Why Singapore should be your next Travel Destination
No other city exudes energy better than Singapore. Amazing food, fabulous shopping, buzzing nightlife and ethnic neighborhoods make this city one of the best in Asia. Singapore should be your next travel destination.
Singapore is a city,
and a country.
The days of Singapore’s notorious shady past are long gone. Today Singapore is one of the cleanest and safest cities in the world.
Attracting millions of international tourists every year Singapore is the perfect travel destination.
Singapore is proud of its reputation as a diverse and harmonious nation and has frequently been described as a country where “East meets West”.
Here’s why Singapore should be your next travel destination
The History and Culture
Steeped in history, this bustling city was once famed for its seedy reputation. Today, Singapore is a respected leader in world markets and boasts being one of the cleanest cities in the world.
Stroll along the historical quays on the Singapore River, explore the old Malay quarter of Kampong Glam or go shopping in Little India to get a sense of Singapore as it was in earlier days.
Singapore’s modern skyline is as iconic as it is picturesque! Old meets new with skyscrapers such as the Esplanade and Marina Bay Sands as fine examples of modern architecture. In contrast, are the famous colonial buildings of the 17th century such as Raffles Hotel. It is worth visiting, if just for an authentic Singapore Sling.
What to do in Singapore city
Don’t miss the iconic precincts like Chinatown, Little India, Clarke Quay, Changi Village and the East Coast. Each have their own charm and you’ll love the unique traditional feel to each precinct.
Singaporeans love to shop
If you’re visiting mid-year, you will find yourself in amidst of the island-wide ‘Great Singapore Sale‘. Massive shopping complexes stretch underground beneath the high-rise towers and you can literally shop until you drop.
Head to Orchard Road for some of the best fashion and lifestyle shopping. Whether you’re looking for international luxury brands, stylish labels or trendy fashion icons, Orchard Road should be on your list.
World-famous for it’s shopping, Orchard Road is the place to do some serious damage to your credit card!
One of Singapore’s most interesting precincts, Chinatown is where you will find antiques, tailored suits, modern ‘oriental’ home-wares and cheap T shirts. Discover the Heritage buildings, small shops, restaurants & boutiques that reflect the city’s humble beginnings. Don’t miss the spectacular Buddha Tooth Relic Temple as well as the Hawker food centres in Chinatown.
The Old Arab quarter of Kampong Glam is Singapore’s Malay and Islamic-influenced area. One of the city’s most colourful street, the Old Arab quarter is home to a number of attractions including the golden-domed Sultan Mosque and Haji Lane. Arab Street is where you will find rattan mats and baskets and handmade traditional perfumes and embroidered silks, sarongs and tailors.
Little India is one of Singapore’s most vibrant precincts. Explore their mix of Hindu and Chinese temples, mosques and churches. Shop for Saris, glass bead bracelets, carved furnishings, religious art and beautiful Indian wall hangings. The 24-hour shopping mall Mustafa Centre offers everything from electronics to groceries.
Take a Walking Tour
Walking tours are one of our favourite ways to get to know a new city when we travel. Singapore has many tours on offer so choose one that interests. Wander the city and learn from a local.
There are plenty of walking tours to choose from:
- Try the walking tour through the historical Supreme Court and City Hall buildings, hosted by the National Gallery.
- Explore each of the precincts – Chinatown, Little India, Clarke Quay, Changi Village and the East Coast. Step outside your comfort zone, you will learn so much about the history and culture of this amazing city.
The Aussie Mob experience: The Chinatown Brothel Tour was great fun with the guide, a Singaporean national, walking us on a tour through the red light district of ‘old’ Singapore sharing the hidden secrets of Chinatown and it’s seedy history. This was definitely one of the most interesting tours I’ve ever done!
Zoos and Theme Parks
The zoo is not just for young ones! The modern Singapore Zoo features natural habitats separating the animals with innovative animal enclosures and surrounds such as moats, rocky outcrops and thick bushy hedges. The animals roam free in their natural habitats. Be sure to breakfast with the Orangutans!
The Night Safari
The Night Safari is a unique tour bringing out the nocturnal animals and not to be missed. Singapore Zoo is the world’s first safari park for nocturnal animals. The Night Safari is spread across seven distinct habitats. Each habitat homes its own array of fascinating creatures such as the endangered Asian elephant, Malayan tapir and Malayan tiger. Put this adventure tour on your list!
