Are you planning a 4-day Singapore itinerary and wondering how you can stick to a budget? Well, I have all the info you need in this guide, from the best places to visit, where to stay and tips on how to save money in Singapore!
From its modest start as a fishing village, Singapore has now grown into a modern metropolitan city and is one of the safest places to travel to.
Unfortunately, Singapore has owned itself a reputation of being one of the most expensive cities in Southeast Asia, however, this is true only to a certain extent.
While accommodation might be expensive, the food is very cheap and the city is spotless. In addition, it’s very easy to get around due to the convenient transportation system and there are lots of free attractions which are a few reasons why you should plan a trip to Singapore!
From massive green parks to unusual skyscrapers and the most authentic local dishes, Singapore is bound to be on top of everyone’s bucket list! Keep reading if you want to know how to spend 4 days in Singapore!
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Places to visit in Singapore in 4 days
This Singapore itinerary will show you the best places to visit in Singapore 4 days including the most popular spots with a mix of off the beaten track locations! Here’s a preview of my sample itinerary for Singapore:
- Day 1: Merlion, Helix Bridge, Gardens by the Bay, Marina Bay Sand, Spectra Light and Water Show and Garden Rhapsody.
- Day 2: Haji Lane, Bugis and Little India
- Day 3: Sentosa Island and Chinatown
- Day 4: Singapore Botanic Garden, Old Hill Street Police Station, Fort Canning Park and the colorful Peranakan houses on Joo Chiat Road.
Singapore Itinerary Day 1 – Explore Marina Bay
Merlion, Esplanade Walk and Helix Bridge
The best way to start your 4-day Singapore itinerary is by exploring the Marina Bay area. Have an early start if you want to beat the crowd at the Merlion Park. But let’s face it, being one of the top attractions in Singapore, you’ll hardly be the only one trying to get a picture with the Merlion!
From there, turn left and take a stroll along the esplanade walk until you reach the DNA-shaped Helix Bridge. Take a moment to enjoy the view and you’ll notice the Art Science Museum with it’s a striking architecture and the iconic Marina Bay Sands.
If you want to view the Singapore skyline from above you can visit the observation deck (Skypark) at Marina Bay Sands for about US$ 15 from 9.30 a.m to 10 p.m during the week and from 9.30 a.m to 11 p.m during the weekend.
Tip: you can even watch the Spectra Light and Water Show from the Marina Bay Sands Skypark (check showtimes below)!
Gardens by the Bay
At exactly 9 a.m, get ready to enter the Cloud Forest and feel the cool mist from the indoor waterfall splashing all over you! Take the lift to the Lost World for a different perspective of the 35-meter waterfall and a stroll in between the clouds. It’s for sure one of the best places to visit in Singapore!
Once you’re done at the Cloud Forest, head to the Flower Dome which houses a collection of flowers that changes with every season. Even though it’s not as impressive as the Cloud forest, it’s still worth a visit.
As a foreigner, you can only buy a combo ticket to both conservatories which costs S$ 28 for adults and S$ 15 for children. But if you book your ticket on Klook it will cost only S$ 23.05 (US$ 17.10) for adults and S$ 14 (US$ 10.40) for children (with an additional US$ 3.20 discount if you register via this link).
Next, wander around the massive Supertree grove and the other free gardens for another hour or two.
For a bird’s eye view of the gardens, by walking along the suspended walkway (OCBC Skyway) which connects the Supertrees. Tickets cost S$ 8 (US$ 5.95) for adults and S$ 5 (US$ 3.70) for children.
Practical info: The Gardens by the Bay are open daily from 5 a.m to 2 a.m whereas the Cloud Forest and Flower Dome are open from 9 a.m to 9 p.m.
Telok Ayer Hawker Center
By now you might be exhausted from all the walking coupled with jetlag, so head back to your hotel to relax for a while. At around 7 p.m make your way to Telok Ayer (Lau Pa Sat) for dinner.
