Escape the City Bustle: A Guide On The Best Day Trips from Singapore 

Take a quick but memorable holiday just a few hours…
By: Ria Mirano
May 12, 2023

If you crave a break from city life, you can take a quick escape just hours away, outside the metropolis. Fortunately, there are tons of places that offer an array of beautiful sights and exciting experiences just beyond the city’s borders. If you seek to explore new natural and cultural destinations, they’re just a short trip away! 

Plan your next weekend holiday or arrange for a weekday day adventure (for those who want to avoid big crowds) that are sure to leave you rejuvenated and inspired, along with unforgettable memories. Below, we’ve listed the best day trips from Singapore waiting for you to discover. If you’re ready to embark on a journey of relaxation, sightseeing, shopping, food hopping, and more – then keep scrolling to find out more. 

8 Destinations For The Best Day Trips from Singapore 

1. Malacca

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What used to be the port site for trading in Southeast Asia, now is the home to a UNESCO Heritage sites of Malacca located in Malaysia. Its streets are filled with historical architecture, where you can also discover hundreds of shopping stores and food stalls. Visit the must-see beautiful sights in the popular tourist places such as the the iconic red buildings at Stadthuys and Dutch Square, wander through the vibrant Jonker Street, see the Cheng Hoon Teng Temple, oldest Chinese temple in Malaysia, and many more. 

Location: Malaysia

How to Get There: Bus / Private Car / River Cruise

Average Travel Duration from the City: 2-3 hours 

2. Bintan

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Just a short ferry ride away from Singapore, Bintan is a stunning island located in the Riau Archipelago of Indonesia. Indulge yourself in its pristine beaches, lush landscapes, and luxurious resorts.  Bintan offers a relaxing and rejuvenating escape for couples and families for the weekend.The island also boasts a rich cultural heritage and a variety of activities for travelers to take part in. 

Some of the popular attractions and activities in Bintan include unwinding at Lagoi Bay and Trikora Beach, visiting the historical Banyan Tree Temple, taking a boat tour through mangroves and discovering the local villages, and more. 

Location: Malaysia

How to Get There: Ferry 

Average Travel Duration from the City: 1 hour & 45 minutes 

3. Pulau Ubin

Photo by Jireh Foo on Unsplash

Travel towards the northeastern coast of Singapore to reach Pulau Ubin, a charming, quaint island. Known for its rustic sights and untouched natural beauty, the island is one of the best day trips from Singapore offers a unique escape to get away from the loud city for a day or two. With its lush greenery, diverse wildlife, and tranquil beach fronts, the island is a haven for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. The must-see places include Chek Jawa Wetlands, Ketam Mountain Bike Park, and Kampong Village to experience a nature-centred day trip.

Location: Singapore

How to Get There: Ferry 

Average Travel Duration from the City: 15 minutes

4. Cameron High Islands

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Another peaceful but immersive place picked as one of the best day trip destinations from Singapore is the picturesque hill station of the Cameron Highlands. Located in Pahang, ,Malaysia, it’s popular for its breathtaking foliage, cool climate, and its main attraction – the tea plantations. It’s a relaxing retreat that offers relief from the city heat while surrounding yourself with the endless beauty of nature. 

Suggestions of places to visit and things to do while in Cameron Highlands are to visit Tea Plantations (like Boh Tea Plantation or Cameron Valley Tea Estate), trek in Mossy Forest, pick strawberries in one of the strawberry farms, and see the variations of cacti and more at Cactus Valley.

Location: Malaysia

How to Get There: Bus / Private Car

Average Travel Duration from the City: 7 – 9 hours

5. Batam

Photo by Hartanto Kosasih on Unsplash

If you’re in the mood for other beach destinations with magnificent views and fun water sports, you’ll definitely enjoy Batam! Purchase a ferry ticket and take a day trip from Singapore to one of the tropical islands of Indonesia, Batam. It is a popular island getaway for tourists seeking a quick trip that offers a mix of pristine beaches, clear turquoise waters, interesting cultural attractions, and leisure activities. Explore Batam and visit places such as the Waterfront City, Barelang Bridge, Maha Vihara Duta Maitreya Temple, Nagoya Shopping Centre, and more.

Location: Indonesia

How to Get There: Ferry 

Average Travel Duration from the City: 35 – 50 minutes

6. Desaru

Photo by M.Fildza Fadzil on Unsplash

Located close the border, Desaru is a popular coastal gem in the southeastern region of Johor, Malaysia. Known for its idyllic beaches, clear blue waters, and a plethora of activities available, this is not one to miss! It’s one of the favorite day trip destinations to plan from Singapore if you’re seeking to soak in the sun, swim in the sea, and try new adventures. From water activities to cultural attractions, Desaru has something for everyone. Plan your itinerary by including Desaru Coast Adventure Waterpark, Desaru Beach, Ostrich Farm, and Tanjung Balau Fishermen Museum in the list.

Location: Malaysia

How to Get There: Bus / Ferry 

Average Travel Duration from the City: 2 hours

7. Kusu Island

Photo by Aung Kyaw Hein on Unsplash

Also known as the “Tortoise Island”, the Kusu Island is a small, serene island nestled in the southern part of Singapore. It’s popularly visited by local and foreign tourists for its tranquil ambiance, stunning landscapes, and peaceful sites. It offers visitors a chance to immerse themselves in nature and spirituality. During your stay, make sure to visit prominent Chinese and Malay shrines, Chinese Da Bo Gong Temple and the Malay Keramat Shrine, observe at the Tortoise Sanctuary, relax along the beaches in Kusu Island, and hike up the Kusu Island hill. 

Location: Singapore

How to Get There: Ferry 

Average Travel Duration from the City: 1 hour

8. Iskandar Puteri

Photo by Eldines Hoo on Unsplash

Next on the list of best day trips from Singapore is the dynamic city of Iskandar Puteri. Formerly known as Nusajaya, it is located in the southernmost region of Johor, Malaysia where it’s transformed into a thriving metropolis with a combination of residential, commercial, and recreational areas. While visiting the city, you can discover its cosmopolitan lifestyle that still preserves its natural beauty. While in Iskandar Puteri, make sure not to miss the popular attractions such as the Legoland Malaysia Resort, Puteri Harbour, Eco Botanic, Danga Bay, and Kota Iskandar.

Location: Malaysia

How to Get There: Bus / Subway / Private Car

Average Travel Duration from the City: 1 – 2 hours

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