Because for the urban traveler with business and global acumen, Singapore is the place to be.
Singapore is one of the most urbanized country in Asia, so no doubt, I knew I had to visit it one day. Singapore is a sovereign city-state located in Southeast Asia, south of Malaysia. Due to its dense population with over 5.6 million people, Singapore is also very culturally diverse, with many practicing different religions (such as Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Taoism, Hinduism, etc.). While their national language is Malay, the country’s four official languages English, Mandarin, Malay and Tamil. Singapore uses the Singapore dollar (SGD) as currency.
Continue reading to see some tips and how I spent my first day (and the rest of my trip) as a first time traveller to Singapore!
We flew into Singapore’s Changi Airport mid-day, so we really only had half a day to explore. After we checked in to our hotel to freshen up and leave our luggage in the room, we headed off to our first spot!
Tip: Consider getting an EZ-link tourist pass that lets you travel unlimited for a specific period of time. Then, you won’t have to worry about insufficient funds, especially when you’re not good with directions (like me!).
Since it was our first time in Singapore, we decided to join the Singapore Foot Prints tour which is led by student volunteers. The tour is approximately 2.5 hours long and is a great way to get an overview of the city and communicate with locals. Best of all, it’s free! We met our tour guides (2 young ladies studying hospitality in university) in front of the subway station, and we started our tour of the Bras Basah and Bugis precinct.
First stop is the cute building that is the Jacob Ballas Centre and The Jewish Welfare Board, which provides support for Jewish people who travel or live in Singapore. First look at the multicultural population in Singapore.
Address: 24-26 Waterloo Street, Singapore 187950
Next stop is the Singapore Art Museum, housed inside a beautiful building that used to be a school. Open from 10am to 7pm.
Address: 71 Bras Basah Road, Singapore 189555
Next stop, is St Joseph’s Church, with a Gothic Revival architecture and latin cross. It is a Roman Catholic church built by the Portuguese Mission.
Address: 143 Victoria Street, St. Joseph’s Church, Singapore 188020
We continue to walk down Waterloo St, which is a long street in the heart of Singapore and passes many attractions and landmarks – great for first time travellers! We passed by the Fortune Centre, which is a commercial building. Nothing special there, but houses many eateries inside and in nearby buildings.
We reached the Sri Krishnan Temple, South Indian Hindu temple worshipping the Hindu deity Sri Krishna.
Due to Singapore’s multiculturalism and the temple’s proximity to another Chinese temple, many Chinese devotees come to worship at this temple as well.
Address: 152 Waterloo Street, Krishnan Temple, Singapore 187961
A minute away is the Kuan Yin Thong Hood Cho Temple, a Chinese temple that worships the Goddess of Mercy. The temple is usually busy and crowded with many devotees offering joss sticks and praying.
Address: 178 Waterloo Street Kwan Im Temple, Singapore 187964
Afterwards, we head towards the Bugis Street market, the biggest market in Singapore where people come to bargain for the cheapest souvenirs, accessories, clothes, electronics, housewares and cosmetics. Although very crowded, the market also offers lots of food options. You’re bound to find something here!
Address: 4 New Bugis St, Singapore 188868, Singapore
We had dinner and did some shopping after our tour ended, and decided to spend the rest of the night at Marina Bay Sands, where we saw the iconic hotel (the one that looks like ‘pi’). The building that looks like a flower beside the hotel is the ArtScience Museum.
We walked around the Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, and had some more late night food. The complex was filled with high end stores, and was beautiful and air-conditioned.
Address: 10 Bayfront Avenue Marina Bay Sands, Singapore 018972
We stayed for the Spectra Light and Water show, just outside the shopping complex along the promenade. The show explored the multicultural side of Singapore and beautifully complemented Singapore’s skyline. Best of all, the show is free. I enjoyed it and would definitely recommend this 15 minute show to anyone visiting Singapore for the first time.
The show times are 8pm and 9 pm everyday, and an additional show at 10pm on Friday and Saturdays.
And this concludes my first day in Singapore! Follow me to be updated on my new adventures!
And in case you missed it, check out my full Singapore itinerary:
Singapore Day 2
Singapore Day 3
Singapore Day 4
Singapore Day 5