singapore eye gardens by the bay and flower dome from marina bay sands bridge

What to do in Singapore for 3 days

Imagine this: futuristic skyscrapers pierce the vibrant sky, casting long shadows over heritage sites. The air thrums with energy, a symphony of hawker stalls sizzling with exotic spices mingling with the pulsating beat of modernity. This, my wanderlusting friend, is the magic of Singapore – a city where tradition and innovation collide in a dazzling kaleidoscope of experiences.

Craving an Asian adventure that tantalizes your taste buds, ignites your inner explorer, and satisfies your Instagram obsession? Then buckle up, because I’ve crafted the ultimate 3-day Singapore itinerary designed to hit all the right notes. Get ready to dive into a melting pot of cultures, marvel at architectural marvels, and indulge in a culinary journey that will leave you drooling (and desperately needing a bigger suitcase). Let’s explore, shall we?

Look for discounted flights to Singapore here:


3 Days in Singapore: Your Essential Guide

supertrees before sunset singapore in 3 days with locals
Supertree Grove and OCBC Skyway

Planning your trip:

Visas and entry requirements

Do you know if you need a visa to enter Singapore? If you don’t know yet, check here for the list of countries required to apply for a Singapore tourist visa: Immigration and Checkpoint Authority (ICA) website

Filipinos can visit Singapore without a visa for up to 30 days.

You need to have a minimum of 6-month passport validity to enter Singapore.

You also need to fill up and submit the SG Arrival Card (SGAC) within three (3) days (including the day of arrival) before arriving in Singapore. If you’re transiting/transferring through Singapore Changi Airport without immigration clearance, then you’re exempted from this, as per ICA.

If you’re clearing Arrival Immigration using the eGates, your passport will no longer be stamped. You will instead receive an electronic visit pass (e-pass) on the email address registered in your SGAC submission.

Best time to visit

When is the best time to visit Singapore? It depends on your preference and budget. Here are some things to consider when choosing to visit:

  • Singapore is typically hot and humid year-round. February to April are considered the months with the most pleasant weather (dry and less humid).
  • If you’re interested in visiting during events, there are many festivals and events to choose from such as Chinese New Year (January/February), Singapore Grand Prix (September), Diwali (October/November), Great Singapore Sale (June to August), Singapore Food Festival (July), or National Day (August).

Currency and Costs

Singapore’s currency is the Singapore Dollar (SGD). While not the cheapest city in Southeast Asia, Singapore offers a variety of budget-friendly options like hawker centers for food.

Safety

Is Singapore safe? From my four visits, I can truly say that it’s one of the safest countries that I’ve been to as a female traveler. Singapore is also known to have low crime rates. However, it still pays to always be on alert and keep your wits about you when out, especially at night.

Tap water is also safe to drink.

What to pack

Because of its tropical climate, I highly recommend you bring a hand fan or portable fan. Insulated tumblers will also come in handy. For power plugs, bring the ones with three square plugs.

Here are some other suggestions:

  • sunscreen
  • Insect repellant
  • Raincoat and/or Umbrella
  • Hat
  • Lightweight and breathable clothing
  • Sunglasses

Useful apps

Here are some useful apps to download for visiting Singapore:

  • Google Maps
  • MyTransport.SG – The official app for real-time information on buses, MRT trains, and journey planning.
  • Grab – The leading ride-hailing app in Singapore, offering various car options and fares.
  • iChangi – The official app of Changi Airport for flight information, shopping deals, and airport services.
  • Visit Singapore Travel Guide – The official app of the Singapore Tourism Board, packed with information on attractions, events, and insider tips.

Gettting Around

Singapore boasts a clean and efficient public transportation system, the MRT (Mass Rapid Transit). Taxis and ride-sharing apps like Grab are readily available. Many areas are walkable, so comfortable shoes are a must!


