Where do you start when creating a Singapore itinerary? Perhaps you’ve found yourself asking, is 5 days in Singapore enough? With so much to see and do, to me that’s the bare minimum for first time visitors… Having the pleasure of staying here twice over the years and exploring at length each time, I’m able to help you out!

I’m sure you’ll agree that just the name Singapore in itself evokes a tropical island ambience in your mind. Futuristic skyscrapers adorned with lush greenery line its streets alongside varying architecture styles from centuries past, creating intrigue. And let’s not forget the melting pot of different cuisines that will tantalise your tastebuds.

5 Days in Singapore Itinerary: Complete Guide for First Timers | The Invisible Tourist

Emerging stronger than ever from turbulent events of the 20th century, today Singapore and her people will delight and inspire you. Home to four official languages (Malay, Mandarin, Tamil and English), Singapore’s strategic geographical location has been a magnet for workers the world over from its Colonial era until this very day.

My fellow Aussies, Singapore is one of the exciting Asian destinations as a stopover on the way to or from Europe, or even as a stand-alone trip. And to top it off, you’ll be pleased to know that even Changi Airport is a brilliant destination in itself, having been voted the world’s best consecutively since 2011! 

My tried-and-tested 5 days Singapore itinerary digs beneath the surface of this island nation, from temples and gardens to panoramic viewpoints, significant histories and the best hawker stalls. If you wish to see a fascinating cultural side of this destination beyond its famed shopping malls, read on for more!

Quick links to useful resources

This is a lengthy post so grab yourself a cuppa before we begin!

View from the Fairmont Singapore

Clarke Quay at Night, Singapore
TOP: View from my room at the Fairmont Singapore ~ BOTTOM: A few steps from the Ibis Hotel in Clarke Quay

Where to eat in Singapore

Singapore is a foodie’s paradise, with so many quality options to choose from to suit any budget. My favourite areas for eateries are Clarke Quay, Chinatown and Haji Lane in Kampong Glam.

Head to a Ya Kun Kaya Toast cafe to try the specialty breakfast that’s been loved by locals for decades, kaya toast. This toast is lathered in butter and coconut jam, and is delicious when dipped into a runny egg!

Hawker centres are the perfect places to immerse yourself in the local culture, too. These undercover food courts serve anything from meal sets and fresh produce to snacks and drinks from many cuisines. 

TIP: Do as the locals do and return your food tray to the designated stands. Otherwise you may face a fine!

My favourite hawker centres in Singapore are:

  • Lau Pa Sat: A restored Victorian-era hawker market, with hundreds of different stalls specialising in cuisine from Hong Kong, Thailand, South Korea, Japan, and all over the world. You could come here every night for a year and not eat the same thing twice! On Friday nights, the pop-up Satay Street bursts to life out front, with stalls specialising in these spicy skewers a popular option for visitors and locals alike. 
  • Maxwell Street Hawker Markets: Directly opposite the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, this is a great pace to grab some lunch and try local dishes including chicken rice, satays, soups, drinks out of a coconut and more. 

Lau Pa Sat Hawker Centre, Singapore

Kaya Toast, Local Singaporean Breakfast
TOP: Lau Pat Sat hawker centre ~ BOTTOM: Beloved Singaporean breakfast at Ya Kun Kaya Toast

5 Days in Singapore Itinerary: Things to do in each neighbourhood

Welcome to Singapore! Let’s dive into the details of this Singapore 5 days itinerary, and for videos of each place check out my Instagram Reel to save for later.

DAY 1 – Chinatown, Tanjong Pagar & Clarke Quay

Today we’re going to explore areas near your hotel around Chinatown and Tanjong Pagar. We’ll see breathtaking temples, street art and murals, as well as some beautifully decorated traditional houses of Singapore. We’ll finish up the evening in Clarke Quay.

Be left in awe by Sri Mariamman Temple

Wander into Chinatown by foot or by MRT to discover Sri Mariamman Temple. Known as the oldest Hindu temple in Singapore dating back to 1827, the detail is absolutely breathtaking. Dedicated to Goddess Mariamman, this holy site is known for curing illness and disease. 

  • Getting there from Clarke Quay: Take the train 1 stop from Clarke Quay (purple line, Harbourfront direction) to Chinatown Station. The temple is 2 mins walk away. 

