Singapore is one of the cleanest and most orderly cities in the world, so much so that even the trees lining the main roads are planted at precise twenty-foot intervals. It is also one of the safest cities in the world, thanks in part to the top two local pastimes—shopping and eating. It is quite safe to walk the city’s streets after dark because they are well-lit and busy with shoppers and diners at all hours.
This city is a shoppers’ paradise, where you can find fashion items ranging from small store bargains to pricey brand merchandise. For those who are crazy about cool gadgets and cutting-edge technology, there are heaps of shops selling all the best electronics.
Singapore is also a food lover’s dream. Rest assured, you will not go hungry here. There are restaurants, cafes, food courts, and hawker centres full of food stalls everywhere—many of which are open 24 hours a day—so you can find a darn good place to eat even at three in the morning.
Still, shopping and eating aren’t all this city has to offer. Singapore is also full of natural attractions and cultural heritage sites, from botanic gardens and nature parks to temples and museums.
1. The Merlion
The Merlion is a mystical creature with the head of a lion and the body of a mermaid and is one of the symbols of Singapore. This 8.6-metre merlion statue stands to look seaward at the Marina Bay waterfront.
2. Changi International Airport
Changi International Airport is one of the best airports in the world and has hundreds of awards under its belt. It has full facilities for every kind of traveller, from babies to adults with special needs. Here are some of the airport’s top amenities:
Several Open-Air Gardens
Fitness and Spa Centres
Medical Clinics and Pharmacies
Free Skytrain to Transport Passengers Between Terminals
Passengers with layovers longer than 5 hours can even register for a free tour of the city! Mass rapid transit trains (MRT), public buses, taxis, and free shuttle buses are all easily accessible to transport visitors to and from the airport.
3. Orchard Road
For first-time visitors to Singapore, one of the first places to go is Orchard Road. This is an absolute must. There used to be spice and fruit plantations here in the mid-1800s, but in the 1970s, commercial development began with the emergence of major shopping malls and entertainment centres. It is now a popular shopping precinct for locals, expatriates, and tourists.
4. Esplanade Theatre
Nicknamed “The Durian” because of its resemblance to the smelly fruit, the Esplanade is a performing arts centre with all kinds of events and happenings. It contains theatres, a library, and various art galleries.
5. Singapore River
Take a river taxi cruise along the Singapore River for some spectacular views of the city’s skyline. You’ll pass by the Merlion, Boat Quay, Clarke Quay, Robertson Quay, and Marina Bay. This is a great way to see the contrast between Singapore’s rejuvenated colonial buildings along the riverside and its modern skyscrapers in the background.
6. Statue of Sir Stamford Raffles
Sir Stamford Raffles landed in Singapore on January 29, 1819, immediately placing the city under colonial rule, where it remained until gaining independence on August 9, 1965. This statue in Boat Quay denotes the site where Sir Stamford Raffles first came ashore.
7. Clarke Quay and Boat Quay
These two attractions are built around the Singapore River and are great places to hang out at night. They are composed of several blocks of restored warehouse buildings that have been converted into entertainment spots, retail shops, restaurants, wine bars, and nightclubs.
8. Vivo City
Vivo City is the largest shopping mall in HarbourFront, a waterfront district in southern Singapore. It is a shoppers’ paradise with hundreds of shops, restaurants and entertainment centres.
9. Kampong Glam
Kampong Glam is home to the city’s largest mosque—the Sultan Mosque—which was constructed in 1928. You will also find the Istana Kampong Glam there, which was converted to the Malay Heritage Park.
10. Madame Tussauds Singapore
Located on Sentosa Island, Madame Tussauds Singapore is worth a visit if you wish to experience close encounters with your favourite celebrities, world leaders, and other heroes. Don’t forget to take lots of selfies with Johnny Depp, Nicole Kidman, Jacky Chan, David Beckham, Brad Pitt, and more. With over 60 life-sized figures on display, you will be totally star-struck in no time! Visitors can also walk the green carpet with Bollywood stars or get an adrenaline rush driving Formula One car on full-sized virtual reality simulators. If that sounds a little too exciting, take a relaxing fantasy boat ride on the ‘Spirit of Singapore.’
11. Kusu Island
Kusu Island (also known as Tortoise Island) is accessible by ferry from Marina South Pier. It is located about 6km from Singapore. On the island, there is a Chinese temple, several shrines, a wishing well, and a Tortoise Sanctuary.
12. Pulau Hantu
Pulau Hantu means Ghost Island. Despite its name, Pulau Hantu is a popular destination for outdoor adventures like swimming, fishing, scuba diving, and snorkelling, as a wide variety of marine creatures live in its waters.
13. Pulau Ubin
Pulau Ubin is another island off Singapore and is a great place for cycling and outdoor activities. You can travel there by bumboat from Changi Point Ferry Terminal. Explore the beaches and mangrove areas on your own, or take a guided tour of the island. This island is unique because it is home to animals and plants that are already extinct in many parts of the world.
14. Sisters Islands
There are two islands located south of Singapore called Big Sister’s Island and Little Sister’s Island, separated from each other by a narrow but dangerous channel. The islands are popular places for picnicking, snorkelling, and camping.
Singapore Is a Fine City in More Ways Than One
To keep the country clean and tidy, there are rules everywhere, including:
No Spitting on the Ground
No Food Consumption on Public Transportation
No Urinating in Lifts
Offenders will have to pay heavy fines, so be sure to familiarize yourself with the city’s rules before you go. Another penalty is the Corrective Work Order (CWO), which requires offenders to wear luminous work clothes embossed with the letters CWO and then clean up public areas. The punishment obviously works. Who in their right mind would want to be named and shamed in public?
Author Bio:Martin Brown is a Travel blogger and a private tutor in Singapore. He has been writing articles and blogs for the last 3 years and has contributed to many websites. He loves to listen to music in his free time.