A Singapore Itinerary The Ultimate Guide of Things To Do in Singapore on a Budget by JetSettingFools.com

Singapore Itinerary: Best Things To Do in Singapore (On A Budget)

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The Lion City. City in a Garden. Southeast Asia-lite. Singapore is called many things…because it is many things. The small island is both a city and a country. Intriguing man-made marvels rise from lush nature parks. Posh cocktail bars are found steps away from inexpensive Singapore hawker stands.

People of differing ethnicities and religions co-mingle to create a vibrant multicultural environment in Singapore, and rather than seeming contradictory, it feels complimentary. It’s a destination to be experienced – and we’ve created a perfect Singapore Itinerary that highlights the best places to visit in Singapore in 3 days!


Singapore Budget Trip

One more thing Singapore is: expensive. There is no need to argue the point; experts have labeled Singapore as one of the most expensive cities in the world. Thrifty travelers let us assure you, there are many things to do in Singapore on a budget!

Let this DIY Singapore Budget Trip Itinerary be proof. Additionally, we provide more Singapore travel budget tips at the end of the article.

Even if your Singapore travel expenses allow for luxuries or splurges, you can still use our Singapore Tour Itinerary as a base for your vacation plans!

Top Tip: A Singapore sightseeing pass can help reduce Singapore expenses for tourists. We’ve included cost-saving pass tips at the end of the post.


Singapore Itinerary 3 Days

Our itinerary outlines what to do in Singapore for 3 days. The days are designed in the format of self-guided Singapore walking tours that highlight the top sights in the most popular districts, some of the best food and a bit of nature, too. Most of our recommended activities are free and the food and drink recommendations are aimed at budget travel to Singapore. 

We include sight details, links to more information and/or reviews, and an interactive map of our Singapore City Tour Itinerary.

Top Tip: Depending of what time your flights arrive/depart, this can be a Singapore Itinerary 3 days 2 nights (instead of 3 nights), but our outline of Singapore Things To Do fills 3 entire days!


Shorter and Longer Singapore Itineraries

Wondering what to do in Singapore for 1 day or are you planning a Singapore One-Week Itinerary? To help you plan for a longer or shorter trip, we include Singapore Trip Itinerary Tips for what to see in Singapore in a day and up to a week as well!


3-Day Itinerary for Singapore

Parliament and skyscrapers in Singapore

In this 3-Day Itinerary Singapore, we detail the top things to do in Singapore for 3 days in chronological order. This Singapore trip blog is massive – and it contains everything you need for planning your vacation!

Save, Pin or Bookmark this Singapore Travel Guide to plan your trip to SG!


Day 1 of your 3 Day Singapore Itinerary

SuperTree Grover at Gardens by the Bay in Singapore

Spend the first day of your three days in Singapore in the most iconic districts: Downtown Core, Chinatown and Marina Bay – but first, immerse yourself in nature at the city-center retreat of Fort Canning Park.

Each featured Singapore district could take as little as an hour to explore on foot, but only without making stops. We recommend using the provided links to each of the district walks to help plan your Singapore day one tour itinerary.


Fort Canning Park

Flags flying in Fort Canning Park in Downtown Singapore

Located in the heart of the city is Fort Canning Park – and it marks the first stop on your Singapore trip plan. The small hill has played a big role in the history of Singapore. It was home to kings in the 14th century, British Army Barracks in the 19th century and is the site where Singapore surrendered to Japan in 1942. Shaded trails meander through the forested hill that is sprinkled with relics from the past: The Battlebox, Gothic Gate and Fort Canning Lighthouse shouldn’t be missed!

Historic lighthouse at Fort Canning Park in downtown Singapore

Informational plaques are found throughout the area to help visitors better understand the history of Fort Canning Park. Strolling among the tropical plants and learning about the city’s past should definitely be included in your Singapore Three-day Itinerary!


Singapore Downtown Core 

Downtown Singapore and Boat Quay

In the Downtown Core, sleek high-rises tower over ornate temples and traditional dwellings that sit along the Singapore River. The district is the financial center of Singapore, which grew from the colony established on the banks of the river in 1823 by Sir Stamford Raffles and the British East India Company. As the location marks the beginning of modern Singapore, it’s a great place to kick off your Singapore Travel Itinerary!

View of The Fullerton Hotel, Singapore

Museums, monuments and mementoes from the past are found throughout the Singapore Downtown Core. Top sights include the iconic Raffles Hotel, St. Andrew’s Cathedral, Boat Quay, Cavenagh Bridge, Fullerton Hotel and Yueh Hai Ching Temple.

Discover the Singapore Downtown Colonial Sights on foot using our Singapore Downtown Core Walking Tour.

Streetview of Raffles, Singapore

Top Tip: Before you set off on your Day One Singapore Itinerary, make sure you are prepared for the weather! Wear comfortable shoes, slather on the sunscreen – and bring a hat or umbrella for shade. Staying hydrated is essential – so make sure to bring a bottle of water, too!


Singapore Chinatown

Chinatown Heritage Center in Singapore

Long before Singapore became Singapore, Chinese people inhabited the island. However, during the development of the colony by Sir Raffles in the mid-1800s, a specific area was designated for the Chinese people to live and work – and that district remains today as Chinatown.

Although the intent was to segregate society, there was much diversity within Chinatown, evidenced by the different houses of worship – a Hindu temple, Muslim mosque, Buddhist temple and Christian church are all just steps apart.

Singapore Chinatown lit up at night

Today, although the boundaries have shifted and the dynamics have changed, the Singapore Chinatown history remains. Preserved shophouses and traditional medicine shops can be found throughout the district. The scent of sizzling meat and mouth-watering spices hangs heavy in the air, while smoky incense burn at popular Singapore temples and shrines.

