What to Do in Singapore? The Ideal 3-Day Itinerary!

Singapore is hypermodern, incredibly clean, and a unique melting pot of cultures. It’s an amazing city to explore for about three days, and it’s worth visiting when you’re exploring another country in Southeast Asia, like Malaysia or Indonesia. You’ll constantly be amazed, and at times, it might feel like you’ve traveled into the future. The way everything is organized here is unique, and we’ve never experienced it anywhere else. If you’re planning to visit Singapore and are curious about the attractions and things to do, we’ve created the perfect 3-day itinerary for your visit to Singapore. With this itinerary, you’ll see and experience all the highlights and get to know the different facets of the city. We’ve structured the plan so that you can see as much as possible without overcrowding your days, and, of course, we’ve taken into account a logical route. At the end of this itinerary, you’ll find some useful tips regarding transportation and which neighborhood is a great place to stay in Singapore.

Get comfortable because this is quite a long article, but after reading it, you’ll know exactly how to make the most of your visit to Singapore!

Day 1 in Singapore

Get to Know Singapore with a Bike Tour

If you really want to get to know Singapore, taking a guided tour is always a great idea. This way, you’ll learn interesting facts about the city and can ask all your questions. As a Dutch person, a bike tour is particularly enjoyable. Hop on a bike and discover the various aspects of the city with cool stops and intriguing stories from the guide. We chose this fun bike tour, where you’ll also get to taste dishes from different cuisines along the way. It’s a fantastic way to learn more about the city!

Be Amazed at the Most Exclusive Shopping Mall: The Shoppes

Depending on which tour you’ve taken, you’ll have some free time in the morning or afternoon. Towards the end of the afternoon, take the metro to Bayfront station and follow the signs to ‘The Shoppes.’ This is Singapore’s most exclusive mall, where the shop windows are filled with things you probably can’t afford. Think, for example, of a Rolex watch priced at $172,000. Nevertheless, it’s still enjoyable to be amazed by the exorbitant prices and to take a look at the indoor canal. Yes, you read that right, there’s a small canal running through the mall where they paddle a boat.

Watch the Sunset from Marina Bay Sands Deck

The Shoppes is right below the famous Marina Bay Sands hotel. This hotel consists of three gigantic towers with, on the 57th floor, the world’s largest rooftop infinity pool. You can only swim in this pool if you’re staying at the hotel, but there is a special observation deck for those who aren’t guests. Unfortunately, there’s no pool on this deck, but you do get the best view of the city. It’s especially cool to watch the sunset from here and be amazed by the skyline filled with skyscrapers. You can purchase tickets for the observation deck here. Curious about what it’s like to stay at the Marina Bay Sands hotel? Then also read our review of Marina Bay Sands.

Dine at Makansutra Gluttons Bay

You are now in the most exclusive part of Singapore, and all the restaurants here are quite expensive. Fortunately, there’s a delightful food court within walking distance where you can enjoy delicious meals without breaking the bank. Makansutra Glutton’s Bay has many small stalls serving dishes from various parts of the world. Here, you can savor a delicious Thai meal for just a few dollars. On the way to this food court, you’ll come across the unique Helix Bridge, beautifully illuminated in the evening. What’s even cooler is that from Makansutra Gluttons Bay, you have a view of Marina Bay.

Light Shows at Gardens by the Bay & Spectra

After dinner, it’s time to conclude the first day with two exceptional light shows. Each of these shows lasts for 15 minutes and can be seen every day of the year. At Gardens by the Bay, you’ll find the famous supertrees that serve as the backdrop for the first light show. What you don’t see during the day is that the trees are adorned with colored lights, which, combined with classical music, create a remarkable spectacle. On the other side of Marina Bay Sands, you can then enjoy the Spectra water show. It might be slightly less extraordinary, but it’s still worth experiencing while you’re in the area. Both shows are free, and below you’ll find their starting times:

Gardens by the Bay
7.45pm & 8.45pm

Sunday to Thursday: 8 pm & 9 pm
Friday to Saturday: 8 pm, 9 pm & 10 pm

Tip: Want to have internet during your visit to Singapore? You can find special tourist SIM cards at 7-Eleven supermarkets, which are everywhere. These usually work for 7 days and give you 100GB of internet and a bit of call credit for about $15. You’ll need to bring your passport when purchasing one.

