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Singapore: A 3-day itinerary for first-time visitors

A guide for first-time visitors

· 22 min read

Visiting Singapore for the first time and not sure where to start? Read on for a three-day itinerary for somewhere to start. This itinerary assumes you have three full days in Singapore.

Expected per-pax spend: SGD700 (excluding air tickets, accommodation, and shopping)

Want a copy of this itinerary in excel format for your own planning? You can download a copy of the itinerary here.

📢Want to find out more about Singapore? We’ve launched a time-limited service this November 2023, where we open up ourselves as virtual local guides to help you with - anything you want with your upcoming trip, really. Connect with us to ask questions or even just to shoot the breeze! We can be reached on WhatsApp, so ask away!. Check out A Local Answers for more information.

Day 1: Explore Marina Bay by foot

Located in central Singapore, the Marina Bay area is where most of the iconic attractions are located, all within walking distance to each other! Enjoy the beautiful cityscape of Singapore as you spend the day exploring some of the main attractions.

Merlion Park
🚶‍♀️Take the train to Raffles Place and walk to the Merlion Park

One of the most famous depictions of this iconic symbol is the statue found at Merlion Park — a scenic spot located at One Fullerton, Singapore, near the Central Business District. You can’t say that you have been to Singapore if you don’t have a tourist shot with the Merlion!

Source: Visit Singapore
Source: Visit Singapore

🗺️ Address: 1 Fullerton Rd, Singapore 049213

Recommended time spent: 15 to 30 minutes

Recommended things to do: Take photos with the iconic Merlion and city skylines, take a stroll along the Singapore river

National Gallery

::callout[Walk from the Merlion park to the National Gallery Estimated travel time: 6 minutes]{icon="🚶‍♀️"}

National Gallery Singapore is a leading visual arts institution which oversees the world’s largest public collection of Singapore and Southeast Asian modern art. Situated at the birthplace of modern Singapore, in the heart of the Civic District, the Gallery is housed in two national monuments - City Hall and former Supreme Court - that have been beautifully restored and transformed into this exciting 64,000-square-metre venue.

Check out the list of exhibits that are available at the National Gallery before heading down!

Source: Visit Singapore
Source: Visit Singapore

💰 Cost: SGD20 for General Admissions, SGD25 for the special exhibitions. You can get an all access pass at SGD30.

Recommended time spent: 1 hour

🕤 Opening hours: Daily, from 10am to 7pm

🌐 Website: https://www.nationalgallery.sg/

🗺️ Address: 1 St Andrew's Rd, #01 – 01, Singapore 178957

🍽️ Art Di Daniele Sperindio

After you are done with the exhibits, have lunch at the Michelin-starred neo-Italian rooftop restaurant and bar at National Gallery Singapore with panoramic views of the Marina Bay.

You will have an option of the full seven-course tasting menu at $298++ per person, or for a lighter lunch experience with three ($158++), four ($188++), or five ($288++) courses.

Note that their lunch hours are from 12pm to 2pm, so you might want to time your visit accordingly.

Reservations: https://artdidanielesperindio.com/reservations

Suntec City

::callout[Walk from National Gallery to Suntec City
Estimated travel time: 12 minutes Alternative modes of travel: 12 minutes by bus]{icon="🚶‍♀️"}

Source: Suntec City
Source: Suntec City

Suntec City is making its way to becoming one of Singapore’s most exciting retail destinations, offering diverse shopping, dining, and entertainment experiences in one location. In case Art Di Daniele Sperindio is not for you, Suntec City also has loads of food options that you may choose from. You can also grab a light dessert as you explore the area.

Food

🍽️ WHITE Restaurant

Source: White restaurant
Source: White restaurant

If you are looking for something local, be sure to check out the WHITE restaurant. The WHITE Restaurant started off as a shop in Sembawang, and was commonly known by locals as the ‘Sembawang White Bee Hoon’. In recent years, it has expanded and moved into neighbourhoods across the island, making it a lot more accessible for Singaporeans. Be sure to try out their signature white bee hoon and mee goreng!

🍽️ Song Fa Bak Kut Teh

Source: Song Fa
Source: Song Fa

Bak Kut Teh is one of the must-eat dishes when you are in Singapore! The essence of the dish lies in the peppery soup more so than the pork ribs- and one bowl of the soup is definitely not going to be enough. Not to worry, each order of the Bak Kut Teh dish comes with unlimited refill of the soup. It is recommended to also order the fried dough fritters (you tiao) to go along with the soup!

