After visiting Singapore for the first time in 2003 and returning more than a few times we thought it was time we used our expertise to help you explore the city with this 3 day Singapore itinerary.
Singapore is often called the “Little Red Dot.” Despite its size, this once small fishing village paved its way to being one of the most prosperous nations in the world.
Though the city is small, it’s populated with many high-end shops, sky-high structures and then accentuated by beautiful gardens.
It is clean and organized and we found it was the perfect combination of a bustling city and a tropical island.
Singapore has a lot to offer. From family-friendly attractions including the popular Merlion to its irresistible cuisines and vibrant night scene.
It is also home to some of the best hotels in the world. For this reason, accommodation can book up quickly, especially during the high seasons like January February and June and July.
We would recommend booking your Singapore hotel well in advance if you are planning on visiting during these months.
For a more in-depth look at the best places to stay in the city check out our Where to Stay in Singapore Guide.
Like most cities in the world, there are so many things to see and do that it can be a little overwhelming for first-time visitors.
In order to help you navigate the city and get the most out of your trip to Singapore, we partnered with local resident Charmaine Leow who has lived in Singapore for years.
She uses this Singapore itinerary when she brings her guests around, maximizing each trip and saving precious time and money.
If you only have 3 days in Singapore, then this is the itinerary you will want to follow.
What you need to know when planning your trip to Singapore
Ideally, 3 days is enough to take in all of the highlights of the city. If you want to explore even more give yourself 5 days.
Singapore can be expensive so we recommend getting yourself a Singapore Pass that can save you up to 50% on admission and let you skip the lines.
Singapore is a great year-round destination as it never really gets cold. If you want to avoid the crowds then steer clear of December, January, and June.
On a sunny day, temperatures range from 25 degrees to 37 degrees every day so dress appropriately.
3 Days in Singapore – The Ultimate Singapore Itinerary
Day 1 in Singapore: The Quays and Marina Park
Day 1 in Singapore is all about hitting the main attractions. From the amazing views of the city at Marina Sands to one of the most amazing gardens in the world and a cloud forest!.
We have included an interactive map that will help you see what kind of distances you will be covering. Plus where everything is in relation to each other.
So let’s start the day off with what is probably the most famous attraction in Singapore.
1. Gardens by the Bay
Home to thousands of plants and rare species in an amazing man-made tropical forest.
The famous Gardens by the Bay spans a total of 101 hectares in the heart of the city and is an integral part of a “City in a Garden” concept where the wonders bloom.
Everyone who visits Singapore loves to spend some time taking pictures of the beautiful Supertree Structures.
You can explore the indoor Cooled Conservatory domes, and stroll along the 22-meter-high skyway that offers panoramic views of the Garden.
This is one of my favorite spots in Singapore as the Supertree Groves still amazes me to this very day.
This place is extremely popular so if you want to avoid the long ques for tickets make sure to buy your discounted tickets here in advance.
**Locals Tip: Every night (at 19:45 and 20:45) there is a beautiful light and music show at the Supertree Grove. Don’t miss this free light & music show when you are at the Gardens of the Bay.**
There’s a connecting overhead bridge (Lions Bridge) between Gardens by the Bay and Marina Bay Sands. It’s easy to find, just ask the staff working there!
- Hours: Open from 5am – 2am all week
- Cost: Ticket cost around $18 USD for an adult.
- If you have The iVenture Singapore Pass this is included along with with Skip the line access.
- Location: 18 Marina Gardens Dr, Singapore 018953
- Metro Stop: Via The Circle Line Or Downtown Line
2. Marina Bay Sands SkyPark
Marina Bay Sands is one of the most renowned hotels in the world. It has a beautiful infinity pool on the 57th floor! There is no better way to take in the beauty of Singapore and its glittering city skyline.
However, do note that this infinity pool is only available to Hotel guests. Click here to see how much a night costs at Marina Bay Sands!
