Day One

  • Colonial District, Marina Bay & the Quays

Start with a local breakfast of kaya (coconut jam) toast, runny eggs and strong kopi (coffee) at Ya Kun Kaya Toast before taking a riverside stroll at the Quays for a jaw-dropping panorama of brazen skyscrapers and refined colonial buildings. Dive into the Asian Civilisations Museum or keep walking to the National Museum of Singapore, the Peranakan Museum or the National Gallery Singapore.

While the whole area has a touristy feel, the Sri Mariamman Temple, Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Thian Hock Keng Temple offer glimpses into everyday neighbourhood life. Head up Pinnacle@Duxton for a bird's-eye view of the city skyline and beyond, or de-stress with super-cheap reflexology at People's Park Complex. Either way, follow up with a pre-dinner tipple on Amoy St, Club St or Ann Siang Rd.

  • Dinner At Ding Dong.
  • Northern & Central Singapore

Early dinner done, catch a taxi to the fantastic Night Safari, where you have a date with a cast of majestic and curious creatures. Ride the quiet tram through the park and hop off for atmospheric walks past tigers, leopards and swooping bats.

Day Two

  • Little India & Kampong Glam

Little India will erase every preconceived notion of Singapore as a sterile, OCD metropolis. Weathered tailors stitch and sew by the side of the road, and the air is thick with cumin and Bollywood soundtracks. Take in the colours and chanting of Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple and buy a sari at Tekka Centre. Learn more about the area's fascinating backstory at the Indian Heritage Centre.

Escape the afternoon heat in the air-conditioned comfort of Orchard Rd. This is one of the world's most famous shopping meccas. Hunt down rare Singaporean prints and books at Antiques of the Orient and cognoscenti threads at Robinsons the Heeren and In Good Company. Shopped out, it’s time for a refreshing cocktail at rooftop Bar Canary or beers on heritage beauty Emerald Hill Rd.

If you're dining at Satay by the Bay, you're already at Gardens by the Bay. Give yourself time to explore Singapore's incredible futuristic botanic gardens, including the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest conservatories. The gardens' Supertrees are spectacular during the nightly light show (7.45pm and 8.45pm).

Day Three

  • Northern & Central Singapore

Wake up early to join the orang-utans for Jungle Breakfast with Wildlife at the world-class Singapore Zoo. There’s lots of ground to cover so jump on the guided tram to get the lay of the land. Note feeding times as the animals are more active then and you have the opportunity to get up-close and personal.

After all that wildlife, it's time for some pure, unadulterated fun on Singapore's pleasure island, Sentosa. Tackle rides both heart-racing and sedate at movie theme park Universal Studios, or eye-up creatures great and small at the spectacular SEA Aquarium. Alternatively, ride some artificial waves at Wave House or book an indoor skydive at iFly.

Slow down the pace with evening drinks on a palm-fringed Sentosa beach. Options include family-friendly Coastes or the more secluded Tanjong Beach Club. If you're travelling with kids, consider catching the popular Wings of Time show, a multimillion-dollar sound, light and laser extravaganza.

Day Four

  • Islands & Day Trips

For a taste of 1950s Singapore, head to Changi to catch a bumboat (motorised sampan) across to Pulau Ubin. Rent a bicycle and cycle the island's peaceful, jungle-fringed roads, passing tin-shacked houses and quirky shrines, and walk along a mangrove boardwalk. There’s even a mountain-bike park with trails for varying skill levels.

Once you've finished exploring sleepy Pulau Ubin, catch a bumboat back to Singapore. Wander the shops at Changi Village, stopping for a beer at Little Island Brewing Co before heading back towards the CBD.

Come evening, swap tranquil nostalgia for neon-lit excess in Geylang, a red-light district juxtaposed with temples, mosques and some of the best food in Singapore. Finally end your night at trendy rooftop bar Smoke and Mirrors, atop the National Gallery Singapore, where you can enjoy commanding views of the Marina Bay Sands spectacular nightly light-and-laser show.