A reader is coming to Singapore and emailed me her Singapore itinerary for 9 days to take a look and suggest improvements. I thought it would benefit more people if I replied to her in a post. So with her permission, here’s her itinerary and questions.
- First Day: Arrive at Changi Airport in the evening, transfer and check in to a 4* or 5* hotel near City Centre.
- Day 2-5: 4 night stay at the hotel and cover mainland Singapore in 3 full days
- Day 5-8: Check out early morning, transfer to Sentosa and check in to Sentosa hotel for a 3 night stay. And cover USS, Adventure Cove, Sentosa attractions in 2.75 days
- Day 8-9: Check out early morning, transfer to Marina Bay Sands for a 1 night stay just for the infinity pool!
- Day 9: Check out and transfer to Changi Airport late evening
Before I answer the reader’s questions, here are two useful links. For the different options for Changi Airport Transfer, you can refer to this post: travel.joogo.sg/singapore-changi-airport-transfer. And there are other posts I’ve written about Sentosa and Singapore. You can browse them under ‘Singapore’ tag: travel.joogo.sg/tag/singapore
So here are the questions:
Q: Is a 4+3+1 break-up advisable? I don’t want to get rooted to a single hotel 7 days in a row.
- Singapore is not that big, so I don’t think it’s worth the hassle to change hotel 3 times in a week.
- But understanding that you want to use Marina Bay Sands (MBS) infinity pool that’s accessed only by hotel guests but don’t want to stay for 5 nights in MBS, the break up into 3 hotels might be your next best option.
- However, if you are okay not to use the pool but simply to enjoy the great view, another option is to simply buy tickets to Sands Skypark Observation Deck (9:30am to 10pm, or until 11pm on Fri – Sun).
Q: Where do you suggest we stay in Singapore? Our budget is flexible and we want comfort so 4* or 5* properties would be best. Is it worth staying at Sentosa? I’d like to be able to get up early and walk over to the beach in Sentosa – are there any public beaches? Right now my choices are Park Royal on Pickering and Hard Rock Sentosa.
- Your hotel choices are good: ParkRoyal on Pickering and Hard Rock Sentosa. You might want to consider Dorsett Singapore as well. The hotel is linked to Outram MRT interchange and can easily bring you to many places of interest in Singapore. It’s near to Chinatown.
- As for Sentosa, I’ve stayed at Hotel Michael, but Hard Rock and Equarius hotel are said to be better hotels (and of course more expensive). But since you are not going to be in the hotel all the time, Hotel Michael should suffice. You can read my review on Hotel Michael to decide for yourself. These three hotels are linked to one another under the area managed by Resorts World Sentosa.
- Because you are going to spend more than 2 days in Sentosa, it is more convenient for you to stay in Sentosa. Moreover, if you like morning walk in the beach, you would be better off staying in Sentosa. Public beaches in Singapore are not that convenient for tourists, unless you take a taxi. If you must, there are East Coast Park and Changi Beach Park among others.
Q: Can breakfast be found elsewhere easily? I noticed breakfast is not free in most hotels I checked so if you know of some place that does offer it, please mention. Whether a room with b/f included is simply room + published b/f rates or does it turn out cheaper?
- Nowadays most hotels worldwide offer prices that include and exclude breakfast, whether on their own websites or at sites like Tripadvisor, Expedia, etc. I guess this is to cater to guests who don’t want to pay extra for the hotel buffet breakfast. It all really depends on your preferences – if you like hotel breakfast buffet or like to hunt for local food.
- To help you in your decision, I would say that in Singapore, it’s quite easy to find breakfast. Do try Ya Kun Kaya Toast when you are in Singapore. Singaporeans have this for breakfast and tea breaks. :)
Activities in Singapore
Q: How to spend our 3 full days in Singapore? One day for animal attractions, and the other two for Merlion, Flyer, Esplanade, Clarke Quay, SG river cruise, botanical gardens, Raffles high tea (if it’s worth it), Fort Canning (is it just a park or is there more to it?).
- First Day: One day for zoo attractions is good.
- Second Day: You can squeeze Merlion, Flyer, Esplanade, Clarke Quay, SG river cruise in a day.
- Third Morning: Singapore Botanic Gardens is quite huge, so it will probably take you a whole morning for the place. Note that SG Botanical Gardens has two different entrances. As for Fort Canning, it is a park with ancient artefacts for history buffs. But since you are going to Sentosa, it might fit your schedule better to explore Fort Siloso and learn about the history of Singapore.
- Third Day:
- Shopping: You can shop at Orchard or if you prefer flea market, Bugis Village. With hundreds of stalls selling from clothes, shoes to food, it is a place to find the cheap and good. Bugis area caters to the younger crowd.
- Cultural Districts: Otherwise explore Little India, one of Singapore’s most vibrant districts that comes with a bohemian vibe. There’s also the famous 24-hour shopping mall Mustafa Centre that offers everything from electronics to groceries. Lastly you can explore Chinatown (which is near to ParkRoyal on Pickering) and enjoy local delights at Chinatown Food Street (along Smith street) for dinner!
- You might find these tourist maps of Singapore’s districts useful.
Q: Are we able to enjoy all the attractions in the zoo area in a day with Park Hopper Pass? i.e. Singapore Zoo, Night Safari, River Safari, Jurong Bird Park. And to get to the zoo, is it better for us to take a taxi or use the Zoo’s Orange/Blue line buses?
- It’s definitely a rush to split your day among 3 parks, and then still go for Night Safari at night. It’s going to be tiring too. Personally, I can spend the whole day at Singapore Zoo. But if you like birds, you probably don’t want to miss Jurong Bird Park. As for River Safari, it’s okay to give it a miss, otherwise, it will only take you an hour or two to finish.
- So you can either spend the morning at the zoo and afternoon at the bird park, or spend the full day at the zoo, leaving 2 hours for River Safari. But you should definitely head to Night Safari.
- The transport to get there depends on the number of people taking the taxi. If you have 4 taking the bus, it will cost you S$24, while it only cost you about S$20-26 to cab from Bugis to the Zoo or S$19-25 from Orchard to the Zoo.
Q: Our last day is reserved for Gardens by the Bay, Light show, Helix bridge, Shoppes and MBS Infinity pool. Is that okay?
- Check out early from Sentosa on Day 8. Because you will need a full day for all these activities.
Q: Is the Raffles High Tea worth it?
- I didn’t try it, so can’t comment. But if you simply want to enjoy tea (desserts being secondary), there are tea rooms in Singapore that you might want to consider: travel.joogo.sg/7-tea-rooms-in-singapore
Activities in Sentosa
Q: We’ve set aside a full day for USS, a full day for Sentosa Fun Pass and 0.75 days for Adventure Cove Water Park. I hope this is fine?
- Yup the full days sound good! As for the waterpark, I’ve not been there personally, but 0.75 days should be good too. If you decided not to go to Adventure Cove, you can consider visiting Sentosa RWS S.E.A. Aquarium. Be sure to take the cable car while in Sentosa to enjoy the view!
Hope my answers will help in your planning! :)