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The First 48 Hours In Singapore


Modified: January 3, 2024

by Quentin Scruggs



Welcome to the bustling and vibrant city-state of Singapore! Known for its stunning skyline, multicultural heritage, and impeccable cleanliness, Singapore is a destination that offers a diverse range of experiences for visitors. Whether you are a nature lover, a food enthusiast, a shopaholic, or a history buff, Singapore has something for everyone.


Located in Southeast Asia, Singapore is a small island country that punches well above its weight in terms of attractions and activities. With a rich history and a unique blend of cultures, the city-state is a melting pot of Chinese, Malay, Indian, and Western influences. This cultural diversity is reflected in its architecture, festivals, and most importantly, its food.


One of the main advantages of visiting Singapore is its compact size. Despite its small land area, the city-state is well-connected and offers excellent transportation options, allowing you to explore everything it has to offer within a short period of time. From iconic landmarks like Marina Bay Sands and Sentosa Island to the charming neighborhoods of Chinatown and Little India, there is always something new to discover around every corner.


In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide to exploring Singapore in the first 48 hours of your visit. From arrival to transportation, accommodation, attractions, and more, we will cover all the essential information you need to make the most of your time in this captivating city.


So buckle up, prepare for an adventure, and get ready to experience the best that Singapore has to offer in the first 48 hours of your trip!


Arrival in Singapore

Congratulations, you’ve made it to Singapore! Upon your arrival at Changi Airport, one of the world’s best airports, you’ll be greeted with efficiency and a warm welcome. The airport offers excellent facilities, including shops, restaurants, and even a rooftop swimming pool, making it a pleasant place to spend some time.


Once you clear immigration and collect your luggage, there are several transportation options available to take you from the airport to your accommodation. The most convenient and fastest option is to take a taxi. Taxis in Singapore are clean, safe, and metered. You can easily find taxi stands outside each terminal, and the fare to most city center destinations will be around SGD 20 to SGD 30.


If you prefer a more budget-friendly option, you can take the MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) train. The MRT system in Singapore is efficient, clean, and easy to navigate. The airport has its own MRT station, and you can purchase a single trip ticket or a stored value card called the EZ-Link card. The train fare from the airport to the city center is around SGD 2 to SGD 4, depending on your destination.


Another affordable option is to take a public bus. There are several bus services that operate from the airport to different parts of the city. The bus fare is also around SGD 2 to SGD 4, and you can pay with the exact fare or use the EZ-Link card.


If you have pre-arranged transportation or prefer the convenience of a private car, you can book a ride with ride-hailing services such as Grab or Gojek. These services are widely available in Singapore and offer competitive rates.


Once you arrive at your accommodation, take some time to freshen up and settle in. Singapore has a wide range of accommodation options to suit every budget and preference. From luxury hotels to budget hostels and serviced apartments, you will find something to suit your needs. It’s recommended to book your accommodation in advance to secure the best rates and availability.


Now that you have arrived and settled in, you’re ready to start exploring Singapore. Get your camera ready and prepare to be amazed by this captivating city!


Transportation Options

Getting around Singapore is a breeze, thanks to its efficient and well-connected transportation system. Here are some of the main transportation options available:

  • MRT (Mass Rapid Transit): The MRT is Singapore’s subway system and is the fastest and most convenient way to travel around the city. With an extensive network of lines, you can easily reach almost any destination in Singapore. The MRT operates from 5:30 am to midnight and offers affordable fares based on the distance traveled. Be sure to check the MRT map for route planning.
  • Buses: Singapore has a comprehensive bus network that covers almost every corner of the city. Buses are an economical way to get around and offer a chance to see the city at a leisurely pace. You can pay with the exact fare in cash or use the EZ-Link card to tap in and out of the bus. The bus system operates from early morning until midnight, with some night buses available for late-night travel.
  • Taxis: Taxis are readily available in Singapore, and they are a convenient option for getting around, especially if you have heavy luggage or are traveling in a group. Taxis are metered, and fares are reasonable. You can hail a taxi on the street or find them at designated taxi stands. Ride-hailing services like Grab and Gojek are also popular and offer competitive prices.
  • Private Hire Cars: In addition to taxis, you can also book private hire cars through ride-hailing services like Grab and Gojek. These services allow you to book a private car for a specific duration or distance, providing a more comfortable and personalized transportation option.
  • Walking: Singapore is a pedestrian-friendly city with well-maintained sidewalks and pedestrian crossings. Many popular attractions are within walking distance of each other, so exploring on foot is a great way to take in the sights and sounds of the city.
  • Bicycles and Electric Scooters: Singapore has implemented various shared mobility options, such as bicycle and electric scooter rental services. These can be a fun and eco-friendly way to explore the city, especially in areas with dedicated cycling paths.

