Planning to spend 2 days in Singapore, and wondering all the best things to do, see, and eat? Read this detailed guide for the perfect 2 days in Singapore itinerary, with all the insider tips on things you must see, advice on where to stay, where to eat the best food, and more!
Singapore may be a tiny country, but what it lacks in size, it definitely makes up for in things to do (and eat)! The island-nation boasts a wide array of interesting sights, the perfect mix of urban life and greenery, an efficient transportation system, cleanliness, a focus on sustainability, a delicious food scene, and more – seriously, this is a city that has it all. Spending 2 days in Singapore will give you just a taste of the best of it!
I had never really put much thought into visiting Singapore until I read the bestselling novel, Crazy Rich Asians – after hearing about the mouth-watering (and cheap!) hawker food, the modern architecture, and the fusion of nature and technology, I was immediately intrigued and put it on my bucket list (and secretly hoped that I would find myself my own Nick Young here).
Over the summer, I had the opportunity to spend 2 days in Singapore on the way to a friend’s wedding in Bali. Because it is so compact and efficient, it was the perfect city to explore, even with a limited period of time.
I may not have found myself a Nick Young there, but I am happy to report that Singapore lived up to all of my expectations! Read on for the perfect 2 days in Singapore itinerary, and to find out all the best things to do, see, and eat!
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2 Days in Singapore: When to Go
Because it lies 85 miles north of the equator, you can expect Singapore to be be hot and humid year-round…and they are definitely not kidding about that humidity. Average highs hover between 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit year-round. Average humidity is about 84%, but can get above 90%, especially in the evenings.
Not gonna lie, I found the heat and humidity to be a super uncomfortable, and I was definitely looking for any chance to duck into an air conditioned establishment any chance to get. But trust me, even with the heat and humidity, I still loved spending 2 days in Singapore.
Singapore does experience two monsoon seasons. The first is the Northwest Monsoon, which is responsible for the island’s rainy season, usually between November and January. This is also when temperatures are slightly cooler (relatively speaking, anyway – there’s still not very much variance in temperature).
June through September is when the Southwest Monsoon arrives; ironically, this is actually when the island experiences the highest temperatures and the least amount of rain. However, that doesn’t mean that you should expect it to be completely dry – we spent our 2 days in Singapore in early July, and we experienced short periods of a downfall, usually in the late afternoon.
Singapore gets a steady stream of business travelers year round, but it has been reported that they thin out slightly in the month of July and August, bringing down hotel rates slightly throughout the city. Peak season falls from mid-December until the Lunar New Year, and this is usually when flights (especially from other parts of Asia) and hotel rooms are priced at their highest.
2 Days in Singapore: Getting There
You will most likely arrive for your 2 days in Singapore by flying into Changi Airport, which is widely regarded as one of the best (if not the best) airports in the world. Changi serves over 100 airlines, connecting Singapore to over 400 cities around the world.
The award-winning airport is a tourist attraction in and of itself (so much that I included it as part of this 2 days in Singapore itinerary), offering a wide range of things to do and see within the airport, including a butterfly garden, a movie theater, and more.
You have a few options for getting into the city center from Changi:
- By taxi: The easiest and most direct way to get into city center. Taking a taxi will take about 20-30 minutes and run you about S$25-40, including airport surcharges.
- By Grab: Grab is the most popular ride-sharing app in Southeast Asia. Taking a Grab into the city will take about the same amount of time as a taxi, and cost you about S$15-20.
- By MRT: Singapore has a very efficient and well connected public transport system, and its MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) trains are an easy and affordable way to get from Changi to city center. Fares are calculated based on distance traveled, but cost about S$2. The MRT station is in the basement of terminal 2 (you can take an airport shuttle if you fly into terminals 1, 3, or 4). To get into city center, you will have to transfer onto the East West (Green) line at Tanah Merah. Trains run from around 5:30am until almost midnight, and come every 7 minutes during peak hours, every 12-13 minutes during off-peak hours. The trip takes about 50 minutes. See schedules and fares here.
- By airport shuttle: If you have a lot of luggage and don’t want to pay for a taxi/Grab, another affordable option is an official airport shuttle, which offers service to many hotels in the downtown area. The cost is about S$9 – you can book a shuttle here.
How to Get Around During Your 2 Days in Singapore
Many of city’s attractions that are listed in this 2 days in Singapore itinerary are relatively close to each other and can be accessed by foot. However, keep in mind that it is VERY hot and humid year-round, so walking may be super uncomfortable. Since walking is my favorite way to see a city, we tried to walk as much as we can; however, we definitely succumbed to the heat and found other ways to around.
Luckily, you will find that you have a few transportation options to help you get around (AND stay out of the heat):
Singapore’s subway system is extensive, efficient, inexpensive, and clean, making it one of the best ways to get around during your 2 days in Singapore. Trains run from 5:30am until midnight daily, and run every 2-3 minutes during peak hours, and every 5-7 minutes during off-peak times. There are five lines, which will get you almost everywhere you need to go on your 2 days in Singapore itinerary: North–South (red), North–East (purple), East–West (green), Circle Line (orange) and Downtown (blue).
Fares are calculated by distance, and range from S$1-$2.50. You can buy a single-ride ticket, which can be reloaded and used for up to six rides. You must pay a S$0.10 deposit for the first use; this is refunded back to use after the third ride, and you get another S$0.10 discount back to you after the sixth ride.
If you plan to use public transport more often during your 2 days in Singapore, I would highly recommend getting the Singapore Tourist Pass, which allows for unlimited rides for one (S$10), two (S$16), or three days (S$20). The pass is also valid on the city’s buses as well. You can purchase the pass at select TransitLink ticket offices, at an automated kiosks in MRT stations, or at Changi airport. A S$10 deposit will be collected at the time of purchase, but you can return the card within 5 days at select ticket offices to receive a refund of this charge (or, if you choose, you can forfeit the deposit and keep the card as a souvenir). More information on the Singapore Tourist Pass, as well as a list of locations to purchase it, are available here.
