12 Best Short Trips From Singapore for Your Next Weekend Getaway

12 Best Places to Take Short Trips From Singapore

Escape the concrete jungle for a day or two!

Singapore may be a little red dot, but people here are spoilt for choice when it comes to destinations for quick getaways. Day trips and short trips from Singapore are easy to get to and easy to love. Hop on a bus or ferry and within a few hours, you’re transported into a whole other world. 

If you want a fuss-free vacation for long weekends or even the June holidays, we’ve got you covered. Read on to discover the best Singapore day trips and short trips — from Singapore’s very own offshore islands to destinations in neighbouring countries!  

Best day trips from Singapore

1. Kusu Island – Singapore

short trips from singapore

Image credit: John

Kusu Island is one of the hidden-gem short trips from Singapore that even locals may not know about. This idyllic isle is a 45-minute ferry ride away from the mainland and boasts plenty of attractions for its size. 

short trips from singapore

Da Bo Gong Chinese Temple | Image credit: Jnzl’s Photos

For starters, the Da Bo Gong Chinese Temple attracts thousands of pilgrims each year during the ninth lunar month. At other times of the year, people come to see the temple’s tortoises, which symbolise longevity. There is also a keramat (Malay shrine) on the island. Visitors climb up 152 steps to reach the Kusu Island Malay Shrine and leave petitions on its bright yellow walls. 

Other things to do on Kusu Island include visiting the tortoise sanctuary and kicking back on the pristine beach. 

How to get there: Book a ferry from Marina South Pier. The ride takes 45 minutes and may stop at Lazarus Island and St. John’s Island. 

2. Johor Bahru – Malaysia

short trips from singapore

Image credit: kokkai via Canva Pro

Johor Bahru is a popular option for a day trip to Malaysia from Singapore, and it’s easy to see why. Just across the Causeway, you can fill up on mouth-watering street food and shop for bargains at mega malls. Near the Johor Checkpoint, you’ll find malls like KSL City Mall and City Square Mall which hold an incredible variety of luxury brands. 


Image credit (L-R): Shengyang Yu, Koon Seng Tan

Make sure to take home classic snacks like Hiap Joo Banana Cake and tau sar piah from Tong Huat Confectionery. Additionally, massage parlours can be found in the city’s malls and cost much less than those in Singapore. Pamper yourself with a massage before heading back across the border. 

How to get there: Take any bus from Woodlands Checkpoint. The journey takes one to four hours depending on traffic conditions. There is also a five-minute train from Woodlands Train Checkpoint that takes you to JB Sentral.

Also read: 24 Hours Across the Border: Everything to Do on a Day Trip to Johor Bahru

3. Lazarus Island – Singapore

lazarus island

Image credit: JIALI’s Images via Canva Pro

Lazarus Island is one of the best day trips from Singapore for those who just want to relax. This small island doesn’t have much apart from peace and solitude. Sometimes, that’s exactly what we need to recover from our stressful lives. Come here to lie on the clean white sands, dip in crystal-clear waters, and picnic on the park benches. 

There are no shops on the island, so make sure to bring your food and drinks. Insect repellent and sunblock are also good to bring when visiting. 

How to get there: Book a ferry from Marina South Pier. The ride takes 30 minutes. 

Also read: 7 Hidden Beaches in Singapore You Need to Visit

4. Pulau Ubin – Singapore

short trips from singapore

Image credit: kokkai via Canva Pro

Pulau Ubin is one of the best weekend trips from Singapore by ferry for those who love the great outdoors. There are no crowded roads or glitzy malls on this offshore island, just the pure beauty of Mother Nature. 


Image credit: Jnzl’s Photos

You can rent a bike here and cycle around the island, or go kayaking in its crystalline waters. Keep your eyes peeled for wild kingfishers, otters, and dolphins. If you’re lucky, you might see these captivating animals in their natural habitat. 

Camping is permitted on Pulau Ubin, but you’ll need to register your stay at the Pulau Ubin Police Post. 

How to get there: Take a bumboat from Changi Point Ferry Terminal. The ride takes 15 minutes and costs S$4. An additional charge of S$2 applies to those bringing their own bike. 

Also read: Top 20 Long Weekend Road Trips from Delhi in 2023

5. Iskandar Puteri – Malaysia


Legoland Malaysia | Image credit: Mohd Fazlin Mohd Effendy Ooi

Further south of Johor Bahru is the city of Iskandar Puteri, home to the famous Legoland Malaysia. If you’re bringing kids along, this is definitely one of the best day trips from Singapore. Legoland Malaysia is a theme park and resort with roller coasters, a collection of Lego sculptures depicting world landmarks, an aquarium, and a water park. 


