Entry into the country
If you are traveling to Singapore in transit and have a ticket to a third country, you can enter on a transit visa, which is valid for 96 hours. This works according to the rule of, for example, Indonesia - Malaysia - Singapore - Indonesia. In other words, the route Indonesia - Singapore - Indonesia does not qualify for transit.
When passing through immigration, you will need to fill out an entry form, and there is a stand with a QR code near the customs control area for this purpose. It's a straightforward process with a few standard questions.
A tourist visa for Singapore is typically issued for one month and should be applied for in advance.
BaliForum recommends the agency LegalIndonesia for processing a visa to Singapore. The processing time can be as short as two working days. The cost of the service starts at 1,900,000 Indonesian Rupiahs. The exact processing time and cost may vary depending on the applicant's nationality.
Airbnb is illegal in Singapore, and tourists are only allowed to stay in hotels. The prices for hotels in Singapore have increased recently, with an average price of $160 in the city center. Budget accommodations are typically found in ethnic neighborhoods of the city, with Chinatown being one of the most developed and popular areas. Here are approximate daily prices:
Hotel Clover the Atrs - 180$
Hotel 1888 Collection - 223$
Concorde Hotel Singapore - 294$
Carlton City Hotel - 358$
Hotel Traveltine - 252$
Parkroyal on Beach Road - 285$
Three-day route. The first day
You can start your exploration of the city at the National Gallery. The 2nd and 3rd floors house a permanent art collection featuring paintings by Southeast Asian artists. I also recommend strolling through the ground floor, where you'll find a nice cafe, a children's area, and a shop with interesting souvenirs. Afterward, when you exit, turn right, walk alongside the Gallery towards the waterfront and the Old Parliament House. Pass by the Art House, and you'll reach the waterfront near the Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles statue (the English gentleman considered the founder of modern Singapore). Across from there is Boat Quay, lined with old shops and many excellent seafood restaurants.
Continuing on your journey, head to the left towards the Fullerton Hotel. Cross the bridge to the side of the hotel, and after crossing the road, make your way to the Merlion (the symbol of the country).
After Merlion there are 2 options:
1. Head to Chinatown - it's the most informative and well-maintained of all the ethnic districts in the city. Explore two beautiful temples - the Hindu Goddess Mariamman Temple and the Buddhist Buddha Tooth Relic Temple (the most beautiful Buddhist temple in the country).
Wander through colorful streets and shop for souvenirs. Try durian fruit; fruit stalls are located right on the street. You can have lunch at the numerous cafes on the tourist streets of Chinatown.
2. Head to the Fountain of Wealth. It's located at the Suntec City financial center, so people make wishes related to financial prosperity there. It was built in 1995 and in 1997 was listed in the Guinness World Records for its impressive size. You can have lunch at the nearby food court next to the Fountain.
After exploring the ethnic quarter, head back to the city center to the famous Marina Bay Sands (MBS) hotel and visit the most beautiful park in Singapore, Gardens by the Bay, with its Avatar-like trees called the SuperTree Grove.
Next, make your way to the large glass conservatories, the Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest. The Flower Dome features a changing display in its central flower bed every month, while the Cloud Forest houses a permanent exhibition and boasts the world's tallest man-made waterfall at 35 meters. The ticket price for both conservatories is $53, but you can also buy tickets separately and online. There's another beautiful conservatory called Floral Fantasy, which is quite small, and you can find it within the park as well.
In the evening, you can go up to the observation deck of the Marina Bay Sands hotel or take a ride on the Singapore Flyer, a giant Ferris wheel.
There are two evening shows in the city center: one at 7:45 PM at the SuperTree Grove, where the Avatar-like trees are, and another at 9:00 PM called Spectra, which takes place along the waterfront near the entrance to the Marina Bay Shopping Centre. These shows offer spectacular light and music performances against the backdrop of the city's skyline.
After the shows, you can have dinner near the "trees" at cafes like SuperTree Dining, which are located on the left side, or you can go through the Marina Bay Sands hotel to the Marina Bay Shopping Centre. There, on the lower floor, you'll find a food court with a wide selection of dishes, with prices per portion averaging around $10. If you're looking for something more upscale, there are open-air establishments along the waterfront with a variety of cuisines, including the upscale restaurant The Bird and the more casual Gastronomia.
If you still have energy left, you can head to one of the rooftop bars to enjoy delicious cocktails with a view.
Ce la Vi, located on the rooftop of the Marina Bay Sands hotel, offers stunning views of the city skyline and is known for its vibrant atmosphere.
Level 33, situated on the 33rd floor along the central waterfront, provides a unique view of the Marina Bay area.
Mr. Stork, on the 39th floor of the Andaz hotel, offers a more laid-back atmosphere with its rooftop garden setting.
The second day
The territory of the Singapore Zoo is very large - it's a national reserve where animals live in as natural conditions as possible. You can get there either by taxi (which will be the easiest) or by metro. If you choose the metro, it's the Ang Mo Kio station on the red line. When you exit the metro, head to the Bus Interchange and take bus number 38 to the last stop, which takes about an hour. The overall complex includes the Night Safari, River Safari, and the Bird Park as well. The Zoo opens at 8:30, and you can purchase tickets on-site or online as a combined ticket for all the parks on their website.
After lunch, in the late afternoon.
If you're not planning to stay for the Night Safari or visit the Bird Park, which has been part of the main zoo since 2023, then you can head back to the city center and visit the ArtScience Museum, located near Marina Bay Sands. This museum is shaped like a giant lotus and is known for its fascinating exhibitions in robotics, space, modern technology, and features a captivating permanent exhibition called "Future World." Ticket prices range from $15 to $21 depending on the exhibition, and the museum operates until 7:00 PM, with ticket sales ending at 6:00 PM.
To get to the entertainment island of Sentosa, you can take a taxi or the metro with a transfer to the monorail. The metro station is called HarbourFront.
If you have purchased a Tourist Pass or Ezlink card for the metro, you can use it to enter. If you used single-use tickets or haven't used the metro at all, you'll need to pay for the monorail ride at the ticket counter on the third floor.
There are three monorail stops on Sentosa:
Waterfront Station - where you'll find Universal Studios and the main entertainment area. If you're only interested in the entertainment part and don't plan to visit the beach area, you don't need to go all the way to the last station.
Universal Studios operates until 7:00 PM, with ticket sales ending at 5:45 PM. Tickets can be purchased online, and there are special tickets for the express queue, which moves faster than the regular one. The park can indeed have long wait times for attractions.
If you have the desire to explore the island further, you can take a couple more stops to the end station, Beach Station. Here, you'll find the beaches, including Palawan, Tanjong, and Siloso. Palawan is worth a visit to see the southernmost point of Continental Asia. You'll need to walk across a suspension bridge to reach the wooden huts.
Siloso Beach is the most entertaining, with plenty of activities and seaside cafes. There's also a cable car station here.