“Singapore is like a big desk, full of drawers and pigeonholes, where everything has its place, and can always be found in it.” Here’s my Travel Guide to Singapore.
I love and live in the central area of this country and that is where I’ll be taking you in this DIY Trip.
CHEAP HOTELS IN SINGAPORE
- Fragrance Hotel – Ruby (from Php 2200 per night) – 6min walk to Aljuneid MRT
- Hotel 81 Orchid (from Php 2300 per night) – 8min walk to Kallang MRT
- Superb Hostel (from Php 2700 per night) – near Bugis MRT
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- Sentosa / Universal Studios (The most popular theme park in town. Also it has parks and beaches and amazing establishments)
- Orchard Road. (Shopping street! Be amazed by the exteriors of fancy shopping malls!)
- Marina Bay Sands / Gardens by the Bay / Merlion Park (Gardens and Cities. You’ve never been to Singapore if you’ve never seen the Merlion fountain and the Marina Bay Sands Hotel.
- Clarke Quay (Eastwood by the river!)
- Chinatown / Bugis for shopping
- Changi Airport (Find the Kinetic Rain)
Not needed for Philippine passport holders up to 30 days stay. For Europeans, click here.
- Immigration: Are you a tourist? Prove it. Bring with you your return tickets and a company I.D. Note down the address of your accommodation in Singapore. Some officers have been strict recently.
- Bring US dollar currency and Buy your SGDs in Changi airport for better rates.
- Bring a Type G Adapter (UK Plug).
- Wear comfortable shoes or sandals because you will be doing a lot of walking.
- Bring summer clothes and 1 hoodie/cardigan/caps/hats because weather here is crazy (hot-cold-hot like your crazy ex-girlfriend!)
- The MRT makes traveling around Singapore very easy, convenient, cheap and efficient.
- They are all connected so you can easily transfer from one Line to another.
- Buy your EZ link cards At Changi Airport MRT station. It costs $12, out of which $7 is stored value for use. It’s a smart card you can use for paying transportation fares (bus, MRT, taxi, Sentosa Express train, river cruise) and buying at retail outlets (7-11, cheers, Cold Storage supermarket)
- Signages are your friends. Keep an eye on street names and Train directions.
- In Singapore, you will learn the “art” of Singlish. They talk fast and with very few words.
English Question: Do you mean chewing gum is prohibited in Singapore?
Singlish version of the above question: Gum cannot, meh?
English: The shopping malls are all closed and the restaurants are all full. What do you propose we do?
Three years living here and I still don’t understand them. So here are a few phrases for you:
lah = “lah” is their period (.) There is lah at the end of everything. So don’t worry, it’s not a bad word.
Can = YES
CANNOT = NO
Have in here or Takeaway? = Dine in or To go?
At Hawkers (Singaporean street food / carinderia ) your 2.50 SGD will already get you chicken rice or Noodles!
Be safe when crossing the road. Look to your right first.
DAY 1: WELCOME TO SINGAPURA!
SUMMARY: LUNCH AND CLARKE QUAY STROLL – RIVER CRUISE TO GET TO MERLION – DINNER AT MAKANSUNTRA (THE ESPLANADE AREA) WITH THE VIEW OF THE MARINA BAY SANDS FROM ACROSS THE RIVER
Clarke Quay is Singapore’s expensive choice of dining and entertainment destination, but you can stroll around the area for free. In the area, you will find a mall, interesting bars, and restaurants on the riverside.
>>How to get there
– Go to the nearest MRT Station from your hotel (ask your receptionist) and take the train to get to Clarke Quay Station (via Purple Line). Your first destination is just above that MRT station.
At Clarke Quay station, find EXIT C (Boat Quay / Clarke Quay ). Walk up to street level. It will lead you up straight to the mall and you just have to walk in/out/around to find the riverside. Don’t worry you’ll find it in less than 5 minutes.
>>Where to eat
k ribs soup) across Chili’s.
