The number of travelers visiting Singapore has boomed over recent years, making the vibrant Asian city an incredibly popular travel destination. A true melting pot of culture and breathtaking views, it is no wonder that those with itchy feet find themselves putting a weekend in Singapore high up on their bucket list!
As Singapore Airport is one of the busiest in the world, you may even find yourself there without planning a trip! Any opportunity to explore the city should be taken and we highly recommend making the most of your layover and booking a weekend in Singapore.
So, whether you are exploring the stunning city by default or by choice, here are our top tips on how to best experience your time.
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Insider Tips for an AMAZING Weekend in Singapore
Let’s dive straight into how you can make the most of your weekend in Singapore with some epic insider tips on where to stay, food to try and places to visit!
The key to the perfect weekend in Singapore is to pick your accommodation carefully and make sure that you are centrally located! Although an island, Singapore is also a very large city! The key then is staying somewhere central in Singapore; that way, you can be close to all of the action!
If you are traveling to Singapore to discover the history and culture of the area, you may want to stay in the colonial district.
Are you a big fan of shopping? Then the Orchard Road area is for you, where the roads are lined with enormous modern shopping malls.
Other popular areas include Marina Bay, the Quays, and the chic area of Bugis and Kampong Glam.
For backpackers there are lots of hostels in Singapore! They are quite varied in terms of style and location, so make sure you do some research before booking one. Be aware that hostels in Singapore can be a bit more expensive than the rest of Southeast Asia as well.
Our Favorite Hostel – Quarters Capsule Hostel
- It is located in the heart of one of Singapore’s central historic districts
- The hostel offers capsule beds, touch screen lockers and ergonomic ladders
The fun, cozy hostel gives guests a chance to sleep in groovy capsule beds! Just a stone’s throw from vibrant nightlife, the hostel in Boat Quay prides themselves on offering comfy beds and friendly staff.
Best Airbnb in Singapore – Attic Hideaway @ Heart of Town
- Walking distance to Singapore’s hottest neighbourhoods and attractions, this clean and contemporary attic hideaway is the best Airbnb in Singapore.
- With modern amenities and a full kitchen, this one-bedroom condo comfortably sleeps up four people and is perfect for anyone looking for a place to stay in the heart of the city.
Our Favorite Budget Hotel – Ibis Budget Singapore Selegie
- It is conveniently located a two-minute walk from Little India MRT station
- The rooftop swimming pool offers epic views of Singapore’s city skyline!
Centrally located and modern in design, the Singapore Selegie is the ultimate budget hotel for travelers wanting to be in the thick of things. As an added bonus – they have a rooftop swimming pool to cool down after a hot day of exploring!
Our Favorite Splurge Hotel – PARKROYAL on Beach Road
- The hotel is surrounded by hidden gems such as the Singapore Art Museum and Suntec City
- Their in-house spa offers a range of traditional Indonesian beauty and body treatments
Priding themselves in “celebrating people”, PARKROYAL on Beach Road is the perfect hotel if you have a little bit of extra money to spend! With an outdoor swimming pool and an award-winning Chinese restaurant, you may find it difficult to leave!
Know How to Get Around in Singapore
Regardless of how central you choose to stay during your weekend in Singapore, chances are that you are going to need to get around the large city!
The fastest and most effective mode of transport is the subway system – locally known as the Mass Rapid Transport (MRT). Named that way for a reason, the MRT offers an easy, quick and comfortable commute around Singapore.
The first train sets off at 5:30 am with the last train’s final journey varying from station to station. There are several different lines that overlap and bypass one another so we suggest that you familiarise yourself with the MRT map over here!
If you are only in Singapore for the weekend, you can buy single trip tickets for as little as $0.60-$1.50ish (USD)! If you plan on staying longer than a day or two, EZ-Link card or a Singapore Tourist Pass which reduces the hassle and allows for unlimited train and bus travel. Prices vary by card so follow the link to find the one that best suits your Singapore weekend itinerary.
The MRT trains are also a handy way of getting to and from the airport but if public transport is not your thing, there are alternative transportation options, such as the traditional airport shuttle.
While Uber does not operate in Singapore, the local equivalent, Grab, is readily available – so make sure to download the app!
As is the case with most big cities – they never sleep! That means that you are in for a treat if you enjoy exploring the nightlife. These are our top picks for the best nightlife in Singapore.
Little Saigon Singapore
- Located in Clarke Quay, the hub of Singapore’s nightlife.
- Encapsulates the Vietnamese style in both food and decor with hanging lanterns and bright colors.
- The live band transforms the restaurant into a fun party place for a mixed crowd!
Living up to its name, Little Saigon Singapore tastefully encapsulates a Vietnamese dining experience by serving an unrivaled authentic menu! Perfectly located in the center of Singapore’s nightlife, the venue converts into a party spot for both young and old!
