A buzzing country, a shopaholic’s paradise, an adventure enthusiast’s treat and a connoisseur’s joy- all this and much more- is Singapore. One of the most popular destinations in the world, Singapore is a mix of European and Asian cultures, colonial buildings on one side and modern structures on the other. This multi-cultural country spells its charm on travelers from all around the world. During your tour to Singapore, you are spoilt for choice because of an exhaustive list of tourist attractions. Get a sneak-peak into the history by visiting heritage museums, adore the city’s skyline from Singapore Flyer, feel the high adrenaline by visiting the popular theme parks, have a rendezvous with the region’s wildlife during River and Night Safari, indulge in shopping at centuries-old street markets, binge on sumptuous local street food, partake in adventure activities like skydiving- the list is endless! The blog enlists top 14 things to do in Singapore:
The Singapore Flyer
The iconic attraction of Singapore, the Singapore Flyer is the largest observation wheel in the world, which has a height equivalent to a 42-storey structure. Once on the wheel, get mesmerizing views of faraway attractions such as Raffles Place, Singapore River, the Padang, Empress Place and Marina Bay. This giant Ferris wheel had opened for public in the year 2008.
There are a number of restaurants and shops also at the site. This Ferris wheel has 28 air-conditioned capsules wherein each capsule can accommodate 28 people. Singapore Flyer operates between 08:30 am and 05:30 pm
Treetop Walk at MacRitchie
Open between 9 am to 5 pm, MacRitchie Reservoir Park is an enchanting verdant reserve that is known for offering ample challenges to nature walk enthusiasts. Treetop walk at the reserve is one activity that you must not miss during your Singapore tour. This walk is actually a stroll on a free-standing suspension bride, joining the 2 highest points at the reserve.
The highlights of the treetop walk at MacRitchie an exciting view of the lush greenery, wildlife spotting, bird watching and walking through the layers of tree canopies. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes; carry water, sunscreen and mosquito repellent. It is advisable that you begin your trek in the morning and complete it by mid-day. The walkway is 250 m in length and its height from the floors of the forest varies, with 25 m being the highest point.
Enthralling Skydiving at iFLY
If you have been dreaming about skydiving but have not been able to do it because of fear, now is the possibility for you. iFLY Singapore offers you an opportunity to partake in the enthralling activity of Sky diving in a man-made tunnel. You first get training about the activity under certified instructors and then get to participate in it.
This is the largest themed wind tunnel for indoor skydiving in the world. The ultra modern technology at iFly Singapore makes flying easier and hassle-free for kids above 7 years and adults. The tunnel is 56.5 ft tall and 16.5 ft wide. The 18 ft high acrylic glass walls offer an amazing vies of Siloso beach and South China Sea.
Marina Bay Sands
Touted as the most expensive building ever built, Marina Bay Sands resort is no less than a paradise. Opened in the year 2010, this resort consists of lavish accommodation options, the biggest casino, a shopping mall, various dining venues serving sumptuous multi-cuisine delicacies, an Art Science museum, skating ring, world-class gaming options, discotheques, conference halls and much more.
Some of the most spectacular features of this luxury property include SkyPark- a public observation deck, Infinity pool- the largest rooftop swimming pool in the world and Venice-style Gondola ride. On the top of property gigantic skyscrapers, a boat-like structure looks amazing.
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River Safari in River Themed Wildlife Park
The first and the only river-themed wildlife park in Asia, River Safari is a chance to spot the animals up close and personal in their natural surroundings, near a river while you are cruising on-board a boat. This water wildlife park is home to more than 5000 terrestrial and aquatic animals that include of around 300 fauna species.
This is a 10-minute boat ride that helps you in having a rendezvous with animals like monkey’s, pandas, manatees, piranhas, bear etc. the wildlife here are from the 8 famous river of the world- Amazon, Yangtze, Mississippi, Nile, Ganges, Murray, Congo and Mekong. Squirrel Monkey Forest, Amazon Flooded Forest and Giant Panda Forest with two Giant Pandas- Kai Kai and Jia Jia are the highlights of the River Safari.