Use our Singapore Chinatown Self-Guided Walking Tour to make sure you see the best sights!

Neon signs in Chinatown Singapore

Top Tip: Visiting Chinatown should be on every Singapore Trip Itinerary – if not for the history, then for the food! There is so much fabulous food in Chinatown – you could create an entire Singapore Food Itinerary in this one district alone. We recommend eating lunch at one of the Hawker Centers in Chinatown to get a taste of the local cuisine. 


Marina Bay Singapore

Water sprays from mouth of Merlion at Marina Bay in Singapore

Marina Bay is Singapore’s modern, man-made marvel – and an absolute must-see on your Singapore tour plan. The entire district sits on reclaimed land and the stunning architecture creates a surreal atmosphere.

The center of attention is the iconic Marina Bay Sands Hotel, but it is far from the only attraction at Marina Bay. The water-spouting Merlion, SuperTree Grove of Gardens by the Bay and the Singapore Flyer are other top Marina Bay sights.

SuperTree Grove and OCBC Skyway at Gardens by the Bay in Singapore

Visiting some of these attractions will certainly add to your Singapore sightseeing cost, but for those determined to budget travel in Singapore, there is much to see at Marina Bay for free.

Follow our self-guided walk of Marina Bay Singapore Attractions to discover the best of the vibrant area!

Marina Bay Sands Light Show, Singapore, SG

Top Tip: In Marina Bay, there are two nighttime laser light shows: Spectra Light Water Show at Marina Bay Sands and Garden Rhapsody Light Show at Gardens by the Bay. Both shows light up the Singapore sky at least two times every night – so plan correctly and you can watch both! 

Want a guide to lead the way and share Singapore insider tips? Join a tour that digs deep into the Colonial History, follow a guide to the best hawker stands in Chinatown or find out little-known facts on the Marina Bay Secrets Tour.


Day 2 of your Singapore 3 Day Itinerary

Street art in Kampong Glam on Bali Lane in Singapore

On Day 2 of Singapore in three days, take a walk in the treetops of Southern Ridges, then discover more history and vibrant culture in some of Singapore’s best neighborhoods – Kampong Glam, Bugis and Little India.


Southern Ridges Park

Wooden-planked bridge, Henderson Waves, at Southern Ridges in Singapore

Located west of the Singapore city center, Southern Ridges is a 6mi/10km stretch of green space that connects Mount Faber Park to Hort Park. Trails can be accessed on the forest floor, but walking along the elevated path gives visitors a birds’ eye view of the forest canopy and a glimpse at some of the iconic Singapore skyline. The uniqueness of the park makes it one of the top places to see in Singapore!

View of modern architecture from Henderson Waves in Singapore

A highlight of the Southern Ridges walk is Henderson Waves – a 72ft/36m high pedestrian bridge modeled to look like the waves of the sea. The park feels miles away from the bustle of Singapore and offers an excellent chance to view the natural flora and fauna of the region. We saw many birds and butterflies on our walk…but didn’t spot any monkeys.   


Kampong Glam

Main Street, Kampong Glam, Singapore

In Raffles’ plan of division, Kampong Glam was designated for native Malays and Muslims – and, today, it’s one of the top tourist spots in Singapore.

Sultan Hussein Shah of Johor, who signed the treaty with the British East India Company in 1819 to establish the colony and trading port, resided in Kampong Glam. As the district evolved over the decades, it attracted other ethnic groups, and grew into a multicultural community (although, it is often still referred to as the Singapore Muslim Quarter).

The area boasts a few top sights, a multitude of trendy coffee shops and traditional fabric and carpet stores. When visiting Kampong Glam during your 3 Days in Singapore Itinerary, be sure not to miss the district highlights (outlined below). Use this link to Google Maps for a Kampong Glam and Bugis Singapore Walking Route or join a highly rated Singapore day tour – like this one – that includes food tastings!


Malay Heritage Center

Main Building of the Malay Heritage Center, Singapore

Established in 2005, the Malay Heritage Center aims to educate visitors on the history of the Malay people through six permanent exhibits. The building that houses the museum was part of the Sultan’s palace complex and was completely renovated in 2011-12. (Fee to enter.)


Sultan Arts Village

Street Art, Sultan Arts Village, Singapore

At the southeast entrance/exit to the Malay Heritage Center (opposite the fountain), is the Sultan Arts Village. The small building houses a few artist galleries and features expressive wall murals and graffiti art on the walls around it. Perhaps not a must-see for all travelers, but a delight for fans of street art.


Sultan Mosque

Exterior view of the Sultan Mosque, Singapore

Designated a National Monument in Singapore in 1975, the Sultan Mosque (or Masjid Sultan) dates to the year 1928 – and has changed little since then. With large golden domes, it’s almost impossible to miss. The mosque remains an important place of worship for Muslims, but is open to all to visit. Guests not appropriately dressed will be loaned clothing to wear (for free). Informational displays are set up at the back of the mosque and friendly staff are available to answer questions.


Arab Street & Haji Lane

Shop- and cafe-lined Haji Lane in Kampong Glam in Singapore

Two colorful streets – Arab Street and Haji Lane – run parallel to each other in Kampong Glam. Lined with restored shophouses that host hip cafes, restaurants and bars, these two streets offer some of the best sightseeing in Singapore and are a highlight for many visitors.


Eating in Kampong Glam

char kway teow from stall 91 Fried Kway Teow Mee

Located in the vicinity of Kampong Glam is the Golden Mile Food Centre. Slightly out of the way, we think it is well worth including in a Singapore 3 Day Itinerary. We recommend trying the much-raved (and 2016 Michelin Guide-mentioned) char kway teow from stall 91 Fried Kway Teow Mee. With only one dish available (the broth of which takes hours to make), the long line is sure to move quickly – and can be ordered S, M or L. Need a break from Asian cuisine? Go to Burgs’, where they cook up tasty burgers and fries at inexpensive (for Singapore) prices.