Some of their signature cocktails that you have to try are the ‘Mekong’ – which blends the exotic flavors of various fruits with Malibu – and the ‘Saigon Kick’ for the more daring.
- The largest club complex in Singapore, Zouk buildings offer the best of Techno, House, R&B, Hip-Hop… get your boogie on!
- The venue boasts seven resident DJs with regular famed international guest artists.
- The decor is innovative, progressive and nothing short of world-class!
Zouk is one of Singapore’s most popular nightclubs, and for good reason! As a pioneering club in Singapore, Zouk was the first to introduce House music into a typically pop culture scene.
You can be a part of propelling Asia’s dance music scene forward when visiting the club on any of their event days! Their normal opening hours are from Sunday to Tuesday and Thursdays from 6 pm to 11 pm, Wednesdays and Fridays from 7 pm to 3 am, and Saturdays from 7 pm to 4 am.
Visit Gardens by the Bay
- The famed garden contains nearly 1,500,000 plants!
- The rain forest of metal trees light up at night in a spectacular performance.
- Gardens by the Bay is accessible by car, bus and train – there is no excuse not to visit!
Are you looking for more of a tranquil night experience? Visiting the gardens promises an unreal and unparalleled experience!
The garden boasts a mesmerizing forest of giant metal trees – known as ‘Supertrees’ – that light up spectacularly and change to the sound of music. The trees tower as high as 165 feet – making the performance that much more incredible! In addition to these shows, the avatar-like trees also house up to 200 species of birds!
Enjoying the fine art of Asian cuisine is a worldwide favorite pastime. There are countless delicious places to visit and experience culinary delight, but these are our top three!
Fine dining experience at Akira Back
- The fine dining restaurant mirrors the style and cuisine of celebrity Michelin-starred chef, Akira Back.
- The innovative dishes fuse Japanese cuisine with Korean flair.
- Akira Back Singapore is one of the chef’s sixteen restaurants in his global portfolio!
Akira Back is a chef loved for his sense of adventure and creativity that he introduces into every dish as he blends Asian and Ameican influences and tastes to create a unique experience. The Singapore restaurant features its own signature menu of contemporary Japanese cuisine blended with a Korean flair.
The restaurant is open for lunch bookings from 12:00 pm to 2:30 pm daily, and for dinner bookings from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm from Sunday to Thursday, and 6:00 pm to 10:30 pm on Friday and Saturdays.
Deliciously comfortable Longtail Asian Brasserie & Bar
- The chic and contemporary restaurant is conveniently located in the popular area of Marina Bay.
- Longtail was named as such because of the iconic longtail boats found in Asian countries such as Vietnam and Thailand!
- The venue offers a more casual and relaxed encounter with a variety of Southeast Asian cuisines.
Longtail Asian Brasserie & Bar is popular for reflecting the same cuisine that the traditional Longtail boat offers – fusing Asian tastes from across the Southeast areas of the continent. Asian street favorites are served in an artistic and modern setting with a buzzing atmosphere.
Signature dishes at the contemporary location include steamed green curry, Vietnamese beef noodle, chicken bao, grilled pork shoulder and sticky rice and Luang Prabang Salad – good luck making your choice of dish!
Singapore hawker experience at Newton Food Centre
- Newton Food Centre is promoted by the Singapore Tourism Board for promoting Singaporean cuisine!
- Over 50 species of flowers have been planted in the food area!
- The lively market has numerous stalls selling seafood and local specialities.
Within walking distance of Newton MRT station, Newton Food Centre is a hub for food stalls, hawkers and different tastes. Travelers can taste a variety of different flavors such as Kwee Heng, Hup Kee fried oyster omelet and Bee Heng.
If Newton Food Centre is your first hawker experience – take care not to be pressured by the vendors. If a stall doesn’t tickle your fancy, simply politely decline, try to haggle your price or follow your nose to the stall that best suits your taste buds!
Did you know that Singapore is considered the best sports city in Asia? If you are a sports lover and find yourself in Singapore for the weekend, here are a few tips on what to do!
Watch the golf at Singapore’s best golf bar – Urban Fairways
- Golf simulators are used to create the ultimate indoor golf game experience.
- The staff at Urban Fairway have been described as nothing short of spectacular!
- There is the option of organizing tournaments for larger groups of people!
Urban Fairways Bar and cafe stays open until 11 P.M. and is the perfect spot for golf fans to watch the golf while enjoying a few drinks and games!
The air-conditioned bar offers exciting indoor golf games using simulators and the latest equipment for your enjoyment. The epic sporting experience gives golfers the opportunity to play at varying difficulty levels on more than 50 world-class golf courses!
Experience the ASEAN Basketball League
- ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) is a professional basketball league in Asia!
