Singapore in two days
This mini-guide was specifically created for those of you who have only two days in Singapore and want to make the most of it, as it covers many of the city's most popular attractions and sightseeing-spots, and provides you a detailed itinerary for your short holiday in Singapore.
Asia Pacific Guides™ Singapore in two days… Day 1: Chinatown, the Singapore River, Turn left as you leave the temple and take a few museums, the Colonial District, Raffles minutes' walk to Sri Mariamman Temple, on 244 South Bridge Road (near the corner of Pagoda Hotel, Little India and the Night Safari Street), one of Singapore's earliest and most significant Hindu temples, which was built originally 7am: Our day starts at Chinatown MRT Station, in 1827, as a simple wood and palm structure, from where we will proceed, via exit A, to Pagoda dedicated to Mariamman, the main South Indian Street mother goddess and a protector from diseases. The existing brick building started its life in 1843 and has Narrow Pagoda Street, where Chinatown has started since been expended and modified a few times. You its life from, almost 200 years ago, was restored and can then proceed to visit neighboring Masjid Jamae the old houses where poor families of Chinese Mosque, which was built in the 1820s and features migrants had to cram in tiny flats are now housing an eclectic architectural style. shops and cafés. Discover Singapore with those who know it best! Click here to view our choice of city-tours and activities. The Eu Yan Sang Medical Hall, on 267 South Bridge Road, just across the street from the Hindu temple, specializes in Chinese herbal medicines which are prepared on spot, right before your eyes... Even if you don't feel like trying any of their 'exotic' products, it is still recommended to visit the place. From here, we will take a pleasant stroll through 9 – 9:30am: Walk back to Chinatown Station and Chinatown's historic streets, including Trengganu, take the MRT to Clarke Quay (one station away). Temple Street and Smith Street to the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum: An impressive Tang-style Leave Clarke Quay MRT Station via exit E, turn left building on 288 South Bridge Road (corner of Sago and left again, to the riverfront promenade and Street), where the relic of the tooth of Buddha is onwards, via Read Bridge to Clarke Quay, the middle kept, in a gold stupa. Other than the holy remnant, of the three historic quays along the Singapore River, there is a lavishly decorated temple here, and a which has been restored quite a few years ago and Buddhist Culture Museum, where hundreds of became one of the city's best Wine and Dine areas… beautiful Buddhist artifacts are on display. The old godowns have been painted vivaciously and were converted to restaurants, cafés and resto-bars, Daily, 7am – 7pm (The holy chamber can be seen where you can unwind for a while and stretch your 9am – 12noon and 3 – 6pm), Free entry. Website legs, before moving on… Take a bumboat from the jetty next to Clarke Quay 12noon / 12:30pm: After visiting this splendid and ride down the Singapore River a few minutes, to museum, we can proceed to visit other enchanting the "Merlion" statue. colonial buildings in the vicinity: The Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall, just across the street from the Soaring to a height of almost nine metres, facing museum, was built in the 1850s to accommodate the Marina Bay, The statue-fountain of "The Merlion" is town hall of early days Singapore. The small, bright one of Singapore's best known landmarks: This white obelisk at the entrance to the garden (facing imaginary creature was invented back in the 1960s, Singapore River) is called Dalhousie Obelisk. It was as a logo for the tourism board and has since become built in 1850 to commemorate the second visit to a symbol of the city. It incorporates a body of a lion, Singapore of the then Governor-General of India, which signifies the lion from the legend about the James Andrew Broun-Ramsay (the Marquis of founding of Singapore, and a tail of a fish, which Dalhousie). signifies the city's relationship with the ocean. On the other side of the museum, just a few steps Walk back a few minutes and cross the river on from Raffles' Statue (corner of Old Parliament Lane historic Cavenagh Bridge, which was built in the and Empress Pl), there is another beautiful Neo- 1870s and still boasts the 1910s police notice at each Palladian building which was built in 1827 by a of its ends, restricting cattle and horses from crossing wealthy Scot merchant, named John Argyle Maxwell, it… and housed Singapore's parliament from independence till 1999. It had later been converted to an art-centre, where young local artists can perform their works. The Arts House at the Old Although Singapore has one of the best public- Parliament, as the place is currently called, hosts art transport systems in the world, taking the exhibitions almost all the time and there's a nice café Singapore City Hop-on Hop-off Tour is highly too… recommended, as it takes you directly to the various attractions and saves you the time and Daily, 11am – 9pm, entrance is free hassle of waiting for a bus or walking… Walk out of the Old Parliament and turn left to Old Parliament Lane. After a minute stroll you will reach the street corner, where you turn left