If you are not wanting to fork out that kind of money for a night at the Marina Bay Sands, you can visit the Skypark and catch the 360-degree view of the city instead.
From here, you have an unobstructed view of the Gardens of the Bay, the Singapore Flyer and the Iconic Merlion. It really gives you a good overview of the whole city.
The Skypark has one of the best views of the city and well worth the price of admission. Just make sure you book your ticket in advance.
If you are looking for a place to catch the sunset, this is it.
Marina Bay Sands is also a place you may want to visit at night and take in the light and music Spectra show.
This takes place right out in front of the building, is free and is only about 15 minutes long.
But if you are in the area at 20:00, 21:00 or 22:00 on Fridays and Saturdays it is something you don’t want to miss.
- Hours: Opens from Monday to Sunday, 9:30 am to 10 pm and until 11 pm during weekends.
- Cost: Ticket cost around $15 USD for adults. Buy your ticket here or if you have the iVenture Singapore Pass it is included.
- Location: L57, Hotel Tower 3
- Metro Stop: Marina Bay Sands is linked directly to CE1/DT16 Bayfront Station on the Circle Line and Downtown Line of Singapore’s Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) train system. For directions to Marina Bay Sands, you can check this website for a guide.
3. Merlion Park
The Merlion is the official Mascot of Singapore and is probably one of the most recognizable icons of the city. Therefore you should expect a lot of people around the statue and in the park.
I have placed this in the evening part of this Singapore itinerary as that is when it is the most beautiful. Around sunset, the lights come on in the Business district, which makes for a perfect backdrop to the statue.
It is also a little cooler at this time of the day. Combine that with the breeze off of the water and you might not want to leave.
This National icon depicts a lion head with a fish’s body and spouting water from its mouth. It is believed to guard Singapore’s Prosperity.
After visiting the Merlion, you can take a stroll along the river and enjoy the business district zone of Singapore mixed with leisure, work, and fun!
- Hours: Open to the public 24/7.
- Cost: Visiting this amazing structure is free of charge
- Location: Merlion Park, 1 Fullerton Rd, Singapore 049213, Singapore
- Metro Stop: Bayfront is the nearest subway station. About 21-minutes walk from Marina Bay Sands via Bayfront Link. Enjoy a leisurely walk through this park.
If you would like a complete Singapore experience, you can stroll along the promenade for 15 minutes and you will end up at the next destination: Clarke Quay.
4. Clarke Quay
This is the bustling nightlife hub of Singapore. Located just across from Fort Canning Park, in Clarke Quay, you will find excellent restaurants with a mix of Asian and European cuisine.
Many locals and tourists love coming to Clarke Quay for an unforgettable night of partying and drinking!
If it is your very first time in Singapore, I recommend you take the cruise along the Singapore River.
You can take in the nightlife of the city, catch the spectacular views of the Marina Bay at night, and discover the rich history of the city while passing through some of Singapore’s most popular tourist spots.
This Boat ride takes about 40-minutes round trip and is a guided tour. You can check out more details about the cruise here.
For dinner, I would recommend eating at the popular steamboat and hot-pot at Hai di Lao, Clarke Quay.
It is situated right in front of the cruise center in the boat quay. The food is delicious here and the service is the best in town!
If you would western cuisine instead, you can dine at any of the restaurants along the river and enjoy the breeze and views of the Singapore River.
If you have time and want a little more culture, try to make your way over to Haji Lane and the Sultan Mosque. It is only about a 30min walk and they are worth the visit if you have time.
** Tip** Take the boat ride at 8:30 pm and you will be able to catch the water and light show at the Marina Bay area! Queue at least 15 minutes before as it gets really crowded at this time!
- Hours: Open Mondays thru Sundays, 10 am to 10 pm
- Cost: River Cruise starts at $18 for Adults
- Location: 3 River Valley Rd, Singapore 179024
- Metro: MRT station (NE5), an underground MRT station on the North-East Line in Singapore River.