🥛Mr. Coconut

If you are just looking for a dessert or a drink, you might want to check out Mr. Coconut — a brand that has been super popular with the locals in recent years. With a variety of crafted coconut drinks filled with coconut flesh, the coconut shakes are definitely a good choice for something refreshing in sunny Singapore.

Shopping

🛍️ If you are into anime and collectibles, you might want to check out Otaku House and La Tendo. Of the two, La Tendo has a larger range of collectibles and merchandise.

🛍️ If you are looking for groceries and snacks, you could head over to *Giant *for more local products, or Don Don Donki for products from Japan.

Recommended things to do: Walk around the Fountain of Wealth, Have Lunch, Shop, Arcade

Recommended time spent: 1.5 hours (including lunch time)

🕤 Opening Hours: 10am - 10pm daily

🗺️ Address: 3 Temasek Blvd, #1, #327-328, 038983

Duck Tours (if time permits)

If time permits, you might want to hop onto a Duck Tour from Suntec City. Ride on the amphibious craft and cruise along key sites through the Civic District. The hour-long tour will give you a great introduction and overview of the Marina Bay region.

For a better deal, the Duck Tours also offer packages together with the Singapore Flyer or the Gardens by the Bay.

Recommended time spent: 1 hour

🕤 Operating hours: hourly departures from 10:00 to 18:00

💰 Cost: SGD43 for adult, SGD33 for child

🌐 Website: https://www.ducktours.com.sg/

Singapore Flyer

::callout[Walk from Suntec City to Singapore Flyer Estimated travel time: 10 minutes Alternative modes of travel: 10 minutes by bus]{icon="🚶‍♀️"}

The Singapore Flyer is an observation wheel at the Downtown Core district of Singapore. One round on the Singapore Flyer takes about 30 minutes, and there are packages that you can choose from to enhance your overall Singapore Flyer experience.

Recommended Time Spent: 30 minutes - 1 hour

🕤 Opening Hours: 2pm - 10pm daily

💰 Cost: SGD40 for adults, SGD25 for child

🔗 Reservation Link: https://etickets.singaporeflyer.com/webstore/landingpage?cg=b2cen&c=sftc

🗺️ Address: 30 Raffles Ave., Singapore 039803

ArtScience Museum

::callout[ Walk from Singapore Flyer to ArtScience Museum Estimated travel time: 10 minutes]{icon="🚶‍♀️"}

Source: Visit Singapore
Source: Visit Singapore

Seen that lotus-looking building in Singapore before? That’s Singapore’s ArtScience museum, where art, science, culture and technology come together. The exhibits at the ArtScience museum are typically very engaging and suitable for the general audience. Definitely check out their latest exhibits, as it is likely that you will find something interesting.

⏰ Recommended time spent: 1 hour

🕤 Opening Hours: 10am - 7pm, last entry at 6pm

💰 Cost: ~SGD15 - 25 per exhibit

🗺️ Address: 6 Bayfront Ave, Singapore 018974

🔗 Website: https://www.marinabaysands.com/museum/whats-on.html?tab=exhibition

Gardens by the Bay

::callout[ Walk from ArtScience Museum to Gardens by the Bay* * Estimated travel time: 4 minutes]{icon="🚶‍♀️"}

![Source: Gardens by the bay]( "Source: Gardens by the bay")

Cross the Helix bridge to get from the Singapore Flyer to the Gardens by the Bay. The Gardens by the Bay is a nature park spanning 101 hectares in the Central Region of Singapore, adjacent to the Marina Reservoir. It’s a great break from all the concrete in the area. The displays at the Gardens are regularly refreshed, and you may want to check out their calendar of events before planning your visit!

There is also a daily light show at 7.45pm and 8.45pm at the Supertree. You may want to time your visit to catch the light up of the supertrees in the garden.

⏰ Recommended time spent: 1.5 hours

🕤 Opening Hours: Take note that the opening hours for each of the gardens may differ, so do check them out before going!

💰 Cost: SGD10-53, depending on attraction

🗺️ Address: 18 Marina Gardens Dr, Singapore 018953

🔗 Website: https://www.gardensbythebay.com.sg/en/things-to-do/calendar-of-events.html

💡 Tips: Some of the exhibits close earlier than the others, so do watch out for time. We recommend that you skip the Duck Tours and Singapore Flyer if time is an issue.

