When friends and family heard that I was traveling to Singapore for four days, the typical response was, “That’s a long time.” I’m not sure which country these people went to because four days in Singapore flew by for me. Each day was long and filled with tons of things to do. Even after four days in Singapore, I still wish I had more time to see, do and eat in Singapore.
As luck would have had it, my Singapore trip was filled with sunny (and sweltering!) days, despite the fact that the weather forecasted for torrential rains during the week of my visit. I’d wake up every morning feeling anxious about the rainy weather, but nope, no rain at all! The weatherman lied big time!
You’ll also notice that my itinerary included a mix of mall visits. These mall visits were necessary during the time that I visited because Singapore was extremely HOT! I’ve visited many tropical countries in my lifetime, and my parents were born in Vietnam, so thriving in hot weather is in my blood. But Singapore… the humidity was something else! Each time I left an air-conditioned building, I felt as like I was hit by a wave of heat for the first 20 seconds before I would adjust to the heat.
Four-day itinerary for Singapore travels
Here’s a rough breakdown of my four-day itinerary that will give you a starting place if you’re planning a visit to Singapore. My agenda pretty much details every place I visited during those four days. You’ll also notice that I visited the Gardens by the Bay twice! The first visit was breathtaking because I had the chance to catch the Rhapsody light show, but awful (especially for photos) because every square inch of that place had visitors! That’s why I planned a second visit to the Gardens by the Bay for another early morning adventure.
All starting locations are from Downtown Singapore
- One Raffles Quay South Tower
- Asia Square Tower (It’s too hot to be outside in the daytime!)
- Gardens by the Bay. Super crowded at night! Good luck trying to take a decent photo. What’s awesome though is the nightly Rhapsody light show
- Marina Bay Sands
- Merlion (I saw the statue on the first day but didn’t take a photo because it was too crowded. I came back a few days later to discover that the Merlion was closed for maintenance purposes!)
- Esplanade Park
- Telok Ayer Street
- Thian Hock Keng Temple
- Amoy Street Food Centre
- Sri Mariamman Temple
- Orchid Central
- Little India
- Temple of 1000 Lights (Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya Temple)
- Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple
- Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple
- Masjid Sultan (Mosque)
- Suntec City Mall
- Fountain of Wealth
- Went back to Gardens by the Bay (went early in the morning to avoid crowds)
- OCBC Skyway
- Flower Dome
- Cloud Forest
- Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands
Gardens by the Bay
Gardens by the Bay is magical thanks to the gigantic trees. These super trees are between 9 – 16 stories tall and are a beautiful fusion of nature and technology. This public park has an amazing musical show where the trees change colors at night.
You can also walk on the OCBC Skyway to get a bird’s eye view of Singapore, as well as the gardens. The suspended walkway connects to three trees and is an absolute must if you visit Gardens by the Bay! But, I must warn you, if you are afraid of heights, you will get dizzy.
Tips for when you visit:
- Wake up early to avoid the crowds, as it gets busy in the evening. The only downside to visiting early in the morning is that you will miss the evening light show
- Plan to spend a good four to five hours at the Gardens by the Bay. There are tons of gardens to visit at the bottom of the Supertree Grove
- The OCBC Skyway tickets are only available at the Supertree Grove. Expect long waits of up to forty minutes if you visit during busy hours. This long wait is because there’s a limit on the number of people who can be on the walkway. When I went back to the OCBC Skyway in the morning, there was no lineup!
- The OCBC Skyway is one way, and you can’t walk backward, so take your time crossing the Skyway!
Marina Bay Waterfront Promenade
The Marina Bay Waterfront gives a beautiful ground level view of the Marina Bay. An interesting fact is that this Waterfront was built on land reclaimed in the late 1960s. If you are visiting the waterfront at night, make sure to check out the Wonder Full show. Wonder Full is Southeast Asia’s largest water show and uses light, water, and fog to depict a story about life.
Marina Bay Sands Hotel
Ah, the beautiful Marina Bay Sands hotel is a must visit, even if you’re not a guest at the hotel (boo hoo!). The architecture is stunning, and the walkway is an excellent way to catch spectacular views of the city. Unfortunately, the famous infinity pool is only for guests at the hotel, which is a bummer for me (more boo hoos!).
This human-made cloud forest replicates tropical mountain regions and shows the biodiversity of cloud forests. You can descend or climb the Cloud Mountain via a circular path to see interesting plants along the way.
While the Cloud Mountain is an enjoyable experience, the best part is the ten-minute video at the end of the walkway. The short documentary highlights what will happen if Earth is five degrees warmer. It is a powerful message that reminds us that it is not too late to change the course of global warming.
Tips for when you visit:
- Bring a light jacket! It can get cold here
- Watch the short video at the end of the walkway!
Flower Dome has over seven different gardens and is a great place to visit. The Flower Dome tries to replicate a mild and dry climate for the tropical plants that it houses. There are a ton of reviews online that say this place is not worth visiting, but I disagree, in my opinion. The plants in this dome are beautiful and gave me many opportunities to take lovely flower photos.
Singapore’s Chinatown definitely wins the award for the cleanest Chinatown I’ve ever visited. Chinatown is great for shopping, history, and of course food because it’s everywhere. While Chinatown Singapore has subtle distinctions that make it unique, the food and stalls are no different than other Chinatowns around the world. There are also many Buddhist and Hindu temples that are worth visiting in Chinatown.
Thian Hock Keng is the oldest Hokkien temple in Singapore, dating back to the early 1800s. This temple was built by the Chinese Fujian and was a place of worship for those who were far away from home.
Chinatown is also where I visited Sri Mariamman temple and ate my ice cream sandwich and kaya toast.
Little India serves as a culture and religious place for the South Asian community. There are lots of temples to visit in Little India, like the Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple and the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple.
The highlight of Little India is the Masjid Sultan, Singapore’s oldest Mosque.
While the exterior architecture is beautiful, the interior is plain to avoid distracting worshipers. As well, the interior houses many informative displays and has guides who will answer questions about the culture.
And of course, there are tons of great restaurants nearby that serve delicious food, like Nasi Briyani.
Chjmes was an accidental discovery while I was exploring the city. I saw this beautiful building with expensive cars driving in and out of the gates and thought “hmm…let’s check it out!”. At first glance, Chjmes looks like a place of worship, which was the case back in the day. Now, the area is a vibrant place with tons of upscale bars and restaurants.
Singapore Travel: Tips for when you visit Singapore
- It’s scorching and humid in Singapore. Each time I stepped out of the hotel, I felt like I was entering a fog of heat. Be prepared for that. Thank goodness for air conditioned malls!
- Bring a large bottle of water with you to stay hydrated
- Cabs are pretty affordable, and the metro is great. But you can walk everywhere, like me