Top things to do in Singapore

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!

99 thoughts on “Top things to do in Singapore”

  1. Singapore is such a spectacular destination. I keep seeing and reading so many amazing things to do there and photos like yours make me want to book a flight immediately! Top of my list is Gardens by the Bay – I can only imagine how amazing it is to take in those lights at night!

    1. Gardens by the Bay are amazing, the night show with all those trees lit up like that, so incredibly beautiful, with the iconic Marina Bay Sands in the background.

  2. Ahhh everything looks like so much fun! It POURED the entire time I was in Singapore so it wasn’t the best experience. Definitely need to go back and try all of your suggestions! The Botanic Gardens and the Marina Bay look stunning!

  3. I love singapore too! However there some of the things on your list I havent done as the Altitude bar with the best view ever! Or the well-known Sentosa island. I wish we took out time to spend a day or two there because it does seem fun! I am sure I will be back to Singapore and this time I will do them all!

    1. I have to say, Altitude Bar had the best rooftop views I’ve seen! Singapore is beautiful at night and hitting a rooftop bar with such amazing views is something I would recommend to put at the top of your list!

  4. It is only 4 years since I was last in Singapore but strangely enough I was chatting to someone only today about the plane. I feel it is evidently time for me to return as I missed out on the Gardens and they look incredible.

  5. I haven’t been to Singapore but I need to visit soon! My favorites among your list are the Orchard Road, Gardens by the Bay (I’ve heard so much about it!), Altitude Bar and the Marina Bay & Merlion Park. Clarke Quay sounds fascinating too. I would certainly try Singapore Sling and Singapore Chilli Crab on our first night! 😉

  6. As I live in Dubai, I can understand how Singapore must be looking like with high rises, theme parks, views from top and all well planned for tourists. Those glowy Gardens by Bay looks similar to Dubai Glow Garden. But it would be fun to see all these places as you have given detailed itinerary.

    1. I live in Dubai too, Yukti. I also ended up comparing the two cities while I was there, and there are a lot of similarities no doubt. Even the rooftop bars, nightlife, high rises, they all reminded me of Dubai. However, I did find Singapore a lot more green comparatively 🙂

  7. We first went to Singapore in the early nineties long before the Marina Bay development. We would love to go back and stay at the Marina Bay Sands. We wouldn’t mind going to the Singapore F1 but it’s the most expensive one of the season, we’ll see, fingers crossed.

    1. Wow I didn’t even know that they did not have Marina Bay Sands in the nineties. Of course, a fast developing and commercial city like Singapore is likely to change a lot in 2 decades. Hope you do go back soon 🙂

  8. I love Singapore! The couple of times I’ve been there, I’ve ALWAYS visited Gardens by the Bay, Marina Bay and the Merlion Park, Universal Studios and Sentosa. I think it’s high time I re-visit and check out more of the country. haha.. Good recommendations, Medha! I’d love to see more of the country and will definitely include most on your list! 🙂

    1. I’m not sure I would go back personally, though I did love the country. I usually don’t return to places unless I feel I’ve missed a LOT. 🙂

  9. Singapore looks amazing and loving your top things to do list which has given me some great ideas. Love this and would love to check out the Merlion Park. Looks stunning 🙂

  10. Thanks for the compilation…I guess this is enough to make the most of 4 days or so, which the usual time that people spend in Singapore. We went to Universal for the first time in March and loved it. I liked you list as it takes care of all interests…kids, family and shoppint

  11. Wow! I had never thought about Singapore before as a destination, but after this article I’m surely adding it to my list! The gardens look like something out of a fantasy film and I didn’t know there was a Universal studios there. Also, I loved the pictures in the rooftop bar. Thanks for all the suggestions!

  12. My friends in Singapore have been calling me so many times! Somehow never got to interest to head there!
    Thanks for this post. Let’s see when I get to head in that direction.

  13. This is exactly what I was looking for! Since we will visit Singapore in 2 months also for 4 days, I was searching for all that Must see places there. The Singapore Botanic Gardens look incredible, but I have the feeling that all the other places you recommend need to be on my list. Especially a visit to the Marina Bay Sands Hotel rooftop, this is a must see! Thank you for these great inspirations, really good list.

    1. Remember that although you can access the lounge on Marina Bay Sand’s rooftop as a visitor, you can access the swimming pool ONLY if you’re a hotel guest. Consider spending a night in the hotel, if its not too expensive for your dates.

  14. I would add some museums to this list like Peranakan Museum and a walk around places like Arab Street and China town. Gosh, even a small place like Singapore has a never-ending list of things you can see.

    1. Thanks for the suggestions Anu, there’s always something you miss when you visit a place 🙂 There’s never enough time, is there?

  15. It is such a pity that I have only seen the impressive Singapore airport during transits. After seeing your post, I realized what I missed out on? Of all the destinations you have listed, Sentosa Island seems to be my kind of place.

