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Tailor-make your trip in Singapore

Singapore is best experienced as a part of a stopover, either at the beginning or end of your trip to somewhere else in the region. It is not a place you would normally visit in its own right — it's just too small.

As a major hub within Southeast Asia it is perfect for visiting most countries in the region, including Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, and of course Malaysia.

You can also easily pair it with other countries such as Cambodia and Malaysian Borneo in an Audley tailor-made itinerary.

48 hours in the city

Bumboat cruise on a Singapore River
Bumboat cruise on the Singapore River

We'd say you really need a minimum of 48 hours in Singapore to learn a little of its history and get a feel for the main sights.

Day one

Delve into Asian history and culture

Start your time in Singapore with a trip to the Asian Civilisations Museum, where you’ll find immersive displays that cleverly document some of the many cultures found in Asia. During your visit, you’ll learn about the continent’s diverse array of religions, trading traditions, and fashions through the ages, as well as the ways they interconnect and interact with the rest of the world.

Take a river trip in a bumboat

A relaxing and informative way to explore the river is on traditional bumboats which depart from regular piers on the quays.

At lunchtime you may like to relax in shady Fort Canning Park with great views over the city.

Visit a past POW camp

Continuing, a worthwhile trip just out of the city is to Changi Museum with poignant reminders of Changi Prison’s history as a World War II POW camp.

Day two

Singapore's historical Chinatown district
Singapore's historical Chinatown

Explore Chinatown

A good contrast on day two would be to visit Chinatown, one of Singapore’s most historically intact areas.

Among the highlights are Amoy Street with tastefully renovated shophouses, the Hindu Sri Mariamman Temple and stunning Thian Hock Buddhist Temple. The nearby Chinatown Heritage Centre is our favourite museum in Singapore.

Little India

To continue your exploration of Singapore’s diverse culture continue to Little India where the fortune tellers, spice and aromatic curry stalls and Indian music around Serangoon Road recreate the subcontinent in miniature.

Take in the views from the Singapore Flyer

In the evening you might like to take a sunset trip on the Singapore Flyer — Singapore’s larger version of the London Eye. The Esplanade Theatres on the Bay often host world-class concerts, musicals and plays which are worth booking in advance. Or simply relax by the river and sample some of Singapore’s sensational cuisine.

A further 24 hours in Singapore

Beach on Sentosa Island
Beach on Sentosa Island

Encounter Singapore's wildlife

Having spent a day or two exploring the main highlights of the city you may like to spend a day relaxing on the beach or familiarising yourself with some of Southeast Asia’s wildlife.

Sentosa Island — beaches, parks and gardens

Sentosa Island is Singapore’s playground for all ages with attractive beaches, amusement parks, gardens and a fascinating underwater world. There are a couple of good hotels on the island that offer a different option to staying in the city.

Visit a tropical jungle

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve takes you back to a time when Singapore was swathed in virgin rainforest. Home to an incredible variety of insects, birds and plants with good walking trails this is a great place to acclimatise before exploring other tropical jungles of Asia.

Recommended hotels in Singapore

Singapore offers interesting accommodation options for all budgets. Choose from a plethora of excellent international hotel brands, characterful independent properties, and boutique hotels converted from former shop houses.

Fullerton Hotel

The Fullerton Hotel, SingaporeOffering luxurious accommodation in the heart of Singapore’s arts and financial districts, the Fullerton offers understated comfort and elegance.

Transformed from the original Fullerton building which was built in 1928 and home to the city's post office and most Government departments, its rich heritage, neoclassical architecture, strategic location and excellent service make it one of the best places to stay in Singapore.

Just minutes from Boat and Clarke Quays, the hotel is ideally located for access to a wide choice of Singapore's restaurants, bars, theaters and shopping areas.

Mandarin Oriental

Pool, Mandarin OrinetalLocated a ten-minute walk from City Hall train station and within easy access of shops, bars and restaurants, this modern hotel has been refurbished to extremely high standards, making it one of the best in town.

Hotel facilities available include a modern gym with outdoor patio for yoga, large spa and 25-meter long lap pool overlooking the harbor. There is a choice of six restaurants and bars to cater for every taste (Morton's Steakhouse has a very good weekday happy hour) and the breakfast buffet is one of the best we have visited.

Raffles Hotel

Raffles Hotel,SingaporeEstablished in 1887, Raffles is as much a landmark of Singapore as it is an accommodation option. The first choice for travelers since its opening, the hotel is centrally located and is renowned for its immaculately landscaped gardens and polished service.

The 103 suites are all furnished in period style and the property retains much of its original character. Raffles’ high teas are always a highlight and a Singapore Sling at the Long Bar (almost an institution in itself) is an essential part of any visit to Singapore. It is a beautiful place to treat yourself or a loved one on a special occasion.