The temple complex is decorated with countless vibrant deity sculptures throughout, as well as murals painted on the ceilings. My jaw dropped at just how exquisite they are! 

TIP: As with other religious sites in Singapore, you’ll need to remove your shoes and cover your shoulders here before entering. Pack your own shawl or borrow one from the box at the temple’s entrance. This temple is free to enter.

Sri Mariamman Temple is a must for your 5 day Singapore itinerary

Sri Mariamman Temple in Chinatown is a must to add to your Singapore itinerary
1) Sri Mariamman Temple entrance ~ 2) Stunning interior paintings of deities ~ 3) Deity statues on the rooftops

Visit the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple

No Singapore travel guide would be complete without this one! If you enjoy visiting temples in Japan as much as I do, you’re not going to want to miss this. The Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum may look centuries old, but it was actually built in 2007. 

Created in the Chinese architectural style from the Tang Dynasty (618 – 907 AD), this four storey building and rooftop houses what is believed to be a precious tooth of the god Buddha on the fourth floor. The other floors showcase important religious relics related to Chinese and Tibetan Buddhism, and blueprints for the planning of the building. 

Don’t miss the rooftop, with lovely views over Singapore as well as Ten Thousand Buddha Pagoda. Spinning in the pagoda’s centre is a giant Vairocana Buddha Prayer Wheel, colourfully decorated and filled with 3,000 scrolls of mantras (like prayers) written in calligraphy. 

TIP: Please remember to “be invisible” in this place of worship by covering your shoulders and knees before entering. There are boxes of shawls and sarongs to borrow at the entrance if needed.

NOTE: The temple and Museum are free to enter, however they do appreciate donations. Non-flash photography is fine everywhere except on the fourth floor where the Buddha tooth relic is housed. 

The Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum is a must-see for a Singapore itinerary

Buddha Tooth Relic Temple Rooftop
1) Buddha Totoh Relic Temple rooftop ~ 2) Some of the Ten Thousand Buddha amulets ~ 3) Prayer Wheel

TIP: Running the length of the temple is Sago Lane, known as “Street of the Dead” in the 19th century. In immigrant Chinese households, the poor considered it bad fortune for remaining residents if they died in their homes, so came to the “death houses” lined along here to see out their final days. In the 1960’s this area was rejuvenated and is now packed with restaurants and eateries.  

Sago Lane, known as Street of the Dead, Singapore

Enjoy hunting for street art in Chinatown & Tanjong Pagar

Opposite the Buddha tooth Relic Temple is the Maxwell Hawker Centre, pop in and grab some lunch before moving on to street art in the Tanjong Pagar area. 

  • Getting there from Maxwell Food Centre: 15mins walk along Neil Road, then take a left onto Everton Road.

Dotted throughout this neighbourhood are pockets of street art painted on the walls of buildings and down laneways. They can be found at Temple Street, Everton Road, Keong Saik Road, Bukit Pasoh Road and Duxton Road. Also in this area is the oldest Chinese temple in Singapore, Thian Hock Keng.

NOTE: To cover these attractions and more with a friendly local guide, try this Chinatown Heritage walking tour.

Street Art in Chinatown and Tanjong Pagar
1) & 2) Street art on Temple Street, Chinatown ~ 3) Mural on Everton Road, Tanjong Pagar

Admire the lesser-known Peranakan Houses

While there is a more famous area in the east for the beautifully decorated Peranakan Houses (we’ll visit on Day 4 of this Singapore travel itinerary), there are also some in Tanjong Pagar. 

Featuring colourful wooden shutters, elaborate front fences and contrasting decorative features, Blair Road and Everton Road are two of the main streets in Tanjong Pagar to admire these stunning terrace homes. 

Built from the late 1880’s, these homes showcase a fusion of Southern Chinese and European architecture styles, a reflection of where most immigrants into Singapore originated at the time. 

TIP: Please remember to “be invisible” when taking pictures, by being respectful of local’s privacy and minimising noise in this residential area. 

Peranakan Houses on Blair Road

End the day at Clarke Quay

In the late afternoon, head back to Clarke Quay and pass by the Ministry of Communications and Information building, its hundreds of rainbow-coloured shutters an aesthetic contrast to its white background.

