A melting pot of diverse cultures and traditions, Singapore is an ideal city break destination in the Fareast. A perfect place for adventure enthusiasts, foodies and cultural explorers, this beautiful city-state boasts an exciting range of things for people to experience and enjoy. Those of you heading to Singapore, here is a list of top things you can explore here.
Iconic colonial buildings, magnificent Chinese shophouses, splendid theme parks, and interesting museums – there is so much to see in the terrific city that sightseers will be spoilt for choice. Gardens by Bay, the Universal Studios, Merlion Park, ArtScience Museum, Marina Bay Sands, Helix Bridge and Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay are some of the city’s most famous attractions. Also, do pay a visit to the Old Parliament House, the oldest surviving building in Singapore.
Beaches may not be the first thing that comes to mind when people think of Singapore, but the city has some terrific beaches which are not much talked about. Mostly located on the Sentosa Island, these beaches promise a great time to the travellers interested in sand and surf. Palawan, Tanjong, Siloso, Changi, Punggol, Lazarus and St John’s are among the most popular beaches in Singapore. Palm trees, suspension bridges and shacks, no doubt, add to the beauty of these beaches.
Nature and Wildlife
Home to around 23,000-28,000 species of terrestrial species, 40,000 non-microbial organisms and 12,000-17,000 marine animals, Singapore is a city blessed with the best of nature and wildlife. Be it amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals, freshwater fish or butterflies, you’ll find all of them in the region. Among other places, Jurong Bird Park and Singapore Zoo are the best spots to witness these amazing creatures in their natural habitat. Night Safari and River Safari are popular among wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers.
Incorporating elements from different cultural and ethnic groups, Singaporean cuisine is a major highlight for tourists from all over the world. Bak Kut Teh, Wanton Mee, Fried Carrot Cake, Dim Sum, Kaya Toast, Crabs, Laksa, Curry Fish Head, Satay, Bak Chor Mee and Oyster Omelette are some of the most loved delicacies in the city. Along with the trips to the restaurants scattered around the city, make sure you visit the popular streetside eateries in the region for Singaporean delicacies.
Teeming with open markets, posh malls, quaint boutiques and streetside stores, Singapore is a paradise for shopaholics and easily one of the best shopping destinations in the world. Places like Orchard Road, Little India, Chinatown Street Market, VivoCity, Haji Lane, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands and Clarke Quay are the spots to hit if you wish a good shopping expedition. From independent fashion labels to eclectic collection of goods to antiques and artefacts, you can find everything in Singapore. Also, if you are looking for some unique souvenirs and gifts, make sure you visit the weekly flea markets held in different parts of the city.
Festivals and events in Singapore are celebrated with much pomp and show. Offering an insight into the cultural practices and traditions of the city are festivities like Chinese New Year, Thaipusam, Vesak Day, Hari Raya Puasa and Hari Raya Haji. Sports events and food festivals are held regularly here as well. Singapore Heritage Fest, Singapore International Film Festival and Singapore Fashion Festival are few of the popular socio-cultural events here.
Leisure & Recreation
Besides sightseeing, the city offers a whole range of exciting recreational activities for people of all age groups. Be it enjoying a night safari, or snorkelling with tropical fishes or taking part in other water sports, there’s a lot to be enjoyed in the city. Universal Studios and Escape Theme Park remain two of the city’s most popular theme parks.
Known as the city where ‘East meets West’, Singapore’s culture is a combination of varied customs and traditions. Mostly influenced by the South Asian, Malay, Eurasian and South Asian traditions, culture in Singapore is best highlighted in its temple complexes and other religious structures found across the region. Chinatown, National Museum of Singapore, Asian Civilization Museum and Sun Yat Sun Nanyang Memorial Hall are few of the popular cultural attractions in Singapore. Sri Mariamman Temple and Sri Thendayuthapani Temple are two of the most well-known Hindu temples here.
Travel Essentials for Singapore
Here are a few things you must take note of before heading to this beautiful city.
- Singapore Dollar is the official used currency here. It comes in denominations of S$2, S$5, S$10, S$50, S$100, S$1,000 and S$10,000.
- 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents and S$1coins can also used.
- 7% GST refund can be claimed by tourists on essential goods and other products.
- English, Mandarin, Malay and Tamil are the official languages in the city.
- Weather in Singapore is hot and humid all year round.