MegaZip Adventure at Siloso Beach
If you have been trying to partake in zip lining or even if you have already tried it, you must not miss the thrill of Megazip adventure at Siloso beach in Sentosa Island. Climb up to the highest point of the beach (around 75 m) and zip down, experience an all new thrill, which surely is unforgettable. Megazip Adventure Park offers a number of such enthralling experiences. The zip line is around 450 meters long, starting from the Imbiah hills, amidst jungle canopy and finally bringing you to the Siloso Beach with white-colored sand. The conclusion point is known as Fox Finish.
The first theme park of Singapore, Universal Studios attracts kids and adults in huge numbers who wish to enjoy rides and various other mind-blowing attractions. Get all set for an exciting time. At this Hollywood movie theme park, enjoy movie-based roller coasters and other thrilling rides. Universal Studios has numerous rides like Battlestar Galactica- Human vs. Cylon (the tallest pair of duel roller coasters in the world), 4-D Far- Far Away Castle from The World of Shrek where you can even meet Shrek.
Other highlight at the park is from the popular movie Waterworld. Enjoy partaking in Jurassic Park rapids adventure, Madagascar’s crate adventure, revenge of the Mummy and so on. Do not miss visiting the dinosaurs at Jurassic Park. Once you have paid the entry fee of the park, you can take the rides for free. Complete the experience by shopping for souvenirs from the Universal Studios Store.
Asian Civilizations Museum
Asian Civilizations Museum or ACM – is it is fondly called, is perhaps the most notable museums in Singapore. This museum features artifacts and other artworks from all around Asia, underlining the variety of religion and ethnicity that is found on the continent. There are dedicated areas for the exhibits of major religions like Buddhism, Islam and Daosim and also for various ethnic groups.
The interactive video sections and Friday lectures explain the historical significance of the exhibits displayed here. Then, there is another permanent exhibition section regarding the importance of Singapore River in the history and trade of the metropolis. The museum also becomes the venue of timely special exhibitions on the cultural heritage of the Asian continent. Free guided tours are organized on a daily basis between 11 am to 2 pm, which can be the ideal time to visit the museum. The building stands along the Singapore River and has around 10 galleries that showcase the works that are around 5,000-year old.
Night Safari in World’s first Nocturnal Zoo
Spread in an area of 40-hectare of forested area, the first nocturnal zoo in the world offers Night Safari, one- of- its- kind of an experience. This night zoo of Singapore is home to around 1200 nocturnal animals, which include 115 species, 30 percent of which are threatened species and definitely count as one of the top things to do in Singapore.
Visitors can explore the park in two ways- in a tram or on-foot while walking on a walking trail. The whole zoo, from the eastern side to the western side, is segregated into different kind of natural environment from Southeast Asian Rainforest to Indian Subcontinent to Himalayas. Night safari has won ‘Best Visitor Attraction Experience’ award by Singapore Tourism Board, not one or two but 8 times.
If you have an interest in farming, plants and animal life, you must visit Farmart Centre. Some of the highlights of this tourist attraction in Singapore include Fresh Farm Eggs, Exotic Frozen Meat, LIVE Seafood, Gardening & Landscaping, Pet Grooming and Prawn Pond. Boasting of a rustic charm, serenity and lush greenery, this place is just the perfect option to unwind and gorge on sumptuous delicacies.
You can partake in interesting activities such as visiting the animal corner, embarking on farm tour, and feed the fishes and the other animals there. Get an insight into the lives of the local farmers and their techniques. Kids would enjoy bird shows, aquariums, prawning sessions etc.
A bustling shopping street, Haji Lane is a tiny hidden lane in the middle of the Muslim neighborhood. A shopper’s paradise, this fashion street sells everything you can think of including clothes, jewelry, furniture, footwear, decorative pieces, homeware, knick-knacks, tattoo parlor and more. A visit to Haji Lane is an exciting one as you can see all the popular designers displaying their products at one place. Do not miss clicking photographs of this well-lit colorful street.
The middle-east style cafes are a major hit here, serving lip-smacking food to the visitors. This shopping destination found its place in the year 2005. Morning is not the best time to visit Haji lane as the place comes alive during the late afternoon hours.
