Oh hello, friend. Today I’m taking you to the magical land of Singapore showing you all the unique things to do, see, and eat. One week in Singapore is my recommendation for those wanting to experience the ins-and-outs of this city/country. High-five if you’re thinking the same.
Yes, Singapore is both a city and a country. It’s one of the most wonderful, magical, shiny and new places I’ve been. Between the food, architecture and English accents I’m basically in love and low key wishing someone would give me a visa to live out my days in this enchanting city.
Consider this post your personal travel guide. I’ve made a 7-day itinerary for you which includes a ton of travel tips such as: when to go, where to stay, and how much money you can expect to spend.
This is my longest post to date with great value sure to leave you well prepared for such a trip. So grab some wine and get comfy.
Table of Contents
Psst. . . Looking for more tips for your trip to Singapore? Check out my other posts.
Instagram Spots in Singapore: 12 Magical Photo Locations
Is One Week in Singapore Too Long?
Not at all. I recommend a week in Singapore. There are dozens of monuments, museums, beaches, food, theater and more to enjoy. You can’t possibly see it all over a weekend.
Given the amount things I’m going to share with you, 3-days simply won’t cut it unless you are planning to see only the most popular attractions (i.e. Gardens by the Bay).
If that’s the case then I urge you to extend your stay so you don’t miss the many wonders of the Garden City.
How Much Money Should I Take to Singapore for a Week?
It’s time we had the big money talk. Before my trip, I exchanged $500 worth of Singapore Dollars (SGD). I knew they were a credit card friendly city, so I was not concerned about withdrawing a ton of cash. I mainly use cash for market shopping and dining at hole-in-the-walls.
Including cash, here is my total spend for 1-week in Singapore in USD:
Dining, Shopping, Attractions: $1,212 (this is a combination of cash and credit card spend)
Hotels: $2,246 (we stayed at three different hotels which I breakdown here)
TOTAL FOR TWO PEOPLE: $4,170
Your budgeted Singapore travel cost per day should be $595 for two people. Yeah, I know! That’s a pretty penny. Again, this can all be modified. Let this reflect the max if you’re dining and staying at fancy places for a week straight.
Of course, you should always keep a close watch on exchange rates leading up to your trip. When I was there, the exchange rate meant 25% off whatever the price in SGD was (i.e. 100 SGD equals 75 USD).
If you don’t have the XE Currency app, I recommend you download it. It’s free and updated in real-time.
Best Time to Visit Singapore
Seeing as Singapore is only 1 degree from the equator the weather hardly changes year-round making any month a good one.
We came during the so-called monsoon season, but in the 7 nights we were in Singapore, it did not rain a drop. It’s considered low season so prices are cheaper, therefore, I recommend visiting Singapore end of July through August.
Also happening in July is the Great Singapore Sale and Singapore Food Festival. We caught the food festival. Tons of vendors all around with every cuisine imaginable.
Best Area to Stay in Singapore
These are the best districts in Singapore. Depending on your budget you can find great hotels around here which I mention below.
One Week in Singapore: 7-Day Itinerary
Yay! Now that all the important things to know are out of the way, I can finally share my 7-day itinerary. I made sure to include top and lesser-known attractions, as well as, some funky bars. We all know the Seeking Neverland community loves nightlife.
Day one is a travel day – usually spent figuring out directions and settling in. We arrived in the afternoon and by the time we found our hotel and unpacked it was happy hour in the lobby. We grabbed a glass of wine followed by dinner at Vatos. Of course, I found a Mexican restaurant on day one.
If you’re new to this blog, then you should know I love Mexican food. No matter where I visit in the world, I love searching for a Mexican restaurant. You would be surprised where good food turns up.
With that being said, the first restaurant recommendation in Singapore is Vatos.
We stayed at the super cute Naumi Hotel. It’s a boutique hotel with resort-like amenities. From the bar/restaurant downstairs to the rooftop pool offering incredible views of the city and historic Raffles Hotel.
Getting from the airport to our city center hotel
Getting to our hotel from the airport was relatively simple. We used the airport WIFI to figure out what metro station was closest to our hotel.