Skyline of Bugis, Singapore

Some might be familiar with the name Bugis Street – a movie of the same name depicts the lives of Singapore transgenders and prostitutes who frequented the area from the 1950s until the 1980s. However, since the redevelopment in the 1980s, none of the exotic sex culture remains. Instead, there are many other things to do in Bugis Singapore for visitors, like visiting the shopping malls and temples at the heart of the district. Below, we have outlined the top Bugis Singapore sights to see.


Bugis Village

Comprised of more than 30 restored pre-war shophouses, Bugis Village features compact stalls selling everything from clothing to souvenirs to food. The market is a place for both bargains and bartering – and visiting is one of the top things to do in Bugis.

Top Tip: Visitors more interested in shopping at a typical mall should head into Bugis Junction Shopping Center.


Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple

Exterior of Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple, Singapore

The Buddhist Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple was built in the late 1800s and survives today as a place of worship. Devotees believe praying to Kwan Yim (Goddess of Mercy) will bring them good luck, encouraging many faithful worshipers to visit the temple.


Sri Krishnan Temple

Next to the Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Buddhist Temple is the Sri Krishnan South Indian Hindu Temple, which was built in 1870. As a fine example of Singapore’s acceptance of multiple religions, worshipers of both temples will often visit the neighboring temple with offerings.


Little India in Singapore 

Colorful and historic House of Tan Teng Niah in Little India in Singapore

Little India is the third district you will visit on Day 2 of your trip in Singapore. Temples, spice shops and flowers team together to make Little India one of the most colorful districts in Singapore – but as is true in the many labeled ethnic districts in Singapore, the area isn’t solely Indian.

The neighborhood was first developed in the 1840s when a racetrack was built at nearby Farrer Park, attracting Europeans to the area. Shortly after, the Indian-run cattle trade, which took place along the Serangoon River, was taking hold and many Indian immigrants moved to the district.

Colorful building line the streets in Little India in Singapore

Today, many historic sights, temples and Indian shops can be found along Serangoon Road. Below, we highlight the must-see sights in Little India. Use this link to Google Maps for a Little India Singapore Walking Route.


Tekka Centre

Silk Dresses, Tekka Centre, Singapore

The Tekka Centre is a hawker center, wet market and fabric store all under one roof. The ground floor features food stalls – many of which serve classic Indian dishes. On the second floor, shoppers will find an array of fabrics, including beautiful silk used to make saris.


Tan Teng Niah

Detail of the Tan Teng Niah, Singapore

The Tan Teng Niah house, built by a Chinese businessman in 1900, is one of the last Chinese villas remaining in Little India. Although the colorful house is what attracts many visitors to seek out the historic abode, it was originally painted plain white.


Sri Veramakaliamman Temple

View of Sri Veramakaliamman Temple, Singapore

Dating to 1881, Sri Veramakaliamman Temple is one of the oldest Hindu temples in Singapore. An ornate and detailed tower (gopuram) rises over the main entrance and inside are a number of shrines.


Mustafa Centre

Rooftop Garden, Mustafa Centre, Singapore

Open 24 hours a day with seamless boundaries between two mega-department stores, Mustafa Centre offers one of the more unique shopping experiences in Singapore. Shelves are piled high with designer brands, electronics, jewelry and toys – most at discount prices.

Pro Tip: Make your way to the rooftop garden for the water walkway and views of Little India.


Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple

Detailed tower at Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple in Little India Singapore

A national monument since 1978, the Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple was built in 1855 and is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The striking feature, a 65ft/20m tower (Gopuram), was added in the 1960s when the temple was renovated with funds provided by a successful shop owner.


Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya Temple

Buddha, Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya Temple, Singapore

Often called the Temple of A Thousand Lights, the Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya Temple houses a 50ft/15m seated Buddha (which weighs almost 300 tons!). At night, lights are illuminated around the Buddha, which is the reason for the nickname!


Leong San Temple

Entrance to the Leong San Temple, Singapore Itinerary, Best Things to do in Singapore

Across the street from Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya Temple is the classic and ornate Leong San Temple. Built in 1926, the interior features multiple shrines and glitters with gold.

Top Tip: Use the handy guide in English available near the entrance to better understand the interior of the temple.


Dinner and Drinks on Day 2 of Your Singapore Trip Planner

After a long day of Singapore sightseeing, settle in for dinner and drinks!


Swee Choon Dim Sum

Swee Choon Dim Sum, Singapore

Eating is one of the top things to do in Singapore City – and Swee Choon is a classic establishment. Since 1962, the cooks at Swee Choon have been using quality ingredients to prepare handcrafted dim sum.

We arbitrarily picked items from the list, marking our choices with a pencil, and feasted as plate after plate was brought to our table. Hailed by foodies as the best dim sum in Singapore, we highly recommend eating dinner at Swee Choon!

Top Tip: If there is a wait, don’t worry – tables free up quickly.


Druggist Craft Beer Bar

Craft beer at Druggist bar in Singapore

Located in the former Chinese Druggists Association building, the façade of Druggist Craft Beer Bar is only the beginning. Step inside and find 23 taps of craft beer from all over the world.

Note of warning: Druggist – or any other craft beer bar in Singapore – will not make the cut on a Singapore budget itinerary, as the price of craft beer in Singapore is exorbitant. For a less expensive pint of local mass-produced beer, head next door to The Tiramisu Hero or down the street to Berseh Food Center.