#1 Money Saving Tip in Singapore
The iVenture Singapore Pass is the most efficient way to save money and time in Singapore.
You can order this online before your trip and pick it up at the airport. This includes:
- 3 or 5 attraction Singapore Flexi Attractions Pass with the option to add a Premium attraction.
- Save up to 50% on admission to Singapore’s most popular attractions
- Save time and skip the line at popular attractions
- Use your pass to sightsee at your own pace over five days
- Includes a fold-out colorful guide with maps and attraction details
- Includes a colorful guidebook with maps and tips
I highly recommend this Singapore tourist pass, it not only offers a great discount, but it also allows you to customize which attractions you like to visit and gives you access to tours that are not available with other passes.
Day 2 in Singapore – Sentosa Island and some Beach Time
On the second day in Singapore, we will spend a day in Sentosa Island where you will find lots of fun things to do and see!
If you are up for an adventure, (or if you have an extra day) you can spend the entire day in Universal Studios! Alternatively, you can use the below guide!
5. Cable Car from Mount Faber Park to Sentosa Island
There are several ways to get into Sentosa Island.
The first would be to drive in and the second would be taking the cable car from Mount Faber Station or Harbourfront Station.
This unique gondola lift is a perfect way to experience Singapore and see the panoramic aerial views of Mount Faber Park and Sentosa Island.
The trip is 5km long and if it is Instagram worthy views you are looking for, this is how to get them.
I recommend taking the cable car from Mount Faber as you get to complete the entire ride. It is more value for money as well.
Do note that there is no one-way service for the Cable car ride. It is a 2-way service!
Alternatively, you can hop off the Metro Station at Harbourfront Station, buy a 2-way $4 ticket for the Sentosa Express Ticket!
It is the easiest and fastest way to access Sentosa Island!
Note: There is no MRT service to the island and taxis will have to pay an entry ticket between S$3 and S$7 depending on day/ time.
- Hours: Singapore Cable Car: Daily 08:45 – 22:00 (Last Boarding at 21:30, Last Ticket Sale: 21:15)
- Cost: Tickets cost 22 USD for adults and 14 USD for children for a round trip. Book them here.
- Location: Junction of Kampong Bahru Road and, Telok Blangah Rd, Singapore 099448
- Metro: Harbourfront Station
6. Sun-tanning on Palawan or Siloso Beach
Bask under the sun while you are in Sentosa Island and get that beautiful sun-kissed skin.
This is a perfect place for the whole family. You can get active and enjoy some water sports or you can just kick back, relax and unwind at one of the beach clubs.
There is something for everyone on Sentosa Island.
There are 3 different beaches on Sentosa Island; Palawan, Siloso and Tanjong beach. Each one caters to a different crowd.
Siloso is the busiest of the three and has the best selection of watersports. Palawan is a little quieter and better suited to people looking to relax and soak up some rays.
Finally, Tanjong is probably the classiest beach in Singapore. The Tanjong Club is the place to be.
If you are looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and do it in style make sure you book a bed for the day with minimum consumption and chill.
This place is quite busy on the weekends but it is quiet on weekdays.
The transportation within Sentosa island is very convenient and accessible.
The train is free of charge with unlimited rides to Resorts World Sentosa and Imbiah Station.
But the cable car ride within Sentosa Island has a fee of $2 which can be bought when purchasing the Cable car tickets at Mount Faber / Harbourfront.
Metro: Imbiah Station
7. Adventure Cove Water Park, Madame Tussauds, Sea Aquarium
If you have kids, this is the place to take them.
The Adventure Cove Water Park gets you up close with marine life and you can also take a high-speed water slide, drift on a lazy river, or snorkel with tropical fish over a colorful reef. Fun for the whole family.
They have many packages to offer but I would personally recommend Adventure Express to skip the line so that you can explore more places on Sentosa Island!
