Singapore has been described as a playground for the wealthy, and it is true that the small city-state has a certain luster of wealth. But Singapore offers more than just exclusive shopping malls, luxury hotels and fine restaurants (though it’s worth giving them a little if possible). There is also a vibrant history and different ethnic neighborhoods to discover along with many attractions for families and lovely public spaces that make it worth a visit to visit this slightly futuristic city.
Singapore has an excellent public transport system that makes it easy to get around. Once you are familiar with the metro map, you will have no problem moving from one part of the city to another. English is spoken everywhere, and the signs are also in English. In fact, Singapore is one of the easiest and most comfortable countries to navigate in Southeast Asia. And as long as you do not compare the prices with the prices in neighboring Thailand or Vietnam, you will have a wonderful stay.
Top Things To Do In Singapore And Where To Go in Singapore
Singapore is one of the cleanest and most organized cities in the world, so much so that even the trees surrounding highways are planted at precise intervals of six meters. It is also one of the safest cities in the world, thanks in part to the two most important local pastimes – shopping and dining. It is quite safe to walk the city streets after dark because they are well lit and always busy with customers and snack bars.
This city is a shopping paradise where you can find fashion items ranging from great deals in small shops to expensive designer goods. For those who love cool gadgets and cutting-edge technology, there are several stores that sell the best electronics.
Singapore is also a food lover’s dream. Make sure you do not get hungry here. There are restaurants, cafes, food stalls and street vendor centers full of food stalls everywhere – many of which are open 24 hours a day – so you can find a great place to eat, even at three in the morning.
Still shopping and dining is not all this city has to offer. Singapore is also full of natural attractions and heritage sites, from botanical gardens and nature parks to temples and museums.
Graceful colonial buildings coexist alongside century-old street markets and modern skyscrapers. While the government may be strict with residents and visitors who behave badly, travelers who follow the rules are fascinated by this multicultural city. An overview of Singapore’s biggest tourist attractions:
For ideas on things to see and do, read our list of Singapore’s biggest attractions.
1. Marina Bay Sands
The lavish Marina Bay Sands resort complex includes a sophisticated luxury hotel, a shopping mall with a canal running through it, the ArtScience Museum and the Marina Bay Sands Skypark Observation Deck – a privileged vantage point for contemplating the entire city. Skypark’s observation deck and infinity pool are located on the ship (yes, ship) at the top of the hotel. Only hotel guests are allowed to use the infinity pool, but anyone can visit the observation deck.
From Skypark you can see the innovative double helix bridge, the harbor, the Gardens by the Bay (101 hectares of land converted into gardens by the sea) and the impressive skyline.
While at the top of the town, guests can grab a snack or coffee at the rooftop restaurant or buy some souvenirs at the souvenir stand. You can buy a picture of yourself with a green screen in front of the huge hotel as it is all lit at night but the price is exorbitant at 50 Singapore dollars – please ask a tourist to take a picture of you if possible. The elegant abundance of Marina Bay Sands exemplifies Singapore’s style and status as a major international city in Southeast Asia.
Address: 10 Bayfront Avenue, Singapore
Official Website: https://www.marinabaysands.com/
2. Gardens by the Bay
After glimpsing this beautifully designed green area (from the top of Marina Bay Sands, perhaps), you will not be able to get away. Take a walk through the Bay East Garden, perfect for enjoying the vibrant plant life and getting away from the hustle and bustle of the city for a moment.
You will not want to miss Supertree Grove, where you will find a set of iconic and futuristic structures designed to perform environmentally sustainable functions. Then head to the Cloud Forest Dome to see the world’s highest indoor waterfall and learn a little about biodiversity. Check the website for ticket sales prices and travel times.
Address: 18 Marina Gardens Drive, Singapore
Official site: https://www.gardensbythebay.com.sg/en.html
3. The Merlion
Merlion is a mysterious creature with a lion’s head and a mermaid body and is one of the symbols of Singapore. This 8.6-meter merlion statue was formerly located at the mouth of the Singapore River. Merlion is now located in Merlion Park near a group of stylish restaurants in One Fullerton and can be seen from the surrounding areas on the outskirts of Marina Bay.
