You’ve got only one day in Singapore? Don’t fret: this step-by-step itinerary will guide you through the best things to do in Singapore in 24 hours.
Singapore is only two-thirds the size of New York City. Despite its small size, the Garden City sure packs a big punch! Over 18 million people cannot be wrong: in fact, this is the average number of tourists who visit Singapore on a yearly basis – which is a huge increase from twenty or thirty years ago!
The reason for its popularity is clear – there is a wide variety of things to see and do in Singapore. You can spend a week or a month here and you will have something different to try, taste, or experience.
But if you only have a day in Singapore, don’t fret. It’s possible to enjoy the city and see the best of Singapore in 24 hours only. Singapore enjoys moderate weather throughout the year; hence, you can set out for a day of exploration, rain or shine.
You have more time in Singapore?
➤ CHECK OUT my detailed 2 days in Singapore itinerary instead!
The attractions and sights in Singapore can be divided into four distinct categories: sightseeing, shopping, dining, and nightlife. Dive into the Lion City with this itinerary and brace yourself for a diverse array of attractions and experiences.
8 AM : Have the Traditional Singapore Breakfast
Start your day early to squeeze in as many sights as possible in your one-day itinerary in Singapore.
For breakfast, do not forget to sample the traditional Kaya toast with soft-boiled eggs in one of many coffee shops and cafes in Singapore. Once you are done with breakfast, head to your first destination for the day – Chinatown.
9 AM: Explore Chinatown
The Chinatown district in Singapore is known for its history and cultural heritage. To say that Chinatown is buzzing is an understatement – this part of Singapore is very lively and colorful. You can get to Chinatown by traveling to the Chinatown MRT Station via the North East Line Downtown Line.
One of the best things to do in Chinatown is to sample local dishes and delicacies. The Chinatown Complex Food Court or the Maxwell Food Center – two of the most popular hawker centers in the area – should be your first stop, so make sure you don’t get too full at breakfast! These food courts are popular among tourists and locals alike, so don’t expect a tourist trap. Hawkers centers are your best bet for eating for cheap in the city, so a great choice if you’re visiting Singapore on a budget!
Make sure to try the world-famous Hainanese Chicken Rice from Tian Tian Chicken Rice, char kway teow, and the chili crab. Let your aroma guide you or look for the stalls with a long queue!
Aside from trying out the delicious food, you can also visit the temples in the Chinatown area.
The Sri Mariamman Temple is a Hindu temple, which is notable for its entrance tower made up of Hindu cultural and mythological figures. This is the oldest and first Hindu temple built in Singapore.
Along the same stretch of road, you will also find the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple. As the name suggests, this temple houses the Buddha tooth relic. It offers a beautiful red lacquered wall finish and Tang-style architecture.
If you have more time, make sure to drop by Thian Hock Keng Temple.
Temples are not the only sights to see in Singapore. You can also marvel at the traditional colonial shophouses in Craig Road and Blair Road.
These shophouses are beautifully preserved and are a great showcase of Chinese, Malay, and European influences in architecture.
11:30 AM: Feast Your Senses in Arab Street
Time for your next destination, which is known as the creative hub in Singapore: Arab Street.
This area is packed with tourist attractions including the Masjid Sultan Mosque, Haji Lane, and Kampong Glam. No matter what time of day you visit, this area is vibrant and alive.
Feast your senses with a dazzling array of colors from the textile shops, tea houses, and rows of restaurants ready to satisfy your craving for exotic flavors.
The Masjid Sultan Mosque is at the heart of this attraction, which is known for its architectural beauty and history.
1 PM: Lunch + Shopping in Orchard Road
Travel to Orchard Road via either the Orchard MRT Station or the Somerset MRT Station. This area is a haven for shopping lovers because there are plenty of malls and shops to choose from.
Orchard Road is over 2 kilometers long so there is plenty to explore. The ION Orchard is one of the best places to shop but it is also an architectural wonder. It is a go-to option for luxury shoppers.
Paragon Shopping Centre is another great option for those in search of designer brands and luxury shopping options. For those looking for affordable brands and a young and hip vibe, check out 313@Somerset Mall.
While in Orchard Road, you also have plenty of dining options – whatever your budget. Din Tai Fung is a must if you want to indulge in delicious Taiwanese dishes, particularly the popular xiaolongbao. It is located in Wisma Atria in 435 Orchard Road. There is also a branch at Paragon Shopping Centre.
If you are looking for vegetarian fare, dine at Joie in Orchard Central. Other highly recommended places to grab lunch in include The Curry Culture, Tapas Club, and Taste Paradise.
4:30 PM: Visit Gardens by the Bay and/or the ArtScience Museum
Spend your afternoon in Singapore at Gardens by the Bay, which is located along Marina Gardens Drive.
This 101-hectare nature park was developed on reclaimed land. It is adjacent to the Marina Reservoir and is made up of three waterfront gardens. If you are traveling via the MRT, alight at Bayfront MRT Station. Exit via the Meadow Bridge to reach Gardens by the Bay.
