Singapore is one of the great cities of the world, with its blend of Asian and European cultures. Singapore has been described as a playground for the rich, and it’s true that the small city-state does have a certain sheen of wealth. Singapore is one of the easiest and most comfortable countries to navigate in Southeast Asia.
Graceful colonial buildings co-exist alongside centuries-old street markets and modern high-rises. There is also a vibrant history and diverse ethnic quarters to discover, along with the many family-friendly attractions and lovely public spaces that make visiting this slightly futuristic city worthwhile.
Singapore has an excellent public transportation system that makes getting around convenient and easy. Once you’ve gotten a sense of the metro map, you’ll have no problem travel from one part of town to the another. English is spoken everywhere and signs are in English as well. The government can be strict with residents and visitors who misbehave, travelers who follow the rules can’t help but be fascinated by this multi-cultural city.
Just an overview of the top tourist attractions in Singapore:
Singapore’s famed Marina Bay is the place to go to see the city’s most spectacular side. With the fast development of this cosmopolitan city-state, the whole Marina Bay area has undergone a transformation of epic proportions. The S$5.5 billion Marina Bay Sands complex is the focal point of the bay, and many of the great things to do and see in the area revolve around this epic building and resort, such as the Science Museum, Casino and various shopping, dining and nightlife options.
Clarke Quay’s location takes full advantage of the picturesque body of water that emerges from the city’s main river, with alfresco-style dining to be had in an endless number of eateries set around the water’s edge. Head under the futuristic, jelly-like roof and you’ll find some great shopping options as well as a plentiful supply of bars, making this a real bar-hoppers’ heaven.
This luxurious colonial-style hotel has a long history dating back to 1887 and has become one of the most important Singapore landmarks. Among famous guests are Elizabeth Taylor, Queen Elizabeth II and the late King of Pop, Michael Jackson. The Raffles Hotel features 103 suites and 18 distinctive restaurants and bars as well as an arcade with over 40 boutiques and stores. Many come for the Raffles Bar experience and you can be sure to enjoy the best Singapore Sling in town. After all, it was invented here and they’ve had almost 100 years of experience at making them.
Chinatown is another Singapore icon; great for shopping many swear by it as the cheapest souvenirs location in town, to see all kind of important attractions and trying out authentic Chinese food. There are countless restaurants and hawker food vendors to choose from. Learn more about its history from the Chinatown Heritage Center on Pagoda Street. Its main focus is on the Chinese immigrants who lived a hard life and were the main group of people who founded Singapore. Other attractions include Thian Hock Keng Temple, the oldest temple in Singapore, Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, Eu Yan Sang Chinese Medical Hall and Maxwell Road Food Center.
The Singapore Flyer is the world’s largest observation wheel. A one-of-a-kind experience and built over a three-story terminal building, the Flyer is 150 metres in diameter, 165 metres high, and travels at 0.21m per second (it is some 30 metres taller than the famous London Eye!) With breathtaking panorama views that are so radically different during the day and at night, it’s hard to choose the best time to take a ride. Passengers will get to see such city sights as the Singapore River, Raffles Place, Marina Bay, Empress Place and the Padang.
The Universal Studios Singapore is the first of its kind to open in Southeast Asia. The park has more than 20 attractions in themed zones including the Lost World, Ancient Egypt, New York, Hollywood, Madagascar and Far Far Away (remember Shrek?). Regarding the rides, two are water themed and five are thrilling roller coasters of which two of are currently the world’s tallest ‘dueling’ roller coasters. Families with small children can also make the most of the kids’ roller coaster and a merry-go-round too.
Gardens by the Bay is a huge, colorful, futuristic park in the bay area of Singapore; and has been crowned World Building of the year at the world Architecture Festival 2012. The famous Super tree structures offer an impressive skywalk over the gardens, over-sized seashell-shaped greenhouses recreate chilly mountain climates and there are hundreds of trees and plants to discover, making this destination great fun for both kids and adults.
The Merlion is more than just a statue. It’s a mythical symbol of Singapore, a place to take in some incredible views, and of course, is the city’s most sought after photo-op. The term ‘must see’ will forever be used to describe the Merlion, with the iconic statue attracting over a million visitors per year. Although the 70-tonne, water-spouting Merlion is the main focal point, you can also relax on the terraced seating area, which boasts some great views across the water to Marina Bay Sands.
Singapore Night Safari is truly a unique attraction. It is not only an interesting place worth a visit but a leading conservation and research center in Asia. As a zoo it offers an unusual glimpse into the nocturnal animal kingdom, with more than 59 exhibits and 1,000 animals to be seen from around the world. These include Himalayan griffon vultures, greater one-horned rhinoceroses, wildebeests and gazelles. You can simply start with the ‘Creatures of the Night’ show for a good 20-minute overview of the animals to be seen here.
Little India is a colorful and exciting area in Singapore. Located east of the Singapore River, north of Kampong Glam, visitors will know they have arrived at the right place by the exotic aromas drifting out from family kitchens, restaurants and shops selling all kind of Indian items as well as by the business signs written mostly in Tamil. Famous for the busy Mustafa Center, a market that stays open day and night all year round, this neighborhood is a magnet not only for serious shoppers but for those who love Indian cuisine.