Jurong Bird Park
One of the most spectacular bird habitats, Jurong Bird Park has a collection of over 5,000 birds from 400 species in spectacular flight aviaries. Wander through the Waterfall Aviary, before heading into the world’s largest walk-in flight aviary which is over nine stories high. All with many species of colourful and rare birds. Its a great day out for families with a love of nature, and there is an opportunity to Lunch with Parrots.
Haw Par Villa
The original Singaporean theme park is Haw Par Villa is ‘not your traditional theme park’. Embark on a tour of the world’s only eclectic Chinese mythological park of its kind. Be warned ... Haw Par Villa is not for the feint hearted!
Visit Sentosa Island
Enjoy some tropical island fun by heading to Sentosa Island for the day. Travel over on the cable-car and take the monorail around the island whilst you explore the attractions.
Visit Underwater World and Adventure Cove Waterpark before taking the ferry back to the main island or book a room for the night and continue the fun.
Thrill-seekers will enjoy Sentosa Island’s theme parks such as Universal Studios Singapore and Wild Wild Wet.
Wander down Clarke Quay
Strolling along the lovely Singapore River is a must for any visitor. Clarke Quay is the premier nightlife destination in the city with a multitude of bars and restaurants along the riverbank.
Take a cruise down the historic Singapore River on a traditional bumboat. Listen to the tales of Singapore’s Boat Quay and Clarke Quay and enjoy the scenic views of the Marina Bay area as the boat cruises by. It’s the perfect way to enjoy a sunset!
Walk through Singapore’s Parks and Gardens
Singapore Botanic Gardens
Don’t miss the Singapore Botanic Gardens and explore the UNESCO world heritage site on the Parks Heritage Tour. A favourite park for jogging, picnics or just lazing about. The grounds are a leading centre for botanical and horticultural research. A choice of restaurants and cafes are available for visitors after a day out in the sun.
Visit the National Orchid Garden, one of the highlights of the botanical gardens boasting the world’s largest orchid display, with over 60,000 plants and orchids.
Take the kids to the Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden where they can play and learn all about plant life.
Canning Hill Fort
The Canning Hill Fort was originally known as Bukit Larangan, or ‘Forbidden Hill’ in Malay. Today, the 18-hectare space is full of attractions such as ancient artifacts to sprawling lawns for outdoor concerts.
The Fort Gate is the remnants of a fortress built built in the 19th Century. Visit the Spice Garden as well as the ASEAN Sculpture Garden and the former underground military complex that was used in World War II. Its a fascinating collection of historical memorabilia.
The Gardens by the Bay
A stunning park and one of the best places in the city to while away a few hours. The Gardens by the Bay is the newest addition to Singapore’s green space. See the Cooled Conservatories, towering vertical gardens, the Cloud Forest and the Forest Dome or hop on a Garden Cruiser tram for a guided tour of the gardens.
The gardens come alive in the evening so its a great idea to time your visit for the nightly light show at the supertree grove. If you want a birds-eye view of the evening show, take a vantage point up on the Skydeck at the nearby Marina Sands Hotel.
Visit the Sri Mariamman Temple
Chinatown is home to the oldest Hindu temple in Singapore, the Sri Mariamman Temple. Dating back to 1827, the original wood-and-attap structure was built by immigrants from the Nagapatnam and Cuddalore districts of South India.
Its six tiers are covered with ornate and elaborate sculptures of deities and mythological figures.
It is dedicated to the goddess Mariamman, known for her power to cure illnesses and diseases. The majestic grand tower entrance has been a landmark for generations of Hindu worshippers and Singaporeans alike.
High-Tea at Raffles
Raffles Singapore is a much loved Singaporean institution that’s part of the nation’s ‘cultural heritage’. Sir Stamford Raffles founded Singapore in 1887.
Raffles has played host to the rich and famous, including Charlie Chaplin, Somerset Maugham, Elizabeth Taylor and Karl Lagerfield. One can’t visit Singapore and not go to Raffles for ‘High Tea’ or a Singapore Sling!
Click here to find out how to stay at Raffles Singapore.
The Aussie Mob experience:
Dressed in full tourist rig, complete with sunhats and cameras, we wandered into the lobby of this majestic ‘plantation style’ hotel. A smartly dressed doormen approached us quietly informing Trevor in a monotone statement, raising his eyebrow ever so slightly; “Sir must be dressed in long trousers to enter the lobby at Raffles”.
We headed back outside, stifling our laughter.
We got the message, loud and clear!
Sir, wasn’t getting ‘High Tea’ today!
