Are you experiencing an one-day layover in Singapore? Unsure of what to do in Singapore? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. This beautiful island city-state at the tip of the Malaysian peninsular holds plenty of activities and beautiful sightseeing places – even for travellers on a budget! It’s small wonder how this country was voted the top travel destination by Lonely Planet in 2015.
Here, we’ve created a basic itinerary which will take you through the must-see sights in Singapore – all which can easily be covered in a day. So, buckle up as we show you the picturesque, insta-worthy side of Singapore!
1. Changi Airport
Here we are, the best airport in world. Voted as the world’s best for the fifth year running, Changi Airport is widely considered as the crown jewel of Singapore. This enthralling three-terminal airport (with a fourth and fifth coming on the way) is packed with a butterfly park, art structures, a giant 12-metre slide, entertainment facilities, a movie theatre, and a secret swimming pool. Try discovering the various art exhibits and installations hidden in the nook-and-crannies of this sprawling place!
2. Sultan Mosque
In 1826, a palatial golden-domed Mosque was built next to Sultan Hussein Shah’s Istana (palace) in Singapore’s Malay quarter, Kampong Glam. This gave the mosque its namesake of Masjid Sultan – or Sultan Mosque. This majestic Mosque boasts architecture fit for a king: it is adorned with two golden onion-shaped domes, a double-storied prayer hall, and an enchanting pulpit decorated with gold-plated floral motifs. Legend has it that the Sultan wanted all Muslims to contribute to the Mosque’s construction, so the poor donated glass bottles which were incorporated into the base of the Mosque’s dome.
3. Haji Lane
Formerly a pilgrimage hub, the unsuspecting Haji Lane served as a congregation point for Muslims from Borneo, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia embarking for the holy Islamic city of Mecca. As a result, many sheikh hajis (holy men) could be found in the area. However, you’ll no longer find any pilgrimage stores in this area – but many off-kilter cafes, bars, and clothing stores in this district instead. Now known as Singapore’s bona fide hipster district, Haji Lane has plenty of tattoo and grooming parlours, watering holes, and live performance venues housed in quaint two-storey shophouses. Come during the night to watch this place come truly alive!
Visit Haji Lane on our LocoMole Kampong Glam Trail!
4. The Merlion
A unique Singaporean creation, the Merlion combines two of Singapore’s most recognized symbols – the lion and the mermaid. The lion’s head derives its origins from Singapore’s original name of Singapura, which means the Lion City, and the mermaid is a reflection of Singapore’s maritime history. The Merlion is usually a subject of hilarious photos: visitors like juxtaposing themselves against the statute and “drinking” the water that spouts out of the Merlion’s mouth. Have some fun and take your most creative photo here!
Visit the Merlion with LocoMole on the Singapore on a Budget trail!
5. Sands Skypark
Standing above the swanky Marina Bay Sands at 951 feet (56 stories), the Sands Skypark grants astonishing views of Singapore’s Central Business District. You’ll be able to view many iconic landmarks from here, such as Singapore Flyer, the Merlion, the Esplanade, Floating Platform, and Fullerton Hotel. If you’re feeling a tad lavish, head up to the ritzy nightclub CÉ LA VI for a drink at the bar, or Asian-French restaurant Sky on 57 for a meal with exhilarating views. However, such expansive views come with a price: admission into the Sands Skypark costs S$23.
6. Gardens by the Bay
Just a ten-minute walk away from the Sands Skypark, the futuristic Gardens by the Bay is accessible via the Marina Bay Sands underpass. The main attraction of Gardens by the Bay are its humongous “Supertrees” – tree-like structures that are home to enclaves of exotic ferns, vines, orchids, and other plants. These Supertrees are also armed with cutting-edge technology, such as solar panels, lightings, rainwater collection points; which is a perfect illustration of how man can co-exist with mother nature. If you’re in an exploring mood, head to the Cloud Forest and Flower Dome for exciting floral discoveries housed in their native respective climates.
Visit Garden by the Bay on our LocoMole Garden by the Bay Trail!
7. Buddha Tooth Relic Temple
A cornerstone landmark in Chinatown, Buddha Tooth Relic Temple is believed to house the dental relic of the historical Gautama Buddha. Entrusted to Singaporean Buddhist Abbot Shi Fa Zhao in 2002, and the decision to build a Tang Dynasty-style temple around the tooth relic was made. The enchanting six-storied temple today houses a museum, a theatre, a vegetarian dining hall, and an opulent golden stupa that houses the Buddha tooth relic. Be sure to head to the temple’s garden on the top floor: it’s a beautiful oasis of tranquility in the hustle-and-bustle of Chinatown.
8. Sri Mariamman Temple
Paradoxically situated in the heart of Chinatown, the Sri Mariamman temple is Singapore’s oldest Hindu temple. Built by Naraina Pillai, the first Indian to step into Singapore in 1827, the temple dedicates itself to the worship of the South Indian Goddess of rain Mariamman. The temple’s main attraction is its six-tiered Gopuram, or pagoda tower adorned with sculptures of Hindu deities. In the temple, visitors are able to view intricate murals of the ten avatars of the Hindu God Vishnu and view the rituals performed by Hindu priests. The visiting crowd here is surprisingly international, so remove your shoes and make yourself at home!
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