Best places to visit in Singapore in 3 days

The small country isn’t just full of beautiful man-made attractions but also offers a lot of green places throughout the city-state. Here’s what you can add to your 3-day itinerary (things to see and do in Singapore):

Marina Bay Sands

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The most popular hotel in Singapore with the world’s largest rooftop infinity pool is not just a hotel. The hotel complex is where you’ll also find various food and beverage options, shops, theatre shows, and even a museum to name a few. Plus, the light show at the Marina Bay waterfront is a total must-see.

Visit the iconic ArtScience Museum housed in a lotus-inspired building. The Future World exhibit is out of this world!

Gardens by the Bay

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The iconic gardens of Singapore are a must-visit even if you’re only on a layover. There are lots to see in the three waterfront gardens that could take up one whole day. It’s like stepping into a futuristic wonderland with the most incredible gardens and super cool supertrees. The Cloud Forest and Flower Dome are straight-up mind-blowing, and the light show at night is next level. Plus, the views of the city skyline are unreal.

  • Flower Dome
  • Cloud Forest
  • Floral Fantasy
  • OCBC Skyway
  • Supertree Observatory

Click here for Gardens by the Bay calendar of events.

Singapore Flyer

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The giant Ferris wheel offers panoramic views of Singapore. You can choose to ride either day or night. It’s a good way to see the city from a whole new perspective.

singapore flyer at night

Clarke Quay and Boat Quay

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The commercial area beside the Singapore River used to be part of the trading history during the Straits Settlements. Aside from shopping, dining, and nightlife, you can also take a river cruise.

When taking a river cruise, consider the time of day because it can get really hot and humid during midday. Lots of people take the river cruise near sunset time. If you also want to take pictures of Merlion from the river, you should sit on the right side (facing the front of the boat).

Mount Faber

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Although famous for the cable car ride, Mount Faber is one of the oldest parks in the Lion City. It’s the perfect spot to take in some breathtaking views of the city and the harbor. You can hop on the cable car and enjoy a scenic ride up to the top, where you’ll find lush greenery and some seriously cool lookout points. Plus, there are some great dining options up there, so you can grab a bite with a view.

Sentosa Island

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This island resort is one of the top tourist attractions in Singapore. It has beaches, hotels, golf courses, spa retreats, rain forest, dining, shops, and numerous attractions guaranteed to keep you busy.

More Sentosa Island Attractions:

  • Adventure Cove Waterpark
  • Fort Siloso Skywalk (free)
  • iFly Singapore
  • Madame Tussauds Singapore
  • Mega Adventure Park
  • Nestopia
  • S.E.A. Aquarium
  • Sentosa 4D AdventureLand
  • Sentosa Nature Discovery (free)
  • Sentosa Sensoryscape (free)
  • Wings of Time
  • Universal Studios Singapore
  • Trickeye Singapore
  • SkyPark Sentosa
  • SkyHelix

Singapore Zoo

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Said to be the world’s best rainforest zoo, families can go up close with 300 species of animals at the zoo’s 11 zones. You get to see them chilling in environments that are as close to the wild as possible.

(Mandai) Bird Paradise

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Walk through massive recreated habitats, like rainforests and wetlands, and get shockingly close to over 3,500 amazing birds. From colorful parrots to majestic eagles, you’ll have a chance to see some seriously cool creatures. Plus, there are shows and educational bits that make learning about birds fun, even for the little ones.

National Museum of Singapore

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The National Museum of Singapore is a captivating destination that offers a deep dive into the rich history and culture of the nation. It features a diverse range of exhibits, artifacts, and interactive displays that showcase Singapore’s heritage, from its early beginnings to its modern-day achievements. The museum’s innovative and immersive approach to storytelling makes history come alive, offering visitors a multi-sensory experience.

National Gallery of Singapore

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The National Gallery of Singapore is a must-visit for art enthusiasts and culture aficionados. Housed in two iconic national monuments, the former Supreme Court and City Hall, the gallery showcases an extensive collection of Southeast Asian art, including paintings, sculptures, and installations.

It offers a diverse range of exhibitions that provide insight into the region’s artistic heritage and contemporary art scene. The museum’s stunning architecture and innovative curatorial approach make it a captivating space for exploring and appreciating art.