The MRT line runs from terminal 2 to all parts of the city. We spent $2.50 for a 1-way ticket and $20 for a 3-day MRT tourist pass
Once settled into our hotel, we walked across the street to 7/11 and purchased a SIM card. It was a 7-day 100g card for 12 Singapore Dollars. It’s so much cheaper than the airport with more data.
Since my phone is unlocked I hotspot the WIFI with my boyfriend. You can do the same if you’re looking to save money. Split the cost of one and hotspot.
We try to get a good night’s rest after the travel day so our first plans were not until the afternoon, well brunch’ish time. We started our day at the luxurious Intercontinental Hotel for afternoon tea.
Afternoon Tea at the Lobby at the Orchard, Intercontinental Hotel
SGD 108 will buy you afternoon tea for two people and champagne. You can enjoy an afternoon in a lavish room with a live grand piano sipping on Singapore heritage tea and endless amounts of scones and ice cream.
Tea will begin with your choice of tea or coffee and an array of scones and jam. Following are what I call the savory side of the menu with finger sandwiches, ratatouille quiche (my personal favorite) and risotto.
Continuing is the tray of gorgeous and delicious desserts of all sorts from chocolate pralines to mango mouse cake. I believe the menu changes by season so it’s best to check their website for the most current menu.
Explore the Colonial District by Foot
If you decide to stay at Naumi, then your first stop on this walking tour will be the Raffles Hotel. This historic hotel is named after Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles – the founding father of modern-day Singapore. I love the Victorian-style architecture and crisp white paint job. It’s a beauty.
Inside you will find hotel rooms, restaurants, and a botanical garden. While it’s easy to splurge here, try to hold off because I do I have an amazing bar for you. Keep reading.
The next stop is Chjimes (the j is silent). A national heritage site with gorgeous Gothic Architecture. Today, Chjimes is a retail and business space but you may recognize it from the wedding location in Crazy Rich Asians. I get chills every time I watch the scene when the bride steps into the water aisle. GOALS!
Old Hill Street Police Station (Central Business District)
This building is a former police station and now home to various businesses. The real draw is the outside aesthetic. It’s the most colorful building in Singapore attracting photographers daily.
The building is located in the central downtown core. There is a bus stop right here which makes getting to and from here super easy.
Stroll Through Chinatown
Though it was built in the early 2000s, the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple has ample opportunities to learn about the rich history with tons of art and artifacts throughout. Admission to inside is free, as well as, tours which last around 2-hours.
For photos of Old Hill Police Station and Tooth Relic Temple read my Instagram Spots in Singapore guide.
Dinner at Yellow Pot, Six Senses Maxwell Hotel
This was the best meal we had on our entire trip. The food was so delicious. Given we were splurging on our trip, we decided to treat ourselves to a fine meal. It did not disappoint.
Get Your Drank On At These Unique Bars
Not far from Yellow Pot are some awesome bars you cannot miss.
Jr. Pocket Bar Speakeasy Tiki Bar that has maybe 20 seats and that’s it.
Tippling Club was voted one of the best bars in Asia and I can see why. This bar is unique in the sense that rather than picking a cocktail based on what you think would taste good, you order based on smell. Prior to ordering, they deliver a stand with dozens of test tubes of different fragrances. Whichever one you like they create a cocktail around.
Morning tour of Little India
If you want some good Hawker Centers then Little India is where you want to be. It’s one of the oldest parts of the city and houses great food options. Of course, I went for the colorful shophouses. It’s different from other districts in that the Indian culture is very much alive here. Chinese and British influence is found all around Singapore, but not as much in Little India.
Lunch at Harry Potter Cafe, Platform 1904
Platform 1904 is a must for Potterheads like myself. They did a great job bringing you into the wizarding world from the decor right down to the menu. They have a rack of school uniforms so make sure you dress the part before sitting.
The menu was far better than I was expecting. Brace yourself, they have Hagrid’s British Afternoon Tea every day from 2-6 pm for SGD 55 per person. We, however, opted for the set lunch menu which included soup, salad, and main dish. My order consisted of:
Green’s from Hagrid’s Pumpkin Patch
Cream of Butternut Squash. It was the soup of the day.