A merlion cub statue has been added to this new Merlion Park in recent years, the two statues are meters apart.
Nearest MRT station: Raffles Place
4. Botanic Gardens
Not to be confused with the gardens by the bay, the botanical garden is also worth a visit. Singapore received its first UNESCO World Heritage candidate for its botanical gardens and with good reason. The city can sometimes feel like a concrete jungle, even though it is clean and pleasant, but the botanical gardens preserve pieces of Singapore’s wildest heritage.
Here, a pedestrian path leads to the historic trees in the garden, which have been preserved as part of the efforts to protect the city’s mature tree species. Also, be sure to visit the impressive National Orchid Garden.
Other popular things to do include visiting the eco-garden, the island lake, the bonsai garden, sculptures and several other formal gardens.
Address: 1 Cluny Road, Singapore
Official site: www.nparks.gov.sg/sbg
5. Singapore Zoo
Singapore Zoo declares itself as the best rainforest zoo and is a very impressive place. The facilities are clean and inviting and the animals look well cared for with lots of lush vegetation and habitat.
Orangutans are particularly impressive, and visitors can see babies and adults swinging high above their platforms and eating fruit. There is also a large family of chimpanzees, zebras, meerkats, a komodo dragon, mole ferrets, white tigers, kangaroos and many other creatures.
Guests can see the feeding of some of the animals. Allow at least three hours to tour the zoo.
If the zoo does not satisfy your need to get close to wildlife, there is also Night Safari, River Safari (including a giant panda forest) and Jurong Bird Park. Park funnel maps are available if you plan to visit more than one of the nature parks.
For a unique and personal experience with the wildlife, try the Singapore Zoo Breakfast with the orangutans. This hassle-free tour includes transportation to and from the hotel, half a day exploring the zoo and an optional upgrade to enjoy breakfast in the company of the zoo’s much-loved orangutans.
Address: 80 Mandai Lake Road, Singapore
Official website: www.wrs.com.sg/en/singapore-zoo
6. Changi International Airport
Changi International Airport is one of the best airports in the world and has hundreds of prices on its curriculum. It has complete facilities for all types of travelers, from babies to adults with special needs. Here are some of the airport’s most important facilities:
- Children’s Playground
- Several Open-Air Gardens
- Fitness and Spa Centres
- Transit Hotel
- Internet Services
- Post Office
- Medical Clinics and Pharmacies
- Swimming Pool
- Napping Areas
- Free Skytrain to Transport Passengers Between Terminals
Passengers with stops over 5 hours can even sign up for a free city tour! Mass high-speed transit (MRT) trains, public buses, taxis and free buses are easily available to transport visitors to and from the airport.
Airport transit visitors can try local delicacies on Singapore Food Street in Terminal 3, although the food here is not that good in my opinion. First you need to buy a food card in the entrance cabin before using the card to pay for food. Beginners find this system strange, but it actually prevents food vendors from overloading customers or avoiding paying their taxes!
7. Orchard Road
One could be forgiven for coming to Singapore and doing nothing but shopping as this is a world-class city in style and elegance. The Orchard Road area is a great place to start a shopping trip as there are upscale shops around every corner. You expect nothing less from a neighborhood that has 22 malls and six department stores. There are also four cinemas, including an IMAX cinema and a KTV karaoke establishment.
If you get hungry while burning all that money, there are many restaurants in the neighborhood that serve international food.
Official Website: https://www.orchardroad.org/
8. Singapore Flyer
If the observation deck at Marina Bay Sands is not very good for you, try an afternoon tea while enjoying the view of the city from the Singapore Flyer, the world’s largest giant observation wheel. Choose from several different packages that allow you to be served and pampered while enjoying a view that spans not only the Singapore skyline but also the Spice Islands of Indonesia and the Johor Strait of Malaysia.
