Art Lover’s Paradise: A One-Day Layover Itinerary in Singapore

If you’re a traveller with a layover in Singapore, you’re in luck – this vibrant city-state offers a wealth of sights and experiences to explore, even if you only have a day to spare. 

In this guide, we’ll take you through some of the best things to see and do in Singapore during a layover, from visiting world-class museums and galleries to exploring lush gardens and iconic landmarks. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveller, there’s something for everyone in Singapore, and we can’t wait to show you what this incredible city has to offer! So sit back, relax, and let’s explore Singapore together.

Unique Adventures: Museum Hopping

Singapore has many museums and art galleries worth visiting on a layover; several are located near Changi Airport. Here are some of the most popular and easily accessible options:

  1. National Museum of Singapore: Located just a 20-minute taxi ride from Changi Airport, the National Museum of Singapore is the oldest and largest museum in the country. It showcases Singapore’s history, culture, and heritage through interactive exhibits, multimedia displays, and artifacts.

Image Source: Klook

  1. Mint Museum of Toys: Get ready to take a trip down memory lane at this charming museum, boasting an impressive collection of classic toys that will evoke nostalgia. Spot beloved characters from the past, such as Astro Boy, Popeye, and Tintin, and relive the joy of childhood playtime. Once you’ve had your fill of these vintage treasures, take a stroll around the MINT Shop, which offers a range of replica vintage tin toys, traditional local games, and contemporary museum merchandise for you to peruse and purchase.
  1. ArtScience Museum: Also located near the airport, the ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands is a popular attraction that features a range of exhibitions that combine art, science, and technology. The museum’s iconic lotus-shaped building is a sight to behold and houses various exhibits throughout the year. Explore Future World: Where Art Meets Science is undergoing one of its most significant transformations yet! The exhibit is set to feature three brand new interactive artworks that will showcase the boundless possibilities of play. The new gallery, “Exploring New Frontiers,” will take visitors on a multi-sensory journey to the skies above, exploring the theme of flight and the harmonious relationship between people and nature. This exhibit promises to offer a fresh and exciting experience for art and science enthusiasts alike.
  1. Red Dot Museum: If you appreciate both beautiful form and intelligent function, then make sure to add this Instagram-worthy venue to your must-visit list. At the Red Dot Design Museum, you can discover award-winning products and concepts from over 30 countries celebrated for their exceptional design, from lighting fixtures to parasols. Be sure to check out the museum shop, where design aficionados can collect innovative design objects and collectables from around the globe.

Image Source: Red Dot Museum

  1. Van Gogh’s World of Wonder (limited-time only): Check out Van Gogh’s World of Wonder. Experience a one-of-a-kind multi-sensory exhibition in Southeast Asia where art and virtual reality collide, featuring more than 300 stunning artworks to discover. Immerse yourself in a light and sound exhibit showcasing two-storey projections of Van Gogh’s most significant works. Don a pair of VR goggles and embark on a journey to explore the inspirations behind his iconic masterpieces. You can even project your own creations onto the walls! Art enthusiasts, this is an event to be noticed. Book your ticket here.

Image Source: Klook

  1. National Gallery Singapore: Housed in two historic buildings in the city centre, the National Gallery Singapore is home to the most extensive public collection of modern art in Singapore and Southeast Asia. The gallery features over 8,000 works of art, including paintings, sculptures, and installations. Check out the latest events and exhibitions here.

Image source: National Gallery Singapore

  1. Museum of ice Cream – Indulge in pure happiness with every scoop of the creamiest ice cream in Singapore, served alongside fluffy waffles, decadent brownies, and aromatic coffee. This dessert lover’s paradise is where you can satisfy your sweet tooth and ignite your imagination, all in one place. Experience the magic and embark on a scrumptious adventure as you savour each bite and sip. Every visit, you’ll discover new flavours and textures that will leave you craving more. Get ready to indulge in a treat that will bring a smile and warmth to your heart.

Image Source from Klook 

These are just a few museums and art galleries worth visiting in Singapore. Each offers a unique perspective on the country’s culture, history, and art scene and will provide a memorable experience during your layover.

Itinerary for Art Lovers

If you have a layover in Singapore, make the most of your time by exploring the city’s vibrant art scene. Before heading back to the airport, here’s a one-day itinerary that includes several must-see art museums and other cultural destinations.

8:00 am: National Museum of Singapore Start your day at the National Museum of Singapore, which offers a fascinating glimpse into the history and culture of Singapore through its impressive collection of artefacts, multimedia displays, and interactive exhibits.

10:00 am – Mint Museum of Toys Next, head to the Mint Museum of Toys, where you can marvel at a collection of vintage and classic toys worldwide, including beloved characters like Tintin, Astro Boy, and Popeye.

12:00 pm – Art Science Museum Afterward, go to the Art Science Museum, located within the iconic Marina Bay Sands complex. This museum showcases a variety of innovative and interactive exhibits that combine art and science.

