I lived in Singapore as a child when I was about 6 to 7 years old. Although I don’t remember much of the year we lived there, stories have always been told to me by my parents, who have a lot of fond memories of SG. In fact, they were as excited as me when I told them I was returning for a short visit. During my travel, they would not stop pestering me about if I went here and there, ate this or that. I can say the trip was everything that I imagined. Even the uncomfortable heat could not stop me from falling for the charm of Singapore. If you are looking to travel somewhere but have less than 3 days, Lion City is the perfect destination!
This island country on the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula has been under the radar for many travelers. When Singapore is mentioned, the image conjured up is often of a modern metropolis with towering skyscrapers. After all, it has a reputation as one of the top commercial and financial centers in the world. However, it is so much more than just a boring business hub. Lion City is a place bursting with diverse cultures, beautiful nature spots, and mouth watering food! This guide will show you the best places to visit in Singapore in 3 days.
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Singapore Botanical Garden
Singapore Botanical Garden is a green oasis that features some beautiful tropical flora and fauna.This UNESCO Heritage Site has won numerous awards including Tripadvisor’s Traveller’s Choice. Located just at the end of Orchard Road shopping district, it is free to enter. The ground is huge and contains many attractions from rainforest to swan lake. I felt like I barely scratched the surface of the gardens during my stroll here with my friend Brooke, my lovely local expert and fellow blogger from Roamscapes. If I lived in Singapore again, I would definitely be a regular at this park.
Of the many ethnicities in Singapore, Chinese is the biggest population. Although it’s quite touristy these days, Chinatown is a must visit area in the centre of the city. You cannot miss the red and gold lanterns hanging high between the colorful shop houses. Head in the Heritage Centre to learn about the history of Chinese immigrants and their influence on Singapore culture, pick up at souvenir at the street stalls, and of course, munch on some delicious snacks. I got a tasty egg tart that was gone way too fast.
Maxwell Hawker Centre
Speaking of munchies, Singapore is pure heaven for foodies. Just a couple minutes walk away from Chinatown is Maxwell Hawker Centre, one of the most popular food courts for tourists and locals in Singapore. Here you can savour some authentic dishes like Hainanese Chicken Rice, Shanghai dim sums, and Hokkien fried noodles. The price tags are cheap and the potions are generous. I got a duck rice dish for only $4 and it left me very satisfied. Check out this comprehensive guide on what to eat at Maxwell.
For the artsy souls and museum lovers, the ArtScience Museum houses some world class exhibitions that you should check out. The idea of Art meets Science is showcased through many mind blowing installations. FutureWorld, located in the lower level, is an especially popular exhibition with interactive artworks. The Museum architecture itself, shaped similar to a giant lotus or a welcoming hand, is an iconic symbol of Singapore. I probably took a thousand photos before I even entered the building. It looks so cool!
Marina Bay Sands Hotel
This hotel barely needs an introduction. Famous for its rooftop infinity pool overlooking the Singapore skyline, exclusive only for its staying guests, Marina Bay Sands is a luxury resort not all of us can afford. If you are a peasant like me, you can still admire the hotel from afar. Together with the ArtScience Museum, Marina Bay Sands makes a postcard perfect picture. Until the day I get a photo inside that infinity pool…gah one day!
On the other side of the water from Marina Bay Sands is the Merlion. The quirky little statue depicting a mythical creature with a fish body and lion head is pretty much the mascot of Singapore. Be amused by hordes of tourists trying to take photos with a similar pose: pretending to catch the water sprouting from the lion’s mouth. Did you really go to Singapore if you didn’t take this photo? Hmm…
Gardens By the Bay
Finally arriving at my absolute favorite attraction in Singapore! I don’t care if people say Gardens By the Bay was built for tourists, it is absolutely stunning. I was so impressed with GBTB that I visited two times during my short trip, just to catch the day view and night view. Besides its imaginative horticulture displays that are just WOW, the grounds also educates the guests about climate change and environmental issues. The gardens were an effort made by Singapore in their plans to “greenify” the city. Did you know Singapore has the ambition of becoming the “greenest country in the world”? I love that. Imagine if all countries have this goal….
