Singapore is a fascinating city that I would love to visit over and over. Beyond the gleaming high-rises and luxury boutiques, there’s a city-state full of culture, beautiful parks, and a culinary scene that is among the best in the world. Singapore is also a popular stopover destination — many Singapore hotels offer really good value for money and there are also many excellent Singapore Airbnb, making it an ideal destination for a weekend break for tourists from all over Asia and even Australia.
What are the best things to do if you only have 24 hours in Singapore? Here are our top tips — but trust us: 24 hours will just leave you longing for more!
24 Hours in Singapore
Morning: Mac Ritchie Reservoir or East Coast Park
What better way to start the day than with a walk or a run in a lovely park? Singapore has lots of amazing urban nature; my own favorites are East Coast Park, which also has a nice beach (by Singapore’s standards, of course), and MacRitchie Reservoir, north of the city center. At MacRitchie, you can also rent kayaks to paddle around the reservoir, and you can walk the famous “treetop walk” to truly lose yourself in nature.
Hop on the MRT and head to Chinatown, where you can choose to either indulge yourself with some shopping, visit the famous Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum, or enjoy some amazing food — or all three! A top option for lunch around Chinatown is the Maxwell Food Court, one of the most popular with locals and Singaporeans alike, offering a range of specialties from all around Asia. Join the queue at Tian Tian (stall number 10–11) for some truly amazing Hainanese chicken rice! Here’s a great article about the 10 top places to eat in Singapore – Mike, the author, is a real food lover and I wholeheartedly agree with his selection!
BTW if you don’t eat meat, fear not – there’s lots of amazing vegetarian food in Singapore!
Afternoon: Little India and Kampong Glam
One of things that makes Singapore such an interesting place to visit is the presence of communities from various parts of Asia that have created a new home in their chosen neighborhoods. Two great examples of this are Little India and Kampong Glam. Little India is the center of Singapore’s Indian community — as soon as you step off the MRT, you may really believe you’re in India. The scents of spices and jasmine mingle, and you’ll hear the bang of drums coming from the nearby Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple.
Kampong Glam is home to the Malay and Indonesian community, and it’s one of the areas of Singapore that best preserved the city’s historic colonial atmosphere. It’s also a lovely place to wander around away from the traffic of the city center and visit the beautiful Masjid Sultan.
Evening: Gardens by the Bay and Marina Bay
When evening comes, there’s only one place to be: Marina Bay. This recently developed area is best visited at night to enjoy the glow of the many lights and walk across the Helix Bridge while it is lit. Then you can say hello to Merlion, the water fountain depicting Singapore’s national symbol.
Also, don’t miss heading to Gardens by the Bay to see the sound and light show happening every hour — entrance is free!