If you’re travelling through Southeast Asia, Singapore is likely to be on your radar. It might be the smallest country in the region, but it’s also the most dynamic. When you arrive in this city you will feel as though you’ve stepped into the future. If you’re visiting for the first time, 2 days in Singapore is the perfect amount of time to explore.
Singapore is an incredible mix of green parks, beautiful architecture, diverse culture, and high-class living. It’s a beautiful, clean, and highly-developed city. But it’s also one of the most expensive places to visit. By Southeast Asian standards, it’s exceptionally expensive with everything costing about double what it does anywhere else in the region.
You shouldn’t let the high costs deter you from visiting. Singapore is a popular airport hub in Asia which means that one of your flights is likely to pass through here anyway. So why not turn your layover into a two day adventure.
If you like the idea of spending 2 days in Singapore, here’s a travel guide that is perfect for first timers.
2 Days in Singapore: What To Do
Although Singapore is a relatively small country, there are tons of things to do here. From taking in the views from the rooftop bars and pools to exploring little India, and the many other cultural highlights within the city, your 2 days in Singapore will be jam packed.
Here’s a collection of the best things to do in Singapore. Be sure to add these to your two day Singapore itinerary.
Visit Gardens by the Bay
One of the top things to do in Singapore is to explore the cities most famous park. This is perhaps the most well-known landmark in Singapore. It’s best to visit here early in the morning before it gets too hot to be outside in the sun.
It’s completely free to visit the gardens, but it tends to get very busy here in the evening when it starts to cool off. Although it gets very busy here later on, there’s a wonderful light show that takes place every evening at 7:45 and 8:45 pm. It’s really beautiful and definitely worth checking out.
The Marina Bay Sands is located near here. If you want to splurge a bit you might want to stay here. The Bay Sands is the most iconic hotel in Singapore and is home to the world’s largest rooftop infinity pool. It is very expensive and out of most price ranges. But it’s also pretty spectacular to admire from below.
Singapore’s Botanic Gardens is a treasure trove for plant lovers, but it’s also a beautiful spot for anyone looking to get out in nature. It’s a 74-hectare wonderland and a Unesco World Heritage Site. It’s one of three gardens, and the only tropical garden, to be honoured by Unesco.
The site is home to the National Orchid Garden, and even a patch of dense primeval rainforest. The Orchid gardens will cost about $5 to enter, but it is beautiful – and a great place to snap a few photos.
Cloud Forest & Flower Dome
The Cloud Forest is part of Singapore’s “city garden” concept. It’s a spectacular domed conservatory that features a 35-meter-tall waterfall surrounded by lush vegetation. Contained inside a glass dome, the forest has a very mystical look and feel to it. It’s like stepping into outer space. Inside the forest you will find rare and interesting plant species from all over the world.
Next to the Cloud Forest you will find the Flower Dome. The ticket price is S$28 (about 15 USD) and will get you entry into both the Cloud Forest and Flower Dome. The Cloud Forest is definitely more intriguing, but both are worth visiting.
Walk down Haji Lane
Haji lane is Singapore’s original indie neighbourhood. The area around here is one of the most creative and intriguing in all of Singapore. This buzzing, all-hours, eclectic street is peppered with cool bars, cafes, boutiques, and restaurants, all of which have a high ranking on the hip factor.
Haji lane is also home to beautiful wall murals. If you love street art, you don’t want to miss out on a walk down this street.
Check out the Arab Quarter
Just around the corner from Haji Lane you will find Bali Lane – the Kampong Glam district, also known as Arab street. Here you will find the famous Sultan mosque, along with a great selection of Turkish restaurants and little shops.
This was my favourite little area in Singapore. We ate at one of the Turkish restaurants one evening and it was incredible. The area is extra magical in the evening.
Singapore is a rich mixture of different cultures. There’s no better place to experience this heritage than in Little India and Chinatown. Chinatown is a fun area to walk around in and has a variety of delicious street food, great shopping opportunities, and beautiful temples to offer.
