A vibrant, cosmopolitan city overflowing with culture, cuisine, and futuristic architecture, Singapore offers something exciting for every type of traveler. Poised at the southern edge of the Malay Peninsula, the “Lion City” is a healthy mix of history and contemporary points of interest within a lively waterfront atmosphere.
With three days in Singapore, you’ll discover a unique melting pot of Chinese, Malay, Indian, and Eurasian cultures reflected in its architecture, history, and thriving food scene. Street food is extremely popular and a major draw to both locals and visitors alike. Make sure to try the national dish of chili crab and laksa, a curry with rice noodles and seafood that will have you swooning.
With so many interesting things to do and experience in Singapore, the only issue will be choosing the best way to spend your time exploring the city. Whether you find yourself drawn to unique waterside parks or taking in sprawling views from above, this city destination has no shortage of intriguing pursuits. From strolling beautiful botanic gardens by day to sampling the famous chili crabs by evening, this vibrant metropolis will have you enjoying one of the best places to visit in Southeast Asia.
Here’s how to spend an unforgettable three days in Singapore.
9 a.m.: Stroll the Botanic Gardens
Start your first day in Singapore surrounded by gorgeous flora and fauna at the Botanic Gardens, the city’s oldest garden located on the grounds of an old plantation. This UNESCO World Heritage site is the perfect introduction to Singapore and you’ll quickly understand why it’s referred to as the “City in a Garden.”
Wander the colorful sections set upon a sprawling 60 acres and marvel at the National Orchid Garden, which contains the biggest orchid collection in the entire world.
While in the Botanic Gardens, peruse the Botanical Art Gallery, discover waterfalls at the Ginger Garden, and explore the incredible SPH Walk of the Giants, where you can peer down onto the forest’s canopy from a different vantage point.
12 p.m.: Grab Lunch at the Newton Food Center
All that garden strolling will work up an appetite, making it crucial that your next stop is within close proximity of the Botanic Garden. The Newton Food Center lies near the famed Orchard Road, making it a logical spot to fill up on local cuisine before shopping.
Housing over 100 stalls, the Newton Food Center is one of the most popular street food spots in the city. Sampling the delicious array of culinary delights there should be on everyone’s Singapore three-day itinerary.
If you’re looking to sample some authentic bites, make sure to try classic dishes such as oyster omelettes, black pepper crab, handmade fishballs, and popiah (spring rolls). Adventurous eaters will be delighted by options including Sambal Stingray and mutton soup. Make sure to save room for dessert; traditional sweets like Cheng Tng, a sweet soup, or ice kachang, a local version of shaved ice, will satisfy your cravings.
2 p.m.: Shop on Orchard Road
Now that you’ve had a taste of Singapore, head to Orchard Road, the top shopping area in the city to browse for authentic souvenirs. The road is lined with malls and various boutiques that stretch just over a mile, packing in numerous retail options as well as restaurants, popular bars, and even an art gallery.
Head to Tang’s, one of Singapore’s oldest department stores and the first one to take up residence on Orchard Road. This iconic store showcases traditional Chinese architecture and sells everything from clothing and home goods to novelty items and trinkets.
For a modern luxury shopping experience, ION Orchard has eight levels of shops within its large mall space. Inside, you’ll find a museum showcasing rare whiskies called the The Grande Whisky Collection.
Taste different varieties and learn about this iconic libation amongst over 4,000 types of whisky. Peruse an international art gallery in between shops, also situated within the ION. Another Orchard Road shopping staple is the Far East Plaza, where you’ll find almost every kind of product.
6 p.m.: Marvel at the Gardens by the Bay
To keep the “City in a Garden” theme going, enjoy a visit to the famous Gardens by the Bay, where you’ll learn about the history of the city through the Heritage Garden’s flora and fauna exhibitions.
Gaze at the Flower Dome glass greenhouse, where you’ll encounter beautiful exotic flowers. Other highlights include the Cloud Forest, Floral Fantasy, and the Supertree Grove. You’ll want to bring a camera to capture all the vibrant colors while exploring this popular attraction in Singapore.
7 p.m.: Ride the Singapore Flyer at Sunset
One of the most romantic things to do in Singapore for couples is to get a front-row seat aboard the famous Singapore Flyer Ferris Wheel. As the sun paints the sky in oranges and reds, enjoy expansive views of Marina Bay and the bustling city below. Each rotation of the observation wheel brings you approximately 540 feet into the air, where a 360-degree vista awaits.
View popular landmarks in Singapore and other points of interest, such as Merlion Park and the Singapore River. Taking in the sunset from these great heights is the perfect way to round out an amazing first day in Singapore.
8:30 p.m.: Sip the Original Singapore Sling
Head to the home of the famed Singapore Sling, a drink named after the city that dates back to 1915. Opened in the late 1800s, the historic Raffles Hotel has hosted many famous names throughout the years and is one of the country’s most well-known accommodations.
The dual story Long Bar at the iconic hotel is an ideal spot to sip the national drink before enjoying an incredible dinner at one of the hotel’s excellent restaurants.
9 a.m.: See the Famous Statue in Merlion Park
Venture over to Merlion Park to view the Singapore mascot. Rising 28 feet tall, the half-lion, half-fish iconic statue spouts water and is one of the most well-known attractions in the city. This popular monument is representative of one of the city’s nicknames, “Lion City.”
