The island resort of Sentosa is a marvellous one-day beach escape from the bustling city. It's an artificial island with very real sand and swaying palm trees casting pleasant shadow, as well quite a few recreation options, particularly in the Palawan Beach area. Transport connections to the mainland are ample.
The Singapore Zoo is a so called “open zoo” and a world famous zoological garden with 315 animal species, of which approximately 60 are endangered. You can find all the big cats here: lion, tiger, jaguar, leopard and puma, as well as rare white tigers. If you want to, you can meet orangutans face-to-face. Most of the animals are kept in spacious, landscaped enclosures separated from the visitors by dry or wet moats. Dangerous animals are housed in landscaped glass-fronted enclosures. The park also offers an exciting night safari.
The Sultan Mosque with its cupola and minarets gleams light green and is a very beautiful building in the Kampong Glam district. This mosque is the Muslims’ most important building in Singapore (there are 68 mosques in the city in total). Visitors are welcomed to the mosques even if certain parts are still off limits to those who are not of the Muslim faith.
This park, in the middle of the colonial city centre, is a great spot for anyone who wants to learn more about Singapore’s military history. Raffle’s last home during his time in the city is also here. An exciting tour of the subterranean command headquarters used by the British during the Second World War is a must when visiting the park.
This riverside quay was once the entrepôt centre of the Singapore harbour. Now a bustling nightlife area, the run-down warehouses - "go downs" - have been turned into nightclubs, restaurants and flea markets. Though fully renovated, historical buildings have been preserved, letting it retain its special character.
Often referred to as "Holland V," this happening area is popular with young Singaporeans and expatriates. It offers a bohemian mix of fine restaurants, cool bars and street eateries. Holland Village also is a hub for antiques, with many outlets dealing arts and handicrafts, especially home ware and furniture.
A remnant of the luxurious greenery once covering the whole of the island, the Southern Ridges are a series of green spaces strung along 9 km. Take the elevated Canopy Walk through the rainforest, stop to study all things gardening at Hort Park, then cross the beautifully designed Henderson Waves bridge, and, finally, take the cable car down to Sentosa Island after having admired the panoramic view from Mount Faber.
Construction of the Chinese district of Singapore started in 1828 and started out rougher, more cramped and crowded than it is today. Most of it has been renovated, but the narrow streets and shops remain, as do several large markets. Drop into the Peoples Park Complex shopping centre and Chinatown Complex market where the experience receives added dimensions.
The Singapore Sling was created here in 1915, by the bartender Ngiam Tong Boon, and is still served at the timeless Long Bar. This is a wonderful hotel with a great atmosphere, a museum and beautiful gardens. Food is important at the hotel where the cuisine is world-class. For anyone who wants to learn to cook like the great chefs, courses are given at the Raffles Culinary Academy. Just outside the entrance stands, perhaps, the world's most photographed doorman.
At the mouth of the Singapore River lies the Esplanade, a performance art centre featuring a concert hall, a theatre hall, recital and rehearsal studios, as well as outdoor performance spaces. Casually referred to as "the Durian" because of its resemblance of the famous tropical fruit, the architecturally stunning building boasts some of the world’s best acoustics. Even with no one on stage, this is a great spot for lunch or afternoon tea at the neighbouring Esplanade Mall.
Billed as Singapore’s First 3D + AR Museum, Trick Eye Museum is a place unlike any other. Here is a museum where you can be part of the artwork, simply by taking a photo with their ultra-realistic 3D art exhibits. You will find yourself immersed in the wonderful world of optical illusions. Now, for the first time ever, Augmented Reality technology has integrated with 3D art to make optical illusions come to life.
Set smack in the middle of the action with the Marina Bay Sands in plain sight, Gluttons Bay is a row of hawker stalls serving all manner of Singaporean delights straight off the sizzling pans and grills to the lucky ones who manage secure a spot in the outdoor dining area that tends to fill up very quickly, especially at rush hour. A must-try to start with is a classic oyster omelette.
Squeezed up among the stalls of Amoy Street Food Centre (which in itself is worth a browse around) is its indisputable standout: A Noodle Story, one of Singapore's most revered ramen outlets. Springy noodles are served here with HK-style wonton, crispy potato-wrapped prawn, "hot spring" egg and other flavour-concocting additions.
Little does the uninformed visitor know walking by this unassuming little place that not only does it serves some of the best bak chor mee pork noodles in Singapore, but also has a Michelin star to its name. Prepare to wait (and be duly rewarded), while only parting with a few Singaporean dollars.