The Buddha Tooth Relic Temple is the most well-known temple here. It’s richly designed interiors and the complex exhibits of Buddhist art tell an intriguing story of culture over thousands of years old.
Little India is the heart of Singapore’s south Indian community. This is where the large Indian festivals are celebrated, and it’s also a buzzing ethnic neighbourhood. The main street is Serangoon Road, but you will find the best and most colourful buildings in the narrow streets which intersect with the main road. This is where you will find some great photo opportunities.
Singapore River Walk
One of the best things to do in Singapore is to take a walk along the river. You can walk all the way from Raffles Place to the Merlion Park to Esplanade to Marina Bay Sands and Gardens by the Bay.
These are the top stops to check out along the way; One Fullerton, Merlion Park, Asian Civilisations Museum, Esplanade, Helix Bridge, Art Science Museum, Marina Bay Sands, and Gardens by the Bay.
It’s worth noting that this is a very long walk and can take a few hours.
Night Out On Clarke Quay
If you want to indulge in the vibrant Singapore nightlife, Clarke Quay is the nightlife capital. Whether you’re looking to dance up a storm, do some bar hopping, or some pub crawling, Clarke Quay make for an exciting night out on the town.
Other Things To Do with 2 Days in Singapore
If you’ve got a little more time to spend in Singapore or are looking for some extra activities to add to your itinerary, check these out.
Visit Sentosa island
Sentosa island has been created for tourists. It’s a sunny island, home to exciting events, lush rainforests, golden sandy beaches, luxurious hotels, and thrilling attractions. Whether you’re looking for an adrenaline rush or a day of exciting exploration, Sentosa has a world of adventure to offer.
If you want to experience the beauty of Sentosa from above, you can take a ride on the cable car. It’s a great day to wind down of a day of exploring.
Universal Studios Singapore
Also on Sentosa island, you find Universal Studios. First opened in 2010, Universal Studios is a modern day theme park with the typical selection of movie-inspired shows and rides. Park highlights include; Battlestar Galactica, Revenge of the Mummy, and Jurassic Park.
If you’re looking to shop until you drop or until your credit cards are maxed out, take a trip to the famous shopping mecca Orchard road. The street is scattered with impressive shopping malls. The poshest and biggest shopping mall is ION Orchard Mall. It’s located directly above the MRT station.
Explore Tiong Bahru
If you’re looking for an authentic taste of local life in Singapore, spend the afternoon exploring the Tiong Bahru neighbourhood. Filled with impressive art deco architecture and independent cafes and shops, this is a great area to spend an afternoon in. I only recommend this if you have more than 2 days in Singapore or some time to spare.
Sri Krishnan Temple
Built in 1870, the Sri Krishnan South Indian Hindu Temple is a fine example of Singapore’s multiple religions. It’s worth checking out if you have some extra time.
The National Museum of Singapore
If you are interested in the history of Singapore, you should definitely check out the National Museum. First established in 1887, this is the oldest museum in the island city. You can find great exhibitions and artifacts on display here.
Singapore River Cruise
The 40-minute river cruise is a great way to see some of the popular landmarks while seated inside a comfortable boat.
2 Days in Singapore: Where To Stay
Singapore is one of the most expensive places to live in the world, and as such, accommodation is not cheap. But this doesn’t mean that there’s a shortage in accommodation. From hostels to luxury hotels, you can find anything to suit your budget and style.
Airbnb in Singapore
Airbnb is actually illegal in Singapore. Well, for short-term visits. The law states that property rentals have to be at least six months (for HDB flats) or three months long (for private properties). It also states that HBD flats cannot be rented to tourists.
However, you will still find plenty of private accommodation on Airbnb. Some locals are willing to take the risk, which means that you may just find something here. But, I have heard stories of police arriving at residences that are being rented by tourists. If this happens you will usually be asked to leave and will have to book into a hotel.
But I’ve also had friends who booked an apartment on Airbnb and they didn’t have any problems. They actually only found out that it was illegal when they arrived – the host told them!