Green Delight at Botanic Gardens
Spread on a haven of tranquility, in an area of 74 hectares, Botanical Gardens is a treasure trove for nature lovers and a real treat for the eyes. It is not only one of the most popular attractions of Singapore, but it is also a favorite place of horticulture and botanical researchers. This green space includes of Jacob Ballas Children’s garden where kids can indulge in fun activities and also learn about plants.
The star attraction here is National Orchid Garden that boasts of displaying the largest orchid collection in the world, more than 60,000 in number. SBG Heritage Museum is the other highlight here that houses interactive panels and multimedia displays. Botanical Gardens Singapore also consists of eateries and restaurants serving sumptuous delicacies and beverages. It open at 5 am and closes at 12 at night.
Chinatown Heritage Centre
Enter the world of the colorful past of Chinatown as you step inside Chinatown Heritage Centre, an engaging museum, founded inside three-restored shop-houses of 1950’s tenants on the bustling Pagoda Street. It features exhibits that point out towards the difficult living conditions that the Chinese immigrants had to face.
Workshops, kitchens, bedrooms of those times have been re-created and they are jam-packed appealing artifacts of those times. The museum also consists of recorded interviews and old videos of immigrants, which are quite heartbreaking. Visitors get a chance to have an insight into the lives of the early occupants of Chinatown.
A paradise for book lovers, National Library boasts of being one-of-its-kind of a structure made for the first time here that is a composite steel building, planned as per performance-based fire engineering. The aim of National Library Board was creating a futuristic property. National Library Singapore has books, e-books and videos on varied topics and interests including fiction, comedy, romance, science fiction and fantasy, suspense, mystery, non-fiction, documentaries and so on. The library is a 16-storey building.
National Orchid Garden
Lying in the central core of the well-known Botanical Garden, the National Orchid Garden opened for public on 20th October 1995. It is placed on the highest hill in the garden and has over 60,000 colorful orchid plants. Planted carefully on 3 hectares of landscaped slopes, visitors can spot over 2000 hybrids and 1000 species of orchids here- a real treat for the eyes. The design concept is one of the best features here where plants have been displayed in 4 different color zones.
The ‘spring’ zone has bright colors like shades of gold, yellow and creams; the ‘summer’ zone has strong shades of reds and pinks, in the ‘winter’ zone there are whites and cool violet tones and in the ‘autumn’ zone, there are matured shades orchids. This wonderful zoning effect is a superb combination of different kinds of herbs, orchids, shrubs and trees.
Once comprising of cattle herders, a racecourse and brick kilns, today Little India is one of the best attractions of Singapore. A bustling area, it puts on showcase the vibrant culture and wonderful shopping experiences of the Indian community of the country. The streets of the Little India get their names from the residents, British soldiers and a cattle importer of the 19th century. There are art groups, flower-garland vendors, boutique hotels, modern eateries along with many old-day traders.
Take a walk on Serangoon Road and adjoining streets, you can spot churches, mosques, as well as Chinese and Hindu temples. The North Indian and South Indian delicacies are lip-smacking and must not be missed. Visit the Mustafa Centre shopping mall, opened all around the clock. Get on your hands on some wonderful Indian clothes, jewelry, herbal medicines etc.
Also known as Masjid Sultan, the remarkable Sultan Mosque in the historic Kampong Glam of Singapore, is not only a popular tourist attractions but quite revered amid the Muslim community of the country. The huge prayer hall and the gigantic golden domes are the most striking feature of this mosque. Constructed for Sultan Hussein Shah, the first sultan of Singapore in the year 1824, the mosque boasts of an impressive architecture.
After a span of around 100 year, the reconstruction of the mosque that started, had completed in 1932. The mosque became a national monument in 1975. Circumscribed by North Bridge Road, Kandahar Street, Baghdad Street and Arab Street, this mosque bustles with religious activity during the month of Ramadan. By visiting early morning, you can avoid the crowd, enjoying a visit to at the equally popular Haji Lane.
The Helix Bridge
Previously known as the Double Helix Bridge, officially known as the Helix, the Helix Bridge is a pedestrian bridge that links Marina South in the Marina Bay area with Marina Centre. A famous landmark in the area, the bridge has a structure that is inspired from the geometric arrangement of DNA. It has a walkway that is surrounded by double helix structures made up of stainless steel. During the night, the bridge is well-lit and becomes a stunning sight.
