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Ultimate Guide to Singapore Itinerary by local - Getting around Singapore , Where to Stay in Singapore & 4D3N Singapore Itinerary for first timer!

 The Ultimate Guide to Singapore Itinerary &  Where to bring your foreign friend around in Singapore

Located at the southern tip of South East Asia, Singapore is a small but vibrant city. Name as the Garden City, Singapore is well known for its cleanliness image and tropical greenery. Singapore is growing slowly but steadily over the years.

Singapore is a multicultural nation and Singaporeans live in harmony with friends from different ethnic race. English is the nation first language but do not be surprised to meet a Singaporean who is well conversed with 3 languages and more if you include dialect. My dad speaks three languages (English, Malay and Mandarin) but for me, it’s 2.

As the 9 August is Singapore National Day and Independence Day, Our Travel Itinerary decide to celebrate this day by writing the Ultimate Guide to Singapore. Being a Singaporean, I’m proud and thankful to be one. From the opportunities to gaining more knowledge through education to growing up in a safe environment, these are the little things that I’m forever grateful for.  Every time I listen to the national day song, my heart is filled with lots of love and excitement. 

Recently, The Crazy Rich Asian movie and Meeting between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un, has put Singapore on the world map. More than just a red dot, there are lots of things to do.  Even as a Singaporean, sometimes I have to think where can I bring my foreign friends to because there are so many things to do in this city

This itinerary is for first-time visitors to Singapore and I will show you the way to major attractions in Singapore and places to dine. Best of all, it's all group in the same area so you can save some time. I hope this itinerary can give you a glimpse of the things to do in Singapore by Singaporean for First Timer Visitors! As for frequent visitors to Singapore, I will do a write up on the more exclusive and hidden gems in Singapore soon! 

Getting Around in Singapore
Singapore is well connected and can be easily accessed to many places by public transport. Plus, some attractions are close to each other so you can literally walk your way there! The commonly used transport by many Singaporeans is the Mass Rapid Transit(MRT), the subway system in Singapore, and buses. 

We would recommend you download and use google map to as the navigation tool. It will generally show the best route with a mix of the Bus services and MRT line to take and the station to board and alight.

In Singapore, you board buses at the front entrance and generally alight at the rear exit. Exception for boarding at the rear is only when the bus driver gives the permission or for wheel chair users.

Paying for Transportation
The most popular payment method for transportation in Singapore is by contactless stored valued cards and contactless credit cards. The contactless credit cards supported now are Visa and Master Cards only. You can also pay by cash but it is not recommended as it is generally much more costlier.
Transportation fare by MRT and/or Bus is calculated by distance of travel with a base starting fare for each start of a ride and additional fare for the distance traveled. The advantage of using the Contactless Stored Value Cards or Contactless Credit Cards to pay for your MRT/Buses is that the system will consider multiple rides changes between MRT and Buses as a single ride and calculate the total distance travelled from your starting point and your destination within a reasonable time frame. If you are paying by Cash, each ride when changing between Buses and MRTs will be considered a new ride and you will be charged the base fare multiple time.

Contactless Stored Value Cards and Contactless Credit Cards
Tap In - Tap Out
To take the MRT, you Tap in your contactless card at the entrance of the MRT station and Tap out when exiting the station. To take the Bus, you also Tap in when you board at the front entrance and Tap out when alighting at the rear exit. If you forget to Tap out when alighting a bus, the system will deduct the maximum distance travel fare.

Top Tip: Use your credit card as a transportation card to get around in Singapore and save the $5 non-refundable deposit for getting one of the contactless stored value cards. Use back the same credit card when you do transfer between buses and MRT to save on rebates. Do note that non-Singapore foreign-issued cards will have an admin fee of S$0.50 per posting. The administrative fee of $0.50 per posting is charged to defray the additional cost for processing foreign bank cards. 