Garden’s By the Bay Must Sees
These tree like structures are covered in over 200 species of plants. As tall as 50 meters, they are essentially vertical gardens. I felt like a puny human when I stared up at these awe-inspiring supertrees. Don’t they remind you of the movie Avatar? The canopy of the trees harness solar power, which is used to power fantastical supertrees light shows at night time. All of this is free by the way! How awesome is that!
The Cloud Forest houses the tallest indoor waterfall in the world. When you step in the misty dome, you will immediately feel the temperature drop. You may welcome the cooling sensation with a satisfying “ahhhhh”. Let’s face it, Singapore is crazy hot! The Cloud Forest is such a great escape from the heat, you might not want to step outside ever again. Here you can learn about rare plants, many of which are endangered.
Right next to the Cloud Forest is the Flower Dome. The name is self explanatory of what you can expect to find here: seas of gorgeous flowers! I went during tulip season and it was an absolute feast for the eyes!
→ Get the Cloud Forest + Flower Dome tickets package
→Purchase ticket online ahead of time to save $$! Regular price: $28. Online price: $23
→ Go on weekdays and early in the morning to avoid the crowds. (Domes open at 9 am)
I stayed in Little India for a leg of my trip and adored the colorful houses and street arts in this area. Make sure to visit the house of Tan Ten Niah, an Insta-famous spot near Little India station! For people who are fans of Indian food like me, you will be spoiled with choices as you walk down the road.
Singapore is truly a diverse city. One moment you feel like you are in India, the next minute you wonder if you have been transported to the Middle East. Check out Kampong Glam, a neighborhood with eclectic establishments like Persian carpet shops, Lebanese restaurants, and vintage boutiques. Gawk at the magnificent Sultan Mosque, the biggest mosque in Singapore, and definitely grab a drink in Haji Lane, a hip alley way with the funkiest disco bars.
Head east to the Katong neighbourhood to learn about Peranakan culture in Singapore. According to definition by the Traveller, “Peranakans are made up of people descended from marriages between Chinese or Indian men and local Malay or Indonesian women from around the Malay Archipelago.” Their rich heritage and interesting blend of cultures can be seen through their vibrant architecture and clothing, as well as their flavourful food. Walk around the Katong area to spot buildings with intricate facades. A prime photo spot is the strip of multi-colored residential houses on Joo Chiat Road. Remember though that people live here so be considerate when you roam about.
I personally did not visit Sentosa this time around (although I could have with the time I had). Sentosa is a popular island with many leisure activities and exciting attractions. You can easily spend a whole day here. From Universal Studio, to Madame Tussauds’s Wax Museum, to MegaZip Adventure Park, to the Skyline Luge, the fun to be had here is endless!
About to leave Singapore? Wait! There is one more thing. You have to get the Changi Airport experience. This epic airport has been voted the best airport in the world for six consecutive years since 2013! I purposely arrived early before my check in time to see what Changi got to offer. I was very impressed with Terminal 3, which houses a theatre with free movie screenings, a butterfly garden, a delicious food street, shower and massage services (paid), and more. I was sad to learn that the airport swimming pool is located in Terminal 1. Shoot I had my bathing suit ready! Oh well…next time.
Best Places to Visit in Singapore in 3 Days Summary
Whether you are a foodie, nature enthusiast, or architecture lover, SG got you covered! There are so many awesome things you can do in Singapore in 3 days. And did you notice that most of them are free?! In my next post, I will be covering more on eating and accomodation in this city reputed to be “expensive”, so watch out for that. What are your favorite places and activities in Singapore?
Going to Singapore soon? Plan your trip in 4 easy steps
Book A Flight: Find the cheapest flights on Skyscanner, my go-to search engine.
Find A Hotel: Score affordable accommodation on Booking.com. Receive $16 off your first booking with my link here.
Buy insurance: You never know what may happen on the road. Protect your trip & gear with World Nomad, the best travel insurance company ever. Get a quote here.
Read up on the best advice: Love a good old fashion guide book. Suggested reading: Lonely Planet: Singapore Travel Guide