I also came across hostels on Airbnb. As far as I know hostels are legal – which means that it’s not Airbnb itself that is illegal, but more so the type of accommodation (apartments) that are advertised on the platform. So you may still find “legal” accommodation on Airbnb.
Hotels in Singapore
If you want to avoid any legal hassles, it’s best to find a hotel on Booking.com. You can check out this awesome neighborhood guide that will give you a rundown of the best places to stay in Singapore.
As I mentioned, the Marina Bay Sands hotel is the most exclusive place to stay in Singapore. It’s a good option if you have a lot of money to splurge. But, the Marina Bay area itself is also a great area to base yourself. So if you don’t want to splurge too much, but want to be in the area, you can check out Conrad Centennial, or The POD boutique Capsule Hostel.
Raffles Hotel is also a popular choice. Named after Sir Stamford Raffles, founder of Singapore, you can expect old world colonial architecture. It’s also a very expensive option, so expect to do some damage to your wallet if you opt to stay here.
If you don’t mind small and confined spaces, the Singapore capsule hotels may be a good budget option for you. They’re usually located in the heart of the city, which means that location is great. I personally am not a fan because I really don’t like being stuck in confined spaces. But for others, this may be the perfect choice.
Good Capsule hotels to look at in Singapore are; Cube Boutique Capsule Hostel, 7 Wonders, MET A Space Pod, and The Bohemian Chic Hostel.
Tips For Spending 2 Days in Singapore
Here are some of the top things to think about when putting together your Singapore itinerary
Travelling from one side of Singapore to the other is a breeze thanks to the highly effective public transport system. From buses and taxis to the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system, getting around Singapore is fairly easy.
The Singapore Tourist Pass is a great option if you plan to be travelling around a lot during your two days. A one-day pass will cost you $10 SGD, and a two-day pass is $16 SGD. Alternatively, you can purchase a three-day pass for $20 SGD.
When to visit Singapore
Singapore is a fantastic year-round destination. It has the typical tropical climate of the rest of Asia and it never colds here. The average temperature throughout the year fluctuates between 25-30 degrees Celsius. The rainy season is from November to January – so you might want to avoid these months.
It’s also worth noting that public holidays and events can have a significant effect on your 2 days in Singapore experience. Peak season is between November and February, so the price of flights and hotels is likely to be heavily inflated, especially around the time of Christmas and New Year, and Chinese New Year.
Of course, if you want to experience the country during these festivities, then it’s a great time to go. But just be prepared for everything to cost a little more than it usually would.
There are six exciting and FREE walking tours to do in Singapore. There are three morning tours and three afternoon tours each day. No booking is required. You just need to arrive on time and ready to trek the city.
Drink the tap water
Unlike most other destinations in southeast Asia, the tap water in Singapore is completely safe to drink. It’s well within the international guidelines set by the World Health Organization (WHO), as well as the standards set by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
You don’t have to tip in Singapore – it’s not part of the culture. Staff do not expect tips, so you aren’t obligated to leave one. But if you are exceptionally happy with the service, tips are always very much appreciated.
Restaurants automatically add a 10% service charge, so tips aren’t necessary here. But, you could tip the bellhop at the hotel who helped you with your luggage.
Power outlets are two-prong round or flat-sockets. It’s the same that are used in the UK and Europe. Make sure to pack a universal travel adaptor so that you are able to use all your electronic gadgets. The electricity socket is 220V AC electricity.
What to pack
Since Singapore is a city-state, you won’t need any trekking clothes here. Be sure to pack clothes that are appropriate for warm weather – Since Singapore is hot and humid all year round.
If you’re visiting between November and January, it’s a good idea to pack a rain jacket because this is the wet season. The rain can come down heavily and without warning.
Singapore has four official languages; English, Mandarin, Malay, and Tamil. English is spoken by the majority of locals so you shouldn’t struggle much with language barriers.
Is Singapore safe?