  • Getting there from Tanjong Pagar: Take the purple line from Outram Park Station to Clarke Quay Station (Punggol direction), about 15mins. 

Clarke Quay is a great spot for dinner overlooking the Singapore River, and for nightlife. With a buzzing atmosphere and music filling the air from the riverside establishments, this area is plenty of fun!

TIP: If you’re up to it, this popular Singapore night river cruise will show you illuminated landmarks in Singapore from the water, or combine a walking tour and river cruise to experience more.

TIP: Notice the little fish faces on the floor of Clarke Quay station? They match the painted faces on boats cruising around this area. This stems from a belief of Chinese immigrants centuries ago that boats would never run into each other if they had eyes to help them see. 

Ministry of Communications Building is a colourful must-see for your Singapore itinerary

Evenings in Clarke Quay

DAY 2 – Gardens by the Bay, Marina Bay Sands & Waterfront Promenade

On day 2 of this Singapore trip itinerary, we’ll explore Gardens by the Bay, the Art Science Museum, the expansive Marina Bay Sands complex and take in the lovely views along Waterfront Promenade. 

Things to do at Gardens by the Bay

With their futuristic Supertrees becoming an icon of the city skyline, Gardens by the Bay is a must see during your time in Singapore. Its lush indoor and outdoor gardens with a focus on sustainability and energy efficiency make it a relaxing place to spend a few hours enjoying nature. Not to mention the scenic views!

  • Getting there from Clarke Quay MRT Station: Walk 7 mins to Chinatown Station and take the blue Downtown line to Bayfront Station (Bukit Panjang direction). Follow the signage to Gardens by the Bay and you’ll pop out near the Marina Bay Sands hotel. 

OCBC Skywalk at Gardens by the Bay

TIP: Most of the gardens are open from 5:00am – 2:00am, so there are plenty of chances to enjoy the different areas without crowds.

There are a number of attractions in Gardens by the Bay:

  • Supertree Grove: Features 12 of the garden’s 18 futuristic trees.
  • Supertree Observatory: Take an elevator up 16 storeys to the tallest Supertree to observe amazing 360-degree views over Singapore (buy advance tickets here). 
  • OCBC Skyway: A bridge suspended from the Supertrees, offering a lovely walk through their canopies with views of Singapore’s skyline (cost: 12 SGD).
  • Cloud Forest: Indoor conservatory showcasing a mountain of exotic plants from around the globe (buy advance tickets here).
  • Flower Dome: Creative seasonal displays and gardens with flowers flown in from around the world. (buy advance tickets here).
  • Floral Fantasy: With flower displays suspended from the ceiling and walls, this area also changes with the seasons (buy advance tickets here).
  • Dragonfly & Kingfisher Lakes: Spot these friendly creatures in waters amongst reflections of the Supertrees. 
  • Serene Garden: Japanese style zen garden creating peace and tranquillity. 
  • Garden Rhapsody: During the evenings, the gardens put on free beautiful light and music displays, but we’ll get to that tomorrow!
  • Find out more Gardens by the Bay attractions here.
Gardens by the Bay Attractions
1) & 2) Supertree Observatory ~ 3) OCBC Skyway ~ 4) Flower Dome & Cloud Forest aerial view

Visit the Art Science Museum

Shaped to take on the appearance of an open lotus flower, Singapore’s Art Science Museum is a fascinating attraction. It’s also great for rainy days or if you’re looking to spend some time in air conditioning.

If you’ve wanted to visit the popular teamLab experiences from Japan (read about it in my Tokyo itinerary), the Art Science Museum features teamLab’s permanent exhibition, Future World. Ideal if travelling with smaller children, there are several rooms of interactive, illuminated digital art to enjoy.

The museum is part of the Marina Bay Sands complex (more below) and features a VR Gallery as well as other temporary exhibitions related to science and nature.  

TIP: Be sure to book your exhibition options for the Art Science Museum advance here to save time on the day. 

Art Science Museum Singapore

Future world at ArtScience Museum Singapore
Future World at ArtScience Museum: 1) Sketch Aquarium ~ 2) & 3) Crystal Universe tunnel ~ 4) Sketch Flight at Future Park

Explore the Marina Bay Sands

From the Art Science Museum, head into the glitzy Marina Bay Sands. This luxury hotel was built in 2010 and is the pride of Singapore, its three towers topped with rooftop bar and infinity pool create a unique silhouette on the city’s skyline. 