Vegetarian Aglio Olio
Mr. Lich’s Flaming Brew magical cocktail
Fort Canning Tunnel
Fort Canning was one of the most interesting spots I visited. I went there for an Instagram photo but when I took a step back I realized how unique it truly was. Why make a basic walking path in a park when you can dig a hole and built a spiral staircase alongside it?
Visit the National Museum of Singapore
Cool off and learn about the history of Singapore. They have an interesting past from communist Malaysia and British rule to absolute independence. Singapore is a fascinating (and innovative) country.
Standard adult tickets range from $15-26. You can learn more about current exhibits and prices here.
Shopping on Orchard Road
Orchard Road is like Oxford Street in London. Home to every type of brand imaginable. To give you some perspective they had a 7-story Crate & Barrel. These malls are gigantic.
After you shop, take a breather and visit the photo-worthy Library @ Orchard. This library is super techy and modern – unlike many libraries, I visit. That’s not saying a lot. Since college, I think I’ve been in a library only when traveling.
For our last three nights, we decided to check in to the ritzy Marina Bay Sands. You don’t have to but if you have room in the budget it’s totally worth it. For a look at my stay, you can read or watch here. We checked in early so that we had time to explore the city and be back by the evening to enjoy our hotel.
Day rage warning, the first stop is easily the most incredible bar I’ve ever been to.
Sit, Sip, and Enjoy Atlas Bar
Never have I ever been to a more swanky bar. Atlas is an art deco masterpiece from the ground up. They house the largest gin collection on the world with over 123 from the US and 316 from the UK among other countries.
If you plan to come after 6 pm they do have a strictly enforced dress code. Women and Men both need to be dressed to impress. No shorts or sandals.
Bugis Street Village
Bugis Market is like many of the markets you will see in other parts of Asia. If you enjoy street food and bargains this market is not to miss. Make sure to walk around the left side of the market if you’re facing the front, to the colorful shophouses.
After shopping, we headed back to our hotel to catch the show and dinner. I’m pretty sure we were starving at this point.
Catch the 6 pm Marina Bay Sands Water Show
Similar to the water show at Disneyland’s California Adventure. I liked it. It’s a huge water show that takes place in the Marina.
If you’re on the Marina Bay Sands side you will see if from behind. If you want to be in front head to the Fullerton Hotel across the way, or better, take a boat tour and watch the show on the water.
Dinner at the Hotel Buffet
The buffet was delicious. I honestly don’t like buffets but at a 5-star resort, buffets are well maintained. Besides the food court in the mall, the Buffet is the best bang for your buck. You do need to make a reservation or risk waiting in the standby line.
Visit the Marina Bay Sands Shopping Mall
This is more than a mall. Here you will find the only casino in Singapore and Marquee nightclub. Seeing as I’m from Las Vegas, I found the casino to be underwhelming. For starters, there are no bars inside. Everyone is serious and quiet. Yet, it was still interesting to walk in and see the differences for myself.
The best part of the mall is the food court. Just like everything else in the city, the food court is beautiful and offers tons of variety if you enjoy Asian cuisine. There is also a giant light sculpture that resembles the same one inside of TeamLabs in Tokyo. The reason is that it was designed by the same people.
Walk around the Marina Bay starting at Helix Bridge
You can get some pretty sweet views of the Marina Bay and downtown core from the Helix Bridge. They have a few lookout spots along the way. Make your way towards Merlion Park.
If you don’t want to make the walk, they do have boat tours that will take you around the Marina. I want to say it cost SGD 7. We were going to do the tour but missed the last one and didn’t feel like waiting.
There are technically eight Merlion statues found around Singapore, but the Marina Bay location is the largest and most photographed. This hybrid statue represents two things: the lion head represents the old name of Singapore which was the “Lion City”, and the fishtail represents their beginning as a fishing village. It faces east because it’s feng shui
Cloud Forest & Flower Dome
These are the paid attraction at Gardens by the Bay. You should plan to spend at least an hour in both places, so if you intend on seeing the Garden Rhapsody show, you will want to time these attractions right.
If you’re hungry, there is an adorable cafe inside the Flower Dome that serves tasty vegetarian meals using fresh herbs and plants from the garden.