Sunway Big Box | Image credit: Bahrul F. Alwi

You can easily spend a fun-filled day there with your kids. After getting an adrenaline rush at Legoland, try out some retail therapy at the nearby Sunway Big Box: a shopping complex that features warehouse-style concept stores. 

How to get there: Iskandar Puteri is a 20-minute drive from Tuas Checkpoint. Alternatively, you may board Causeway Link Bus 7 from Tuas Checkpoint to get to Sunway Big Box, then take bus IP01 for three stops to reach Legoland. 

Also read: A Guide to Road Tripping Around Malaysia: How Long It’ll Take & Which States to Visit

Other short trips from Singapore

6. Bintan Island – Indonesia

short trips from singapore

Image credit: Nurwijaya via Canva Pro

Bintan is a quiet island in Indonesia’s Riau Archipelago popular with day-trippers from Singapore. Here, you’ll find many resorts to chill out and do nothing if that’s what you want. These resorts usually come with scenic golf courses and spa services. However, the island isn’t just about resorts and golf. 


Image credit: rumib2018780

One interesting cultural attraction here is the Senggarang Water Village, a floating Chinese settlement. There, you’ll find the Banyan Tree Temple, which is wrapped in the roots and branches of a banyan tree. 

At night, you can enjoy a dinner of fresh seafood at one of the island’s kelong restaurants. These restaurants are housed on floating platforms and serve authentic local fare. Munch on fresh crab, cockles, and shrimp while taking in the fresh sea breeze. What better way to end the day? 

How to get there: Book a ferry with Bintan Resort Ferries. The ferry departs from Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal and takes one hour to reach Bintan. 

Also read: Batam vs Bintan: Which Island Near Singapore Is Better for Long Weekend Trips?

7. Desaru – Malaysia

short trips from singapore

Image credit: Kevin Aik via Canva Pro

Desaru is a rejuvenating beach getaway located a 90-minute ferry ride from Singapore. Once you arrive, make a beeline for the gorgeous Desaru Beach. With 22 kilometres of coastline, you won’t have trouble finding a quiet spot here to relax. If you’re feeling adventurous, try out exciting water sports such as jet-skiing and wakeboarding.  


Tanjung Balau Fisherman’s Museum | Image credit: teeckim

Apart from its beaches, Desaru holds an eye-opening Tanjung Balau Fishermen’s Museum which documents the culture of Malaysia’s fishermen, and the Kota Tinggi Firefly Park. The latter attraction is a 50-minute drive from Desaru Beach and offers river cruises for visitors to take in the spectacle of fireflies lighting up the night. 

How to get there: Book a ferry ride from Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal with Batam Fast Ferries. The ride takes 90 minutes and costs around S$70.

8. Cameron Highlands – Malaysia

cameron highlands

Image credit: dinozaver via Canva Pro

With temperatures soaring past 35°C in Singapore, there’s nothing more tempting than an escape to cooler climes. Thankfully, you don’t need to fly to far-flung places to cool off. Located a one-hour flight from Singapore, Cameron Highlands is a piece of the English countryside in Southeast Asia. The mountainous area is best known for its tea and strawberry plantations, lavender farm, and misty forests. 


BOH Tea Garden | Image credit: Roger W, kamarasaman mnoor

One must-visit place here is the BOH Tea Garden, where you can traipse in lush tea fields, tour a tea factory, and enjoy fine teas and desserts at the plantation’s cafe. You may also stop by one of the area’s strawberry farms or pet adorable sheep at The Sheep Sanctuary

How to get there: Take a one-hour flight from Singapore to Ipoh. From Ipoh’s Sultan Azlan Shah Airport, go to AmanJaya Bus Terminal to take a bus to Cameron Highlands. 

Also read: 11 Best Airbnbs in Cameron Highlands for a Cooling Vacation

9. Melaka – Malaysia

short trips from singapore

Image credit: Gagliardi Photography via Canva Pro

Melaka is one of the best short trips from Singapore for history buffs. This vibrant port city has been a Malay kingdom, a Portuguese colony, a Dutch colony, and a British colony throughout its history, resulting in a rich mish-mash of cultures. First-time visitors should head to the city’s cultural icons. Christ Church, the Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum, and Melaka Sultanate Palace Museum will fill you in on Malacca’s enthralling history from the 15th century to the present day. 

short trips from singapore

Malacca Straits Mosque | shahreen via Canva Pro

Lesser-known gems include: a Maritime Museum in a sunken ship; the Malacca Straits Mosque which is built on stilts; and the Freeport A’Famosa Outlet Village, where you can shop till you drop. 