Singapore has some of the lowest crime rates in the world. So yes, it’s a very safe place to visit. As always though, you should be vigilant and keep an eye on your belongings. Pickpockets can be found all over the world – yes, even in the safest places.
Don’t chew gum!
Yes, you heard that right. Chewing gum and spitting have been illegal since 1992. When the chewing gum law first came to light in the 1990s, it was one of the main things that Western journalists talked.
The ban was put in place to keep Singapore clean. The law is not as strict as is used to be and you can now purchase chewing gum with health benefits (like dental gum or nicotine gum) from pharmacies. However, it’s still worth noting that you probably want to just avoid chewing gum here.
It’s also illegal to spit in public. If you are caught spitting, you will be slapped with a fine of up to $1000.
Singapore is ranked one of the most expensive cities in the world. As a result, you should expect to spend significantly more than you would anywhere else in Southeast Asia. That said, the extra costs may well be worth it because it’s a small enough country to explore in just two days, and offers modern infrastructure and conveniences at your fingertips.
There are also plenty of free or well-priced things to do if your budget is a little tight. But, you definitely need to be prepared to spend a good amount of money while here.
Read Next: Here are some more tips for Travelling to Singapore
Where To Eat with 2 Days in Singapore
Singapore is all about food. There is an impressive mixture of culture and cuisine, ranging from local Singaporean dishes, like Chilli crab, to traditional Chinese dishes, and Inidian food. We love Indian food, and it didn’t disappoint.
There are plenty of restaurants in Singapore that offer local and international food. But if you want to enjoy the delicious cuisine without breaking the bank, you need to hit the hawker streets of the city. With just a few Singaporean dollars you can get yourselves a good amount of local and international delicacies.
While Indian food is always a winner, you should also not miss out on trying Hainanese chicken rice, satay, and carrot cake.
Finding The Best Viewpoints in Singapore
One of the best ways to see Singapore in two days is definitely from the view above. The city has loads of great viewpoints and from all corners of the island. A lot of them are linked to restaurants, bars, and major tourist attractions, which means that you will need to spit up a lot of cash to enjoy them.
Here’s some of the best rooftop view in the city:
- [email protected]: This is somewhat of a hidden rooftop and has some absolutely stunning views of the city. The 50 story skybridge opens at 9am and only 200 people are allowed up per day. It costs $5 per person.
- Lantern: Lantern can be found atop The Fullerton Bay Hotel and is a great place to take in some gorgeous views of the Marina Bay waterfront while enjoying a few drinks. This spot is best to visit in the evening for sunset.
- Singapore Flyer: Described as a masterpiece of urban architecture, this is the largest observation wheel in Asia and offers panoramic views of the city.
- 1-Altitude: This rooftop bar offers the highest views of Singapore’s cityscape. It’s absolutely beautiful after dark with a stunning view of all the city lights.
The good news is that there are also many free viewing points. Here are a few that are worth checking out:
- Roof Terrace – Esplanade: The rooftop of the Esplanade offers a romantic view of the Marina Bay area.
- Marina Barrage: This spot offers a breathtaking 360-degree of the Marina Bay area and vast amounts of open space.
- TreeTop walk at Macritchie Reservoir: Rising 27 meters above the ground, the 250-meter bridge here has the best vantage point to spot rare trees and bird species.
Read Next: How to spend 2 days in Kuala Lumpur
Singapore Visa Requirements
Travellers from most countries won’t require a visa to enter Singapore, unless you plan on staying for more than 90 days. You should just make sure that your passport is valid for at least six months at your date of entry.
Residents of certain countries may require a visa to enter. You can check out iVisa.com for more information. The visa process can be very time-consuming, not to mention confusing. iVisa strive to make the whole process simpler for travellers by taking care of all the nitty gritty details.
Just follow my iVisa application link here and you can do a quick check to see what is required and proceed with an application if necessary.
Looking for more Southeast Asia travel inspiration? Check out my other posts:
- How to spend two days in Hanoi
- Travel Guide to exploring Phi Phi Islands
- The Best beaches on Panglao island, Philippines
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