Singapore: Three day itinerary

Michael Franco
Khim's Collections shop on Bussorah Street in the Arab Quarter. (Photo: Richard I'Anson / Lonely Planet Images)
Khim's Collections shop on Bussorah Street in the Arab Quarter
Got three days to make it count? Follow our 72-hour itinerary so you don't miss a beat.

Day one

Start out peacefully by visiting the Botanic Gardens, where you can enjoy a hawker-style breakfast at the on-site Taman Serasi Food Garden. Entrance to the main gardens is free, and it costs S$5 to visit the orchid garden — well worth the modest expense. You can easily spend a full morning checking out the impressive array of trees, plants and shrubs but as the day begins to heat up, avoid wilting by heading to the Vivo City mall.

A visit to Singapore wouldn't really be complete without visiting one of its myriad malls and VivoCity is definitely one of the larger and more impressive, with more than 96,600 square metres of retail space. You might want to splurge on lunch at Wood where you can dine on wood-fired pizzas while looking across the water to Sentosa Island. Wherever you lunch, don't miss the ice-cream at Awfully Chocolate for dessert. Avoid the heat (or rain) a little while longer by visiting the Gold Class section of the Cineplex where you can sit in a first-class-cabin-style seat that fully reclines while ordering drinks or — if you have any room left — items from a full menu.

By now the sun will have begun its decline so take a cab to Tanglin Village/Dempsey Hill — an old army camp that's been converted into an eclectic selection of boutiques, antique shops and restaurants. Have pre-dinner drinks at the poshly designed, nature-clad Oosh followed by dinner at White Rabbit in a converted church or The Tippling Club where ordinary food and drink are converted into works of art through molecular magic.

Dance the night — and the calories — away by cabbing it to St James Power Station, where Movida combines live Latin acts with Latino-infused DJing, the Powerhouse provides more traditional club mixes, and an array of other outlets to ensure you'll find your niche.

Day two

Follow the one-day itinerary.

Day three

Start out in East Coast Park, a 20km stretch of beach and green space running along the straights of Singapore. Get there early to watch groups of aunties and uncles doing Tai Chi, then fuel up for an active morning yourself with some traditional kaya (a sweet coconut and egg jam) butter toast at Old Town White Coffee located at the Playground @ Big Splash. Pick up a bike or rent inline skates at the same complex and cruise along the smoothly paved paths while gazing at the massive tankers out at sea.

Turn in your wheels when you've had enough and head to the most iconic wheel in Singapore: The Flyer, the largest observation wheel on earth. It might be a little touristy, but you're sure to be impressed by the sheer engineering of the thing.

Next, have your taxi driver drop you off in the Arab Quarter where you can lunch at any of the eateries along Bussorah Street. At the end of this road the Masjid Sultan mosque rises like a mirage. It is the largest mosque in Singapore and well worth a visit, as is the nearby Malay Heritage Centre.

From man-made marvels to natural ones, as the sun begins to set, it's time to head to the Singapore Zoo to check out the outstanding Night Safari, the first night-time zoo in the world. Have dinner on-site (they have an extensive buffet) and then wander the paths viewing night creatures, including snow leopards, hyenas and lions in natural, dimly lit settings. If you're brave enough, enter the bat area where you can get eye-to-beady-little-eye with huge fruit bats.

Finish off your last night in Singapore by getting an excellent perspective on the city at the New Asia Bar located on the top floor of the Swissôtel Stamford, Singapore's tallest hotel building. Take in the sweeping views through huge plate glass windows and let the great mix of tunes and friendly crowd on the dance floor see you off in style.

Have you tried any of the places on this itinerary? Got any ideas we haven't thought of? Have your say using the comments form, below.

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User comments
As a born and bred, true to the bone Singaporean, I'd like to vouch that our lion city is much more than the above! Apalling that the itinerary doesn't include a meal at one of our kopitiams (local coffeeshops), HDB towns (best introduction to locals), the Esplanade, Marina Bay Sands, Katong (for an introduction to the best Peranakan food and culture), the Marina Barrage and much much more.