National Orchid Garden

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The National Orchid Garden in Singapore is a captivating destination that showcases the beauty and diversity of orchid species. Located within the Singapore Botanic Gardens, it is home to over 1,000 species and 2,000 hybrids of orchids, making it one of the most extensive collections in the world. Visitors can explore themed gardens, such as the VIP Orchid Garden and the Tan Hoon Siang Mist House, which feature stunning displays of rare and exotic orchids.


Free Things to Do in Singapore

Singapore may be known for its modern skyline and vibrant city life, but there are plenty of free activities for budget-conscious travelers and locals to enjoy. From exploring lush green spaces and scenic waterfronts to immersing yourself in cultural experiences and vibrant street art, Singapore offers a diverse array of no-cost attractions.

Buddha Tooth Relic Temple

Buddha Tooth Relic Temple Singapore at night

Built in 2007, this Buddhist temple located in Chinatown houses the left canine tooth of Buddha in a giant stupa. There are also free weekly guided tours that last for 2 hours. Nearest MRT station: Chinatown

    Other temples that you can visit: Thian Hock Keng Temple and Temple of Heavenly Jade Emperor

    Singapore Botanic Gardens

    The country’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site, the tropical botanic garden is a nature lover’s dream. Nearest MRT station: Botanic Gardens

    Other gardens to visit: Chinese and Japanese Gardens

    Soak in the different cultures in Singapore by walking around Arab Street (Kampong Glam), Little India, and Chinatown.

    street view of little india singapore

    Experience the vibrant tapestry of cultures in Singapore by taking a leisurely stroll through Arab Street (Kampong Glam), Little India, and Chinatown. Each neighborhood offers a unique blend of history, traditions, and flavors. Explore the colorful shophouses and mosques in Arab Street, soak in the sights and scents of spices and textiles in Little India, and immerse yourself in the bustling markets and temples of Chinatown.

    Whether you’re a culture enthusiast, a foodie, or a history buff, these diverse neighborhoods provide an authentic and enriching experience that showcases Singapore’s multicultural heritage.

    Spot the colorful street art

    Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

    Check them out at the following locations: Little India, Jalan Besar, Tiong Bahru, Haji Lane, Sultan Arts Village, Amoy Street, Everton Park, Singapore River, Spottiswoode Park Road, Bras Basah, Tanjong Pagar, Duxton Hill, Neil Road, Coleman Bridge, and Keong Saik.

    Get your steps in around nature

    Hiking and walking enthusiasts will have a blast at the 10-kilometer stretch of Southern Ridges that connects different parks. You can choose where to start and end your walk along the trail.

    Other trails to choose from: MacRitchie Reservoir Park, Chek Jawa Wetlands, Fort Canning Park, Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, Coney Island

    The Helix Bridge

    Inspired by the structure of DNA, the architectural marvel is even more glorious at night when it lights up. Nearest MRT station: Promenade

    Go on a FREE walking tour and explore the highlights of Singapore on foot!

    Check out Monster Day Tours and Indie Singapore. Don’t forget to tip!

    Garden Rhapsody

    While some areas require admission fees, Gardens by the Bay is generally free! Don’t forget to watch the light and sound show at the Supertree Grove at 7:45 PM and 8:45 PM daily!

    Nearest MRT station: Bayfront

    Check here for the show schedule throughout the year.

    Borealis in Singapore

    A new immersive light and sound installation at Gardens by the Bay’s Supertree Grove which started on May 3, 2024. If you can’t see the real thing yet, this is a good alternative for Northern Lights enthusiasts.

    Show timings: Every Mon 8.00 pm to 8.30 pm | Every Sat & Sun 9.00 pm – 9.30 pm

    Are you an art enthusiast? Then head to Esplanade or ION Art Gallery to view art exhibits for free.

    facade details of esplanade singapore
    Esplanade – Photo by Xrdes on Unsplash

    Photo op with the famous Merlion!