Visa Card has a daily posting (S$0.50/day if you took a Bus/MRT ride) whereas Mastercard contactless bank cards, fare charges will be accumulated for up to 5 days or after a total of $15 is spent on transit fares, whichever is earlier(S$0.50 every 5 days or every time you reach S$15 of fares whichever is earlier). Thus, we highly recommend one to use a Mastercard contactless bank card instead of Visa contactless bank cards. After all, it is still a better deal since you can save on the $5 non-refundable card fee. More information on the contactless bank card here
If you are planning to travel very frequently in a day, you may want to consider to get the tourist pass. The Singapore Tourist Pass is a special EZ-link card that offers tourist unlimited travel* on Singapore’s basic bus services, MRT and LRT train for the duration that it is valid. Do note that an average trip is S$1.5 for short distance and more for long-distance. More information on Transportation fee here Thus, to make the pass worth it, you need to take at least 5 trip. Otherwise, skip the pass and use your credit card as transportation card instead!

Pass available in 1, 2 and 3 days. More information on passes here

There are many different taxi operators from the different company available for street hire. All Taxi is meter and fares are charged according to the taxi meter. First, 1km is charged from S$3.20 onwards and depending on the model of the taxi. You can refer to the taxi charges by Comfort Delgro below. Do note that there is surcharge such as ERP and peak hours are applicable too. Payment can be accepted by cash, nets or credit (transaction fee applies)
Image credit here 
Limousine Taxi is available for hire at the airport and ferry terminal too. They usually charge an S$60 flat rate for a 1-way trip and can sit up to 6 to 7 passengers. In my opinion, they are great options when you are travelling in a large group and during the peak period for long distance. Otherwise, just book 2 taxi with Grab(see below). They usually cost $20-$25 each way. Unless you are visiting the west of Singapore - Jurong. 

Private Hire
Grab is a commonly used private car hire car company in Singapore. Uber is no longer available after Grab bought over the company in South-East Asia. You can download your grab app here and use Grab promo code JLSJ2018 to receive discount off-set your first ride. Another private hire company operating in Singapore is Go-Jek. You can pay your ride with a credit card on the app or cash to the driver. Remember to choose your option before you confirm your booking

Where to Stay in Singapore
Depending on personal preference, a 3-star hotel in Singapore start from $150 and 5-stars hotels start from $300. Regardless of your preference, I highly recommend visitors to stay near to MRT stations! Here’s some of my personal favourite!

Mercure Bugis
Situated in a popular shopping street in Singapore, Mercure Hotel Bugis is located near to many MRT stations such as Bugis station, Bencoolen Station and Bras Basar station. No doubt the location is one of the best, the loft-style hotel is also reasonably priced from $ 190/night. More review on Mercure Bugis here

From S$190/night

One Farrer Hotel
The five star hotel is located at the fringe of the city. For just $200 per night, one can access to the MRT easily. Rooms are clean and it is just minutes away from attractions such as Farrer Park and Little India. More review on One FarrerHotel here

From S$250/night

Conrad Centennial Singapore

For a more luxury room, I highly recommend Conrad Centennial Singapore. The room is beautifully furnished and has a great location too. They are very accessible to many attractions such as Merlion Park, MBS and Cityhall. More review on Conrad Centennial Singapore Executive King Room Review here

From S$350/night

Marina Bay Sands
Located in the prime area of Singapore, Marina Bay Sands is a mega infrastructure built. It has appeared it the Crazy Rich Asian movie and has awed many with its amazing view of the city from the iconic infinity pool. Although I must warn you that the deluxe room is not impressive, the pool is. It will be good if you can spend a night here! More review on Marina Bay Sands here

From S$500/night
Suggested 5D4N Singapore Itinerary

Day 1: The National Museum – Chijmes - St. Andrew's Cathedral - Esplanade - Merlion Park- National Gallery Singapore – Singapore River - Clark Quay

8:00 am Have Traditional Kaya Toast for Breakfast
Start your day with the traditional toast set for breakfast. The traditional toast set usually includes two soft boil egg, 2 slice of toast with butter and kaya and a cup of coffee (Kopi) or milk tea (Teh). You can have it in many different styles just like your americano (Kopi-Kosong). You can find these traditional toasts at almost anywhere!

For an affordable option, visit any local coffee shop or Kopitiam and you can get your set for less than S$3.00. For more premium toast set, you can visit Yakun or Heavenly Wang for their toast from S$5.00. I don’t recommend Toast Box because the toast is ridiculously small size and very often not toast to perfection.