P.S. If you flew Singapore airlines you get a discount so make sure to show your boarding pass at the ticket counter.
Supergrove Tree Show
Admission is free daily from 5 am to 2 am. This is where you can watch the Garden Rhapsody show happening twice a day at 7:45 pm and 8:45 pm. Times are subject to change so make sure to check Gardens by the Bay website for the latest updates.
Day 6 was the ultimate pool day. We started our day enjoying coffee poolside. Afterward, we freshened up and headed out to explore the last neighborhood on our bucket list.
Explore Kampong Glam
The Mulsim-Malay neighborhood Kampong Glam is unique in that you can find street art everywhere. Graffiti is technically illegal in Singapore, but this neighborhood has murals everywhere. If you’re looking for an alternative side of Singapore, this is a lesser-known area not to miss.
The Sultan Mosque is the most popular landmark here. It looks straight out of Aladdin. Although tourists are not allowed inside because it is an active mosque you can still pass by during their prayer and enjoy the music from the outside.
Make sure you walk down Haji Lane and stop by Good Luck Beerhouse – a dim sum and local craft beer bar. I got the Unicorn Burbs Pilsner. So good I got it twice. Spend time chatting beer with the staff. That’s what traveling is all about in my opinion so make some friends. Many of the spots on this list were recommendations from locals.
Sunset back at the pool
If you stay at the Marina Bay Sands you absolutely have to experience sunset at the pool. We got an early dinner at Lavo then headed to the pool for sunset. It was a perfect ending to our day.
For the last day, we checked-in to the Yotel Air at The Jewel at Changi Airport. The joke of the day was how we went from a large room at Marina Bay Sands to a teeny-tiny room at Yotel Air. Talk about falling off our high horse. But in actuality, it was a smart choice, because the Jewel has a ton to do.
Food & Drinks
We hopped around the food courts inside Jewel. They had three but our favorite was the top floor. Here you will find another craft beer bar offering Tiger Beer.
Across from the Tiger Bar is Herit8ge. You have to try Gik. Gik is the world’s first blue wine. I’m not entirely sure how they get it blue but I know it’s not food coloring or anything like that. Taste is between a wine and dessert wine.
Notice the people walking high above on the glass skywalk? That costs money to access.
The main attractions at Jewel are the mirror maze and canopy park but in actuality, there are tons more attractions here such as a cactus garden and bouncing sky net. You can bundle all these and more for SGD 71 per person. Visit the official site for more information.
The main free attraction here is the massive waterfall (aka the largest indoor waterfall in the world). Located inside Forest Valley you can enjoy walking paths and free show happening every hour from 7:30 pm to 12:30 am.
Other Notable Things to Do
See why you need a week in Singapore? I got around but still didn’t see it all. Here are a few notable mentions that I wanted to visit but did not have the time:
Art and Science Museum: We decided to skip this since we went to the one in Tokyo on the same trip. They are different in their own ways and a must if you’ve never experienced immersive art like this.
Rainforest Illumination: An enchanting night walk at the Singapore Zoo.
Operation Dagger: A speakeasy bar with rave reviews from locals.
Skinny’s Lounge: On the flip side, Skinny’s Lounge is one of few dive bars in Singapore. I’m bummed we didn’t make it.
Haw Par Villa: This odd park will give you all kinds of feels. If you’re looking for an alternative attraction in Singapore, your answer is here.
Magical Dinner for Harry Potter Fans: We can all thank Jeratch for becoming the best host ever on Airbnb Experiences. She hosts a Harry Potter-themed dinner which consists of themed meals and house sorting services if you’re unsure. The entire dinner lasts 3.5 hours and sells out super fast. That’s my excuse.
Thank you so much for hanging out in this massive guide. If you are going to Singapore, then I hope this helped you get prepared and more equipped with what to do when you get there. If you have no immediate plans, then I hope this guide inspired you to visit sooner than later.
As always, you all are amazing and I appreciate you reading and supporting Seeking Neverland. Be sure to subscribe to the travel tribe for exclusive content.
Psst. . . Looking for more tips for your trip to Singapore? Check out my other posts.
Instagram Spots in Singapore: 12 Magical Photo Locations
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