- Hours: Opens from 10 am to 6 pm every day.
- Cost: Adventure Express costs about $12 and is the cheapest option.
- This is included in the iVenture Singapore Pass and it allows you to skip the line as well.
8. Madame Tussauds
Visit one of the most popular museums in the world and see your favorite stars and well-known leaders in their life-like wax figures.
This museum never disappoints. I always love to see the artist’s interpretation of the stars. Some of them look just like the real thing and others maybe not so much.
Regardless, it is a great place to spend an hour or so.
- Hours: Opens from 10 am to 6 pm, Monday to Friday and until 7:30 pm during weekends.
- Cost: Only $20 USD when you book online, or get it for free with the Singapore Pass.
9. The S.E.A. Aquarium
The S.E.A. Aquarium is definitely one of the highlights.
Explore the wonders of the aquatic realm that is home to more than 100,000 marine animals of over 1,000 species, across 50 different habitats. How amazing is that!
They offer different passes and tour packages. The one-day ticket (included in your iVenture Singapore Pass) is the best option and the most economical.
There’s a map provided in Resorts World Sentosa, just visit the link and enter the name of the place.
I have tried all of these attractions and would definitely recommend Madame Tussauds and Adventure Cove. It was a fun and lovely experience!
- Hours: Opens from 10 am to 7pm Monday thru Sunday
- Cost: One day ticket for Adult (Age 13 – 59) – $30. Book your ticket here.
10. Resorts World Sentosa
Resorts World Sentosa holds Singapore’s World-class attractions, exquisite hotels, and the finest dining. It is the 1st integrated resort where you can experience everything at its best!
You will find a huge array of distinctive brands, a huge Casino to gamble the night away, luxurious hotels where you can enjoy the night or even have an adventurous day at the Universal Studios Singapore!
If you are not too adventurous, you can hit up the more relaxed activities like the Sea Aquarium or the Maritime Museum!
In regards to dining, there are a ton of options. You can choose to dine at high-end restaurants or at the food court, depending on your budget and time!
You can have your dinner here before ending your day, enjoying the rest of your evening at Sentosa Island.
- Hours: Opens from 7am to 12 midnight.
- Cost: Rides within Sentosa island and outbound rides exiting at Sentosa station are free of charge for all commuters, regardless if they have entered Sentosa island using the Sentosa Express.
- Metro: Waterfront Station, Sentosa Island Line.
11. Cable Car back to Mount Faber / Harbourfront Station.
To end your day off, grab a ride back on the cable car and enjoy the night lights of beautiful Singapore.
See the captivating scene while riding atop this charming city.
Alternatively, you can take a stroll along the Sentosa Boardwalk to Vivocity where you can find a wide variety of retail, entertainment and amusement options, a one-stop shopping destination.
However, do note that purchasing a cable car gives you a return ticket. There are no one-way tickets available for sale.
Cost: Tickets cost 22 USD. Book them here.
Day 3 in Singapore – Shopping and Culture
We start off our final day in Singapore exploring a Buddhist temple then head into Chinatown for some amazing food and finish things off with a little shopping therapy on Orchard Rd.
This is the perfect way to wind down your 3 days in Singapore.
12. Buddha Tooth Relic Temple
The Buddha Tooth Relic Temple is located in Chinatown and is probably one of the most beautiful temples in Singapore. It is a large museum complex and a four-story-high Buddhist Temple.
The Museum houses a massive stupa that is made from 320kg of gold and the 10,000 Buddha Pavillion which houses a large prayer wheel.
The main attraction here though is Buddha’s Sacred tooth located in the relic room on the 4th floor.
It can only be accessed at certain times and, as with all Buddhist temples, you will have to take your shoes off before entering.
When you are in the temple, you can buy a token for $8, write your name on it and place it inside the collection containers. The Monks will bless it and many believed that it will bring good karma and fortune.
After visiting the Museum, make sure to take a stroll up to the rooftop garden and enjoy the peace and quiet.