Another option is to purchase EZ-Link card. This is the best option if you plan to extend your stay in Singapore beyond 2 days. You can get one of these at a TransitLink ticket office, passenger service counters at most MRT stations, at 7-11, and at Changi airport. The card costs S$12, including a S$5 nonrefundable deposit (the remaining S$7 is stored on your card to use for travel). More information here.
Singapore also has an extensive system of buses, which also go virtually anywhere in the country. Buses are a great option for when you need to travel to areas that are outside the central parts of the island. Fares are calculated by distance, and range from S$1 to S$2.10. You can use your Singapore Tourist Pass or EZ-Link card to pay your fare; exact change is required if paying with cash.
Taxis and Grab
Since Uber is not available in Singapore (or in Southeast Asia), I recommend downloading Grab for ride-sharing. The service works similarly to Uber – you enter your destination in the app, and pay for the fare using your phone. For some reason, I had trouble linking up my credit card to my app, but my debit card worked fine. We ended up using Grab quite a bit on our 2 days in Singapore, because the heat ended up making us super lazy (seriously, it’s no joke), and found it to be a relatively affordable way to get around – rides usually cost around S$7-8.
Do keep in mind that like Uber, Grab is also subject to surge pricing, so you may want to avoid using it during those times. We found that surge pricing was in effect as we were trying to leave the Gardens of the Bay after the light show and ended up taking a taxi, which was much more cost-effective. You can expect taxi fares to run about S$10-15 to most points within the city center.
Hop-on, Hop-off Bus
Jumping on one of these buses can be an easy, albeit touristy, way to get around, especially if you have limited time. The best part about these hop-on, hop-off buses is that it will take you to most points of interest on this 2 days in Singapore itinerary, without having to worry about getting lost. You can also listen to the audio commentary to find out more about the city and the places you’re visiting! You can see where the bus stops, and book here.
Similar to a rickshaw or a pedicab, trishaws can be a fun and unique, albeit expensive, way to get around the city. Trishaws originally peaked after World War II, when motorized transport was virtually nonexistent on the island. Today, only about 250 remain. You can find a trishaw terminal in Chinatown, or parked outside the Raffles Hotel. A 30 minute ride will run you about S$40. Another fun option is to take a nighttime trishaw tour through the city, which also includes dinner and a boat ride!
2 Days in Singapore: Language
One of the most unique things about Singapore is multiculturalism – you will see influences of Chinese, Malay, Arab, and Hindu cultures here. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the languages spoken in the country. Singapore has four official languages: Malay,Chinese, Tamil and English. Nearly everyone in Singapore speaks English, since it is used as the primary language of instruction in schools. In addition, most Singaporean speak one of the other three official languages.
2 Days in Singapore: Currency and Money
Singapore uses the Singapore Dollar, which is equivalent to about $0.75 USD. While credit cards are accepted at most shops and restaurants , I highly suggest you take out some cash to pay for food at hawker stands and at smaller merchants. Use a bank ATM for the best rates – I always like to take out some cash before I leave the airport.
Be sure to inform your bank of your travel plans in order to avoid any blocks on your account when trying to withdraw cash or use your credit card.
Tipping is not customary in Singapore, however, most restaurants do tack on a 10% service charge.
Singapore is expensive, especially compared to the rest of Southeast Asia. The biggest sticker shock for me was the price of alcohol – cocktails can run you over S$20! However, there are definitely ways to cut costs during your 2 days in Singapore – food and transport were two areas where I found it easy to cut costs.
Laws and Regulations in Singapore
Singapore is often associated with cleanliness and safety, and therefore has some unique and stringent laws in order to maintain those standards. Keep in mind that the following things are banned, in order to avoid hefty fines and/or jail time:
- Chewing Gum
- Smoking in public
- Not flushing the toilet
- Annoying people with a musical instrument (including playing/singing offensive songs in public)
- Connecting to someone else’s Wi-Fi network
- Feeding pigeons
- Spitting in public
- Consumption of alcohol between 10:30pm-7am (EXCEPT at licensed establishments, i.e. bars and restaurants)
- Taking durian on public transportation
- Public nudity – even in a private premises, if someone sees you
- Drugs of any kind – this can result in the death penalty
Where to Stay During Your 2 Days in Singapore
Singapore has an abundance of accommodation options scattered about the city (and island). When choosing where to stay in Singapore, you should first decide what you want to do and see during your stay. From there, you can pick a place to stay based on the attractions and sights you want to base yourself around.
For this 2 days in Singapore itinerary, I would recommend staying in one of the following areas:
- Marina Bay/Central Business District: central location and near the most popular tourist attractions
- Clake Quay: best for those wanting to stay near nightlife
- Chinatown: vibrant and charming neighborhood, best for foodies
- Little India: best area to find the most affordable accommodations
- Kampong Glam: multi-cultural, hipster neighborhood with lots of trendy bars, cafes, restaurants nearby
Here are some picks for where to stay during your 2 days in Singapore, by budget:
- Dream Lodge Singapore: The Dream Lodge hostel has a chill, friendly vibe, and is conveniently located in between three MRT stations. It is also walking distance to a ton of cool cafes, bars, and restaurants. The Dream Lodge also has pod-style beds for extra privacy, AND they provide you with two pillows for extra comfort.
- Wink Capsule Hostel: The Wink has an on-site bar and cafe, making it an ideal choice for solo travelers who are looking to meet new people. This boutique hostel has a hip, cool vibe at affordable prices.
