The Ultimate Singapore Travel Guide

gardens by the bay singapore

It’s easy to see why Singapore has become one of the most-visited cities (#5!) in the world. Like it’s next-door neighbour Malaysia, Singapore is a vibrant melting pot of cultures that’s now a main hub for foodies, explorers and expats. It offers everything from city life to picturesque nature and landmarks. Visit Singapore to find out why it’s undoubtedly one of Asia’s most popular travel destinations!

How To Get There

Most airlines offer direct flights from major cities to Singapore. I usually compare flights and prices on Google FlightsTrip.com,Kayak, and Skyscanner.

If you’re coming from Kuala Lumpur, a convenient and affordable way of reaching Singapore is via bus. We took a luxury bus through Aeroline. The seats have power outlets and are lounge-like chairs with an entertainment system (I.e. TV, movies, music). The bus itself is 2 stories with the lower half acting as a “lobby” area where you can have tea and coffee. The bus ticket also includes a pre-cooked meal and a quick bathroom/food stop. Overall, we had a really comfortable experience and would definitely recommend this option if coming from Malaysia. Check out my Kuala Lumpur travel guide if you haven’t already!

Trip Duration from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore – 6 Hours
Aeroline Bus Ticket Price – Approximately $32 CAD each

Where To Stay

There are 9 main areas in Singapore: Orchard Road, the Colonial District, Marina Bay, the Quays, Bugis & Kampong Glam, Chinatown, Little India, Sentosa Island, and Tiong Bahru. Where you decide to stay largely depends on what you’re interested in seeing and doing your trip to Singapore.

Orchard Road

Orchard Road is generally known for some of the world’s best shopping. You can find anything from luxury mega-malls to popular bars.

The Colonial District

Known the most “central” district because it’s in the middle of Singapore and is walkable distance to surrounding areas like the Quay & Marina Bay area, Little India, and Orchard Road.

Marina Bay

Marina Bay is home to Singapore’s most popular attractions such as the Marina Bay Sands Hotel, Gardens By the Bay and the booming Bay area.

The Quays (Clarke, Robertson & Boat)

If you’re interested in being close to nightlife, this is the place to be. There are tons of late-night bars and restaurants close by along the river.

Bugis & Kampong Glam

Also known as Arab Street, there’s a mix of up-and-coming multicultural restaurants and trendy cafes to choose from. If you’re a coffee lover, this is the place to head! In addition, this area also comes especially alive at night with its bustling nightlife and live music performances.

Chinatown

Although Chinatown is lacking in popular attractions, this area is rather famous for its cheap hawker food, beautiful temples, historical architecture, and authentic atmosphere.

Little India

Popular for housing affordable hostels and guesthouses, Little India is known for its colourful streets, markets, and tasty Indian/Arab food. You’ll also find many Mosques and Hindu Temples here.

Sentosa Island

This small island is known as the entertainment centre where you’ll find casinos, golf courses, beaches, boardwalk shops, a white-sand beach, and of course – Universal Studios Singapore!

Tiong Bahru

Located West of Chinatown and the Quay area, Tiong Bahru is popular among expats. This was Singapore’s first public-housing area, but has since become trendy with cool coffee shops and hip boutiques.

*TIP: My biggest tip is try to stay within these districts and close to public transportation. We stayed a little farther out of the main areas and weren’t close to public transportation at all. Consequently, we ended up spending a LOT on taxis. Rather, spend a little more on accommodation and less on transportation! Not only will you save time, you’ll also save a lot of money in the long run!

Use my $25 CAD discount for your first booking on Booking.com!

singapore

How To Get Around Singapore

The easiest way to get around Singapore is by public transportation (i.e. MRT, LRT, Bus). If you plan on travelling a lot in one day, consider purchasing the Singapore Tourist Pass. This all-day pass provides unlimited travel on Singapore’s public transport system.