When using public transportation, it is advisable to get an EZ-Link card, a stored-value card that can be used on buses, trains, and even for some retail and dining purchases. The card offers convenience and eliminates the need to carry loose change. You can purchase and top up the card at MRT stations and convenience stores.


With these transportation options at your disposal, you can effortlessly navigate Singapore and make the most of your time exploring everything this vibrant city has to offer.


Accommodation Choices

When it comes to accommodation in Singapore, you’ll be spoilt for choice. From luxury hotels to budget-friendly options, the city offers a wide range of choices to suit every traveler’s needs and preferences. Here are some of the popular types of accommodations in Singapore:

  • Luxury Hotels: Singapore is home to some of the finest luxury hotels in the world. These hotels offer world-class facilities, impeccable service, and stunning views of the city or waterfront. From iconic hotels like Marina Bay Sands to heritage properties in colonial buildings, you can indulge in a luxurious stay and enjoy the finest amenities.
  • Boutique Hotels: For those seeking a more intimate and unique experience, boutique hotels are a great option. These hotels often have stylish and personalized designs, with attention to detail and a focus on providing a cozy and charming atmosphere.
  • Business Hotels: Singapore is a major business hub, and there are numerous hotels that cater specifically to business travelers. These hotels are strategically located near business districts and offer facilities such as meeting rooms, business centers, and high-speed internet access.
  • Budget Hotels and Hostels: Travelers on a budget will find plenty of affordable accommodation options in Singapore. Budget hotels and hostels provide clean and comfortable rooms at more affordable rates. Some hostels even offer dormitory-style accommodations for backpackers and solo travelers.
  • Serviced Apartments: If you prefer more space and the flexibility of a home away from home, serviced apartments are a great choice. These apartments are fully furnished and equipped with kitchen facilities, making them ideal for extended stays or travelers who prefer a self-catering option.
  • Airbnb and Vacation Rentals: Another popular option in Singapore is to rent an apartment or room through platforms like Airbnb. This allows you to stay in a local neighborhood and experience a more authentic side of Singapore.

When choosing your accommodation, consider factors such as location, proximity to public transportation, amenities, and your budget. Popular areas to stay in Singapore include Marina Bay, Orchard Road, Clarke Quay, and Sentosa Island. It is recommended to book your accommodation in advance, especially during peak travel seasons, to secure the best rates and availability.


Whichever type of accommodation you choose, you can expect a warm welcome, friendly service, and a comfortable stay in Singapore.


Exploring the City

Once you’re settled in your accommodation, it’s time to start exploring the vibrant city of Singapore. With its rich blend of cultures, stunning architecture, and world-class attractions, there is no shortage of things to see and do. Here are some suggestions for exploring the city:

  • Marina Bay Sands: Start your exploration at the iconic Marina Bay Sands. Marvel at the impressive architecture of the three interconnected towers and enjoy panoramic views of the city from the observation deck. Don’t forget to catch the nightly light and water show at the Marina Bay Sands’ Outdoor Spectacle.
  • Gardens by the Bay: Adjacent to Marina Bay Sands is the breathtaking Gardens by the Bay. Explore the futuristic Supertree Grove, stroll through the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest conservatories, and be amazed by the iconic Supertree light and sound show in the evening.
  • Singapore River: Take a leisurely walk along the picturesque Singapore River and enjoy the scenic views. Visit the historic quays such as Clarke Quay, Boat Quay, and Robertson Quay, where you can dine at riverside restaurants, explore quaint shops, or take a river cruise.
  • Chinatown: Immerse yourself in Singapore’s Chinese heritage by exploring the vibrant streets of Chinatown. Visit the colorful temples, browse through the bustling markets, and indulge in delicious street food at Chinatown Food Street.
  • Little India: Experience the sights, sounds, and aromas of Little India. Explore the colorful streets, visit the elaborate temples, and savor authentic Indian cuisine at the local eateries. Don’t forget to stop by the popular Mustafa Centre for a unique shopping experience.
  • Sentosa Island: Take a break from the city and head to Sentosa Island, Singapore’s playground. Enjoy a day at the beach, visit the Universal Studios theme park, or explore the various attractions including the S.E.A. Aquarium, Adventure Cove Waterpark, and the iconic Merlion statue.
  • National Gallery Singapore: Art enthusiasts will appreciate a visit to the National Gallery Singapore, housed in the beautifully restored former Supreme Court and City Hall buildings. Discover Southeast Asian art and admire the impressive collection of modern and contemporary artwork.

These are just a few highlights of what Singapore has to offer. The city is also home to numerous museums, cultural heritage sites, shopping malls, and dining enclaves. Take the time to wander through the different neighborhoods, sample local street food, and explore the hidden gems dotted throughout the city.


Remember to plan your itinerary based on your interests and allocate sufficient time for each attraction. It’s also a good idea to check the opening hours and any special events happening during your visit. Get ready to be captivated by the charms of Singapore as you explore its vibrant streets and immerse yourself in its rich cultural heritage.


Must-Visit Attractions

Singapore is filled with an array of must-visit attractions that showcase the best of the city-state’s culture, history, and natural beauty. Here are some of the top attractions that you shouldn’t miss during your visit:

  • Merlion Park: Located near Marina Bay, Merlion Park is home to the iconic Merlion statue, a symbol of Singapore. Take a photo with this mythical creature that has the body of a fish and the head of a lion, while enjoying the beautiful waterfront views.
  • Botanic Gardens: Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and immerse yourself in the tranquility of the Singapore Botanic Gardens. Explore the lush greenery, visit the National Orchid Garden, and take a leisurely stroll through this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Singapore Flyer: Get a bird’s eye view of Singapore from the Singapore Flyer, one of the tallest Ferris wheels in the world. Enjoy a 30-minute ride in one of the air-conditioned capsules and marvel at the breathtaking panoramic views of the city skyline.
  • Asian Civilisations Museum: Delve into the rich history and diverse cultures of Asia at the Asian Civilisations Museum. Discover artifacts and exhibits from different Asian civilizations, including China, India, Southeast Asia, and the Islamic world.
  • Peranakan Museum: Step into the world of the Peranakan culture at the Peranakan Museum. Learn about the unique heritage and traditions of the Peranakan Chinese, Malay, and Indonesian communities through interactive displays and fascinating exhibits.
  • ArtScience Museum: Explore the intersection of art, science, and technology at the ArtScience Museum. With its innovative architecture and intriguing exhibitions, the museum offers a unique and immersive experience for visitors of all ages.
  • Haw Par Villa: Journey into a surreal world at Haw Par Villa, a theme park with vibrant statues and dioramas depicting scenes from Chinese mythology and folklore. Marvel at the intricate details and learn about the moral lessons behind each display.
  • National Museum of Singapore: Immerse yourself in Singapore’s history at the National Museum of Singapore. Discover the stories of the nation through its diverse collection, interactive exhibits, and engaging multimedia displays.
  • Sentosa Island: Escape to Sentosa Island, a tropical paradise filled with fun and adventure. Whether you’re interested in relaxing on the beach, visiting theme parks, or immersing yourself in nature, Sentosa offers a wide range of attractions and activities for all ages.
  • Singapore Zoo and Night Safari: Get up close and personal with wildlife at the Singapore Zoo and Night Safari. Explore the extensive exhibits and enjoy unique experiences such as the Night Safari tram ride, where you can see nocturnal animals in their natural habitats.

