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48 Hours Singapore - Ultimate Sightseeing Itinerary

Are you planning a trip to Asia, Australia, or New Zealand and still looking for the perfect stopover to recharge and enjoy the diversity of Asia? Then Singapore should not be missed and you can easily spend at least a week here! 


Cloud Forest - Gardens by the Bay Singapore

Singapore stands out for several reasons and is renowned in Asia for its efficient infrastructure, natural beauty, diverse cultural experiences, delicious cuisine, cleanliness, and safety.

The city-state offers a unique blend of modernity, tradition and tropics, with attractions ranging from futuristic skyscrapers to historic neighborhoods like Kampong Gelam, Chinatown and Little India


Kampog Gelam Singapore

I visited this diverse destination start February, for the second time in my life, this time with a group of journalists, AviaReps and Visit Singapore, and was certainly impressed by its development in the past 7 years.


We were there right before Chinese New Year, which is very nice, due to the extra decorations and festivities in advance and afterwards, but it can get busier too. If you decide to stay longer, beware that on the day of Chinese New Year almost everything will be closed.


You can fly directly from Amsterdam in about 13 hours with Singapore Airlines several times a week. 


Ducth press trip group at Gardens by the Bay - Singapore
Our press trip group at Gardens by The Bay

With its big offering of attractive sites, museums, high-end hotels, unique architecture, many hawker centers, stylish restaurants and abundant natural wonders, Singapore has much to offer!


But what if you only have 48 hours? Even then it’s possible to completely immerse yourself in this dynamic city-state's rich culture, tantalizing cuisine, and captivating sights. 


Breakfast at the Singapore Edition Hotel
Delicious breakfast at the Singapore EDITION Hotel

I pinned more than 30 of my favourite spots all around Singapore, based on our 5 day trip itinerary, in this custom Google map to use for your own trip, depending on the amount of days you have.

Many of these sites and neighborhoods are free to visit and so diverse. Combined they will surely make your visit even more memorable and unique!


Singapore Ultimate Sightseeing Itinerary


Find more info about these must visits and fun things to do, with 75 of my own pictures below:




Day 1: Cultural Exploration & Modern Marvels


The Jewel at Changi Airport

You can find this mall with astonishing tropical setting in Terminal 3 of this extensive airport. The Jewel is a impressive indoor waterfall, surrounded by lush greenery, which can be admired from several floors. Surrounded by shops and restaurants, which should not be missed upon arrival or departure. 


The Jewel at Changi airport Singapore
Singapore airport

Singapore Botanic Gardens

As a nature- and flower lover this was one of my favourites in Singapore and I could have spent a full day here!


At the Singapore Botanic Gardens by Pauline Grossen
With our lovely guide Winnie at the Singapore Botanic Gardens, pic credits Pauline Grossen

These Botanic Gardens have been added to the World Heritage List since 2015, being the first Unesco Site in Singapore. They have several entrances with the general gardens and lush settings free to visit,. Open from 5 am till midnight, also offering several restaurants, shops and cafés. 


National Orchid Garden at Singapore Botanic Gardens with Pauline Grossen
Singapore Botanic Gardens, with Pauline Grossen at the National Orchid Garden

For a fee there are several other extensive gardens and exhibits to choose from, where you can admire a diverse array of unique plants and flowers. Like the stunning National Orchid Garden, open from 8.30 am till 7 pm, which we visited for $15 p.p., with reduced rates for children under 12, students and locals.

Get a preview through these pictures:



And find more info, including all admission fees on: SingaporeBotanicGardens.


Dive into Singapore's cultural heart by wandering through these lively streets, sample the street food, visit the temple and learn more about this district's history at the heritage center.

Make sure to also go shopping for souvenirs at the vibrant market, as this is the largest hawker center and market in Singapore.



Little India

This quaint neighborhood is both interesting by day and night, with its vibrant colors, exotic aromas, and bustling streets.

We visited during the harvest festival for which they added colorful decorations above the streets, extra beautiful at night. The shops and market stalls stay open till late as well.



Go here to explore ornate temples, browse through spice shops, and savor authentic Indian cuisine at the local eateries.


The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands & Hotel

If you like luxury boutiques and international brands then the Marina Bay Sands Mall is the place to be, located directly on the boulevard.


The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands - Singapore

And from the other side, you end up right next to the photogenic Marina Bay Sands Hotel. Even if you're not staying overnight you can still visit the 57th floor Sands Skypark, restaurant and bar of this iconic hotel for free with views like this:


View 57th floor Marina Bay Sands Hotel Singapore
View 57th floor Marina Bay Sands Hotel

Spectra Light & Water Show

As night falls, make sure to head to the Marina Bay Waterfront Boulevard, to witness this impressive show in front of the Mall and be dazzled by synchronized fountains and vibrant lights against the city skyline. The show runs twice every night at 8 and 9 pm, and on the weekend also at 10 pm and is free to watch.