- Cube Hotel: The Cube has capsule-style rooms, along with common spaces to meet other travelers, making it a cross between a hostel and a hotel. Cube has the ideal mix of design and technology, making it a hip, modern place to stay. This is an ideal place to stay if you’re looking for the privacy of a hotel room, but still want to meet other travelers. [Chinatown location / Kampong Glam location]
- The Arcadia Hotel: This stylish hotel combines historic charm with modern amenities. Conveniently located in Little India near two MRT stations, and is close to many dining and shopping options. The hotel also offers a free continental or American breakfast, and has a rooftop terrace with a spa tub.
- Park 22 Little India: Housed in a beautiful historic building in Little India, and just minutes away from the MRT station, the Park 22 is a comfortable, convenient, and affordable place to stay. It is located close by to many shops and restaurants and is just a few MRT stops away from many other attractions in the city.
- The Scarlet Hotel: This is where we stayed during our 2 days in Singapore. The elegant boutique hotel is housed in a historic art deco building and has a plush, sophisticated interior. It’s perfect for couples, as it’s got a romantic vibe as well! The property is conveniently located in Chinatown, near several attractions, as well as many restaurants and hawker centers. The Scarlet Hotel was an ideal place to stay because it was so central. The rooms were also super comfortable, and the service was excellent – it has consistently been rated as being one of the top boutique hotels in Singapore.
- Hotel G: The trendy Hotel G dubs itself the “quintessential lifestyle hotel, custom designed to reflect the cosmopolitan rhythms and dynamism of the tiny island nation of Singapore.” It is conveniently located and within walking distance to many points of interest, and nearby the MRT. Hotel G has the ideal mix of style, comfort, and value in a trendy setting with an array of amenities, including free WiFi, a rainfall shower, and an on-site fitness center.
- Warehouse Hotel: Situated in a historic warehouse building, The Warehouse Hotel is conveniently located within walking distance to many of the city’s top tourist attractions. The property mixes heritage, local culture, and modern comforts, and has a trendy, hip vibe. The best part of the Warehouse Hotel might just be the uber-cool rooftop infinity pool. Be sure to grab a drink at the on-site bar as well – you’ll get a coupon for a free drink upon arrival!
- Marina Bay Sands: Probably the most iconic hotel in Singapore, the Marina Bay Sands is most famous for its epic rooftop infinity pool (the world’s largest) and unique spaceship-style architecture. Most people stay here for access to the pool, but rooms are spacious with incredible city views, service is excellent and attentive, and you will be close by to may of the attractions that are on this 2 days in Singapore itinerary.
- Raffles Hotel: Another one of Singapore’s most famous hotels, there is no other property that epitomizes the island’s colonial history. The Raffles Hotel recently underwent a complete renovation, adding modern comforts in a opulent, luxurious setting.
2 Days in Singapore: What to Pack
Here are some of travel essentials that you should pack for your 2 days in Singapore:
- Power Adapter: Singapore’s outlets use 230 V voltage with 50Hz frequency. This means that if you are coming from the United States, you will need a power adapter to plug in your electronics. This is the one that I take on all my international trips.
- Power Bank: You will want to stay connected on your 2 days in Singapore, so that you can find your way around and document your trip! I never leave home without this handy power bank, which is my favorite because it charges my devices fast, and has lots of juice (one charge of the power bank will last you about 5 full charges of your devices).
- Reusable Water Bottle: Singapore’s tap water is safe for drinking, so avoid buying bottled water and carry a reusable water bottle! This is the one I carry with me at all times.
- Umbrella: Be prepared for any sudden downpours with a lightweight, compact umbrella like this one!
2 Days in Singapore Itinerary: Day 1 (Chinatown, Little India, and Clarke Quay)
Depending on your flight schedules, you can also move this to the end of your 2 days in Singapore itinerary. Either way, Singapore’s award-winning airport is a tourist destination in itself, and you must not leave without exploring it!
Our flight arrived to Singapore early in the morning. Before heading into the city, we wanted to see what it was that makes Changi continually voted as the best airport in the world. Plan to spend a few hours here to see some of the highlights within the airport.
Most of these attractions are within the secure areas of the airport, so you will have to explore them before you go through immigration and customs. The airport’s free Skytrain connects terminals 1-3, which is where you can find the majority of these attractions. You can then clear immigration at any terminal, as long as you do not have any checked baggage to claim.
Be sure not to miss the following highlights at Changi:
- Cactus Garden (Terminal 1)
- Kinetic Rain (Terminal 1)
- Orchid Garden (Terminal 2)
- Sunflower Garden (Terminal 2)
- Enchanted Garden (Terminal 2)
- Butterfly Garden (Terminal 3)
If you have more time, trying to kill time before a delayed flight, or have a long layover, there are also other attractions such as a movie theater (Terminals 2 + 3), a pool (Terminal 1), free massage chairs (Terminals 1-3), nap pods, and more!
Immigration and customs is a very smooth process at Changi, and the wait is minimal. After clearing immigration, be sure to stop by Jewel, the airport’s new, S$1.7 billion, 10-story nature-themed retail and dining experience.
The crown jewel (pun intended) here is the 40-meter (130-foot) tall “rain vortex” waterfall that drops from the stunning glass ceiling. There are even indoor hiking trails, a hedge maze, and a canopy experience, with a petal garden, topiary walk that gives you an up-close look at the waterfall, a trampoline, slides, and more. It is not to be missed during your 2 days in Singapore!
After this, head into the city center, drop off your bags at the hotel, and let the rest of the adventure begin!
Eat lunch at a hawker center
By the time you get into the city, it should be around lunchtime and you must be hungry. Singapore’s hawker centers (essentially food courts) are an important part of the country’s food culture and identity. It is also where you can taste some of the country’s most authentic dishes at a super affordable price – most will run you less than S$5!
