I recently organized a first timer tour in Singapore last September with my Tita and cousins. Here’s our 6Days/5Nights do-it-yourself (DIY) itinerary, hoping that it will also help those first timers out there.
1. Take a shuttle from the airport to the city…
…or you can take a cab, your hotel’s shuttle, a private car and so on… It doesn’t really matter as long as you take the Airport Boulevard connecting to East Coastal Park (ECP) to Suntec City route. That way, you’ll get to see how clean and organized the roads in Singapore are compared to the roads in Manila. They even have beautifully manicured landscapes along the road, a far cry from EDSA.
Just sit back and relax. Treat it as part of your city tour. This was the first view I’ve seen aside from their airport the first time I went to Singapore. And I just knew back then that I would fall in love with the city. It still has its charm even for frequent travellers.
2. Start your walking tour in Clarke Quay and end it wherever you want it to end
Take the early morning flight (around 6am) from Manila to Singapore. That way you’ll arrive around 10am, giving you enough time to settle in to your hotel room and prepare for a day’s worth of walking and sightseeing.
After our lunch, we took the MRT and alighted in Clarke Quay MRT Station. We got off in The Central Mall and walked around Clarke Quay. From Clarke Quay we went on to the following sites:
- G-MAX Reverse Bungee & GX-5 Extreme Swing
- All those sites along the river
- Raffles City
- Fullerton Hotel
- Merlion in Marina Bay
- Singapore Flyer
I wouldn’t recommend this walking tour for oldies since it can tire them out easily. This can also wear out the younger ones so it’s best to take some rest in between sites. Also, bring a bottle of Aquarius (an isotonic drink) or plain bottled water with you to avoid dehydration. And most importantly, just enjoy every moment of the sightseeing tour.
3. Take Those Souvenir Photos
This is self-explanatory. Always bring your camera and take all those shots you can take. Also, a tripod is needed for group shots and have a back-up battery in handy just in case.
4. Fly with the Singapore Flyer
After our walking tour, we ended up in Singapore Flyer. It was a nice way to end the tour and get 30 minutes of rest just looking over Marina Bay and all its sights. For more info, see their website at http://www.singaporeflyer.com/.
5. Indulge yourself in Singapore’s Food/Hawker center
A must try for everyone! It surely beats traveling around the globe just to eat different dishes. Their Food Center practically has it all from Chinese, Thai, Indian, Vietnamese, etch. It’s like a melting pot of Asian cuisine.
Most of these food centers don’t have air-conditioning so the best time for you to eat here is during supper. That way, it’s cooler and perfect for those nightly conversations.
6. Meet-up with your friends and relatives
If you have friends and family members in Singapore, this would be the perfect time to meet with them. I mean, not necessarily you meet them on your second day. You can schedule it any day on your trip. The most important thing is you get to renew your bond with them and have fun!
Plus, they know more about Singapore than you do so it’s better to ask them a lot of questions about the place. They would be more than happy to share with you some helpful tips. As they say, a local knows best.
7. Go Shopping in Orchard Road
We walked along Orchard Road from Plaza Singapura to see a bunch of shopping Malls to purchase stuffs. It has everything from luxury designer brands to regular retail items. This is a wonderful place for all those brand conscious shopaholics out there.
The ideal time to shop here is during Christmas season. The festive mood brings out all those stunning decorations in the street and huge Christmas Trees on each mall.
8. Discover Garden by the Bay
It’s our first time to visit Garden by the Bay and its cooled conservatories. For more info, visit http://www.gardensbythebay.com.sg.
Singaporeans really do have a thing with gardens. They go to great lengths just to acquire and conserve plants from different regions in Asia and the world. A day of relaxation with your family and friends should be fine here.
9. Marina Bay Sands
There are so many things you can do here. Aside from it being a world class luxury casino and hotel, they also have museums, restaurants, a Skypark, luxury shopping stores and so on. You can look it up here – http://www.marinabaysands.com/
We did mostly window shopping here. You’ve got to be a dollar millionaire to purchase all those luxury items. Also, the light show in the evening was simply amazing.
10. Unleash that Kid within you and have a blast in Universal Studios
Undoubtedly, the best experience we’ve had in Singapore so far!
I wouldn’t want to spoil the fun for you so I’ll just tell you my Top 3 favorite rides:
- Battle Galactica’s Cylon & Human
- Transformer’s Ride
- The Revenge of the Mummy
These rides gave us the most thrills in one day. I’ll definitely go back. You can allocate one day of your trip just to experience Universal Studios. I think that should give you enough time to try all those leisurely rides.
You can purchase your tickets either online or in the ticket counters outside the themed-park. Just make sure to be there 30 minutes before its opening time (10am) to avoid long queues. Also, get a map once you get in. It’s better to plan out your day than just roam around with no specific direction.
And lastly, unleash that kid within you and have a blast!