These are just a few of the many attractions Singapore has to offer. Remember to plan your itinerary based on your interests, and allocate enough time to truly appreciate each destination. Whether you’re interested in history, art, nature, or adventure, Singapore guarantees a memorable and enriching experience at every turn.


Trying Local Cuisine

One of the highlights of visiting Singapore is undoubtedly its vibrant and diverse food scene. Singaporean cuisine is a melting pot of flavors, influenced by Chinese, Malay, Indian, and other international culinary traditions. Here are some local dishes and food experiences that you must try during your visit:

  • Hawker Centers: The heart and soul of Singapore’s food culture, hawker centers are bustling open-air food courts where you’ll find a wide variety of local dishes at affordable prices. Head to popular hawker centers such as Maxwell Food Centre, Chinatown Complex Food Centre, or Lau Pa Sat and savor classics like Hainanese Chicken Rice, Laksa, Char Kway Teow, and Rojak.
  • Chili Crab: Singapore is famous for its Chili Crab, a mouthwatering dish that features fresh crab cooked in a spicy and savory sauce. Dig into this messy yet delicious dish, accompanied by steamed or fried mantou (buns) to mop up that flavorful sauce.
  • Chicken Rice: Considered Singapore’s national dish, Chicken Rice is a simple yet incredibly flavorful dish. Tender poached chicken is served with fragrant rice cooked in chicken broth and accompanied by a tangy chili sauce and aromatic ginger sauce.
  • Roti Prata: Have a taste of Indian cuisine at its finest with Roti Prata, a crispy and flaky flatbread served with a savory curry for dipping. Enjoy it plain or with additional fillings like cheese, egg, or banana for a sweet twist.
  • Satay: Satay is a popular street food consisting of skewered and grilled meat, typically chicken or beef, served with a rich peanut sauce and accompanied by cucumber and onion. It’s a perfect dish for sharing and experiencing the explosion of flavors.
  • Bak Kut Teh: This aromatic and comforting dish features pork ribs simmered in a flavorful broth with herbs and spices. The name Bak Kut Teh translates to “meat bone tea” in Hokkien dialect, referring to the warm and soothing qualities of the dish.
  • Curry Laksa: Indulge in a bowl of Curry Laksa, a spicy and fragrant noodle soup with a rich coconut curry broth. The dish is typically filled with ingredients like noodles, prawns, fish cakes, tofu, and bean sprouts, and it’s sure to satisfy your cravings for spicy and flavorful goodness.
  • Kaya Toast and Kopi: Start your day like a local with a traditional breakfast of Kaya Toast and Kopi. Kaya is a sweet coconut and pandan jam spread on crispy toast, accompanied by soft-boiled eggs and a cup of aromatic local coffee, either Kopi-O (black coffee), Kopi-C (coffee with evaporated milk), or Kopi-O Kosong (black coffee without sugar).

Don’t forget to explore the vibrant food scene beyond hawker centers as well. Singapore boasts a plethora of restaurants offering international cuisine, fine dining experiences, and innovative fusion dishes. From famous Michelin-starred establishments to trendy cafes and local eateries, you’ll discover a feast for your taste buds around every corner.


With its diverse culinary heritage, Singapore truly is a food lover’s paradise. So, be adventurous, try new flavors, and embark on a gastronomic journey that will undoubtedly leave you craving for more.


Shopping Opportunities

When it comes to shopping, Singapore has something for everyone, from sprawling malls offering high-end luxury brands to vibrant street markets selling unique finds. Here are some shopping experiences and destinations you should explore during your visit:

  • Orchard Road: Known as the shopping haven of Singapore, Orchard Road is a shopper’s paradise lined with upscale malls, flagship stores, and international fashion brands. Take a leisurely stroll along this iconic strip and browse through the latest fashion, electronics, and lifestyle offerings.
  • Haji Lane and Bugis Street: Looking for quirky and affordable fashion finds? Head to Haji Lane and Bugis Street. Haji Lane is a narrow street filled with independent boutiques, trendy cafes, and unique designs, while Bugis Street is a bustling market lined with stalls selling clothing, accessories, and souvenirs at bargain prices.
  • Chinatown Street Market: Immerse yourself in the vibrant ambiance of the Chinatown Street Market. Browse through the colorful stalls offering traditional crafts, trinkets, and clothing. Don’t forget to haggle for a better deal and pick up some unique souvenirs to remember your visit to Singapore.
  • Kampong Glam: Explore the Kampong Glam neighborhood and visit Arab Street and Haji Lane for a unique shopping experience. Discover an array of local and international designer boutiques, art galleries, and specialty stores offering crafts, textiles, and quirky finds.
  • Jewel Changi Airport: If you’re in transit or have some time to spare at the airport, don’t miss the opportunity to visit Jewel Changi Airport. This world-class lifestyle and retail destination features a plethora of shops, including global brands, local labels, and unique concept stores. Marvel at the indoor waterfall, the lush gardens, and indulge in delicious dining options.
  • Little India: Explore the bustling streets of Little India and discover a wide range of shops offering traditional Indian clothing, accessories, textiles, and spices. Don’t miss the Mustafa Centre, a 24-hour department store packed with an extensive selection of products at competitive prices.
  • VivoCity: Located on the waterfront of Sentosa Island, VivoCity is Singapore’s largest shopping mall. With over 300 retailers, you can find everything from fashion and beauty to electronics and home decor. Enjoy a shopping spree, catch a movie at the cinema, or dine at one of the many restaurants overlooking the harbor.

Singapore is also famous for its luxury shopping experiences. Explore high-end malls like ION Orchard, Marina Bay Sands Shoppes, and Paragon for a taste of luxury fashion, accessories, and exquisite timepieces.


Remember to take advantage of the Singapore Tourist Pass, which offers unlimited rides on public transportation. This allows for easy access to multiple shopping districts and saves you from carrying heavy shopping bags for long distances.


Whether you’re hunting for designer brands, unique souvenirs, or local treasures, Singapore is a shopper’s delight that promises an unforgettable retail experience.


Nightlife and Entertainment

Singapore comes alive at night with its vibrant nightlife and entertainment scene. From rooftop bars and nightclubs to live music venues and cultural performances, there is something for everyone to enjoy after the sun sets. Here are some of the top nightlife and entertainment options in Singapore:

  • Clarke Quay: Experience the energetic atmosphere of Clarke Quay, a riverside hub known for its bars, restaurants, and clubs. Enjoy a cocktail at one of the waterfront rooftop bars, dance the night away at a nightclub, or savor a delicious meal at one of the many alfresco dining options.
  • Marina Bay Sands: Head up to the sky-high rooftop bars at Marina Bay Sands and enjoy breathtaking views of Singapore’s skyline. Indulge in signature cocktails, mingle with fellow travelers, and soak in the dazzling cityscape from vantage points like Ce La Vi or the rooftop bar at the rooftop infinity pool.
  • Live Music and Jazz Bars: If you’re a fan of live music, make sure to explore the thriving jazz and music bar scene in Singapore. Check out venues like Blu Jaz Cafe, Timbre, or Cool Cats at The NCO Club for memorable performances ranging from jazz and blues to indie and rock.
  • Gardens by the Bay Light Show: As night falls, head to Gardens by the Bay to catch the mesmerizing light and sound show at the Supertree Grove. Watch as the Supertrees come alive with a dazzling display of colors and music, creating an enchanting ambiance in the garden.
  • Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay: Catch a world-class performance at Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, Singapore’s premier performing arts center. From theater and dance to music and visual arts, the venue hosts an array of shows and events that cater to different artistic tastes.
  • Night Safari: For a unique experience, visit the Night Safari, the world’s first nocturnal wildlife park. Embark on a tram ride and spot exotic animals in their natural habitats under the moonlight. You can also witness captivating animal shows and explore walking trails.
  • Cultural Shows: Immerse yourself in Singapore’s diverse cultural heritage by attending a cultural show. Enjoy performances of traditional dance, music, and theater, such as the captivating Singapore Chinese Orchestra or a traditional Malay dance performance at cultural venues like the Esplanade or the Malay Heritage Centre.
  • Food Night Markets: Indulge in Singapore’s food culture at the vibrant night markets. Events like PasarBella and the Geylang Serai Bazaar offer a myriad of street food, local snacks, and traditional treats that will tantalize your taste buds.

