Ultimate travel guide for Singapore

Singapore is a destination that, despite my initial doubts, managed to win a place in my heart. It is a city-state and it will not leave you indifferent, culture, modernity, luxury, religion all concentrated in a few square kilometers within this small country.

Of course, it is a country in which you can spend a lot of money in a very short time, but contrary to what everyone may think, you can visit it on a very tight budget. You just have to take into account a couple of variables

Everything you need to know for your trip to Singapore:

  1. Best time of the year to visit Singapore
  2. Basic tips to travel to Singapore
  3. Three day Itinerary around Singapore
    1. Day 1: Little India, Arab Street and Bugis Centre
    2. Day 2: Marina Bay and Gardens by the Bay
    3. Day 3: China Town, Southern Rides and Mount Faber
  4. Daily budget for Singapore

Official exchange rate 1EUR = 1.40 SGD

Mejor momento del año para visitar Singapur

The dry season runs from March to August and the rainy season starts in September and ends in February.

My learning after visiting several countries in the rainy season is that neither the rainy season is so bad nor the dry season is so good. The rains are usually intense but short but the sun in the dry season can be scorching… So call me pessimistic but I almost stick with the rainy season.

That yes, dry or wet season, the humidity is very high and the same happens with the temperatures so prepare to sweat.

Basic tips for Singapore

  • Public transport: It is the best way to get around Singapore, bus, tram, subway reach any part of the city including Sentosa. You can use your contactless credit/debit card to pay.
  • Hawker centers: The cheapest option to eat and in my opinion the most unique. Singapore is a mix of culture and the Hawker centers are its greatest culinary expression. You will find them everywhere.
  • Security: It is one of the safest cities in the world and has practically zero crime rates.
  • Visas: Most western countries (Spain included) have a visa on arrival.
  • Language: Although most people can get by in English, the most widely spoken language is Mandarin. Although you will see that the mixture of cultures is unique in this country.
  • Tickets: Almost all places are free and you only have to pay for some very specific attractions.
  • ATM: You can pay by card in most places but some Hawkers may not allow it. The only bank that I saw that did not charge a commission for withdrawing cash was UOB, if memory serves me it is the blue machine

Three day itinerary for Singapore

Contrary to what I thought before setting foot in Singapore, it lasts for many days, but with three or four you will see practically everything.

Day 1: Little India, Arab Street and Bugis Centre.

The mixture between modernity and history is reflected everywhere in the city, finding great skyscrapers next to historical temples of all possible cultures. A reflection of this is Little India and the Arab neighborhood that you can cover perfectly in one morning.

Just 15 minutes from the financial center of Singapore is Little India, where you can visit countless temples, most of them Hindus. From east to west these are the ones you should not miss, Sri Vadapathira, Sri Srivinasa, both in the easternmost part of the neighborhood. Get lost in its streets, shops and wander around until you reach the west of Little India where Sri Veeramakaliamman is located.

Next to Little India is the Arab quarter. You should not miss the Sultan Mosque, although it is not open to non-Muslims, walking around it is well worth a visit. Its large domes and architecture remind me of Aladdin’s palace. Next to it is Arab Street and Haji Lane. Walk through its streets, little shops, bazaars and delight yourself with its traditional food in its street food stalls and Hawker centers.

Next to these two neighborhoods is Bugis Street, my feeling was, if it’s not in Buguis it doesn’t exist, in this chaotic bazaar you can find everything.

Marina Bay is well worth multiple visits and every day that I was in Singapore I went there, honestly three days in Marina Bay and each one of them different from the previous one. But in order not to weigh me down, I am going to concentrate everything in a single section. So you don’t miss any detail.

Day 2: Sentosa, Marina Bay and Gardens by the Bay

Sentosa es una pequeña isla en Singapur principalmente destinada a uso recreacional por parte de los locales. Con varias y extensas, playas, beach clubs y parques de atracciones es la escapada perfecta a la gran urbe. Puedes llegar a ella en transporte público (precio normal) o en cable car, bastante mas caro.