A hawker centre for the young, hip crowd, Timbre+ offers an impressive selection of food stalls serving a selection of modernised local classics and introducing quite a few new, less familiar flavor combinations. Live music plays Monday through Saturday nights. Stop by the Bottle Shop for exclusive beers.
Quayside Seafood Restaurant has a fantastic choice of fish and seafood, cooked in various Asian cuisine styles. Try the chilli crab or the jumbo prawns together with a glass of beer. The restaurant is wonderfully located right next to the water, with the Singapore River flowing past it.
With its two Michelin stars, Odette remains a highly sought-after experience, with savvy travellers making reservations up to one month in advance. The space is stunning visually (with whites and pastels defining the colour scheme) - a small appetiser of sorts for the spectacular culinary creations to come.
Serving modern Japanese food in a comfortable setting, this restaurant has a different menu depending on the time of day you choose to visit. Some of the dishes might be on the pricy side, but the quality and presentation are top notch. When here, try the kamameshi ("kettle rice"), flavoured rice steamed with various ingredients in an iron pot called a kama.
For top notch sushi and Japanese cuisine, head to one of the two Shinji by Kanesaka restaurants. The flagship restaurant is located in the legendary Carlton Hotel and holds the same standard as the luxury hotel. Prepare for above average prices; it is recommended to book ahead.
At Blu Kouzina, a dining room decorated with the traditional blue and white colours and waiters serving dishes such as mousaka, souvlaki and grilled feta cheese give you the perfect atmosphere of Greece. The owner will happily to recommend his favourites and answer all your questions.
The Australian head chef Darren Farr oversees The LoKal's exciting menu that draws on Aussie classics while making extensive use of quintessentially local ingredients, as well as imported rarities like lobster. The "Pimp Your Breakfast" option allows you to have the day's most important meal your way (try the smoked salmon for choice of protein), and new specials are listed daily.
Brunch seats at Symmetry are nearly impossible to have without prior reservation, but you can still give it a shot without one by arriving at least an hour ahead of time. It's somewhat of a hipster classic by now, complete with vintage decor pieces and indie music playing in the background.
There is plenty to praise about Common Man Coffee Roasters, but if we had to zoom in on just one thing it would be the all-day breakfast/brunch menu, featuring sweet and savoury international fusion delights. Reservations are available for groups of 5 and up (outside of weekends).
Those on a hunt for authenticity must commit themselves to at least one quintessentially Singaporean breakfast of kaya jam and toast, soft-boiled eggs, and a coffee. There are few better places to have it than the now century-old Killiney Kopitiam (multiple locations across the city).
You'll barely run into a foreigner at this Singaporean dessert joint - if this prospect appeals to rather than repels you, head straight for a rainbow bread ice cream sandwich (roti), glass jelly drink or sago pudding (durian flavour if you're feeling especially adventurous).
This is a chic nightclub at Clarke Quay. Luxuriate in Oriental opulence beckoning at every level and toast the happy hedonism of bygone days in the Main Hall, featuring William Scorpion, Jiaqi, Joh Toh, Queem, San Yue and Starway, along with a host of new singers, dancers, DJ's and VJ's. Relax in the Piano Bar upstairs, and feast on local and international favourites in the top-quality restaurant.
This mega complex, located in a refurbished power plant, opened in 2006 and has something for everyone. Pay once and marvel at the diversity of its outlets: ten different clubs, offering everything from karaoke and mandarin-pop to live rock acts as well as laid-back jazz.
The interior of The Long Bar is inspired by Malayan plantations of the 1920s. The bar is located at Raffles Hotel, and is a relaxing place to start off your evening with a drink and soft tunes from the band. The recommended order to be made here is the Singapore Sling, a cocktail one simply must try when in town.
One of the most sought-after evening venues in Singapore, the 1-Altitude Bar boasts a 360 degree bird's-eye view over the city. Get here before sundown to make the most of your evening in the bar's fashionable interior, and enjoy a masterfully crafted drink to music played by a live band or resident DJs.
This stylish nightlife venue perched on the 61st floor of the 1-Altitude building is an upscale magnet for the young glitterati. Expect top-notch service, seating in private booths, a designer interior and unbeatable, 360 degree views of Singapore to beats spun by world-class DJs.
DFS houses over 100 internationally renowned brands under one roof and provides 100% Worldwide guarantee with excellent after sales service which is so important when you shop away from home. They also hold exclusive and limited edition products with the added service of personal shoppers to guide clients who need help.
