Singapore is undoubtedly the most developed country in Asia and is among the topmost in the world. The southeast island city-state is full of marvelous things, thanks to its rich culture, advanced infrastructure, exceptional cuisine, and impressive features and places.
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After setting foot in Singapore for the first time, you may not be sure what to do for fun or leisure in the “Garden City.” If so, here are some of the top things to do while in Singapore:
1. Sample the various dishes
Singapore is famous for being one of the world’s best food cities. While life in Singapore is expensive, it is astounding how cheap food can be—as low as $2 or $3. In the Chinatown district, the list of what you can taste is endless, and the local cuisine is mouthwatering. You will feast on some of the typical dishes, such as chicken rice, rice cakes, poh piah, and so much more. Another great place where you can sample cheap food is Maxwell Road Hawker Centre. You can also check the restaurant scene. If you want to save some money by taking advantage of the best dining deals, you should install some of the apps that give access to unlimited restaurant promotions.
2. Go on a heritage tour
Once a British colony for about 150 years, this island city-state takes pride in hosting some ancient, magnificent Victorian-era buildings that line the Singapore River. The central area of the town will give you a chance to go on a heritage tour as you visit the City Hall and the Old Supreme Court, St. Andrew’s Cathedral, the Arts House, the Peranakan Museum, Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall, and Fort Canning Flagstaff. Do not forget to check out the National Gallery, which is a rich collection of Southeast Asian art.
3. Visit Marina Bay
Marina Bay is surrounded by skyscrapers and is a representation of an assortment of Singapore’s architecture. Marina Bay’s centerpiece is Marina Bay Sands, a 55-story hotel that comprises a lookout point, an infinity pool, and Ce La Vi bar and restaurant, which are situated on the rooftop. You can also get an excellent view from a designated room of the Marina Bay Street Circuit, where Formula One races take place every September. As you make your tour around the Marina, you will come across other landmarks, such as the ArtScience Museum—whose shape resembles a blooming flower—the Singapore Flyer, and the Merlion (named after a mythical creature that has a fish’s body and a lion’s head).
4. Seek adventure at Gardens by Bay
On an elevated walkway, you can access Gardens by Bay from Marina Bay Sands. The garden is a whole 101-hectare wonderland. It is a futuristic ecosystem with many great features: aerial walkways, lakes, and Supertrees, which are 164-foot-tall vertical gardens that trap solar energy. There exist two-climate controlled greenhouses. One is a misty cloud forest, and the other is a flower dome. The 1.2 hectares glass greenhouse is the world’s largest of that kind. It has a wide variety of plants, Baobab trees of African descent, and olive trees. On the west side of the garden, you will find the Singapore Botanic Gardens for even more adventure with nature at the UNESCO World Heritage Site founded in 1859.
5. Experience various cultures
Singapore hosts a wide variety of cultures as a result of the many populations existing there, such as Chinese, Malaysian, Indian, and many others. You will be taken back in time in Chinatown as you see the 3-story houses dwarfed in comparison to the skyscrapers found at Marina Bay. The traditional eateries, hectic markets, and quiet lanes display Singapore’s exceptional culture. With a closer look, you can find the traditional houses that have been creatively converted into high-class hotels and restaurants. Still, in Chinatown, you will catch sight of Thian Hock Keng Temple (the oldest such temple in Singapore), the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, and the Sri Mariamman Temple—a pastel-painted Hindu temple, which is real evidence of the island city-state’s multicultural identity. In the northern part of the city is Little India, where you will find sari tailor shops, small eating places, and gold-jewelery boutiques. You can also have a taste of the Indian cuisine in customary barefoot dining (Lagnaa).
6. Go on a safari
Despite the urban setup, you will be surprised to find there are monkeys and manatees among other animals. You can enjoy a river-themed experience northwest of the central part of the city, which covers several ecosystems from the Nile River to the Amazon. Some of the animals and birds there include flamingos, one-horned rhinoceroses, red pandas, wildebeests, monkeys, and others. The nearby night safari offers a tram ride through the rainforest, and you will catch sight of tigers, leopards, and elephants. You should not forget to tour the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve.
7. Grab a drink as you enjoy the nightlife
Singapore is famous for some fantastic alcoholic drinks. One of them is the Singapore Sling, which is imbibed at the renowned Long Bar within the 19th century Raffles Hotel. There are many more drinks worth giving a try. There are also several cocktail places, especially in Clarke Quay, Club Street, Chinatown, and the Ann Siang Hill area, as well as other high-class bars and clubs in the city. For low-end drinking places, you can get yourself an outdoor seat at one of the hookah bars and alfresco cafes along Haji Lane.
8. Tour the islands
Singapore is not only a cosmopolitan city, but there are also 62 other islands off its coast. Sentosa Island is a perfect family side-trip option. Sentosa Island lies on the southern shore of Singapore and hosts Universal Studios, golf courses, and a few luxury resorts, like Capella Singapore or the splendid W Sentosa. For some adventure, you may consider touring Pulau Ubin or the Sisters’ Islands, where you can enjoy scuba diving, hiking, snorkeling, and other activities.