My 19 favourite things to do in Singapore
It’s crazy to think how young Singapore is as a country, and in just over 50 years, it has become a global powerhouse in South-East Asia. Singapore is a well developed the country. The streets are immaculately clean, with no chewing gum in sight anywhere.
Singapore’s unique culture is a blend of Chinese, Indian and Malay, with English and Chinese as the main languages (English spoken there is often referred to as Singlish). In this blog, I’ll share my 19 favourite things to do in Singapore.
1. Visit the Singapore Zoo
The Singapore zoo is noted as being one of the world’s best. The zoo is beautifully designed with many wildlife roaming large, natural habitat-orientated enclosures. The zoo is broken up into different sections such as the Frozen Tundra has polar bears and wolverines, whereas the Great Rift Valley is home to ibexes, baboons and mongooses.
During feeding time, you can get up close and personal with the orangutans or maybe take a visit to the forest lodge to see the rare white tiger. If you worry that you might get tired of so much exploring, don’t worry, there’s a tram looping through the park to give you a break.
2. The Botanical Gardens
One of Singapore’s most significant green spaces and with the world’s most extensive orchid garden, the Botanical Gardens is the perfect spot for a long walk on a beautiful day. A boardwalk runs through a patch of ancient forest where you can find 314 species of plants, the majority of which are rare.
The garden has three lakes, Swan Lake is the prettiest, while the National Orchid Garden has over 1000 species and 2000 hybrids on the show (some named after famous people). There are also two restaurants and tours are free. Occasionally, there are opera performances so check online before visiting to make sure you don’t miss such a grand event.
3. Go Shopping
Orchard Road is the city’s central shopping hub though there are no orchids anywhere, unfortunately. However, there are loads of gleaming malls, designer stores and department stores to ogle at. You can easily spend days there, and if you get hungry after hours of shopping, the food courts are waiting for you.
4. Visit Universal Studios
The infamous Hollywood theme park isn’t only based in Hollywood, Singapore has their version too. Divided into seven different worlds, the resort is a popular destination for families with young kids, but of course, anyone can visit.
In Sci-Fi city, you can take a ride on the world’s tallest duelling roller coaster, or maybe a 3D thrill ride with the Transformers themed roller coaster where you will take part in a high-speed chase. Another highlight is the Waterworld show (based on the Kevin Costner movie); expect loads of explosions, stunts and getting wet all at the same time.
5. Take a ride to the Night Safari
Who doesn’t love seeing wild animals at night (provided you are in a safe vehicle)? The night safari is open in the evenings and runs until midnight. You can find 120 species of nocturnal animals such as tigers, fishing cats and alligators. The electric trams stop at several spots, and it’s worth riding with a tour guide who can give you an insight into the habitats and the park.
One of the many highlights is taking a walk through the fruit bat enclosure where you can watch them eat upside down, so be sure not to stand under them for too long in case they poop on you.
6. See the city on the Singapore Flyer
Singapore Flyer is one of the world’s largest observation wheels. The 165m-tall Ferris wheel gives visitors 30 minutes of incredible views of the Marina Bay, river and pretty much all of Singapore. It’s the second largest observation wheel in the world after the High Roller in Las Vegas. You can get exclusive discounts if you buy tickets online.
7. Explore Chinatown
If you want to explore Singapore’s Chinese heritage, there’s no better place than in Chinatown. Here you can find souvenir shops, massage parlours and restaurants, but one place you don’t want to miss is the Chinatown Heritage Center. Inside there are exhibits of Chinatowns colourful past (with voyeuristic pics of opium addicts).
In Chinatown, you can also find the oldest Hindu temple in Singapore which has many impressive sculptures.
8. Go to the National Museum
The beautifully designed galleries in the National Museum explore Singapore’s rich history with multimedia elements thrown in to give visitors an interactive experience. Learn about the colonial era or familiar street vendors as you walk around its maze-like rooms.
The history gallery is exceptionally fascinating as it shows Singapore’s early days when it was ruled by Malay Sultans as well as the atrocities committed during the Japanese occupation in WW2.
9. Trek through the Southern Ridges
The Southern Ridges are one of Singapore’s oldest parks, and the location comprises several other parks making it superb for walking trails. You can opt for a cable car ride to Mt Faber where you can get a panoramic view of southern Singapore, and grab a bite to eat at the restaurant on the peak.
There are lots of birds and butterflies to spot and taking the scenic route through the forest canopy is not only captivating but good exercise too. One of the last battles for Singapore during WW2 was fought at the Kent Ridge Park, and there’s a museum nearby that illustrates the historic event.