There are hawker stands everywhere throughout the city, but I suggest eating at one located in Chinatown, which are nearby where you will go after lunch on this 2 days in Singapore itinerary. Luckily, Chinatown is also home to some of Singapore’s best hawker centers!
I suggest eating at one of these two hawker centers:
- Maxwell Center: You will find over 100 stalls at the Maxwell Center, serving mostly Chinese dishes. It can get very busy here, so you might have to wait for a seat. Famous dishes here include the Hainanese chicken rice from Tian Tian Chicken Rice (#01-10) or Ah Tai (#01-07), fish porridge from Zhen Zhen Porridge (#01-54), curry from Zhong Guo Jie Hainanese Curry Rice (#01-68), or the char kway teow (stir-fried rice cake strips) from Marina South Delicious Food (#01-35). (Address: 1 Kadayanallur St, Singapore 069184)
- Chinatown Complex Food Centre: With over 260 stalls, this is Singapore’s largest hawker center. You can find a wide range of the local cuisine here; anything from chili crab, chicken rice, Hokkien mee, satay, dim sum, and much more! Some of the must-try dishes here include the Michelin-starred chicken rice from Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodles (#02-127), pork porridge from Tian Tian Porridge (#02-185), claypot rice from Lian He Ben Ji (02-197/198), and yong tau foo (tofu stuffed with ground meat or fish paste) from Xiu Ji Ikan Bilis Yong Tau Fu (#02-88). (Address: 335 Smith St, Singapore 050335)
If you want to make sure you try all of the most famous dishes at the hakwer centers, as well as learning more about the fascinating world of hawker culture and the must-try local foods, I highly recommend this Chinatown food adventure tour or hawker food tour.
After lunch, spend some time walking through the vibrant, cultural streets of Chinatown. This is where the Chinese immigrants settled on the island during the British colonial period. You can see the influence of Chinese, Buddhist, and Hindu cultures on display here.
The narrow, bustling streets here are lined with colorful low-rise shophouses, only about 2-3 stories tall. This neighborhood blends old with new, and is one of the trendiest neighborhoods in the city, filled with restaurants, bars, and shops (it’s a great spot to do some souvenir shopping).
To learn more about the history and significance of Chinatown, I would suggest doing this guided walking tour of the neighborhood.
Buddha Tooth Relic Temple
It’s hard to miss the giant, vibrantly-colored exterior of the Buddha Tooth Relic temple while passing through the neighborhood on your 2 days in Singapore itinerary. The four-story temple is as impressive on the inside as it is on the outside, with rich, opulent details throughout.
The temple was built in 1989 in the Tang dynasty style, and houses what is believed to be the left canine tooth of the Gautama Buddha, which is believed to have been recovered from his funeral pyre in Kushinagar, India.
The tooth is contained within a giant stupa weighing 3500 kg (7716 lbs) and made with 320 kg (705 lbs) of real gold. Only monks can enter the chambers containing the actual tooth, but you can see the impressive stupa from the public viewing area on the fourth floor.
The temple also has an impressive 15-foot gold Buddha statue and a rooftop garden. The third floor of the temple also serves as a Buddhist Culture Museum, where you can learn more about Buddhism and see other revered artifacts of the Buddha in the sacred relics chamber.
Admission to the temple is free. Guided tours are also available on a weekly basis. You must wear appropriate attire in order to enter the temple – no bare shoulders or back, no short skirts or shorts. The temple offers shawls/sarongs to help you cover up.
Address: 288 South Bridge Rd, Singapore 058840
Hours: Daily, 7am-7pm
Sri Mariamman Hindu Temple
The Sri Mariamman Temple is the oldest Hindu temple in Singapore, with its history dating back to 1827. Back in the day, the temple not only served as a house of worship, but as a community institution, and often offered help for the Indian immigrants in the area. Today, it is one of the most significant places of worship for the Tamil Hindus (or the majority Hindus) in the country.
The temple is dedicated to the goddess Mariamman, who was known for her power to cure illnesses and diseases. It is built in the Dravidian temple style, with an impressive six-tier gopuram (or grand tower entrance), which is a landmark for generations of Hindu worshippers and Singaporeans alike.
The temple has vibrant paintings that grace its ceiling and opulent columns, as well as shrines dedicated to various Hindu deities. If you happen to visit in the evening, you can see even see the daily Hindu rituals.
Admission to the temple is free, although a small donation is requested to take photos or video. Appropriate dress is required (shawls are available to borrow). You must also remove your shoes to visit – and yes, that concrete ground is HOT!
Address: 244 South Bridge Rd, Singapore 058793
Hours: 7am-9pm, daily
Old Hill Police Station
Continuing along on this 2 days in Singapore itinerary, you will eventually start making your way towards Little India. You can easily get there by MRT, but I also wanted to walk a little bit to pass through all the giant skyscrapers, and to catch a glimpse of Clarke Quay.
On the way, you will pass by the Old Hill Police Station. This super-Instagrammable building is was a police station under the British rule. Today, it hosts various exhibitions and business events.
It is one of the most unique buildings in Singapore, characterized by 900 eye-catching windows, painted in the colors of the rainbow. Definitely snap a few photos here – the best spot to photograph it is from across the street (be patient to catch a break in traffic), or on the island right in front of it.
After snapping some photos, you can continue walking or hop on the MRT to make your way up to Little India.
Another one of Singapore’s ethnic districts, Little India is full of bustling streets, religious sites, shopping areas, and traditional eateries. It is one of Singapore’s smallest districts, but also one of the most colorful. The area especially comes alive during the Indian festival times of Deepavali (usually October or November) and Pongal (mid-January).
You can get a sense of the neighborhood just by walking around and wandering the in the vibrant streets (many colorful surprises will await you, just begging to be photographed), or you can take this guided walking tour that gives you further inside into the history and culture of Singapore’s Indian community.