    The most famous Merlion statues are near One Fullerton and make sure to time your visit well to get the best light and have a photo without the crowds. Nearest MRT station: Raffles

    The fish body represents the past of Singapore as a fishing village while the head is for the old name of Singapore which means lion city in Malay.

    Where to find the official Merlion statues: one big and one small at Merlion Park (in front of Fullerton), Mount Faber, and Tourism Court

    Enjoy Spectra at night

    marina bay sands spectra show
    Spectra at Marina Bay Sands

    Watch a 15-minute outdoor light and sound show at the promenade of Marina Bay Sands. Spectra uses state-of-the-art technology and is perfect for visitors of all ages! Make sure to be there a few minutes before showing time to get the best seats. Nearest MRT station: Bayfront

    Explore Jewel and Changi Airport

    There are lots of things to see and do while you’re waiting for your flight. Take a slide, watch a movie, see the sunflower garden, and more, all for free! Nearest MRT station: Changi

    READ: What to see and do while you wait for your flight at Changi Airport


    How to get around Singapore

    Klook.com

    Navigating Singapore’s efficient and well-connected transportation system is a breeze, making it easy for visitors and locals to explore the city. From the extensive MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) network and an extensive bus system to iconic yellow taxis and ride-hailing services, getting around Singapore is convenient and accessible.

    Singapore public transportation options:

    • Train (MRT/LRT/Sentosa Express)
    • Bus
    • Taxi and Ride-Hailing Apps

    Payment methods for public transport in Singapore

    • Contactless Bank Cards (credit/debit cards)
    • Mobile Wallets
    • SimplyGo EZ-Link Cards
    • NETS Prepaid Cards
    • EZ-Link and NETS FlashPay Cards
    • Singapore Tourist Pass

    Take note that cash is only applicable to buses, taxis and ride-hailing apps.

    EZ-Link Card

    This stored value card will be handy especially if you plan to use the buses and/or trains a lot during your stay in Singapore. Aside from those transport options, you can use the EZ-Link card on some taxis, river taxis, private buses, food and beverages like Mcdonalds and Subway, and also at minimarts and supermarkets like 7-Eleven.

    You can also choose the Singapore Tourist Pass, a special stored value card that allows unlimited travel on MRT, LRT, and buses during the duration purchased. It comes in 3 options: 1 day, 2 days, and 3 days. You can buy it from here.

    Trains

    Trains are my favorite form of transportation in Singapore because it’s easy to use and quick.

    There are 6 MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) lines:

    • East West (Green)
    • North South (Red)
    • North East (Violet)
    • Circle (Yellow)
    • Downtown (Blue)
    • Thomson-East Coast (Brown)

    sMRT operates from 5:30 AM to midnight depending on the station. This also varies during public holidays and maintenance schedules. Eating and drinking are not allowed inside the trains. Check the FARE CALCULATOR here.

    There are three lines for LRT: Bukit Panjang, Sengkang, and Punggol.

    You can download a copy of Singapore’s train system map here.

    Buses

    Buses are efficient and offer another way to sightsee around the city. SBS Transit and SMRT are the two main operators that offer routes throughout the country. Aside from the EZ-Link card, you can also pay by exact cash. Check the FARE CALCULATOR here.

    Check out these bus tours from Klook:

    Klook.com

    Taxis

    I’ve never experienced using a taxi in Singapore because the train system is so efficient. Taxi is a more expensive option than trains and buses but good for short distances and when traveling in a group.

    Ride-hailing apps

    While Grab is the most popular ride-hailing app in Singapore, there are other apps you can choose from:

    • Gojek
    • Ryde
    • TADA
    • ComfortDelGro

    Where to change money in Singapore (currency exchange)

    There are many licensed money changers and banks where you can exchange your money for Singaporean dollars (SGD) but these are the most popular for giving the best rates for your buck.

    Check the current exchange rate before you go using the XE Currency Converter app which can also be used offline. Compare the day’s rate versus the “We Buy” column at the money changers.

