Top Places to Visit in Singapore
Top Places to Visit in Singapore
I’ve visited Singapore in May 2017 in a short layover on my way to Bali (I will share everything about my Bali trip in another blog post) and I immediately fell in love with this city that combines perfectly the future and the past and has so many exciting experiences to offer to visitors.
If you’ve been to Asia before you will quickly realise that Singapore is an island of contrasts and it has a western and modern side contrasting to the chaotic charm of other typical Asian metropoles.
Even if I was in Singapore for only three days, I made the most of my time there in order to accomplish to see the biggest highlights of this vibrant city. I’ll share with you my favourite spots that you should not miss.
When planning your trip to Singapore keep in mind that it is one of the most expensive cities in the world, so adjust your budget to that as you will probably spend more than you’ve initially planned – even if it’s possible to visit Singapore on a budget. And make sure you book your accommodation in advance to get the best deals for your stay.
This is one of the ethnic neighbourhoods in Singapore. It is a great place for shopping, try genuine Chinese food and admire some typical buildings. You can also find there the beautiful Sri Mariamman Hindu Temple.
Arab Street and Haji Lane
It is more than a street, in fact it is one of the coolest neighbourhoods in Singapore with a trendy vibe that combines tradition with a hipster culture and a creative hub. Masjid Sultan Mosque is one of the biggest highlights of this area.
Around Arab Street you must visit Haji Lane, Singapore’s original indie neighbourhood. It is known by its colourful murals, bars, cafes, restaurants and cool boutiques that I highly recommend for great shopping.
This is probably one of my favourite ethnic districts in Singapore with a significant bohemian vibe. You can find there multiple options for shopping, eating amazing Indian food or just walking around and getting impressed by the beautiful Hindu temples. It was pouring raining when I visited and I still loved it.
This is the vibrant nightlife district to be in Singapore. Clarke Quay is located by the river and after sunset it is visited by hundreds or thousands of people looking for one of its many bars, pubs, restaurants, clubs and stores. Just walk around, feel the cool vibes and choose of one the terraces to have a meal or a drink.
Experience a breathtaking panorama of the city from the world’s largest observation wheel – it is taller than London Eye! You can see from the wheel the most famous sights of Singapore. It is really hard to advise to visit during the day or by night as you will have completely different experiences. I’ve been there in a rainy afternoon (probably not the best choice) and still it was totally worth it.
Gardens by the Bay
From all sites in Singapore, Gardens by the Bay was definitely my favourite and I’ve been there several times, by day and by night. This colourful and modern park in the bay area has so much to offer to visitors.
To have the best panoramic views of Gardens by the Bay you can either go to the iconic Marina Bay Sands hotel just in front of the gardens where you have several viewpoints, or take the walkways from the hotel, from where you will also have elevated views of the site. Take some time to visit it as you can easily spend one day there, especially if you combine it with Marina Bay Sands complex.
When you visit Gardens by the Bay the beauty of the futuristic Supertrees, huge tree format vertical gardens, will amaze you. And if you go there at night, there is an awesome show of lights and sounds with the iconic Marina Bay Sands at the horizon. Tis is a must-see in Singapore.
It is also possible to walk along the Skyway, an aerial walkway connecting two trees. That must be an awesome experience, unfortunately the day I was planning to do it the Skyway was closed. I have a good reason to go back!
Two other great attractions in Gardens by the Bay are the Flower Dome, considered the largest greenhouse in the world with flowers and plants from Mediterranean and semi-arid regions, and the Cloud Forest, which replicates the climate and landscapes of tropical mountains. I loved both but Cloud Forest was my favourite. As you enter the greenhouse you are impacted by a huge waterfall and then you take an elevator to the top from where you start your descent by several ramps, discovering different scenarios with flowers and tropical vegetation throughout your journey to the exit. You can buy a combined ticket to visit the two sites.
Marina Bay Sands Area
Marina Bay Sands is one of the most famous sites of Singapore and it is a huge complex of hotel, shopping mall, entertainment, theatres, restaurants, bars and the Observation Deck of the SkyPark in the 57th level. But it was more than the sum of it all, it’s a truly unique experience that you must have while in Singapore. No matter if you go there for dinner, a drink in one of the panoramic bars with indescribable views of the city or if you are staying one night at the hotel, add it to your Singapore bucket list. It is also the perfect spot to start exploring Gardens by the Bay, just nearby the hotel.
I decided to pamper myself and I stayed one night at Marina Bay Sands. I booked it several months in advance so I got a very good deal. It was completely worth it and of the highlights of my visit to Singapore. Staying in Marina Bay Sands is also the only way to access its iconic rooftop infinity swimming pool, the largest one in the world. Go the pool during the day and by night, have a drink and just enjoy the amazing views of Singapore’s skyline from this truly memorable spot. The icing in the cake of my stay at Marina Bay Sands was the view from my bedroom to the Gardens of the Bay.
There is no better place to admire Singapore’s iconic skyline than having a walk by Waterfront Promenade, a more than 3 km stretch that will allow you to have some of the best views of this city by the bay. Every night at 8pm there is a laser show.
A must-see in this promenade is the famous Merlion, considered the official mascot of the city. This is the statue of a mythical creature with the body of a fish and the head of a lion. I’ve read that the lion head represents Singapore’s original name, meaning “lion city”.
Singapore is a city that combines perfectly the present, the future but also the past. Walking in Colonial District is almost like going back in time to the colonial times, being surprised by beautiful buildings like the Old Supreme Court and City Hall, the Old Parliament Hall or Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall.
One must do in Singapore (which unfortunately I didn’t’ have time) is to have a famous Singapore Sling cocktail in the Long Bar at the luxurious colonial-style hotel Raffles Hotel (built in 1887 in the name of the founder of the city, Sir Stamford Raffles).
I only stayed in Singapore 3 days, so unfortunately I didn’t have time to visit Sentosa Island in the southern area of Singapore with beaches, shopping, dining places and parks like Universal Studios. Nevertheless I recommend you to stay one extra day and enjoy some relaxing and chill out time.