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What To Do in Singapore for 48 Hours [Must-See Attractions]

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James Larounis
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James Larounis

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James (Jamie) started The Forward Cabin blog to educate readers about points, miles, and loyalty programs. He’s spoken at Princeton University and The New York Times Travel Show and has been quoted in...
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I recently completed a trip to Singapore, and while I was there for about a week, I found a few must-do things if you’re only in town for a limited time. Singapore is an incredibly vibrant city, with attractions you won’t find in any other city.

If you have only a day or 2 to spare, here are the top attractions you should visit.

Where To Stay

If you’re looking for a great place to stay, I booked the Andaz Singapore, which is in the Bugis neighborhood, situated directly on top of the MRT subway stop there. It’s a very convenient area that’s walkable to most of the downtown attractions (though it’s a bit of a hike to the Marina Bay Sands, thanks to many winding paths and stairs).

This World of Hyatt Category 6 hotel starts at 21,000 World of Hyatt points per night. It offers a great breakfast offering and enormous suites.

Andaz Singapore Lobby Seating
The Andaz Singapore is a great place to stay when visiting Singapore.

Gardens by the Bay

If the weather is nice, head over to Gardens by the Bay, located right behind the Marina Bay Sands Hotel. This lush paradise is like the Central Park of Singapore but with a lot more to do!

Inside Gardens by the Bay, you’ll find the Flower Dome, Cloud Forest, Floral Fantasy, OCBC Skyway, and Supertree Observatory.

Tickets are priced at approximately $50 if you decide to partake in all the activities. To fully experience the entire gardens, allocating a minimum of 4 to 5 hours is recommended.

I used my Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card for these ticket purchases since I earn 4% cash-back on entertainment purchases. Keep in mind that not all museums or attractions will code as entertainment for this card, but many will.

Garden by the Bay
Gardens by the Bay.

The Flower Dome is essentially a giant (air-conditioned) dome full of unique floral arrangements from around the world. It’s an enormous bubble, and it will take you quite a while to see all the different displays. You’ll learn a lot about the climate where each one grows and the importance of that particular flower in nature.

The Cloud Forest is a second dome right next to the Flower Dome and features an indoor waterfall, as well as additional foliage. Once inside, you take an elevator to the top of the falls and then work your way down, looking at all the plants and shrubbery along the way.

The Floral Fantasy is an exhibit on floral arrangements located directly next to the Flower Dome.

OCBC Skyway and the Supertree Observatory are about a 10-minute walk away from the Flower Dome area, and these are the iconic man-made trees you see when you look at a typical image of Singapore. These trees tower above the gardens, and you can take an elevator to the top and walk across a suspension bridge to get a stunning view of Singapore.

Once you’ve completed the ticketed exhibits, you can walk around the park where there are additional plants to explore, walking paths, and eateries. If you just want to enjoy the grounds, the Far East Organization Children’s Garden, or the nightly Garden Rhapsody light show, walking around is not ticketed and freely accessible.

Hot Tip:

There are so many activities to do within Gardens by the Bay that you may wish to space them out across the entirety of your visit. Some activities are indoor, too — perfect for rainy days.

Night Safari

About a 30 or so-minute drive north of the downtown area of Singapore, you’ll find the Mandai Night Safari.

Now, you’re probably thinking, “Why would I want to visit a zoo in Singapore when I can do the same thing at home?”

The Night Safari offers a unique experience. Visitors can observe a diverse range of animals, including tigers and elephants, during the nighttime hours when they are typically more active and not seeking refuge from the intense mid-day heat.

Singapore's Night Safari
Singapore’s Night Safari.

Once you arrive at the Night Safari, you can ride a tram along a winding path with various animal enclosures, or, if you’re up for some exercise, you can walk the same path. Even though the Night Safari is a bit out of the way, it’s very easy to reach there by taxi or ride-share (Grab and Gojek are popular apps), and there’s always a line of taxis to take you back when you’re done exploring.

The Night Safari is open nightly from 7:15 p.m. to 12 a.m. Tickets for timed admission slots are around $42 for adults.