The complex is a world within itself! Things do do at the Marina Bay Sands, (known simply as MBS to locals) include:

  • Marina Bay Sands Skypark Observation Deck: Towering 56 storeys above the bay below, it’s the perfect place to see the Singapore Strait, aerial views of Gardens by the Bay, the Marina Bay area and to enjoy the city’s Spectra light and water show in the evenings (book in advance here)
  • Shoppes at the Marina Bay Sands: Featuring 270 luxury international designer brands, dining options and other services, it’s the perfect spot to take a break, pick up a memorable souvenir or window shop!
  • LAVO Italian Restaurant & Rooftop Bar: Perfect for special occasions, be sure to reserve a table in advance to avoid disappointment.  
  • Sampan Rides: Sampan is a type of traditional boat in Singapore, and it’s possible to enjoy a narrated, guided cruise around the complex’s canal (cost: from 15 SGD each).
  • Nightlife: Marquee is Singapore’s largest nightclub, complete with ferris wheel, and the in-house casino may be an option for you too.

The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

See the Merlion & Marina Bay Waterfront Promenade

After the Marina Bay Sands, take a leisurely stroll around the Waterfront Promenade to the Merlion, about 15mins walk. You’ll also see the Singapore Flyer ferris wheel across the bay and can stop to enjoy many of the eateries lining the boardwalk.

With its fish-shaped body and lion’s head spraying water into the bay, Merlion represents Singapore’s fishing village origins. Prior to its Colonial era (1819 – 1942), Singapore was known as Singapura, meaning Lion City in Sanskrit.

You’ll learn more about the country’s fascinating history on Day 5 of this Singapore tour itinerary.

TIP: Locals believe the water fountain is a symbol of bringing money, wealth and prosperity to Singapore.

TIP: Planning to watch the Spectra Light Show at night? The Waterfront Promenade is one of the best places to see it, especially with the Marina Bay Sands as a backdrop!

Merlion and Marina Bay Sands

DAY 3 – Little India, Kampong Glam & Night Tour

We’ll start day 3 of this itinerary for Singapore in Little India. While Southern Chinese immigrants flocked to Singapore in search of work during pre-Colonial times, so did Indians, Malays and Europeans after British settlement.

Under the Raffles Town Plan of 1822, Singapore’s neighbourhoods were divided into ethnic areas. Little India was designated to Indians, Kampong Glam for Muslims from Malaya, Chinatown for the Chinese, and along Singapore River for Europeans. It’s easy to see today each area has retained its unique charm.

Explore Little India

Dotted with vibrant shopfronts, exquisite temples and a bustling vibe, Little India is such a fun place to explore!

  • Getting there from Clarke Quay: Take the purple line north (Punggol direction) to Farrer Park Station and 8mins walk to Sri Vadapathira Kaliamman Temple.

Sri Vadapathira Kaliamman Temple is a lovely addition to any itinerary for Singapore

If you love admiring the architecture and craftsmanship at temples, there are a number of them within close proximity in Little India. I recommend visiting them in the following order on foot so it will become easier to walk to the Kampong Glam area afterwards:

  • Sri Vadapathira Kaliamman Temple: If you only wish to see one or two temples in Little India, let this be one. Its turquoise entrance features an absolutely stunning display of Hindu deities dating back to 1830. I witnessed worshippers pouring coconut milk on a deity for good luck.
  • Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple: Impressive entrance in a pyramid-like shape adorned with hundreds of deity sculptures in vibrant colours. 
  • Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple: This temple is closed from 12:00 – 17:00, but is open from 5:00 and reopens until 21:00. 
  • Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya Temple: Features a massive golden Buddha inside, as well as a reclining Buddha statue in its basement. Absolutely beautiful and moving.
  • Leong San See Temple: Chinese temple dedicated to the Goddess of Mercy, founded in 1913.  
  • Tan Teng Niah: The colourful last remaining Chinese villa in the area from the early 1900’s. 

TIP: Remember to remove shoes and have your shoulders covered before entering these places of worship.

