Though the main island of Singapore is just 42 kilometres wide, the vibrant Southeast Asian city-state is packed with more culinary delights, world-renowned art, world-class shopping, and unexpected natural wonders than you can imagine. Singapore includes 60 islets, mostly uninhabited, that make for great playgrounds and beach escapes from the city. Though its main island is home to a sleek and modern city centre, over 50% of Singapore’s area is covered by greenery. With over fifty major parks and four nature reserves, the place has earned its reputation as an enchanting “Garden City”. Though Singapore was once regarded as just an airport stopover destination, it has reinvented itself to earn top spots on the world’s must-visit travel destinations. Whether as a stopover or a Singapore vacation, here are 7 must-sees in Singapore.
Singapore Botanic Gardens
This lush 74-hectare botanical oasis is home to stunning flora and fauna and a spectacular orchid collection of 1,200 species and 2,000 hybrids. The Singapore Botanic Gardens is a 156-year-old tropical garden, and is honoured as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its equatorial climate makes it the perfect home for lush rainforests, ornamental gardens, and special healing plants. Stroll through the magnificent gardens on your own or on a guided tour. You’ll pass joggers, families enjoying a picnic, and locals practicing yoga in serene surroundings. Along the way, rest on wooden benches and admire the gardens’ remarkable beauty.
Unleash your inner culture vulture and experience the world’s largest public display of modern Southeast Asian art at the National Gallery, housed in two classic monuments – the former Supreme Court and City Hall, each of which have been beautifully restored and transformed. The gallery’s architecture alone is enough to astonish! Located in the downtown core, this is the world’s first museum dedicated to Southeast Asian modern art. The museum contains over 8,000 pieces exhibited across its 64,000 square metre space. After browsing the National Gallery, move on to the iconic National Museum of Singapore, the grand dame of museums in Singapore, where you can explore a rich retelling of the nation’s history.
Go glam during a visit to Quayside Isle, situated at the tip of the exclusive Sentosa Cove. This luxury waterfront arcade is where you can take a breather from the bustle of the city and enjoy world-class dining at Saint Pierre, Blue Lotus, and Sabio By The Sea. Set among flashy yachts and sailboats, Quayside Island is like a Southeast Asian “Capri”. Take in the glamour and chic of this stylish Singapore Island hotspot, and choose from diverse restaurants and bars offering great value and ambiance.
Hop on a boat and head out to sea to explore the pristine, unspoilt beaches of Kusu Island, whose name means “turtle” in Chinese. Here there is a safe swimming beach perfect for young children and plenty of picnic areas to bring your lunch to. Check out the charming temple on the island. Kusu has retained its charm as an idyllic, lovely place of respite from the main island’s hustle and bustle. Also visit the neighbouring Lazarus, Saint John’s, and Sisters’ (Subar Laut) islands. Ferry cruises to these destinations in the south of Singapore are just a short cruise from Marina South Pier.
Taste your way through Singapore on one of these all famed all-access food journeys around the main island. With Food Prowlers you’ll get a taste of all the best local cuisine that Singapore has to offer. Each three-hour walking tour offers you a rich blend of culture, architecture, current affairs, and heritage food. Sample authentic Hainanese, Teochew, Hokkien, and Cantonese nosh. Lose yourself in the stories and tastes of this foodie paradise. Your taste buds will thank you for it!
Indulge in Retail Therapy
One glimpse of the malls and gallerias on Orchard Road, and shopaholics will think they’ve died and gone to retail heaven. This 2.2 kilometre-long boulevard is the retail and entertainment hub of Singapore. For your fix of high-end brands, find amazing deals in this walking district. For one-of-a-kind buys, head to ION Orchard, TANGS, Robinsons The Heeren, and Orchard Gateway.
Get acquainted with the fascinating culture of Singapore’s Straits-Chinese, in this top-rated museum. Learn about one of the native Singaporean cultures from their origins and language to customs and rituals, in a beautifully restored building. This popular museum brings to life the fascinating history one of Singapore’s cultural groups. For more insight into the history of Singapore’s people, also explore the heritage-rich Baba House and Katong Antique House.
4-Day Singapore Fling