The bridge is placed alongside the Benjamin Sheares Bridge and the Bayfront Bridge, which is a vehicular bridge. Half of the bridge was opened on 24th April in 2010 at 9 PM, due to the on-going construction of the Marina Bay Sands. Later, on 18th July, the entire bridge was opened. It is also the winner of the ‘World’s Best Transport Building’ award at the World Architecture Festival Awards in 2010.
Gardens by the Bay
An awesome, well-maintained and lush horticulture haven, the Gardens by the Bay is one of the most popular attractions in Singapore. Developed on a reclaimed land, this man-made wonder is a garden that has colorful massive super-trees or sculpted biodomes, flowers and plants that are illuminated during the night, looking extremely enchanting. Enjoy a walk on the elevated walkway to savor wonderful views of the surroundings. This is an environment-friendly garden, which runs on solar power.
Light and Sound shows in the evening must not be missed. Located right by the waters in the Marine Bay, covering an area of 101 hectares, it contains the largest column-less greenhouse conservatories of the world, in the form of the Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest cooled conservatories. Entry into the Outdoor gardens such as World of Plants, Dragonfly, Heritage Gardens etc. is free.
National Museum of Singapore
The oldest museum of Singapore, the National Museum of Singapore is a treasure house of the culture and history of the country. Dating back to 1887, this museum does not only hold the key to the rich heritage of the country but is also an architectural marvel, belonging to the neo-classical architecture. Originally called the Raffles Library and Museum, it was a section of the library at the Singapore Institution. This museum today has the Living Galleries and Singapore as its permanent attraction.
Along with these exhibitions, there is a lot more on offering too. There are film screenings, art installations, live performances, exhibitions by popular artists and so on. There are some such exhibitions where entry is free.
Artwork at the Ritz-Carlton
An artwork does not really needs a museum to attract art lovers from all around and the artwork in the lobby of the one of the most popular luxury hotels in Singapore, the Ritz-Carlton is the perfect example of this. The enormous 3 ton installation by Frank Stella at the central atrium looks stunning. Another wonderful piece of contemporary art that is one of the finest in Southeast Asia is the pair of crystal glass sculptures by Dale Chihuly. Most of the pieces have been especially custom-made for the guest suites and the public spaces of the hotel. For an art aficionado, this hotel is a delight as you can have a look at all this for free.
If you want, there is an iPod-guided tour. The iPod is available at the concierge desk. Around 50 of these artworks are of ‘museum quality’, mainly constituting works from Post-Painterly Abstractionist schools of art.
One of the largest markets in Singapore, Bugis Street is quite infamous for its sleazy offerings. You can easily spot transvestites, foreign servicemen and gambling holes on this huge street. Full of cheap shoes, clothes, manicurists, electronics, toys and accessories, this lane also a few sex shops. Visiting this place is truly an exciting experience for the visitors.
If you are into ‘second-hand’ copies of watches, purses, footwear, clothes, sun-glass and more, this is the place for you. There are shops selling cellphones, laptops and other electronic goods at cheaper prices. Bugis Junction is another attractions here, dotted with hundreds of shops and eateries. Learn the art of bargaining, for the best deals.
An island the northeastern corner of mainland Singapore, Pullau Ubin is considered as the last Kampung or village of the country. If you wish to go directly to the island, a 10-minute bumboat ride from Changi Point Ferry Terminal takes you here. Enjoy a leisure walk here and you can have a rendezvous with that simple style of living which was seen in the decades of 60s in Singapore. Savor the serene atmosphere, a complete contrast to the chaotic cities.
Going to this island is an ideal day-trip option from Singapore, Pulau Ubin has been blessed with varied wildlife, thick forests and beautiful surroundings. Take a stroll in the rubber plantations, sit under the shady coconut palm groves, and relax at the secluded beaches. There are a number of small eating joints, serving sumptuous local food. This boomerang-shaped island, spread in an area of 1,020 hectares has colorful coral reefs and a rich ecosystem.