again, to As soon as you cross the bridge, turn left to visit Parliament Place. On your left hand side you will see "Raffles Landing Site": A white statue of the bright a small bronze elephant that was given as a gift from British administrator marks the actual point where King Rama V of Siam (who became known thanks to Sir Stamford Raffles and his fellow Brits first laid foot the novel "Anna and the King of Siam"), as a token of on Singaporean soil, back in 1819… Along the appreciation after his visit to Singapore in 1871. promenade, you can also see groups of beautiful life- size bronze statues, called "People of the River", Click HERE to find some of the best rates for which depict the daily lives of Singapore's pre- hostels and low-cost accommodations in colonial inhabitants. Singapore and Asia ! The imposing Neo-Palladian building, right behind the "landing site", accommodates the Asian Across the street, on St. Andrew's Road, you can see Civilisations Museum, one of Singapore's most two of Singapore's most beautiful colonial buildings: recommended museums, which displays the cultures The Old Supreme Court was built in the late 1930s of Asia's tribes and nations, with emphasis on those and features classic motifs, such as Corinthian ethnicities that created Singapore. Exhibits are rich columns and Roman pediment, and The City Hall and fascinating and include ethnic costumes, Building, right next to it, had its "fifteen minutes of traditional jewelries, ancient books, sculptures, fame" on 12 September 1945, when the Japanese religious artifacts and what not… General Itagaki surrendered to Lord Mountbatten, towards the end of WW II. Tuesday – Sunday : 9am-7pm (till 9pm on Friday), The two historic buildings are about to become the "National Art Monday : 1pm – 7pm, Website Gallery" by 2013 From St. Andrew's Road, turn to Coleman Street and CHIJMES (pronounced Chimes) started as a complex walk along it to the corner of Hill Street. The red- of catholic convent buildings, back in the 1840s, and bricks building of Singapore's oldest existing fire has been beautifully restored before converted into station can be seen on the other side of Hill St. It a thriving food, shopping and entertainment was built in the early 1900s and currently complex. There is also an art gallery re and live accommodates the Civil Defence Heritage Gallery: A performances take place on weekends and public small museum where you can learn about the history holidays. of firefighting and civil defence in Singapore, and see some antique fire engines and other firefighting Recommended restaurants in CHIJMES include: Tatsu equipment. Teppanyaki (Japanese Teppanyaki cuisine), Lei Garden Restaurant (Well known Chinese - Cantonese Open daily (except Mondays), 10am - 5pm and restaurant), Bobby's Taproom Grill & Ribs, Carnivore admission is free. Brazilian Churrascaria and Hog's Breath Café (Casual, American-Australian resto-bar, serving steaks, Next in line is the Armenian Church, Singapore's burgers and their likes...). oldest existing church, which can be seen on the other side of the corner (60 Hill St.). Leaving CHIJMES, turn left to Bras Basah Road and after five minutes or so, left again, to The Raffles, The bright white church was built originally in 1835, one of the world's most classic hotels, where you can when a wealthy Armenian community still thrived in enjoy a cocktail at the famous Long Bar, where the this part of the world. Designed by George Coleman, Singapore Sling was invented, or opt for the more who is responsible for some of early Singapore's aristocratic Bar & Billiard Room, where Singapore's nicest buildings, it features both neoclassical motifs last tiger was shot. and traditional Armenian elements (Daily, 9am – 6pm, free entrance). "The grand old dame", as the Raffles is often called, has started its life as a rather humble 10-room Continue along Coleman Street and turn right to colonial bungalow, back in 1887, but has quickly Armenian Street, which will lead you to the become one of Southeast Asia most glamorous Peranakan Museum: 'Peranakan' is a Malay term hotels, attracting guests like Rudyard Kipling, Charlie that describes those non-Malay who were born in Chaplin, Queen Elizabeth II and Elizabeth Taylor, just Southeast Asia, particularly descendants of Chinese to name a few… traders, who married local women and developed a distinctive culture, lifestyle and cuisine… There is a small museum on the arcade's 3rd floor, This fantastic museum is probably one of the if not where you can see nostalgic paraphernalia from the the only place on earth where you can familiarize hotel's past (free), and a beautiful shop where you yourself with this unique culture, through an array of can purchase the hotel's vintage novelties. rich exhibits, including costumes, embroidery work, wedding paraphernalia and what have you… Daily, from morning till late (The museum opens daily, 10am – 7pm), entrance is FREE Daily, 9am – 7pm (from 1pm on Monday / Until 9pm on Friday). Entry fees apply. Website 4:30 – 5 pm: Turn right to Beach Road as soon as you leave the Raffles and walk a few minutes to City Hall As soon as you leave the museum, turn left to MRT Station from where you take the train to Little Armenian Street and after a couple of minutes, right, India (You first travel to Dhoby Ghaut, where you to Stamford Road (next to historic Vanguard have to change trains and continue one more Building) and almost immediately left again, to station, to Little India): Victoria Street. A minute or two after entering Visit Tekka Centre, on Buffalo Road, right next to Victoria Street you will see the entrance to CHIJMES exit-E of MRT Little India, where a huge wet market, on your right hand side. This is where you can have a food centre and quite a few authentic shops can be your lunch break (Tip: Go for a quick and light lunch found… The hawker centre boasts a good selection of and leave some room in your tummy for Little India's vegetarian food stalls that serve different Indian snacks and street-foods). cuisines, as well as vegetarian Malay and Chinese delicacies. Continue to Serangoon Road (a couple of minutes The Night Safari is the world's first "nocturnal zoo". away), cross it to the other side and visit Little India Its most notable tenants include Lions, Tigers, Arcade – An indoor market which occupies a cluster Leopards and various wild cats, alongside Hyenas and of old shophouses and boasts dozens of stalls where other Canids, like Foxes, Jackals and Wolfs. you can buy everything India has to offer… Obviously, there are many other interesting night animals that are not carnivores, from Rhinos and From there continue walking along Campbell Lane, Hippos to Tapirs, Anteaters and giant bats (flying turn left to Clive Street and right to Dunlop. On the foxes). corner of Dunlop and Clive, there is a well-known emporium shop, called Haniffa Textiles, which has Night Safari: 7:30pm – 12 midnight (website) been selling Indian clothes, as well as cameras, watches, suitcases and what not for the last 50 years After visiting the Night Safari, you can use Bushub to or so… travel back to town (see details)… Good night ! After strolling along Dunlop, walk back to its other end and turn right to Serangoon Road and right again, to Upper Dickson Road, which runs parallel to Day 2: Singapore Botanic Gardens, Jurong Dunlop and boasts some more authentic shops and Bird Park, Kampong Glam (Arab Street), the eateries. Singapore Flyer and Marina Bay Sands Nibbling snacks from authentic eateries is one of the most enjoyable sides of strolling the streets of Little India. 7am: We start our day trip in Singapore Botanic Komala Vilas, on Serangoon Road (Between the corner of Gardens. To get there: Take bus Nos. SBS 7, or 123, Dunlop and Upper Dickson) has been serving scrumptious vegetarian fare at reasonable prices for God knows how or 174, or SMRT 77, or 106 from the bus-stop on many years... Kulfi Bar, on No. 15 Upper Dickson, is known Orchard Boulevard, next to Orchard MRT Station, or for its lovely home-made Indian ice cream (Kulfi), while from Somerset Road, next to Somerset MRT Station, Sakunthala's Restaurant, on 151 Dunlop, serves a variety of or take 105 from Scotts Road (Far East Plaza). both vegetarian and non-vegetarian specialties and is particularly famous for its Dosa (Thosai): A South-Indian style crispy crêpe, stuffed with various fillings and served Enter the gardens from the main gate (Tanglin Gate), with different sauces and deeps on the side... on the corner of Cluny and Napier Road and take a pleasant stroll through the various sightseeing spots, like the Swan Lake, the Swiss Granite Fountain, the Continue walking up along Serangoon Road and visit Bonsai Display and the Sun Garden, where various authentic temples such as Sri Veeramakaliamman species of cactus can be seen, before proceeding to Temple, on 141 Serangoon Road, which was built in the gardens' main highlight – The National Orchid the 1880s in honor of Kali, Shiva's wife and destroyer Garden, where you can see the world's largest of evil, and Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple, on 397 collection of tropical orchids, including some 2,000 Serangoon Road, which was built in 1855 for Vishnu, hybrids… one of Hinduism's three major deities, or, more precisely, for Krishna, who is one of Vishnu's avatars. Continue through the Palm Valley and the "Rainforest" to the Visitors' Centre and Casa Verde As you leave the temple, turn right to Serangoon café, where you can have your breakfast and Road and walk two – three minutes to the corner of onwards, to the Evolution Garden and the northern Owen Road, where Claremont Hotel is located side of the gardens, where the spanking new Botanic (opposite Fortuna Hotel): This is where you can Gardens MRT Station is located. board the direct bus to the Night Safari. Singapore Botanic Gardens open daily, 5am – BusHub operates direct buses from the city centre 12midnight, entrance is free (National Orchid Garden and Little India to Singapore Zoo and the Night Safari. is open daily, 8:30am – 7pm and there is a small The bus picks up passengers from here at 6.30pm / admission fee). Click here for a map of Singapore 7.25pm / 8.25pm (make sure to be there at least 10 Botanic Gardens, which specifies the various minutes before then). sightseeing spots. 