Whether you’re looking for a laid-back evening or an exhilarating night out, Singapore offers a diverse range of nightlife and entertainment options to suit every preference. Just remember to bring your ID, as some venues have age restrictions, and be prepared for a memorable and exciting night in this vibrant city.


Safety Tips

While Singapore is generally considered a safe city, it’s always important to prioritize your safety and well-being during your visit. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind:

  • Stay alert and aware of your surroundings: Be mindful of your surroundings, especially in crowded areas or tourist attractions. Keep an eye on your belongings and avoid displaying expensive items in public.
  • Use reliable transportation: Stick to licensed taxis or reputable ride-hailing services like Grab or Gojek. If you’re taking public transportation, be cautious with your belongings and avoid crowded compartments during peak hours.
  • Keep your valuables secure: Use hotel safes to store your passports, cash, and other valuable items. When you’re out and about, carry a secure bag or backpack and keep it close to your body, preferably in front of you.
  • Be cautious of scams: Like any other destination, be aware of potential scams and avoid situations that seem too good to be true. Be wary of unsolicited offers from strangers and always double-check prices or details before making any transactions.
  • Take precautions against the weather: Singapore’s tropical climate can be hot and humid. Stay hydrated, apply sunscreen, and carry an umbrella or hat for protection against the sun. In case of heavy rain, be cautious of slippery surfaces.
  • Respect local laws and customs: Familiarize yourself with the local laws and cultural norms of Singapore to ensure a smooth and respectful experience. For example, chewing gum is not allowed in public, and littering or smoking in prohibited areas can result in fines.
  • Stay updated with travel advisories and guidelines: Before your trip, check for any travel advisories or guidelines issued by your government or local authorities. Stay informed about any potential safety concerns or precautions to take during your visit.
  • Follow COVID-19 safety measures: During the ongoing pandemic, follow all recommended COVID-19 safety measures such as wearing face masks, practicing social distancing, and frequently sanitizing your hands. Stay updated on the latest travel restrictions and guidelines set by the local health authorities.

As you explore Singapore, remember that the local authorities prioritize the safety and well-being of residents and visitors. If you have any concerns or require assistance, don’t hesitate to approach a police officer or seek help from a trusted authority.


By staying vigilant, following these safety tips, and exercising common sense, you can enjoy a safe and memorable experience in the beautiful city-state of Singapore.



Congratulations, you’ve reached the end of our comprehensive guide to exploring Singapore in the first 48 hours! From the moment you arrive at Changi Airport to the exciting attractions, delicious cuisine, shopping opportunities, and lively nightlife, Singapore offers a diverse range of experiences that will leave you with unforgettable memories.


Throughout your visit, make use of Singapore’s excellent transportation system, including the MRT, buses, and taxis, to easily navigate the city and discover its many gems. Choose from a variety of accommodation options that suit your budget and preferences, whether it’s a luxury hotel, boutique establishment, or budget-friendly hostel.


Immerse yourself in Singapore’s rich culture and visit must-see attractions such as Marina Bay Sands, Gardens by the Bay, and Sentosa Island. Indulge in the local cuisine, from mouthwatering hawker center delights to famous dishes like Chili Crab and Chicken Rice.


Don’t miss the opportunity to shop in Singapore’s bustling malls, vibrant markets, and unique neighborhoods. From Orchard Road to Chinatown and Haji Lane, you’ll find an array of local treasures and international brands.


As the sun sets, explore Singapore’s exciting nightlife scene, whether it’s enjoying drinks at a rooftop bar, catching live music performances, or experiencing captivating cultural shows.


Finally, prioritize your safety by staying alert, securing your valuables, and adhering to local laws and customs. Stay updated on travel advisories and follow COVID-19 safety measures to ensure a safe and enjoyable visit.


Singapore is a city that seamlessly blends tradition and modernity, offering something for every type of traveler. So pack your bags, embark on an adventure, and get ready to discover the wonders of Singapore in the first 48 hours. Happy travels!