There are several different ticket packages to choose from, and each includes access to the Journey of Dreams multimedia exhibition, which delves into Singapore’s history and the creation of the Singapore Flyer.
Flights last 30 minutes and run from early morning to late evening, so you can choose which view of the city you want to enjoy: the start of another busy day, or when Singapore is shining after dark.
Address: 30 Raffles Ave, Singapore
Official Website: www.singaporeflyer.com
9. Raffles Hotel
This colonial building is one of the last great hotels of the 19th century, already visited by literary figures such as Rudyard Kipling and Joseph Conrad as well as movie star Charlie Chaplin.
The property was built in 1887 and has served as a town mark for more than a century and continues to live up to its reputation for excellent food and service. Classical architecture and tropical gardens offer a refined atmosphere and represent another facet of Singapore’s rich and varied history.
Raffles Hotel Singapore is located in the city’s colonial district, which is also home to several other historic sites and a great place to stay in the city. Here you will find the Raffles Landing Site, where Sir Stamford Raffles, the founder of Singapore, would have landed in 1819. The story goes that he saw the small fishing village but recognized its potential as a port, so he bought the land from Sultan Johor and invited Chinese and Indian immigrants to move here. And then the seeds of Singapore’s multiethnic identity were planted.
Address: 1 Beach Road, Singapore
Official Website: www.raffles.com/singapore
If you have ever visited China, Singapore’s Chinatown district will bring you back here. From small family shops and authentic Chinese food to bright red lanterns, there is excitement and excitement in this district. You can visit the Chinese Cultural Heritage Center and see the impressive and beautiful Sri Mariamman Hindu temple.
Another temple worth seeing is the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple. If you wake up early (think 4 o’clock in the morning), you can hear the morning drumming. Or you can just check out the closing ceremony at night after seeing the relic.
Heritage markers are installed throughout the neighborhood in English, Japanese and Simplified Chinese, so visitors can better understand the meaning of the area. But this neighborhood is not just a testament to the Chinese influence in Singapore’s past. This is a progressive neighborhood (with free wireless internet access for all) and is home to the trendy Ann Siang Hill area, where cozy bistros and upscale shops can feel at home in any city in the west.
Official Website: www.chinatown.sg
Top And Best Things to Do in Singapore: Top Places To Visit in Singapore
11. Sentosa Island
Singapore is not exactly known as a beach destination, but if you really want to have fun in the sun, Sentosa Island is the place to find it. Praia do Siloso is a great place to spend time on the beach, and visitors can play volleyball on the free courts or go kayaking and skimboarding. There are also several other beach attractions in addition to an underwater world aquarium where you can swim with dolphins.
An inevitable place on the island of Sentosa is Merlion, the famous statue of Singapore that has a lion’s head and a body of a fish. You can take an escalator to the top of the statue and enjoy the panoramic views of the surrounding area. Adventurers will look at The Flying Trapeze and SeaBreeze Water-Sports @ Wave House, where you can try flying tied to a water-powered jet package.
Official website: www.sentosa.com.sg/en
12. Night Safari
Travelers who enjoy the nightlife but are tired of the night scene should go to Night Safari, where nocturnal animals, not party animals, appear. Since opening in 1984, it has been one of Singapore’s biggest attractions, with more than a million people annually enjoying a tram ride through seven geographical regions of the world. Visitors can also take a walk along the trail to learn more about animal habits, while another section includes a show about the organization’s work to preserve endangered species through captivity programs. Three restaurants offer menus and entertainment that reflect life in the jungle or rainforest.
Address: 80 Mandai Lake Road, Singapore
Official site: www.wrs.com.sg/en/night-safari
13. Clarke Quay
Clarke Quay, which is the “trading center of the 19th century”, lives up to its legacy as a busy center. Today it has a more polished sheen, so after a long day of shopping on Orchard Road, visitors can head to Clarke Quay for an evening of dining and entertainment by the sea.