Day 3 of your Singapore Itinerary

Swan on lake at Botanical Gardens in Singapore

Wrapping up your 3-day Singapore Itinerary, experience some of the best nature in SG before retreating to the glamorous, air-conditioned malls on Orchard Road.


Botanic Gardens and/or Treetop Walk at MacRitchie Reservoir

Decorative gazebo at Botanical Gardens in Singapore

While Singapore is a thriving metropolis, enclaves of nature can be found all around the island. Two of our favorite spots to get a real breath of fresh air on a Singapore day trip are the Singapore Botanic Gardens and the Treetop Walk at MacRitchie Reservoir.

Bright pink Plumeria blossoms at Gardens by the Bay in Singapore

Note: An ambitious Singapore travelers could experience both in one day, but those who would rather slow down and enjoy the scenery, should choose one or the other.


Singapore Botanic Gardens

Beautiful flowers in bloom at Gardens by the Bay in Singapore

The Singapore Botanic Gardens were established in 1859 and designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2015. Free to enter (and perfect for a budget trip to Singapore), the park features multiple gardens and lakes encompassing 82 hectares of land. Stroll aimlessly through the Botanic Gardens or choose specific features to visit (maps provided at the entrances and information stands).

Smooth-coated otter at the Botanical Gardens in Singapore

Top Tip: Keep an eye out for local critters. During our visit, we spotted swans, butterflies, a clouded monitor lizard and a smooth-coated otter. Note: The Gardens are free to visit, but the National Orchid Garden requires a ticket ($15 SGD).


Treetop Walk at MacRitchie Reservoir

Curious monkey watches as we cross the suspension bridge at Treetop Walk in MacRitchie Reservoir in Singapore

MacRitchie Reservoir Park is a large nature reserve in the center of Singapore Island. Many trails cut through the park, but the Treetop Walk is, by far, the most intriguing. The 2-hour hike begins on boardwalks hovering over swampy land, then moves to dirt paths in the dense forest.

The actual Treetop Walkway is a gated bridge that connects the two highest points of the park: Bukit Peirce and Bukit Kalang. The 820ft/250m one-way bridge sits 82ft/25m above the forest floor. Both ends of the bridge (and the bridge itself!) are hang-out spots for the popular macaque monkeys of Singapore – of which we saw several during our hike.

Monkey sits on a railing at Treetop Walk in MacRitchie Reservoir Park in Singapore

Note: There are sign-posted maps at the park, but no paper maps. Take a look at this online map before you go. The MacRitchie Reservoir Treetop Walk is accessible by public bus, but takes 45 minutes to an hour each way, so be sure to calculate that into your plans. 

Top Tip: Bring a large water bottle! Although the hike itself is not the strenuous, the humidity can take a toll. Water bottles can be refilled at the Ranger Station and Venus Drive parking lot facilities. 


Orchard Road        

Orchard Road – the most famous Singapore shopping street – got its name from the 19th century plantations that once covered the area. Today, the 1.3mi/2.2km street is chock-a-block with some 20 mega-malls and a plethora of hotels – and is surrounded by affluent Singapore neighborhoods. The Istana – the official residence of the President of Singapore lies at the east end, the late Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew’s house to the south, the Singapore Botanic Gardens to the west and Emerald Hill to the north.

Numerous luxury brands have retail space in the malls on Orchard Road – some high-end stores even create a queue outside their doors, only allowing a few shoppers inside at one time.

Although many budget travelers to Singapore may not be interested in shopping on Orchard Road, the malls are designed to entertain and are definitely one of the fun things to explore in Singapore. In addition to reveling in the free air-conditioning, we found several worthwhile sights on Orchard Road, which we outline below. 


ION Orchard

ION Art Galley, Orchard Road, Singapore

Opened in 2009, ION Orchard is home to high-end retailers such as Prada, Giorgio Armani, Louis Vuitton, Dior, Dolce & Gabbana and Cartier. On the 4th floor, however, ION Art is a free art gallery within the mall. In the mornings, guides lead guests on a cultural food walk through the mall for free. ION Sky, an observation deck, sits on the 55th floor, offering panoramic views of Singapore. Note: ION Sky is accessed with tickets that are acquired through spending $50 SGD in the mall. Read the details here


Orchard Gateway Library

Curved bookshelves at modern Library@Orchard in Singapore

Orchard Gateway, which connects Orchard Central mall to 313@Somerset, has six levels of retail space…but we visited to see the state-of-the-art library. Library@Orchard is the most modern, hip library we have ever seen!


Orchard Central Rooftop Garden and Art Trail

Another mall you can visit and keep your Singapore trip budget in check is Orchard Central. On the top floors of Orchard Central is an open and free rooftop garden. The space feels like a secret retreat high above the busy road and provides views to the north. The mall also displays art throughout – and offers handy pamphlets (in English) about the art (and where to find it in the mall). 


Emerald Hill Road

Restored houses on Emerald Road in Singapore

On the north side of Orchard Road is the curving and picturesque Emerald Hill Road. The houses lining the street were built in the early 1900s featuring Chinese Baroque architecture and today it is a highly-desirable place to live in Singapore. The pleasant and peaceful street has little traffic – a portion of it is designed as a pedestrian zone.

Colorful houses on Emerald Road in Singapore

After walking the length of the street, retrace your steps to Orchard and stop in one of the many bars on Emerald Hill near Orchard Road for a drink (look for happy hour specials at No. 5 Emerald Hill, Alley Bar and Ice Cold Beer). 

