SEE THE BEST OF SINGAPORE IN 3 DAYS

The Singapore Flyer is a must do if you have 3 days to spend in Singapore
Get a bird’s eye view … the Singapore Flyer will take you sky high

By LINDA JAMES | Updated MARCH 6, 2022 | ITINERARIES

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Have you been wondering what you’d do and see with 3 days to spend in Singapore? 

  1. Day 1 – Visit the most popular tourist attractions: the Singapore Flyer, Gardens by the Bay and Marina Bay Sands’ SkyPark observation deck
  2. Day 2 – Experience Singapore’s culture in Little India, Bugis-Kampong Glam and Chinatown
  3. Day 3 – Get your shopping fix on Orchard Rd

This 3-day/2-night itinerary will allow you to see all of the city’s top attractions and get to know the different areas of Singapore – perfect for when you return for your second visit!

Day 1 – See the Top Attractions

Singapore Flyer

Taking a ride on one of the world’s largest ferris/observation wheels, the Singapore Flyer, is a great way to start your trip and get orientated to this amazing city. Jump on the Downtown MRT Line and go to Promenade Station, which is in Suntec City Mall. In front of the mall is the Fountain of Wealth, which was listed in the 1998 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest fountain in the world.

If you’re interested in sculpture and architecture, you could take a quick side trip and walk about 13 minutes to Parkview Square anddo a self-guided tour of the key sculptures in the Marina Bay Sands area. Otherwise, stick to the plan and walk 10 minutes to the flyer.

This gives you a bird’s-eye view not only of the city but also out to Indonesia and Malaysia on a clear day. Take a 30-minute ride in one of the 28 air-conditioned glass capsules and use the time to get a sense of Singapore’s layout. Look out for famous landmarks such as Merlion Park, Marina Bay Sands Singapore, Gardens by the Bay, Sentosa Island and Mt Faber.

Gardens By the Bay floral clock
Gardens by the Bay … many free attractions as well as ticketed

Gardens by the Bay

Now you have two options: you can either catch a bus (97, 106 or 133) from opposite the Ritz Carlton Millenia or walk across the Helix Bridge to Gardens by the Bay. It’s a beautiful walk and gives you the opportunity to see the famous Merlion and the exterior of the ArtScience Museum, which was designed to look like a lotus flower, among other sights.

Gardens by the Bay, which is right next door to Marina Bay Sands Singapore and Bayfront MRT Station (on the Circle/Downtown Lines), is difficult to do in less than 4 hours.

The first time I went, I only visited the free features – the amazing Supertree Grove and the outdoor gardens but the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest are definitely worth paying to see. I would time your visit to the last two for the middle of the day when it’s hottest because the domes are temperature-controlled and there’s a lot of misting to keep you cool.

Outside, there are a whole stack of gardens you can check out for free: the Sun Pavilion, Heritage Gardens, rock gardens and the World of Plants. The gardens are also home to more than 40 impressive indoor and outdoor sculptures such as Planet (Floating Baby).

Supertree Grove contains 18 Supertrees that soar 16-storeys high. These vertical gardens are not only beautiful but serve some pretty important functions in the gardens. There’s a nightly light and sound show, called Garden Rhapsody, which is definitely worth hanging about or returning for at 8.15pm.

You could leave now and head to Singapore Skypark to check out the views and catch the sunset then pop back later for Garden Rhapsody.  

Skypark Observation Deck

This is one of the best places to catch the sunset. It’s a 10-minute walk to the elevators at Marina Bay Sands Singapore’s Front Tower 3, which will whisk you up to the 57th floor of the hotel. Tickets cost $S26 for adults, less for residents and members.

The other way to get to the 57th floor and catch the same views is by booking a table at LAVO Italian Restaurant & Rooftop Bar or CE LA VI Sky Bar and Lounge. Both offer some great cocktails and delicious bites and share plates.

Day 2 – Immerse Yourself in Singapore’s Culture

Singapore is a diverse city with Chinese, Malay, Indian and Peranakan communities. Getting around all three of these neighbourhoods in one day will be a feat (I’ve spent whole days in Chinatown) but can be done especially if you just want to see the main attractions in your 3 days in Singapore and return on another holiday to explore them in more depth.

You may decide just to see two of them according to your personal preferences – but all three are definitely worth taking the time to visit.

Little India

The smell of incense and spices marks your entry to Little India as visitors jostle with locals doing their daily shopping. Hindustani and Punjabi music fills the air while the bright colours of the saris in shop windows are a feast for the eyes.

Just outside Little India MRT Station is the Tekka Centre, which houses a shopping mall, a wet market and a hawker centre. It fronts on to the main thoroughfare in Little India, Serangoon Rd, and most of the sights are a block or two either side of this very busy street.

