Singapore may be one of the smallest countries in Asia, but it’s truly an astounding destination full of beautiful sights, delicious street food, and delightful activities to keep you occupied day after day. Also, this roaring city-state always has something new to offer visitors. Case in point, before you leave the airport, you can marvel at the latest attraction – a 131-foot (40 meters) high Rain Vortex in Jewel Changi Airport. It’s the world’s tallest indoor waterfall created amongst over 2,000 trees, plants, and shrubs.
So how do you spend your days if you are short on time or only have 3 days to spend in Singapore? Trippy user, Andrea had 4 days, and he asked:
Things to see and to do in Singapore (in 4 Days) I’m in Singapore. Do you have any suggestions about things to do and see in 4 days here? Best things. Any other suggestion about food is welcome.
Start your day at the National Gallery of Singapore at Singapore’s Civic District. The gallery is housed in the former Supreme Court and City Hall, two iconic and historical buildings in Singapore. The gallery has the most extensive collection of Southeast Asian art. Daily guided tours are available in English and Mandarin. Guests have the opportunity to join several tours. We recommend the Building Highlights Tour that explores the history and architecture of the buildings.
Next, check out St. Andrews Cathedral, Singapore’s largest cathedral built during the colonial era. There’s a stained glass window dedicated to Singapore’s founder, Sir Stamford Raffles, and other prominent figures of Singapore in the 1800s. And located just a few minutes away from St. Andrews Cathedral is the Peranakan Museum (currently closed for renovation, please check their website for current status).
The Peranakan Museum showcases the life and culture of the Peranakan Chinese community of Singapore. They are the descendants of Chinese traders who married local Malay women a few hundred years ago. The museum is located at the former Tao Nan School, a neoclassical building and national treasure of Singapore.
You must get into the street food culture when in Singapore. Singaporean food is diverse, reflecting the different ethnic groups and cultures, and the best way to discover more is to join a food tour or visit as many food centers as possible on your own. Most of these food centers are open all day and easily accessible by MRT (Mass Rapid Transit). Some food centers are more vibrant in the evenings. We suggest going on a guided night food tour with a local guide.
For the best street food, Trippy users recommended the following:
1. Maxwell Road Hawker Center
One of the most famous hawkers is Maxwell Road Hawker Centre; there’s a stall called Tian Tian Chicken rice of which Anthony Bourdain likes. Other famous ones serve Fish Vercimelli, Baos, Porridge, etc. Do expect long queues during peak hours and weekends.
2. Old Airport Food Centre
Another great one is the Old Airport Road Food Centre, which has banana and jack fruit fritters. It also serves one of the most famous Prawn Hokkien Noodles in Singapore. These two are worth researching. Take note that the opening hours of some of the best hawkers could be irregular. Research to avoid disappointment.
*Look for stalls with the longest queues.
3. People’s Park Food Centre
From the Chinatown MRT, if you go out by another Exit to People’s Park Centre, there is another Hawker Centre there, known as People Park Food Centre. Over there, they sell similar food to Chinatown and Maxwell food center.
4. Chomp Chomp Food Centre
Try Chomp Chomp Food Centre if you’re a little more adventurous. And of course, you can’t leave Singapore without trying laksa 328 Katong Laksa. Unlike the above two, which are hawker centers, where you get a smorgasbord of local dishes, Katong Laksa is a standalone stall. But you must try laksa and otah. Gordon Ramsey challenged and lost to these experts in a cook-off. For a thorough self-walk in one of THE best food streets of Singapore, go to Joo Chiat Rd.
5. Newton Food Centre
You can visit the Newton Circus Food Centre, and it is very conveniently located to Newton MRT. There is a huge selection of food here. It is an open environment so that the ventilation here is better than other hawker centers, and there are quite a few stalls even selling craft and draught beer. I also like this place as it is cleaner.
6. Amoy Street Food Centre
Also, another that no one has mentioned is Amoy Street Food Centre has a lot of great food (I remember some excellent glutinous rice dumplings with chestnut) :). If you had a particular dish in mind that you wanted to try, it might be the best in one place, so perhaps look at where that dish is best, it may be easier than deciding between all the great hawker centers! All the hawkers mentioned in this post have something to offer.
