How to Spend Perfect 4 Days in Singapore
Photo: Victor Gracia
We knew we were going to have a great time in Singapore from the start. On the way from Changi airport, we were mesmerized by the scenery that unfolded before eyes. The lush vegetation and the tall trees along the highway invited us to follow along, the colourful buildings that caught our eyes as we were getting closer to the city and once we entered the city, we kept seeing such breathtaking architecture around us, it was probably the best airport ride we’ve ever had!
Singapore’s airport is one of the busiest airports in the world (not to mention one of the best), so many tourists plan a stopover in Singapore, some stay less than 24 hours while others plan a 1-day or 2-day itinerary. However, there are so many things to do and see in Singapore that 1 or 2 and even 3 days are simply not enough. It is one of the most culturally diverse cities we’ve ever been to, with gorgeous architecture, green parks, attractions for kids and so much more. That’s why we’ve planned for you this perfect 4-day itinerary for Singapore with our favourite highlights and attractions in this gorgeous city. Before we start talking about our 4-day itinerary for Singapore, let’s cover the basics – some things to know and why should you even consider visiting Singapore.
Things to Know about Singapore
Singapore is a city-state – together with Monaco and Vatican City, there are only three city-states in the world.
Singapore has approximately 5.6 million residents.
There are four official languages in Singapore: English, Malay, Mandarin-Chinese, and Tamil.
Singapore’s nickname is the Garden City thanks to its tree-lined streets and many parks all over the city.
Singapore earned its independence as the Republic of Singapore in 1965.
According to a British study, Singaporeans are the fastest walkers in the world! (on average about 6.15 km in an hour).
Other than the mainland, Singapore also has 63 tiny islands (most of them are uninhabited).
Singapore is one of the smallest countries in the world – only 682.7 square kilometres.
All buildings must not be higher than 280 meters.
Singapore is the third-most densely populated country in the world
Why Should Singapore Be on Your Bucket List?
It is a convenient stop when flying long distances.
There are so many attractions and things to do in Singapore in close proximity.
Singapore has cultural diversity that is hard to compete with.
We did not expect to love Singapore as much as we did. Anyone who loves culture, history, architecture and food is going to have the time of his life here. Due to Singapore’s cultural melting pot, while passing through Singapore’s various neighborhoods, you feel as if you are transported to another country. One day you might have a little taste of India and on the next day, you are visiting the Sultan Mosque. You can have the best Indian, Chinese or Malay food you’ve ever had in the same block. And another thing, the taxi drivers in Singapore are some of the nicest ones in the world. So let’s start planning your perfect 4 days in Singapore
Singapore 4 Day Itinerary - Our Guide to the Best Attractions
4 Day Singapore Itinerary - Day 1
Discover the Famous Attractions in Singapore around Marina Bay
Gardens by the Bay
Since this is probably the most famous tourist attraction in Singapore, we recommend arriving early so you’d have a chance to escape the crowds. Gardens by the Bay is located just next to the famous Marina Bay Sands. It’s known all over the world for its 50-meter-tall artificial trees. The outside gardens are free but to enter the Flower Dome (the largest glass greenhouse in the world), the Cloud Forest (inside you’ll find a 35-metre-tall mountain covered in lush vegetation and a huge indoor waterfall) and go up the Supertree Grove, you’d have to pay a fee. The atmosphere is totally different during the day and during the night when you can catch the daily light show (for free) at 7:45 pm and 8:45 pm.
Insider tips: If you intend to visit more than one attraction, buy the combo ticket. When visiting the Cloud Forest – it’s a great opportunity to take a picture of the Supertree Grove from the highest floor. To take a photo of some of the best views in Singapore, walk to Gardens by the Bay via Helix Bridge. Check out this Garden by the Bay map.
Visit the Cool ArtScience Museum
Remember that strange-looking building you saw on your way to Gardens by the Bay? This is Singapore’s ArtScience Museum whose unique architecture was inspired by the lotus flower. This museum has a permanent exhibition (Future World: Where Art Meets Science) and changing exhibitions that combine art, science, culture and technology. It is a really fun activity for both kids and adults and one of the most unique and interesting museums in the world. For more information about the ArtScience Museum exhibitions.
Address: 6 Bayfront Ave, Singapore 018974. Opening hours: 10:00 am – 7:00 pm (daily).