Day 2 in Singapore

Visit the Gardens by the Bay

Yesterday, you got a sneak peek of Gardens by the Bay, but today, you’ll truly see what a remarkable place this is. Gardens by the Bay is part of the plan to make Singapore ‘a city in a garden.’ They began its construction in 2007, and it officially opened in 2011. This futuristic park spans 101 hectares and features plants brought here from all over the world. It’s essentially a kind of Noah’s Ark but for plants. In the heart of the park, you’ll find the gigantic supertrees made of metal, which house various types of ferns and orchids. There are also two large conservatories in the gardens, one filled with flowers (The Flower Dome) and the other replicates a misty rainforest (The Cloud Forest).

Of course, these two conservatories are popular tourist attractions, but there’s a simple way to have this place all to yourself. The Cloud Forest and the Flower Dome open their doors at nine in the morning. Now you have to decide which one you want to explore first because by 10 o’clock, it gets quite crowded. We heard that the Cloud Forest was more impressive, so that’s why we decided to visit it first. Promptly at 9 o’clock, we were inside, and as a result, we were among only about 5 other people here. As soon as you enter, you’ll see the indoor waterfall, towering at a height of 35 meters (114 feet). Then, there’s a fascinating walking route with paths that take you up high within the conservatory. The entire walk, including photo stops, takes about 40 minutes. Afterward, you can visit the Flower Dome and take a stroll through the gardens. At the Supertree Grove, you also have the opportunity to take the Sky Walk, which is a walkway between the tree canopies. You can purchase your tickets online so you don’t have to wait in line at the ticket counter. Buy your tickets here.

Tip: Be sure to hang around in The Cloud Forest because at 10 o’clock, they create a kind of mist effect with fog, giving a unique atmosphere to the view. They do this every hour.

Shopping at Orchard Road

Singapore is a paradise for shopaholics. Orchard Road is 2.2 kilometers (1.3 feet) long and filled with large malls, making it the best place for a shopping spree in Singapore.

Tip: If you spend $100 or more, as a tourist, you can get a tax refund. The refund amount is 5%. You should request this at the checkout when making your purchase and have your passport with you. Afterward, you’ll receive a special voucher that allows you to claim the 5% tax refund at the airport later.

Explore Little India

One of the charming aspects of Singapore is the convergence of various cultures. The population is comprised of people from different ethnic backgrounds, with the largest groups coming from China, India, and Malaysia. In the past, these groups mostly lived separately, giving rise to neighborhoods like Little India and Chinatown. There was also an area where Malays lived, mostly hailing from Malaysia and Indonesia, and were often Islamic. This led to the creation of an Islamic district that attracted people from other Islamic countries in the Middle East. Nowadays, people don’t live as segregated as before, but these neighborhoods are still vibrant, mainly due to the numerous shops and restaurants that reflect the culture. When you stroll through one of these three neighborhoods, you’ll truly feel like you’re in India, China, or a destination like Istanbul.

Little India and the Arab Quarter are close to each other, making it easy to explore them together in about an hour or two. In Little India, you’ll find captivating street art and markets. You’ll also be surrounded by the aroma of Indian spices while hearing Indian music playing from the shops. At the Tikka Center, you can sample an Indian snack like the Samosa, and be sure to pass by the most colorful building in Singapore, the House of Tan Teng Niah.

Dine in the Arab Quarter

In the Arab Quarter of Kampong Glam, you’ll step into a completely different world. There’s a beautiful mosque, and everywhere, you’ll find shops selling carpets, bags, and Arabian lamps. Of course, in every shop, there’s a skilled salesman with whom you can negotiate. At the intersection of Baghdad Street and Bussorah Street, there are many terraces with restaurants serving dishes from the Lebanese or Turkish cuisine, for example. When you’re here having a meal, you might almost forget that you’re in Singapore.