Follow the clouds of smoke until you find the satay street which is an outdoor eating area with rows of stall selling satays. The vendors can be pushy but it’s definitely one of the best places to eat in Singapore!
If you prefer to eat something else, you’ll have a great selection of dishes inside the hawker center, from Chinese to Malay and Indian cuisines. My favorite foods to eat at Lau Pa Sat are the dumplings and steamed buns (bao).
Spectra Light and Garden Rhapsody Show
Take the MRT to the Marina Bay area just before 8 p.m to watch the Spectra Light and Water Show. Stare in awe at the laser lights dancing to the beat of the music while projecting images over the water spray.
Once the show is over, walk to the Gardens by the Bay and wait until 8:45 p.m to see the Supertrees come to life during the Garden Rhapsody show.
- Garden Rhapsody show: every night at 7:45 p.m and 8:45 p.m.
- Spectra light and water show: every night at 8 p.m and 9 p.m with additional shows on Fridays and Saturdays at 10 p.m.
Related post: Top things to do in Marina Bay Singapore
Singapore Itinerary Day 2 – Haji Lane, Bugis and Little India
Kampong Glam and Haji Lane
Kampong Glam, also known as Singapore’s Arabic quarter, is one of the best places to get a glimpse into Singapore’s Islamic culture. The iconic Masjid Sultan is one of the largest mosques in Singapore and is free to visit.
This neighborhood is also home to the famous Haji Lane, lined with trendy boutiques, cafés and colorful street arts where you can indulge in food and shopping.
There’s even a coffee shop where you can get your face printed on foam! How cool is that!?
If you are on the hunt for affordable shopping in Singapore, look no further than Bugis Street Market. This covered market is packed with shops selling everything from food to clothes, electronics and cheap souvenirs.
Looking to shop for international brands? Bugis junction and Bugis+ are two shopping malls conveniently located at the Bugis MRT exit.
Next take the downtown line from Bugis MRT to Little India which is a vibrant neighborhood filled with eclectic sights, food and culture.
The narrow lanes covered with murals showcase Singapore’s Indian heritage while the colorful Tan Teng Niah House attracts flocks of tourists looking for the perfect shot!
If you wander around the neighborhood, you will stumble upon several colorful street arts and if you make it all the way to Hindoo Road, you’ll find a small green park with colorful umbrella trees.
Another place worth visiting during your 4 days in Singapore is the Tekka Center which is always busy thanks to its affordable shopping and cheap eats. There are lots of shops selling Indian clothes and accessories, a wet market and hawker center with a wide variety of Chinese and Indian cuisines. Some food to try include roti prata, murtabak and chicken chop noodles.
End the day by checking out Mustafa Center which is open 24/7 and sells just about anything you can think of!
Singapore Itinerary Day 3 – Sentosa Island and Chinatown
Sentosa is a man-made island resort, home to beaches and the Universal Studios. The island can be accessed for free through the boardwalk from Vivo City which is about a 15 minutes’ walk. You can then take the Sentosa Express to the beach station and a tram to the different beaches for free.
If your budget allows, you can instead take the cable car to Sentosa from the Mount Faber Station (book your discounted ticket on Klook for only US$ 18.20).
Another way to get to the island is by the Sentosa Express located at Vivo City, Lobby L, Level 3. Tickets cost S$4 (US$ 3) and the monorail runs from 7 a.m to 12 a.m.
You have three beaches to choose from: Siloso, Palawan and Tanjong beach. Siloso beach is home to major thrill-seeking attractions and is the most popular while the other two beaches are more chilled and laid back.
You can then go back to the mainland free of charge by using the Sentosa Express!
Spend the rest of the afternoon in Chinatown by visiting temples, shopping for cheap souvenirs and eating at Michelin star hawker restaurants for less than US$ 4 (yes, you read that right!)