Recommended things to do: Supertree Observatory, OCBC Skyway, Flower Dome, Watch the light show, Explore the gardens (for free!), Otter spotting

Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

::callout[ Walk from Gardens by the Bay to Marina Bay Sands Estimated travel time: 8 minutes]{icon="🚶‍♀️"}

End your day at the iconic Marina Bay Sands. Have dinner at one of the many celebrity restaurants at Marina Bay Sands, do some shopping, and head up to the SkyBar for a drink or two with an unobstructed view of the Singapore skyline! For those that are looking to party, hit the dance floors at Singapore’s largest club, Marquee. There’s also the option of heading over to the casino, for those who are feeling lucky.

🍽️ For something local, you might want to try Putien or Imperial Treasure Fine Chinese Cuisine.

🍻 You will have to pay for entrance to the Marina Bay Sands SkyPark. However, if you’re also in the mood for a drink, you can instead go to Ce La Vi Singapore for a drink while enjoying an unobstructed view of the skylines.

🎰 With four levels of gaming floor-space and over 2,300 slot machines to choose from, the Casino at Marina Bay Sands offers a vast selection of the newest and most popular electronic gaming machines worldwide with more than 250 game titles to choose from. Entry is free for tourists, so feel free to pop by to have a look even if you are not planning to play.

🕺Marquee is Singapore’s largest nightclub, with a massive ferris wheel, photo booths, and a three-storey spiral slide all in the club.

🕤 Opening Hours: 10am -10pm

🗺️ Address: 10 Bayfront Ave, Singapore 018956

Day 2: Spend your day at Sentosa!

Sentosa is the most well-known among the Southern Islands of Singapore, and is the only one that is connected to the main island by road. From beaches to casinos and theme parks, Sentosa offers a range of activities for a day of fun.

Note that Universal Studios Singapore is closed every Tuesday, so if that coincides with your trip, you might want to shift your plans around as required.

Ya Kun at Harbourfront Center

🚶‍♀️Take the train to Harbourfront.
Source: Ya Kun Kaya Toast
Source: Ya Kun Kaya Toast

A household name in Singapore, Ya Kun has many outlets across the country. You can visit one near your accommodation, or head over to Ya Kun at Harbourfront Center! Start your day with local Nanyang coffee and their signature kaya toast, dipped in half boiled eggs!

🗺️ Address: 1 Maritime Square

🍽️ Recommended food: Kaya Toast with Butter Set (includes two half-boiled eggs and coffee / tea)

🕤 Opening Hours: 8am - 8pm

Universal Studios Singapore

🚶‍♀️From Harbourfront Center, you can get to Sentosa by walking across the Sentosa Boardwalk. Alternatively, you can also take the monorail from Vivocity (next to Harbourfront Center) to Waterfront Station, or take the shuttle bus from outside Vivocity.
Source: Sentosa
Source: Sentosa

One of the six Universal Studios theme parks around the world, the Universal Studios Singapore is located within the Resorts World Sentosa at Sentosa, Singapore. It features 28 rides, shows, and attractions in seven themed zones.

Note that prior reservation is currently required for entrance to Universal Studios Singapore. You can purchase tickets and make the reservations in advance on their website.

Recommended time spent: 4 hours

🕤 Opening Hours: 11am - 6pm, closed on Tuesdays

🎢 Recommended rides: Transformers, Revenge of the Mummy, Battlestar Galatica: Human vs Cylon

💰 Cost: SGD82 for adults, SGD61 for child

🗺️ Address: 8 Sentosa Gateway, 098269

Tips:

💡 Food can be rather pricey in the park. Consider bringing some snacks in, or exiting the park for lunch at some of the restaurants at nearby before heading back in.

💡There are lockers available for you near each ride to store your belongings — the free storage time is typically sufficient for you to queue for one round of the ride, so don’t worry about having to leave a friend behind to take care of your bags!

Siloso Beach

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Source: Sentosa

If you’re done with the rides at Universal Studios and have time to spare before dinner, visit Siloso Beach — the most happening of the three beaches at Sentosa. There’s a monorail within Sentosa that you can hop on for free to get from Universal Studios to either Imbiah Station or Beach Station. After which, use the beach shuttle to get you to the beach! In addition to spending water sports and beach activities, there are also activities in the area that you could consider:

😃 Skypark Sentosa

Source: Sentosa
Source: Sentosa

Face your fear of heights at Skypark Sentosa! There are three activities that you could consider - visiting the Sentosa Skybridge, bungy jumping down a 50 meters high tower, or having a go at the Giant Swing!

