By Miri Mare
There's so much more to Singapore than sticking to the central neighbourhoods, expensive cocktail bars and financial high rises, but where should you start? With our 2 day guide to the best of what Singapore has to offer, of course! Get off the beaten path, discover the city's history, remote paradise islands and taste the cuisine that the locals really eat; we promise you'll want to stay for another 48 hours in Singapore.
Day 1- Start the day right
Start your day off in style, on the beaches of Sentosa Island! Sentosa is one of Singapore’s offshore islands, just off the coast in the south of city where you’ll find beautiful beaches, trendy beach clubs and luxurious condos. Cool off in the sea or play beach volleyball to your heart’s content - a morning here will feel like a holiday from your holiday. Sentosa is also a popular destination for Instagrammers and professional photographers alike, so feel free to Instagram iconic sea views or go to the Sentosa Festive Walks.
After relaxing in this little slice of paradise, it’s time to head back into the city and make a start on your Singapore bucket list, which of course means making a beeline for Chinatown. With the help of the MRT North East Line, the journey from Sentosa to Chinatown is a piece of cake, and you’ll be exploring the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum in no time. You can explore freely inside the temple, unless there’s a scheduled day or holy day for the Buddhist community, and on top of the pagoda you can see meditators in the meditation zone and golden Buddha statues. You could also visit the Masjid Jamae mosque and the Sri Layan Vinayagar Temple to learn more about the diverse cultures, religions and traditions that Singapore is home to. Or, you could try climbing the Pinnacle @ Duxton, a public housing project which opened its sky garden to both residents and visitors, for a bird’s eye view of the city.
Of course, all of this exploring means you’ll have worked up an appetite by now, so it must be about time for lunch! Did you know you can eat Michelin star Hainanese chicken rice at a hawker centre? In the heart of Chinatown at the Chinatown Complex at the Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodle stand is the best chicken and rice you’ll ever eat - come prepared for a long queue as you won’t be the only one who wants to try this, but the wait is worth it! Another option for lunch in Chinatown is the vegetarian eatery in the basement of the Tooth Relic Temple, which works on a donation basis, so give generously if you can. After a delicious lunch, head to the Esplanade, theatres on the bay to check out some of their free performances and concerts. The Esplanade has been seen as a cultural platform in Singapore, which shares the arts, creative projects and performances with locals and visitors alike. Check the schedule of performances online before you h
Shopping, karaoke and massage chairs
Shop until you drop at Marina Bay Sands. From local to international brands, there's something for everyone’s tastes for sure. Then before the sun sets, take a selfie at the Infinity Pool on the stylish rooftop of Marina Bay Sands so your family and friends know you are really in Singapore! You have to stay at the hotel for a minimum of one night to make it into the pool, but there is also a rooftop bar that visitors can enjoy the view from!
Check out the schedules of the complimentary Marina Bay Sands night show (usually the free shows are on Sundays) and be amazed by the beautiful night lights on Marina Bay. Maybe try your luck in the casino, or venture into Boat Quay and impress (or distress!) everyone with your singing at the Teo Heng karaoke studio, which is something lots of the locals love to do. Book early to avoid any disappointment! Even if karaoke isn’t your thing, you can always be rejuvenated in the comfy massage chairs, or play a game of pool.
Day 2- A cultural experience
Hop on the MRT East West line and head to the East Coast Area, then hire a taxi via Grab (a local car sharing app in Singapore) or Uber to get to Changi Chapel and Museum. This is a fascinating museum where you can discover the history of wartime Singapore and the military personnel who hailed from so many different countries. Now it’s time to explore another of the city’s beautiful islands - this time, Pulau Ubin. Here you can experience a side of Singapore you’d never have dreamed existed - pristine rainforests, perfect stillness and an atmosphere that’s a world away from the razzle dazzle of central Singapore. Hire a bike from one of the many shops by the Pulau Ubin ferry terminal, and explore the island on two wheels! The road’s aren’t perfect, but it’s the perfect place to cycle of hike, I’d recommend the trail from the jetty to the other side of the island.
Food, delicious food!
After a half day of trekking or cycling around Ubin, you’re going to want to reward yourself with some of the finest cuisine in Singapore! Happily for you, the Changi Village hawker centre is in the vicinity of the Tanah Merah ferry terminal to and from Ubin, and offers a wide range of hawker foods from Hokkien Prawn Mee to Roti Prata. For a real local hawker centre experience, wander around the complex and see what takes your fancy! The only rules are: follow your nose, and the longest queues!
But if you’ve got the energy to explore some more, hop on the bus to Quentin’s, a restaurant offering Eurasian dishes, fusion cuisine which may be something you’ve never tried before. One of Singapore’s lesser known ethnic groups, Eurasian’s heritage comes from the mixed marriages of Europeans and Asians, and their cuisine directly reflects their roots. Think soy sauce and chilli, with European flavours like mustard and Worcestershire sauce - these curries and stews perfectly blend and balance unique flavour combinations and cooking techniques, bringing something to the table from India, China, Malaysia and Europe.
Hello, curious traveler!
Embark on a unique experience with Hello, curious traveler!
Embark on a unique experience with Our personalized, private tours, led by local hosts, make you feel like you’re exploring the city with a knowledgeable friend. We’ll take you to well-known sights and reveal Singapore’s hidden gems, unveiling stories typically missed by traditional tours. So unscript your journey, and see Singapore through the eyes of our local hosts!
Top private experiences in Singapore
We’ll pair you with the perfect host
There is no better way to see a city than with a friend who lives there. This is why we carefully match guests with their perfect host based on interested, personality and type of experience so they can discover a city beyond the tourist trail.
Make your inbox happy with our travel tips and inspiration as well as exclusive offers and first access to new services.