- The league typically runs from November to the end of March – this is when things get really exciting!
- The OCBC Arena is the home stadium for the local team, Singapore Slingers.
Basketball is without a doubt one of the most popular sports in Singapore – to both watch and take part in!
The local Singapore Slingers are one of the best teams in the ABL and watching one of their games live will leave you sitting on the edge of your seat.
Tickets are affordably priced at roughly $13 and you can easily get your ticket online. If watching a basketball game is right up your alley – then watching the Singapore Slingers in action is an opportunity not to be missed!
Reach new heights rock climbing at Clip ‘n Climb
- Rock climbing has been gaining popularity in Singapore, with numerous different facilities opening across the city!
- Rock climbing is a great sports activity for the whole family to get involved in!
- Clip ‘n climb was voted the best indoor climbing theme park and promises a great day out!
Indoor rock climbing has skyrocketed in popularity in Singapore, with adults and children alike learning to love the sport!
Clip ‘n Climb is a rock climbing facility that adds a quirky and fun edge to the sport by adding a theme to the entire experience. As an action-packed climbing theme park, you can be sure that your body will get a proper workout while enjoying the colorful climbing challenges of various difficulty levels!
It should come as no surprise that a country as rich in culture and heritage also has a strong pull for those that love music and theatre.
Visit Esplanade Theatres on the Bay
- The Esplanade has hosted over 41,000 shows and 28 million guests over 16 years!
- The Theatre’s stage area is so big that you could park a Concorde aircraft on it – and still have room to spare!
- Their mission is to entertain, engage, educate and inspire through the arts
Esplanade is a charity organization with the aim of bringing the joy and inspiration of the arts to various communities. As Singapore’s national arts center, time and care is invested in hosting the best music, theatre, dance, visual arts and film productions.
In addition to showcasing world-class performances, the Esplanade also offers in-depth workshops on various art forms.
Society meets art at Capitol Theatre
- Capitol Theatre is a historical cinema and theatre
- The theatre was first built in 1929 but has recently undergone redevelopment
- The theatre can accommodate an impressive 977 guests!
The Capitol Theatre was one of Singapore’s finest theatres in the 1930s. Today, visiting the Capitol Theatre will also put you in the middle of a vibrant Piazza with retail stores and several food and beverage outlets to enjoy.
Steeped in history, the Capitol Theatre is now considered an exciting lifestyle destination for theatre lovers and show-goers! The Theatre’s event calendar is full of captivating musical shows, concerts and performances.
Visit Timbre at The Substation to discover local live music
- Timbre at The Substation features great live performances of local bands every night!
- The venue is an open-air venue to keep both your mood and your body cool!
- There is no cover charge for the venue! You only need to pay for your food and drinks!
If you love music and performance but are looking for something a little bit more low-key, then Timbre at The Substation is the place to be! With a daily live performance schedule and no cover charge to enter, Timbre promises a great night out on a budget!
A four-minute walk from the closest MRT station, Timbre can get very full and popular over the weekend – so make sure to get there earlier if you want to grab a seat!
10 Other Awesome Things to do in Singapore This Weekend
These suggestions are only the tip of the iceberg on what Singapore has to offer. There are loads of other cool things to do in Singapore over the weekend.
#1 – Jump on board a night safari
Night safaris are an incredibly popular activity for people to take part in when visiting Singapore! These give you a chance to get close and personal with wild animals of the night. Adjacent to the Singapore Zoo, the wildlife park is open from 7:30 pm until midnight and affords a fantastically eerie experience.
As you wander the footpaths and bridges, you will be afforded the chance of seeing up to 120 species of nocturnal animals such as tigers, fishing cats and alligators!
#2 – Hop over to Sentosa
Are you visiting Singapore for a slightly longer period of time and looking for a great day trip activity? Then a trip to Sentosa, the purpose-built island slightly south of Singapore, comes highly recommended!
Sentosa boasts a collection of beaches, theme parks, shopping and dining experiences all the while enjoying the luxury of a resort getaway. You can easily access the island by the MRT!
#3 – Relax in Singapore’s Botanic Gardens
Singapore’s Botanic Gardens is one of the city’s largest areas of lush green space. Visitors can stroll along the boardwalk through the dense patches of ancient rainforests, relax by one of the three beautiful lakes or join one of the free themed tours of the Gardens which happen on Saturdays.
#4 – See the city from Singapore Flyer
The Singapore Flyer gives travelers an incredible bird’s eye view of the expansive city! A ride on the Singapore Flyer will take you almost 550 feet into the air, allowing riders to absorb the breathtaking vista over Marina Bay for a duration of 30 minutes.
An iconic part of Singapore’s skyline, the Singapore Flyer happens to be one of the world’s largest observation wheels!