    • The Arcade at Raffles Place – Check out these shops: Arcade Money Changer and Arcade Plaza Traders
    • Lucky Plaza at Orchard
    • Mustafa Foreign Exchange at Little India
    • People’s Park Complex at Little Chinatown – AK Money Changer and Emerald Money Changer

    Where to stay in Singapore

    I’ve stayed at Strand Hotel in Bencoolen twice and I find it worth the money and very strategically located. It’s within walking distance to Bugis and the train station is just in front of the hotel. There are also many food options in front of the hotel across the street plus a 7-Eleven too.

    Singapore offers a wide range of accommodation options, from budget-friendly hostels in Chinatown to luxurious hotels like Marina Bay Sands.
    Consider your interests and budget when choosing your location.

    Here are other accommodation options by budget:

    Luxury options:

    Mid-range options:

    • 30 Bencoolen
    • Heritage Collection on Boat Quay – Quayside Wing
    • Holiday Inn Express Singapore Orchard Road

    Budget options:

    • KINN Capsule
    • Code Hostel
    • ibis Budget Singapore Ruby
    • Hotel 81 Palace
    • The Bohemian
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    Where to eat in Singapore

    • Hawker Center: Hawker centers are a must for experiencing Singapore’s diverse cuisine. The most popular are the historic Maxwell Food Center in Chinatown, Lau Pa Sat Satay Street, Newton Food Centre, Old Airport Road Food Centre, and Amoy Street Food Centre.
    • Jurassic Nest Food Hall (inside Gardens by the Bay)
    • Rapasura Masters (inside Marina Bay Sands Shoppes)
    • Jewel Changi Food Republic
    • Michelin-starred restaurants

    What to eat in Singapore

    • Hainanese Chicken Rice: Steamed, fragrant chicken served with rice and dipping sauces. A classic Singaporean comfort food.
    • Chili Crab: A messy but incredibly flavorful dish featuring mud crabs stir-fried in a sweet, spicy, and tangy tomato-based sauce. Don’t forget to use the provided mantou (deep-fried buns) to soak up the delicious sauce!
    • Satay: Skewers of marinated meat (chicken, mutton, beef) grilled to perfection and served with a peanut sauce, cucumber, and onions.
    • Laksa: A rich and flavorful noodle soup with coconut milk, spices, and various toppings like seafood, tofu puffs, and vegetables. There are different variations like curry laksa and assam laksa.
    • Carrot Cake: Don’t be fooled by the name! This savory dish is made with radish, rice flour, and fried eggs.
    • Kaya Toast: Toasted bread slathered with a sweet coconut jam and butter – a popular breakfast option.

    Popular shopping malls and destinations in Singapore

    Singapore is a shopper’s paradise, boasting a wide array of malls and shopping destinations catering to all budgets and tastes. Here are some of the most popular ones:

    • Orchard Road: This iconic district is a must-visit for any shopaholic. Orchard Road is lined with luxury brands like Louis Vuitton and Prada, alongside international department stores like Takashimaya and ION Orchard.
    • VivoCity: This massive waterfront mall is home to over 200 stores, including fashion brands, restaurants, a cinema, and an entertainment center. It also boasts a beautiful rooftop Skypark with stunning views of Sentosa Island.
    • Marina Bay Sands: This luxurious integrated resort features a high-end shopping mall with designer boutiques, jewelry stores, and art galleries. Visitors can also shop at the Sands Skypark observation deck, offering unparalleled city views.
    • Bugis Junction: This trendy mall is a popular spot for young adults and budget-conscious shoppers. It offers a wide variety of independent boutiques, local fashion brands, and street-style stores.
    • Mustafa Centre: This 24-hour shopping mall is a chaotic and lively experience. It sells everything from electronics and clothes to souvenirs and groceries at bargain prices. Be prepared for the crowds!
    • Chinatown Street Market: For a more authentic shopping experience, head to Chinatown Street Market. Here you can find everything from Chinese souvenirs and traditional crafts to fresh produce and delicious street food.
    • Changi City Point is a popular shopping mall located in the heart of Changi Business Park, Singapore. Unlike the high-end stores on Orchard Road, Changi City Point is known for its abundance of factory outlets, offering significant discounts on popular brands. Expect to find sportswear giants like Nike and Adidas, alongside everyday clothing brands like Charles & Keith and Esprit.
    • Changi Airport: It isn’t just a transportation hub, it’s a world-class shopping destination in itself! Each terminal and Jewel Changi has its own dedicated shopping area, offering a variety of stores catering to different needs. Expect duty-free shops with incredible deals on perfumes, liquor, and electronics. Fashionistas will find a good mix of international brands and local labels. There are also convenience stores for essentials and souvenir shops for those last-minute Singapore mementos.