Spectra light show - Marina Bay Boulevard - Singapore

Top Stylish Hotel Picks


If you have at least 1 - 2 nights to spend in Singapore, I can highly recommend the top-notch hospitality and luxurious amenities of these premier hotels.

Therefore 1 night at each is a great idea too!


The Singapore EDITION Hotel


On our first night we stayed at this super elegant, yet not arrogant hotel (as they put it so aptly themselves), perfectly located just a short walk from the Botanic Gardens, right in the posh Orchard Road shopping district of Singapore. 


The Singapore EDITION Hotel bar - Singapore

This stylish 5 star hotel has 204 spacious rooms and suites that provide a warm welcome with all the luxury you can ask for and stunning views upon the green courtyard.


Besides an abundance of publicly accessible spaces, starting with the sophisticated lobby, welcoming you with its lovely ambiance, delicious smell, lush plant décor and elegant bar.


The Singapore EDITION Hotel lobby - Singapore

Completed with a very unique sustainable seafood restaurant, about which I will share more in my next blog.

Another VIP bar, a spacious courtyard garden, several meeting rooms, a Spa, gym and extensive rooftop bar and pool with unique oculus, all open to non-guests as well. 


The Singapore EDITION Hotel garden & oculus - Singapore

The hotel’s minimalistic contemporary look and modern structure was designed by the same architect as of the Marina Bay Sands hotel and certainly impresses!

See for yourself in this gallery:

 


Find all info and the best deals on their Edition Hotels Website.


Mondrian Singapore Duxton Hotel


This newly-opened affordable luxury 5 star hotel, located in the trendy Duxton Hill area, certainly offers value for money. This Mondrian hotel provides a super trendy setting with 302 compact, yet modern rooms and suites, with great views over Chinatown.


Mondrian Singapore Duxton Hotel room - Singapore
Mondrian Singapore Duxton Hotel rooftop pool - Singapore

This artsy boutique hotel is the Mondrian group’s debut in Southeast Asia, with 2 stylish restaurants, beautiful city gardens, a hip bar, spectacular rooftop club and panoramic infinity pool, that will blow you away, as you can see in this gallery:



Also here the artwork, unique spaces and restaurants can be admired and are open to non-guests as well. More info on the Mondrian Duxton Hotel Website.


Day 2: City Exploration & Local Delights


Cycling or Vespa City Tour

Kick off your second day with tour of Singapore's highlights with a cycling tour through Let's Go Tour. Explore much of the city in just a few hours by cycling along the river and many of its main attractions and sites. But they provide other tours in- and outside the city as well.


Let's Go Tour cycling tour group - Singapore

Find all of them on the Let’s Go Tour Website. 


If you’d rather rest your legs and explore the city in a more relaxing way, this is the perfect alternative. Singapore Sidecars provides the first tour in the world with renovated vintage Vespa’s, in which you can enjoy the city sights from the side car with your own driver.


Although this is a bit more expensive, it’s certainly memorable and the profits go to several good causes.


Singapore Sidecars Vespa City Tour, pic credits Pauline Grossen
Singapore Sidecars Vespa City Tour, pic credits Pauline Grossen

Their knowledgeable and super friendly local guides will drive you around with ease for an hour or 2. They will give you a unique perspective of the city with stops at many of the city’s iconic landmarks and hidden gems, while providing interesting info at the same time.


Singapore Sidecars city tour group

Choose your own tour and find all info about Singapore Sidecars here.


Tiong Bahru District & Market

Experience one of Singapore's hippest neighborhoods, with a vibrant culinary scene. Here you'll find beautiful Peranakan shophouses, Chinese temples and unique 1930’s inspired Streamline Moderne architecture, mixed with hip cafés and shops.


Do stop by the Tiong Bahru Market for fresh produce, sweets, flowers, fresh meat and seafood at the wet market. And sample the local dishes at some of the best hawker stalls of the city on the second floor.



Kampong Gelam & Haji Lane

Discover the vibrant heritage of Singapore's Malay-Arab enclave at Singapore’s oldest urban quarter. One of the most iconic spots here is the Sultan Mosque and the beautiful street art in Muscat street.


Kampong Gelam - Sultan Mosque Singapore

And make sure to stroll along Haji Lane to admire the street art, trendy boutiques and vintage shops, Malay restaurants, vibrant cafés and nightlife, creating the perfect combination of trendy heritage.



Katong / Joo Chiat

If you like photogenic streets and want to learn more about Singapore's Peranakan heritage, a visit to this area should be on your itinerary too.