If you go with time, I recommend that you spend the day at the Universal Studios Singapore amusement park. We were bathing in the warm and calm beaches of Palawan and eating in a beach club.

Back to the city to see one of the marvels of modern engineering, the luxurious five-star hotel, Marina Bay Sands, which with its three towers over 60 stories high with a transverse terrace between the three pillars, has managed to become an icon of this city. You can go up to the observation deck for 20 SGD.

Walk around its surroundings, observe it from all possible angles. You can enter the hotel, walk through its MBS Shoppes shopping center, luxury come true and with much more taste than the shopping centers in Dubai in my opinion. You can find two exclusive Louis Vuitton stores and an Apple Store in the middle of Marina Bay while behind you the great MBS watches over the city.

Every night at 8 pm and 9 pm there is a show of water, lights and music. Which is fine but if you’re short on time it’s totally expendable and you should prioritize the Gardens by the Bay light show.

Gardens by the Bay is mostly free and you only have to pay to climb the trees and the botanical gardens. But walking through Gardens by the Bay and its light show in the super trees is free and you should not miss it under any circumstances. Every night at 8 pm, their trees light up as they dance to the music.

Another piece that you should not miss in Marina Bay is the Merlion, half Lion half Mermaid (Mermaid) is a local mythological animal and protector and emblem of the city.

Day 3: China Town, Southern Ridges and Faber Mountain.

China is one of the nationalities with the largest presence in Singapore, almost all of its population is able to speak Cantonese or Mandarin. This presence means that, as in many countries, a small Chinese city has been created, Chinatown. Full of temples, hawker centers and Chinese bazaars.

You can get to Chinatown by bus. Start from Pagoda Street, from there you will be one step away from everything you must see in Chinatown. Buddha Relic Temple, Siang Cho and Thian Hock Keng Temple.

You will find restaurants everywhere and shops to buy souvenirs but one of my favorite places to eat is the Amoy Street Food Court. Full of places and where I ate a spectacular noodle soup. The key, look for the food stall with the longest queue.

I’m not going to lie to you, I walked almost 20 kilometers every day, and now comes the hardest part, but this is traveling, wandering around a lot and for that you have to use your legs.

The next stop and great unknown but for me one of my favorites is the Southern Ridges, a series of hanging platforms through one of the many forests that you will find in Singapore. You will walk above the trees while you observe the great skyscrapers in the distance.

This is one of the many projects in Singapore to unite nature and modernity, and you will see parks and forests throughout the city and many skyscrapers with large parks and hanging gardens in them. A unique city in all its aspects with sustainability in mind.

Adjacent to the Southern Ridges is Mount Faber, a short 30-minute walk in the heat and humidity of Singapore separates you from the Southern Ridges. From its top you can see one of the best views of the immensity of Singapore.

Daily budget for Singapore

I’m here to bust the myth that Singapore is expensive. Yes, it is expensive, but it can also be done on a low budget, in this case for €33 a day.

Eating in Singapore is very cheap for the city that it is, in any Hawker Center you will eat better than in a restaurant and for a tiny percentage of its price, thus discovering its local culture through the gastronomy of each neighborhood. Each meal costs between 3 and 5 SGD which is equivalent to about 5€ a day in food.

Accommodation, you will find several hostels scattered around the city, I stayed every day at Betel Box, relatively clean and well located but where most travelers go for only €16 a night.

Public transport in Singapore is a necessity, the city is huge… Despite this it is very cheap and I was spending an average of €4 a day just by swiping the card. As I understand it, the voucher or tourist card is not worth it.

Leisure, to be honest, on a 1-year trip I am not going to burn all my money in one of the most expensive nights in the world, nightlife and leisure in Singapore is very expensive so I reserved my desire for my next destination. A beer costs between SGD 5-10 so you can spend a lot of your budget in the tiny state of Singapore if you’re not careful.

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