River taxis and cruises also depart from here, giving tourists a chance to admire some of the city’s historic bridges and see landmarks like Merlion from the water. The pier’s biggest hit with younger tourists is a giant bungee-jumping attraction, an exciting and adrenaline-pumping ride.
Nearby attractions include the Museum of Asian Civilization; Civil Defense Heritage Gallery located in Singapore’s oldest fire station; and the Hong San See Temple, a picturesque centuries-old Buddhist place of worship.
14. Universal Studios Singapore
Universal Studios Singapore occupies 49 acres of Resorts World Sentosa. The park is organized by theme, with each area honoring a place, movie or TV show. Destinations include New York, Hollywood, Madagascar and a trip back to ancient Egypt. Areas with fictional themes include Shrek’s Far Far Away, Lost World and Sci-Fi City, where Battlestar Galactica-themed dueling tracks and a dark indoor slide, Revenge of the Mummy, dominate the thrilling rides.
In addition to the many rides – from kid-friendly to daring – the park also has several options for restaurants, shopping and live shows during the day and night.
Address: 8 Sentosa Gateway, Singapore
15. Merlion Park
The Singapore Merlion is exactly what it looks like – the figure of a mythical creature with a lion’s head and fish body and tail. Merlion represents the city’s humble beginnings as a fishing village combined with its traditional Malaysian name Singapore, “lion city”.
The structure, which was transferred to Parque Merlion in 2002, from where it overlooks Marina Bay, weighs 70 tons and is 8.6 meters high, pouring water from its mouth into a fountain.
“Merlion Cub” is nearby, only two meters high, but weighs three tons, and there are five more official Merlion statues all over the city. Merlion Park is an ideal photo spot, whether you take a selfie in front of the iconic creature or capture the magnificent views of the park as it overlooks the bay.
16. Pulau Ubin (Granite Island)
To see what life was like in Singapore before it was just glamor and skyscrapers, visit the small island of Pulau Ubin, where less than 100 people still live in the same simple way they did in the 1960s. The name of the island is Malaysian for “Granitø”, a nickname due to its former prominent place as a quarry town.
Today it is a peaceful and rustic place where tourists can enjoy pristine forests and diverse wildlife. The island is also home to the wetlands of Chek Jawa, which contain a coral reef teeming with marine life.
The island is easily accessible by boat, a 10-minute ride from Changi Point Ferry Terminal
17. Fort Canning Park
When it comes to military fortresses, Fort Canning has had a long and varied life. Built in 1859, the fort was originally set up to defend Singapore from attack, but it became a bunker during World War II and ended up being handed over to the Japanese in 1942.
Now in peacetime, the original building is home to modern performing arts groups, and the park regularly hosts picnics, concerts, theater performances and festivals.
Other attractions in the park include relics from early 14th – century history in Singapore and Sir Stamford Raffles’ personal bungalow. Guests can also see a replica of the Raffles Spice Market, established in 1822, as well as ASEAN sculptures erected in the 1980s.
Address: 51 Canning Rise, Singapore
18. Asian Civilisations Museum
If the Raffles Hotel and Fort Canning Park have not satisfied your taste for colonial architecture, visit the Empress Place Building. It was built in 1865 and in a neoclassical style and was named in honor of Queen Victoria. It now houses the Museum of Asian Civilizations, which examines the many Asian cultures that helped form Singapore.
The museum’s collections focus on the themes of trade and spirituality, which have strongly influenced Asian cultures. The exhibits cover topics such as trade with the Indian Ocean, stories of faith and belief and a look at the important role that scholars have played in Chinese culture for centuries.
Address: 1 Empress Pl, Singapore
Official website: http://acm.org.sg
19. The Maritime Experiential Museum
This waterfront indoor and outdoor museum is a great way to explore Singapore’s maritime history through interactive and fun exhibits. Before you even enter the building, you can see several ships docked here.