How to get there: Take a bus from Singapore to Melaka Sentral Bus Station. The ride takes four hours and costs around S$30. 

Also read: Places to Visit in Melaka: A 48-Hour Itinerary for First-Timers

10. Penang – Malaysia

short trips from singapore

Penang assam laksa | Image credit: Pandora Voon

Penang is one of the best short trips from Singapore if you want to eat to your heart’s content. Penang assam laksa, curry mee, char kway teow, and nasi kandar will definitely take you to foodie heaven.

Beyond the delicious street food all over the island, the city of George Town boasts eye-popping murals that will brighten up your Instagram feed. These murals are made by internationally-renowned artists and depict the city’s culture and history.

short trips from singapore

Kek Lok Si Temple | Image credit: Supanut Arunoprayote

To walk off the calories, visit Kek Lok Si Temple — the largest Buddhist temple in Malaysia. This temple complex is known for its seven-storey pagoda which holds 10,000 alabaster and bronze statues of Buddha. Afterwards, take a stroll along Chew Jetty, a bucolic floating village where you can shop for souvenirs or watch the sun set below the waves. 

How to get there: Take a flight from Singapore to Penang International Airport, which costs around S$100 and takes one hour and 20 minutes. Alternatively, take a bus from Singapore to Penang Sentral Bus Terminal or Sungai Nibong Bus Terminal. This costs around S$50 but the ride takes more than nine hours.

Also read: A Foodie’s Guide to Malaysia: Where and What to Eat in Penang, Ipoh, Kuala Lumpur, and Melaka

11. Chiang Rai – Thailand

white temple

White Temple | Image credit: GNNick via Canva Pro

Chiang Rai is a city in mountainous Northern Thailand near the border with Laos and Myanmar. If you’ve already been to Bangkok, Phuket, and Chiang Mai, this is a less touristy place where you can see a different side of Thai culture. 

The most famous attraction here is the White Temple (Wat Rong Khun), a modern architectural masterpiece that is still in the making. The temple’s elaborate frescoes blend traditional Buddhist scenes with scenes from Star Wars and The Matrix. The artist used modern images to highlight the dangers of greed and hedonism. 

blue temple

Blue Temple | Image credit: akaratwimages via Canva Pro

Another temple to visit is the Blue Temple. This one is painted in sapphire blue, making it a striking sight in a land where most temples are painted gold. It has a white Buddha statue inside as well as numerous gold and blue statues of mythological figures. 

After visiting the temples, marvel at intricate works of Lanna art at the Mae Fah Luang Art and Cultural Park. Lanna was an Indianised kingdom in Northern Thailand which existed from the 13th to 18th century. 

How to get there: Take a flight from Singapore to Chiang Rai International Airport. The flight takes about two and a half hours and costs S$150-200.

Also read: 10 Best Destinations in Thailand for Culture and History

12. Genting Highlands – Malaysia


Chin Swee Caves Temple | Image credit: alex cheong via Canva Pro

Genting Highlands is a mountainous area north of Kuala Lumpur where you can get respite from the sizzling June heat. The cool temperatures here hover between 23°C to 29°C, making for a pleasant summer retreat. 

During your stay, you should visit the Chin Swee Caves Temple, an astounding mountain temple with a nine-storey pagoda. Believe it or not, there is a Starbucks inside the temple, which has been designed to fit the misty mountain backdrop!


Genting Premium Outlets | Image credit: Genting Premium Outlets Official Website

Shopaholics will love the Genting Premium Outlets, a sprawling shopping complex where you can buy name brands for a bargain. The outlet complex has a food court as well as cafes and restaurants for customers to recharge after a shopping spree. 

If you want to sleep under the stars, try glamping at one of the glamping lodges in Genting. These lodges offer air-conditioned tents, hot tubs, and Wi-Fi, allowing you to enjoy nature without sacrificing your creature comforts. 

How to get there: Take a bus from Singapore to Genting Highlands, which takes six and a half hours. The cost ranges from S$45-75. Alternatively, fly to Kuala Lumpur and take a bus from KL Sentral to Genting. The KL-Genting bus ride takes one and a half hours and costs RM10. 

Also read: 18 Cold Places in Southeast Asia for Your Next Getaway

The above are our recommendations for day trips and short trips from Singapore. From beach getaways to mountain resorts, we’ve summed up the best places to go for a quick escape. Which of these would you visit over the June holidays or a long weekend? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page today!

About Author

Joyce Lee
Joyce Lee

Joyce is an aspiring writer who lives on black coffee and Netflix. In her free time, she reads, goes for long walks at sunset, and dreams of faraway places.