Gardens by the Bay offer two cooled conservatories that you can visit for a fee: Flower Dome and Cloud Forest. These two conservatories offer a vast collection of rare plant species from all over the world.
Another attraction is the Supertree Grove, which is a unique vertical garden shaped to look like giant trees. You can access the Supertree Grove for free but you must pay $8 to get up the OCBC Skyway – a 22-meter high skyway that offers panoramic vistas of the gardens and Marina Bay.
If you’d rather skip the conservatories at Gardens by the Bay, another great attraction to visit after a walk around the park is the ArtScience Museum.
This museum is located within the integrated resort of Marina Bay Sands. It is a visual spectacle that showcases arts and sciences through technology, media, science, and design.
There are various exhibitions held at the museum throughout the year. Some of the best exhibitions to explore in the museum at the time of writing are Future World, Wonderland, and Floating Utopias, but while Future World is a permanent exhibition, the others change seasonally.
Standard ticket prices start at 19 SGD per exhibition, 30 SGD for 2 exhibitions, or 40 SGD for all 3 exhibitions.
7:30 PM: Marvel at the Garden Rhapsody Show
Around 7:30, make your way back to the Gardens by the Bay Supertree Grove area. Set up a picnic in the garden and get ready to enjoy a spectacular musical and light show – the Garden Rhapsody Show.
The show starts at 7:45 and lasts for 15 minutes, and is available daily for free. You will be dazzled by the great symphony of lights and sounds.
There’s also another show at 8:45 but I recommend seeing the first one so you can also make it to the next thing on the list.
9 PM: Catch the Spectra Light Show
When the show is over at the Supertree Grove, check out the Spectra light show. This is a light and water show in front of the Marina Bay Sands. The show starts at 9 PM so you can catch it in time when the Garden Rhapsody Show is done. You can catch the Spectra light show for free.
10 PM: End your Day in Singapore with Drinks at Clarke Quay
After a fun-filled day exploring the best sights that Singapore has to offer, there is no better way to end it than by enjoying a few cocktail drinks in Clarke Quay.
There is a wide range of pubs and bars to experience the best of nightlife in Singapore. There are a few restaurants to choose from, too, if you want to grab a late-night bite.
But if you are in the mood to join the party revelers and the hip crowd, you won’t be disappointed. Crazy Elephant is the perfect place to unwind if you want to enjoy live gigs featuring jazz, rock, and blues. It is one of the favorite places to hangout in for expats in Singapore.
The Chupitos Bar is another highly recommended bar for night drinking in Clarke Quay. This bar is unique because it is dedicated solely to shots. You can choose from over 130 shots from the bar’s menu.
And then there is Hooters. This bar needs no introduction – it is an iconic American brand that established its presence in Singapore. Whether you want to enjoy the best burgers and classic chicken wings, or a mug of beer as you watch your favorite sports team play, this is the quintessential sports bar in Clarke Quay.
Where to Stay in Singapore
Book your accommodation by using the map below ⬇
How to Get Around Singapore
Singapore boasts a highly efficient and cheap transport system. This means that tourists will enjoy convenient, cheap, and fast method to get around the city, regardless of where you need to go. It is even considered as one of the best transport networks in the world.
There are a variety of transport options in Singapore so you can select the one that is most convenient to you, depending on your intended destination.
➤ The metro network is the best way to get around in Singapore. The rail network will let you travel for cheap as a single trip could cost approximately 4 SGD. There is also a Singapore Tourist Pass available for purchase. This pass lets you travel unlimited on the train for one full day. If you want to squeeze in as many sights into your one-day itinerary, it makes sense to buy that pass so you can save on your train ticket.
➤ Another option for you to getting around in Singapore is the public bus system. It is equally as efficient as the rail network but has the added advantage of being able to sightsee as you travel. You can also use the Singapore Tourist Pass on the bus. A single bus trip could cost anywhere from 1.5 SGD to 2.5 SGB depending on the distance traveled.
➤ Taxis are also highly available in Singapore. They offer a convenient way to get from point A to point B in Singapore. This is especially convenient when you want to reach your destination in a hurry, or if you cannot find a nearby MRT station. The only downside is that taxis are the most expensive transportation option in Singapore. Taxis should be made as your last resort when getting around.
➤ Just like taxis, Grab is another convenient way to hail a ride in Singapore. You can book a Grab ride to get picked up from your location to a specified destination. One advantage that Grab has over taxis in Singapore is that you can see the estimated fare prior to booking. The cost of hailing a Grab ride will vary depending on the time booked and the destination.
And when you are done in Singapore, check out down here what’s the best way to get to your next destination.
The Bottom Line
Spending one day in Singapore might not seem enough. And with so much to see, it might not be enough, but is the right time for an introduction to the city.
And if you decide to stay more, check out what else to see in Singapore in 48 hours!
Whether you are traveling in the city-state as a leisure or business traveler, you will have a great time as there is something for everyone. Use the itinerary above for your 24 hours in Singapore so that you can experience the best there is to enjoy!