Inside, the museum’s highlight is the Muscat Jewel, a replica of a sailboat that sank in 830 AD. during a journey between Africa and China. You can also see models of large merchant ships that traveled the Silk Road, learn navigation skills and how to read charts, and experience a shipwreck from the 9th century at the Typhoon Theater in a simulation of special effects.
Address: 8 Sentosa Gateway, Singapore
Official site: https://www.rwsentosa.com/en/attractions/the-maritime-experiential-museum/highlights
20. Fort Siloso
Fort Siloso, the only preserved fort in the country and a military museum, is located on the island of Sentosa. You can reach the fort via the path from the Fort Siloso Skywalk, a giant 11-story steel bridge. Surrounded by a lush tropical canopy, there is access to the bridge with a glass elevator or a simple staircase – although taking the lift means a panoramic view of Keppel Harbor, which you can’t really see if you decide to go up. The 181-meter long bridge has a fantastic view of the nearby islands as well as the jungle floor below.
Once in the fort, visitors can take guided tours to learn more about the history of the area – although it is also possible to explore alone, just by walking and seeing the sights.
Highlights of the fort include the many large cannons, three tunnel systems used to move ammunition, and special displays showing the daily life of the fort for soldiers who lived there in the 1800s.
The whole fort is a beautiful shady park where you can spend a few hours exploring.
Address: Siloso Road, Singapore
Official site: http://www.fortsiloso.com
How To Travel Freely In Singapore
The cheapest and fastest way to get around Singapore is to travel by MRT (Mass Rapid Transit), which is the public railway system. The system is very efficient, fast and convenient. All MRT stations have counters and self-service machines for the purchase of the EZlink card, which can be used on buses and trains.
For tourists visiting Singapore for a few days, I recommend getting the Singapore Tourist Pass EZlink, which offers unlimited travel on public buses and MRT trains for up to 3 days in a row for only $ 30. A $ 10 security deposit on the card includes the price and it is fully refundable unless you decide to keep the card as a souvenir.
Where To Stay in Singapore For Sightseeing
Singapore is relatively easy to explore and has a metro system that makes getting around easy. Most of the hotels below are in the center of the famous Orchard Road, a great area for shopping and sightseeing. Some of them are excellent hotels and are notable attractions in Singapore. All of the hotels below are popular and rated.
Luxury Hotels in Singapore: The Raffles Hotel is Singapore’s most famous historic hotel. Opened in 1887, this colonial landmark is a luxury suite hotel set on charming grounds and well located in the city. Another iconic, yet more modern hotel is Marina Bay Sands with its unmistakable shipshape that juts out over the city and a famous infinity pool on the roof. For tours and shopping in general, the Grand Hyatt and Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza are first-class, well-located options close to Orchard Road.
Mid-Range Hotels in Singapore: Holiday Inn Singapore Orchard City Center is a great choice for a stay in Orchard Road. If you are looking for a relaxed business and a lot of privacy, Lloyd’s Inn is a boutique hotel with small but elegant rooms and large windows overlooking the beautiful gardens. Another good option is the Aqueen Heritage Hotel Joo Chiat, which offers small but well-equipped rooms in the Malaysian Heritage Site.
Budget Hotels in Singapore: Victoria Hotel is a popular budget hotel with a decent location, just a short walk from a metro station. Another great option is the colorful and comfortable Champion Hotel, which is known for being particularly economical in Singapore.
Tips and Tours: How To Get The Most Out Of Your Visit To Singapore
See the Sights in Singapore. For first-time visitors, the hop-on hop-off bus tour of Singapore is a great way to see the sights and become familiar with the city’s layout. Tickets are valid for 24 or 48 hours, and double-decker buses with an open roof with multilingual audio commentary run on several routes. This is a very easy way to see and learn about the sights while exploring at your own pace.
Singapore at night. For a truly unique perspective on the city, try the Night Sightseeing Tour in Singapore. This semi-independent tour provides the chance to see the city lights, shop on Bugis Street, explore the gardens by the bay and dine on the Singapore Flyer. The tour includes hotel pick-up and drop-off, dinner and entrance to the gardens.