Either way, do not miss these highlights in Little India:
House of Tan Teng Niah
The last surviving Chinese villa in this largely Indian enclave, the House of Tan Teng Niah stands out for is vibrant multi-colored facade. The house dates back to 1900, and was owned by Tan Teng Niah, a businessman who owned a sweets-factory along with a rubber smokehouse.
Fun fact: the original house was painted white and green. The present-day colors were added by the local community, who also maintains upkeep and renovation of the house. Today, the building houses commercial offices.
Address: 37 Kerbau Rd, Singapore 219168
Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple
This is another one of Singapore’s oldest and most significant Hindu temples, and is also characterized by an impressive gopuram. The temple is dedicated to its namesake, who was the Goddess and destroyer of evil Kali. The interior of the temple is as impressive as the exterior. By the time you arrive to the temple, it should be around time for the evening prayers, which is interesting to observe.
Address: 141 Serangoon Rd, Singapore 218042
Temple of 1000 Lights (Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya Temple)
This was on my list, but unfortunately was closed when we got there. The temple features an eclectic mix of Chinese, Thai and Indian styles dating back to 1927. It is also home to a giant 15 meter (49 foot) tall Buddha statue that weighs 300 tons, surrounded by a chain of lamps, which is how the temple got its name of the “Temple of 1000 Lights.”
Address: 366 Race Course Rd, Singapore 218638
The Mustafa center is a massive, 24-hour shopping complex where you can find anything and everything! It is especially known as a place where you can shop for designer goods at low prices, but you can find literally anything here, including electronics, textiles, visa services, jewelry, travel agencies, and more – it even has a hotel inside!
The Mustafa center is actually two department stores joined together, and is organized by type of goods. The vibe here is an indoor market, with narrow, jam-packed aisles packed with all kinds of merchandise. You can find excellent souvenirs here, especially handmade accessories and costume jewelry.
Address: 145 Syed Alwi Rd, Singapore 207704
If you feel a bit peckish, stop by the Tekka Center, which has a wet market, hawker center, and shops. The food center here is a good place to stop for cheap, tasty Indian ad Halal food. You can find some unique cuisine here that you won’t be able to find in the city’s other hawker centers. The market here is also known for good, fresh produce. The shops upstairs sell ethnic merchandise, such as saris and Bollywood movies.
After exploring Little India, hop on the MRT or walk back to Clarke Quay.
Clarke Quay is an ideal place to spend the evening because it is packed full of restaurant and bars, along with beautiful waterfront views. It’s an ideal area to enjoy dinner and/or drinks because many of the waterfront establishments offer outdoor seating, and it’s a great way to cool off after a long day in the heat and humidity! Plus, you can’t go wrong with the river views that you will enjoy with your meal and/or cocktails.
One of the best ways to take in those views is by taking a nighttime river cruise. See the lights of the city’s skyline twinkle against the sky and dance onto the river. This is an excellent way to relax and rest your feet, especially after a long day like today!
You can even book this tour, which includes a 40-minute river cruise, dinner, and the option to taste the famous Singapore sling at the Long Bar at the Raffles Hotel. A perfect way to spend the evening!
Clarke Quay is also a great spot for a little nighttime stroll – especially as the temperatures should have cooled down a bit (the humidity will probably still be in full force, though).
Afterwards, you can retire for the night back at your hotel room, as we did, (apparently we are old and boring AF – we didn’t make it past 9pm). Otherwise, Clarke Quay is the place to be if you are looking to enjoy the nightlife, and home to many of the city’s best clubs and bars.
2 Days in Singapore Itinerary: Day 2 (Marina Bay, Katong, Kampong Glam)
Gardens By The Bay
Start your day by heading to the Gardens of the Bay, which spans over 101 hectares (249 acres), and is filled with lush green spaces, conservatories, themed gardens, and much more. It is, by far, Singapore’s most popular tourist attraction, as well as a favorite of locals – after spending some time here, it’s easy to see why. The Gardens live up to every single bit of hype surrounding them – they are truly a wonder and a definite must-see during your 2 days in Singapore!
The Gardens of the Bay are a relatively new addition to the city. The project began in 2005 and was conceptualized to be a “city within a garden. The Gardens are split up into three areas: Bay South, Bay Central, and Bay East. Most of its highlights that I’ve included in this 2 days in Singapore itinerary reside in Bay South, which opened in 2012 is the newest section.
I would advise getting an early start to your day, and beginning the morning at the Supertree grove, where you will find the futurist, Avatar-like concrete and steel structure. We showed up to the Supertree grove around 8:30 am – this is about 30 minutes before the rest of the attractions in the Gardens open up for the day, and you will basically have the place to yourself. It will allow you to appreciate the beauty and wonder of these massive structures in some peace and quiet. Sure enough, a busload of tourists showed up not long after, and started becoming more and more crowded after that.
There are 18 Supertrees in total within the Gardens, each of which tower between 25 and 50 meters (82-164 feet) high. In total, these vertical gardens are comprised of more than 150,00 plants from over 220 species growing on their branches. Since they are a work-in-progress, it’s interesting to imagine how the look of the Supertrees will change once the plants are fully grown to the top.
Eleven of the Supertrees were built with environmentally sustainable capabilities – some of them power the lights for the evening shows, and others are used as air exhaust receptacles in the cooled conservatories.
