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Singapore was the last stop on my Southeast Asia trip, and it absolutely did not disappoint. While I only had a short amount of time there, the attractions in Singapore are pretty compact, and you can see most things in a day. Here’s what I’d recommend if you only have 24 hours in Singapore!
Marina Bay Sands
No 24 hours in Singapore list would be complete without at least giving Marina Bay Sands a mention. The iconic, 2,500+ room hotel is one of the most recognizable landmarks of Singapore. While affording a stay there may not be in the books, it’s still worth it to explore the inside of the hotel! If you CAN afford to stay a night there, you absolutely should! The infinity pool is the world’s longest elevated swimming pool, and is exclusively reserved for hotel guests. There are also over 300 shops inside the hotel, a casino, canal, and multiple theatres, so I think it’s fair to say you won’t be bored here!
Gardens By the Bay
In my opinion, this is the true highlight of Singapore (and my personal favourite place on this 24 hours in Singapore guide). The Gardens by the Bay are located within walking distance of Marina Bay Sands, and are a 250 acre expanse of gorgeous gardens and trails. Aside from spending time exploring the trails, there are also a ton of attractions within the garden. Some of these include the cloud forest, flower dome, and floral exhibits. However, the most iconic of them all is the Supertree grove and skywalk. The Supertree grove is a series of towering man-made tree structures, with a skywalk extending through them. The skywalk requires an admission fee, but it’s worth every penny! The views of Singapore and Marina Bay Sands are unparalleled, and it feels like you’re standing above a forest canopy.
Between meals, Chinatown is a great place to stop for a snack. There are a bunch of hawker centres (Singapore slang for a food court composed of various stalls) serving up delicious and affordable food. The Chinatown Complex and Maxwell Centre (mentioned later in this post) are two of the more popular ones, and definitely worth a visit. Aside from food, Chinatown is a great place to experience condensed Chinese culture and influence. Check out one of the Chinese temples here, including the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and the Thin Hock Keng Temple. At night, Ann Siang Hill is a popular place to go out with a spot for everyone – whether it’s a rooftop, a hidden bar, or an upscale restaurant.
The last (and newest) attraction on our 24 hours in Singapore list is the Jewel Changi Airport. The Jewel Changi Airport is one of the most magnificent places you’ll ever lay your eyes on. It first opened in April of 2019 after almost five years of construction, and it cost 1.7 billion SGD (1 SGD = ~0.73 USD). Say goodbye to boring airport waits, because there is never a shortage of things to do here. From walking through forests of plants and flowers, to checking out the Manulife sky nets, to going in a hedge maze or mirror maze, there are endless activities for everyone.
This is where I stayed when I had (almost) 24 hours in Singapore. It was honestly one of the coolest accommodations I’ve ever been in, and I’d highly recommend it for any solo travellers. It’s designed in a futuristic space-capsule style, and is fully equipped with a TV, temperature control, lighting options, and more. The best part? You have the ability to lock the door to your pod with a key card (for side-entry capsules), so it feels just as secure as a hotel.
The Hilton Garden Inn is located in Little India, an Indian cultural centre dotted with beautiful temples and delicious eats. The hotel has everything you’d need, at a fairly affordable price. A huge plus is the outdoor pool with views overlooking the city, as well as a gym and 24-hour convenience store.
Not much more needs to be said about this gem of a place (see above). If you can afford it, please stay here (and we will all live vicariously through you. It’s definitely a once in a lifetime experience, and not one you’ll regret!
Start your 24 hours in Singapore right by grabbing Kaya toast for breakfast. Kaya toast is a common breakfast item found in Singapore, and is made by toasting bread and filling it with kaya and butter. What is Kaya? Kaya is a Singaporean concoction of eggs, sugar, coconut milk, and pandan leaves, and you would be missing out if you left Singapore without trying it! The best places to get Kaya toast are either Ya Kun or Killiney Kopitiams. Both are cafes that specialize in Kaya toast, and you can’t go wrong either way.
For lunch, stop by Maxwell Food Court for their Tian Tian Chicken. The most acclaimed stand in Maxwell (and potentially all of Singapore) is the Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice stand. The only downside is that they’re not open on Mondays, and you probably don’t want to spend your 24 hours in Singapore waiting in a long line. However, there are other chicken rice stands, such as Ah Tai, that offer up good competition for Tian Tian. Make sure you check out some other good eats at Maxwell as well. The Maxwell Fuzhou Oyster Cake stall, Special Shanghai Tim-Sum stall, and Ye Lai Xiang Tasty Barbecue stall are also noteworthy and worth a try.
Make sure you save some room for dinner so that you can try all of the Singaporean classics! Ones that you specifically shouldn’t miss out on are Hokkien Mee, Char Kway Teow, chili/pepper crab, and fried oyster omelette. Hokkien Mee and Char Kway Teow are both noodle dishes with meat, seafood, and vegetables, but char away toes noodles are thicker and flatter. These foods are quite common and can be found almost anywhere. If you’re around the Gardens by the Bay though, check out Satay by the Bay, an outdoor food court, for some of these eats.
If you hit all of these attractions in 24 hours in Singapore, you’ve done a pretty good job at seeing the major sights of Singapore! Also check out Orchard Road for shopping, or head to Sentosa Island and relax on some of the man-made beaches if you have extra time. Did we miss any must-sees on this list? Let us know in the comments!
Looking for other fun things to do in Southeast Asia? Then you might want to check out these posts:
- The Perfect 3 Day Itinerary for What to do in Chiang Mai
- Ha Long Bay Cruise and Yen Duc Village Experience
- 24 Hours in Luang Prabang
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