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Singapore Map Of Sights

Rainbow colored shutters on Ministry of Communications building in Singapore

Use this link to Google Maps for each section for more detailed maps of district sights. Singapore Sights are listed in the order they appear on our Singapore Itinerary. Zoom in/out of the map using the + and – signs. Click on individual markers for more information. Blue Markers = Day One; Green Markers = Day 2;  Orange Markers = Day 3; Yellow Markers = Food and Drink; Purple Markers = More Sightseeing Options.


More Things To Do in Singapore

Classic View of Singapore, SQ Itinerary of the Best Things to do in Singapore

Although we’ve packed in a lot of places to visit in Singapore in 3 days, our list is by no means exhaustive! We have a few more travel planner Singapore ideas, but they do not all fit into the category of Singapore Budget Travel. 


Sentosa Island

The military-base-turned-entertainment Sentosa Island is a must-see for many Singapore tourists. The island features beaches, resorts, water parks, adventure activities and theme parks (all of which will significantly increase your Singapore cost of travel).

Sentosa is home to Universal Studios Singapore, Madam Tussauds, SEA Aquarium, 4D Adventure Park, zip lines, Sky Tower and much more. Explore on your own – or join one of the highly-rated Sentosa Island Organized Tours:

  • Sentosa Island (with Cable Car, Madame Tussauds and Tiger Sky Tower) – Let a guide lead the way to Singapore’s Sentosa Island. Arrive via cable car and visit top attractions, like Sky Tower, Images of Singapore LIVE, Madame Tussauds, 4D Adventuraland and Wings of Time night show. You can book this Sentosa Tour online! 
  • Sentosa Island (with Cable Car) – Ride the Cable Car to Sentosa Island then visit the Butterfly Park and Insect Kingdom, with an option to also visit SEA Aquarium. Reserve this Sentosa Island Tour online!

If you are heading to Sentosa Island without a guide, you will want to buy these single attraction tickets in advance: 

Most of the Sentosa Island attractions require a ticket, but there are a few free things to do in Sentosa for those on a tight Singapore tour budget. 


Marina Barrage Singapore

Splash pool near Marina Barrage in Singapore

Visiting the Marina Barrage is one of the Singapore sights that many tourists miss – but shouldn’t! The Marina Bay Dam was built in 2008 to maintain a fresh water supply and it was specifically designed to double as outdoor space for residents and visitors to enjoy.

The Marina Barrage Walking Trail loops around for phenomenal views of the Singapore skyline. On the Marina Barrage walk, visitors can view the Supertree Grove and Marina Bay Sands Hotel Singapore. The wonderful green space is perfect for a picnic, flying a kite and watching a Singapore sunset. Guests with additional time can walk across the dam to the Gardens by the Bay East. 


East Coast Park Singapore 

The 9mi/15km stretch of coastline to the northeast of the Singapore city center offers another great place to enjoy the outdoors. At East Coast Park, relax on the beach, have a picnic lunch, ride a bike or just take a stroll. When you get hungry, head to East Coast Food Lagoon, a seaside hawker center cooking up classic Singapore dishes!

Top Tip: While in the area, make the effort to find Koon Seng Road, which features some of the most colorful peranakan shophouses in Singapore.


Singapore Zoo and Bird Park

The Singapore Zoo, opened in 1973, and hosts 315 species of animals – some of which are threatened species. The SG Zoo strives to house the animals in natural settings and features the largest captive colony of orangutans in the world.

The Jurong Bird Park is the largest bird park in the world (based on number of inhabitants): over 5,000 birds live in the park! The large, walk-in aviaries allow birds to fly freely in the exhibits. Flamingos, parrots and penguins are just a few of the animals that visitors will see at Jurong Bird Park.


Singapore Swimming Pools

With a location practically on the Equator, Singapore has a tropical rainforest climate – meaning, it is really hot and really humid year-round. Dipping into a swimming pool is a good way to beat the heat in Singapore. If it’s in your budget, we recommend booking a hotel with a pool (more on places to stay in Singapore below).

Entire afternoons could easily be spent in the refreshing waters of Singapore hotel swimming pools. However, if your hotel doesn’t have a pool – or if you just need a quick mid-day refresher – look for free sprinklers and water fountains located throughout Singapore. The water features are created for kids to help beat the heat – and splashing around in them is one of the things to do in Singapore for cheap (especially for families visiting Singapore). 


Singapore Riverside: Boat Quay, Clarke Quay and Robertson Quay

Traditional boat on Singapore River with view of Marina Bay Sands in Singapore

On the banks of the Singapore River, there are three quays that have been developed into tourist attractions and entertainment centers.


Boat Quay

Lined with historic shophouses, all of which are occupied by restaurants and bars, Boat Quay was the busiest port in Singapore in the late 1800s. Today, the tourist-driven strip offers riverside dining and local specialties.

Top Tip: When the restaurants at Boat Quay are not busy, you can sometimes score special pricing. Once when we arrived before 7pm, we were wooed by each hostess with free drinks and discounted prices. We agreed to terms of two free drinks each and 20% off all menu prices with riverside seats. Heaping plates of spring rolls and seafood fried rice for less than $20 satisfied our taste buds and our wallets!


Clarke Quay

Located upstream from Boat Quay is another historic port, Clarke Quay. Revitalized into one of Singapore’s top entertainment districts, visitors will find nightclubs, international chain restaurants (like Hooters) and, of course, a mall.


Robertson Quay

Even further upstream is Robertson Quay, the largest of the three wharfs in central Singapore. The area has been redeveloped into mixed-use space, including several casual eateries and bars along the waterfront. Although visited by many tourists, both expats and locals frequent Robertson Quay as well.

Top Tip: One of our favorite hawker centers, Zion Riverside Food Centre, is just a short walk from Robertson Quay – and a fantastic place to find cheap eats in Singapore. If you make the trip to this local hawker center, our top recommendations are the famous ‘Carrot Cake’ (not a dessert) at Lau Goh Teochew Chye Thow Kway made by a deaf cook and Fried Kway Teow found at stall #18 Zion Road, which will likely have an incredibly long line!