Afterwards, check out these attractions:
- OCBC Skyway and Canopy Walk: The Skyway will allow you to see the Supertrees from up close from 22 meters high, while walking along a 128 meter long canopy that connects six of the trees. They are perhaps even more impressive from the top than they are from the ground! You also get breathtaking panoramic view of the city’s skyscrapers and waterfront from here. I would suggest heading here right after they open at 9am, since they have a maximum capacity and this will ensure that you don’t have to wait to go up, especially during busy times. (Open 9am-9pm daily; last admission 8pm; S$8)
- Cloud Forest: Perhaps the Gardens’ most impressive conservatory, the Cloud Forest features thousands of rare plants and vegetation, a 35-meter mountain, as well as the world’s tallest indoor waterfall – all covered in mist. Walking through the Cloud Forest will make you feel as if you’ve transported yourself into a mystical tropical world. Be sure to take a walk along the Treetop Walk and Cloud Walk to see everything from above as well! (Open 9am-9pm daily; last admission 8pm; S$28)
- Flower Dome: Your admission ticket to the Cloud Forest also includes entry into the Flower Dome, listed in the Guinness Book of World Record’s as the world’s largest glass greenhouse. The Flower Dome takes the greenhouse experience up to a whole new level, and is home to plants and flowers from five continents, including thousand-year old olive trees, magnolias, orchids, and more. Personally, I feel that seeing the Cloud Forest + Flower Dome in the morning hours will allow for the best light, allowing the plants to really shine (and make the best photos!).(Open 9am-9pm daily; last admission 8pm;)
I highly recommend booking tickets for the Cloud Forest and Flower Dome ahead of time to avoid long lines and to save time to help you make the most of this 2 days in Singapore itinerary!
You will eventually make your way back to the Gardens By the Bay later this evening, but for now, make your way over to the Katong neighborhood. It is a little bit far out from the city’s core, but as I had heard that this neighborhood has some excellent food options (and you know that I am allllll about the food!) plus some pretty architecture (aka perfect photo ops), I wanted to check it out on my 2 days in Singapore.
Back in the day, Katong used to be the center of Peranakan culture, which is the result of mixed marriage between locals and foreign traders (mostly Malay and Indonesian locals with Chinese or Indian traders), and is an important part of Singapore’s history and identity.
Today, it is a mostly residential neighborhood, and filled with local shops, restaurants, and businesses and has a reputation for being one of the top areas for foodies in the city. To learn more about Peranakan culture and to sample some of the neighborhood’s top foods, I recommend this Katong walking food tour.
Personally, I found that Katong was a great area to wander through, where you could get more of a feel for local life, and find far fewer tourists (for the most part) than at other places on this 2 days in Singapore itinerary. Start by walking along Tembeling Road and Koon Seng Road, and admire the pretty pastel-colored facades of the shophouses, considered by many to be some of the most beautiful in the city. Many of the shophouses still feature rare Peranakan tiles.
Be sure to admire the colorful houses along Joo Chiat Road, which you may have seen on Instagram. These definitely exemplify the Peranakan style, and make a perfect photo op. Just remember that this is a residential neighborhood and people live in them – be respectful, don’t trespass, be disruptive, or start moving stuff like trash cans around (yes, I’ve seen it happen and it’s NOT ok!)
Definitely stop for lunch while you’re in Katong – either at the Dunman Food Center (try a bowl of wonton noodles at Fatty’s Won Tan Mee), or laksa at 328 Laksa (more on that later).
After lunch, head on over to the Kampong Glam district, which is another one of Singapore’s ethnic enclaves. Here, you will experience Malay and Arab cultures.
Kampong Glam’s history goes all the way back to the 1800s, when it was a thriving port city. In 1822, Sir Stamford Raffles dedicated the area to the Malay, Arab, and Bugis communities, and it became one of the seats of the Malay aristocracy.
Today, Kampong Glam is filled with hip boutiques, bars, trendy cafes, art galleries, and more. You can still see the strong ties to the Muslim community here, as there are many ethnic eateries, shops, and houses of worship.
One of the best ways to learn more about the history, culture, and significance of the neighborhood is to take this guided Kampong Glam walking tour. Another way to get an insight to the area’s history and culture is to check out the Malay Heritage Centre.
Nowhere is Kampong Glam’s Muslim roots more apparent than on Arab Street. Walking down the streets, you can see the Arab influence in the aromas and the architectural details. The street is filled with Halal restaurants, carpet and fabric shops, and more.
Be sure not to miss the Sultan Mosque, which is the largest and most important mosque in all of Singapore. The mosque has an impressive gold dome and salmon exterior, one of the most iconic sights in Singapore.
The mosque was built in 1824, but was rebuilt give years later to its present structure. Muslims come from all over the island to worship in the mosque’s grand prayer room, which holds up to 50000 worshipers.
Keep in mind that the mosque closes for prayer rituals between noon and 2pm – we didn’t know this so we had to come back later.
Arab Street especially comes alive during Ramadan (in the spring), when you can find bustling night markets.
Haji Lane was one of my favorite spots during my 2 days in Singapore, for the hipster vibe and the colorful street art. The narrow little street is filled with trendy bars, quirky shops,hip cafes, and lots of cool murals everywhere you look.
It is a feast for the eyes and a fun spot to spend an afternoon! Shopaholics will love Haji Lane, as it is filled with super hip boutiques and shops – I definitely would’ve gone on a shopping spree here if I had more room left in my suitcase!
I found Haji Lane was a great place to escape the heat for a bit – by this point, it was midday and the sun was scorching. We ducked into a few bars here to take advantage of the air conditioning and escape the heat! Some of our favorite spots the Blu Jaz Cafe, which has a super eclectic vibe, and Good Luck Beerhouse, which has a great selection of local Singaporean and Southeast Asian craft beers.
If you want to explore the area’s street art, it’s not hard to find – everywhere you look will have colorful murals and walls, even on many of the storefronts! Be sure to also wander through some of the surrounding side streets as well, as these also house some gems.
Marina Bay Sands
After spending most the afternoon exploring Kampong Glam, make your way back over to the Marina Bay area, where you will finish this 2 days in Singapore itinerary. The Marina Bay Sands not only houses the iconic hotel, but also contains a shopping mall and a casino.
