There’s no other place like Singapore. Located just off the southern tip of Malaysia, this vibrant city-state boasts a beautiful blend of Malaysian, Indian, Chinese, Arab and English cultures – all with its own Singaporean twist. The “Lion City,” as it's referred to, is filled with delightful culinary experiences, state-of-the-art accommodations and exciting nightlife. My ultimate Singapore travel guide is filled with travel tips to help you plan your own trip!
WHAT TO EXPECT IN SINGAPORE
Singapore, being one of the most prominent cities in the world, will provide you with a different kind of experience from the one you could expect in other Asian countries.
Language: Most locals are bilingual – proficient in English and either Mandarin, Malay or Tamil.
Currency: The Singaporean dollar (SGD) is the currency of choice here. Currently, $1 U.S. dollar will get you $1.33 in Singapore dollars.
When you’re budgeting for your trip here, keep in mind that Singapore is one of the wealthiest countries in the world. While you can find some bargains in Malaysia and Indonesia, Singapore is expensive so expect to spend the same as you would in a big American or European city.
Cards + Cash: Credit cards are widely accepted, but you should still carry some cash for food stalls, coffee shops and other small purchases.
Climate: Temperatures in Singapore are consistent all year. Typically, on any given day, you will see temperatures between 75 degrees Fahrenheit (24 degrees Celsius) to 89 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius).
The humidity level is high; the country sees an average of 167 days of rain per year, so bring that umbrella!
While Singapore is a small country, there is still a lot to see. Just 31 miles wide and 17 miles long, Singapore has a remarkable amount of must-see neighborhoods like Little India, Bugis, Chinatown, Marina Bay, the Financial District, and Sentosa Island.
Public Transport: The Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) is an easy and affordable way to get around Singapore. The price of tickets depends on where you are going and generally runs around SGD 4 (USD 3). If you are planning to explore as much of the city as possible, the Singapore Tourist Pass can be a great deal. It gives you unlimited travel for a set period.
Taxi: An app called Grab is popular here, and the ride prices are cheaper than what a traditional taxi ride would cost. It works just like Uber, which is being phased out in Singapore. While there are a ton of taxis all over the city, they charge peak rates after 6 p.m., so it can get expensive quickly.
If you’re feeling adventurous try bike-sharing in the city! A bike-share is a service where bicycles are available for shared use between individuals.
Itinerary for Singapore in 3 Days
A melting pot of cultures in a picture-perfect setting, Singapore has it all. Situated beside Malaysia, it has become one of the most visited cities in the world, and it’s easy to see why!
With exciting attractions, some of best food in the world and a one-of-a-kind culture, Singapore is an Asian destination that you just can’t miss. Most travelers choose to spend a few days exploring the city during a stopover, since the Changi Airport is a big hub for destinations throughout Asia.
Whether you have a few hours, or are trying to explore Singapore in 3 days, you can build an awesome itinerary and hit all the top things to do.
Want to maximize your time here? Check out my itinerary for 3 days in Singapore.
Getting Around Singapore
Singapore is a small country, and it’s easy to get around thanks to its well-connected network of transportation. The Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) is a simple and affordable way of getting wherever you want to go.
If you’re trying to see as much as possible in a short time, the Singapore Tourist Pass is a great deal and will give you limited rides on any type of public transport. A one-day pass costs $10 SGD ($7.50 USD), a two-day pass costs $16 SGD ($12 USD) or you can get a three-day pass for $20 SGD ($15 USD).
Before you go, be sure to download the Grab app! Uber is disappearing here, and taxis can get pricey — especially at night. The Grab app works just like Uber and is an excellent alternative to the MRT.
Day One in Singapore
Start at the Marina Bay Area
Start your day at the Gardens by the Bay! You will want to get there right at 9 a.m. to get ahead of the crowds. I was absolutely mesmerized by the Supertree Grove, Flower Dome, and Cloud Forest. I’d recommend giving yourself at least two hours to take it all in.
I opted to spend a night at Marina Bay Sands, but you don’t have to have a room at the hotel to take in the view from this iconic spot. Head over to Marina Bay Sands and get a ticket for the SkyPark Observation Deck. The panoramic views of the cityscape from the 57th floor here are unreal.