In the same area as the Tekka Centre is the Indian Heritage Centre and one of the most colourful houses in Singapore – Tan Teng Niah Residence – a Chinese villa popular with Instagrammers for obvious reasons!

A few blocks down on the left is Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple and further down on the right is Mustafa Centre, one of the most jampacked shopping centres I’ve ever seen.

Depending on the time of day – and the heat – you might choose to grab a taxi to Bugis/Kampong Glam, also known as the Arab Quarter, or catch the MRT one stop from Jelan Besar station to Bugis station. You could also walk – it’s about 20 minutes.

Bugis-Kampong Glam

Even from a distance, you can see the golden domes of the Sultan Mosque. Once inside, be prepared to be wowed by the stunning architecture. Next door is the Malay Heritage Centre, which is not only beautiful itself but will give you a great understanding of the heritage and culture of the Malay community.

If you’re feeling hungry, drop into Haji Lane, famous for its street art, quirky cafes and vintage shops! Or you could go to the Golden Mile Complex, known for its delicious Thai cuisine.

Go to Bugis MRT station and go to Chinatown MRT station – a short 15-minute ride away.

Chinatown

There are so many places to eat here – Chinatown Complex Food Centre, Hong Lim Market and Food Centre, Amoy Street Food Centre and Maxwell Food Centre.

However, it’s also home to a number of incredible temples including the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, which contains a solid gold 2m stupa on its 4th floor where the sacred Buddha Tooth is kept, and Sri Mariamman Temple covered with colourful sculptures of Hindu deities.

There’s also the Chinatown Heritage Centre, which focuses on the area’s rich history and the lives of its migrants.

If you’d like to finish the day off with some sky-high views, head to the Pinnacle@Duxton Skybridge on top of one of the world’s tallest residential buildings.

Chinatown Food Street, Singapore
Chinatown … so much to explore

Day 3

On the last of your 3 days in Singapore the focus is on Orchard Rd but we’re starting at the Botanic Gardens then working our way up through the shopping precinct and on to some history and, finally, of course, ending with some delicious Singaporean cuisine at Newton Food Centre (the one made famous the the film, “Crazy Rich Asians”).

Botanic Gardens

These gardens are huge – the perfect place for a lazy picnic (store that idea for your next visit!). The best way to get here is by bus. Before you go, though, you should decide exactly what you want to see otherwise you’ll end up spending the whole day there.

I particularly loved the National Orchid Garden. It’s one of the few things you have to pay to enter but I definitely think it’s worth the $S15 if you’re not a resident.

From there, take another bus to ION Orchard to experience 2.5km of megastores, malls and department stores designed to appeal to all budgets.

Orchard Rd

Although there are other centres before this, you’ll have your work cut out getting through all of the shops before you hit Emerald Hill Rd.

ION Orchard is bursting at the seams with famous labels such as Louis Vuitton, Bvlgari and Alexander McQueen as well as more affordable brands like Cotton On and H&M.

As you wander down the street, there is one mall after another such as Paragon Mall, 313@Somerset and Orchardgateway as well as the famous Japanese department store Takashimaya.

Emerald Hill Conservation Area

Turn left off Orchard Rd into Emerald Hill Rd and you’ll find Peranakan Place, which houses 6 beautifully restored two-storey shophouses, which are now home to an exclectic mix of restaurants, bars, cafes and other retailers.

Continue walking up the street and you’ll pass stunning terrace houses, which provide a window into Singapore’s culture and heritage.

If you find your energy flagging, then now is the time to jump into a taxi and head to Newton Food Centre for another exploration of Singaporean cuisine.

Peranakan Place Singapore
Emerald Hill Rd … beautifully restored shophouses

Newton Food Centre

With more than 100 stalls, you won’t have any trouble finding something to please your palate here. There’s spicy laksa (coconut noodle soup), delicious satay (skewers with a peanut sauce) and firm favourites such as shaved ice. What a great way to end your 3 days in Singapore!

Conclusion

This itinerary lists the best things to see & do for 3 days in Singapore. You’ll see all of Singapore’s main attractions and experience the diversity it has to offer – just enough to whet your appetite for more and convince you to return!

My area guides also provide suggestions on where to stay and eat and drink. If you’re thinking of a longer visit to Singapore, then I’ve got the planning done with my 5 days in Singapore itinerary. If you only have a very short stopover, I’ve got you covered with a 1-day stopover itinerary. For help with how to plan, checkout my detailed guide.

Want more of Singapore?

Learn how to plan your Singapore trip
Link to where to eat and drink in Singapore
Link to Singapore area guides