Singapore is one of my favourite cities in the whole world. This vibrant city is one of the biggest hubs in Southeast Asia so if you are planning a trip to this region I highly recommend visiting Singapore as well. You don’t need so much time to explore the main sights in Singapore – in fact, you can do it in one single day! Read along if you want to know how to spend 1 day in Singapore and still see all the best places in the city.
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Where to stay in Singapore
Since you will have only 1 day in Singapore I suggest booking a hotel close to the city centre to save time on the transportation. Unfortunately Singapore is a really expensive city so unless you wanna stay in a hostel or a capsule hotel it’s gonna cost you a lot of money. Especially in the city centre.
I had a really hard time choosing where to stay but in the end we booked a room at Destination Singapore Beach Road for 200 Singapore dollars (145 USD) per night. The room was really comfy and beautiful with great breakfast. Plus the hotel was close to the MRT station and there was an amazing outdoor pool on the top floor. We stayed there for 2 nights but we arrived late in the afternoon and we left early in the morning so we only had 1 full day for exploring.
How to get around Singapore
Luckily Singapore is a totally walkable city and all the main sights are relatively close to each other. The whole route I put together for your 1 day in Singapore is 13.7 km in total but since you’ll be wandering a lot more around it will be like 20-25km in reality.
If you don’t fancy walking or you wanna save some time between each locations you can use public transportation or get in a taxi as well. The MRT is the best and fastest way to travel around the city. You can buy a Tourist Pass for 10 Singapore dollars (7.5 USD) for 1 day but if you only plan to use the MRT occasionally it’s cheaper to buy single tickets.
How to spend 1 day in Singapore
Having at least 3 or 4 days in Singapore would be the optimal amount of time for visiting. However many people only have a short layover in Singapore and often have just 24 hours to discover the city. You also have just one day to spend in Singapore? Don’t worry, if you maximize your time you will be able to cover all the must-see spots! Although it means you will have a really long day with lots of walking. So put on your most comfortable shoes, have a coffee in your hand and let’s go exploring!
1. Marina Bay Circuit
Since the weather is still pleasant early in the morning it’s perfect for taking a walk. If you also decide to stay at the Destination Singapore Beach Road I recommend to take a walk in the direction of the Singapore Flyer.
You will pass by the Marina Bay Street Circuit on your way. Seems familiar? If you are a Formula 1 fan it should be – it’s the venue for the Singapore Grand Prix! Even if you’re not a fan it’s still worth to stop for a few minutes and take some amazing pictures.
2. Singapore Flyer
After the Marina Bay Circuit continue your walk until you reach the Singapore Flyer – a giant ferris wheel overlooking the Marina Bay skyline. With it’s 165 metres height the Singapore Flyer is one of the world’s largest observation wheel and one of Asia’s biggest tourist attraction.
If you wanna go for a ride you have to purchase a ticket at the ticket counter. According to their website the online booking is currently unavailable. Although riding the ferris wheel might be tempting but be prepared for the ticket prices: an adult ticket costs 33 Singapore dollars (24 USD). For this price you get one rotation on the wheel which is a 30 minute long ride. The ticket counter is open between 8 am and 10 pm, the first flight is at 8.30am and the last one is at 10.15pm.
3. Helix Bridge & Marina Bay Skyline
In order to reach the Gardens by the Bay from the Singapore Flyer you have to cross the Helix Bridge. This is a pedestrian bridge that links together Marina Centre with Marina South and it was inspired by the form of a curved DNA structure. It looks really cool! The bridge has four viewing platforms from where you can have an amazing view over the Marina Bay skyline.
The bridge takes you right to the foot of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel (the one that looks like a giant ship). This hotel is the most popular one in Singapore as it features the world’s biggest rooftop infinity pool with breathtaking views over the Singapore skyline. Unfortunately the pool has been closed to the public, so you can only try it if you are a guest of the hotel. Although you have to pay big bucks for that as the rooms start from 550 Singapore dollars (400 USD) per night.
4. Cloud Forest & Flower Dome
Even if you have only 1 day in Singapore visiting the Cloud Forest and the Flower Dome is a real must-have! The tickets are a bit pricy as the admission for the two conservatories costs 28 Singapore dollars (20 USD) per person but it’s really worth every penny!
As you enter the Cloud Forest Dome you’ll have a first glance at the 35-metre tall mountain that is home to the world’s largest indoor waterfall. No pictures do justice how beautiful it is in real life! If you wanna have a picture in front of the waterfall without the crowds try to arrive around opening time (9 am) otherwise it will be impossible to have a decent photo.
The temperature inside the Cloud Forest Dome is between 23-25 degree Celsius with 80-90% humidity which is the perfect setting for the tropical plants. Compared to the heat outside you will probably feel really cold so make sure to have a light jacket or sweater with you!
If you are a flower lover like me you will feel yourself in heaven! You will find many gorgeous orchids, bromeliads, ferns and carnivorous pitcher plants around the conservatory. It really feels like as if you were walking around in a steamy and humid tropical jungle!
The Flower Dome is the largest greenhouse in the world featuring exotic plants from five continents. You will find nine different gardens with an always changing floral display. If you are into flower photography you will love this place!
5. Supertree Grove & OCBC Skywalk
The Supertree Grove is the most iconic spot in Singapore. These Supertrees are actually not trees – they are made of concrete and steel. They work like a vertical garden and they are home to more than 158,000 plants. Walking amongst them feel like you are in another world!