Craft Beer and Tiger Beer Brewery

Little Creatures craft beer at Ice Cold Beer on Emerald Road in Singapore

Craft Beer is taking hold in Singapore and visitors can now find several craft beer bars around the city. While we are budget-conscious travelers, we have an affection for craft beer and seek it out wherever we go. During our visits to Singapore, we have found a few craft beer bars that were too good to pass by (especially if they were offering happy hour deals!).

However, even with happy hour specials, don’t expect cheap beer…craft or otherwise. Drinking in Singapore will likely put a dent in any budget.

Singapore’s most famous locally-produced beer, Tiger Beer, offers brewery tours. The Tiger Beer brand dates to 1932 and this tour educates visitors on the brewing process, the history of beer in Singapore and includes tastings.


Day Trips From Singapore

Because of its location, Singapore day trips are somewhat limited. Short trips from Singapore city center include Batam Island (Indonesia), Sentosa Island (see above) and Malaysia.


Kuala Lumpur and Malacca – Sharing a border with Malaysia, it is difficult to be so close and not venture into the neighboring country! Day trippers can see the highlights of Malaysia’s capital, Kuala Lumpur, on their own (top sights include Petronas Twin Towers and Batu Caves) or hire a guide for a private, full-day trip, which also includes visiting Malacca, a colonial-era UNESCO town full of history and charm!


Singapore Round-Island TourTour the city-nation island in a bus. The Singapore one-day tour includes visiting attractions like the Henderson Waves pedestrian bridge, a Chinese folklore and history park, the Kranji War Memorial, Bright Hill Temple and a river cruise!


Pro Tip: For more DIY day trips from Singapore, consider traveling across the border to Malaysia and Johor Bahru, perhaps to visit LegoLand, (but the journey in itself can be a fascinating experience). 


More Singapore Itineraries and Singapore Trip Planner Tips

View from LeVel 33, Singapore, SG

We think our outlined itinerary includes the best things to do in Singapore in 3 days – but what if you have less or more time? Use the following suggested Singapore itinerary tips to help plan your time.

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Pro Tip: Consider using our Travel Planning Printables to get your vacation to Singapore organized!


One Day in Singapore

Let’s be frank: 1 day in Singapore is not enough! But, if a Singapore one-day trip is all you have, then we suggest making the most of it. To plan a Singapore layover trip, you will want to squeeze the best things to see in Singapore in 1 day. 


Singapore One-Day Trip

We think the best 1-day Singapore Itinerary is to stick to the top sights that are centrally located. To plan your day, start with our Singapore Day 1 Itinerary (above) and consider joining a Night Sightseeing Tour with River Boat Cruise.


Singapore Itinerary 2 Days

Wondering what to do in Singapore in 2 days? Use our 3-day plan and select your top choices of places to visit in Singapore in 2 days…then fit them all into your two days of sightseeing!


Singapore 2-Day Itinerary

When planning things to do in Singapore in 2 days, we recommend using our tips for things to see in Singapore in 3 days…but rearranging it a bit. Start your trip by following the above One Day Itinerary Singapore and then begin Day 2 at the Botanical Gardens, skip the Southern Ridges walk, and continue with neighborhood exploration outlined in Day 2 (Kampong Glam, Bugis and Little India).


Singapore Itinerary 4 Days

Planning what to do in Singapore in 4 days is simple if you use our 3-Day outline as a base. When planning things to do in Singapore in 4 days, you can either decide to spend more time in nature or splurge a little for a fun day at the amusement parks.


Singapore 4-Day Itinerary

With 4 days in Singapore, use our suggestions of the top things to do in Singapore in 3 days and then start your last day in Singapore at either the Botanic Gardens or MacRitchie Treetop Walk (whichever you skipped on Day 3). Spend the afternoon relaxing at East Coast Park – or rachet it up a notch and experience the fun of Sentosa Island.


Singapore Itinerary 5 Days

There is no problem finding things to do in Singapore in 5 days! In fact, with a Singapore Itinerary for 5 days, you can expand your sightseeing to regional discovery. 


Singapore 5-Day Itinerary

Spending 5 days in Singapore allows for plenty of time to explore! We recommend following our guide of places to see in Singapore in 3 days, then take a day trip around the island or to Malaysia (either on your own to Johor Bahru or on an organized tour to Kuala Lumpur). Then on your last day, follow our tips for what to do in Singapore in 4 days just above.


Singapore Itinerary 6 Days

With 6 days in Singapore, you can have a much more relaxed trip. Rather than stuffing all the sights, attractions and places to visit in Singapore in 5 days, we suggest spreading out the sightseeing so you don’t wear yourself out.


Singapore 6-Day Itinerary

To plan things to do in Singapore in 6 days, we suggest following our advice of places to visit in Singapore in 5 days (above). Then, spend half-days touring neighborhoods, and the afternoons swimming at your hotel pool or shopping at a mall,


Singapore Itinerary 7 Days

A full week in Singapore allows plenty of time to really get to know the city! Visitors with a week in Singapore will find that they can do and see quite a lot – all at a comfortable sightseeing pace. 


Singapore One-Week Trip

For the best plan of what to do in Singapore for a week, we recommend following our tips for 6 days in Singapore and then revisit a favorite neighborhood. Another idea for a 1-Week Itinerary Singapore would be to spend one entire day at Sentosa Island, East Coast Park or MacRitchie Reservoir.


