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Singapore may be one of the most expensive cities to visit, but you don’t have to spend a lot to see the beautiful city.
The majority of the attractions are located southern part of the city, and you can move around the city with its efficient public transportation system.
Whether you are visiting Singapore for a few days or you currently live in the city, you can tour the best sites in two days without spending a lot of money.
Keep reading and I’ll show you exactly how to maximize 2 days in Singapore and seeing the most iconic attractions on a budget.
Before you visit Singapore
Before you visit Singapore, take a look at my Singapore solo travel guide. I included recommendations for must-see attractions and ideas on where to stay and where to eat in Singapore. And if you need more ideas, I have a list of 17 free things to do alone in Singapore.
Travelling Solo in Asia? Visit Hong Kong!
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Tips for spending 2 days in Singapore
Taking Singapore Mass Rapid Transit (MRT)
Two days isn’t a lot of time in Singapore, but it might be just enough for any solo travellers to see all the best sites in the city.
With my 2 day Singapore itinerary, it is best to see the city by taking the subway system, Singapore Mass Rapid Transit (MRT).
MRT is an efficient transit system where it can get you from point A to point B efficiently and in the air-conditioned subway train. Take a look at the map and get yourself oriented before hopping on the subway.
And if you get a 2 day Singapore Tourist Pass for SGD$26 (SGD$10 is a refundable rental deposit), you can take unlimited public transportation during your time in Singapore.
Alternatively, you can use the EZ-link card and pay individual subway ride. The EZ-link card can be purchased at the MRT station or any 7-Eleven.
Throughout my post, I will give tips on how to take the MRT.
However, Grab is also very affordable in Singapore as well. You can hire a car for very little money, and you can order a car directly from your smartphone. Download the Grab app and start using the service.
My efficient and budget-friendly 2 days Singapore itinerary
Wondering what to do in Singapore in 2 days? I put together a comprehensive itinerary that will allow you to see the best sites in Singapore in just 48 hours. And not to mention, my itinerary is efficient and budget-friendly.
All the attractions mentioned in this blog are pinned in the interactive map below. Follow the numbers and colours of the pins. And you can find more information about each attraction by clicking on the individual pin.
Things to do in Singapore in 2 days: Day 1 (blue pins)
1. Try Michelin recommended local food at Hong Lim Market & Food Centre
Foodies will be delighted in Singapore! Local food is delicious and very cheap. And most of the good food can be found at hawkers centre (similar to a food court in western countries).
Locals like to eat various types of food in the morning. From soft boiled eggs with toasts to stir-fried noodles, you will find something you want at the hawker centre.
And the best place to get your taste buds going is by eating at Hong Lim Market & Food Centre. Some of the best Michelin recommended places include:
- char kway teow at Outram Park Fried Kway Teow Mee (Michelin Bib Gourmand 2019)
- bak chor mee at Tai Wah Pork Noodles (Michelin Bib Gourmand 2019)
- chicken curry noodles at Ah Heng Curry Chicken Bee Hoon Mee (Michelin Bib Gourmand 2019)
- laksa at Famous Sungei Road Trishaw Laksa (Michelin Bib Gourmand 2019)
- peanut butter pancake at Granny’s Pancake
Don’t worry if you want to try everything because they are all so delicious! And you will need the energy for a full day of touring around Singapore.
How to get to Hong Lim Market & Food Centre
Take the MRT to Chinatown Station (NE4/DT19) on the north-east (purple) line or downtown (blue) line and walk 5 minutes.
2 & 3. Walk along Singapore River to see Boat Quay and Clarke Quay
After a full breakfast, walk towards the Singapore River, where you will find Boat Quay and Clarke Quay.
These two areas have many waterside restaurants and cafes. The area is tailored for tourists and is popular for nightlife. But visiting both Boat Quay and Clark Quay during the day is quite lovely, especially for taking photos.
How to get to Boat Quay and Clarke Quay
From Hong Lim Market & Food Centre, walk north for about 7 minutes, and you will see Boat Quay by the river.
And Clarke Quay is a 10-minute west of Boat Quay.
4 & 5. Take photos at several famous Instagram spots in Singapore
Singapore has many Instagram-worthy spots, including The Jewel, Gardens by the Bay, ArtScience Museum and many more.
One of my favourite Instagram spots is the Old Hill Street Police Station (see photo above). The rainbow facade of the building is eye-catching and one-of-a-kind.
Also, visit the Tree Tunnel at Fort Canning Park (see my Instagram photo). It is a popular Instagram spot, as many people would queue for the perfect picture. The photo is best taken with a wide lens where you can capture the entire tunnel and with the trees and sky above.
How to get to Old Hill Street Police Station and Tree Tunnel at Fort Canning Park
The Old Hill Street Police Station is not far from Clarke Quay. The walk is less than 5 minutes.
And Fort Canning Park is just northwest of the rainbow building. Follow the signs for “tree tunnel” in Fort Canning Park, which is located at the north end of the park.