Recommended Time Spent: 1 hour

🕤 Opening Hours:

Monday - Friday: 12.30pm - 7pm; Saturday, Sunday: 11.30am - 7pm

💰 Cost: SGD99 for Bungy Jump, SGD59 for Giant Swing

😃 iFly Singapore

Source: Sentosa
Source: Sentosa

Make all your flying dreams come true inside the world’s largest themed wind tunnel spanning 16.5 feet wide and 56.5 feet tall. And as the professionally-guided experience takes place inside a wind tunnel with 18 feet tall acrylic glass walls, this indoor skydiving experience boasts a bonus view of the South China Sea and Siloso Beach. Note that you’ll have to be there an hour before your flight, and that while the entire experience take about 1.5 hours (including briefing time), the actual flight experience lasts less than a minute. For a better deal, consider getting a package of 2 skydives instead.

Recommended time spent: 1.5 hours

🕤 Opening Hours:

Mon, Tue, Thu - Sun & PH: 9am - 10pm, *(first flight at 10am, last flight at 9.30pm) *Wed: 11am - 10pm, (first flight at 12pm, last flight at 9.30pm)

💰 Cost: SGD79 per skydive (purchase online at least one day in advance to get it at this rate)

😃 Fort Siloso

Source: National Heritage Board
Source: National Heritage Board

For a more cultural take, visit Fort Siloso located on the western tip of Sentosa Island. Built in 1878 by the British, Fort Siloso was one of the one of three forts (the other two being Fort Connaught and Fort Serapong) that had been constructed on the island to protect the New Harbour (later renamed Keppel Harbour) and the straits around Singapore, and remains the most intact fortification in Singapore.

Recommended time spent: 2 hours

🕤 Opening hours: Fort Siloso & Surrender Chambers : 9am - 6pm daily (Exhibits opens at 10am. Last admission at 5.30pm)

💰 Cost: Free

Jumbo Seafood, Riverwalk

::callout[Take the monorail to exit Sentosa and return to VivoCity. Take the MRT NEL (purple line) to Clarke Quay. Estimated travel time: 30 minutes]{icon="🚶‍♀️"}

Source: Jumbo Seafood
Source: Jumbo Seafood

Chili crabs are a must-try if you are in Singapore, and Jumbo Seafood is one of the most well-known restaurants that specialises in them. Fret not if you can’t take spicy food - the sauce for the chili crabs in Singapore are more sweet than they are spicy. You would most definitely want to have some deep fried mantous to go with the chili crab! It is highly recommended that you make a reservation in advance, as the outlets at riverside point tends to be fully booked for dinner.

🕤 Opening Hours: 5pm - 11pm for dinner

🍽️ Recommended food: Chili crab, Deep fried mantou

💡 Tips: If the outlet at Riverwalk is fully booked, you can also head over to Riverside Point, just a 5-minutes walk away from the Riverside Point outlet.

🔗 Reservation: https://www.jumboseafood.com.sg/en/reservations

🗺️ Address: 20 Upper Circular Rd, #B1-48 The Riverwalk, Singapore 058416

Clarke Quay

::callout[Walk from Jumbo Seafood to Clarke Quay Estimated travel time: 5 minutes]{icon="🚶‍♀️"}

Source: Visit Singapore
Source: Visit Singapore

Clarke Quay is a unique, conserved historical landmark located along the Singapore River and at the fringe of Singapore’s Central Business District. Clarke Quay is where most of Singapore’s nightlife is at, so you might want to spend some time exploring the bars and pubs in the area.

Day 3: Cultural Exploration

Spend the last day exploring some of the key districts to get a taste of the cultural diversity in Singapore.

Rochor Original Beancurd

🚶‍♀️Take the train to Dhoby Ghaut / Bencoolen / Rochor and walk
Source: Rochor Original Beancurd
Source: Rochor Original Beancurd

Rochor Original Beancurd serves traditional Chinese breakfast like beancurd, soybean milk, and deep fried fritters. Dip the deep fried fritters into the soybean milk, and enjoy your breakfast the Singaporean way!

