Singapore is a cosmopolitan city-state offering a dynamic blend of gleaming skyscrapers and colonial mansions. Michelin-starred gourmet restaurants vie with hawkers serving local food, while plentiful green spaces contrast with soft, sandy beaches and a cluster of amusement parks. Once a British colony, the ‘Lion City’ gained its independence in 1965 before developing into a multicultural melting pot where Buddhism, Christianity, Islam and Hinduism exist happily side by side.
What to See?
Thanks to the efficiency of the integrated public-transport system, getting around Singapore couldn’t be easier. Begin your Singapore sightseeing trip with a ride on the Singapore Flyer observation wheel to admire the futuristic architecture of the Central Business District and lush green parks. On a clear day, you’ll see Indonesia and Malaysia on the horizon.
Singapore’s colourful heritage can be witnessed at Chinatown’s ornate Sri Mariamman Hindu temple and Kampong Glam’s iconic 19th-century Sultan Mosque. As well as the riverside Raffles Landing Site and the spectacular nightly light show on the Helix Bridge, other Singapore points of interest include the Asian Civilisations Museum, housing priceless porcelain collections, and the National Gallery with its awe-inspiring exhibitions of south-east Asian art. The story of Singapore’s journey to independence is traced in the National Museum, while the ArtScience Museum, which resembles an upturned lotus flower, offers an engaging programme of changing displays.
What to Do?
The shopping in Singapore is divine. Browse Orchard Road malls for high-end designer goods and try Dover Street Market for the latest chic fashions. You’ll find artisan workshops in art deco shophouses near Tiong Bahru food market, and stylish clothing boutiques and vintage stores in Haji Lane.
To enjoy the great outdoors, take the cable car up to forested Faber Peak for sweeping views over the city and the beaches of Sentosa, dive over coral in Sisters’ Islands Marine Park or cycle around the island of Pulau Ubin to see the kampong villages built on stilts. After dark, sample Singapore’s flourishing cultural life with a Chinese opera at the Chinese Theatre Circle or take in a play at Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay.
Where to Eat?
Singapore food sings with spices and flavours from all over Asia. Dining in Singapore ranges from savouring sophisticated fusion cuisine in an elegant restaurant, to enjoying delicious laksa noodle soup, Hainanese chicken rice or spicy potato-filled masala dosa pancakes in one of the city’s many hawker centres.