We took a quick stroll through the Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands on the way to the hotel, and found it to be a super clean and impressive shopping mall – it has almost any store you can think of! If you’re a shopaholic, you’ll definitely want to set aside some time to do some retail therapy here. You can even ride in a gondola that goes through a canal right in the middle of the mall.
Our intention was to catch the sunset from the top of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel. If you have some time to kill before sunset (or don’t really care about seeing the sunset, I highly recommend checking out the ArtScience Museum, which has super unique exhibits that combines art, technology, and science.
Many of the exhibits are rotating, but they have a few permanent installations as well. One of these is the Instagram-famous Crystal Universe installation, in which you will feel like you’ve been transported to outer space, as you find yourself amidst a seemingly infinite number of light particles that move with your motion.
Unfortunately, as we were on a mission to catch the sunset from the top of the hotel, we were pressed for time and did not make it to the ArtScience Museum – bummer, because it was highly recommended to us for our 2 days in Singapore! I highly recommend stopping into the museum, if you can – you can book tickets here.
Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands
Address: 2 Bayfront Ave, Singapore 018956
Hours: 10:30am-11pm Sunday-Thursday, 10:30am-11:30pm Friday-Saturday
Address: 6 Bayfront Ave, Singapore 018974
Hours: 10am-7pm daily
Sunset at Marina Bay Sands
Yes, you do need to be a hotel guest in order to access the rooftop infinity pool. However, if your budget does not allow for you to shell out ~$500/night to stay at Marina Bay Sands, I have good news for you – you can still enjoy that same view!
You have two options for this: one, is to purchase admission into the SkyPark observation deck, where you can enjoy 360 degree panoramic views of the city’s skyline and bay. Keep in mind that many people will also aim to time their visit to be around sunset, so I suggest purchasing your tickets ahead of time in order to skip the line (you can even buy this combination admission to the Gardens by the Bay).
The second option is the better option, in my opinion – head up to the Ce La Vi rooftop bar. It is adjacent to the infamous pool, which means that you basically are enjoying the exact same view – without having to pay for an expensive hotel room!
There is a S$22 entry fee into the bar before 10pm, but you retain this amount as a food and beverage credit. Yes, the drinks are expensive (on average about ~S$25 for a cocktail), and you’ll most likely pay a few dollars on top of this, but what more could be better than enjoying those epic city views, while relaxing with a drink in hand as you watch the sun fall below the horizon? Yeah, thought so.
(pssst…if you really want to save the S$22, there is no cover charge into the bar after 10pm on Sundays-Thursdays.)
Address: 10 Bayfront Ave, Tower 3, Singapore 018956
Skypark Hours: Monday-Thursday 9:30am-10pm, Friday-Sunday 9:30am-11pm
Ce La Vi Hours: noon-late, daily
Walk along the waterfront promenade
After sunset, take some time to walk along the waterfront promenade at Marina Bay. This will allow you to enjoy some awesome of Singapore’s skyline and the Singapore Flyer. You will truly marvel and the size and scale of the city’s skyscrapers, and its lights will twinkle against the night sky!
The entire walk is about 4km (~2.5 miles), but even if you don’t walk along the entire span, at least go and say hello to Merlion, a lion-like creature who is also the official mascot of Singapore (he resides around One Fullerton).
Also be sure to check out the Helix Bridge, which connects the Marina Center with Marina South. It has a unique double helix design (hence, the name), and has been strategically placed around Marina Bay Sands, Gardens by the Bay, the Singapore Flyer and the Bayfront Bridge – which allows for awesome views of the above!
By this time, you should also be able to catch a glimpse of the Spectra, a magical light and fountain show. The 15 minute show combines lasers, visual projections, dancing fountain jets illuminated by colorful lights, and lava and mist effects, all set to music – it’s a true sensory experience.
We had no idea that there was even a show here, we just happened to be in the right place at the right time, but we were absolutely enthralled by it – be sure not to miss it! Shows take place at 8pm and 9pm nightly; on Fridays and Saturdays, there is a third show taking place at 10pm. The show takes place at the Event Plaza, but you can see it from anywhere along the water.
After this, walk back over to the Gardens by the Bay for another dazzling light show!
Gardens by the Bay (yes, again)
Saving the best for last! Yes, it is absolutely necessary that you see the Gardens by the Bay twice on your 2 days in Singapore itinerary – once in the morning in peace and quiet, and again at night as the lights come up! They are completely different experiences, each amazing in their own way.
One of the most magical sights during my 2 days in Singapore was the Garden Rhapsody light show that takes place in the Supertree Grove. Watch and be mesmerized as they come alive with vibrant lights that dance around the massive trees, perfectly choreographed to music.
I wasn’t sure what to what to expect and even worried that the show would be kinda cheesy, but it was definitely an awe-inspiring experience and a must-see! The best part of the show is the finale, in which the trees light up in almost a fireworks-like fashion – so cool! Pro tip: put your camera/phone camera in burst mode in order to capture the lights at the perfect moment!
Did you know that there are over 50 speakers hidden throughout the grove to give the show a surround sound-quality experience, and that the lights are solar powered by the trees themselves?
Keep in mind that this is one of the top things to do in Singapore, and will draw crowds. You may want to get to the Gardens a little bit early to stake out an optimal viewing spot. Also keep in mind that getting out of the Gardens after the show will be a bit of madness, so leave additional time (and patience). We tried to wait a bit for hopefully thinner crowds on the way out, but even still found tons of people still trying to leave. We found that Grab was surging at this time, and a taxi was the more economical choice (at this point, we were exhausted since we were at the end of this busy 2 days in Singapore itinerary!).
