Check out our recommendations on how best to enjoy 48 hours in Singapore and experience the best that this little city has to offer. Singapore might be a small island city-state, but there is no lack of attractions to this charming island.
Slightly off the coast off the southern tip of Peninsular Malaysia in Southeast Asia, you should know that the city lies extremely near the Equator, and it’s going to be… HOT. These days, temperatures are averaging 30-34 degrees Celsius with a high humidity of 70-80%, so you’re going to want to dress light, and keep lots of water at hand. Let’s go!
Kickstarting your journey
Day 1, Morning
If you’re flying in via the famous Singapore Changi Airport, swing over to the Jewel Changi Airport where it houses 280 shops and F&B outlets. The centre of attention – a 50m-long suspended bridge with a glass floor that allows visitors to admire the lush landscaping below. There is also a 250m-long bouncy net, which at its highest point, will be suspended three storeys above the ground; and play attractions for adults and children alike include slides and mazes.
Day 1, Afternoon
Since our journey has commenced in the east at Changi Airport, we’re going to take a 10 minute drive to the heritage districts of Katong and Joo Chiat. This culturally rich precinct was once home to the Peranakans and are today, still replete with the relics of yesteryears. Admire the delicate floral motifs and distinguished facades the terrace houses along Koon Seng Road, a highly popular spot for photography amongst locals and tourists alike. You may also like to visit the selection of quaint stores selling a range of eclectic range of paraphernalia. As lunchtime hits, head over to 328 Katong Laksa for a taste of one of Singapore’s famous local food. Laksa is a spicy noodle soup with a thick coconut milk-based broth, often accompanied by fresh prawns and fish cake slices.
Day 1, Evening
The Marina Bay area has many attractions that are within close proximity where you can explore on foot. Within walking distance are the Gardens by the Bay and the ArtScience Museum – the former is host to carefully selected international exhibitions, and the latter is a giant beautiful garden right in the middle of the city, which also houses two humungous cooled indoor conservatories that contains thousands of plant species from around the world. If you would like to do a spot of shopping, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands are just opposite the gardens – you’ll find all your shopping needs fulfilled here in Asia’s premier luxury retail destination. When you’ve worked up a healthy appetite, pamper yourself to a meal at one of the many acclaimed celebrity restaurants including db Bistro & Oyster Bar by Daniel Boulud, Adrift by David Myers or Bread Street Kitchen by Gordon Ramsay, amongst numerous others.
Day 2, Morning
Rise and shine early on the sunny island! With just 48 hours in Singapore, you don’t have any time to lose. Take a trip to one of Singapore’s most vibrant and culturally rich ‘hoods – Chinatown. You can learn much about the history of Singapore and religion from a visit to the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple (above), where it proudly houses a prized collection of religious artefacts spanning six levels. Don’t forget to take a leisurely stroll atop the tranquil rooftop garden. In the spirit of religious harmony, just down the road is the famed Sri Mariamman Temple, which is the oldest Hindu temple in Singapore. You won’t miss it – it stands proudly with an intricately decorated gorapuram (entrance tower) which illustrates many Hindu deities. Taking a turn into Pagoda Street, you’ll find street market stalls peddling their wares from local souvenirs, clothing and cute trinkets to take home. You would not want to miss the Chinatown Complex Market – an entire complex devoted to hawker stalls selling everything from the iconic Hainanese chicken rice to Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle – often touted the world’s cheapest Michelin-star food!
Day 2, Midday
Lose yourself in the quaint neighbourhood of Tiong Bahru where you’ll find everything you need – hipster cafes, book stores and restaurants.
Many locals come here to the famous Tiong Bahru Market for signature local dishes like chwee kueh (rice cake with preserved radishes) and char kway teow (fried noodles with black sauce) or if you prefer, take a stroll to the Tiong Bahru Bakery a top choice for rich French pastries – sinfully flaky and light butter croissant and rich pain au chocolat. Wander around the alleyways and you might just stumble upon hidden gems like BooksActually, a cosy independent bookstore which offers local and contemporary literature, or Plain Vanilla, the prettiest cupcake shop where you can indulge in a midday pick-me-up!
Day 2, Afternoon
Nobody leaves Singapore without first visiting the island of fun – Sentosa! There are several ways to get here – catch a Grab or take the monorail from HarbourFront MRT Station. Dive right into Universal Studios Singapore (you might have to battle the crowds if you’re there on a weekend or Public Holiday) and scream to your heart’s content on star rides like Battlestar Galatica. If thrilling park rides aren’t really your thing, Singapore’s largest water theme park, the Adventure Cove, is the spot to cool you down. The S.E.A Aquarium offers the opportunity to get up close and personal with over 100,000 species of wild marine animals – a treat for both adults and children!
Day 2, Evening
If you are looking to cap off your last night in Singapore with a good drink, the perfect watering hole to do this is at LeVeL33, the world’s highest city craft brewery with panoramic views of Singapore’s Marina Bay area and beautiful city skyline. Here, you can pick from a range of freshly brewed, creative craft beers and wines from various independent artisan wineries as you soak in the staggering views of the city before heading home.
These 48 hours in Singapore have taken you from rich cultural heritage to city life in a short time. You must make provision for more time on this sunny island on your next touchdown!