NOTE: To cover Chinatown, Kampong Glam, Little India, Marina Bay & more in one day, try this cycling tour with a local guide here

1) Sri Vadapathira Kaliamman Temple ~ 2) & 3) Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple ~ 4) Streets of Little India 5) Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya Temple ~ 6) Leong San See Temple ~ 7) Tan Teng Niah

Wander through Kampong Glam

Designated as a pocket for Singapore’s Malay, Bugis and Arab communities under the Raffles Town Plan mentioned above, today Kampong Glam (Kampong Gelam) is a thriving and trendy neighbourhood. 

Its storefronts are reminiscent of those in the Middle East, shopping for fabrics, carpets, spices, ceramics, homewares, gold jewellery and more is a delight here. Some things to do in Kampong Glam include:

  • Admire the golden dome of the Sultan Mosque
  • Visit the Malay Heritage Centre
  • Shop at the local boutiques along Arab Street, south side of North Bridge Road
  • Hunt down street art and shop in hip stores along hip Haji Lane 
  • Have lunch in a restaurant that resembles an aeroplane at Sushi Airways
  • Head to Bugis Street shopping mall for cheap souvenirs (TIP: Most of the vendors accept cash only; there is an ATM outside on Victoria Street). 

After Kampong Glam, make your way towards the beautiful Raffles Hotel, where the famed Singapore Sling cocktail was invented, and to nearby Suntec Shopping Mall for an exciting night tour. 

TIP: Fill in some time before the tour at popular stores from Japan such as Don Quixote and Tokyu Hands.

Add the Sultan Mosque in Kampong Glam to your Singapore itinerary 5 days

Things to do in Kampong Glam
Things to do Kampong Glam: 1) Colourful streets around the Sultan Mosque ~ 2) Vibrant Haji Lane ~ 3) Shop for textiles and carpets along Arab Road ~ 4) Check out Bugis Street mall

Night Bus Tour in Singapore

The double-decker bus visits and/or goes past:

  • War Memorial Park, with its four pillar cenotaph representing the four races of Singapore uniting as one;
  • Marina Bay Barrage, where locals enjoy city skyline views, fly kites and have picnics;
  • Raffles Hotel, named after Sir Stamford Raffles, the Colonial founder of Singapore;
  • Merlion, the mythical mascot of Singapore; 
  • Waterfront Promenade, beautiful views of the Marina Bay Sands, Singapore Flyer ferris wheel and Fullerton Hotel (an old post office) over the bay;
  • Lau Pa Sat hawker centre, including a satay tasting;
  • Gardens by the Bay evening illuminations away from the crowds, where the Supertrees light up to different music based on a theme;
  • At the tour’s conclusion, the bus will later drop you off near popular areas such as Clarke Quay, Chinatown, Raffles Hotel and a few others. 

TIP: In my opinion, the bus tour is best to do on Friday or Saturday nights if you can. The bus group has priority in getting in and out of Gardens by the Bay (which was quite crowded with cars and taxis). We also had priority at two satay stands at Lau Pa Sat which eliminated the 30 minute wait for delicious skewers!

Singapore Night Bus Tour Attractions
Singapore night bus tour attractions: 1) Raffles Hotel ~ 2) Marina Barrage ~ 3) Helix Bridge ~ 4) Included satay skewer tasting at Lau Pat Sat
Garden Rhapsody at Gardens by the Bay, Singapore
Garden Rhapsody light and sound show at Gardens by the Bay

DAY 4 – Joo Chiat Katong, Fort Canning Park & National Museum Singapore

Let’s begin Day 4 by spending the morning in the preserved area of Joo Chiat Katong, before heading over to Fort Canning Park and the National Museum of Singapore in the afternoon. 

Discover Joo Chiat Katong

Lined with streets upon streets of Peranakan Houses converted into shops as well as residences, Joo Chiat Katong is a trendy area to souvenir shop for homewares and clothing in local boutiques. 

  • Getting to Joo Chiat Katong: Walk from Clarke Quay to Raffles Place Station (10mins) and take the green line to Eunos Station (Pasar Ris direction). From here, walk in a southern direction for 15mins to Koo Seng Road, where the famous row of these homes are.

Some things to do in Joo Chiat Katong are:

    • See the famous “Painted Ladies” Peranakan Houses along Koo Seng Road
    • Shop for Singaporean homewares such as Photo Phactory pieces at Chisel & Log on Joo Chiat Road (I bought a stunning serving tray featuring Peranakan Houses)
    • Take a break at one of the many coffee shops
    • Stop by Ruma Bebe on East Coast Road for lunch, a unique cafe with displays of antiques from Perakakan culture such as furniture, shoes, fashion and more. 