There are 18 Supertrees around the Gardens by the Bay in total – 12 of them are located at the Supertree Grove, 3 in the Golden Gardens an another 3 in the Silver Gardens. 11 of them are embedded with environmentally sustainable functions like photovoltaic cells to harvest solar energy. So they are not just fascinating to look at, they are actually an important part of the self-sustainable system that runs through the whole Gardens by the Bay.
Walking around the Gardens by the Bay is completely free. However if you wanna get an up-close look of the futuristic Supertrees you can purchase a ticket to the OCBC Skywalk. The ticket costs 8 Singapore dollars (5.8 USD) per person and in exchange you can stroll around on the 128-metre long aerial walkway amongst the trees.
There are many outdoor gardens around the Supertree Grove like the Chinese Garden, the Indian Garden or the World of Palms. They are mostly located on an upper level where you can find many photo opportunities with the Supertrees and the Marina Bay Sands in the background. It’s also a great place to watch the evening light show but we’re gonna come back to that later!
I know that you can’t spend enough time in the Gardens but it’s time to continue your journey towards Chinatown! I suggest hopping on the blue MRT line for 2 stops (from Bayfront to Telok Ayer) to save some time.
Chinatown is really different from the rest of the city with its red and gold tones and low-rise buildings. The whole neighborhood is very vivid with lots of street markets, museums and temples. There are actually not just ornate Chinese temples, you can find many Buddhist and Hindu temples as well. Chinatown is also a great place to grab some lunch if you could survive without food until this point.
7. Clarke Quay
Clarke Quay is another great neighborhood in Singapore. It is famous for the little colorful houses, the stunning riverside restaurants and the endless collection of bars and clubs. Also a good place to have some lunch or if you had that already in Chinatown then you can relax a bit with a cup of coffee. If you wanna hit the night later, it’s totally your spot!
8. Old Hill Street Police Station
Okay this gotta be the most colorful police station you’ll ever see! Actually this is not a police station anymore but the name has not changed. Now it’s the home to Ministry of Communication and Information and the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth. Make sure to make some Instagram worthy pictures in front of the building!
9. Merlion Park
The Merlion is the national icon of Singapore. The fish body symbolises the beginning of Singapore as a fishing village, while the lion head represents the city’s original name, Singapura (lion city). You can also get a gorgeous view of the Marina Bay Sands and the ArtScience Museum from the park.
10. Gardens by the Bay in the night
As the sun begins to set, it’s time to head back to the Gardens by the Bay to see the evening light shows. I know you’ve already been there during the day but believe me seeing it during the night will be a completely different experience!
If you still have some time before the evening light show I recommend strolling around the gardens to explore them at night as well. The view with the city lights are absolutely breathtaking! One of my favourite spot was at the Waterlily Pond – the reflection was gorgeous on the water!
There are two different light shows in the Gardens by the bay: the Garden Rhapsody performed by the Supertrees and the Spectra performed by the fountains in front of the Marina Bay Sands. Both programs are completely free and are an absolute must have on every Singapore itinerary!
The Supertrees look really awesome in the daylight as well but the real magic comes when the night falls. The trees are performing a magnificent music and light show and I have only one word describing it: WOW!
Seeing this light show was hands down one of the most magical experience in my life and the absolute highlight of visiting Singapore. I can’t even describe my feelings properly but I was so touched that I almost ended up crying. It’s really that amazing!
The trees are performing twice every day: at 7.45 pm and 8.45 pm. The show runs for 15 minutes and it is completely free! You can chose to watch it from the ground and from the OCBC Skywalk as well but be prepared for the crowds! It you wanna have a quieter place with less people head over to the upper gardens! The view is fantastic and usually there are not many people around.
If you go over to the other side of the Marina Bay Sands you will find another great show: the Spectra! The Spectra is a light and water show performed by many dancing fountains and colorful visual projections. The show is also free and it starts at 8 pm and 9 pm on a daily basis. I thought after the Supertree light show I will not be amazed by this show – how wrong I was! It is also absolutely spectacular, so don’t miss it!
11. Arab Quarter
After the light shows it’s time to grab some dinner and probably a drink or two. And there is no better place to do it than in the Arab Quarter! This vibrant and lively neighborhood is packed with cool boutiques, instagrammable cafes and bars and amazing restaurants. The must see spots are the Haji Lane, the Bali Lane and the Sultan Mosque.
Since we had an extra hour the next morning we decided to come back to get some shots with the cool buildings – hence the daytime photos. One of the places I desperately wanted to visit it the Selfie Coffee where they actually print your selfie on your coffee! How cool is that?! Unfortunately it was closed early in the morning so I couldn’t get in but if you have a chance don’t miss it!
Itinerary for 1 day in Singapore - Map
I made a custom map for you that contains all the spots from the 1 day in Singapore itinerary that I described above. You can easily open it up on your phone if you click on the bracket in the upper right corner! This way you can always check it during the day to ensure you’re not missing out on anything. Super convenient, right?
Singapore is a really amazing city. Although it’s not on the budget side (especially compared to other Southeast-Asian countries) but it’s definitely worth visiting. As you can see you can pack a lot into just 24 hours so no excuses!
Since Bali was the main attraction on our first Asia trip we only had one day to spend in Singapore so we wanted to maximize our time as much as we can. I know this is a lot to take in just one short day but if you have more time you can divide this Singapore itinerary into two days as well.
If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment below or send me an email, I always love helping you out! Have you ever been to Singapore or is it still on your bucket list? Let me know in the comments!