The best thing about visiting Singapore is you can go there for a day or two or a week or a month, and it will still make a mark on you. Amazing, culture-rich, and interesting countries like Singapore have so much to offer that a day is not enough to truly understand it. But if you have one day to visit it, why not make the most out of it? Forget about the usual things like hunting all the Michelin-starred restaurants along Orchard Road or visiting Universal Studios. Those are great, but immersing yourself in Singapore’s history is better.
When you only have a day, it’s easy to stay in your airport hotel room or go around Singapore airport since there are many things to do at Changi Airport. However, aside from doing that, you can also take a glimpse of Singapore. It’s a charming little city with lots of shopping to do, food to taste, and sights to see.
Fort Canning Park
The park is an iconic hilltop landmark that’s the former seat of power in Singapore. It is formerly known as Bukit Larangan or Forbidden Hill. The Majapahit kings of the 14th century and Singapore’s former colonial rulers led from that site. Whether you are a history buff, a music fan, or a nature lover, the park is full of surprises since programs happen all year long. You can reach the park from the famous Orchard Road. It’s best to visit it in the early morning when nature lovers can appreciate the lush greenery of this 18-hectare gem.
There’s a Battlebox Tour for history and food lovers, too. During the tour, you will experience the story behind Fort Canning and its role during the Second World War. Food lovers will also marvel at the Spice Garden Trail, which will take you on a walking trail of spices used in Singaporean cuisine.
National Gallery Singapore
For those who love the arts, you can visit the National Gallery Singapore before lunchtime when the crowd is thin enough. This is the location of the city’s former Supreme Hall and City Court. Today, it houses the world’s largest collection of Singaporean and Southeast Asian art. More than 8,000 art pieces are on display. You will marvel at the well-preserved artifacts and artwork.
If you have money to burn, you can dine in nearby Michelin-starred restaurants. The impeccable plating of French cuisine at Odette will simply wow you. Following health protocols, the dining schedule may be different each day, so it’s best to check with the restaurant directly.
If you don’t have a feel for French cuisine, why not hop to Chinatown for lunch? This area is once home to open houses but is now packed with tourists who want to experience traditional tea houses and visit places of worship. Not to mention, they’re side-by-side with chic boutiques and hole-in-the-wall cafes.
The Thian Hock Keng is the city’s oldest temple, so you may want to book a visit if you are interested in Chinatown’s history. Sri Mariamman Temple is another beautiful sight to behold, thanks to its stone effigies and painted murals. A visit to Singapore’s Chinatown will not be complete without going to Chinatown Complex on Smith Street. There, you can feast in traditional Malay, Indo, and Chinese cuisine.
Sentosa is a modern area for entertainment and relaxation, but understanding the history of Singapore won’t be complete without a trip to the island. Legend has it that Sentosa was once the site of pirates and warrior spirits. Today, it is one of the most famous sites in Singapore. It is home to pristine white sand beaches, luxurious accommodations, and exciting activities for thrill-seekers.
Don’t forget that this is also where Universal Studios and AJ Hackett Sentosa are. You will not miss thrilling adventures while in Singapore since Sentosa is known for fun. You can spend hours here until almost dinnertime.
An evening cruise along the Singapore River will give you more appreciation for this city that you briefly visited. The river has a profound impact on Singapore’s history. After all, it is here where Sir Stamford Raffles disembarked and where Sumatran prince Sang Nila Utama first called it Lion City. Besides history, Boat Quay is home to a range of restaurants, bars, and clubs. You can sample some of the best Singaporean crabs in restaurants around the river.
A day in Singapore will leave you wanting for more. You can always come back and discover more about what makes the tiny city-state the favorite destination for expatriates. Whether it’s history, entertainment, or food you crave, Singapore has something special for you.