Affectionately known as the “Lion City” due to its founding legend, Singapore is a great place to visit for everyone, from the solo tourist to families. This vibrant city-state in Southeast Asia is a melting pot of cultures, cuisines, and attractions that are sure to capture your heart. It also boasts of a clean environment and efficient transport system that makes visiting a breeze.
With this 5 days Singapore itinerary, you will get a taste of the best that Singapore has to offer, from iconic landmarks and mouth-watering food to hidden gems only known by the locals.
- Basic Info for First-Time Tourists
- How to get to Singapore
- How to get from Changi Airport to city center
- How to get around
- 5 Days Singapore Itinerary
- Where to stay in Singapore
Basic Info for First-Time Tourists
Here are some important must-knows when you visit Singapore:
- Visa requirements: Philippine passport holders do not require a visa for staying in 30 days or less. Just make sure to prepare necessary documents to pass through immigration.
- Language: Many Singaporeans can speak English. Malay and Indian are also spoken.
- Currency: Singaporean dollars (As of 2024, 1 SGD = Php 41)
When is the best time to visit Singapore:
Singapore can be visited all year round. That saying, with a tropical climate throughout the year and temperatures ranging from 25 to 35 degrees Celsius, the best time to plan your Singapore tours is during the months of February to April when the weather is relatively cooler and less rainy.
Avoid visiting in December, as it is the wettest month with daily, short bouts of rain.
What you need during your visit to Singapore:
- The Singapore Tourist Pass (STP) offers unlimited 3 days transport via MRT and bus stations across the city-state. It can be purchased in MRT stations.
- Buy a local sim card for around SGD 10 with 100gb data to stay connected to the internet. Although there are free WIFI in all MRT stations and certain areas, in some places the WIFI still require a password so for guaranteed online connection your best option is to get a local sim.
How to get to Singapore
Singapore’s international airline is the Changi International Airport.
If you’re coming from the Philippines, you can book flights from major airlines such as Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, and AirAsia. Jetstar also offers affordable non-seat sale flights to Singapore.
How to get from Changi Airport to city center
From Singapore’s Changi Airport, there are multiple transportation options to get to the city center.
- Taxi: Taxis are readily available at the airport 24/7. The journey to the city center typically takes about 20-30 minutes, depending on traffic.
- Train (MRT): If you prefer a more cost-effective option, you can take the MRT. The airport’s MRT Station is located at Terminal 2 and 3. Take the East West line to Tanah Merah station, then change to a westbound train towards the city. The whole journey takes about 30-40 minutes.
- Bus: Public buses are another affordable way to get to the city. Bus number 36/36A will take you to the city, with a journey time of about an hour.
- Private transfer: For a hassle-free ride, consider booking a private transfer. This could be especially handy if you’re traveling with a lot of luggage or in a large group.
Remember, it’s always good to have some local currency (SGD) with you for transportation costs.
How to get around
Once you’ve settled in the city center, you’ll find that Singapore boasts a highly efficient and extensive public transportation system that makes navigating the city a breeze.
- MRT: This is the fastest way to zip around the city. The extensive rail network covers most places in Singapore, and it’s both convenient and cost-effective. However, be prepared to walk a lot!
- Bus: Singapore’s bus system is highly comprehensive and can take you almost anywhere on the island. Buses are cheaper than taxis but take a bit longer.
- Taxi: Taxis are metered and can be hailed down at any time of the day on most roads, or at taxi-stands at shopping malls, hotels, and tourist attractions. Unlike other destinations in Southeast Asia, you don’t have to be wary about hailing a taxi in Singapore because most drivers here are honest! However, getting a taxi may be difficult during peak or odd hours.
- Grab: Grab is a convenient, cashless option and may be preferable than taxi during peak hours.
Public transportation fares can be paid using the EZ-Link stored-value card or the Singapore Tourist Pass, which you can purchase at most MRT stations. Both cards work on the MRT, buses, and taxis.
Alternatively, the best way to explore this metropolis is on a hop-on hop-off Singapore sightseeing tour. It is a convenient way to experience the local culture, try the local cuisine, and meet friendly locals.
