Day 1: Get a taste of Peranakan culture

A family learning how to make kueh pie tee at The Intan
1 Katong-Joo Chiat

Morning: Hotel Indigo

Set up camp at Hotel Indigo Singapore Katong, where you’ll be greeted by the refurbished façade of the former Joo Chiat Police Station. The hotel brims with nostalgic charm, with décor and art murals inspired by the culture and heritage of the surrounding Katong-Joo Chiat neighbourhood. 

Make use of the hotel’s family-friendly amenities—the whole clan can take a dip in the rooftop infinity pool, or just relax poolside. Choose to stay in connecting rooms, so there’ll be tonnes of space for the family. The hotel is also a wheelchair-friendly and fully non-smoking property.

Afternoon: Peranakan appreciation

Get acquainted with Peranakan* tradition in the historic neighbourhoods of Joo Chiat and Katong. Head to Rumah Bebe, where you can admire an array of Peranakan beadwork, embroidery and other trinkets in a multitude of vibrant colours.

Then, make your way to a gem of Joo Chiat, The Intan—a heritage house dedicated to conserving Peranakan culture. Sign up for a tour and a spot of tea with The Intan Signature Tea Experience, snack on a variety of Peranakan dishes and homemade kueh (bite-sized desserts) and wander through the carefully conserved antique house. The tea tours can take place at any time of day, and are S$10 per person for a group of six. Book your tour via email or phone (+65 6440 1148).

*The term is an Indonesian/Malay word that means “local born”, which generally refers to people of Chinese and Malay/Indonesian heritage.

Evening: Traditional dining

End the day with some tantalising flavours at Quentin’s Singapore to savour the traditions of this unique cuisine, passed down from generations to chef Quentin Pereira.

If you’re looking to spice things up, try their kari debal (devil’s curry, a traditional Eurasian dish of spicy curry flavoured with candlenuts and vinegar). Originally a dish of humble origins, made from Christmas leftovers like ham and sausages, it pairs savoury meats with gingery and tangy flavours. The latter arises from the blend of onions, lemongrass, turmeric, candlenut and galangal (part of the ginger family) used in this dish. 

Day 2: Enjoy the gardens of Singapore

Shot of the Open Farm Community signage and entrance
2 Singapore Botanic Gardens

Morning/afternoon: A walk in the park

Start the morning in serenity at the Singapore Botanic Gardens and walk amongst beautiful flora at Singapore’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Stop by the Symphony Lake for a family picnic or have some fun in the Learning Forest, which presents an eight-metre-tall Canopy Web that children can climb, as well as a 260-metre boardwalk above the Botanic Gardens’ flora called the SPH Walk of Giants.

You can also grab brunch at one of the Gardens’ many dining places, such as Corner House, The Halia, or Casa Verde. The Singapore Botanic Gardens also provides wheelchair and stroller rental and accessibility.

Evening: Going green

For an unconventional dining experience, make your way to Open Farm Community. Here, you’ll get a first-hand look at Singapore’s budding urban farming community while experiencing the farm-to-table concept that’s a growing trend in Singapore.

Open Farm Community grows their own crops in their urban farm (located right by the restaurant), using freshly-harvested greens as ingredients in their meals. Pro tip: The establishment features a big outdoor recreation space, where you can book a lawn bowling or table tennis session for some family fun.  

Day 3: Learn and create

Band performance at the Esplanade outdoor theatre
3 Marina Bay

Morning/afternoon: Edutainment

Get in touch with your inner culture vulture at the ArtScience Museum™, and feast your eyes on a multitude of exhibitions that highlight and celebrate both art and science. Works that have been featured at the museum include dinosaurs, Andy Warhol, the deep sea, and even the Harry Potter films.

Look out for workshops and special guided tours in line with the museum’s ongoing exhibitions—it’s the perfect opportunity to get the family together for an educational experience. Alternatively, drop by Future World:Where Art Meets Science—a permanent exhibition with beautiful interactive displays that make for family photo opportunities galore.

