This was my second trip to Singapore, but my husband’s first. The first time I went, I needed time away from work and everyday life, and just hung out with some school buddies who showed me around their city. It is an understatement to say that I fell in love with it and it remains one my favourite cities of all time. I’ve noticed that we tend to do a destination better the second time around, so we’ve been trying to get better at planning smarter trips and getting them right the first time.
If you’re planning a flying visit, here’s your comprehensive 2 day Singapore itinerary. It’ll take you to all the best attractions in the city – and will leave you with some incredible memories.
Singapore’s Changi Airport is one of the busiest in the world with airlines from all over the world flying in. There’s plenty to keep you occupied in the airport itself, but get out to the real cool places as quickly as you can!
Before You Go
- You might need to apply for a visa beforehand, depending on your citizenship. Check here.
- Purchase a Singapore Attractions Pass and redeem it for a travel card at Changi Airport to save time and money.
- Purchase a HoHo bus pass which will get you to every tourist spot in the city and offer bus top tours.
- A number of reasonably priced hotels are available. We stayed at the Hilton on Orchard Road which gave us easy access to everything.
Day 1 Itinerary
8:30 am – Singapore Zoo
Tip – get here as early as possible as the crowds get intense. Carry a packed lunch of Subway sandwiches or some such to save time and money. Try to watch all of the shows before you leave.
We recommend taking a taxi to the zoo, as it’s quite far out of the way. It is connected by bus, but you’ll have to look up the timings and routes from where you’re staying. The zoo prides itself on happy animals, and is organised really well into different sections. Hang out with free range orangutans and lemurs, feed the giraffes, watch the Komodo dragon, learn about tropical and polar critters, and walk through the fragile forest enclosures (these were my favourite part). The zoo also offers River Safaris and Night Safaris if you’re keen on them.
2:00 pm – Sentosa Island
The HarbourFront Station connects mainland Singapore with Sentosa Island. You can get there by cable car, monorail, or simply walk across the Sentosa Boardwalk, which is free. Now the island presents a host of activities to choose from, and you probably can’t do them all, so choose wisely!
- Universal Studios – full of fun rides and experiences, but the queues are reeeallly long! We suggest going on rides that interest you and skipping the rest. I sat and held our bags while P went on the rollercoasters.
- S.E.A Aquarium – houses over 100,000 marine animals, lots of educational information, and a stunning 36 metre wide Open Ocean Habitat filled with sting rays, sharks, fish and other creatures. We caught feeding time and were fascinated watching the divers go in to feed these hungry animals. A must-do!
- Dolphin Island – I did this the first time around. You can see dolphins and catch a couple of shows.
- If you have time – Butterfly Park, Trickeye Museum, iFly etc – as mentioned, there’s TONS to do on the island, but all skip-able if you’re short on time. You can literally walk across the entire island and have a look-see of everything. If you find yourself with some time on your hands, go up to see the Merlion which lights up in the evenings. There’s also a Crane Dance at 8pm near the entrance of the island, which in all honesty is a bit meh.
- On your way back from Sentosa Island, make sure to catch the view of the bay at the HarbourFront station – it’s absolutely lovely!
9:00 pm – Duxton Hill
Located in the Tanjong Pagar area, Duxton Hill is lined with charming cafes and bars offering every cuisine you can imagine. We headed to the Lucha Loco Mexican bar and were thoroughly impressed – except for the tiny portions (which we were told are standard in Singapore).
Alternate – Duxton Hill can be quite expensive, so head to China Town or Little India for a cheaper meal.
Day 2 Itinerary
9:00 am – Jurong Bird Park
Another must-do, the Jurong Bird Park is best accessed by cab. You will see every kind of bird imaginable from around the world – toucans, snowy owls, Lories, penguins, swans, flamingos and birds of prey. They have a few shows through the day which are worth catching. The park has made an incredible effort to mimic rainforest ecosystems, and you get to walk through them to observe how the birds live in their “natural” surroundings. The park runs a conservation and breeding programme for rare and endangered birds, and also rescues abandoned pet birds.
1:00 pm – Lau Pa Sat
Head to Lau Pa Sat, a food market reminiscent of London’s Borough Market for a hearty and budget-friendly lunch of Indian, Malaysian, Chinese and continental food. Satays and Tiger beer are recommended! At $5 a pint, you’ll return craving this Asian lager with your next meal. If you are vegetarian, your options are unfortunately restricted to Indian and Asian tofu. We had such a lovely meal, we kept coming back to Lau Pa Sat for more.
2:00 pm – Marina Bay
An easy 15 minute walk from Lau Pa Sat, use the second half of the day to discover the central Marina Bay area.
Things to do:
- Gardens by the Bay – you will walk through the Marina Bay Sands hotel to reach the gardens. Explore the impressive botanical conservation efforts at the Flower Dome, and learn about fragile cloud forests on the elevated walkways.
- Singapore Flyer – best views experienced in the night, of the entire city. We happened to go on Chinese New Year’s Day so the entire city was decked in reds!
- Sky Bar – I went up there my first time in Singapore, and it really is quite lovely. Different from the flyer in that it’s open air, but similar in the views it offers. Tip – you can say you want to go into the bar for a drink and pay a smaller entry fee, rather than go up on a tourist ticket.
- Harbour – Walk along the harbour for some great views and pictures.
9:00 pm – Clarke Quay
So much of Singapore’s culture revolves around food experiences and Clarke Quay offers yet another unique dining setting. On the banks of the Singapore River, Clarke Quay was once a vitally important trade area. Now, it serves as the city’s nightlife capital with restaurants and bars taking home in the erstwhile warehouses.
Every restaurant vies for your attention with live bands and performances. We chose the Octopas Tapas Bar by the river – a lovely view to enjoy your last evening in Singapore, with a white wine sangria and Singapore Sling.
If You Have More Time:
- China Town to see the Buddha relic temple.
- Open-top bus tour of Singapore.
- Botanical Gardens.