Buddha Tooth Relic Temple
Start with the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, a must-visit during your Singapore itinerary! Built only recently in 2007, the temple houses the tooth of Buddha and contains hundreds of statues and artifacts. The temple is open daily from 7 a.m to 7 p.m and is free to visit. Guided tours are offered for free on Saturdays.
Chinatown Street Market
Located not too far away is the Chinatown Street Market offering a selection of cheap souvenirs and delicious food. There are also a few interactive street arts in the area that are worth checking out.
Sri Mariamman Temple
Next head over to the Sri Mariamman Temple, one of Singapore’s oldest Hindu temple covered with colorful and intricate sculptures of deities. The temple is open daily from 7 a.m to 12 p.m and from 6 p.m to 9 p.m.
Thian Hock Temple
Built in 1839, in honor of Mazu, Chinese Goddess of the Seas, Thian Hock Temple is the oldest Chinese temple in Singapore and boasts an incredible architecture with detailed carvings and sculptures.
The back of the Thian Hock Temple is covered with an incredible 40-meter long mural telling the story of Hokkien immigrants. The mural was painted by the famous Singaporean artist, Yip Yew Chong. (click here for a map of street arts by Yip Yew Chong).
If you want to eat the most delicious food in Singapore, head to Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice at People’s Park Center. The Chichen Rice is rather simple with few pieces of chicken served with fragrant rice, but it’s so delicious that there’s sometimes a 30-minute line in front of the stall! So, go early!
Finally, spend the night at Clarke Quay and make sure you get there in time to take advantage of the happy hour. I personally didn’t visit at night since I spent every night binge-watching the Garden Rhapsody. But, if you want to experience the nightlife in Singapore, Clarke Quay is the place for you!
Singapore Itinerary Day 4 – Singapore’s Outskirts
Japanese and Chinese Gardens and Lakeside Gardens
The last day of your Singapore trip will begin at the perfectly manicured Chinese and Japanese Gardens and Lakeside Gardens.
The gardens feature Pagodas, statues of Chinese heroes and a collection of bonsai trees and other plants. You can also climb up the 7-story pagoda for incredible views over Jurong Lake.
Practical info: Entrance is free and the gardens are open daily from 6 a.m to 11 p.m.
How to get there: If you’re staying in Chinatown, take the North East line from Chinatown MRT station to Outram Park MRT station. Then take the East West Line and alight at the Lakeside MRT station.
If you want to have lunch in the area, check out Taman Jurong Market and Food Center.
Update: The Chinese and Japanese Gardens are currently closed for renovations until the end of 2021 though you can still visit the Lakeside Garden.
Singapore Botanic Garden
If you’re not able to visit the Chinese and Japanese Gardens you can instead go to the Singapore Botanic Garden.
The Singapore Botanic Garden houses many tropical plants as well as the National Orchid garden. Entrance is free but a small fee of S$5 (US$ 3.70) is required to enter the Orchid garden.
Practical info: The garden is open daily from 5 a.m to 12 a.m.
Old Hill Street Police Station (MICA Building)
For the afternoon, explore Singapore’s Business District. Start with the Old Hill Street Police Station which was formerly used a police station but has now been converted into a government building. It’s a popular photo location thanks to its 927 colorful windows.
Fort Canning Park
Looking for an escape from the city’s hustle? Fort Canning Park might just be what you need! Found right beside the Old Hill Street Police Station, the lush green space features historical buildings surrounded by several walking trails with views over Clarke Quay.
Peranakan houses on Joo Chiat Road
If you love all things colorful, Joo Chiat Road is where you can find beautiful Peranakan houses adorned with pastels colors and mosaic tiles. These traditional Malay-Chinese buildings date back to the 1900s!