10:00 am Visit National Museum of Singapore
Image credit: wikimedia
For a start, it is best to understand the history and culture of Singapore. Head over to the oldest museum in Singapore – National Museum of Singapore. The museum has a collection of stories featuring Singapore. More information on National Museum here Head over to Fort canning park if you have extra time!

 National Museum of Singapore
Address: 93 Stamford Rd, Singapore 178897
Daily 10am–7pm


12:00 pm Have lunch at Chijmes or Funan Mall 
Image credit: wikimedia
Walk over to Chijmes, the beautifully designed, colonial-style heritage building. Formerly built as a convent & School in the 19th century, Chijmes now houses many restaurants and bars. There are many dining options and one can be spoilt for choices. Plus, there are many lunch deals on a weekday from 12pm – 2pm! More information and promotion on Chijmes here
The newly refurbished Funan Mall is one of the newest malls in Singapore. There is a wide range of restaurants and shops.  Plus, many retail shops in the mall has combined tech features such as augmented reality runway or even an IoT showroom. On the roof, there is an urban farm and even a futsal court. At night, it is even more beautiful. One can enjoy the skylight from the roof garden. 

2:00 pm Walking tour around Singapore’s iconic monument and heritage building.

After lunch, grab a cup of bubble tea and start your own walking tour around these heritages building in Singapore. Follow your own pace and preference.

  • St. Andrew's Cathedral 
  • Esplanade 
  • Merlion Park 
  • Singapore National Gallery 
  • Singapore River

7:00pm Have Chili Crab at Seafood Restaurant in Clark Quay
Jumbo Seafood Restaurant
Image Credit : Jumbo Seafood restaurant
After the walk, sit down in one of the best seafood Restaurant in Singapore. Jumbo Seafood serves one of the best chilli crabs in Singapore and we have been a fan of it since childhood days. Unfortunately, the price has skyrocketed too. Thankfully the quality is still there. Do not forget to add Man Tou Bread! Dip the Man Tou in Chilli Crab sauce and enjoy!

Jumbo Seafood - Riverside Point

30 Merchant Rd, #01-01/02 Riverside Point, Singapore 058282

Hai Di Lao
Image Credit: Hai Di Lao
If seafood is not your thing, hop over to Hai Di Lao for authentic China Steamboat. Hai di lao is a popular china hotpot chain and is renowned for its quality food and top-notched service. You can even have your nails painted while you queue for your table! The tomato soup base and the mala soup base is one of my favourites.

3D River Valley Road, #02-04 Clarke Quay, 179023
Operating hour: Daily, 10:30 am to 6am
Multiple outlets available

Song Fa Bak Kut Teh
Image Credit: Song Fa Bak Kut Teh
For a more local and affordable option, visit Song Fa Bak Kut Teh! Bak Kut Teh is a type of pepper-based soup served with pork rib. The pork rib is cooked to perfection and meat will come off easily from the bone. Soup is refillable so enjoy a few more bowl! Oh, do not forget to add You-Tiao into your soup! They are so good! More information on Song Fa Bak Kut Teh Here 

Song Fa Bak Kut Teh
11 New Bridge Rd, #01-01, Singapore 059383
Daily 9am to 9.15pm 

10:00pm Have a drink at Clark Quay
At night take a walk along Singapore River and experience the nightlife in Singapore. Best to visit on Friday and Saturday night because, on weekdays, it’s a lot quieter! There are many bars and clubs in that area. The popular ones are Shuttle Bistro for mandarin pop and Zouk. 

Day 2: Farrer Park – Mustafa Shopping Center - Little India – Kampong Glam – Haji Lane - Bugis

9:00 am Enjoy Indian breakfast at MTR (Mavalli Tiffin Rooms)

Enjoy Indian cuisine at MTR. They serve one of the best Masala Dosa in Singapore. Originated from India since 1924,  MTR Indian restaurant offers quality food and hygiene standard. Items are prepared upon ordering. Highly recommend visiting on a weekday because I heard they are very popular and full during the weekend!