After exploring the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, it is time to explore one of Singapore’s largest Historic and Oldest Districts: Chinatown.
If you are into more temples you can stop in at the Thian Hock Keng temple for more amazing architecture.
Chinatown is just 1 minute away from Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, Head northeast on South Bridge Rd toward Sago St.
- Hours: Opening hours are from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.
- Cost: No entrance fee
- Location: 288 South Bridge Rd, Singapore 058840
- Metro: Stations closest to Buddha Tooth Relic Temple is the Bus:
Sth Bridge Rd – Maxwell Rd Fc (05269) – 1 min walk
13. Eat, shop, have fun at Chinatown!
No visit to Singapore would be complete without a visit to Chinatown.
Once a place for the Chinese immigrants, it has now been transformed into a bustling neighborhood full of great shops.
You will find streets lined with antique shophouses, souvenir shops, indie boutiques, and chic clubs.
You will also find food houses serving traditional cuisines and stores offering trendy clothes, some crafts, and antiques.
As you stroll along the labyrinth of small roads, enjoy the fusion of different cultures as well and the vibrant ambiance it exudes.
Be sure to try out the food along these streets and the hawker centers, you will fall in love with the Chinese cuisine!
- To fully understand the history of Singapore, you can try this Singapore walking tour itinerary with Viator Tours.
- It includes food tasting samples of 5 traditional Singaporean dishes, a walking tour around Chinatown to learn about its rich cultural history.
I highly recommend it as it can give you an insight you might miss on your own.
- Hours: Chinatown Street Market regular hours of operation 07:00 AM – 10:00 PM
- Cost: You can find the cheapest and affordable food here, or jump on a Food Tour for an even better experience.
- Location: Market covers a long stretch from Pagoda Street, Trengganu Street, Sago Street, and Smith Street.
- Metro: NE4/DT19, an underground MRT interchange station on the North-East Line and Downtown Line in Outram, Singapore.
14. Singapore Botanic Gardens
Housing an over more than one-hundred-year-old tropical rainforest, this centennial old tropical garden is nestled near Orchard Road Shopping District.
It is home to one of the best and most breathtaking tropical floral displays in the world.
The Singapore Botanical Garden is the city’s only UNESCO world heritage site and is one of the major reasons why Singapore garnered the title “City in a Garden”.
With grounds that cover 82 hectares, you can understand why this is the place to stroll around or have yourself a picnic.
You can spend as much or as little time here as possible. If you are a nature lover, make sure to check out some of the lakes, waterfalls, and ponds that are housed in the garden.
You might also witness people getting their wedding photos taken here as this is a popular spot.
- Getting There: From Singapore Botanic Garden, take 1 Cluny Rd, and go to 7B Dhoby Ghaut Station. From there it will take you about 15 minutes to Orchard Road.
- Hours: 5 am till midnight.
- Cost: There’s no entrance fee unless you intend to visit the National Orchid Garden within the Botanical Gardens.
- Location: 1 Cluny Rd, Singapore 259569
- Metro: Nearest Station: North East Line from Chinatown MRT Station, about 30 – 45 minute commute to Botanical Gardens
15. Shopping along Orchard Road
You can’t come to Singapore without doing a little shopping right?
Orchard Road is one of Singapore’s top visited spots by both locals and tourists as it houses some of the world’s most famous brands, luxury items, designer shops, and distinctive stores scattered along this boulevard.
You can find something for every taste here. It is definitely my favorite place to shop in Singapore. There are higher-end malls like Paragon and more affordable options like Lucky Plaza.
No matter what your budget this area has you covered.
- Hours: Most shops open from Sunday to Thursday at 10 am and closes at 10 pm, they extend their shopping hours till 11:00 on weekends.
- Metro: The nearest station 7B Dhoby Ghaut Station
Singapore Fast Facts:
How can I stay connected? Wi-Fi hotspots are widely available in various public areas around Singapore.