Other places to visit in Singapore
If you want to stretch out your 4-day Singapore itinerary, you should check out these attractions:
- Singapore Zoo and Night Safari
- Singapore River Cruise
- Orchard Road: Luxury shopping malls
- Kusu and St John Islands: Less touristy version of Sentosa Island
- Singapore Flyer: For a bird’s eye view of the city
- Tiong Bahru: To explore street arts and hip cafés
- Jewel at Changi Airport: The 40-meter HSBC Rain Vortex is the World’s tallest indoor waterfall and is completely free to visit! The Rain Vortex is open from 9 a.m to 11 p.m and the Light and Sound show happens at 7:30 p.m, 8:30 p.m, 9:30 p.m, 10:30 p.m and 11:30 p.m.
Where to stay in Singapore?
The Southbridge Hotel
After spending weeks reading reviews about every single hotel in Chinatown and finally found The Southbridge Hotel which is conveniently located near the MRT station.
Despite being small, the rooms are cozy and clean with a TV, coffee station, air-conditioning and private bathroom. The single room is the perfect option for solo travelers on a low budget but looking for comfort while the queen and king rooms are bigger and best for couples. Prices start from US$ 70 for single rooms and US$ 98 for queen rooms.
A delicious English breakfast is served every day which is bound to fill you up until lunchtime. You also have the option to eat at the many hawker centers like Lau Pa Sat, People’s Park Center, Maxwell Food Center and more which are all found within walking distance.
Atlantis Pod @ Chinatown
Looking for the most budget-friendly hostel in Singapore? Atlantis Pod is perfect for solo travelers and each room comes with a bathroom, fridge, toaster and free Wi-Fi. Prices start from US$ 20 for a single capsule, including free breakfast. You can also find Atlantis Pod in Little India and Bugis as well.
How to visit Singapore on a Budget?
While traveling to Singapore might not be that cheap, it’s still possible to get by on a budget. Here’s an approximate breakdown of how much you can expect to spend in Singapore in 4 days:
Accommodation: US$ 280 (single room at the Southbridge Hotel or less if you’re staying in a hostel).
Transportation: US$ 20 (U$S 15 for a 3-day Singapore tourist pass and top up about US$ 5 for each additional day).
Food and drinks: US$ 48 (only street food and restaurants at hawker centers)
Attractions: US$ 42 (includes Cloud Forest, Flower Dome, Marina Bay Skypark and Orchid Garden).
Sim card: US$ 7.29. (Several brands of sim cards are available at great value and coverage. The normal price of sim cards in Singapore is about US$ 9 but if you buy your sim card on Klook, you’ll benefit from a discount and get 100GB of 4G local data, 500 minutes local calls, 100 local SMS, including free minutes of international calls valid for 7 days for only US$ 7.29.
Total budget for a 4-day Singapore trip: US$ 397.29 (US$ 99.32 per day).
Best time to visit Singapore?
Singapore is hot and humid all year round with temperatures ranging from 27 to 32 degrees Celsius. You may experience some rain but it usually clears up fast after about an hour or two.
You can visit Singapore at any time of the year, but accommodations tend to be more expensive during Chinese New Year (January or February) and most attractions will be very crowded, especially in Chinatown.
How to get around Singapore?
Singapore has one of the best and most convenient transportation systems in Southeast Asia. The Singapore Tourist Pass gives you unlimited rides on the MRT, LRT and buses for a maximum of 3 days.
It’s available in 1-day, 2-day, or 3-day pass for S$10 (US$ 7.40), S$16 (US$ 11.90), and S$20 (US$ 14.85) respectively with an additional S$10 (US$ 7.40) refundable deposit. You’ll be able to whizz through the MRT stations without having to worry about buying a ticket for every single ride.
If you want to continue using your tourist pass after 3 days, you can just top up at the MRT stations and use it as a normal EZ-link card.
If you’re short on time, download the Grab app which is just like Uber. It’s affordable and great if you are in a hurry and don’t want to deal with public transportation.
Despite having visited Singapore five times now, I always feel the urge to go back! I love the atmosphere, the cleanliness, how organized everything is and all the free attractions. You clearly don’t need a huge budget to travel to Singapore! I hope this 4-day Singapore guide got you pumped for your trip and let me know in the comments below if you have any questions.