Singapore is also bicycle friendly, with numerous bike-sharing services. Lastly, don’t underestimate the joy of exploring Singapore on foot! Many attractions are located close together, and the city is well equipped with pedestrian-friendly paths.
5 Days Singapore Itinerary
Without further ado, here’s a comprehensive 5 days itinerary in Singapore that covers all the must-see attractions in the country, as well as off-the-beaten locations that will make you appreciate the country more.
Here’s a summary of the 5 days Singapore itinerary for your convenience:
– Merlion Park
– Singapore River Cruise
– Attractions around Marina Bay
– Little India
– Bugis and Kampong Glam
– Universal Studios Singapore
|Nature and wildlife
– Singapore Botanic Gardens
– Singapore Zoo
– River Wonders
– Night Safari
Day 1: City Center
Settle your bags into your hotel and start your first day by exploring the city center and getting acquainted with Singapore’s modern skyline.
Begin your day at one of the iconic landmarks in Singapore — the Merlion Park! Here you can spot two of the six existing merlion statues in Singapore. This mythical creature, a half-lion and a half-fish, is a symbol of the country’s humble beginnings as a fishing village. Take pictures of the statue and enjoy a stunning view of Marina Bay Sands and the Singapore skyline.
Optional: If you’re into history, don’t miss the National Museum of Singapore. It is the oldest museum in Singapore, holding the largest Southeast Asian art in the world.
Next, head to the Singapore River Cruise. This 40-minute boat ride lets you enjoy scenic views as you pass by historic landmarks such as the Fullerton Hotel, Clarke Quay, and Boat Quay.
For the rest of the day, you’ll be exploring the attractions in and around Marina Bay. These include:
- ArtScience Museum. Known for its distinct lotus-flower-shaped architecture, this museum blends technology, art, and science to create engaging, interactive exhibits. Wander through the stunning digital installations and explore the intersection of art and science in a whole new way.
- Red Dot Design Museum. A unique space dedicated to all things design. With a collection of over 200 contemporary designs curated from around the world, this museum is a must-visit for design enthusiasts.
- Singapore Flyer. One of the world’s largest observation wheels, here you can enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of the cityscape that stretches even beyond Singapore’s shores.
- Gardens by the Bay. As the evening approaches, head towards the Gardens by the Bay. This 101-hectare nature park is a marvel of horticultural artistry, featuring a variety of flora from around the world. The Cloud Forest is a must-visit, with its 35-meter tall mountain covered in lush vegetation and shrouded in mist. As the evening sky darkens, make your way to the Supertree Grove for the Garden Rhapsody Light & Sound Show, a dazzling spectacle that illuminates the night sky. From there, move on to the Marina Bay Light and Water Show, a stunning choreography of fire, water, and light, performed against the backdrop of Marina Bay.
- Marina Bay Sands SkyPark. This spot offers unobstructed 360-degree views of Singapore’s skyline, where you take in the city’s dazzling night lights, making it perfect for bringing your day’s journey to a close.
For dinner, we recommend heading to Makansutra Gluttons Bay.
Day 2: Ethnic Quarters
For the second day of your 5 days in Singapore itinerary, you’ll explore the heart of Singapore’s multicultural heritage.
Begin your day in Chinatown, a district rich in history and culture. Here are the places you can visit:
- Nus Baba House. One of the few remaining Straits Chinese Houses in Singapore, this heritage house offers a peek into 20th-century Peranakan culture and history.
- Thian Hock Keng Temple. One of the oldest and most significant Hokkien temples in Singapore, this temple was originally built as a place of worship for early Chinese immigrants giving thanks for a safe sea voyage. Today, it remains a place of spiritual sanctuary.
- Everton Park. A charming neighborhood with a blend of traditional shops and hip cafes and boutiques. Don’t miss the street murals scattered around the area! This is one of the hidden gems of Singapore and a must-see in a Singapore itinerary.
- Sri Mariamman Temple. The oldest Hindu temple in Singapore, remarkable for its vividly decorated façade.