Marina Sands Bay Hotel and The Shoppers Mall
For lunch, there are plenty of options inside The Shoppers, the mall at Marina Sands Bay, and to be honest, it is such an extravagant mall with an indoor canal and boats, that you really should have a look and then continue to the next item on your Singapore 4 day itinerary.
Insider Tip: If you decide to have lunch here and you love dim sums, try the ones at Din Tai Fun.
Optional Itinerary Item: Enjoy the view from the observation deck at Marina Sands Bay. It is one of the best places to see Singapore from above, however, the admission fee is quite high and for us, the view is better from the ground where you can take a picture of the hotel itself. If you’re thinking about taking a dip in the famous infinity pool, you’d need to be guests of the hotel.
Address: 10 Bayfront Ave, Singapore 018956.
Visit Merlion Park – for the Best Views of Singapore Skyline
In Merlion Park you’ll be able to catch a glimpse of the famous statue of the Merlion (a mythical creature with a lion’s head and the body of a fish), and even better, it is located on the waterfront exactly opposite Marina Sands Bay so here’s a great opportunity to take some pictures of the famous hotel.
Address: 1 Fullerton Rd, Singapore 049213. Nearest MRT Station: Raffles Place
Enjoy the Evening at Clarke Quay and the Riverside Area
Once the trading center of Singapore, nowadays it’s one of the most pleasant areas to spend a night out in Singapore. Cross the Read Bridge (Malacca Bridge), take some great pictures and enjoy the views of Singapore’s illuminated skyline and river and continue walking along the riverside promenade to escape the touristy atmosphere. Along the river, the vibes are more relaxed with a nice mixture of locals and tourists. There are plenty of restaurants to choose from in the Quays (pronounced “keys”) and after dinner, enjoy a drink at one of the trendy bars. This area was our favourite for an evening stroll.
Address: 3 River Valley Rd, Singapore 179024. MRT Station: Clarke Quay
4 Day Singapore Itinerary - Day 2
Explore the Cultural Melting Pot of Singapore
Discover the Hidden Gems of the Arab Neighborhood - Kampong Glam
There are so many charming corners around Kampong Glam, some of which have already gained their Instagram fame which means – lots of other tourists too. Try and get an early start if you want to avoid the crowds. Nearest MRT Station: Bugis
Things to Do in Singapore's Kampong Glam
Discover the Best Street Art in Singapore and Stroll along Haji Lane
Discover some of the most charming street art in Singapore and then see some great murals at Haji Lane. Haji Lane is one of the most photographed spots in Singapore. It’s a blogger’s paradise with dozens of beautiful murals, great little eateries, cool bars and trendy shops and boutiques. You can spend here at least a couple of hours doing some shopping and catching up on your Instagram stories (we have some more details in our Singapore Neighborhoods Guide).
Admire Masjid Sultan Mosque
One of the most impressive landmarks in the area must be the Masjid Sultan. The mosque is located at Muscat Street and it is visited every day by many tourists and locals alike. The exterior of the mosque is very impressive with the golden dome and surrounding vegetation. There are many souvenirs shops and coffee shops around and it’s a fun area to stroll around.
Insider tip: The adjacent streets will give you the perfect view to capture some of Singapore’s older buildings with the backdrop of the modern skyscrapers.
Visit the Wonderful Parkview Square
Just across Kampong Glam, you’ll find one of the most interesting buildings in Singapore, Parkview Square. You might be confused for a minute and think you have stumbled into a Hollywood set because of the art deco motives and general feeling of old Hollywood glam. You can have a drink at the bar and admire the Great Gatsby vibes and then take a stroll amongst the decorative statues in the outside plaza.
Have a Taste of India in Little India
Not far from Kampong Glam you’ll feel as if you were transported to another country. You’ll find here some of the most colourful streets in Singapore, fresh produce markets, Hindu and Buddhist temples and more. Nearest MRT Station: Little India
What to Do in Singapore's Little India
Take pictures of the Gorgeous Murals and Colorful Houses
Little India is one of the best neighborhoods to find colourful houses and some of the most amazing street art in Singapore. For more information about the colourful corners in Little India, check our Singapore Neighborhoods Guide.
Visit a Hindu Temple
There are a couple to choose from but one of the best Hindu temples to visit is Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple. We stumbled upon it by chance and followed the procession of people who entered the temple. It was a great experience to take pictures of the intricate artwork and the atmosphere inside was so festive and relaxing at the same time. One of our highlights in Singapore.
Eat Indian Food
We love Indian food and back home we don’t get many chances to have it, so this was the perfect solution for our Paneer and Naan cravings. Here are some of the best Indian restaurants in the area.