Singapore Itinerary 10 Days

With 10 days in Singapore visitors have plenty of time to see the sights, eat the food, enjoy the nature and relax at the pool. To create your perfect 10-Day Singapore Itinerary, we recommend using our suggestions for things to do in Singapore in 7 days and then select more sightseeing options from our More Singapore Things To Do section above.


Top Tip: Truly, we think the best itinerary for Singapore is one that fits your interests, timeline, sightseeing style and budget. We hope you find our tips of what to visit in Singapore in 3 days helpful for your itinerary planner for Singapore!


Budget For Singapore Trip

Colorful street decorations for Mid-Autumn Festival in Chinatown, Singapore

We tried our best to make our 3 days in Singapore budget-friendly by highlighting the top cheap things to do in Singapore (including many of the very best things to do in Singapore for free!). Rather than paying for a guide, you can save the Singapore city tour cost by using our self-guided walks. Instead of paying for high-dollar attractions, you can explore Singapore’s natural beauty. 

That said, there are some concrete costs involved when planning a trip to Singapore. Getting there, accommodations and food all contribute to the overall trip to Singapore cost. Visiting ticketed attractions and drinking alcohol can significantly inflate your Singapore trip cost, too. 


Budget Travel Singapore

When trying to plan cheap travel to Singapore, there are certainly things visitors can do to ensure their trip will come in under budget.

Generally speaking, accommodation is very expensive. Finding the best place to stay in Singapore on a budget can be a real task (we give a few specific tips below).

On the other hand, Singapore public transportation is very affordable…which can help balance out the high cost of lodging. 

As we have already mentioned, many attractions cost a small fortune, which is why we eliminated them from our 3 Day Itinerary in Singapore. Visitors who want to splurge for these sights can still save money with sightseeing discount cards (which we detail momentarily).

One thing that can be found affordably throughout Singapore is food – and really good food, at that! The best place to find cheap eats is at hawker stands – and we shared our favorite places throughout our Singapore 3 Days Itinerary blog post. 


How To Travel in Singapore on a Budget

Our best advice for you as you plan your Singapore trip in 3 days is to create a budget which allows you to save when you can…so you can splurge when you want to!

Everyone’s budget is different – so it is difficult to say how much to budget for a Singapore trip. However, using our sightseeing in Singapore – and our accommodation tips below – it is possible to keep Singapore trip expenses to about $100 USD per day, per person.

Top Tip: Check current conversions for your vacation to Singapore.


Singapore Sightseeing Tickets

Historic Victoria Theater in Downtown Singapore

Sightseeing in Singapore can be expensive, but choosing the right sightseeing pass can certainly save you money. Each Singapore tourist card has it’s benefits; we recommend researching each offer to find the one that is right one for you! 


Sightseeing Pass Singapore

There are two types of Singapore Travel Cards: one that allows users to select a specific number of sights to visit OR one that allows unlimited entry to sights for a set number of days. Depending on your style of travel and sightseeing ambitions, you can choose the card that will provide the most cost-saving benefit.


Singapore Super Saver: Universal Studios and SEA Aquarium

See two of the top Sentosa Island attractions in one day with a discounted combo ticket for Universal Studios and SEA Aquarium. With the two-attraction pass, visitors can split the day between the two sights for a full day’s worth of fun!


Singapore City Pass

The 5-Day Singapore Sightseeing Pass includes admission to Universal Studios, a 2-day Hopper Pass, Open-Top bus tour, plus two more attractions of your choice. This is a great sightseeing pass for tourists who like to see and do it all!


The Singapore Pass

The Singapore Pass is based on number of sights and/or days (with upgraded options available) and includes public transportation. The Singapore Pass also includes some sights not available with other cards, like the Singapore Flyer and Tiger Brewery Tour. 


Singapore Public Transportation

Ride the Singapore Flyer, SG

Taxis are notoriously expensive, but with the incredible network of public transportation in Singapore, we never had to take a taxi! Instead, we relied solely on the cheap buses and efficient MRT to get around Singapore.

The minimum fare for a ride on the Singapore MRT (underground) and buses varies from $1.50 SGD to $3.50 SGD. Fares are calculated based on distance and most of our rides within the city center costs about $2 SGD.


Singapore Transportation Cards

There are two types of transportation cards, one of which needs to be purchased in advance of using the system. Choosing which card is right for you requires a bit of thought.

The Standard Ticket is a popular choice for visitors, but it doesn’t work on buses.

A stored value SmartCard (either EZ-link or Nets FlashPay), however, can be used on the MRT and buses. The SmartCard can also be used in some convenience stores (like 7-11).

However, there are some drawbacks to either card. First, there is an actual cost to the card and a top-up minimum (which can be frustrating if you are on your last day and only need a couple more rides).

We knew we were going to ride buses (the MRT doesn’t go to MacRitchie Treetop Walk, for example – and the buses are more convenient than finding an MRT station some of the time), so we opted for the SmartCard. There is an option to refund the remaining value at the airport, but instead, we used our small balance to buy a few snacks from the 7-11 at the airport! 

Top Tip: Find the most current fares (along with a fare calculator), route maps and an explanation of card types on the official SG public transport website


Final Tips To Plan a Trip to Singapore

View from the The Promontory, Singapore, SG

Now that you know how to plan a trip for Singapore on a budget, we have some general advice to help ensure you have a fabulous vacation!


Singapore Travel Planner Tips

If you are planning a budget trip, you will likely have to forego hiring a Singapore city tour guide…but we have a few tips that can help.


Singapore Language

Singapore recognizes four official languages: English, Mandarin, Malay and Tamil. Most government signs and information plaques will include all four and English is widely spoken. It is important to note, however, that due to the many languages and dialects, spelling variations of sights in English often occur. 