- Buddha Tooth Relic Temple. This majestic four-story temple is an important place of worship for local Buddhists. It houses what believers regard as the left canine tooth of Buddha, stored in a giant stupa made of 320 kilograms of gold.
- Ann Siang Hill. Nestled in the heart of Chinatown, this quiet enclave features narrow, winding streets lined with restored shophouses that now host an array of chic boutiques, artisanal bakeries, and hip bars.
For lunch, treat yourself to some delectable local fare at Maxwell Food Centre. Here, you can sample renowned dishes like Hainanese chicken rice, laksa, or char kway teow. Other good options include the Chinatown Complex Food Centre and Amoy Street Food Centre.
In the afternoon, head over to Little India, Singapore’s Indian community. Here are the interesting spots you should visit:
- Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple. One of Singapore’s oldest and most prominent Hindu temples, this architectural masterpiece is adorned with intricate carvings depicting various Hindu deities.
- Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple. Another remarkable Hindu temple in Little India. It is dedicated to Lord Perumal, also known as Vishnu, the preserver and protector of the universe according to Hindu mythology. It features a striking five-tier gopuram (tower) with colorful statues depicting various Hindu gods and goddesses.
- Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya Temple. Also known as the Temple of a Thousand Lights, this temple is a prominent landmark in Singapore. It houses a 15-meter-tall Buddha statue lit by hundreds of lamps.
- House of Tan Teng Niah. A beautifully preserved Peranakan house originally built in the early 20th century for a prominent Chinese business owner, Tan Teng Niah. It features an eclectic mix of Eastern and Western architectural styles and an exterior that boasts a kaleidoscope of bright colors. This is also a great instagrammable spot for your visit in Singapore.
- Indian Heritage Center. A four-story museum that showcases various exhibits tracing the journey of the Indian diaspora in Southeast Asia.
- Tekka Centre. A bustling hawker center known for its variety of affordable and delicious local fare. Mustafa Centre. A 24-hour shopping mall where you can find everything from electronics to groceries.
- Jalan Besar. End your tour of Little India at Jalan Besar, a street rich in history and home to pre-war shophouses, trendy cafes, and the famous City Square Mall.
As your day gradually comes to a close, make your way towards Bugis and Kampong Glam, two historic districts that should not be skipped on your 5 days Singapore itinerary.
Bugis and Kampong Glam
Bugis is home to the famous Bugis Street Market, the regular street market in Singapore known for its affordable fashion and accessories.
Just around the corner is Kampong Glam, also known as the “Muslim Quarter” featuring vibrant street art, independent boutiques, and Middle Eastern eateries. A walk along Haji and Bali lanes will transport you to a different era. Make sure to visit the majestic Sultan Mosque, a landmark that stands as a testament to Singapore’s rich heritage.
End your day at the many al fresco dining spots in the precinct and enjoy the night life in Kampong Glam.
Day 3: Sentosa Island
Start your third day in Singapore at Sentosa Island, which features various paid and free attractions.
The highlight of Sentosa Island is the Universal Studios Singapore, a family-friendly park where you can experience thrilling rides and attractions based on your favorite blockbusters, such as Transformers The Ride: The Ultimate 3D Battle and Jurassic Park Rapids Adventure. (Unfortunately there is no Harry Potter World here, but it’s still a worthwhile place to visit for a day of fun and adventure!)
Typically, you’ll want to spend the whole day at Universal Studios Singapore to maximize your experience. But if this isn’t your speed, here are alternative attractions in Sentosa Island:
- Skyline Luge, a unique wheeled gravity ride that gives you full control over your descent on a specially-designed 1.2 kilometer track.
- Palawan Beach, Tanah Merah Beach, and Siloso Beach.
- Fort Siloso. Take a step back in time as you explore Singapore’s only preserved coastal fort. For a more exhilarating experience, walk the Fort Siloso Skywalk, a treetop trail set 11 stories high amidst the canopy of Sentosa’s secondary rainforest.
- Southernmost Point of Continental Asia, accessible via a suspension bridge from Palawan Beach, this is a fantastic photo spot, with views of the South China Sea.
