IGO TRAVEL | 20 March 2019
Start off with Gardens by the Bay in the morning. You can’t miss the unique-looking Supertrees; these vertical gardens reach up to 50 metres tall and two of these structures are linked by an aerial walkway that makes a great vantage point for stunning views of the Singapore skyline. There are also other highlights to check out, including the Flower Dome—the largest glass greenhouse in the world – as well as the Cloud Forest, which houses the world’s tallest indoor waterfall.
For more amazing sights of the city from high above, visit the Singapore Flyer. Hop into a capsule of this giant observation wheel where you’ll reach heights of up to 165 metres above ground (that’s 42 storeys high) and can also enjoy completely unobstructed views of the city.
For lunch, pop by the Singapore Food Treats—a dining concept nestled within the Flyer building. Designed to look like Singapore back in the 1960s, this charming eating spot features stalls offering local delights such as Hainanese chicken rice, satay (grilled skewered meat) bee hoon as well as bak kut teh (peppery pork rib soup).
Make your way across the bay to visit Marina Bay Sands® for its slew of celebrity chef restaurants. Pick a spot for dinner—Gordon Ramsay’s Bread Street Kitchen offers European fare with Asian touches, or if you can’t resist a good steak, there’s CUT by Wolfgang Puck.
When you’re all set for post-dinner drinks, head up to the SkyPark to end the night with a bang at CÉ LA VI. Aside from the fab cocktails and great music, the sky-high rooftop bar is the place to be for stunning sunsets as well as breathtaking views of the city skyline.
Spend the entire day on Sentosa—Singapore’s most popular island resort with endless things to see and do. First thing on the agenda: Universal Studios Singapore™. The movie-themed entertainment park boasts seven zones as well as plenty of mind-blowing rides, including the 3D indoor rollercoaster Transformers: The Ride, and the Jurassic Park Rapids Adventure—a white water raft system with a thrilling drop at the end.
For lunch, head to Quayside Isle. This waterfront dining destination features an array of restaurants, from multi-concept bakery and restaurant Greenwood Fish Market to art jamming studio-cum-high tea salon MUSEO.
While the afternoon away at Tanjong Beach Club. Serving up Modern European bites like lobster buns as well as steak tartare, this hangout is the perfect spot to people watch and suntan by the pool’s daybed.
Before the sun sets, enter the S.E.A. Aquarium™ to see over 100,000 marine animals—including manta rays and leopard sharks—before finally ending your day with a visit to Images of Singapore, a 4D theatre with highlights like immersive, themed areas as well as the Spirit of Singapore Boat Ride, which takes you on the journey through Singapore’s cultural and historical landmarks.
Split the day between Chinatown, Little India, and Kampong Glam—three of Singapore’s major cultural precincts.
In the morning, explore Chinatown on foot and drop by Maxwell Food Centre for the breakfast staple of congee from the popular Zhen Zhen Porridge stall, and of course, some kopi (traditional local coffee). Then explore Chinatown on foot to see places like the majestic Buddha Tooth Relic Temple for a slice of history and culture.
During the afternoon, hit up the bustling Little India to visit temples like Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple. Tons of little specialty stores that sell pretty saris (a traditional piece of long clothing worn by Indian women that’s draped around the body), spices and accessories, so do poke around to see what’s available. Of course, you can’t leave Little India without having an authentic Indian meal. Banana Leaf Apolo is an excellent choice and their fish head curry is to die for.
7: Kampong Glam (Evening)
When night falls, proceed to Kampong Glam for places of interest such as the Malay Heritage Centre and the beautiful Sultan Mosque on Muscat Street. Have dinner in the area as well; right opposite the road from the mosque sits Zam Zam—a long-standing no-frills dining establishment that puts out Indian-Muslim classics like murtabak (stuffed pan-fried flatbread) and nasi briyani (an Indian spiced rice dish with meat or vegetables).
There’s no better way to get cultured than to spend the entire day museum-hopping. Begin with the newest of the lot—the National Gallery Singapore. Home to the world’s largest public collection of modern art in Singapore and Southeast Asia, the National Gallery Singapore is housed across two national monuments—the former Supreme Court and City Hall—and features over 8,000 artworks.
