3 Days in Singapore
For such a compact city, there are so many great things to do in Singapore. Set out below is my itinerary for 3 days in Singapore. All prices below are in Singapore dollars with an exchange rate of approximately $1.8 to £1.
3 fun facts about Singapore before I begin!
- Singapore is the 20th smallest country in the world
- It is a city of 64 islands
- It is one of the world’s greenest cities
Day 1 of 3 days in Singapore
We started off our day at the infamous Raffles Hotel for a Singapore Sling in the Long Bar, an iconic institute in Singapore that has been serving Singapore Slings for over 100 years. It recently moved position from the Raffles Hotel Arcade and was restored and reopened in August 2018 with a gorgeous earthy décor reflecting the 1920s and the age of the tropical plantation with deep, rich colours and punkah wallah ceiling fans. What a treat and all before lunchtime!
Post lunch we headed to Gardens by the Bay to explore. It is free to enter to the complex where you see all of the trees, the artwork in the lake and see the amazing views looking back at Marina Bay Sands.
The following activities within The Bay of Gardens are chargeable:
- Cloud Forest and Flower Dome (joint ticket only – $28)
- Supertree Observatory ($14)
- Skywalk ($8)
- Floral Fantasy ($20)
Cloud Forest and Flower Dome
We purchased our tickets in advance through the website to avoid having to queue. You just pick the day you want to visit but you are not tied to a particular time.
The Cloud Forest is a greenhouse-like glass dome containing the world’s highest indoor waterfall at 30m tall. After admiring the water falling from such a height, you can wind you way up the spiral staircase Cloud Walk to visit the different levels. The flowers and tropical vegetation changes on each floor, reflecting how it would at different altitudes
On the other hand, the Flower Dome was pretty underwhelming. We visited in December, so it was appropriately Christmas themed with some gorgeous poinsettia’s. However, there wasn’t much else to it. I expected to see many varieties of flowers but left pretty disappointed.
We were one of the first visitors to the Supertree Observatory on 27 December when it opened. Within the Bay of Gardens, one of the trees has been converted into a 360 degree observatory giving guests beautiful views of the city.
You can walk around the top of the tree although pictures are obstructed by the ‘branches’. However, head up another floor and there is an open-air rooftop where you can sit on the grass and take in the sights!
We are glad we visited the observatory – I would recommend doing this or the skywalk situated in between two of the trees (see below).
The Light Show
After spending a 2-3 hours in the gardens, we stopped off for a drink at Marina Bay Sands (see below) before coming back to the Bay of Gardens for the nightly light show at 19.45 (there is also one at 20.45). This is completely free of charge – anyone can walk in and watch.
Arrive early so you can sit directly under, or near, the trees in the centre. Our light show was Christmas themed and made me smile the whole way through (10-15 minutes). Just watch the trees all light up and ‘dance’ to the music that is playing. It was pretty magical – don’t miss it!
Drink in Marina Bay Sands
To break up our Gardens by the Bay tour and light show, we decided to have a cocktail on the 57th floor of Marina Bay Sands at CÉ LA VI. What an amazing rooftop bar! You can read more here.
Eat at Makansutra Gluttons Bay Hawker Centre
If you follow the Helix Bridge over to the other side of the river to Marina Bay Sands you are on the waterfront promenade. We ate at Makansutra Gluttons Bay Hawker Centre which offers a range of local cuisine at affordable prices. Given the location it was unsurprisingly busy but had a good vibe!
From here we watched the 9pm light show at Marina Bay Sands. However, we were pretty underwhelmed – I am not sure if we were missing something or too far away, but it was nothing compared to Bay of Gardens.
Day 2 of 3 days in Singapore
We spent our day exploring Little India, Chinatown and Kampong Glam!
We started our day in Little India and visited the following places:
- Tekka Centre: A large covered local market with lots of fresh produce and delicious smelling spices. There is also some street food available.