Snap a photo of this mythical statue that was originally created to welcome visitors to the city at the mouth of the Singapore River before it was moved to the waterside park overlooking Marina Bay, where it now resides.
11 a.m.: Taste Food in Chinatown
Explore Singapore’s heritage district for the rest of the morning. This area is host to the well-known Buddha Tooth Relic and Museum. Marvel at the architecture and spot artsy murals throughout the streets. A mix of temples, boutiques, and bars will keep you busy, as well as work up an appetite.
Thankfully, the Maxwell Food Centre in Chinatown will have you covered. Authentic food stalls offer an array of delicious food in one of the most popular “hawkers” (food markets). Make sure to stop at the famed Tian Tian Chicken rice stall.
Known throughout the world as the best of the best, this Michelin-starred Hainanese chicken rice is worth the wait in line. Make sure to try the famed chili crab and prawn noodle soup, as well.
1 p.m.: Sunbathe at Siloso Beach
For an afternoon of fun in the sun, head to Sentosa Island—home to some of the best beaches in Singapore—accessible by public transport or car. Cool off in the water after lounging in the sand, or indulge in some beachy activities like paddleboarding, kayaking, and ziplining.
Catch a thrill with a bungee jump, or venture onto the cable car and swoon over the views. With spas and restaurants along the vibrant boardwalk, you’ll have every opportunity to unwind while relaxing by the seaside.
6 p.m.: Dine Al-fresco in Clarke Quay at Sunset
This lively riverside neighborhood is the place to indulge in some patio-side food and beverage. Arrive before sunset, which will allow you to admire the historic, colonial-era architecture and picturesque riverfront location before sitting down to a fantastic meal and equally excellent people-watching.
Known for its nightlife scene, Clarke Quay is also host to popular restaurants and bars. After a delicious dinner, chill with a drink or party like a local at one of the many bars and clubs in this neighborhood, where you’ll enjoy live music, fresh cocktails, and a buzzing atmosphere.
10 a.m.: Visit the National Museum
Start the day with a visit to Singapore’s oldest museum, the National Museum, which dates back to 1849. Learn about the history and culture of the city while exploring the detailed exhibits housed within a landmark building.
Peruse artifacts and galleries that showcase Singapore’s past and present in creative ways through the use of different mediums such as digital, photography, visual displays, and art. Browse for souvenirs in the gift shop, and appreciate the incredible architecture of this historic building with colonial and Victorian influences.
1 p.m.: Explore Little India
Spend the afternoon wandering the exciting cultural district of Little India; a feast for the senses. Make your way down Serangoon road where you’ll discover multiple Hindu and Chinese temples and churches. Check out the intricate details that adorn the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple, one of the oldest Hindu temples in the city. Then, snap photos of The House of Tan Teng Niah, perhaps the most vibrant house in all of Singapore.
For lunch, food tasting at the Tekka Centre, the resident hawker, is a must. You’ll find a vast array of mouth-watering street food, with Indian cuisine being the main focus. To sample authentic bites, make sure to order the roti prata (a pancake), prawn noodles, and Temasek Indian Rojak (prawn fritters).
Stroll the famous Little India Arcade, where you can shop for souvenirs on narrow streets lined with historic shophouses from Singapore’s colonial days. Unearth unique treasures to take home, and perhaps get a henna tattoo to remember your time exploring Little India.
5 p.m.: Walk Over the Helix Bridge
Before leaving the lively city of Singapore, make sure to take a stroll over the well-known Helix Bridge. This pedestrian bridge that stretches from Marina Centre to Marina South is a Singapore landmark and an interesting display of innovative architecture.
As you venture across this curved bridge, you’ll be rewarded with an impressive view of the city, which has one of the best skylines in the world. Take in the sprawling vista from observation platforms throughout the bridge that provide the perfect photo op.
See the Singapore Flyer, financial district, and the scenic Marina Bay. In the evenings, the Helix Bridge lights up for a fantastic display of lights, an iconic city performance.
6 p.m.: Embark on a Night Safari
On your last night in Singapore, enjoy the world’s first nocturnal zoological park. While on your night safari, you’ll have the opportunity to see over two thousand animals in their wildlife habitats, all within one park.
Explore it on foot via four walking trails, or choose to experience the park by tram. Either way, you’ll have the opportunity to see a wide array of exotic animals that are active at night. View the indigenous and endangered Malayan tiger and Asian elephant. Along the Leopard Trail, the Southern Three-Banded Armadillo will be busy in its nightly routine.
Learn about all the exotic animals as you view them along your jungle adventure amongst the biggest group of indigenous animals from Southeast Asia.
8 p.m.: Eat Dinner in the Geylang District
Make your way over to the old Red Light District, known as Geylang, where the food culture is rich. There you’ll find more than the iconic durian fruit—even though the neighborhood is known for it. If you’re feeling adventurous, try the famed frog porridge.
For a real indulgence, order the Geylang Famous Beef Kway Teow. Other culinary highlights include homemade dim sum, fresh fish, and the traditional chili crab that is a must try before you leave Singapore.
Get ready to discover amazing cultural and culinary offerings on a luxury cruise to Singapore. You can explore the incredible history, architecture, and the famous food markets while spending three days in Singapore.
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