Insider Tip: Little India has many festivals during the year so check in advance prior to your trip.
4 Day Singapore Itinerary - Day 3
Wander around Singapore’s Botanic Gardens
We’re sure you’ve been to botanical gardens before, but you’ve probably haven’t been to botanical gardens that have earned a World Heritage Site status. Any nature lover could spend a full day here. The tropical forest in the botanical gardens is an example of the only few original forests that were left on the island. You can also visit the National Orchid Garden where you’ll see the biggest display of tropical orchids in the world. For more information about Singapore’s Botanical Gardens.
Insider Tip: There are free guided tours on Saturdays. The admission to the gardens is free except for the Orchid Garden where you’ll pay approximately SG$5 Nearest MRT Station: Botanic Gardens
Opening hours: Botanical Gardens: 5:00 am-midnight, the Orchid Garden: 8:30 am – 7:00 pm.
Explore Some More of Singapore’s Cultural Diversity in Chinatown
Another great area to explore the cultural diversity of Singapore is the Chinatown area. Stroll amongst the many little shops and stands, visit the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum, check out one of the most well-known Hawkers Centers in Singapore, the Maxwell Road Hawker Centre, and take amazing pictures of the lanterns at night. You’ll find more information in our neighborhood guide!
4 Day Singapore Itinerary - Day 4
Looking for the perfect finale for your 4 days in Singapore itinerary? Depending on your interests, there are a few options for your last day in Singapore. You can mix it up if you want and do a bit of everything.
Walk Along the Southern Ridges
Why This Is the Best Option For Your Singapore 4 Day Itinerary?
For nature lovers, this would be the perfect attraction for your last day in Singapore. The Southern Ridges are actually walking trails above Singapore’s parks. You can walk along this 10 km connecting trails and observe from above the different flora and fauna of Singapore’s various parks (Mount Faber Park, Telok Blangah Hill Park, HortPark, Kent Ridge Park and Labrador Nature Reserve). It’s also a great spot to enjoy the views of Singapore.
Visit Sentosa Island
Why This Is the Best Option tp Warp Up Your 4 Days in Singapore
You can spend a full day exploring all the attractions of Sentosa Island. Start with the Resorts World Sentosa where you’ll find Universal Studios (voted as the best amusement park in Asia), take a dip in the Adventure Cove Waterpark and learn more about the marine world in SEA Aquarium which happens to be one of the best aquariums in the world. If you have some time, you can go to one of the three beaches on the island. It’s the best choice for families with kids.
Discover Some of Singapore's Other Neighborhoods
Why This Is the Best Option For Your Singapore 4 Day Itinerary?
Well, do you love exploring trendy neighbourhoods and wandering around the little coffee shops and boutiques? We certainly do! There are so many other lovely neighborhoods in Singapore, each of them with different characteristics and some of them are located a bit further away from Singapore’s center, but still within a 15-minute taxi ride. From Joo Chiat where you’ll learn more about the Peranakan culture to the peaceful Dempsey Hill, we actually prepared a detailed guide for you with all the highlights – so don’t forget to check it out!
Explore Singapore's Museums
Why This Is the Best Option to Warp Up Your 4 Days in Singapore?
History and art lovers would love to visit some of Singapore’s museums. Singapore might be one of the smallest countries in the world, nevertheless, it has an abundance of museums which you could visit to deepen your knowledge about the history and culture of Singapore. The mixture of cultures has created an impressive collection of museums which showcase the cultural diversity that has influenced and shaped modern Singapore.
For culture and history lovers:
National Museum of Singapore: It is one of the oldest museums where you can find various exhibits which depict the development and history of Singapore throughout the years.
Asian Civilization Museum: You’ll find this impressive museum on the banks of Singapore River. It focuses on the development of the Asian continent and the different ethnic groups that arrived in Singapore.
Chinatown Heritage Museum: Located in Chinatown and there you’ll learn about the fascinating history of the Chinese immigrants and their influence on Singapore’s culture.
Indian Heritage Center: This museum showcases the history and culture of Indian immigrants. It is situated in Little India.
Malay Heritage Center: You’ll find this museum in Kampong Glam. It depicts the history of the residences who came from Malaysia.
Peranakan Museum: This museum is dedicated to the Peranakan culture (an ethnic group who has Chinese and Malay/Indonesian heritage). You’ll learn about the history, cultural practices, religion and food of this ethnic group.
