More than a thriving metropolis of designer shopping malls, clean, green Singapore is a fusion of east meets west, where you can explore lush gardens, contemporary and colonial architecture, street art, hawker food markets, and world-class galleries and museums.
Marina Bay Sands
Three, 55-storey towers connected by Sands SkyPark perched at its tip make Marina Bay Sands a distinctive landmark on Singapore’s cityscape.
This unmissable iconic statue at the water’s edge at Merlion Park, at One Fullerton, represents the city’s national icon – a mythical creature with the body of a fish and the head of a lion, symbolising the city’s origins as a fishing village. The head is symbolic of the city’s original name Singapura, meaning ‘lion city’ in Sanskrit.
Old Parliament House
These days, the Old Parliament House is known as The Arts House. It is thought to be the oldest surviving colonial structure in Singapore, designed and built as a neo-Palladian residence in 1828 by architect G.D. Coleman.
Stroll or shop at the legendary 2.5km, tree-lined boulevard of Orchard Road in central Singapore, the retail heart of the city with thousands of internationally-recognised brands and boutiques.
Seamless and efficient transport makes exploring the city easy. Singapore’s MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) system is one of the fastest ways to get around. Most of Singapore’s popular attractions are just a short walk from an MRT station.
Singapore’s bus system encompasses an extensive network of routes covering most places in Singapore. You can purchase 1, 2 or 3-day stored-value cards, cards that can be topped up, or cards that include travel on both the MRT and buses.
Taxis are plentiful and reasonably priced or try Grab (the equivalent of Uber) by downloading the app.
Get a different perspective
Take the time to explore Singapore’s most vibrant areas by riding around on a pushbike or experiencing a Singapore Sidecar tour, going off the beaten track down Singapore’s more secretive locations in a vintage Vespa sidecar. Journey on the cable car over to Sentosa Island to enjoy this Singaporean, beach playground.
Sample street food
Singaporeans love their food and with good reason. Visit any of the five iconic hawker centres to immerse yourself in the local culinary custom of savouring a melting pot of deliciously fresh and authentic food at very affordable prices.
Take in the vantage points of the city from above by either a slow-ascending ride in the Singapore Flyer, up 56 levels from the ground at the Marina Bay Sands Skypark observation deck; or the Supertree Observatory at Gardens by the Bay, located at the tallest Supertree’s canopy.
The vibrant district of Serangoon Road and its neighbouring streets is known as Little India. This area was once a racecourse but today is an eclectic mix of traditional trades and modern eateries, arts groups and a mix of Hindu and Chinese temples, mosques and churches.
Art and culture
There are several fine museums such as the National Gallery of Singapore or the ArtScience Museum, whose distinct architecture is said to represent a form of a lotus flower and an extended, welcoming hand.
The distinct Esplanade — Theatres on the Bay, a 60,000 m2 performing arts centre, is known as ‘The Durian’ by Singaporeans, due to the spikes of its architectural exterior.
Spend hours wandering past a wide array of street art in the Kampong Glam area.
Singapore Botanic Gardens
Singapore’s oldest garden is a national treasure and is also the country’s first UNESCO World Heritage-listed site.
Gardens by the Bay
Roam the flower displays and lush, tropical gardens over more than 100ha at Gardens by the Bay at the Marina Bay Waterfront in central Singapore.
Wine and dine
Head to a national monument, the legendary Raffles Hotel, to enjoy a famous Singapore Sling cocktail in the Long Bar, first invented in 1915. Or take a traditional high tea in its Grand Lobby, or settle in for fine dining at either La Dame de Pic or OSTERIA BBR by Alain Ducasse.
Do as the local Singaporeans do and devour authentic street food at any of the five hawker centres: Amoy Street Food Centre, Maxwell Food Centre, Adam Road Food Centre, Old Airport Road Food Centre or Changi Village Hawker Centre.
A fusion of both local and international flavours can be sampled at any of Singapore’s numerous a la carte fine dining restaurants, including Odette, Claudine, Waku Ghin or ‘penthouse destination’, 1-Atico.
Singapore’s multi-ethnic influences converge in signature Singaporean cuisine styles, best sampled at restaurants such as National Kitchen by Violet Oon (at National Gallery Singapore); Michelin-starred Candlenut; and Banana Leaf Apolo.
Locals adore their zi char, which means “cook and fry” in Chinese. Taste it for yourself at eateries that typically offer a menu of more than 100 dishes, including their own signature specialities. Sample zi char at KEK Seafood in Bukit Merah, or New Ubin Seafood at Chijmes.
Parkroyal Collection Pickering was designed by world-renowned architects, WOHA. This landmark ‘hotel-in-a-garden’ concept incorporates energy-saving features and a 15,000m2 tropical urban high-rise garden.
The historic, 135-year-old Raffles Hotel, a treasured icon of the city, is rich in history in every corridor. Royalty, athletes and movie stars have all stayed here. In 2019, the hotel unveiled an extensive refurbishment.
Fullerton Hotel Singapore is located in a neoclassical landmark building on the water, constructed in 1928. The heritage building was once the site of Singapore’s General Post Office.