🗺️ Address: 2 Short Street

🕤 Opening Hours: 10:30am - 11:30pm daily

🍽️ Recommended food: Soybean milk, Deep Fried Fritters (You Tiao)

Kampong Glam

::callout[Take a bus from Rochor Original Beancurd to Kampong Glam Estimated travel time: 20 minutes Alternatively, walk for about 20 minutes]{icon="🚶‍♀️"}

Source: Visit Singapore
Source: Visit Singapore

Centred on Arab Street, Kampong Glam is known as Singapore’s Muslim Quarter. Its 19th-century shophouses have been turned into stores selling textiles and casual restaurants serving spicy Malay and global fare. The area is lined with highly Instagrammable street art and cafes. Notable attractions include the Sultan Mosque.

Recommended Time Spent: 1.5 hour

Recommended things to do: Explore street art along Haji lane and Arab street, visit Sultan Mosque, cafe hop

Little India

::callout[Take a bus from Kampong Glam to Little India Estimated travel time: 20 minutes Alternatively, walk for about 20 minutes]{icon="🚶‍♀️"}

Source: Visit Singapore
Source: Visit Singapore

Little India today is one of Singapore’s most vibrant districts. As you walk down Serangoon Road and neighbouring streets, explore their mix of Hindu and Chinese temples, mosques and churches. If you are at Little India, you might also want to stop by Mustafa Shopping Centre, a 24-hour shopping mall which has a large variety of goods you are almost certain to be able to find what you need there.

Recommended Time Spent: 1 hour

Things to do: Get a henna art, visit Mustafa Shopping Centre, visit Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple

Maxwell Food Centre

::callout[Take the MRT (NEL) from Little India to Chinatown, then walk to Maxwell Food Centre Estimated travel time: 20 minutes]{icon="🚶‍♀️"}

Source: Visit Singapore
Source: Visit Singapore

If you haven’t already been trying out the food at Kampong Glam and Little India, you can head over to Maxwell Food Centre for a late lunch. One of Singapore’s favourite food centres, the Maxwell Food Centre is one of the few food centres that are lauded by both tourists and locals alike!

🕤 Opening Hours: General hours 8am - 2am; hours vary for individual stalls

🍽️ Recommended Food: Tian Tian Chicken Rice, China Street Fritters

🗺️ Address: 1 Kadayanallur St, Singapore 069184

Chinatown

Source: Visit Singapore
Source: Visit Singapore

After lunch, spend some time walking around Chinatown. Boasting a Buddhist temple, mosque and Hindu temple along a single street, Chinatown is a great place for you to immerse yourself in the multi-ethnic culture of Singapore.

Recommended Time Spent: 1.5 hour

Recommended things to do: Explore street art, cafe hop, visit temples and mosques

Orchard Road

::callout[Walk to Maxwell, then take the MRT (TEL) to Orchard Estimated travel time: 15 minutes]{icon="🚶‍♀️"}

You can spend some time exploring the malls at Orchard Road for some last minute shopping. The malls at Orchard road features mostly international brands, and are a great place if you’re looking for some retail therapy.

Source: Visit Singapore
Source: Visit Singapore

Recommended Time Spent: 2 hours

🛍️ Recommended Malls to visit: Ion Orchard, Ngee Ann City

Zion Riverside Food Centre

::callout[Travel from Orchard Road to Zion Riverside Food Center by MRT (TEL) Estimated travel time: 15 minutes]{icon="🚶‍♀️"}

Enjoy a wide range of local delicacies at the Zion Riverside Food Centre. Although it is not as big as some of the other hawker centres that are typically introduced in travel guides, the Zion Riverside Food Centre has a number of food stalls that are definitely worth trying when you are in Singapore!

🕤 Opening hours: 8am - 10pm daily, opening hours of individual stalls may vary

🍽️ Recommended food to eat: Lau Goh Teochew Chye Tow Kway (carrot cake), Zion Road Big Prawn Mee (prawn noodles), No. 18 Zion Road Fried Kway Teow (char kway teow)

🗺️ Address: 70 Zion Rd, Singapore 247792

💡 Tips: If this is your last meal in Singapore, and you haven’t had a chance to try Sugar Cane juice during your trip in Singapore, you really might want to give it a try.

You may want to consider staying in the Marina Bay or Orchard area, as they are rather central to most of the attractions. Some of the hotels that you could consider:

If you are looking for accommodation that’s more budget-friendly, you can consider the options at Kallang, Chinatown, or Robertson Quay.