Visit the Museums and Arts & Culture
The Arts Scene
Singapore has a growing art and theatre culture. Celebrate with artists and creatives and attend the arts festivals like St Jerome’s Laneway Festival, Neon Lights and the ultra Music Festival. It’s an experience for everyone!
There’s even a Mint Museum of Toys for the younger ones!
Experience Changi Museum and Memorial
Hundreds of people attended the ANZAC Day service at the War Memorial at Changi. Singaporeans, Australians, New Zealanders, war veterans and other visitors gathered to pay their respects and share prayers.
World War II affected millions of people around the world and the museum at Changi serves as a grim reminder of the atrocities that occurred during the Japanese occupation of Singapore.
The Museum is extraordinary tribute to the resilience of the prisoners-of-war and civilians who were interned. Visiting Changi War Museum for the memorial service on Anzac Day (April 25th) was a surprisingly emotional experience for us both.
Eat, Drink and be Merry
Singaporeans admit their favourite pastime is eating! The country’s three main ethnic groups, Chinese, Indian, and Malay are well-represented in Singapore’s most popular foods. This is one of the reasons Singapore should be your next travel destination!
Tip: Stalls are graded A, B or C according to their cleanliness.
Visiting a hawker centre is a must-do cultural experience in Singapore. There is nothing like the aromas, the delicacies and choices but do as the locals do, join the queues to feast on these delicious dishes.
These popup style restaurant clusters showcase the delicious flavours of multi-ethnic Singapore. One of the best things about Singapore is the delicious, cheap local food from the hawker stalls.
Chinatown Complex Food Centre
You will find Chinese-inspired dishes like wonton noodles, char kway teow, Hokkien mee, chicken rice, dim sum, lor mee and bak kut teh.
Hong Lim Market & Food Centre
Close to the popular Chinatown Complex Food Centre, this Food Centre doesn’t get the recognition it deserves among travellers. Look for the Michelin-starred restaurants.
Look out for Famous Sungei Road Trishaw Laksa, for delicious and aromatic laksa that’s among the city’s best and Ah Hong Curry, for some of the best-ever curry noodles.
Maxwell Food Centre
Also in the Chinatown area, Maxwell Food Centre offers an excellent selection of local dishes. Try these specialties – pork congee from Zhen Zhen Porridge, char kway teow, and wonton noodles from Guangdong Wan Ton Mee.
Its recent fame was likely triggered by a visit from the late Anthony Bourdain who declared the signature dish at Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice as one of his favourites in Singapore.
Old Airport Road Food Centre
Touted as one of the best places to eat in Singapore. This iconic food court is one of the first with some of the food stalls having operated for generations. Singaporean favourites are found here from char kway teow and Hokkien mee to rojak and kway chap.
Tiong Bahru Market
Located in the historical neighbourhood, Tiong Bahru Market is a pleasant surprise. Some of the most famous stalls at Tiong Bahru Market include 178 Lor Mee, Lee Hong Kee Cantonese Roasted and Min Nan Prawn Noodles.
Other Hawker Centres include:
- Newton Circus
- Adams Road Food Centre
- Geylang Serai Market
- New Bugis St
- Lavender Food Centre
- Satay Club
- Tekka Centre
Try the iconic dishes like Singapore Chilli Crab, Chicken Rice, Laksa and delicious traditional Singapore noodles.
Where to stay in Singapore
Known for its luxury hotels and casinos and shopping malls. Many of the hotels are linked by huge underground shopping malls so be aware you could start shopping and end up miles from where you started!
There are a range of accommodation styles for all tastes and budgets. You’ll be sure to find something to suit here.
By air: Changi Airport consistently rated as one of the world’s best. Singapore has become a major transit hub for travellers exploring Southeast Asia.
Most airlines fly into Changi Airport from Asian & other International destinations. Check your favourite airlines to see if they connect through Singapore.
Like many cities in Asia, getting around Singapore is a breeze. One of the most efficient rail systems in the world, access to the MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) is within walking distance of most of the city’s top tourist sites. Sightseeing in Singapore is a breeze.
If you feel inspired to visit Singapore, why not pin this for later.
Singapore has always been one of my favourite cities! It’s a city with an amazing mix of culture, friendly people, amazing food and a city that’s always bubbling with energy.
There really is something for everyone and I can guarantee you will enjoy your visit! Why should Singapore be your next travel destination? Its simple: delicious food, superb shopping and fabulous sightseeing opportunities.
Have you ever been to Singapore? What did you enjoy most about your last trip to Singapore? Share your story with me in the comments below.