a group of trees with lights
Image by Jason Goh from Pixabay

Now that Singapore is open and direct flights are returning from all over the world again, it’s time to dream of days spent being pampered in the iconic city state once again. Better yet, it’s time to make those dreams into a reality.

When you do, use this 24 hour Singapore guide to maximize your trip perfect.

You’ve just landed in Singapore, which means you’re minutes away from chasing waterfalls, sitting in gardens by a bay, chowing down on the best chicken rice and enjoying a sling or two. By sling, we’re not talking about the arm kind, by the way.

Singapore is an absolutely enchanting city combining the best of Malaysian, Chinese and Southeast Asian culture into one curated little slice of paradise, so here’s how to get in fast, see all the best things, eat all the best things and head back to lovely Changi Airport with a serious smile…

a group of people in a greenhouse

Your First Stop: Changi Airport

When you land, you don’t even need to leave the airport to hit must see attraction numero uno.

The Jewel is Singapore Changi’s newest addition, adding on to the already enviable slew of guest features like a movie theatre, outdoor butterfly garden and swimming pool. Yes, at the airport!

Fun fact: The Jewel is the world’s largest indoor waterfall and also features a mall and food court which would be worth visiting in any city, let alone an airport!

a cityscape with a colorful sky

Quick! Grab A Grab!

But once you’ve ticked that box it’s time to hustle into the city. Thanks to the fact that owning a car in Singapore is crazy expensive, you practically never need to worry about traffic.

Download the Grab app on your phone, and hail a car just like you would Uber. We insist, mainly because there is no Uber in Singapore. Don’t worry though, in many ways Grab is actually a lot better.

a room with a view of the city from the window

Picking A Place To Stay

In Singapore, it’s hard to go wrong at any four or five star hotel. If it’s your first time, it’s tough to beat a location near Marina Bay or Orchard Road, since you’ll undoubtedly enjoy a rooftop view within walking distance.

If you’re looking for a short list: the One Farrer, Andaz, Pan Pacific, Intercontinental Bugis and Ritz Carlton are all pretty stunning. You can’t go wrong in this city though.

As odd as it is, with such easy connections to the city, even staying at the Crowne Plaza Changi Airport is a great call for a short stay, particularly for aviation fans.

There’s nothing wrong with the famous Raffles hotel either, but be forewarned that joining the queue for a Singapore Sling there is a bit of a tourist “gouge”, since it’s pre-mixed! Shhh.

a group of trees with lights at night

The Things You Must See

You’re central, you’re buzzing from a few Singapore Slings and it’s time to see the sights. If you only have one night, and can only see one thing you simply must see the Gardens By The Bay light show at night.

Seeing it from the ground is free, and with the music playing and the city in the background you might just shed a beautiful tear. It’s perfect, so get the “ugh it’s touristy” thing out of your heard.

people standing in front of a food stand

If you’ve got day time to play with, you’ve gotta eat at a hawker stall. Hawker stalls are the centre of culture in Singapore and the home of almost all worthwhile food.

Save the fine dining for another city, because $2.60 will get you a plate worth licking. If you see a line, you’ll be fine – but you will be just about anywhere that’s open.

Even though the world’s cheapest Michelin Starred hawkers may be in scarce supply now, there’s no shortage of delicious food in these cultural melting pots.

Some of the best Singapore hawker centres to Google Map include: Tiong Bahru Market, Amoy Street, Maxwell Centre, Tekka Centre, Market Street and Old Airport Road.

Neighbouring streets are also gorgeous, so keep that camera phone out and about. Make sure to stop in Supermama, which has some of the coolest glassware and china anywhere. You’ll end up with some, trust me…

a room with a tall staircase and a bar

If you like a drink, you’re in an amazing city. Singapore has three of the world’s 15 best bars to go along with an endless set of rooftop views from spots like Ce La Vie the Marina Bay Sands.

If you’re looking for stronger, proper, potent cocktails you’ll always remember – head instead for Atlas, Native, Manhattan Bar, 28 Hong Kong Street or Maison Ikkoku.

a city at night with lights

24 Hour Singapore Trip: Putting It All Together

You came, you saw the Jewel, you conquered the Gardens, you had a beautiful stroll through Haji lane, you found truly amazing street food at a Hawker stall and then you washed it all down with a perfect sundown cocktail at Atlas. Sadly, your time is now up.

If you’ve ticked all these fun things off the list and still have some time, explore further into Jalan Besar, Tiong Bahru or Everton Park. Any of them will give you new streets to wander with so much to offer. From hipster coffee to one off designers, you’ll find it all.

Until next time! What’s your favorite thing to do in Singapore?

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. I’m planning to travel Singapore after two months i hope these tips are really useful to me. Thank you for dropping.

  2. Usually enjoy your posts but this one disappoints, it should be names 24-hour Guide at the beginning as readers expect a full guide.
    Second, it’s far from being comprehensive for best places to visit, even in 1 day time. Your main suggestions are: stick at the airport, get some street food plate, watch the evening show by the bay, sip a drink and call it a day. Pretty lame in my book. You should name it “My 24-hours in Singapore recommendations” – that would be true.
    Despite a small size, Singapore has much more to offer, and one can cover a lot in 1 day time.

    Readers – get a real guide and visit prepared.

  3. Made 2 trips to Singapore in the last 5 years. Loved it. Easy city to walk around and see things. I stayed each time at the Holiday Inn Express Clark Quay. Good hotel, location (by the river), breakfast and rooftop pool. The riverfront scene and restaurants at night are enjoyable. also recommend the Jurong Bird Park. And of course the Marina Bay Sands hotel, mall and casino are incredible to see.

  4. @Gilbert, I’m heading to Singapore tomorrow.

    There are a ton of “best bars” lists. Which list were you referencing?

    Thanks 🙏🏾

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