Singapore is one of the major destinations for travelers and tourists alike because of its reputation as being one of the safest and cleanest countries in the world. Their amazing architecture and designs are outstandingly world class and it is also a center for modern day technology. Having said all that, Singapore is also listed as one of the most expensive cities to live in but this does not stop people from going in and out of the country and explore its marvels. Diverse is an accurate description of Singapore, people from different countries live and work in the country and this might explain why most of the locals can very well understand and speak English which limits the communication barrier for travelers trying to get to know the place.
Instead of availing travel packages for our Singapore trip, we opted to have our DIY travel itinerary to save money and have a sense of a small victory when we overcome the many struggles of commuting. The MRT/LRT/Bus systems in Singapore are really convenient and can reach most of the destinations which means you don’t need to rent a car or hire a taxi.
Fun fact: Singapore’s transportation systems including taxis are owned by the government.
Their MRT is the cheapest way to get around the city quickly as their lines are all connected to cover the 4 corners of the country. If you want to hire a cab, the flagdown rate starts at 3.90SGD.
Day 1: Arrival at Changi International Airport, Merlion Park, and Marina Bay Sands
As we all know by now, Changi International Airport is among the best airports in the world and it is there for a handful of reasons. The airport is nice and modern overall with the intricate and meticulous designs. It is not just a regular airport, rather it has also become an attraction in Singapore.
TRAVEL TIP: You can download Singapore Maps App for easy navigation through the country. It gives you different options for modes of transportation with the complete instructions. Will require internet connection though.
Before you leave the airport, make sure to grab the tourist pamplets scattered around the airport. They have information about the place to give you a better understanding and introduction to the country and most importantly, maps.
Our first stop for this trip is of course is to see Singapore’s national icon, the Merlion.
The Merlion is a mythical creature with the body of a fish and head of a lion and water gushing out of its mouth. It is Singapore’s most iconic figure and your visit to the country wouldn’t be complete if you do not come and say hi to the Merlion. The place is teeming with tourists because of its popularity and you need patience and timing when trying to take photos of yourself with the Merlion.
Makansutra Gluttons Bay
For our late lunch, we headed over to the Makansutra Gluttons Bay by walking from Merlion Park.
TRAVEL TIP: If you are travelling through MRT, always have the MRT map handy to determine station transfers to reach a destination.
TRAVEL TIP: If you want to come visit the infinity pool on top of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel without the need to check in, you can actually buy tickets for 20SGD for a tour (swimming not included).
At the Event Plaza at the Promenade, they have Wonder Full light, fountain, and music show at night with the cityscape of Singapore in the background. Unfortunately, we were not able to see the show as the weather was not in our favor. The schedule is as follows:
Sunday – Thursday: 8:00pm and 9:30pm
Friday and Saturday: 8:00pm, 9:30pm, and 11:00pm
End of Day 1
Day 2: Gardens by the Bay (Flower Dome and Cloud Forest), China Town, Clake Quay, and Bugis Street
Gardens by the Bay (Flower Dome and Cloud Forest)
Part of the world’s best gardens in the world, Gardens by the Bay at Marina Bay is the number 1 attraction in Singapore. With over 1 million plants, it provides both learning and entertainment opportunity for everyone. It is also home to the ever famous Supertree Grove and with numerous indoor and outdoor gardens as well. It is surely a must visit destination in Singapore.
We availed entry to Gardens by the Bay’s 2 fully airconditioned indoor conservatories, Flower Dome and Cloud Forest.
TRAVEL TIP: Purchase your attraction tickets online to get big discounts. You may also download the Klook App and find the great deals and discounts for tickets.
See life in a colorful perspective inside the Flower Dome. It is home to 30,000 plants from over 150 species and will totally satisfy your dream of walking through a field of flowers.
The place is fully airconditioned for the experience of cool conditions of the subtropical Mediterranean regions. This is a break from the warm weather in Singapore.
Once you have taken all the obligatory photos at the Flower Dome, it is now time for your next indoor adventure, the Cloud Forest.
Going to Gardens by the Bay:
Through MRT, alight from Bayfront Station (Circle Line/Downtown Line) and take exit B and follow the underground linkway. Exit and cross the dragonfly bridge.
They also offer shuttle services for 3SGD for unlimited rides going to and from Gardens by the Bay. If you do not want to spend extra money, you may enjoy the walk through the outdoor gardens on your way up.
The indoor conservatories are open from 9:00am to 9:00pm.
China Town is a go-to place for backpackers in Singapore. With all the cheap stuff up for grabs, it is a budget friendly place. Aside from the many shops on the street, they also have street food and of course Chinese restaurants to die for.
If you are looking for affordable souvenirs in Singapore, definitely check out China Town.
How to get to China Town:
Via MRT, get off at China Town Station (North East Line) and go to exit A (Pagoda Street). It is also walking distance away from Clarke Quay which is our next destination.
TRAVEL TIP: You can purchase MRT pass at the Changi Airport. Buy stored value ticket/day pass (unlimited) based on your usage. We estimated our fare for 5 days to be 25SGD or less.
Clarke Quay is located along the Singapore River. They offer boat rides for sightseeing around the riverside. The place is abundant with colorful structures and is packed with fun establishments for dining and partying. It is best to visit Clarke Quay at night as the nightlife there is pretty awesome and exciting.
This is the Old Hill Street Police Station in Clarke Quay and it is also painted in vibrant colors to match the athmosphere of the whole place. Now that’s an eye candy of a police station.
Central Mall has this area for love locks where you can actually place a padlock of your choice and decorate it with your names.
For tourists, you can show your passport at the Concierge for a free lock.