  16. I have done all of these but Sentosa Island and have yet to stay in the Marina Bay Sands (one day!) We love the botanical gardens and the orchid garden. Gardens by the Bay is amazing too! We really like Singapore and next time we will get to Sentosa!

  17. I am heading to Singapore in March and I have all of these in my itinerary. It seems like my travel planning is off to a good start. You speak so well of this destination that it makes me even more excited to go!

  18. One of my best friends went back from Singapore just a month ago, and he told me “That is the city of the future!”. Now I see why. He liked very much the Singapore Botanic Gardens, where he spent a lot of time just mingling and taking tons of pictures. I remember he sent me a video of Orchard Road, where there was a lot of people walking everywhere and he told me he felt a bit lost, but he is a countryside man, so 🙂 The supertrees are something of amazing, and they remember me the Tree of Life that has been built for Milan Expo 2015 (probably the Italians copied the original you have seen in Singapore). I am curious to know something about the local food if you can advise me. Thank you

    1. I love Singaporean food. If you have a taste for south-east Asian cuisines such as that in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand, you will definitely love the flavours of Singaporean cuisine. Lots of seafood of course, fresh, and their signature dish, Singaporean crab, is delicious. Street food is awesome!

  19. Nice collection. I have been to Singapore many times . One thing I can say is that there is always something new to do every time I go. I loved the few simple hiking trails that seems to take you away from the chaos of the city. Recently I came across an article about islands near the mainland, which seemed interesting too.

  20. This is a fantastic rundown of things to do in Singapore! I definitely would love to visit the 1-Altitude Bar, the Gardens by the Bay, and the Singapore Botanical Gardens! Lovely pics too! Especially the one of the two of you posing at Universal Studios. Looks like fun! 🙂

  21. Wow, I missed out on so much during my visit! I was on a really tight budget and so I could only do the free things that the city had to offer. I’d love to return and visit the zoo, Universal Studios and of course swim in the Marina Bay Sands pool. This is a wonderfully inspiring post!

  22. I only visited Singapore in 1 day many years ago. Seeing that there are so many things to do, next time I should stay at least a few days. What sounds really nice is Clarke’s Quay, to sip a Singapore Sling and taste some Singapore Chilli crab. And of course, this time visit Marina Bay, it looks so beautiful at night.

  23. Such a great list – I 100% agree with all of these! We fell in LOVE with Gardens By The Bay, we are trying to persuade my mother in law to travel with us to Singapore just to show her this place! We stayed a night at Marina Bay so got to swim in that pool – AMAZING!

  24. I’ve been twice to Singapore, but only as a stopover. I haven’t yet been to Sentosa Island, so if I make another connecting flight, I’ll definitely head here! That tiger sky tower sounds interesting. You can never go wrong with a visit to Gardens by the Bay!

  25. I would love to visit Singapore one day! I was close to it, a few years ago, when I visited Malaysia but I didn’t have enough time to pop into Singapore as well. The Marina Sands Hotel is famous and no wonder is number one on your list. Who wouldn’t love to take a dip in their fantastic rooftop infinity pool? I didn’t know that you can take a night safari in the Singapore Zoo. That must be so cool!

  26. Singapore is such a magical destination! I went there long time ago and have been to most places you listed there, except the Garden. I will need to revisit soon with my hubby while we’re in Asia next time!

  27. I personally loved the Jurong bird park here. It will always be my favorite. The gardens by the bay and sentosa are a close 2nd. Well captured things to do here. You certainly made the most of your visit

  28. Not a city person too. Loveeee the hills and rustic countryside! 🙂 That is one reason I don’t like destinations that are concrete jungles!
    Don’t support zoos either. But I’d love to visit the Botanical gardens and the Sentosa islands! Gardens on the bay look fabulous with all those lights! 🙂 Heard so much of the laser show in Marina Bay!

  29. You had me at the rooftop bar, gardens and Clark Quay. Great list and looks like they all offer some fun things to do in the city. I’ll def keep this in mind should I have a layover. I love how there a beach to visit too.

  30. I only had a day in Singapore so I had to see most of these attractions from the outside, sadly. I’d love to go back again and spend more time there. I did spend some time at Clarke’s Quay though, and I enjoyed it. The Marina Bay Sands Hotel is on my bucket list too

  31. I was in Singapore a few months ago and I loved it. The light show by the Marina Bay Sands is unbelievable! The Botanical Gardens are a lovely respite from the city. And the beaches of Sentosa Island are even better! Can’t wait to get back to Singapore again!

  32. I’m not really a city person either, but Singapore has fascinated me since childhood. I remember how I sat in some elementary geography class, and was really confused by the thought of a place being a city and a country at the same time, and that with such a powerful economy. This fascination has only increased since people kept telling me about and showing me photos of the Garden Rhapsody, and that would surely be a highlight on my visit 🙂

  33. Seems like you really had a wonderful experience in Singapore. Yeahhh! I can say that there are lots of interesting activities in Singapore, you will never get bored like going to Sentosa, have some tour at Universal Studios, visit Raffles place, and the Botanical Gardens are some of the awesome places in Singapore that you will enjoy. Thanks for sharing this post!

