If you are planning a trip to Southeast Asia, be sure not to miss out on Singapore. This country, rich in history and culture, is popular among world travelers for a reason. But if you haven’t got much time to take in everything the gorgeous country of Singapore has to offer, no worries—here’s how to do it all in just three days.
Day 1: Culture and world-famous street food
Morning: What better way to learn about a country than by exploring its many museums and galleries? Singapore boasts several, and there is no better place to start than the National Museum of Singapore. Here you will learn all about Singapore’s history, dating back to 1887, while taking a walk through the years of occupation, gaining independence and up to the modern day.
There are many memorials dedicated to honoring Singapore’s past. To get a better understanding, head to Changi Museum, which provides an exploration into Singapore’s wartime history during Japanese occupation. Other memorials worth visiting include the Civilian War Memorial and the Cenotaph.
Afternoon: Sticking with the theme of culture, it’s time to explore Singapore’s vibrant art scene. The National Gallery Singapore is where you will find the largest collection of Singaporean and Southeast Asian art in the region. Formerly the City Hall and Supreme Court buildings, the National Gallery pays homage to artists past and present and offers a great flavor of the creativity of Southeast Asia.
For more contemporary collections, make your way to the Singapore Art Museum. As the building is currently under renovations, the museum has set up Walking in the City, a showcase of art and creative works along Bras Basah Road and Queen Street. This series will take you on a walking tour of pieces commissioned by the best artists on the island.
Evening: After a long day of learning and exploring, there is only one way to recharge, and that is at one of Singapore’s many world-famous street food markets. Known as hawker centers, these street food markets are dotted all around the island, selling delicious (and cheap!) Singapore cuisine.
Newton Food Center—made even more famous by the hit Hollywood movie Crazy Rich Asians—is a must-try if you are in the city center. If you’re in the south, head to Tiong Bahru Market, and in the east, Chomp Chomp Food Center. All the food is great, but for a true taste of Singapore, chili crab, chicken rice, and laksa are all popular local dishes.
Day 2: Instagram-friendly tourist attractions
Morning: Singapore is packed with iconic and picture-friendly tourist attractions and landmarks, so start your second day with a trip to the Merlion water fountain, located in the Central Business District. The Merlion, a mythical half-lion, half-fish creature, has become a national symbol of Singapore, so pictures in front of this famous landmark is a must. From there, hop on the metro to the Singapore Flyer—a giant Ferris wheel where you can see unrivaled views of the city.
Afternoon: Singapore is a melting pot of cultures, with plenty of Chinese, Malaysian, and Indian influences. However, nearly 75 percent of the population is made up of people of Chinese origin, so spending the afternoon exploring Chinatown gives visitors a real flavor the real Singapore.
Allow yourself to get lost in the narrow and winding streets, where you will find endless market stalls selling crafts, clothes, antiques, and of course, Singapore’s famous street food. There are two temples to visit in Chinatown: the Buddhist Thian Hock Keng Temple and the Hindu Sri Mariamman Temple.
Evening: Before settling down for dinner, make your way to Marina Bay Sands for a sundowner at their rooftop bar. Marina Bay Sands is one of the most famous hotels in the world, with its three towers dominating this section of the Singapore skyline. Take the elevator to the top floor to Ce La Vi bar for the best sunsets in the city. With the sun down, take a walk around Gardens by the Bay, a 250-acre expanse of trees, plants, and lights. Take a walk around the canopy for views of Singapore at night.
For dinner (and more drinks) on the second evening, head to Clarke Quay, located on the Singapore River. The center of trade in the 19th century, Clarke Quay nowadays boasts a huge range of restaurants and bars—some of which are on floating platforms. Wander down the strip and choose whatever takes your fancy.
Day 3: Singapore Zoo and Sentosa Island
Morning/afternoon: No trip to Singapore would be complete without visiting Singapore Zoo. This is no average zoo; instead, it’s a 69-acre wildlife and conservation reserve featuring everything from a treetop trail, a reptile garden, and animal shows. Singapore Zoo is mapped out into regions of the world, with only animals and wildlife native to those regions found in those habitats.
Afternoon/evening: After exploring every nook and cranny of Singapore, it’s time to relax on the last afternoon and evening on the beach at Sentosa Island. Before settling down on the white sand and swimming in the warm sea, take the cable car tour around Sentosa Island to get the full view of the area. Home to theme parks, two golf courses, and 14 resorts, Sentosa also has a free-to-enter stretch of beach with bars and restaurants, so it’s the ideal place to kick back and unwind after a busy few days in Singapore.