10:30am: Take the MRT to Buona Vista Station, Cross Kandahar Street, on the other side of the change trains (within the station) and proceed to mosque, and enter the compound of Istana Boon Lay MRT Station, where you take bus Nos. 194 Kampong Glam, which houses the palace of Ali or 251 (from the neighboring bus-interchange) and Iskandar Shah, Sultan of Johor and the son of Hussein travel to Jurong BirdPark. Shah, who authorized Raffles to build Singapore. This imposing building was built in 1835 by George The "Singapore Flexi Pack" allows you to save Coleman, one of early Singapore's most famous over 40% on Singapore's BEST attractions and architects, and combines Palladian style with local sightseeing. Malay motifs. Nowadays, there is a Malay Heritage Centre here Jurong BirdPark, one of the best bird-zoos on earth, (which is closed for renovations at the time of occupies an area of 50 acres and makes home to writing), which boasts a nice museum where you can almost 10,000 birds, belonging to 600 different learn about the history and culture of Singapore's species... It boasts the world's largest collection of Malay community. hornbills and toucans, as well as the world's largest walk-in aviary and the tallest manmade waterfall on Daily, 8am – 9pm (The museum is currently closed earth, and runs plenty of bird shows and other fun for renovations), Website, Free entrance events that appeal to kids and adults alike… Turn right to Kandahar Street as you leave the Jurong BirdPark is open daily, 8:30am - 6pm compound, and at the end left to North Bridge Road (Website) and immediately right, to Jelan Pisang. At the end of the short street, turn left to Victoria Street and walk 2 pm : Travel back to Boon Lay Station (using bus along it for a few minutes crossing Arab Street and nos. 194 or 251) and take the MRT to Bugis Station Ophir Road to Bugis. (no need to change trains enroute). How to find the best deals in Asia ? From Bugis MRT Station: Take exit-B, turn right to Victoria and start walking along the street. Cross Instantly compare the world's leading hotel-websites Ophir Road and then turn right to Arab Street: The and get the BEST rates for accommodation in Macau, main thoroughfare of Kampong Glam area. Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Bangkok, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Seoul, Taipei and elsewhere in Asia! The main thing here are the textile shops, where you can choose from a wide choice of exotic fabrics, but there are also shops that sell carpets, weaved rattan basketry and brass and copper bric a brac, as expected from a street with such name… Bali Lane You can unwind a bit at air-conditioned Bugis and Hajji Lane run parallel to Arab Street and boast Junction Mall, where a good choice of cafés and some nice Middle Eastern cafés, where you can have restaurants can be found, or head to Bugis Village, your lunch, as well as a few groovy secondhand on the other side of Victoria Street, where a "night shops. market" is held every evening, with a good choice of street stalls and quite a few hawker stands, where From Arab Street, enter Muscat St. and you will you can indulge on authentic street foods. immediately find yourself in front of Masjid Sultan, Singapore's largest and most significant mosque, 5:30 - 6 pm : Take a cab from Bugis to the Singapore which its golden onion domes can be seen from quite Flyer (It is just a short ride) far. Built in 1928, this impressive mosque features both Singapore Flyer, the world’s current largest Ferris Muslim-Indian architecture and Neo-classic motifs. wheel soars 165 M (550 ft) above the city and affords stunning views of Singapore and its environs… The Bussorah Street, the pedestrian mall in front of the best time to ride it is at around 6:30 - 7pm, which is mosque, boasts a few nice cafés and restaurants twilight time in Singapore almost all year around, where tired tourists can chill out for a while... and that is when you will be able to get a fantastic view of the city, as it lights up like a Christmas tree... From here you can take a pleasant 10 minutes' stroll here is the Sands SkyPark - An enormous sky terrace via Hellix Bridge (a high-tech looking bridge that links that is perched across the three hotel skyscrapers, at Marina Centre with Marina Bay Sands and offers a height of more than 200 metres, and offers lovely views of the new city centre) to Marina Bay breathtaking views across the metropolis. Sands (Tip: If you feel too tired, you can also take the MRT from Two other recommended places to end the day at Promenade Station, to Bayfront Station) : are New Asia Bar, on the 71st floor of the Swissôtel The Stamford Hotel, right next to MRT City Hall Marina Bay Sands, Southeast Asia's newest and Station, or 1-altitude, the world's highest alfresco most popular mega-attraction, boasts an bar, which is perched atop of 1 Raffles Place ostentatious casino (Singapore's first), a fantastic (adjacent to Raffles Place MRT Station), at a height of shopping mall and almost endless dining and 282 m. entertainment options, although the real hoo-ha The See Singapore Attraction Pass can save a lot of money for those of you who wish to make the most of their precious holiday time… You can take a Singapore River Cruise, or ride the world’s largest observation wheel, visit one (or more) of Singapore's fantastic museums, see the world's largest collection of tropical orchids at the National Orchid Garden, visit Jurong's BirdPark and Singapore Zoo, join a guided walking tour and much more… Click here to view all our FREE travel eBooks of Singapore, Hong Kong, Macau and Bangkok Copyright © 2012 Asia-Pacific Guides Ltd. 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