48 hours in Singapore
There’s much more to the Lion City than shopping and litter-free streets—an amalgam of cultures, diverse neighbourhoods, unforgettable food...Rama Sreekant wipes the humidity off her sunglasses and discovers
10 am: Jurong Bird Park
Start your day amidst the tweets and chirps at Jurong Bird Park, Asia’s largest, spanning 50 acres; it houses over 5000 species. Head straight to the 10 am Kings of the Skies show–beautiful birds of prey will swoop above your heads. Or watch the High Flyers show–50 birds represent different species, including one very talented talking parrot! Walk along the enormous aviaries filled with lush jungle plants and trees. Don’t miss the Waterfall Aviary, the world’s largest walk-in aviary with over 600 birds.
2 pm: Chinatown
While exploring Singapore’s largest historic district, Chinatown is your entry to the Chinese way of life, if you haven’t been to China yet. Its multi-hued colonial buildings are a gentle reminder of the beautiful past. Right below the buildings, stalls sell ‘I visited Singapore’ goods. If Chinese food is on your mind, this is your stop–think streets lined with street food, think Singapore’s most popular local dishes: chicken rice and crab curry.
4 pm: Burmese Temple:
Walk into the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum, admire its architecture and enjoy a few moments of peace. Located in Singapore’s bustling Chinatown, this is exactly what it sounds like: a temple and museum that houses a treasured relic purported to be the tooth of Buddha. Admission is free.
5pm: Merlion Park:
Located near Marina Bay, the park is home to Singapore’s iconic Merlion statue—a half-fish, half-lion. And while you are clicking selfies with the Merlion in the background, on a hot and humid day, don’t forget to sample Singapore’s popular $1SGD ice-cream from the carts around the park. On the other side of Merlion Park is Esplanade Theater, which features a concert hall and a theatre. Merlion Park also offers great cityscape views across the water.
6pm: Marina Bay
The best time to get here is an hour before sunset. Stroll along the promenade at Marina Bay that leads up to the Marina Bay Sands Hotel. An architectural masterpiece, the hotel is taller than the Eiffel Tower. Purchase a ticket to the observation deck on the 56th floor. Be mesmerised by the spectacular skyline of the city, enjoy the cool breeze or watch people swim in the Sky Park pool, which has a vanishing edge. From here, Singapore sparkles and shines.
11 pm: Clarke Quay
This is where the Singapore night life is. Don’t get here before 11pm because that’s when the party begins. The waterfront godowns now play host to a colourful kaleidoscope of restaurants, wine bars, entertainment spots and retail shops. The restaurants offer various cuisines—Chinese, Italian, Mediterranean and local food and beer, as well. Perfect way to call it a night!
9 am: Singapore Zoo
Operated by Wildlife Reserves Singapore, the Singapore Zoo uses moats and beautifully landscaped glass-fronted enclosures to house some 2,800 animals. 28 hectares (69.2 acres) of land is divided into more than a dozen regions, featuring 216 species, including rare and endangered ones. Touch a snake and have breakfast with the orangutans. Photographic opportunities, of course, abound. Other highlights include feeding programs, elephant and pony rides, animal shows and a tram ride.
2 pm: Gardens by the Bay
Easy to access by Metro Rail Transit, this is definitely a highlight of the city. Take a leisurely stroll along the domes in the Gardens by the Bay. The eternal spring in the Flower Dome and the artificially created rain forest in the Cloud Dome can leave you awe struck. Gardens by the Bay has three major attractions: Flower Dome, Cloud Forest and OCBC Sky Way with its Light and Sound Show.
4 pm: Sentosa Island
This is a park hopper’s delight, but only if you have a whole day or at least 4 hours to visit at least one of the parks. Universal Studios, Sea Aquarium, Underwater World and Dolphin Lagoon, Butterfly Park and Insect Kingdom—choices are many, but time is a luxury. So make a smart choice and hop over to the park that will give you a lifetime of memories!