>>How to get to Merlion Park from Clarke Quay
Find the Singapore River Cruise at the bottom of G-Max Slingshot Bungee. Using your EZ-link, buy a ticket for a one-way trip to the Merlion Park for a price of around $5.00 each. The River Cruise is open 9 am to 11 pm daily (last boat at 10.30pm), regular departures at approximately 15-min interval.
MERLION PARK and MAKANSUNTRA / THE ESPLANADE
>>How to get there
Disembark at Merlion Park jetty. This is a small spot. You can get your photos taken with our beloved Merlion in 5minutes. From the Merlion, walk on the side of the river to get to The Esplanade. The Makansunta should be easy to find from there. Enjoy the food and the MBS Light Show.
>>What to eat
Cereal Prawn, Pineapple Rice, Sugarcane Juice
DAY 2: FUN DAY AT UNIVERSAL STUDIOS AND SENTOSA ISLAND
How to get to Universal Studios Singapore by Train / Sentosa Express:
Take the North-East line or Circle line to HarbourFront station. Take Exit E to VivoCity and proceed to level 3 to board the Sentosa Express. Alight 1 stop later at Waterfront station.
*Sentosa Express train costs $4sgd but you can alight at any/all three stations in the island anytime and exit is free.
How to get to Universal Studios Singapore by Cable Car:
Take a cab and tell the driver to get you to Mt. Faber Cable Car Station.
$29.00 cable car ride for adults
*You can buy USS tickets online or You can buy your tickets on the spot but be prepared for long queues.
* USS is open from 10 am to 7 pm. After USS, enjoy the rest of the island by walking around or hopping on express trains. The largest Merlion statue is at Imbiah station and the beaches and other activities are in Beach Station.
DAY 3: FANCY DAY AT MARINA BAY
Places to go to today:
Marina Bay Sands Mall for lunch
Gardens by the bay
Marina Barrage area for dinner
CÉ LA VI Singapore (former KUDETA) on top of Marina Bay Sands to see the famous infinity pool and to grab a few drinks.
How to get to Marina Bay Sands:
Take Circle Line to Bayfront MRT Station (Exit B, C, D, E). Go to Rasapura Masters (Foodcourt) for lunch at Basement 2 beside the skating rink. Mall exits will lead you to the waterfront of the Marina Bay promenade (Louis Vuitton Louis Vuitton Island Maison, Helix Bridge, and the ArtScience Museum)
From the MBS Mall, you can go to the Gardens by the Bay via Lions bridge which connects MBS to the Gardens. 5min walk with no picture taking- You’re there!
Tip: Climb up the Super Trees for $5sgd each. You can find the ticket booths near the Super Trees.
Two more places to see in this area: Standard Flower Dome + Cloud Forest (Adult/Senior Citizen) = $28.00
Walk past these domes to get to Satay by the Bay (dinner) and Marina Barrage for sightseeing.
If you still have energy and enough money, Go back to MBS and grab a drink or two at CÉ LA VI Singapore. Located at 57th floor of Marina Bay Sands, no cover charge on weekdays but you have to buy drinks.
Day 4: PASALUBONG
Food and Shopping Day! Chinatown and Bugis
How to get to Chinatown:
“Exit A (Pagoda Street) of North-East MRT line’s Chinatown station will deposit you right in the heart of the action. Outram Park, Tanjong Pagar, and Raffles Place are also all within walking distance, as is Clarke Quay and the Singapore River to the north.”
A lively district, you can find all kinds of things, including great food (Smith Street), The Buddha Tooth Relic Temple (4-storey temple open to the public), and the best Souvenirs. Do your street photography here and don’t miss the Hindu and other Chinese temples!
For more souvenirs, go to Bugis Street Market directly from Chinatown MRT Station via Downtown line to Bugis MRT station (Exit C). Bugis Street Market is across Victoria Street.
Day 5: LAST DAY
If you still have time, explore the parks and hawker centers near your hotel.
About the Author:
Christina Magtoto | I’m an architect. I am a lover of buildings since man learned to draw using graphite in caves. Love the art and science of creating with me.
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