Day 1: See parks, heartlands, and hills

A view of the verdant lawns at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park
1 Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park

Morning

Move away from the bustling main areas of Singapore and wander into the heartlands instead. Start your day at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park, located at the heartlands of central Singapore. Go for a jog or rent a bicycle to make your way around the 62-hectare park. With grassy banks on both sides of the park’s meandering three-kilometre-long river, there are plenty of spaces for a picnic too.

Aerial shot of HDB flats
2 Toa Payoh New Town

Afternoon

Hop on the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) to go to housing estate Toa Payoh, which is just two stops away. Besides joining the locals at the area’s popular hawker centres at lunchtime, do check out the precinct’s green spots such as the Toa Payoh Sensory Park and the Toa Payoh Town Park.As for food, try Hokkien mee (stir-fried prawn noodles) at Kim Keat Hokkien Mee—located at Lorong 4 Toa Payoh.

Shophouses along Emerald Hill Road, with Orchard Gateway in the background
3 Emerald Hill Road

Evening

On the other hand, if you happen to be in the city, try hitting up areas like Emerald Hill on Orchard Road. This little enclave may be known for its vibrant nightlife scene, but take a closer look at the buildings and marvel at the beautiful architecture as well.

Day 2: Island hop and Satay by the Bay

Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore, passenger waiting area
4 Singapore Island Cruise

Morning and afternoon

Embark on an island-hopping journey with Singapore Island Cruise, situated just above the Marina South Pier MRT station. Sail to the southern islands, such as St John’s Island and Kusu Island, to take a break from the hectic city life. When you’re there: soak up the sun, enjoy a picnic on the sandy beach, explore the island's many winding tracks or simply laze the day away by the lagoon.

Once on St John’s Island, head to the right from the pier after alighting from the ferry. This is where you’ll find a perfect picnic spot by the lagoon. Or turn left from the pier to make your way straight to Lazarus Island for unspoilt beaches, which are about a 20-minute leisurely walk away.

Then, hop on the ferry for your next stop at Kusu Island, also known as Tortoise Island in Chinese. Start with the Da Bo Gong Temple, which was built in 1923, before making your way up 152 steps to the three Malay keramat (shrines) dedicated to a pious family from the 19th Century.

You can also visit the tortoises of the Tortoise Sanctuary; the same creatures that give Kusu Island its Chinese name.

Close up of man fanning satay
5 Satay By The Bay

Evening

Ready your appetites for a scrumptious feast over at Satay by the Bay. To get here, take the MRT from Marina South Pier to Bayfront, then walk over to Gardens by the Bay, where this iconic open-air hawker centre is situated.

Sample classic creations like satay (grilled skewered meat), char kway teow (stir-fried noodles with cockles and Chinese sausages), and sambal (chilli paste) stingray.

Day 3: Slow down the pace

Bars and restaurants at CHIJMES
6 Coriander Leaf

Morning

After two activity-packed days, it’s time to slow down the pace and take it easy with these fun classes located in the island’s historic districts.

Go for a cooking class at Coriander Leaf, to learn to prepare some uniquely Asian dishes. Demonstration classes at Coriander Leaf vary widely from South Asian cuisine to the best of Singapore hawker favourites, so do check the schedule on the website to find the right class for you.

Shophouses with the Pinnacle@Duxton in the background
7 Yixing Xuan Teahouse

Afternoon

After the delicious food, make your way for a tea appreciation session at Yixing Xuan Teahouse. Find out more about the fine art of Chinese tea making as well as its storied history during this informative one-hour session, then bring home a souvenir of your experience with the tea paraphernalia on offer at the teahouse.

Dempsey Hill signage
8 Beauty Emporium

Evening

In the evening, end your day at the cosy Dempsey Hill, where you’ll find a varied array of restaurants, bars as well as boutiques and spa services. Be sure to go for a soothing spa, massage or manicure at Beauty Emporium at House before your meal, for some pampering downtime. After exploring the hidden gems of the city, you’ve earned it.

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