  34. This make us realize how much we’ve seen NOTHING of Singapore haha. Every time we stop there it’s only for a few days and end up catching up with friends rather than visit properly. Botanic gardens seem like a huge must with Gardens by the bay! Somehow turned off by the Marina Bay Sand though. It’s a pity they don’t sell pool passes but you have to stay a night in instead.

  35. Definitely want to do the Night Safari one day. It seems like such a unique urban experience! But sounds like there is much to recommend Singapore, and something for everyone 🙂

  36. Singapore is such a vibrant place and there is really so much to see and experience. We loved it when we were there a couple of years ago. Our favourite places were Sentosa Island which is a complete entertainment package for the entire family. Loved the Gardens by the bay too, a unique place to spend an evening.

  37. My husband and I loved Singapore and were both amazed at how clean and green it was. The zoo and night safari sounds fun. We chose the wild option and took in MacRitchie Nature Trail where we were bombarded with macaques. Garden Rhapsody was definitely the highlight though.

    1. Sounds pretty amazing, the MacRitchie Nature Trail. Will put it on my list for trip no. 2 😉 I’m not really a fan of animals from the ‘monkey’ class though LOL.

  38. I have been to Singapore couple of times yet haven’t explored it enough. This serves as a very good guide. The Jurong’s bird park there is my fav. 🙂

  39. Like always great guide Medha. We have read a lot about Singapore until day but it has never attracted us much. Don’ t know why! The Altitude Bar and Sentosa Island are what I would love to check whenever traveling there.

    1. Not everyone likes big cities I guess, and I don’t either, usually. But it’s one of the most developed, organised, clean and interesting cities to visit 🙂

    1. A lot of experiences and rides are similar, yes. Its not AS big and elaborate as the one I’ve seen in LA of course (that one is something else!) or even Orlando, its a much smaller version but its good 🙂

  40. Singapore is on my travel list. Unfortunately, I cannot visit this year, but I really hope to next year. As a traveler who likes to maintain my fitness when I travel, I think I’d be up every morning jogging at the Singapore Botanic Gardens. The Clarke Quay reminds me of Dubai Marina, a place where I enjoyed going every night. I would absolutely love to visit.

    1. I never thought of comparing Clarke Quay with Dubai Marina, but now that you mention it, I guess you could. Its got the vibe and the restaurants and bars by the waterside too. I see the similarity 🙂

  41. Singapore sounds like a city that offers everything! As someone who loves nature and horticulture, you had me at the Singapore Botanic Gardens…but then that infinity pool at the top of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel Rooftop looks spectacular and well worth the extra cost. And honestly, I wouldn’t pass up the Singapore Sling or Singapore Chilli Crab either! Your Top 10 List covers a lot of ground — and great photos!

  42. I want to go to Singapore just to see marina bay sands. That infinity pool would make everything worth it. I would also enjoy the botanical gardens, universal studios and gardens by the bay. Those lights are amazing!

  43. Ahh this post brings back memories of Singapore 😀 While I lived in Bai I would often skip over to Singapore for little breaks I’ve been to pretty much all the places you’ve mentioned in the most and agree they deserve to be on the top things to do. You know for me, no matter how many times I went to Singapore it always felt new, plus Singapore airport is one of my faves haha

    1. I agree, Singapore airport is like a destination in itself, haha. Its been rated as the best airport in the world consecutively for the last few years, I’d say, you might want to check-in a bit early for your flight only to enjoy sometime exploring that airport 😀

  44. I have been to Singapore twice and have covered all of these attractions, yet I would love to visit them again and again as it is the most beautiful city. My favorites include the Universal studio, shopping at the Chinese market, Sentosa Island tour and Marina Bay. I visited Gardens by the Bay during daytime and did not get to see the amazing lightings of the night time and would want to visit it again. But all in all, a very informative post for the first timers. Thanks for sharing.

  45. The gardens are probably the #1 images I see from Singapore, and they do in fact look splendid. I would love to check out one fo the rooftop bars as the view looks gorgeous from up there. Hopefully I’ll have the chance to visit one day!

    1. I know, the Supertree Grove is one of the most photographed places in Singapore 🙂 I love rooftop bars, and 1-Altitude is amazing. Hope you visit soon x

  46. These are great suggestions! My favorites include Gardens by the Bay and Marina Bay Sands at night for their daily shows! Also, eating at all the food hawker stalls is another one of my favorites! This makes me miss Singapore!

    1. Oh I love eating the street food in South-east Asia. I remember this hawker street right next to Marina Bay Sands, while walking towards the Merlion Park, it had the best street food ever!

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