At Clarke Quay, there are a number of newly renovated harbour warehouses accommodating some 150 shops. They sell antiques, clothes, souvenirs and other things, there is also a flea market on Sundays. Immediately adjacent is Liang Court, where there are a number of Japanese designer shops. Riverside Point is an exclusive shopping centre in the area.
The Centrepoint is the largest and most popular shopping centre in Singapore. It houses boutiques specialising in, among other things, music, clothing, optics, electronics, furniture, and books - everything anyone might need. There are also many restaurants and fast-food outlets.
It takes more than one day to properly get around this massive complex. The main attraction is Takashimaya, the large Japanese chain store. Apart from that, you'll find more than 100 specialised shops for sports, stationery, electronics, jewels and designer clothes. Brands like Boss, Zara and Mango are found here, as well as south-east Asia’s largest bookstore, Konokuniya.
Chinatown is located just next to the financial district's skyscrapers. It is colorful, crowded and with typical aromas of the Chinese district (spices, herbs, medicines, fruit). In Tanjong Pagar one will find traditional tea shops, masks and other artwork. In the narrow Smith Street, Trengganu Street, Temple Street and Pagoda Street, it's easy to find all kinds of bargains. Do not forget Sago Street with its China stores. Peoples Park Complex shopping centre is a must, especially for the crowd. Do not miss OG People's Park, which has become popular with its fashion boutiques, jewellery and cosmetics.
Bigger than seven football fields combined, Marina Square is one of the largest shopping malls in Singapore. Located at Marina Bay adjacent to Suntec City, the recently revamped mall is divided into eight uniquely thematic zones with over 250 stores on five levels. With its recently introduced Tourist Previlege program this is the mall where you can happily "shop until you drop!"
Located near Bugis Street and regarded as the most established IT-mall in Singapore, Sim Lim Square is a six-storey complex guaranteed to satisfy your need for all things electronics. The first storey is devoted to consumer electronics and on the levels above, you will find IT-related products. Haggling is practised on all floors.
Like nearly everything else in the city, the Singapore Changi Airport is a miracle of efficiency. All services are provided locally and it is recognised as one of the best airports in the world. Both its terminals are linked by a skytrain which operates both at the transit and public areas and Terminal 3. Obviously, the shopping is high class here as well. Transportation to and from the city is excellent as the end station of one of the routes on the MRT tube is at the airport. The tube is also the cheapest and fastest way to the city. A taxi to the city takes around 30 minutes. Budget transport to the city and other parts of the island can also be by bus or by train. Terminals are located at the basement of airport terminals 1 and 2. Prepare the exact fare for buses as no change will be given. If you choose to go by train, you would have to switch trains at EW4 - Tanah Merah MRT Station to get downtown. A Ground Transport Centre (GTC) is available at the Arrival Hall of both Terminals. For more details on time tables and fares, pick up a copy of the MRT brochure at the Changi Airport MRT Station.
Citizens of the overwhelming majority of world countries do not require a visa for tourism stays of 30 to 90 days. Nationals of some countries do require a visa, which can often be easily obtained online and received in printable format. In orde to be granted entry into Singapore, all visitors must produce a passport valid for 6 months from the date of departure, proof of sufficient funds for the duration of their stay, a return or onward ticket, visa for the following destination (if applicable), and a yellow fever vaccination certificate (please consult the up-to-date list of countries whose national require vaccination at your planned travel dates).
Singapore meets visitors with warm temperatures and nice weather nearly all year round, but the likelihood of rain is likewise present at all times. Be aware that indoor temperatures in malls and the subway are often significantly lower than outdoors, so those especially sensitive to such changes might want to carry a light jacket or sweatshirt. November through June are most popular with visitors, and with Chinese New Year also falling on that period, it might be reasonable to arrange for accommodation well in advance. Various festivals are held throughout the year.
The MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) tube with its driver-free trains is the artery of Singapore’s local transport. The network comprises three main lines which link up the city. The train runs from early in the morning until midnight and it is clean, fast and very safe. Tickets and different types of reduced rate tickets can be bought at all stations. Singapore also has an extensive network of buses that cover local transport in areas to which MRT does not go. Buses are cheap and proportionately comfortable. There are buses both with and without air conditioning.
Flexible and easy – there are a great many taxis in Singapore which all use taximeters. Taxis are cheap even if there is a surcharge at night time and for driving through certain areas during rush-hour traffic. There are a few large taxi companies of which Comfort is the largest. City Cab +65 6552 2222 Comfort +65 6552 1111 SMRT +65 6555 8888 Transcab +65 6555 3333 Premier Taxis +65 6363 6888 SMART +65 6485 7777