11:00 am Explore Farrer Park & Little India
Visit the biggest departmental store in Mustafa Center
Make your way to the largest departmental store in Singapore. Mustafa Center isn’t just the typical departmental store in Singapore. It is open for 24 hours! You can find almost everything you want there even money changer! Items there are affordable and one of our personal favourites to get things that are unique. If you are planning to get your spices and don’t know where to start, I highly recommend you to visit Mustafa Center.

Mustafa Center
145 Syed Alwi Rd, Singapore 207704
Daily, 24 hours 

Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple

Take a walk along Little India and Visit Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple, one of the oldest Hindu temple in Singapore. The Hindu temple is dedicated to the Hindu goddess Kali and god Shiva’s wife Parvati. On occasions, you may even witness the ritual. Do remember to dress appropriately before entering. Shoulders and Knees are to be covered.

Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple
141 Serangoon Rd, Singapore 218042

1:00 pm Have Lunch at Zam Zam Restaurant, Singapore

Photo credit: Zam Zam
Zam Zam restaurant, an Indian-Muslim restaurant is different from the north and South Indian cuisine. Do try their Murtabak as it is one of the best in Singapore! Oh and do not forget to try their fish curry and Prata too! 

Address: 697-699 North Bridge Rd, Singapore 198675
Daily, 7am – 11pm

2:00pm Buy Swiss roll from the old school bakery
Image Credit: Rich and Good
Rich and Good Swiss Roll sell one of the best kaya swiss rolls and we will always buy a couple of it every time we pass by. If you want something different, try the durian swiss roll! The rest are mediocre so skip them! Do check out the facebook for operating time. If you didn’t manage to try this, you can get them at Jewel Changi Airport! Unfortunately, the outlet at Jewel has a limit on the number of the box you can purchase.

Rich and Good
24 Kandahar St, Singapore 198887
Opening hours: 10:30am – 3pm on Monday, 9am – 3pm on Tuesday to Friday closed on Sunday & public holiday

3:00pm Visit Kampung Glam and visit Masjid Sultan
Take a walk to Kampung Glam, the historical street of Malay Muslim quarter in Singapore. Visit the 200-year-old Masjid Sultan Mosque and be amazed by its exterior design. It is also one of the country’s most impressive religious building. Fun Fact: The dome base is decorated with recycled glass bottle ends

Masjid Sultan
3 Muscat St, Singapore 198833

5:00 pm Explore Artsy Street with graffiti wall at Haji Lane
Haji Lane is a street filled with colourful art graffiti and street art. You can find many local designer’s works here. On top of that, there are many cafes and bars lined along the street. Best time to visit during evening time and on weekend to soak up the lively atmosphere!

7:00pm Try Ah Chew Desserts
Image credit: Ah Chew Dessert
Still, have space for dessert? Head over to Ah Chew Dessert place for traditional Chinese dessert. A favourite dish among all is the Yam Paste and Sesame Paste dessert. If you want something cold, order Yang Zhi Gan Lu Mango Sago!

1 Liang Seah St, 10/11 Liang Seah Place, Singapore 189032
Daily 12:30pm–12am

8:00pm Visit Largest shopping street in Singapore
Image credit: Common wiki media
Afterwards, visit Bugis Street, the largest shopping street in Singapore. There are many shops selling trendy clothes at affordable price. I used to visit Bugis Street during my teenage years and before all the eCommerce shopping. Expect to find a bargain from S$10 per dress.

Bugis Street
3 New Bugis Street, Singapore 188867
Daily, 11am – 10pm

Day 3:  Telok Ayer - Maxwell Food Centre – Explore Chinatown - Garden By The Bay – Dinner at MBS – MBS Light Show 

10:00 am Explore Telok Ayer and Thian Hock Keng Temple
Image credit: Common wiki media
Explore Telok Ayer and visit Thian Hock Keng Temple, historical temple designed with columns and dragon sculpture is one of the earliest temple built in Singapore. I’ve been visiting the temple since I was a kid and each time, I visited I felt at peace. Highly recommend visiting!