A historical riverside quay, Clake Quay is a treasure-trove of some amazing and unforgettable fun activities. As the sun goes down, this place gets lit in rainbow colors to offer you some great experiences. Enjoy visits to bustling bars and nightclubs for a fun-filled and action-packed night. Enjoy a ride on a floating junk boat in the river, while sipping your drinks and savoring the views. There is dining, shopping, dancing, live music and bumboat river tours.
Equally amazing for children and adults, the place has several attractions. G-MAX Reverse Bungy, GX-5 Extreme Swing, Singapore River Cruise, Central Fountain Square, Attica, and The Pump Room must not be missed.
An epitome of elegant architectural brilliance, Raffles Hotel is one of the most popular hotels of Singapore that also showcases the colonial history of the Southeast Asian country. Named after Sir Stamford Raffles, the founder of Singapore, this hotel was commissioned by the Sarkies Brothers, who also constructed the other luxury hotels in the area at the time of colonial rule. The property was opened in the year 1887, but constant changes were made in its layout when suites, wings and other facilities were added during the course of time.
Hotel Raffles is an example of neo-Renaissance architecture with broad verandahs and high-ceilings as interesting additions. The hotel boasted of electric lights, marble flooring, a massive dining room and powered ceilings fans, which were not seen in any of the hotels of that era. It has also hosted VIPs like Rudyard Kipling, Somerset Maugham, and Herman Hesse. Today, it is a heritage property.
The national personification of Singapore, The Merlion is a combination of a creature which is the head of a lion with the body of a fish. One of the most-visited attractions of Singapore, this iconic landmark exists at the waterfront Merlion Park. The statue spouts water from its mouth, is 70 tons in weight and 8.6 m in height. Do not forget to get yourself clicked with this creature, which is absolutely free of cost.
It is said that the Merlion faces towards the east direction, which is known to be a direction that brings good luck. Enjoy a stroll around the Marina Bay and let the cool air touch your face. After the sunset, there is a splendid laser light show here.
Buddha Tooth Relic Temple
Located right opposite the Maxwell Market, the Buddha tooth relic temple is a beautiful tang-styled Chinese Buddhist temple in China town of Singapore. Constructed in the year 2007, this place of worship is a 5-storey architecture that has a huge prayer hall on the ground floor, a wonderful place to listen to holy chants. The temple also comprises of a museum that has exhibits, depicting the rich Buddhist art and culture. It also hosts film screening, cultural talks and performances.
Famed for housing a tooth of the founder of Buddhism, Siddharta Gautama, this temple attracts the devotees of Lord Buddha from around the globe. The sacred tooth relic is placed on the top floor. In the temple complex, the visitors can also relish free vegetarian meal. There is also a garden on the rooftop with Buddha prayer wheel and pagoda.
Katong Antique House
A wonderfully restored original Peranakan family home, Katong Antique House has some great heirlooms and antiques, which are worthy being in a museum. This 2-storey shop cum house has been restored by owner and curator Peter Wee who takes you back in the times of males and females Peranakans, clad in their traditional batik shirts, and stylish sarong kebaya. There is traditional Peranakan furniture, antiques, heirlooms, crockery, clothing etc.
On the top floor is the Katong Antique House is a small gallery, where the visitors can have a look at the complicatedly woven ‘kasut manek’ or beaded slippers, along with the traditional wedding costumes. Listen to the beautiful stories of Nonya heritage, from the curator while he accompanies you and helps you in exploring the house. This half shop and half museum can be visited by booking an appointment.
Haw Par Villa
A sneak-peek into Chinese mythology and folklore is what the theme park named, Haw Par Villa has to offer. Set-up by the founder brothers of Tiger Balm, this theme park is not a typical amusement park. It has more than 150 statues and exhibits that showcase Chinese mythological legends, and Confucianism. The best feature is that detailed and graphic representation of the events from the hell.
Formed in 1937, it has an enthralling diorama of the depiction of the 10 Courts of Hell, showcasing the punishments one has to bear in hell, as per the sins, they committed. The park lies on the top of Pasir Panjang hill and has been named after Aw brothers, (born in Burma), the makers of Tiger Balm, headache ointment. What would be better if you get a chance to explore and experience all this for free.
Last Updated: 12th July, 2016
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