Evening: Arts and culture

After sundown, take a stroll across the bay via the Helix Bridge to Esplanade–Theatres on the Bay to catch free public performances at the outdoor theatre or concourse. Also check out their event calendar and purchase tickets to performances or shows that catch your eye.

If you’d like to take your arts experience at Esplanade beyond mere observing, the venue also hosts hands-on workshops and educational arts talks. Get the whole family together for a craft-making session, and take home your very own works of art—there’s no better holiday souvenir.

Day 4: See the ‘then’ and ‘now’ of heritage areas

Frontal shot of Masjid Jamae in Chinatown
4 Chinatown

Morning/afternoon: History meets Hip 

Stand at the crossroads of old and new at Chinatown. Here, you can opt to café-hop (for starters, head to Nanyang Old Coffee or My Awesome Café), shop (Pagoda Street promises great souvenir shopping at affordable prices), or explore a variety of historic and sacred sites.

Chinatown is also testament to the melting pot that is Singapore’s culture—you’ll find places of worship of various religions within walking distance of one another, such as the Buddha Tooth Relic TempleSri Mariamman Temple, and Masjid Jamae

Family on the Singapore River Cruise Bumboat with the Central Business District in the background.
5 Singapore River

Evening: River cruises and bus tours

No heritage tour of Singapore is complete without a visit to the Singapore River. The mouth of the river used to be the historic Port of Singapore even before Singapore’s independence, and is where the city first started growing into the global metropolis that it is today.

Take a River Cruise in the evening to enjoy the stunning views (with the sunset as a backdrop, if you go around 7pm) and the buzz of local nightlife in Clarke Quay and Boat Quay. You can also opt for hop-on bus tours such as the City Sightseeing DUCK tours and HiPPO buses which also operate around the area.

Day 5: Shopping and dining in the city

Dishes at Crystal Jade Golden Palace at Orchard Road
6 Orchard Road

If shopping’s up your alley, Orchard Road is the place to be. Start at Plaza Singapura, where you can pick up new threads from G2000, Cotton On, and more.

Make your way to 313@Somerset and Orchard Central for trendy threads and street fashion from brands like Uniqlo, Love Bonito and Zara. If luxury retail is up your alley, consider visiting Paragon, home to world-famous labels like Gucci, Prada and Versace.

Evening: For the foodies

There’s more to Orchard Road than retail therapy. For a real treat, round up the whole brood for a family dinner at any of the Michelin-starred dining destinations in the area.

If the folks are craving for Asian cuisine, book a table at Crystal Jade Golden Palace, which offers family-friendly sharing plates of classic Chinese fare such as roasted suckling pig. 

Day 6: Family fun at Sentosa

Shot of people at a beach in Sentosa
7 Sentosa Island

Morning/afternoon: Play all day 

Get your sunscreen ready and head to Sentosa’s most family-friendly beach, Palawan Beach, for a day of frolicking (or simply lazing) in the sun. If you have a family of adrenaline junkies, head to Universal Studios Singapore for thrilling amusement rides.

Or, take a stroll through the S.E.A. Aquarium™ and marvel at the sharks at the Shark Seas habitat, and the gentle, gliding manta rays of the Open Ocean exhibit.

Evening: Well-earned relaxation

If the kids have been tucked into bed after the day’s activities, get some well-deserved couple-time at Sentosa’s best spas. Unwind and rejuvenate your tired muscles at The Capella Singapore’s Auriga Spa or W Hotel’s AWAY Spa (both spas stay open till 10pm daily). 

Day 7: Go cruising

Drone shot of a cruise ship at Marina Bay
8 Marina Bay Cruise Centre

Now that you’ve seen Singapore, hop aboard a cruise at Singapore Cruise Centre or Marina Bay Cruise Centre and explore the rest of Southeast Asia. 

Both cruise centres offer state-of-the-art facilities and trips by top cruise lines to some of the most idyllic destinations in the region. Modern cruises are also packed with lifestyle and entertainment facilities such as on-deck swimming pools, live performances and even skating rinks and rock climbing walls.


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