Rendezvous Hotel

Rendezvous Hotel LobbyLocated in the heart of civic and cultural center is the Rendezvous Hotel Singapore.

The property boasts 298 rooms and three suites, each with a host of modern conveniences such as in-room internet access, air-conditioning, minibar and more. The hotel has a Balinese inspired swimming pool, a fully equipped gym and a variety of restaurants, while the Superior and Deluxe rooms feature a shower only (no bathtubs).

Only a short walk away is Orchard Road, famed for its shopping. There is also a metro station nearby, making it easy to travel around the city.

Paradox Singapore Merchant Court at Clarke Quay

Swissotel Merchant Court Hotel, SingaporeCentrally located on the Singapore River at Clarke Quay, Paradox Singapore Merchant Court offers good value for a property of this caliber.

The 476 rooms and suites are compact yet well appointed and stylishly furnished. Recreational facilities include a tropically landscaped pool area with Jacuzzi, and a fully equipped fitness center and spa. Orchard Road, Chinatown and the numerous bars and restaurants on Clarke and Boat Quay, are all within easy reach.

The Fullerton Bay

Premier bay view room, The Fullerton Bay, SingaporeThe Fullerton Bay is the only hotel in Singapore to be built directly on the waters of Singapore's Marina Bay. The prime waterfront location in the sparkling Marina Bay waterfront encompasses breathtaking architecture that combines both modernity and heritage.

Vintage nautical maps and local artwork line the hotel's walkways, while the 100 rooms and six individually themed suites are arguably the best in the city. A unique feature of all the guest rooms is the balcony they all have which offers views of both the Marina Bay waterfront and Singapore's skyline.

The Scarlet

Lavish suite, The Scarlet, SingaporeThe Scarlet is arguably Singapore's best boutique property.

Like many buildings in the area, the hotel was converted from former Chinese shop houses. All of the compact rooms are individually and theatrically styled with rich, luscious fabrics and the unique furnishings are comfortable while you are also supplied with a good range of amenities.

For an early evening drink or an alfresco meal head to the rooftop restaurant with its tasty and creative Mediterranean cuisine and suave atmosphere.

Things to see & do

1. Little India

Be amazed by the sights, sounds and smells of the nightly hawker stalls in Little India.

2. Chinatown

Wander around the streets of Chinatown and enjoy a visit to one of the excellent restaurants, galleries or cafes of Ann Siang Hill.

3. Gardens by the Bay

Covering a square kilometre, this incredible horticultural showcase has a variety of plant species from all over the world.

4. Asian Civilisations Museum

Exploring the history of Asia as a whole, the Asian Civilisations Museum offers displays on ancient culture, textiles and ethnicity.

5. Raffles Hotel

Throw your nut shells on the floor and enjoy a Singapore Sling at the Long Bar or indulge in a sumptuous traditional afternoon tea.

6. Sentosa Island

An island of family-friendly attractions including beaches, Underwater World and Universal Studios.

7. Shopping

From the glossy malls on Orchard Road to the more local goods on Arab Street, Chinatown’s Sago Street, or the Tekka Centre in Little India, Singapore is a shopper’s heaven.

8. Festivals

Celebrate Singapore’s ethnic and cultural diversity at one of its many festivals such as Chinese New Year, the Hindu Thaipusam and the illuminations of Hari Raya Puasa at the end of Ramadan.

Take a train trip

Did you know?

  • Singapore is one of only three city states in the world, the other two being the Vatican City and Monaco.
  • Apart from Monaco, it is one of the most densely populated cities on Earth.
  • There are four official languages in Singapore: English (most people speak English), Mandarin, Malay and Tamil.
  • You can find the national anthem in microtext on the back of the $1,000 Singapore dollar (UK £550 / US $736).
  • It has the largest tropical orchid garden in the world.

When to go to Singapore

Singapore is a year-round destination and is consistently hot and humid with an average temperature of 27°C (80°F).

There are two distinct wet seasons: from December to March and from June to September. During these times you can expect light winds and some spectacular but brief thunderstorms.

Meet our specialists

Many of our Southeast Asia specialists have visited Singapore and spent some time here.

They have visited the hotels (often staying in them), and they have been to the places of interest and mingled with the locals.

We believe this is the only way that we can genuinely offer you a tailor-made service and enable you to discover a side to Singapore that other travel companies might miss.

Start planning your trip to Singapore

Start thinking about your experience. These itineraries are simply suggestions for how you could enjoy some of the same experiences as our specialists. They're just for inspiration, because your trip will be created around your particular tastes.

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