If you wish to stay in touch with your loved ones, make a call or stay connected online without worrying about the cost, a good option is to buy a Singapore prepaid SIM card. These three local telcos – M1, Singtel, and Starhub offer a variety of packages.
Which currency is used in Singapore? The currency in Singapore is SGD or Singapore Dollar. 1 USD is currently equal to 1.35 SGD.
Can I drink the water in Singapore? Singapore has safe drinking water. You don’t have to worry and you can drink the water here straight from the tap.
Can I rent a car in Singapore? Yes, you can, but remember that cars drive on the left in Singapore. Be sure to look right before crossing the streets and use pedestrians at all times.
Do I need a Visa to visit Singapore? For most countries, the answer is no, as a lot of nationalities can visit Singapore for a period of 30 days or 90 days without a visa.
But always check to be safe: Singapore Visa information website.
Transportation in Singapore
There are several modes of transport that you can choose from. If you have time and would love to experience like a local, you can choose to take public transport like the MRT and Buses to navigate around.
You can buy a special EZ-Link stored-value card which will allow you to use the MRT and public bus services with unlimited rides up to three days for $20.
The fastest way to travel around Singapore is through their tram system or the MRT.
The bus system, on the other hand, is the most economical way to get around the city.
If this is your first time visiting Singapore I recommend jumping on the Hop on/Hop off the bus. This will give you a good overview of the city and get you to most attractions.
You can also choose to hail a Taxi, GrabCar, GOJET or TADA to move quickly around the city.
If you are first time users, be sure to google online, download the app on your smartphone and check if any additional discount codes can be applied. At times, you can get SGD$5 off your rides!
How can we reach the city from Singapore Changi Airport?
There are 4 ways to get from the airport. I have listed them below with their costs.
- MRT: The cost depends on where you are getting off. You can check the fares here. If you have purchased an EZ-Pass you before arriving you can use that for the fare.
- Bus: There are bus stops in each terminal and the cost will depend on your destination. Check your fares here.
- Shuttle: You can grab a city shuttle direct to your hotel for about $10 USD. Book your shuttle here.
- Private Transfer: Definitely the most convenient way to get to and from the airport but also the most expensive. Book your private transfer for about $60USD
Where to stay in Singapore
Finding a place to stay in Singapore depends on the area you want to be in and what your budget is.
The neighborhoods below are a rough overview of the best areas to base yourself in.
- Orchard Road – One of the oldest and most popular streets of Singapore, surrounded by distinctive shopping malls.
- Marina – Iconic architectural works based on Singapore’s skyline and its main landmarks.
- Sentosa Island – A famous tourist spot, where you can find sandy beaches, various attractions and Resorts World Sentosa.
- Clarke Quay & Chinatown – Located along the Singapore River, with a vibrant nightlife and traditional Chinese cultures entwined.
- Little India & The Arab Streets – A hipster neighborhood with boutique shops, hotels, and unique street arts.
If you want a more in-depth breakdown with specific suggestions and prices then check out Where to Stay in Singapore – A guide to the Best Neighbourhoods and Accommodation.
If you follow this route and take the metro or bus where needed, you can see a lot of Singapore’s top sites during a short visit.
Singapore is a small city and its main attractions are located very close to one another.
To understand more about the Singaporean culture, museum hopping and the true vibe of the city, you would need more than 3-days. However, this 3-day itinerary is good enough to see the best sites in Singapore.
For more information on Singapore you may enjoy these articles:
- The Best Things to do in Singapore – A Local’s Guide to the City
- Where to Stay in Singapore – The Best Neighborhoods and Accommodation
- How to Travel Singapore Like a Local
- Outdoor Activities in Singapore
- A Tour of Haw Par Villa in Singapore
- The Best and Biggest Festivals Around The World
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Did we miss anything in this Singapore Itinerary?
If so, let us know in the comments.