Koon Seng Road - Katong Singapore

Admire the colorful Peranakan shophouses at Koon Seng Road, sample traditional Nyonya cuisine, and explore the quaint streets of this lesser-known district, filled with nostalgic charm.


Gardens by the Bay

A visit to this futuristic oasis of 101 hectares in downtown Singapore is completely free of charge! These award-winning gardens are one of the main reasons why the city is renowned as one of the greenest in the world.


Wandering around these extensive lush gardens, ponds and Supertrees is another one of my absolute favourites that make Singapore extra special to me!


Supertrees at Gardens by the Bay - Singapore

The gardens can be accessed from several sides and you can even watch the light show every night at 7.45 and 8.45 pm for free, with many seats to enjoy the 15 minute show, if you come in time to get one at least!

Consisting of 3 main areas with 2 impressive glass domes, which are however only accessible for a fee. Also for the OCBC Skyway you need an admission ticket.


Supertree Grove at Gardens by the Bay - Singapore

Cloud Forest

But in my experience an exploration of the stunning Cloud Forest, where a mist-covered mountain, tropical plants and waterfalls transport you to lush paradise, is a must!


Open from 9 am to 8 pm, for which combination admission tickets with the extensive Flower Dome cost $32, with reduced rates for children under 13 and residents.


Cloudforest at Gardens by the Bay - Singapore

OCBC Skyway at Supertree Grove

Taking a stroll on the iconic Skyway on a 22 meter high bridge is a unique way to marvel at these 12 towering vertical gardens, consisting of 160,000 plants.


Until 8.30 pm and for $14 for adults, you can take the elevator up to walk amidst these giants. And if you time it well you can even witness the magical light show from the observation platform, and see the Supertrees come alive with dazzling colors and music.



Find all info and book your tickets on GardensbytheBay.


Extra options for nature lovers or with more days to spare


Macritchie Reservoir & Treetop Wale

A tranquil oasis in the heart of Singapore, just a 15 minute drive from the city center. This largest and oldest reservoir of Singapore, dating back to 1868, offers a peaceful escape from the bustling city life, amidst pristine rainforests.


Macritchie Reservoir - Singapore

Visitors can go for a run, do water sports or explore many of the scenic trails, while admiring the diverse flora and fauna, such as monkeys, squirrels, birds and reptiles.

 

We did quite a challenging 12-kilometer hike to get to the stunning Treetop Walk. An elevated 250 meter long bridge, at the highest point of the nature reserve, offering breathtaking views over its surroundings.



Macritchie Reservoir is the place to visit for both nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Ideal for more extensive hikes, but also for leisurely strolls over the wooden pathways and a picnic by the lake!

Just beware of your bags with the cheeky monkeys😊


Southern Ridges

For a scenic hike on the edge of the city, with the best views upon the skyline, harbor and Southern Islands, this is the place to be. Comprising 10 km of nature connecting 4 of the city’s parks through photogenic bridges and walkways.


Southern Ridges bridge Singapore

You can stroll around here for hours over different trails through lush greenery, with several spots to picnic, rest and enjoy the scenery. And you can even do outdoor exercises on the gym equipment placed along the trails. 



CapitaSpring 

With its 280 meters this is one of the tallest buildings of Singapore, combining sustainable modern innovation with green design and eco-conscious features.

Located in the heart of the Central Business District, the skyscraper has gardens cascading down its exterior and several public gardens free to visit during the week. 


CapitaSpring skyscraper Singapore

Level 17 – 20 at 100 meters height are freely accessible and the highest rooftop urban farm is open for visitors as well at level 51. The rest of the building mainly houses offices, but also several restaurants, a hawker center and a gym.


CapitaSpring - Singapore by Pauline Grossen
CapitaSpring 18th floor, pic credits: Pauline Grossen


Sentosa

If I have more time to spend, next time an escape to this island for relaxation and adventure is also still on my list. On our trip we unfortunately only passed by it briefly to see Sentosa’s beaches, beach clubs and top notch hotels. But there are also several attractions, like a zipline, the Universal Studios and more.

 

The island can be reached in only 15 minutes by car, public transport and even cable car, crossing the bridge, providing a totally different holiday setting, that I did not expect to find in Singapore. 


Sentosa beach hotel Singapore

With this ultimate Singapore sightseeing itinerary I am confident that you will get the maximum out of your 48 hours in this diverse city-state. And I will share many more foodie hotspots, restaurants and cocktail bars in my next blog too.

Find them already pinned in my custom Google map and even more inspiration on my Singapore page.


With this map and these tips you can spend your time in Singapore efficiently, by combining cultural exploration, modern marvels, and unique nature escapes, in and around the Lion City with ease!

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