For science and art lovers:
We have already mentioned the unique ArtScience Museum but you might want to check these museums as well:
Singapore Art Museum: Located at an impressive building that used to be a Christian school in the 19th century, this museum offers an impressive exhibition of modern art from Singapore and East Asia.
MINT Museum of Toys: Here you’ll find a collection of toys from all over the world. It is a great attraction for families with kids.
Shopping at Orchard Road
Why This Is the Best Option For Your Singapore 4 Day Itinerary?
The last option is for shopping lovers. When we are travelling, shopping is usually the last thing on our mind, however, Singapore has so many shopping centers and we’ve heard so much about Orchard Road, we simply had to have a look. We have no idea how all of Singapore’s shopping malls seem to always be full of people, but they are. Maybe it’s the hot and humid weather (that made us look for a cooler environment to escape the heat, every 2 hours or so) that keep these malls so busy. Anyways, you’ll find many shopping malls at Orchard Road that are suited for every pocket. Don’t miss ION Orchard Mall – you might not be able to afford the price tags of the shops inside but it’s an architectural wonder with an endless show of glimmering lights.
Getting around Singapore
It’s easy to get around Singapore. You can use the MRT system (very efficient and cheap), buses or taxis. If you plan to use public transportation extensively during your stay, you can buy a special EZ-Link card which will allow you unlimited travel for 1-3 days. We found the taxis to be relatively cheap and the drivers were extremely nice and helpful. Take some time to read the sticker on the window with all the rules and fines for mistreating a taxi driver in Singapore – a fun read that perhaps other countries should consider! For more information regarding getting around Singapore.
Insider Tip: If you’re looking for a great App to help you plan your transportation in Singapore, we loved Citymapper.
Where to Stay in Singapore
Singapore is a large city with many options for accommodation. You would want to choose where to stay in Singapore depending on your budget and interests.
Shopaholics might consider staying around Orchid Road while culture lovers would prefer to stay closer to Kampong Glam and Little India. Another great option is to stay at Clarke Quay since it’s the best area to spend a great evening strolling around the promenade. Of course, if you can afford it, you can always stay at Marina Sands Bay and enjoy their famous infinity pool. We do have more options and detailed account of the best areas to stay in Singapore in our neighborhood guide.
What to Eat in Singapore
If you are a foodie at heart like we are, you are going to love Singapore! With different influences from different cuisines and cultures, you can probably satisfy all of your cravings in one of the many restaurants, cafes, street food stands or hawker centres in the city. We had the best meals here. Indian, Thai, Chinese, Malay, Persian and so much more. Moreover, you will also have great choices for vegetarians or health-food fanatics. From Satay to chilly crab and Nasi Lemak, or the favourite breakfast/snack, Kaya Toast – don’t forget to try a bit of everything. If you want some more tips about the dishes you must try in Singapore and where to find them, check out our Singapore foodie guide – coming out very soon!
Essentials to Know Before Visiting Singapore
Visa – Tourists from the United States and the European Union as well as a few other countries are permitted a 90-day stay in Singapore. Other nationalities require a visa. For more information regarding visa for Singapore.
Currency – Singapore dollar (SGD)
Religion – Buddhism: 33% Christianity: 19% Islam: 14% Taoism and folk religion: 11% Hinduism: 5%
Languages – Four official languages: English, Malay, Mandarin-Chinese, and Tamil. Most locals are bilingual and speak English.
Weather – The weather is pretty much the same all year round. Temperatures remain consistent with highs of 32 degrees Celsius and lows in the mid-’20s. The problem is high humidity – 80%. There’s always a chance for rain but November – January are the wettest months.
Water – You can drink the tap water
Tipping – Tipping in Singapore is not customary though it’s acceptable to round up the payment to the nearest dollar when tipping taxi drivers. Most restaurants add a 10% service charge to the bill. You can tip your waiter for good service but give it to him directly. You can tip the bellboy at the hotel though our bellboy refused to accept it. For more information regarding tipping in Singapore.
Rules and regulations – Jaywalking, spitting and selling gum are just a few of the things that can get you in trouble in Singapore. Check out some other rules in Singapore.
Important Note: If you are carrying any prescription drugs, make sure to bring a copy of the prescription because Singapore has a death sentence for drug trafficking.
Singapore took us by surprise since we didn’t expect to love it so much. It is such a great place where anyone can find something to do and you’ll never get bored. Hope you’ve found our Singapore 4-day itinerary helpful, and hope you’d love it as much as we did!