10. Visit the National Gallery
Avid art lovers shouldn’t miss the opportunity to visit the National Gallery which has the most extensive collection of modern art in Southeast Asia. The gallery explores the European influence that shaped traditional art as well as more current work.
Main themes in the galleries include colonialism, local traditions and artistic trends inherited from the west. Tours are available which can help to add context into some of the more vague or abstract pieces of work.
11. Get lost in Gardens by the Bay
Gardens by the bay looks like a futuristic greenhouse from the outside, but on the inside, it’s a tropical paradise with loads of green space. The garden has many unique sculptures on display that coincide with the beautiful atmosphere.
With 800 species of plants from all over the world, there’s always something interesting to discover. Above the gardens are 18 supertrees that lit up at night as part of a show. The gardens are free to enter but entering the biodomes cost around $28.
12. Bukit Timah Nature Reserve
12km from the city centre, Bukit Timah Nature Reserve has one of the wealthiest and most diverse ecosystems that visitors can experience. The reserve is home to 40% of Singapore’s flora and fauna and a favourite spot for anyone who enjoys getting close to nature.
Created in 1883, the reserve was one of the first forest reserves in Singapore. It’s also an ASEAN heritage park due to the incredible commitment and work put into maintaining it. Visitors can take advantage of the many walking trails and discover original vegetation and undisturbed tropical forests.
13. Go on a journey on the Singapore cable car
The Singapore cable car offers two unique experiences to tourists of the city. The mount Faber line takes you on a scenic route through skyscrapers and across the harbour while the Sentosa line is more jungle-orientated and showcases many of the attractions on Sentosa such as Universal studios, Megazip Adventure Land and the S.E.A Aquarium.
14. Go to a Casino
Gambling in the majority of countries in Southeast-Asia is illegal, so if you are in Singapore, you might consider taking the opportunity to visit a casino.
The most popular casino is inside the Marina Bay Sands with four levels of gaming space to choose from. There are over 600 table games and more than 1500 slots to play with. The interior is tastefully decorated and boasts the world’s largest Swarovski crystal chandeliers.
15. The SuperTree Grove Light Show
Become mystified and dazzled by the supertree grove light show hosted at Gardens by the bay. The incredible show is created by an award-winning lighting designer and a famous Singaporean musical composer and arranger.
16. Visit Merlion Park
The Merlion Park is an iconic landmark of Singapore and a major tourist attraction. Located near the Central Business District, the mythical creature made of a lions head and body of a fish is often used as a mascot for the country. There are two Merlion statues around the park, both of which spout water from its mouth.
17. The Wonderful Light and Water Show
The show takes place just outside Marina Bay and consists of many acts, each distinguished with unique lighting and musical compositions.
The first two acts are a metaphorical representation of Singapore’s past with visual imagery that reflects the country’s diverse and multi-cultural background. The show, later on, utilises futuristic images to promote inspiration towards a better Singapore.
The production has taken two years to compile with fantastic water fountain techniques such as pyramids, gyroscopic jets and lava and mist effects part of the display.
18. Discover the Haw Par Villa
Formerly known as the Tiger Balm Garden, Haw Par Villa is a substantial Asian cultural park and the last of its kind in the world. Established in 1937, the outdoor art gallery and park was conceptualised by millionaire Aw Boon Haw, who also happened to provide the world with Tiger Balm.
Visitors can expect to learn about culture, religion and philosophy in this treasure trove of Singapore and you can find all kinds of animals in the park in a quirky yet entertaining way.
19. Spend an evening on a rooftop bar
No trip to Singapore would be complete without visiting a rooftop bar, and the problem is deciding on which one. Remember to try the most famous cocktail Singapore sling when in Singapore.
Level 33 is famous for its microbrewery and located at the top of Marina Bay. Aside from an excellent view, there is an unlimited number of craft beers, speciality beers and cocktails too.
Ce La Vi is another rooftop bar located at the top of Marina Bay Sands Hotel. The club is famous for its innovative cocktails that you can’t find anywhere else.
Lastly, Prelude is a rooftop bar that offers a great of modernistic skyscrapers with lots of cocktails to enjoy. Their most famous cocktail, Merlion Punch, is made from tropical fruits and vodka. Prelude is the only bar in Singapore that imports Baird Brewing from Japan.
So folks, which one is your favourite? Let me know what you think. Anyway, thanks for reading my blog. Don’t forget to like and share it with your friends and family 🙂 Read my other blogs here.