How to go to Bugis Street:
Take MRT and alight at Bugis Station (East West Line/Downtown Line).
End of Day 2
Day 3: Sentosa (Luge and Skyride and Madame Tussauds) and Universal Studios Singapore
Sentosa is an integrated island resort with hotels, theme parks, spa, beach, and a lot more. Here, you will find entertainment for all ages and it will never cease to amaze you with all their fun attractions. Sentosa is literally located in an island away from Singapore and they have this train service (Sentosa Express) located inside Vivo City Mall for 4SGD roundtrip to reach the place.
TRAVEL TIP: Chicken Rice is the well known local dish in Singapore and really a must try.
It is a whole island of fun and adventure and you will need at least a day to fully explore and experience what they have to offer. They have great package deals for the attractions so come visit their website for more details. We did not get a package for our visit, rather we selected only 2 of their paid attractions.
Our first activity for the day is the Luge and Skyride, it offers 1.2km of luging excitement for a healthy dose of adrenaline rush. A fun outdoor activity, you can ride the tracks down as fast as you can if you dare, it is perfect for adventure junkies and casual tourists alike.
After your ride down, you might wonder how and what will be your return trip ride up to where you started. Sit back and relax as Skyride will take you high above the ground for an overlooking view of the whole Sentosa Island.
Luge and Skyride operating hours is from 10am to 9:30pm.
Next on our list is the Madame Tussauds wax musuem. This will take you to different places to meet famous celebrities in just a few steps.
Madame Tussauds is open from 10:00am to 6:00pm daily.
After the long tiring walks along Sentosa attractions, we now proceed to one of the main attractions in Singapore – Universal Studios Singapore. This theme park is also located inside Sentosa Island and it has everything for fun and excitement for everyone from all walks of life. USS is a must visit attraction in Singapore and you should definitely include it to your travel itinerary.
We listed down our favorite attractions in USS below in order.
2. The Mummy
3. Lights, Camera, Action
You can expore the theme park in only 4-6 hours which will give you time to visit more destinations in Singapore.
For dinner, we made our way to Bugis for the Steamboat Buffet. This is not a fancy buffet but a lot of locals come here to eat because of their great food and various selections.
For 23SGD per person, this will give you unlimited access to their food and drinks with a choice of 2 soups for your hotpot.
Food and drinks are pretty expensive in Singapore so this is a such relief, though not that cheap as well but this is a reward from a long tiring day of walking and walking.
How to go to Sentosa Island:
Via MRT, alight train at HarbourFront Station (North East Line/Circle Line) and ake exit E to Vivo City (mall opens at 10:00am). Proceed to level 3 and board the Sentosa Express for 4SGD roundtrip. Get off the train at Waterfront Station.
End of day 3
Day 4: Haji Lane, Mustafa, and Night Safari
Haji Lane is growing more in popularity due to its vibrant and cool graffitis painted on the walls of the place. Best for taking your fancy OOTDs and instagram worthy photos, art is surely an easy way to attract people to the place.
Prepare to have additional baggage for your chocolate shopping spree.
How to go to Mustafa:
Take MRT North East Line and get off at Farrer Park Station. Go to exit H and walk your way to Mustafa.
We had too much of chocolate purchases from Mustafa and we had to head back to our hotel to drop off the heavy bags first before we go to the Night Safari.
The Night Safari schedule is from 7:15pm, 8:15pm, 9:15pm, to 10:15pm. You will have to get to a tram ride to have a glimpse of all the animals in the safari. Well, it is during the night which gives extra excitement and the feel of needing to have a keen eyesight to hunt the animals with your eyes, talk about primal instincts.
You can also get off the tram to further explore the wilderness and have close encounters with the animals, like really close.
How to go to Night Safari:
From MRT Ang Mo Kio Station (North South Line), take bus 138 going to Singapore Zoo and get off at the last stop. The bus station is located inside and below the AMK hub.
End of Day 4
Day 5: Bugis, Orchard Road, Lucky Plaza, Little India, and Mustafa
We are down to our last day in Singapore and we have to get to the airport at 10:00pm. Having said that, we had to make the most out of the day.
The ION Orchard Mall has all the luxury brands of bags, clothing, and a lot more. The architectural design of the mall and theenght of Orchard Road is just top notch that it has become one of the attractions in Singapore.
Just opposite Orchard Mall, Lucky Plaza is literally a few steps away and is a place for cheap perfumes and cameras. They also have a lot of money changers you can go to if you have already ran out of SGDs.
Lucky Plaza is also a place where a lot of Filipinos are located (they have Jollibee!). For the food, the Asian Food Center got you covered if you are missing Filipino cuisine and some asian food.
To get here, get off at the Orchard Station at North South Line and exit to Orchard Mall.
For more instagrammable locations, Little India is our next destination.
Before we end our Singapore trip, we headed to Mustafa for the second time around to shop for more chocolates and food.
Singapore is really a great place to spend your holidays or even live at. It is highly urbanized with locations that can cater and adjust to a wide variety of tourists and travellers from around the world. What we liked best is the diversity of different cultures and Singapore is like being in a lot of places at once and we’re not complaining. Nowadays, security and orderliness is the main concern of the world and Singapore is one of the safest and cleanest countries in the world. It is travelling worry-free and just enjoying all the amazing feats that they have to offer.
We have been frequently asked on the cameras we use for our travels. We use two Fujifilm cameras, XA2 16-50mm lens f3.5 and XT1 35mm lens f2.0. We like the Fujifilm cameras for travelling because it is lightweight, handy, and fits in our bag without being bulky. The camera settings are also integrated in the dials and buttons of the camera’s exterior for easy adjustments. For the photo editing, it is a mix of Lightroom and VSCO.