Eat Up the Foodie Culture
Bring your camera and spend some time wandering around the markets of Chinatown before making your way over to Buddha’s Tooth Relic Temple. Once you have worked up an appetite, go for lunch at Chinatown’s Maxwell Hawker Centre.
The food markets here are made up of “hawker” stands or stalls. If you want a true taste of Singapore, you have to visit the markets. There are so many incredible local dishes that it’s impossible to narrow it down to a fave, but some of the best Singaporean food includes chili crab, prawn mee (noodle soup with prawns) and laksa (a spicy noodle soup that can have different proteins). There’s even a Michelin-star chicken rice stand!
Walk Bugis Street Market
The Bugis Street Market was once a red-light district famous around the world, and now it’s famous with tourists and locals alike as the largest and cheapest place to shop in Singapore. If you’re on the hunt for souvenirs or just love wandering foreign markets, this is a must.
There are a great selection of Singapore walking tours if you’d like to learn more about local life.
Hop on Singapore Flyer
Another local icon, you have to get on the Singapore Flyer for your first sunset in the city. While it is undoubtedly touristy, it is worth it to take a thirty-minute ride one of the world’s most enormous Giant Observation Wheels.
At Night Out in Clarke Quay
This buzzing neighbourhood along the river is where Singaporeans and travelers in the know go when the sunsets. Come here for dinner then stick around to explore the countless bars and clubs.
Day Two in Singapore
Start Early Tiong Bahru Market
Get an early start on day two at the Tiong Bahru Market. Opening at 6 a.m., this is a local market with all kinds of fresh seafood, fruits and veggies. For hungry travelers, it’s all about the hawker food stalls.Eat your way through the market then hit the streets ready to take on another day in Singapore!
Chill at the Singapore Botanic Gardens
This 158-year-old property is the only tropical garden to be honored as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Be sure to check out m Bussorah Street, Haji and Bali Lanes and Muscat Street. It’s full of shops, cafés, restaurants and photo opportunities. Just be sure to avoid the area on Sundays as most places are closed.
Explore Arab Stre
Visit the ArtScience Museum
An iconic cultural landmark in Singapore, this museum combines art, science, culture and technology. Check out the impressive exhibitions filled with beautiful displays of lights and sculptures. There are lots of different experiences to be had here, so be sure to check out their website for more info.
Indulge in Ultra Fresh Seafood
If you love seafood as much as I do, Jumbo Seafood’s flagship restaurant in the East Coast Seafood Centre is a must. Their award-winning Chili Crab has a cult following in Singapore! I also had an amazing dinner at Po Restaurant at The Warehouse Hotel, that I’d recommend — they have a great lineup of craft cocktails too!
Check out the Sultan Mosque (Masjid Sultan)
This prominent mosque is one of the cities’ most impressive religious buildings. You can take a guided tour to learn more about the history of the mosque or just take a quick look around on your own.
See the Gardens at Night
Get back to the Gardens by the Bay for their magical nighttime Garden Rhapsody Show. It’s usually on at 7:45 p.m. and 8:45 p.m. every night, but double-check their site for a current schedule before you go.
Day Three in Singapore
Take a Trip to Sentosa Island
Sentosa Island is where Singaporeans and people from around the world head to have a frolic in the sun and sand. This island resort has beautiful beaches, spas, outdoor activities and theme parks like Universal Studios.
Have more than three days in Singapore? Lucky you! While Singapore is a small country, you could easily spend a week exploring it all.
More Recommendations for Singapore!
If you have more then three days in Singapore, or get through some of your Singapore itineraries quicker then expected, check out these highlights:
Consider a full-day tour of the highlights if you don’t want to worry about getting around — you can sit back and relax with this Full-Day Tour of Singapore with River Cruise!
Joo Chiat is another historic neighborhood that I adored! The Peranakan’s colorful houses are so cute and picturesque, so be sure to plan for plenty of time there to snap photos.
Back along the river, Boat Quay and Roberstons Quay are top hangouts. You can spend hours exploring the area, which boasts an eclectic mix of alfresco dining, art houses, bazaar shopping and much more.
Last but certainly not least, just keep eating your way through the city! Another spot I loved was Neon Pigeon. It’s a hip restaurant that offers delicious Asian fusion cuisine.