Head to the Top of Marina Bay Sands

The Marina Bay Sands is probably the most famous hotel in Singapore, if not the world. Its 3 towers appear in nearly every photo of the Singapore skyline. If you want an absolutely stunning view of Singapore, head to the top.

If you’re not a hotel guest, you won’t have access to the iconic infinity pool, so a room key is essential for the best possible views.

The top of Marina Bay Sands
The top of Marina Bay Sands!

Rates at the Marina Bay Sands can be very expensive, so many people will splurge for a night here just to experience the views and then go to another nearby hotel. The hotel is very strict about access to the rooftop, so you will need your own individual room key, and you won’t be able to tag along with a non-guest.

There are 3 rooftop restaurants where you can make a reservation and enjoy a great view: Spago, offering Italian and American cuisine; C’est la Vie, serving French and Asian dishes; and Lavo, specializing in Italian and American fare.

Enjoying a Singapore Sling on the top of Marina Bay Sands!
Enjoying a Singapore Sling on the top of Marina Bay Sands!

Make sure to book your reservation well in advance, as tables tend to fill up rapidly. Menus at any of the 3 restaurants can be quite expensive, so it’s important to plan accordingly.

I ate at C’est la Vie, and it was very tasty but certainly expensive. You’re clearly paying for the view, but the food wasn’t bad either.

Hot Tip:

If you want something a bit more economical to eat, head down to Gardens by the Bay for Satay by the Bay, a collection of food stalls (commonly known as a hawker center) where you can purchase a variety of satay and other Asian fare in a food court-like atmosphere.

Alternatively, you can book a ticket to the SkyPark Observation Deck starting at around $24 for adults.

When you’re done eating or swimming on the roof, stroll through the Marina Bay Sands indoor mall, just across the street. This mall is absolutely massive, and if you’re willing to drop a few bucks, you’ll find a lot of luxury goods here!

Spectra – A Light & Water Show” is performed nightly at the Event Plaza, directly facing the famous Merlion.

National Museum of Singapore

National Museum of Singapore rickshaw
Image Credit: National Museum of Singapore

The National Museum of Singapore is a great place to learn about Singapore’s history, from colonial to modern times. This engaging museum can easily take 2 to 3 hours to finish, but it is well worth it.

The exhibits are interesting, and there are various places where you can pause to watch films or listen to audio tours, which enhances the experience. Admission is quite affordable, and on a hot, humid day, the air conditioning is ideal for cooling down.

The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and tickets are around $11 for adults.

Shopping on Orchard Road

ION Orchard Singapore
ION Orchard on Orchard Road. Image Credit: happycreator – stock.adobe.com

Singapore is a shopper’s paradise, with every store known to man in the city center. If you’re up for a “shop till you drop” experience, head to Orchard Road, similar to New York’s 5th Avenue. Here, you’ll find nearly every major brand and many local options.

You’ll also find many shops in underground malls or buildings to the side of Orchard Road, so be sure to explore those places for even more options.

Final Thoughts

There is so much to do in Singapore that it’s worth staying at least a week to see it all! For a city-state, you’d expect to exhaust all of the activities in a few days, yet you can easily spend more time here enjoying the amazing food, entertaining museums, and endless shopping.

The information regarding the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there anything fun to do in Singapore?

There are tons of fun things to do in Singapore, including the Night Safari, swimming on the roof of the Marina Bay Sands hotel, and the Gardens by the Bay.

Is 3 days enough for Singapore?

3 days can easily cover most of the major attractions in Singapore, though you should plan on more time if you want to do additional shopping, explore Chinatown and Little India, or head to Sentosa Island.

Which month is best to visit Singapore?

From February to April, you’ll find Singapore to be dryer than usual, and have the least humidity (which can easily hinder your plans over the hot summer!).

Is Singapore expensive to visit?

Singapore is overall known as a fairly expensive city, similar to New York City in the U.S. There are a lot of ways to save, including eating food at cheap Hawker stalls, for example.

James Larounis's image

About James Larounis

James (Jamie) started The Forward Cabin blog to educate readers about points, miles, and loyalty programs. He’s spoken at Princeton University and The New York Times Travel Show and has been quoted in dozens of travel publications.

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