7. Lau Pa Sat
Lau Pa Sat is my go-to food hawker when I’m in Singapore. They have many food choices for every traveler.
Trippy user Matthias said:
A must is to experience the local’s 24/7 food-hangouts, the hawker centers. No need to worry about the costs, there are dishes in all price ranges. Do check out Maxwell Road Hawker Centre Other stuff to try out; -Coffee served in a plastic to-go bag with a straw (kopi-C kosong if you want to avoid sweetened milk and sugar) -Looking for low-budget food? Go for chicken rice; they have it everywhere -Chili-crab, one of Singapore’s most famous dishes -Kaya toast (coconut jam), typically served as breakfast -Durian, the king of fruits. You can’t leave Singapore without having eaten (and smelled) this fruit.
Take half a day to learn about the different ethnic groups in Singapore. Singaporeans of Chinese descent make up about 75% of the population. Malays and Indians about 23%. Trippy user Matthias recommended the following places to learn about the cultures:
A wide variety of cultures meeting in one country:
Arab St – plenty of neat, alternative and colorful restaurants to grab a bite. Excellent area for shisha Little
India – cheap shopping for souvenirs, temples, great flavors, and culinary experiences
Chinatown – just walk around and be amazed by the surroundings, get lost in the beauty of dragons and temples, eat at Smith St
Kampong Glam Community Club – the Malay area of Singapore, full of history, colors and amazing food
In the afternoon, join a tour that will take you to the following places:
- Merlion Park
- Gardens by the Bay
- Marina Bay Sands Skypark
- Marina Bay
- Singapore Flyer
- Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay
- Singapore River cruise
- Raffles Hotel Arcade
- The Fullerton Waterboat House
- Clarke Quay
Matthias shared this:
Marina Bay Sands – Singapore’s biggest highlight. If you can manage (rent a room or know a guest) to get up to the boat-shaped pool by the roof, you’ll have the best view of the city. 1 Altitude offers a breath-taking view too and might be a more realistic alternative, of the two Walk along the riverbank from Raffles Place to Clarke Quay – meet other international travelers at the main-bridge and enjoy the best area for nightlife.
Clarke Quay and Boat Quay would be your best bet for night entertainment. You’ll find rooftop bars, music venues, and dance clubs. All these entertainment venues are close to Raffles Place and Clarke Quay MRT stations. According to Jeremy, a Singaporean:
The MRT is extremely convenient, and you can pretty much get anywhere in Singapore within 45 minutes. Trains usually stop after 12midnight, but there are night buses if you wish to continue with public transport. Or you have Uber or Grab. Singapore is general really safe, even for females at night. The country is usually pretty brightly lit, and you’ll hardly find areas with dark alleys and roads. We are night owls, and it’s actually rather difficult to find yourself totally alone unless in the wee hours of the night. I hope you have a great time here! Don’t forget to try all the local food at the “Hawker Centers.” They’re the best!
There are hidden pockets of nature in Singapore’s urban jungle that you can check out on your third day, like:
- MacRitchie Nature Trail and Reservoir Park – go on a nature trail and Treetop Walk (a suspension bridge that connects two highest points in the park)
- Bukit Timah Nature Reserve – hike to Singapore’s tallest hill
- Fort Canning Park – there are a few historical landmarks including Fort Gate
- Singapore Botanic Gardens – stop by at the National Orchid Garden
- Sungai Buloh Wetland Reserve – for birdwatching
- Chinese Garden – check out the Bonsai Garden
If you prefer to rent a bike to explore the city, check out Bicycle Hut, the first bike rental company in Singapore. Guided tours are available on select days.
Those on the lookout for unique souvenirs and unique decoration pieces should visit the following places recommended by Trippy users that are not on Orchard Road:
- Haji Lane near Arab St – Great local boutiques and not too touristy for Singapore.
- Plaza Singapura – If you are looking for some cheap stuff (note, some merchants don`t allow trying on clothing)
- Bugis Junction
- The Grandstand
- IMM Jurong – Singapore’s largest outlet mall