    Sample Singapore itinerary 3 days

    Day 1: Immerse in the Cultural Tapestry

    • Start your day in the vibrant neighborhood of Chinatown.
    • Explore the majestic Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, a significant landmark showcasing intricate Buddhist architecture.
    • Wander through the bustling streets lined with shops selling traditional Chinese trinkets, souvenirs, and delicious street food.
    • Take a short ride to Little India, a colorful precinct teeming with Indian culture.
    • Immerse yourself in the sights, sounds, and aromas of Little India’s Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple, adorned with intricate carvings and towering gopurams (gateways).
    • Enjoy a delectable lunch of fragrant biryani, savory curries, and fluffy naan bread at a local restaurant.
    • In the afternoon, head to the Singapore Botanic Gardens, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
    • Marvel at the diverse variety of flora and fauna within the orchid gardens, featuring over 700 species of orchids.
    • Take a leisurely stroll through the verdant gardens, enjoying the serenity and escaping the city’s hustle and bustle.
    • Conclude your day with an evening exploring the Marina Bay area.
    • Witness the dazzling spectacle of the Spectra light and water show at Marina Bay Sands.
    • Alternatively, be mesmerized by the shows in the futuristic Supertree Grove, the iconic vertical gardens illuminated against the night sky.

    Day 2: A Culinary Adventure and Historical Exploration

    • Dedicate your second day to exploring Singapore’s rich history and indulging in its phenomenal culinary scene.
    • In the morning, visit the colonial district, an area brimming with historical landmarks.
    • Capture timeless photographs at the Raffles Hotel, a luxurious establishment steeped in colonial history.
    • Take a walk down Fullerton Road and admire the neoclassical architecture of historical buildings.
    • Head towards Lau Pa Sat, a historic hawker center offering a mind-boggling variety of local delicacies from all corners of Asia.
    • Embark on a delightful food adventure, sampling dishes like Hainanese chicken rice, chili crab, and satay.
    • In the afternoon, venture to Sentosa Island, a popular leisure destination known for its theme parks, beaches, and Universal Studios Singapore.
    • Spend an afternoon filled with thrills and excitement on exhilarating rides and exploring movie-themed attractions.
    • In the evening, enjoy a lavish dinner at a Sentosa Island restaurant with stunning views of the cityscape.

    Day 3: Nature, Art, and Shopping Extravaganza

    • Dedicate your last day to experiencing Singapore’s natural beauty, vibrant art scene, and world-class shopping opportunities.
    • In the morning, visit the Gardens by the Bay which includes Flower Dome, Cloud Forest, and Floral Fantasy.
    • Eat lunch at the Jurassic Nest Food Hall which offers a variety of cuisines.
    • In the afternoon, head to the futuristic ArtScience Museum, housing captivating exhibitions that blend art, science, and technology.
    • Explore interactive exhibits that spark curiosity and challenge your perception.
    • Conclude your Singapore adventure with a shopping spree on Orchard Road, a luxurious shopping haven lined with international brands and high-end boutiques.
    • Treat yourself to designer goods, electronics, and local souvenirs.

    Singapore: In Photos

    supertrees garden singapore
    supertrees grove light and sound show
    Garden Rhapsody show at Supertree Grove

    Have you been to Singapore? How was your experience? 

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    Darlene is currently on the road again and traveling full-time after being an expat/overseas Filipino worker in Qatar. She's rediscovering what it means to travel solo and in her 30s while working on her blogs.

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