What to Eat and Drink During Your 2 Days in Singapore
My favorite thing about my 2 days in Singapore was definitely the food – I still have dreams about it (and wish I had more stomach space to eat more)! Here are my recommendations for where to eat and drink on your 2 days in Singapore:
Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle (aka Hawker Chan)
At just about S$5, you may have heard about Hawker Chan as having the world’s cheapest Michelin starred meal. Is it worth the hype? Yes, you should definitely try it! Is it the best thing I’ve ever eaten in my life? No, but it’s still pretty damn good. The chicken is tender and juicy, and the rice is comforting. You can’t go wrong here, especially since (again) it only costs S$5.
For the original experience, can head to the original hawker stand in the Chinatown Food Complex. I hear that the lines get a bit crazy here, so be prepared to wait. Otherwise, due to its popularity, Hawker Chan recently opened a storefront that is located nearby the original stall. The lines are much shorter here, and you can actually sit down and enjoy your chicken rice in an air-conditioned establishment (I was all about escaping the heat any chance I got, y’all).
Hawker Chan @ Chinatown Food Complex
Address: 335 #02-126 Smith St., Singapore 050335
Hours: Monday-Saturday 10:30am-3:30pm, closed Sunday
Hawker Chan Chinatown
Address: 78 Smith St, Singapore 058972
Hours: 10:30am-9pm, daily
Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle
Hawker Chan isn’t the only Michelin-starred hawker stand in Singapore – also with that recognition is the Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle stand in the Tai Hwa Eating House.
Hill Street is recognized for their bak chor mee, or minced pork noodles. The noodles come topped with minced pork, pork liver, tender sliced pork, crispy fish, and wontons, in a vinegary, sour, spicy sauce.
It is definitely not for everyone, but if you feel like your taste buds are on the adventurous side, give it a try! I wasn’t sure how I would like these noodles, but I ended up really liking them – they are a unique dish that isn’t so common back home in San Francisco, and I wanted to try something new!
Keep in mind that the line here is deceptively short, as they make each bowl of noodles to order, and each bowl takes about 5 minutes to prepare. We waited in line for about an hour, even though there were only about 20 people in line. Be sure to leave extra time for this (aka be prepared and don’t get hangry like me)!
Address: 466 Crawford Ln, #01-12, Singapore 190466
Hours: Sunday-Saturday 9:30am-9pm, closed Monday
328 Katong Laksa
It is definitely worth making a trip out to the Katong neighborhood, not only because it is pretty, but also because you must slurp down a bowl of laksa from 328 Katong Laksa – easily one of my favorite things that I had during my 2 days in Singapore!
If you don’t know what laksa is, it is a spicy coconut curry soup, with chicken and/or seafood. It is a perfect example of Peranakan cuisine, and one of the most popular dishes in the local cuisine of Singapore. You can find laksa at many places throughout the city, but the best of the best is at 328 Katong Laksa!
The laksa here is a favorite of both locals and tourists, and it’s easy to see why! The broth here is super flavorful and the perfect mix of creamy and spicy. Don’t worry if you’re not good with spicy food, as I am usually a wuss when it comes to spice and even I was able to easily slurp down my bowl of laska. I still have dreams about the laksa here and have been craving it since I returned home!
Address: 51 E Coast Rd, Singapore 428770
Hours: 10am-10pm daily
When I told people that I was going to Singapore, many of them told me that I mustttt eat chili crab. JUMBO Seafood is *the* place to get your hands on this Singaporean specialty.
The chili crab here comes in a thick, sweet-yet-savory sauce with just the right hint of spice. The sauce is so delicious that you will want to eat spoonfuls of it (I definitely did). Be sure to get some of the donut-like buns to soak up all the sauce – and keep them coming, as they are super addictive themselves!
It is a little bit pricey, but hey, I say treat yo’ self! We came here on our last night, and had mostly been eating hawker food during our 2 days in Singapore, so we didn’t feel too bad. JUMBO has multiple locations throughout the city, so you will definitely be able to find one that is convenient to you – we dined at the one in Clarke Quay.
You can find locations and hours here.
There is nothing quite better than shaved ice on a hot day, and you will find over 20 drool-worthy varieties of it here at Mei Hong Yuen! Flavors include green tea, mango and strawberry, milk tea, durian, and more!
Mei Hong specializes in snow ice, or ice that is shaved into super thin sheets. It gives it more of a creamy texture than your traditional shaved ice, and you avoid giant chunks of ice that give you brain freeze. The flavors are already mixed into the ice before it gets shaved, so you get a creamy flavor as well, and it’s not too sweet. Definitely refreshing and will hit the spot after you spend a day in that Singapore heat and humidity!
If shaved ice isn’t your thing, Mei Hong Yuen also has a selection of traditional Chinese dessert, dumplings, cakes, and more.
We stopped into the location in Chinatown (just down the street from Hawker Chan), but there are multiple locations scattered throughout the city – locations and hours can be found here.
Long Bar at Raffles Hotel
Singapore’s unofficial national drink is the Singapore Sling, and the birthplace of the cocktail was at the famous Raffles Hotel in 1915. Since women were not allowed to drink alcohol in around the turn of the century, a bartender at the hotel created the Singapore Sling as a cocktail disguised as fruit juice, so that women could enjoy a drink at the bar as well. It quickly became a hit, and remains a popular drink in Singapore today.
Yes, the drinks here are super expensive (close to S$30 a pop), but you’re also definitely paying for the experience here as well. The bar has an eclectic vibe – it is designed to look like a Malay plantation, and they even give you a burlap sack of peanuts to snack on (and the floor is covered in peanut shells). They even have a cool old-school cocktail shaker, which allows you to prepare multiple Singapore Slings at once (the bartender told us that they sell thousands a day). They even let my boyfriend try his hand at it. Such a cool experience!
Address: #02-01, Raffles Arcade, 328 North Bridge Rd, Singapore 188719
Hours: Monday-Saturday11am-midnight, Friday-Saturday 11am-1am
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