6, 7, 8, 9 & 10 . Visit all the iconic attractions at Marina Bay
A visit to Singapore is not the same without seeing all the iconic attractions at Marina Bay.
Some of the famous sites include:
- The Merlion, the symbol of Singapore
- Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, also lovingly known as “the Durian”
- Helix Bridge, a metal bridge that resembles the double helix of DNA
- Marina Bay Sands, a hotel that has an infinity pool on the 57th floor
- ArtScience Museum, where the building resembles a lotus flower
Save time by ordering tickets ahead of time!
How to get to Marina Bay
From the Tree Tunnel at Fort Canning Park, the closest MRT station is Bras Basah (CC2) on the circle (yellow) line. Take the subway to Bayfront (CE1) on the circle (yellow) line. You will have to switch the subway train at Promenade (CC4).
11, 12, 13, 15 & 16. See all the highlights of Gardens by the Bay
Perhaps one of the most magical places in Singapore is Gardens by the Bay.
The large outdoor space has many types of gardens, including the Cloud Forest and Flower Dome. The paid exhibits have indoor tropical plants and blooming flowers under the two beautiful domes.
Have an early dinner at Satay by the Bay, a hawker centre at Gardens by the Bay. Get a myriad of food including delicious satays!
During the evening, watch the Garden Rhapsody at 7:45 or 8:45 for a signature light and music show at the Supertree Grove. Go early and find a spot under the giant trees or watch the show from the OCBC Skywalk.
Get your tickets in advance to avoid long queues!
How to get to Gardens by the Bay
Gardens by the Bay is next to Marina Bay. Walking is definitely the way to go.
I would suggest seeing all the activities and grab a bit to eat at Gardens by the Bay, then go to Marina Barrage (next activity) then come back to the Supertree Grove to watch the light and music show.
14. Watch the sunset at Marina Barrage
Marina Barrage has to be my favourite spot in Singapore! It is one of Singapore’s water reservoirs, and it is set in a modern contemporary building.
People bring picnic baskets, fly kites or simply enjoy the view of Marina Bay and all the downtown buildings (see photo above). It is one of the best free activities in Singapore!
How to get to Marina Barrage
From Gardens by the Bay, walk 10 to 15 minutes to Marina Barrage.
The sun sets around 7 pm in Singapore. But go early and enjoy the outdoor space and take photos.
Also, give yourself enough time to walk back to Gardens by the Bay to watch the light and music show at 7:45 pm.
17. Have a drink at one of the alfresco bars at Haji Lane
Known for its colourful street arts, Haji Lane draws visitors and locals to the vibrant little street. Restored houses line both sides of Haji Lane, where you will find boutique stores, bubble tea shops, cafes and restaurants.
How to get to Haji Lane
From Gardens by the Bay, hop on the MRT at Bayfront (DT16/CE1) on the downtown (blue) line and take two stops to Bugis (EW12/DT14).
18. Enjoy a good night’s sleep at Lloyd’s Inn Singapore
Accommodation in Singapore isn’t exactly cheap. But I found an affordable boutique hotel called Lloyd’s Inn Singapore near Orchard Road.
The boutique hotel has 34 rooms on a small property. But the room feels comfortable, clean and modern. It even has a semi-outdoor open concept bathroom.
Check the current rate and availability at Agoda.
How to get to Lloyd’s Inn Singapore
From Haji Lane, take the MRT from Bugis (EW12) on the east-west (green) line, change subway at City Hall (EW13/NS25) to the north-south (red) line. Then take 2 more stops to Somerset (NS23).
Lloyd’s Inn Singapore is about an 8-minute walk from Somerset Station (NS23).
Things to do in Singapore in 2 days: Day 2 (purple pins)
1 & 2. Check out Orchard Road and Peranakan heritage houses on Emerald Hill Road
A complimentary breakfast is included when you stay at Lloyd’s Inn Singapore. But the breakfast is at an offsite coffee shop called Artisan Boulangerie Co. You can enjoy a pastry and coffee there before you start your day of exploring.
First, check out Orchard Road, a glitzy street with many shopping malls. There are many international brand name shops at local boutique stores lining both sides of the street for several blocks.
Singapore has a unique culture that you won’t find anywhere else. It is called Peranakan. It can be seen in food, architecture and everyday life. Check out the Peranakan heritage houses on Emerald Hill Road. This area is part of Singapore’s conservation area and one of the most expensive real estate spots. Take note of the colourful facade and intricate design details.
How to get to Orchard Road and Emerald Hill Road
From Lloyd’s Inn Singapore, Orchard Road is only a few minute’s walk.
And Emerald Hill Road is off of Orchard Road next to The Centrepoint.
3, 4 & 5. Tour around Chinatown
Chinatown is full of souvenirs shops, street art and of course, many eateries. Visit the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, where you can tour the four-storey temple and a museum. Also, check out the intricate design of the Hindu temple, Sri Mariamman Temple.
If you enjoy street art, there are a few scattered in Chinatown. Some of them on the exterior of Chinatown Complex Food Centre and others are on the small streets off of South Bridge Road.