  • 1-Day Pass: $10
  • 2-Day Pass: $16
  • 3-Day Pass: $20

On the other hand, you can also use Uber or take taxis. In our experience during our time in Singapore, both options are quite expensive (Singapore is an expensive city). Nevertheless, taxis generally tend to be cheaper than Uber due to the shortage of Uber drivers.

What To Do

Gardens By The Bay

gardens by the bay singapore

Hours: Every day, 5am – 2am

Gardens by the Bay is a large, colourful outdoor park located in Singapore’s bay area. Here you will find several futuristic nature observatories and 3 waterfront gardens – Bay South, Bay East, and Bay Central. This outdoor park is free to walk around, but you will have to pay an entrance fee to participate in the Skyway Walk and visit the Conservatories.

gardens by the bay singapore
gardens by the bay singapore

Garden Rhapsody Night Show

gardens by the bay singapore

Show Times: 7:45pm, 8:45pm Daily
Admission: FREE

Don’t miss the dazzling music light show that at the Gardens by the Bay’s Supertree Grove! This is undeniably one of the most magnificent displays, so be sure to drop by early to get a seat! It gets packed!

gardens by the bay singapore
gardens by the bay singapore

Cloud Forest At Gardens By The Bay

cloud forest gardens by the bay singapore

Hours: 9am – 9pm

Admission Fee (All Prices In SGD)

  • Standard Rate – Two Conservatories (Includes entry into the Flower Dome)
    Adult/Senior: $28
    Child (3-12 years old): $15
  • Singapore Resident1 Rate – Two Conservatories
    Adult: $20
    Senior Citizen (≥60 years old): $15
    Child (3-12 years old): $12
  • Singapore Resident1 Rate – One Conservatory
    Adult: $12
    Senior Citizen (≥60 years old): $8
    Child (3-12 years old): $8
  • Last Ticket Sale & Admission: 8pm
  • Mist Timings: 10am, 12pm, 2pm, 4pm, 6pm, 8pm

This is one of my favourite places that we visited in Singapore! Don’t miss the Cloud Forest. Firstly, it’s a massive garden surrounded by lush tropical plants and world’s tallest indoor waterfall. And secondly, mist is released to replenish this beautiful floral environment every two hours.

cloud forest gardens by the bay singapore
cloud forest gardens by the bay singapore
cloud forest singapore

*PRO TIP: Most importantly, don’t forget to get a re-entry stamp! Come back specifically in the evening to see this place veiled by the magical night lights and mist!

cloud forest gardens by the bay singapore

The Flower Dome

flower dome singapore

Your admission ticket into the Cloud Forest will also include entry into the Flower Dome next door. This Conservatory is a stunning display of flowers and exotic plants from 5 continents in 9 Gardens. In 2015, the Flower Dome made it into the Guiness World Records for the world’s largest glass greenhouse! The opening hours and entrance fee are the same as the Cloud Forest, so visit early to make time for both conservatories.

flower dome singapore
flower dome singapore

The ArtScience Museum

artscience museum singapore

Hours: 10am – 7pm (Last admission is 6pm)
Admission Fee: $30 for Adults, $27 for Seniors, $17 for Children

Discover creativity through architecture, design, technology, art, science, media and design. Generally, the ArtScience Museum consists of galleries and exhibitions curated by other museums. Even if you’re not interested in museums, visit this area to see its architecture and get a great view of the Singapore skyline. This is located next to the MBS mall and is a wonderful area for a walk.

artscience museum
marina bay singapore

ArtScience Museum – Future World: Where Art Meet Sciences

artscience museum teamlab singapore

Admission Times: 10am, 11:30am, 1pm, 2:30[m, 4pm, 5:30pm (Last entrY)
Admission Fee: $18 for Adults

The ArtScience Museum partnered with TeamLab to present its cutting-edge digital and interactive art installations. This exhibition is filled with impressive light and sculpture displays, and is a must-do activity, especially with children!