- Free WiFi
- Free Breakfast
#5 – Visit the National Museum of Singapore
If you only visit one Museum in Singapore – make sure that it is the National Museum of Singapore! The beautifully designed museum brings Singapore’s history to light through living galleries, multimedia elements and contemporary art installations.
#6 – Stroll through Marina Bay Sands
The Marina Bay is the home to some of Singapore’s most spectacular activities. Marina Bay Sands is the epicenter of the bay and offers a wide variety of wonderful things to do including visit the Science Museum, Casino and mesmerizing light show in the evenings.
#7 – Hike the Southern Ridges
Hiking the Southern Ridges is a popular activity for those that enjoy the outdoors! The Southern Ridges trail is an avant-garde bridge that meanders through the treetops, offering an unreal experience in and amongst the lush greenery, while offering outstanding views of the city’s skyline!
#8 – Pop in at Universal Studios
Divided into seven ‘worlds’, a visit to Universal Studios theme park will give you the opportunity to feel the rush of exhilarating roller coaster rides that are sure to leave your adrenaline pumping and your heart beating hard in your chest!
#9 – Explore Chinatown
The bustling area of Chinatown is one of the most authentic areas in Singapore! Rich in history and buzzing with activity, a visit to Chinatown will present you with some of the tastiest Chinese food, shops with antique trinkets and traditional remedies. Chinatown is a wonderful area to visit for a great day (or night) out in Singapore!
#10 – Shop ‘til you drop on Orchard Road
Orchard Road has a popular reputation as the shopping district in Singapore. If shopping is your thing – then you do not want to miss out on the shopping experience provided by Orchard Road! If your feet need a break, you can always pop into one of the many cafes for a refreshment before continuing your shopping!
Singapore is such a unique and culturally rich city, that you most likely have a million questions before visiting – right? Hopefully, we can answer a few of your more common questions here!
#1. What should I pack for a weekend in Singapore?
- Singapore is a fairly easy destination to pack for as the weather remains consistently warm throughout the year. This means that light cotton shirts and swimming costumes are very necessary items to avoid the heat! For ladies, dresses are a popular choice of clothing as they can easily keep you cool during the day and transform nicely into a nighttime outfit for the warm evenings.
- We would recommend packing a light jacket during the monsoon season to avoid being caught in a tropical rainstorm! It’s a small item that can make a big difference if caught in a downpour!
- Another two side-effects of a tropical climate are mosquitoes and the sun. Be sure to pack sunscreen and mosquito repellent to make sure that you don’t waste time on your short weekend hiding from the sun or swatting insects.
#2. Is Singapore safe for a weekend trip?
Don’t let the lack of security guards or police on the streets of Singapore fool you – the city is one of the safest in Asia!
Singapore is both extremely safe and incredibly clean. It is one of the (sadly) few countries where women feel comfortable to travel solo without concern, and even walk in the streets at night alone. Almost all aspects of the city are considered low-risk areas, from transportation, pickpocket risks and even natural disasters!
With this being said, petty crime is a reality all over the world and it is important to always use your common sense and keep your valuables near you. It is also always advisable to get travel insurance, regardless of the safety of a country, as you never know when you may lose something or run into an unfortunate medical situation.
#3. Can I get an apartment in Singapore for the weekend?
Not only can you easily get an apartment in Singapore for the weekend – but you will be spoilt for choice! From holiday apartments to lofts and penthouses, Singapore’s hospitality extends further than the tourist attractions and you should have no problem finding an apartment in Singapore for the weekend – although we do recommend booking in advance!
There are several booking platforms that are effective for filtering different accommodation options according to your budget, area preference and size of your travel party.
Don’t forget to sort your travel insurance! We’ve put together a roundup of the best travel insurance for travelers, or if you’re low on time, get a quote from World Nomads now, our favourite travel insurance provider.
Final Thoughts on a Great Weekend in Singapore
As you can see, Singapore is an incredible choice for a weekend destination – whether it is part of a larger tour or you are simply using the opportunity of a layover. There are countless things to do, experiences to enjoy and places to visit – not to mention the food available to taste! This list truly only gives a glimpse into the many adventures to be had in Singapore.
We hope that this breakdown on where to stay, things to do, and foods to try has whet your appetite for the adventure of a lifetime in the cosmopolitan Asian city of Singapore!
Yay for transparency! Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means that if you book your accommodation through the site, The Broke Backpacker will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Your support helps me keep the site going.
Need More Inspiration?
- Backpacking Southeast Asia
- Backpacking Singapore on a Budget
- 20 COOLEST Hostels in Singapore
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Writer and Editor, Ana Pereira is a California native, inspired by Earth exploration and introspection. Recently, she spent several months exploring Africa and South Asia. She spends most of her “down-time” out in the wilderness, climbing, hiking, and beyond, and is feverishly passionate about travel and health.