How to get to Chinatown
Take the MRT from Somerset (NS23) on the north-south (red) line to Chinatown Station (NE4/DT19) on the north-east (purple) line. You will have to change subway line at Dhoby Ghaut (NS24/NE6/CC1).
6. Eat a Michelin level Hainanese chicken rice for lunch
Hainanese chicken rice is Singapore’s national dish! Typically, it is a poached chicken dish with seasoned rice served with chilli sauce. And you can find chicken rice anywhere in Singapore!
One of the best chicken rice is Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice at Maxwell Food Centre. For SGD$5, you can get a medium size Michelin level chicken rice. Yup, this hawker stall is part of Michelin Bib Gourmand 2019 guide!
How to get to Maxwell Food Centre
Maxwell Food Centre is only a few minute’s walk from Chinatown.
7, 8, 9 & 10. Explore Sentosa Island
Day two is about choices. Either spend the afternoon wandering around the island of Sentosa or going to Universal Studios Singapore, the first theme park in Southeast Asia.
If you want to experience a bit of nature in the city, then spend the afternoon exploring Sentosa Island, the south part of Singapore, where the island has various outdoor activities, including several beaches, hiking trails.
Follow the signs for Imbiah Trail where the hiking path will lead you to the west end of the island. There is a lookout point on the path and a waterfall.
Then walk the Fort Siloso Skywalk and explore Fort Siloso, a well-preserved fort. Then walk back towards the south until you reach Siloso Beach.
Follow the Beach Walk path until you see another beach, Palawan Beach. Here you will find the southernmost point of continental Asia.
How to get to Sentosa Island
Get back on the MRT at Chinatown Station (NE4/DT19) and go to the end of the north-east (purple) line. Alight at HarbourFront Station (NE1/CC29).
Then exit to VivoCity (shopping centre) and follow the signs for Sentosa Island.
Either take the Sentosa Express (not included in the Singapore Tourist Pass) for SGD$4 from the third level of VivoCity and alight at Imbiah Station. Or walk across the Sentosa Broadwalk for free.
FYI: Sentosa Express is free when you leave Sentosa. Hop on the monorail from any station (Resorts World, Imbiah or Beach Station) on Sentosa Island and ride the monorail back to VivoCity for free.
11. Experience some of the most exciting rides at Universal Studios Singapore
If you want to spend half a day at a theme park and enjoy some of the most thrilling rides, then you have to visit Universal Studios Singapore (USS).
USS is the first theme park in Southeast Asia where it has 28 exciting rides, attractions and shows in seven themed zones. The Transformers The Ride: The Ultimate 3D Battle was such a fun (and dizzy) ride! And the Battlestar Galactica: Human vs Cylon was simply out of this world!
To save some time, order your online so you can avoid the long queues.
How to get to Universal Studios Singapore
Go to Sentosa Island the same way mentioned above.
If you take the Sentosa Express, alight at Resorts World Station (first stop) for USS.
Or you can walk across the Sentosa Broadwalk for free. Just follow the signs for USS when you reached Sentosa.
12. Enjoy a Peranakan dinner at Tanjong Pagar
Tanjong Pagar is an area full of excellent restaurants and cafes. Choose from a variety of cuisine including Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Singaporean and Peranakan.
If you have never had Peranakan cuisine, I would recommend The Blue Ginger Restaurant. Try their beef rendang (stewed beef in a spicy sauce) and ayam buah keluak (chicken braised in a tamarind sauce).
How to get to Tanjong Pagar
From VivoCity, take the MRT at HarbourFront Station (NE1/CC29) on the north-east (purple) line, change subway train at Outram Park (EW16/NE3/TE17) for the east-west (green) line and alight at Tanjong Pagar Station (EW15).
The Blue Ginger Restaurant is a few minute’s walk from Tanjong Pagar Station.
13. See the world’s tallest indoor waterfall at The Jewel
Before you leave Singapore, find the world’s tallest indoor waterfall at the Jewel at Changi Airport. The HSBC Rain Vortex is a 40-meter high waterfall surrounded by an indoor garden.
And if you are at the Jewel before April 2020, you can see teamLab’s colourful lights in the Shiseido Forest Valley.
And if you are at the Jewel in the evening, there are free light-and-sound shows between 7:30 and 11:30 pm.
How to get to the Jewel
Changi Airport is at the end of the east-west (green) line. Take the MRT to Changi Airport Station (CG2) and follow the signs to the Jewel.
For more travel planning resources, check out my Amazon picks:
How are you going to see Singapore?
I hope you enjoyed my 2 days Singapore itinerary. I really put a lot of thought into what one should see especially if it is your first time in the city. And I also included a lot of transportation tips and places to eat. Moreover, I made sure everything on the itinerary is budget-friendly because it helps to save a bit in this expensive city.
If you are travelling solo in Singapore and trying my Singapore itinerary, let me know what you like about the 2-day plan. Or anything that can be improved. Leave your comments below.