artscience museum teamlab singapore
artscience museum teamlab singapore

Helix Bridge

helix bridge singapore

Visit the Helix bridge after your time at the ArtScience Museum! This pedestrian bridge was designed to represent the 4 bases of the DNA structure, hence why it’s formerly known as the Double Helix Bridge. This is an an amazing place to walk to see the Marina Bay Sands Hotels and its surrounding area. Also, come back at night to see the bridge all lit up!

helix bridge singapore

Walk Around Marina Bay

marina bay singapore
marina bay singapore

Koon Seng Road

koon seng road singapore

If you’re into taking Instagram-worthy photos, Koon Seng is just the place! It’s a small street in East Singapore known for its row of colourful and photogenic houses.

SkyBridge – View of the City

singapore

If you have an MRT pass (EZ-link public transit card), visit the SkyBridge on the 50th floor for sunset and a beautiful 360 city view. Admission only costs $6! Moreover, for public access, you must go through the elevator next to the Pinnacle Building’s Management Office (Building 1G).

singapore

Singapore Botanical Gardens

Hours: 5am – Midnight Daily
Admission: FREE

The Singapore Botanical Gardens is a tropical garden inscribed onto the UNESCO World Heritage Site list in 2015. We decided to skip this site, since we spent so much time at the Gardens by the Bay. However, this is a beautiful place to walk around if you’re looking to get away from the city bustle!

The National Orchid Garden costs $5 for Adults and $1 for students and is open daily from 8:30am – 7pm.

Other Areas to Explore

We didn’t have time to explore these districts, but if you have time, make sure to stop in these areas!

  • Little India
  • Arab Street
  • Clarke Quay

Where to Eat

Liao Fan Hawker Chan (Cheapest Michelin Star Restaurant)

liao fan hawker chan

This restaurant needs to be on everyone’s bucket list. Dubbed the world’s cheapest Michelin-Star Meal, you can purchase the most flavourful Soya Sauce Chicken & Rice for only $2 SGD or $1.50 USD from this food stall. Meanwhile, if you visit the storefront restaurant, the price only increases to $3.80 SGD. Expect massive queues if you visit during peak times! In other words, go early or late!!!

Maxwell Food Court

Singapore is undoubtedly renowned for its hawker centres/food courts that offers high-quality local food at affordable prices. Indulge at any of the food centres I’m about to mention to get the real local-food experience. Furthermore, research the Michelin-starred hawker stalls if you want to see if they live up to their name!

Maxwell Food Court is located in Chinatown, which is a great place to have lunch if you’re already visiting the area. The most famous food stall here is Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice (stall #01-10). Make sure to stop at this stall for fry-it-yourself sweet dough fritters!

maxwell food court

Chinatown Complex Food Court

You can find anything from a chicken rice plate, Hokkien noodles, dim sum or a laksa bowl for $2.50 – $3 SGD.

Old Airport Road Food Court

old airport food court

This is one of the oldest and largest food courts, Old AirPort Road Food Court has been feeding Singaporeans for many generations. Specifically, you’ll find loads of authentic dishes here. Make sure to stop by this stall that made it on the Michelin-Guide list.

lao fu zi fried noodles

328 Katong Laksa

Located on the Singapore’s East Side, this laksa spot has been visited by celebrity chefs such as Gordon Ramsay, Tony Leung Chiu-Wai and Ekin Cheng. The star dish – Katong Laksa is made of coconut-rich laksa gravy with thick rice vermicelli noodles and seafood. Don’t miss this while you’re in town!

Birds of Paradise Gelato Boutique

We found this gem when our friend took us around Singapore’ East Side. Located next to the famous Red House Bakery, this boutique serves up healthy gelato with hints of botanical flavours. The menu includes creative flavours like White Chrysanthemum, Strawberry Basil, Lemongrass Ginger, Lychee Raspberry, and Spiced Pear. I specifically ordered the Lychee Raspberry, which was surprisedly delicious! Expect a queue when you visit for a taste.

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