studios (11am to 6pm)
Opening Hours: Sunday–Thursday from 10am to 7pm, Friday–Saturday from 10am to 10pm
Location: 8 Sentosa Gateway, Sentosa Island, Singapore 098269, Singapore
Universal Studios Singapore opened in 2010 with 7 themed sections and features countless rides and shows – all related to the film studios’ major hit movies. The park is part of the Resorts World Sentosa Development and is one of the main family attractions that you can visit and enjoy on Sentosa Island. As Asia’s second Universal Studios theme park after Japan’s, Universal Studios Singapore covers about 20 hectares with 18 attractions that are original to the park. It’s a good idea to allow a whole day to casually explore the circularly laid out park and enjoy all the rides and attractions it offers.
What to See and Do at Universal Studios Singapore
Start off in Hollywood. Strolling down Hollywood Boulevard will make you think that you’re in the States, not in a tropical Asian country. This is the main shopping area of the park. New York is based on the big city and is where you can have your photo snapped with ‘movie stars’ such as Charlie Chaplin and Marilyn Monroe.
Continue to Sci-Fi City that features a pair of the world’s tallest intertwining rollercoasters among other things, then to Ancient Egypt where you will be faced with two massive guardian statues. The atmosphere is truly that of ancient Egypt. Get in to experience the Revenge of the Mummy ride, a must for adults but not quite the best thing for young kids.
Next comes The Lost World which is based on the two popular films Jurassic Park and Waterworld – it offers lots of excitement and a huge T-Rex. A must-visit for Shrek fans is the Far, Far Away section, featuring a beautiful castle and Shrek’s swamp. Don’t worry – you’ll get plenty of chances to have your photo taken with Shrek and Fiona.
The last stop is at Universal Studios Singapore is Madagascar. This is a real winner and is guaranteed to bring a smile to people of all ages with its well-known characters, indoor boat rides, and special effects and sounds.
Good to Know
You’ll never go hungry at the Studios as there are plenty of restaurants to choose from. There’s also lots of fun items and merch to pick up on your shopping stops, ranging from T-Shirts and keyrings to many more Universal Studios’ goodies.
Don’t forget you’re in Singapore where the weather can be unpredictable, so take an umbrella or raincoat. Also, the park advises you to bring along a spare set of clothes for certain attractions that may get you wet. Storage lockers are available on site.
You might consider avoiding visiting the Studios at weekends and public holidays as many rides and shows can be extremely crowded. Other than that, Universal Studios Singapore is a fun place and must-do for everyone visiting Singapore, especially families and couples.
To get to Sentosa Island, take the Sentosa Express from VivoCity Shopping Mall. Get off at Waterfront Station and from there you can walk to Universal Studios. You can also take a bus just outside VivoCity.
- Crane Dance at Sentosa Resort (8pm – 10pm)
Opening Hours: Daily from 8pm
Location: 8 Sentosa Gateway, Singapore 098269
During the day there is simply a large, plain-looking box sitting in the water, but at night the birds wind out of their slumber to perform a courtly dance of love. The premise is simple, the blue crane and the pink crane fall for each other – but there is still something magical about this performance, which happens on Thursday to Monday and public holidays from 21:00.
Flashes of light and dramatic music accompany the performance as the large steel structures move gracefully through the night sky, and their chests are emblazoned with large screens that add an extra dimension to the story, which ends with the cranes flying away into the night. It makes a great end to a day at Sentosa theme park.
- Haji Lane (10pm – 12pm)
Location: Haji Ln, Singapore 189230, Singapore
Fabled for being one of the narrowest streets in Singapore, Haji Lane in Kampong Glam offers an unusual and interesting mix of independent boutiques selling a great selection of clothes, accessories and even vintage cameras. This street in the Arab Quarter now stands out as one of the must-do shopping experiences for those on the lookout for extraordinary items.
Expect quirky designs, unusual materials and bright colours; if you love to shop be sure to give yourself plenty of time to explore Haji Lane as most shop fronts hide a wealth of items waiting to be discovered, and with new boutiques popping up all the time you are unlikely to come away empty handed. It can be easy to walk past Haji Lane if you are not looking for it; the closest MRT stop is at Bugis, and from there head down Rochor Road past Bugis Junction Mall until you come to the crossing with North Bridge Road.
Haji Lane is around five minutes past this, after the Ophir Road crossing. The lane itself is very pretty, full of candy coloured shop houses and interesting murals. I selected a few of the best boutiques that caught my eye on this fabulous shopping street
Going back to Changi Airport
Depart at 1:45pm