With parks, world-class zoos, hotels, historical structures, and deliciously cheap places to eat it wasn’t very tough for us to list down the top reasons why you must visit this land of hustle and bustle in South East Asia.
Singapore may be a prosperous country, but eating out around here takes place mostly in the country’s many hawker centers – open-air food-courts that sell Malay, Chinese, Thai, Indian, Peranakan, and “Western” food, fast and cheap. Singapore hawker centers serve as an amazing, delicious crash course on the local culture. For such a small island, Singapore has an extensive array of restaurants offering cuisines from all over the world at different price points. The Michelin guide rated Singapore last year, which is a good starting point if you’re struggling to choose between the seemingly endless options of restaurants. To really get your taste buds in a tangle, seek out ‘four hands’ dinners—it is a new trend in the city that sees two chefs collaborate on a meal
Singapore is full of hundreds of hawker centres where you can get a delicious meal for under $10. A hawker centre is similar to a food mall court except most of them are significantly larger. Hawkers like Newton Food Circus and Maxwell Hawker Centre have dozens of offerings ranging from fresh seafood to laksa as well as fresh fruit and local style desserts.
Traditions and Cultural Diversity
Singapore ranks up with other culturally and religiously diverse nations making it quite different from its neighboring countries. The island has four official languages; English, Tamil, Malay and Mandarin and it also celebrates the national holidays of many different religions. You’ll easily spot Hindu temples, Buddhist temples and synagogues side-by-side, like on Waterloo Street. It’s also not uncommon to find devotees from one place of worship paying their respects at another. The kaleidoscope of cultures is best experienced during one of the traditional festivals that the country celebrates, whether it’s Diwali, Chinese New Year or Hari Raya Aidilfitri. Venture into Little India, Chinatown and Geylang Serai during the festivals, mingle with the locals, and you’ll walk away with a fuller picture of Singapore—and, perhaps, the world.
From the colonial-era Raffles Hotel to hyper modern futuristic condos and from classic Peranakan-era shop houses to Art-Deco inspired buildings, Singapore is an architecture lover’s dream. From Marina Bay Sands to the heritage shop houses of Chinatown, to the transformation of two colonial-era structures into the grand National Gallery Singapore, our buildings are as awe-inspiring as they are emblematic of our evolution from colony to cosmopolitan city.
The Marina Bay Sands infinity pool
You’ll keep to keep some money on the side for this one. But it sure is one place that you must visit during a trip to Singapore. After all, the hotel boasts the longest elevated infinity pool in the world. Perched across the three towers that make up the Marina Bay Sands hotel and with Singapore’s stunning skyline in the background, taking a picture up here is every photographer’s dream.
Hit up shopping belts such as Orchard Road and Haji Lane to find everything from high street threads to luxury accessories to hand-crafted homeware. Then look out for flea markets such as Boutiques and Public Garden for a retail experience quite unlike those found within the malls. With nearly two dozen malls lining the two kilometers between Orchard MRT and Somerset MRT, you can wander the malls and shop for various designer goods.
Family has all the fun
Bring the kids to Sentosa, where kid-friendly attractions such as iFly Singapore, Universal Studios Singapore and the Skyline Luge will send their adrenaline levels skyrocketing. If you’ve got water babies with you, pack swimsuits and take the little ones to our many free water parks, like the Far East Organization Children’s Garden and the Marina Barrage Water Playground.
Go wild at the Singapore Zoo
The Singapore Zoo is world famous for its ‘open’ captivity design where animals are kept in large enclosures that are surrounded by moats or other non-intrusive barriers. The Singapore Zoo makes it easy for visitors to get around regardless of the equatorial climate by offering a variety of methods of transportation within the park including trams, boats and even horse carriages.
Another great reason for visiting Singapore is that it is one of the cleanest cities in the world. Thanks to rules about spitting and littering, Singapore is free of unpleasant smells or unsightly litter.
Not just a concrete jungle, there’s a host of greenery too
The place has a nickname of ‘City in a Garden’ and rightly so. You’ll find a network of parks that spans the island, adding to a green cover that makes up about 46 percent of the country. From unspoilt nature reserves to urban parks to the UNESCO World Heritage Site that is the Singapore Botanic Gardens, Singapore’s the ideal place to reconnect with nature as you explore the verdant city.
Gardens by the Bay is dominated by its Supertree Grove, a collection of giant metal vertical gardens that are covered in thousands of species of flora and fauna.