TIP: Learn more about Peranakan culture on this special heritage tour with Peranakan tile painting & lunch.

The historic Peranakan Houses of Joo Chiat Katong are a colourful addition to your itinerary in Singapore

Stroll through Fort Canning Park

In the afternoon, head past Fort Canning Park either by train or by jumping in a taxi on the way to the Singapore National Museum.

Just 5mins walk to the Museum, Fort Canning park has been the stage for many significant events in Singapore’s history, from being the residence of Malayan royals during medieval times to where the British surrendered to the Japanese during WWII. 

The 18-hectare area has a number of attractions and you’ll see locals enjoying picnics on its lawns amongst the lush gardens. 

Visit the National Museum of Singapore

Open from 10:00am until 19:00 daily, take advantage of the later trading hours and skip the crowds by visiting the National Museum of Singapore in the afternoon. The air conditioning is a welcome respite from the walking we did earlier! 

TIP: Buy National Museum tickets in advance here. I recommend including the permanent galleries as well as the temporary exhibitions, more on why below. 

The museum was an absolute highlight for me and is a must for history lovers. In great detail, its permanent exhibitions cover events that make up the entire history of Singapore:

  • Origins from the late 13th century (when the island was known as Singapura)
  • Portuguese invasion and Sultanate rule
  • The era of British Colonisation from 1819
  • Atrocities of Japanese occupation during WWII in 1942-45
  • Singapore’s merger with Malaysia after the war
  • Finally its independence in 1965.

I spent a good 4.5 – 5 hours here taking my time to read everything, and left with a thorough understanding of this country’s history and unified cultures.

TIP: The temporary exhibitions during my visit were Surviving Syonan, featuring first-hand accounts of Singaporeans during Japanese occupation of WWII, and Now Boarding: Experiencing Singapore Through Travel, which I thoroughly enjoyed! Check the National Museum of Singapore exhibition list for more info. 

TIP: If you have some extra time in the area, consider visiting the Peranakan Museum or the Children’s Museum of Singapore.  

National Museum Singapore

DAY 5 – Sentosa or Orchard Road, & Jewel Changi Airport

Day 5 of this itinerary in Singapore is our final day, so why not go out with a bang by choosing your own adventure!

Either shop ‘til you drop along the massive malls lining Orchard Road, or head to Sentosa Island for a fun few hours of exploration. Finally, we’ll discover the attractions at Changi Airport before your flight home. 

Embark on an adventure in Sentosa

  • How to get to Sentosa from Clarke Quay: The ways to reach Sentosa are either by taxi and cable car, or train and cable car. 
    • Taxi: Ask your driver to take you to the Singapore Cable Car station on Mount Faber, the journey should only cost around 10 SGD from your hotel. As this is on top of a mountain, there is no public transport. 
    • Train: Take the purple line (Harbourfront direction) and exit at Harbourfront Station. There is a cable car stop at Harbourfront where you can hop on. 

You can pre-purchase the Cable Car Sky Pass to skip the lines or enjoy a special dining experience in the cable car itself if time permits.

TIP: The Cable Car will be decorated as Pokéballs from Pokémon, with your favourite characters inside each car until 30 September 2023!

Mt Faber Cable Car to Sentosa

Things to do in Sentosa

TIP:You can also do a spot of shopping at VIVO City mall, just hop off the cable car at Harbourfront.

1) Mt Faber Cable Car to Sentosa ~ 2) Mount Imniah Nature Trail ~ 3) Ziplining through the trees

Shop up a storm on Orchard Road

Alternatively, Singapore is known for its kilometres of shopping malls, so why not have a browse! You’re sure to find anything you’re looking for here.

Singapore shopping malls remind me a bit of casinos in Las Vegas in the sense that they are all joined together and it can be difficult to find the exits to go back outside, hehe.  

  • Getting there from Clarke Quay MRT Station: Take the purple line (Punggol direction) to Dhoby Ghaut Station. Switch to the red line (Jurong East direction) and alight at Orchard Station. 

