24 Hours in Singapore: Quick and Concise Guide to do it right!

So you have found yourself in Singapore, on a layover, because well – that happens quite a lot.

I found myself at the airport wondering what I could do in such a short period of time, not wanting to miss out on everything that this metropolis of a City-State had to offer so I googled articles furiously,  only to find that many of them were either outdated or featured way too many things to accomplish an a short period of time.  I ended up enlisting the help of the VERY knowledgable concierge at the Four Seasons Singapore (where they had graciously put me up), and referenced a local friend of mine, and ended up with a much more concise list which you can find below.  There is no reason to do any of these in any particular order, but this is the order in which I did them.  You won’t be rushed, but you’ll certainly have a great time exploring Singapore in a single day!  I also have made no assumptions about what part of the day you’ve had 24 hours to spend, so you might want to start and end at a certain spot, but just know that Singapore is more or less a 24 hour city so many things are open late except for some of the parks!


  1. HAWKER MARKETS: So there are quite a few of these, and by hawker market, they mean markets where people “hawk” items.  In Singapore, the most famous of these are the food hawker markets.  Now it just so happened that the one I wanted to go to initially was closed (The Tiong Bahru Market).  Luckily, there are many more – and the one which I ended up in was the Maxwell Food Centre Hawker Market.  This is one of the more famous ones, with over 100 stalls, and is centered right in Chinatown.  You might ask, should I walk around Chinatown?  My answer is – no – if you’ve been to one Chinatown, you probably know what you’re gonna see in another one.  However, the Maxwell Food Centre Market had some of the most delicious and cheapest noodle soups I have ever had.  Don’t wait in line for the “famous” chicken and rice here, because the truth is, there’s a ton of places around Singapore that you can get this famous dish and there’s no reason to waste your precious 24 hours with 30-45min in line here.  
  2.    TIONG BAHRU BAKERY: So you want pastries?  Well, I’m not particularly a pastry type of person, but then I came here.  Known for their caffeinated concoctions along with their incredible croissants and Kouign Amann’s, this place is a must drop by spot.  There’s not much to say except for, have a pastry, get one to go if you must, but don’t skip this bakery, they make some incredible concoctions.  I thought that a croissant was a croissant was a croissant, until I came here.  Keep in mind they have THREE locations, so just choose the one closest to you, knowing that one of them closes later than the other two.

    This is carb heaven
  3. THE GARDENS BY THE BAY:  I usually love museums, but many times one can get burnt out going to them, because unless you are deeply attached to the exhibit, things can get dull very quickly (all you Art History majors/buffs please don’t hate mail me on this).  The Gardens by the Bay is a great exception.  There are actually multiple exhibits here but the two which I believe are worth your time are the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest.  The Flower Dome is really a quick walkthrough of an incredibly intricate (and really great smelling) indoor flower garden, while the Cloud Forest is Singapore’s rendition of a vertical forest.  You’re going to want to spend some time in the Cloud Forest, because there’s a fun walkway that takes you through the interior and exterior of the vertical growth as you explore all the exhibits hidden throughout the zig-zagging path.  There’s really nothing quite like it and out of everything in Singapore, this probably “wow’ed” me the most.

    It’s exactly what they call it, a forest in the clouds, and its pretty darn impressive
  4. RAFFLES CITY (Plaza): So you’ve heard of Raffles City, named after the famous Standford Raffles who had the vision to put Singapore on the map as a mercantile trading capital of the world.  Raffles City and the nearby Plaza is a mix of modernity and history, with some really cool architecture that is a pure throwback to the colonial days, mixed in with newer hotels and office spaces.  It is certainly a great place to just stroll and take in Singapore, with a mix of restaurants nearby (if you still happen to be hungry).  Of course it’s worth stopping by to have a cold concoction at the original home of the Singapore Sling at the Raffles Hotel, but DO NOT actually order the Singapore Sling.  It’s a jumbled mess of pure sugar with no complexity or redeeming value, and overly priced at that.

