If you’re planning a trip to Southeast Asia, then you shouldn’t miss out on a visit to Singapore before you leave the region for a number of reasons, including a number of impressive cultural attractions and its world-famous unique cuisine.
Before you read on and discover the must-see attractions that the multi-cultural city-state has to offer, don’t forget to check whether you have to first submit a Singapore visa application in order to enjoy a stay!
Best Things about Singapore
One of the absolute best things about Singapore is the delicious local cuisine, and while general costs in the city-state can be quite expensive, the food is usually incredibly cheap.
The best places to enjoy traditional Malay cuisine on a budget is undoubtedly the city’s many open-air ‘Hawker Centres’, which feature a large collection of individual food stalls collected into one space. In addition to offering you the chance to try local delicacies like chili crab and Hainanese chicken, these dining complexes are a great place to meet Singaporeans are incredibly popular with locals. The bustling Geylang Road district is also filled with cheap local restaurants and food stalls.
If you’re planning to go on a shopping spree while in Singapore, then you’ll be eager to head to the Orchard Road shopping district, which boasts a stretch of Shopping malls
over a mile long. There are a number of other impressive malls scattered across the city as well.
Singapore is also blessed with a number of appealing green spaces, such as the Central Catchment Area which houses Singapore Zoo, and the island of Pulau Ubin, a National Park and one of the last rural areas in the country. Taking a bike trip around the small island to explore the native flora and fauna is a popular activity among many tourist travelers to Singapore.
Another popular destination outside of the city is the island of Sentosa, which formerly served as a British military base, but now boasts a number of tourist attractions including a number of theme parks such as Universal Studios and other new attractions in Singapore, as well as a vibrant night-life scene.
What to Do during 1 day in Singapore
It’s advisable to spend at least a full weekend in Singapore to fully experience everything it has to offer. Nevertheless, if you’re only briefly passing through the island city-state on a cruise or transiting through Singapore on the way to another destination, there are certain things you should prioritize seeing during your stay.
A great way to start your first (or only) day in Singapore is to take a stroll through the Gardens by the Bay, a new urban green space that stretches out across over 250 acres. It offers a large variety of outdoor gardens and indoor greenhouses for visitors to explore, as well as the area’s most famous feature, the Supertree Grove, a strikingly alien construction that uses solar power to nurture thousands of rare plant species.
Singapore’s botanic gardens, which date back over 150 years and are now a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, are also well worth a visit, particularly the collection of over 3,000 species of orchids housed in the National Orchid Garden.
For lunch, consider a visit to Singapore’s Chinatown district, located downtown. After eating at one of the many varied and affordable restaurants, take the time to explore the historic architecture, including a number of well-preserved temples and Muslim mosques. As the district is well-known for its bustling nightlife, you may also want to come back in the evening for a few drinks in some of the many lively bars.
If you only have a day in Singapore you may also want to take a walk along Clarke Quay and the downtown waterfront of Singapore to snap a picture of the iconic Merlion statue/fountain which spews a powerful stream of water into the sea. While in the area, consider stopping off for a cocktail at the Long Bar in the historic Raffles Hotel, the birthplace of the famous Singapore Sling.
An absolute must-visit while in Singapore is the Marina Bay Sands, a luxury resort complex completed in 2010 that now dominates the city skyline. it consists of three 194 meter-tall towers connected by a 2.5-acre SkyPark that boats a 150m infinity pool, as well as bars and restaurants and an observation deck that offers unparalleled views over the whole of Singapore.
What You Should Know Before Going to Singapore
Now you know where to go in Singapore and the essential things to do if you only have a limited amount of time in the city-state, consider the following tips to enjoy a comfortable and hassle-free stay:
- Pack suitable clothing for the tropical climate and warm weather that Singapore is known for year-round, as well as plenty of sunscreen
- Avoid littering, as in order to maintain the green and clean image of Singapore offenders who litter are fined anything from the equivalent of $300 up to $1,000
- Carry at least a little cash, as some businesses and most Hawker centers don’t tend to accept card payments.
Finally, if you’re planning to eat at restaurants outside of Hawker centers and street markets, be sure to ask for food prices before ordering to avoid having any unpleasant surprises when you get the check!