- Nature Discovery Sentosa and Tanjung Rimau. Nature walks where where you can explore diverse flora and fauna and discover ancient rock formations and sea caves in Sentosa.
- Palawan Green. A vast, open green space located in the heart of Sentosa. This tranquil park offers plenty of space for recreational activities such as kite-flying, frisbee, or a leisurely picnic under the shade of mature trees.
Afterwards, head to Clark Quay for dinner and night life.
Day 4: Nature and wildlife
There’s more to Singapore than its architectural marvels! Spend your third day in Singapore exploring its nature and wildlife attractions. These places are a must-see especially for nature enthusiasts and animal lovers.
Start your day at the Singapore Botanic Gardens, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Explore the various themed gardens, including the National Orchid Garden, which houses a stunning collection of orchids. Take a leisurely stroll through the lush greenery and enjoy the tranquility of this urban oasis.
Next, head to the Singapore Zoo, famous for its open-concept enclosures that mimic the natural habitats of the animals. Embark on a wildlife adventure as you encounter a wide range of animals, including orangutans, elephants, and white tigers.
In the afternoon, visit the River Wonders, located adjacent to the Singapore Zoo. Explore the various river habitats and encounter fascinating aquatic creatures, including giant pandas, manatees, and freshwater stingrays.
End your day by visiting the Night Safari, the world’s first nocturnal wildlife park. Embark on a tram ride through the park and observe the animals in their natural nighttime habitats. Experience the thrill of seeing predators such as lions and tigers up close, and catch the entertaining animal shows.
Pro Tip: Get a Mandai Pass to get a discount for visiting the Singapore Zoo, River Wonders, and Night Safari.
Day 5: Island excursions
On your final day, take a break from the bustling city and embark on excursions to nearby islands.
Start your day by taking a short ferry ride to Pulau Ubin, a small island off the northeastern coast of Singapore. Explore the island’s rustic charm by renting a bicycle and cycling through the lush greenery and mangrove swamps. Visit the Chek Jawa Wetlands, a nature reserve teeming with diverse wildlife and unique ecosystems.
In the afternoon, make your way to the Southern Islands of Singapore, comprising St. John’s Island, Lazarus Island, and Kusu Island. Enjoy a day of relaxation on the pristine beaches, go for a swim in the crystal-clear waters, or simply bask in the sun.
As the day comes to an end, head back to Singapore. We recommend savoring your stay with a farewell dinner at one of the city’s renowned seafood restaurants. Feast on chili crab, black pepper crab, or salted egg prawns for a memorable culinary experience.
Where to stay in Singapore
There are different neighborhood areas you can stay at in Singapore. Here’s a quick summary of where to stay:
- Marina Bay. The city’s most iconic area, known for its stunning skyline views, luxury hotels, and leisure facilities. It’s situated next to Gardens by the Bay and Marina Sands, making it an ideal spot for those looking to stay in the heart of the action.
- Chinatown or Little India. Offers the cheapest accommodations, making them ideal for those in a budget.
- Bugis. Vibrant street with budget-friendly accommodations.
- Orchard Road. A renowned shopping district so it is conveniently close to shops, restaurants, and other entertainment spots. It’s home to a range of accommodations, from budget to boutique hotels.
- Kampong Glam. Home to colorful shophouses, trendy cafes, and the beautiful Sultan Mosque. It is deal for those who want to experience Singapore’s multicultural diversity.
- Clark Quay. Vibrant and lively night life.
If you’re looking for specific recommendations, here are the best ones:
- Budget: Wink Hostel | Dream Lodge
- Midrange: Hotel Yan | Wanderlust Hotel
- Luxury: ParkRoyal Collection Marina Bay | Marina Bay Sands Hotel
With this 5 days Singapore itinerary, you’ll be checking off the most popular attractions in the country as well as some of the hidden gems (particularly the outlying islands of Singapore.
Singapore is much more than a stopover, it’s a world waiting to be explored!
Do you have other questions for this 5 days in Singapore itinerary? Let us know in the comments section below!
This article is contributed by an expert guest author.