Thian Hock Keng Temple
Telok Ayer St, 158
11:00 am Have noodle at A Noodle Story 超好面
Image Source: Michelin
An award-winning Michelin bib gourmand nominee, A Noodle Story is located in Amoy Food centre. Inspired by modern European techniques and Asian flavours, one can expect a bowl of tasty noodle! Noodle price at S$7 and S$9 per bowl. More information on A noodle story here 

Amoy Street Food Centre, 7 Maxwell Road, #01-39, Singapore 069111
Mondays to Fridays: 11:15am-2:30pm, 5:30pm-7:30pm Saturdays: 10:30am-1:30pm

Take Exit G at Tanjong Pagar MRT station. Turn left and walk about 3 minutes to Amoy Street Food Centre

12:00 pm Have Lunch at Maxwell Food Centre
Image credit: Common wiki media
Continue your food journey and visit Maxwell Food Centre and experience the local way of dining out. There is a wide range of food to choose from at the food centre. One will not miss the popular Chicken Rice Tian Tian at Maxwell food centre. Another local delight to try is rojak, popiah and carrot cake! Do not forget to try the sugar cane juice to quench your thirst!

Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice
1 Kadayanallur St, #01-10/11 Maxwell Food Centre, Singapore 069184

Operating Time: Daily 10am–7:30pm

2:00 pm Explore Chinatown
Explore Chinatown and watch the people go by. Stop by Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, the stunning tang dynasty styled temple. Make your way to Chinatown market and have a glimpse of the local wet market. Avoid visiting on Monday as most stalls are closed.
Image Credit: Lim Chee Guan
Afterwards, visit the new bridge road and try local pork jerky also known as Bak Kwa! The barbeque pork slice is my favourite snacks! They are very popular during Chinese New Year and price tends to fluctuate a lot during that period! My favourite brand is Lim Chee Guan! And the Bak Kwa is sold by weight. One can buy 200 gram to try!

Lim Chee Guan
203 New Bridge Rd, Singapore 059429
Daily: 9am – 10pm

4:00 pm Visit Garden By the Bay
In the late afternoon, take a train to Bayfront and visit Garden by the Bay. Visitor can explore the beautiful garden for free. Best time to visit the garden by the bay is in between 5-8pm! You can enjoy the beautiful flowers in the dome as well as the light at night! SuperTree Grove light up at 7pm! Light showtime begins at 19:45 and 20:45

Cloud and Flower Domes
If you are a plant and flower lover, then the domes are worth a visit! There is various kind of orchid and flowers. Every quarter, there is new exhibits and themes! Best of all, it is air-conditioned so one does not have to worry about the heat! You can buy discounted tickets here and redeem with your mobile phone

7:30 pm Have dinner at Marina Bay Sands Shopping Mall
Make your way to Marina Bay Sands for dinner. There are many dining options in Marina Bay Sands. There is a food court located at the basement. For a more casual dining experience, visit Ding Tai Feng for Xiao Long Bao. Alternatively, visit Imperial Treasure for the Chinese dining.

At night, catch the light show just outside MBS. Watch the light show over Singapore’s skyscraper. Light showtime schedule at 20:00 Daily and 21:00 & 22:00 on Friday night & Saturday Night. End your day by taking a stroll along the river or visit the newest club - MARQUEE Singapore! 

Day 4: Sentosa + Resort World Sentosa
image credit: Sentosa
Spend a day away from the city and visit Sentosa Island. Choose to spend the day on the beach or head over to Universal Studio Singapore. Sentosa island is divided into several parts and I highly recommend you to spend a 1 day or even 2 there.

Beach clubs and Attractions
image credit: Sentosa
Spend the morning on the beach and enjoy the sun! There are many beaches and I highly recommend you to visit Tanjong Beach as there are many shady or canopied spot for one to chill. Alternatively, one can explore Fort Siloso Skywalk trail with scenic treetop trek! There is free guided tour available too!

Resort World Sentosa
image credit: Sentosa
Resort world has a lot to offer for visitors! From adventurous ride at Universal Studio Singapore to water rides at water cove adventure park! Do note that you need more than 1 day to visit all the attractions! Purchase your discounted tickets here! Other than thrill rides, one can visit SEA aquarium, the largest in South East Asia. If you are feeling lucky, try your luck at Casino!

Fun Fact: Singaporeans and PRs are required to pay a $100 entrance fee in order to visit the Casino whereas foreign visitors can enter for Free! More information on Sentosa here Do you like our guide to Singapore? Please like our facebook page and feel free to share it with you family and friends!

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