    The Colonially Famous Raffles Hotel


  5.   THE MARINA BAY SANDS: Not quite sure what kind of architectural statement the developers of the Marina Bay Sands were trying to make, but one thing is for certain, up close the hotel is pretty awe-inspiring.  It resembles a ship on stilts, or a bauhaus designed flower planter.  It’s definitely worth checking out this hotel and having high-noon tea at the restaurant upstairs.  The view is worth the price of admission alone, and being such an iconic part of the skyline – the Marina Bay Sands should be on every visitor’s list.  There’s a pool and two bars upstairs, but most of it is inaccessible except for hotel guests, but don’t let that stop you from visiting the bars and enjoying the glass balconies and the views they impart.

    It’s an iconic building, so go see it!


    I’m sure I have missed a thing here or there, and there will always be some degree of argument about what bakery or hawker market is best, but lets just say after visiting a few failed spots from some other lists, this one did me good on my quick excursion into Singapore.  Oh, and if you’re wondering about transportation, I recommend taking taxis or Ubers, because as great as the public transportation is, it’s just that much quicker to taxi from spot to spot.


REVIEW: The Four Seasons Singapore

The Four Seasons in Singapore is not the newest hotel, nor is it in the famed “Raffles” district of the tiny city-state, but after a quick stay at this property, I realized that none of that matters.

For a property that is over 10 years old, the Four Seasons in Singapore is in impeccably great condition.  There is a great attention to detail in keeping everything clean and well-maintained, from furniture that looks like it was just installed this last year, to bathrooms that have been re-grouted to keep up their appearance, I was very surprised that this property looked and felt like it was just built.

Furthermore, with staff that were incredibly attentive and polished, I can’t help but recommend the Four Seasons to anyone looking to spend a little time in Singapore.

Oh, and the issue of location?  Well the city is so small, that honestly it doesn’t matter where you stay, because you’ll  be only a few minutes ride away from where you’re trying to go.

The hotel itself has one exceptionally nice feature, which is the rooftop pool.  I personally didn’t get to spend much time here, but watching the sun set over the city from this vantage point was a highlight of being at this property.

The views from up here are pretty spectacular

The rooms themselves are large and luxuriously appointed, and as per usual, the bed was incredibly comfortable.  The colors and decor are nothing that will blow your socks away, but what the rooms lack in singleness they make up for in luxuriousness.

The Rooms – It’s not the most modern of designs, but it sure is luxurious

The lobby bar was a cozy and swanky affair

I would recommend spending some time in the lobby bar, because that is probably my second favorite space in this property next to the rooftop pool.  It is a well put together space, and in a city like Singapore where business is being done everywhere, this is one of those bars you would want to spend some time in while either 1.dealmaking or 2.relaxing.




Hard Product:

-Location (How close is this to top attractions in the surrounding area?) 

It’s not next to some of the major hawker markets or raffles, or the gardens, but Singapore is small so it’s not out of the way either


-Cleanliness (Is the grout in the bathroom clean?  How good is maid service here?)

Not a single thing out of place here.


-Upkeep (Is the hotel in need of a remodel, or is it being constantly kept up?)

For being a property over a decade old, this Four Seasons has been kept in tip top shape


-Public Spaces (How unique/inventive/useful are the public spaces?)

Not a lot of them, but the few that are there are great places to spend time in



Soft Product:

-Service (How good is the service here?)

From in-room check in to personalized greetings for every guest, along with very well trained local staff, I couldn’t have asked for more


-Restaurants On-Site (Are the restaurants on site somewhere even the locals would go to?)

The food was incredible, but Singapore has such great food everywhere that it’s hard to just recommend someone eat at the hotel


-Concierge (Specifically, how effective is the Concierge at helping you with a new locale?)

The concierge service was impeccable


TOTAL: 55/70

(35/70 is average)



  • Great rooftop pool
  • Well maintained
  • Service was impeccable


  • The hotel needs some updating, not that it looks worn in because it doesn’t, but because it’s getting a little long in the tooth


  • This hotel has a light breakfast service in the pool area that is free for guests.  Be sure to take advantage of it!


Check out the Singapore in 24 hours guide!