Shopping malls on Orchard Road

  • ION Orchard
  • Orchard Central
  • Wisma Atria
  • Paragon Shopping Centre
  • 313@somerset
  • Mandarin Gallery
  • And many more!

TIP: Do a quick Google search for “malls on Orchard Road Singapore” for descriptions and more information on each. 

Jewel Changi Airport

Your 5 day itinerary of Singapore isn’t quite over until you’ve seen Jewel at Changi Airport. BEFORE you check through security, make sure to visit some of the attractions Changi Airport is famous for, such as the world’s largest indoor waterfall. 

Things to see at Jewel Changi Airport

The quickest way to get to the airport is by taking a taxi. The Jewel area is available to the public (even those not flying) and is beautiful to spend some time exploring before checking into your flight.

Some things to see and do in Jewel Changi are:

  • HSBC Rain Vortex, within the Shiseido Forest Valley (free)
  • Canopy Park and Mastercard Canopy Bridge (book in advance here)
  • Options for Bouncing Net and Discovery Slides for kids, Hedge Maze, Mirror Maze and more (book in advance here)
  • Check more things to see at Changi Airport here, including activities for transiting passengers. 

TIP: I do recommend the Mastercard Canopy Bridge and the Canopy Park if you’re looking to steer away from the crowds. In the free Shiseido Forest Valley, groups have their large suitcases there and are blocking walkways taking photos. Plus, the Canopy Bridge offers a birds-eye view of the HSBC Rain Vortex, which puts on a light show at 8:00pm and 9:00pm daily.

TIP: See videos of the below places in my Instagram Reel and save it for later!

Rain Vortex at Jewel Changi Airport

Have some extra time to add to your Singapore travel itinerary?

If you’d like to switch out some of my suggested activities for others, more ideas to fill your Singapore itinerary include:

  • National Gallery Singapore
  • Singapore Botanic Gardens, a UNESCO World Heritage site
  • Jurong Bird Park
  • National Orchid Garden
  • Singapore Zoo and night safari

NOTE: I cannot speak for the welfare of animals at these attractions as I have not visited personally, so kindly research these attractions in advance. 

Getting around in Singapore

The easiest way to explore all the sights I mention in this 5 day Singapore itinerary is by train (MRT), bus, taxi or on foot. 

  • Train (MRT): There are 6 main lines covering the island, including driverless trains. They depart every few minutes, and you can tap on and off with your credit card at ticket turnstiles. See the MRT map here. Fares in this itinerary range from 1.60 SGD to 4.50 SGD per trip, depending on distance travelled.
  • TIP: You may see the Singapore Tourist Pass for use on public transport,  however I found it on the expensive side for the places visited in this itinerary so preferred to pay for individual tickets by tapping my credit card. 
  • TIP: Be sure to follow the markings on the station floor to not block doorways when the train arrives. 
  • Taxi: As most locals don’t own cars in Singapore, taxis can be a popular option to get around for short trips. From Changi Airport to the city centre (Clarke Quay area) costs approx 30 SGD for 20-30mins and the taxis are metered. Download the Grab app (like Uber) to hire, call by phone or head to a taxi stand to get one, as they can’t often be hailed down from the streets. More info on Singapore taxis here
  • Bus: I personally didn’t use them but can also be a budget alternative to taxis if needed. More info on the Singapore bus network here.
Markings at Clarke Quay MRT Station
Markings at Clarke Quay MRT Station remind us of Singapore’s past (more about this on Day 1)

Concluding this Singapore itinerary 5 days

How many days in Singapore do you need to cover most of the main sights and explore lesser-known gems? As you can see, I say 5 days in Singapore is perfect for first time visitors!

From trying out delicious local bites at hawker centres, seeing incredible cultural sights, being immersed in lush scenery and learning about the country’s fascinating history, my insider tips for visiting makes this one of the most comprehensive Singapore itineraries out there. 

I hope you’ll agree I’ve created the best Singapore itinerary to see the sights efficiently in 5 days without having to trek from one side of the Lion City to the other.

What do you think of my sample Singapore itinerary? Drop me your thoughts or any questions in the comments below. While you’re here, why not check out my Asia travel blog covering more itineraries, travel guides, etiquette and tips for “blending in” in this exciting part of the world!

Until next time,

The Invisible Tourist

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5 Day Singapore Itinerary: Complete Guide for First Timers | The Invisible Tourist

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