Following that, you can head to the Singapore Art Museum. More commonly known as ‘SAM’, the nation’s very first art museum displays one of the world’s biggest collections of contemporary Southeast Asian artworks. Spend some time marvelling at the architecture as well—the building was once a 19th century mission school and it’s been beautifully conserved, complete with plenty of its original details such as the floor tiles and the roof patina.
Make your way to the National Museum of Singapore to learn all about the nation’s rich history and culture. Expect interactive installations and intriguing performances and film screenings here.
Kickstart your day in Joo Chiat with local breakfast. Try kaya (a traditional jam made from coconut and eggs) toast at Chin Mee Chin Confectionery. Then explore the neighbourhood and admire the colourful rows of heritage shophouses.
12: Tiong Bahru (Afternoon)
For your afternoon itinerary, head to Tiong Bahru; one of Singapore’s oldest housing estates. The district is a perfect blend of the past and the present, with art-deco shophouses, heritage-rich sites and clusters of hip cafés, all co-existing in one spot. End your afternoon with a visit to indie bookshop BooksActually before dropping by landmarks like the Qi Tian Gong Temple.
Dinnertime’s here and the Dempsey enclave is a must-visit. From chilli crab at JUMBO Seafood, prettily-plated Modern European delights at The White Rabbit; or fiery Indian fare at Samy’s Curry; the options are endless at this charming lifestyle destination. Once you’re done with dinner, don’t leave just yet. Dempsey’s also known for its cluster of drinking spots—RedDot BrewHouse is perfect for craft beer lovers, and The Rabbit Hole at The White Rabbit offers a curated selection of refreshing gins mixed with their very own tonic.
There’s no better time to visit the Singapore Botanic Gardens than in the early morning. Featuring highlights like sculptures, a swan lake, various tropical trees, and a National Orchid Garden; this over 150 years old green space has been gazetted as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is perfect for that morning stroll.
15: Bukit Timah Nature Reserve (Afternoon)
Game for a hike? Spend the afternoon conquering the 163-hectare Bukit Timah Nature Reserve; an ASEAN Heritage Park that’s home to 40% of Singapore’s flora and fauna as well as the nation’s tallest hill (164 metres).
As dusk falls, make your way to the Southern Ridges and visit the towering Henderson Waves to see it in its full, brightly-lit glory.
If you have the energy, finish the entire 10-kilometre trail, which takes you through Mount Faber Park, Telok Blangah Hill Park, HortPark, Kent Ridge Park and Labrador Nature Reserve.
Kick things off with an excursion to Orchard Road; Singapore’s most famous shopping district. From international fashion brands at Robinsons and local labels at TANGS to value shopping at *SCAPE; there’s something for every shopaholic in this well-known tourist hotspot.
Speaking of value shopping; if you love bargaining for a good deal, Bugis and Haji Lane are great venues.
Located near each other; these two districts are known for their trendy stores and indie outlets that sell chic outfits, vintage finds and quirky knick-knacks, including Mondays Off.
Visit Rumah Bebe and Rumah Kim Choo; which are stunning heritage establishments located side by side in the charming enclave of Joo Chiat and Katong. They serve not only as concise visual history lessons on Peranakan* heritage; but also welcome you to take your pick from the detailed accessories, extravagant decorations and kueh chang rice dumplings of the “Straits Chinese”.
Baba Chews is a beautiful restaurant a few doors away that invites you to tuck into an authentic Peranakan meal. Nestled in a former police station; Baba Chews invites you to savour Chef Alvin Leong’s renditions of beef rendang (braised beef cooked in coconut milk and spices), chap chye (a mixed vegetable dish) and other Peranakan kueh (bite-sized snacks). Ardent shoppers looking to collect Singapore-themed trinkets can check out Cat Socrates and Naiise in 112 Katong; a mall also located along this street.
*The term is an Indonesian/Malay word that means “local born”, which generally refers to people of Chinese and Malay/Indonesian heritage.
Wrap it up with a duty-free shopping spree at Changi Airport. Luxury goods, perfume and cologne, candy and chocolates—pick them up either for yourself or the folks back home as souvenirs.
With this exciting, jam-packed itinerary, you can see Singapore in seven days flat and not miss a single beat!
Credit for blog post: Singapore Tourism Board.