Go Underground

Underground air-conditioned walkways connect Singapore below the surface – often leading to MRT stations. Pedestrians can also use the underground passages to get from one side of the street to the other to avoid traffic (and the heat!). 


Singapore Laws

Singapore has a reputation for strict laws and stiff penalties. On buses and trains in Singapore, there are hefty fines for consuming food or beverage. We never actually saw signs for Singapore’s infamous ‘no chewing gum’ law, but we also didn’t see anyone chewing it…or selling it…and it certainly wasn’t stuck to the ground anywhere!


Where To Stay in Singapore On A Budget

Accommodations are often the biggest cost of a Singapore trip. Finding affordable places to stay in Singapore can be a real challenge – but it is not impossible! 

We use Airbnb as our go-to resource for finding inexpensive places to stay, however, short-term rentals are technically illegal in Singapore. There are still listings on Airbnb that are available for rent, but due to the strict nature of the country, we were not inclined to break laws in Singapore.


Best Budget Places To Stay in Singapore

On our trips to Singapore, we have stayed in hotels near the city center, at a hotel across the border in Johor Bahru, Malaysia and in an apartment as pet and housesitters

Finding inexpensive hotels in Singapore isn’t easy. As much as we would have loved to book a room at the Marina Bay Sands (for no other reason than to walk around in the bathrobes and swim in the ridiculous pool!), it just wasn’t in our budget. After searching high and low for affordable Singapore accommodations, we found a few Singapore hotels that fit the bill. 

Kam Leng Hotel – Located near Little India, the basic, no-frills room was suitable, but the hotel doesn’t have a pool and breakfast was not included (the Nasi Lemak restaurant next door, however, is amazing!).

Hotel Mi – The rooms were quite small, but modern, and the hotel has a wonderful pool and a breakfast café onsite (extra cost) – and it’s conveniently located right next to an MRT station.

Doubletree by Hilton in Johor Bahru – The luxurious Doubletree Hilton across the border in Malayasia, with an incredible pool and inexpensive services, was surprisingly affordable. However, it was a 2-hour commute to and from the Singapore city center. The lengthy travels included a somewhat entertaining, yet cumbersome, border crossing – but overall, we really enjoyed our stay in Johor Bahru.

To find a hotel in Singapore within your budget, we recommend searching for highly-rated hotels on Booking.com – but first read our top tips for getting the Best Deals on Hotels!

Want to become Pet and Housesitters? Join Trusted Housesitters and find house and petsitting opportunities around the world! Read more about how to become an International Housesitter!


Getting To Singapore

Singapore is best reached by plane. Changi is the main (and world-famous) airport in Singapore (seriously, the airport has gardens, art installations – check out the mesmerizing Kinetic Rain feature – movie theaters and a rooftop pool!).

For our visits to Singapore we have arrived on direct flights from Brisbane, Australia and Helsinki, Finland and departed to Phnom Penh, Cambodia and Hanoi, Vietnam. There’s even direct (and very long flights) from the US to Singapore departing from New York, LA and San Francisco. When we need to purchase plane tickets, we start our search for the best flight deals on Skyscanner.


What To Pack For Your Trip to Singapore

Stamford Raffles, founder of Singapore...and an imposter

In this travel guide to Singapore, we have covered just about everything you need for your trip! Our final tips cover a few items you will want to be sure to pack in your suitcase or backpack. Be sure to also check out all of our Packing Hacks


Walking Shoes

Singapore is a walkable city…but only if you have the right travel shoes! Don’t forget to pack a pair of lightweight and comfortable walking shoes for your trip. I (Sarah) have traveled with these comfy shoes by Columbia that are perfect for hot and humid cities and these flip flops, which I can wear on long days of sightseeing. Kris prefers wearing these shoes by Merrell for urban adventures.


Travel Camera for Singapore Photography

We’re certain you’ll be snapping tons of photos during your vacation to Singapore. Rather than relying on your mobile phone to capture the sights of Singapore, upgrade to an actual travel camera for high quality photos. We travel with a Canon Rebel and use an 18-135mm lens that is perfect for city shots and think it’s an excellent budget travel camera.


Day Bag, Wifi and Singapore Map

Throughout our Itinerary for Singapore, we include links to maps and more information – but to access them you need to be connected! Travelers can inquire about adjusting their phone plans to include international data or – if your phone in unlocked – buy a local SIM card. 

However, we think the better option is to travel with a personal mobile WiFi hotspot. We own a GlocalMe hotspot – and love it! Top features are that we can buy data online (rather than having to buy SIM cards), which means we are connected from the moment we land and can connect up to 10 devices at one time. Additionally, the hotspot doubles as a power bank, so we can keep devices charged throughout the day!

Additionally, we find having an actual Map of Singapore is helpful for both trip planning and actual navigation. Of course, you’ll also need a Great Day Bag to organize all of your everyday travel items.


Singapore Travel Insurance

Travel insurance may protect against delayed flights and lost luggage, or if you get sick or injured abroad. If you haven’t already obtained travel insurance for your trip, consider traveling protected with World Nomads.


Start planning your trip to Singapore! Search for the lowest airfares, the best accommodations and fun things to do…then start packing!  Want more travel planning tips? Head over to our Travel Planning page for more information and tips on traveling – and for country-specific information, take a look at our Travel Guides page!


We want to know:  Have you visited Singapore on a budget? What would you add to our Singapore Itinerary? Give us your best tips and advice of the top things to do in Singapore in the comments! 


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Singapore Itinerary Ultimate Guide of Things To Do in Singapore on a budget by JetSettingFools.com

2 thoughts on “Singapore Itinerary: Best Things To Do in Singapore (On A Budget)

  1. Dean Smith

    Great write up didn’t no there was so much to do on a budjet,…any way keep it real and kicking.


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