The city of Singapore has become a travel destination of choice for so many Indians, owing to not only its proximity, but also its cultural vibrancy, exceptional sightseeing spots, shopping and culinary marvels.

A short holiday to this city may not be enough to explore all of it, but it is sufficient to give you more than a taste of why it’s been topping the list of the world’s most exciting destinations for travellers.

If you’re in the city for three days, you can easily meld art, culture, food, history, shopping and nightlife with this curated itinerary.

Day 1

Morning

Travel through time to the nature park of the future at Gardens by the Bay. Kick off your holiday with an unforgettable experience as you walk through this fantasy nature park with surreal waterfalls, greenhouses, flowers and plants, indoor gardens and an aerial bridge. It’s Singapore’s newest and most popular attraction and should undoubtedly feature in your itinerary.

Quick Tip: Make sure you visit Cloud Forest, Flower Dome and the Supertree Grove and get some beautiful camera shots.

Afternoon

Marina Bay Sands Hotel - SingaporeMarina Bay Sands Hotel in Singapore via Pixabay

With the sun blazing over the city, you can get 360-degree views of Singapore from the observation deck of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel. The iconic view encompasses Singapore’s popular landmarks as well as its many streets and neighbourhoods.

Quick Tip: You can also choose to stay one night at the hotel and swim in the world’s largest infinity pool right at the top.

If you have some time on your hands after you’re done with the hotel, you can walk down to the Marina Bay mall for some shopping and people-watching. The mall is home to luxury brand outlets as well as unique local finds.

Evening

Singapore is as picturesque at night as it is during the day. For another aerial perspective of the city, climb aboard the Singapore Flyer, a giant observation wheel that puts you right in the midst of a gorgeous sunset. Slowly watch the views change as you take a 30-minute ride on one of the world’s largest structures of its kind.

Night

Spend your first night in the city by the Singapore river, at either Clarke Quay or Robertson Quay. Only a 10-minute walk from each other, these waterside areas have lively restaurants and bars that remain open late into the night. Evidently, the seafood here is quite well known, especially the local favourite, spicy chilli crabs. You can try it at Red House in Robertson Quay or Jumbo Seafood in Clarke Quay.

Day 2

Morning

We recommend spending an entire day on Sentosa Island, an entertainment and lifestyle hub just a cable car ride away from the mainland. It has a dark history as a military base and a war prisoner camp, but now, the resort island is one of the country’s most popular attractions.

To get to the island, trudge up to Mount Faber and take a 40-minute cable car ride over blue waters, verdant gardens and the island’s main attractions. Once at the island, head to the Tiger Sky Tower for a view of some of the other islands around the area, as well as the mainland.

Afternoon To Evening

Adventure theme parks, nature reserves and exotic animal species dot the island, so you can decide how you’d like to spend your day. Universal Studios is the most popular site for its themed areas and stomach-churning roller coaster rides. On the other hand, the S.E.A Aquarium and Butterfly Park and Insect Kingdom will give you a close look at creatures that you may never have laid eyes on before.

If you’re only looking to relax, there are three pristine white-sand beaches that can plop down on and watch the day pass you by.

Quick Tip: All three of these parks can take up an entire day, so make your choice accordingly. Also, make sure you don’t miss the last cable car from Sentosa to Faber Peak, which is usually at 9pm.

Night

Dempsey Hill is a quaint district with artisanal wares, boutique stores, trendy restaurants and even art galleries. After a tiring day at Sentosa, you can unwind in this lifestyle and culture zone over some shopping and dinner. Don Quijote is renowned for its Spanish food, Huber’s Butchery for juicy meats, and House for some simple comfort food.

Day 3

Morning

Start fresh and early with a walk through nature at the Singapore Botanic Gardens. There’s nothing like a morning spent in this lush park, which is touted as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The garden sits right by the city’s skyscrapers but holds its own because of its many acres of natural vegetation. You can merely walk through the garden to see the flora, or have a small picnic to get the full experience of being one with nature.

Quick Tip: Don’t miss the National Orchid Gardens, practically blooming with orchids of different varieties.

Afternoon

You can’t leave Singapore without indulging in some retail therapy. The place is known for high-end shopping and Orchard Road is the official shopping district in the city. Flanked by hotels, eateries, café, retail stores and nightclubs, this street is where all the action is. Stop for a spot of lunch at Shabu Sai for Asian fusion food and Aroma Gelato for a sweet finish.

You can choose to spend your entire afternoon here, or head to the Bugis Street Market for cheaper, bargain shopping. Once a red-light district and now teeming with tourists, Bugis Street is a bargain haunt for anything you want to buy. The trendy alternative stores will give you a look into the other, edgier fashion choices, and you can load up on souvenirs for friends and family. Look for a large red sign to spot the entrance, right across from the Bugis MRT station.

Evening To Night

After a healthy dose of shopping, get another bit of cultural fix at your last pit stop, Chinatown. This ethnic village is a shopping and eating joint, but also has mosques, pagodas and small local shops for art and artefacts. Taking a lazy stroll through here is like taking a culture tour, and is a great way to wrap up your trip.

For sustenance, we recommend the Maxwell Food Centre for Chinese delicacies, sugarcane juice to quench your thirst and traditional Chinese sweetmeats from any of the stalls in the area.

Ithaka Pro Tips

  • Singapore can be hot and humid, and it rains quite often. Carry sunscreen, a hat and an umbrella.
  • Some days of sightseeing can be hectic and involve a lot of walking. Wear comfortable clothing and shoes for long days out.
  • Public transport is the easiest way to get around the city, as it’s very well connected. Taxis can be expensive, so use trains, buses and cable cars.
  • Follow the rules everywhere you go. Don’t flout them, as you’re likely to pay a heavy fine if you do.
  • Respect the local traditions, people and way of life. You’ll get the best out of the city if you do.