- Mustafa Centre: Spanning several floors, this indoor centre is open 24 hours a day with over 300,000 items available for sale! Madness. It sells pretty much everything – packaged food, souvenirs, clothes, shores, jewellery, electrics, appliances and so much more!
- Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya Temple: Featuring a 15 metre tall Buddhist statute which is surrounded by thousands of lights.
- Sri Srinivasa Perumal temple: Hindu temple built in the late 1800s, dedicated to Sri Srinivasa Perumal or Lord Vishnu, the preserver and protector of the universe.
- Buddha Tooth Relic Temple: A gorgeous Buddhist temple built in 2007. The temple gets its name from what the Buddhists regard as the left canine tooth of Buddha.
- Maxwell Hawker Centre: Singapore is all about the Hawker Centres – a food court with a great variety of local food.
- We just had to try Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken and Rice owned by Foo Kui Lian which has been around since 1987. There is also an awesome Japanese stall with some delish Chicken Karage. Another option is Chinatown Complex with tons of hawker stalls.
- Sri Mariamman Temple: This is the first Hindu temple in Singapore and has the typical and beautiful colours and designs.
Arab Street / Kampong Glam
We absolutely loved visiting the Kampong Glam / Arab Street area. It was full of colour and atmosphere with its street art and painted walls. We visited:
- Sultan Mosque: What an absolutely stunning building! The mosque was built in 1824 for Sultan Hussein Shah, the first sultan of Singapore. It was then regenerated in 1932 to be the incredible mosque it is today.
- Bugis Street Market: One of the largest markets in Singapore with a small street food market within.
- Haji Lane: A small but very pretty road in Singapore with quirky street art and boutique shops. It is situated just off North Bridge Road, a few minutes from Bugis Metro Station
- Arab Street: Adjacent to Haji Lane is Arab Street which is another colourful street with graffiti and street art. There are also a few boutique shops and restaurants along the way.
Day 3 of 3 days in Singapore
Singapore Botanical Gardens
On Day 3 we headed to Singapore Botanical Gardens which is situated right outside the metro station. It was established in 1859 by the Agri Horticultural Society and around 60 acres of land were transformed from a disused plantation into the garden!
It felt more like a public park than botanical gardens but in a really good way. We were lucky enough to see quite a bit of nature in the gardens including the turtle, chicken, swans and lizards.
You could easily spend a couple of hours here and even take a picnic to enjoy in the sun. At the other end of the botanical gardens is a Orchid Gardens ($5 entry). Unsurprisingly, there were some beautiful orchids within the gardens – all sorts of colours and some dedicated to public figures. I definitely recommended a visit to the Singapore Botanical Gardens!
Wander down Emerald Hill Road
Just a short walk from our hotel is the beautiful Emerald Hill Road . The houses (some which are bars) are so beautiful and elegant. The street itself is not very long so you may only need 15 minutes here.
Orchard Road Shopping
If you want to shop, then Orchard Road is your friend! There are SO many options including ION Orchard, Orchard Central, Paragon and Tangs. We were just window shopping given it was a 2 month trip but there was so much I wanted to buy. Eat at Din Tai Fung for lunch which is ranked as one of the world’s Top 10 Best Restaurants by The New York Times. There are over 32 to choose from with a few in and around Orchard Road.
Jewel at Changi Airport
Jewel is an nature themed attraction and retail complex with people arriving at the airport early just to visit! It is linked to three of the airport passenger terminals and is home to the world’s tallest indoor waterfall, the Rain Vortex, which is surrounded by a terraced forest setting. It is an absolute beauty. You can visit up close and wander through the walkways if you have a time. More information can be found here.
Things we missed
Our 3 days in Singapore were pretty busy so sadly we missed out on the following:
- Cable Car to Mount Faber Summit
- Visiting Sentosa / Universal Studios
- Pulua Ubin Island
East London Girl: Things to do in Singapore
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