1:30 pm – Haji Lane Take a break from the museums and explore Haji Lane, a colourful and eclectic street lined with trendy boutiques, street art, and cafes. Grab a bite to eat or a cup of coffee while taking in the vibrant atmosphere.

3:00 pm – Red Dot Museum Next up, visit the Red Dot Museum, a design museum that showcases award-winning products and design concepts from around the world. Browse the museum shop for innovative design objects and collectables.

4:30 pm – National Gallery Singapore Head to the National Gallery Singapore, a stunning museum housed in two beautifully restored historic buildings that features a vast collection of Southeast Asian art.

6:30 pm – Museum of Ice Cream End your day on a sweet note by visiting the Museum of Ice Cream, a playful and colourful pop-up exhibit that celebrates all things ice cream. Take fun photos, indulge in delicious treats, and enjoy the whimsical atmosphere.

8:30 pm – Library @ Orchard Before returning to the airport, stop by the Library @ Orchard. This sleek and modern public library offers a peaceful, relaxing space to unwind and recharge before your flight.

Image Source: TripAdvisor

10:00 pm – Departure Make your way back to the airport, filled with the memories and experiences of a fulfilling day exploring the art and culture of Singapore.

This itinerary is just a suggestion, and the timings can be adjusted to meet your specific needs and flight schedule. Be sure to check each destination’s opening and closing times and plan your visit accordingly. 

You may need to modify the itinerary based on your available time or if there are any unexpected delays or closures. Always allow sufficient time to return to the airport for your flight, and plan accordingly to ensure you don’t miss your departure. With careful planning and a little flexibility, you can make the most of your layover and experience the best of Singapore’s art scene.

Purchasing your transport card: EZ-Link for trains, buses and taxis

In Singapore, you can purchase the “EZ-Link” card for public transportation, including trains, buses, and taxis. You can buy the EZ-Link card at the Changi Airport MRT Station, located within the airport.

Here’s how you can purchase the EZ-Link card at the Changi Airport MRT Station:

  1. Look for the ticket vending machines located at the station. They are easy to spot and clearly labelled.
  2. Select “EZ-Link card” from the options displayed on the vending machine screen.
  3. Insert cash (Singapore dollars only) or your credit/debit card to pay for the card. The EZ-Link card costs SGD $12, which includes an SGD 5 non-refundable card cost and an SGD 7 stored value that you can use for transportation.
  4. Once you have purchased the card, you can use it immediately for your train ride. Simply tap the card at the card reader on the train platform before boarding the train.

If you have any questions or need assistance, you can always approach the staff at the station for help. They are friendly and happy to assist visitors. You can also try downloading Moovit App or Citymapper Singapore. It provides real-time information on bus and train timings, routes, fares, estimated arrival times, and service alerts. One advantage of Citymapper is its user-friendly interface and detailed directions, including the best walking routes to the nearest bus stops or train stations. It also allows you to compare different transportation options, such as public transport, taxis, and bike-sharing services, to help you find the most convenient and cost-effective route.

Going out of Changi Aiport to the city

Depending on your preferences and budget, there are several ways to get from Changi Airport to Orchard. Here are three popular options:

  1. MRT: The most convenient and cost-effective way to get to Orchard is to take the MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) train. Changi Airport’s MRT station in Terminal 2 is accessible via the Skytrain from the other terminals. Take the east-west line towards Tuas Link and alight at City Hall Station. From there, transfer to the North-South line towards Jurong East and alight at Orchard Station. The entire journey takes about 40 minutes and costs around SGD 2.30.
  2. Taxi: Taxis are readily available at Changi Airport and can take you to your destination in Orchard. Look for the taxi stands at the airport, and provide the driver with your desired destination. The journey typically takes about 25–30 minutes and costs around SGD 20–30, depending on the time of day and traffic conditions.
  3. Private Transfer: If you prefer a more luxurious and comfortable ride, you can book a personal transfer service in advance. Several companies offer this service, and you can arrange for a vehicle to pick you up directly from the airport and take you to your hotel in Orchard. Prices vary depending on the type of vehicle and level of service you choose but typically start from around SGD 50-60.

You can also purchase a Singapore Tourist Pass. Explore Singapore with ease and peace of mind by getting your hands on the Singapore Tourist Pass. With options for 1-day ($10), 2-day ($16), and 3-day ($20) passes, you can choose the one that best suits your travel needs. A refundable deposit of $10 is also required.

These passes provide unlimited rides on public transportation*, making it the perfect way to get around the city without any worries. So, the Singapore Tourist Pass has got you covered whether you’re exploring the bustling streets or visiting iconic attractions.

Things to note:

  • The duration and validity of the pass are based on the operating hours of the primary public transport system; 1-day coverage of the pass begins from your 1st usage of the pass to the end of the public transport service for that day. For timings and operational hours of the bus services, please refer to TransitLink’s website at:
  •  Unlimited travel is only applicable to public bus and train services. The pass excludes rides on premium services such as Sentosa Express, RWS8, Night Owl, NightRider, Chinatown Direct, express buses and other premium and niche bus services.
  •  Prices apply to adults and children above 0.9m in height.

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