I am not a city person as such, I usually prefer the countryside or beaches when I plan my trips. However, Singapore is one of the cities that I actually liked when I visited. We spent 5 days here before boarding our cruise to Malaysia. If you're going on a short trip to Singapore (I recommend 4-5 days at the max) and wondering what to do, here are my recommendations for the top 10 things to do in 5 days.
#10 Singapore Botanic Gardens
This is a great early morning pastoral retreat for joggers, dog walkers and health-conscious nature lovers. The lovely sanctuary features rainforests, lakes, birds and an Orchid Garden with thousands of varieties of orchids of numerous colours, located right in the middle of the city, hardly a 10-minute drive from the city centre.
#9 Orchard Road
One of the liveliest and most glamorous areas in Singapore, this is where the fashionable boutiques, chic beauty salons, malls, bustling nightlife, restaurants and cafes can be found bustling through the night. With live entertainment and performers taking on the sidewalk, this street has often been compared to London's Oxford Street and definitely deserves a visit.
#8 Singapore Zoo, River Safari & Night Safari
This is a day well spent amidst rainforests, wildlife, rivers and interactive attractions. Take a boat ride and get up close with orangutans, leopards, monkeys, iguanas or watch sea mammals through the massive glass aquariums, say hello to the giant pandas or simply walk through the rainforests. Of particular interest are the exhibits at the Mekong River and Amazon Flooded Forests. The night safari which takes you close to docile nocturnal animals at night is another unique way of experiencing the wildlife.
#7 Universal Studios
A part of Resorts World Sentosa and located on the Sentosa Island, I recommend you to buy the 2-day fun pass for Sentosa. This includes 1-day pass for Universal Studios and visits to the rest of the attractions on the islands such as the Skyline Luge, segway ride, 4D attractions, Trick Eye Museum and many other interesting things that you can enjoy on the island. Universal Studios itself requires a full day, even more so if you land up on a weekend!
Divided into 7 different park theme areas based on fairytales, movies and countries, my favourite rides were - Revenge of the Mummy (Ancient Egpyt), Battle Star Galactica (Sci-Fi city) and Jurassic Park Rapids Adventure (The Lost World).
#6 Sentosa Island Attractions
The 2-day fun pass at Resort Worlds Sentosa allows you access to many attractions on the island, of which the most interesting ones that I would recommend are:
- Tiger Sky Tower, for the beautiful panoramic views from the rotating panel with glass windows
- Skyline Luge
- Sentosa Merlion
- 4D Adventureland Extreme Log Ride
- Trick Eye Museum (of illusions)
- Wings of Time show
- Siloso Beach
- Bikini Bar
Check out all the inclusions here.
#5 Gardens by the Bay
I absolutely loved this futuristic and creative horticulture destination. Located on the waterfront, this place is best visited during the night, when the Supertrees light up in beautiful colours and the backdrop of Marina Bay Sands as well as the Singapore Flyer add to the grandiosity of the skyline visible from the gardens. An absolute must do is to capture the sunset from the skywalk, a high suspended glass bottom path that winds from one Supertree to another. Do not miss the Garden Rhapsody show when the trees twinkle and glow, in the evening at 7.45 and 8.45pm.
#4 1-Altitude Bar (Raffles Place)
This bar offers stunning 360-degree views from 282m above sea level and has very lively nightlife, with an amazing ambience and a great selection of cocktails. It's one of the best rooftop bars I've been to.
#3 Clarke Quay
This is one place you cannot miss! This is the downtown area which is where I would recommend you to look for your hotel as well. The city's hub where you have riverside restaurants, clubs and parties, live music and entertainment, this vibrant area along with its neighbouring Boat Quay and Robertson Quay, is where the best parties happen and the cool crowd hangs out! For those looking to dance away the night, Zouk is one of the popular clubs. I particularly liked the ambience at Chupitos bar and their unique and interesting cocktails (and shots!). For a quiet meal with super views and great food, Coriander Leaf Bistro is nice.
It goes without saying, you cannot leave Singapore without trying the Singapore Sling (cocktail) and the Singapore Chilli Crab.
#2 Marina Bay Sands (Hotel) rooftop
Although it is slightly expensive, if possible, I would definitely recommend spending one night at Marina Bay Sands because this will allow you unlimited access to their rooftop infinity pool, one of the most iconic pools ever! Also, the views from the rooftop are absolutely breathtaking, be it during the day or at night. To top it all, the hotel facilities and service are top-notch. And to add to it all, the fantastic views from the CÉ LA VI SkyBar are to die for!
#1 Marina Bay & Merlion Park
Situated walking distance from each other, this place definitely tops my list. Two of Singapore's icons, located right next to each other, should be visited once during the day and once during the night, to watch the brilliant laser show projected from the Marina Bay Sands hotel. Get your camera ready for the most amazing shots!