Grab a Drink at Haji Lane

After dinner, take a stroll to Haji Lane, the trendiest street in Singapore, for a drink. It’s just a few minutes’ walk away, and you’ll find many cool places with live music, colorful street art, and charming little shops.

Day 3 in Singapore

Visit the S.E.A. Aquarium or Universal Studios Singapore

Singapore has an island that has been transformed into a collection of amusement parks. On Sentosa, you’ll find Universal Studios, which is a must-visit if you’re a fan of theme parks. We visited the S.E.A. Aquarium and can definitely recommend it to everyone. The aquariums are home to over 1000 different species of fish, from hammerhead sharks to seahorses. During your visit, you’ll also learn a lot about the oceans and what you can do to protect them. It’s very impressive and enjoyable for both young and old. Reserve your tickets here to skip the queue at the ticket counter.

Tip: Try to avoid weekends, holidays, and peak seasons and go as early as possible to beat the crowds. You can check Singapore’s holidays and national holidays on Publicholidays.sg.

Dine at Lau Pa Sat Hawker Centre Amidst Skyscrapers

You can find hawker centers all over Singapore. These are collections of dozens of small restaurants that share one large terrace. They are usually located on the ground floor of a shopping center and offer delicious and affordable food. The Lau Pa Sat Hawker Centre is unique due to its fantastic location. You’ll dine here amidst skyscrapers on a street that they close to traffic every evening. There are more than 50 stalls where you can order mainly Asian cuisine. This is a fantastic spot for your last dinner in Singapore.

Enjoy a Drink at Clarke Quay

To cap off your time in Singapore, you can have a drink at the nightlife hotspot, Clarke Quay. This area used to be Singapore’s harbor but has now become a popular place for a night out. You can enjoy a drink at a terrace or dance the night away in one of the clubs.

How About Transportation in Singapore?

Public transportation in Singapore is exceptionally well-organized. You can reach virtually anywhere with the metro, and you’ll never have to wait more than a few minutes. There are ticket machines at every station where you can enter your destination and pay in cash. You’ll receive a ticket that allows you to check in and out at the gates. An average ride costs around $2. You can use the maps.me app to enter your destination and then select at the top that you want to calculate the route using public transport. You’ll see the walking route to the nearest metro station and also find out which metro line to take and where to get off or transfer. With this app, you can navigate offline when you need to travel on foot. If you prefer to take a taxi, you can hail a metered taxi or download the Grab app. Grab is slightly cheaper than a metered taxi and works similarly to Uber.

Tip: You can also purchase a metro pass that allows you to use the metro for 3 days. This pass costs approximately $20 and can be bought at the airport or one of the larger metro stations.

Where to Stay in Singapore?

While the metro makes it easy and relatively quick to get everywhere, it’s still enjoyable to stay in a lively neighborhood. We have stayed in various neighborhoods and found Bugis to be a great choice. Bugis is a bustling, vibrant district where many cultures come together. There are countless good restaurants, cafes, food markets, and bars. In this area, you’ll find the Arab Quarter, the trendy Haji Lane, and Little India is just a stone’s throw away.

Our Favorite Places in Singapore

Right in the heart of Singapore, you’ll find Hotel G. This hotel is stylishly decorated with attention to detail. There’s a gym for fitness enthusiasts, a wine bar, and a restaurant where you can enjoy a delicious and extensive breakfast in the morning. Hotel Mi is also an excellent choice for your stay in Singapore. It features a large swimming pool for a refreshing dip after exploring Singapore. Hotel Mi is also conveniently located in Singapore. If these hotels are above your budget, MET A Space Pod is a fun option to stay in. You’ll stay in one of the most charming streets in this neighborhood!

If you want to treat yourself to ultimate luxury, it’s amazing to stay around Marina Bay. We stayed at the iconic Marina Bay Sands, and it made our trip to Singapore unforgettable. It’s an incredible feeling to be in a pool on the 57th floor and gaze out over Singapore’s skyline! In our article about Marina Bay Sands, you can read more about our experience at this extraordinary hotel.

Tip: Book your hotel for Singapore as early as possible because affordable rooms in the best hotels are often fully booked early.