More and more people are visiting Singapore as South East Asia has become the number one spot for travellers, recent graduates and adventure seekers. Singapore contrasts considerably when compared to other places in Asia, however there are still distinctive similarities, such as food or certain cultural lifestyles. If you are visiting Singapore any time soon, this list of things to do in Singapore should be really helpful.
1. Ride On The Singapore Flyer
The Singapore equivalent of the London Eye, This huge Ferris wheel will offer you a beautiful view of the magnificent skyline, while if you arrive about 6:15-6:30pm, you should be able to catch sunset perfectly! Ask a local for the best time and how long you may have to wait till you get a ride to time it perfectly, however it really does offer a great view of Marina Bay et al. Random facts: This is actually the second tallest Ferris wheel in operation, measuring at 541 ft.
2. Gardens By The Bay
You can’t miss this one! With two giant conservatories made of glass and a supertree Grove, this is a cutting edge lights show, illustrating the combination of technology and natural beauty present in this stunning country. It is hard to explain how this appears, hence the image below helping to offer exactly what you will see, but expect a forest of lit up light bulb trees, showing multiple colours bursting out from its seams, surrounding some tropical plantation.
3. Singapore Zoo
I’m an animal lover and do enjoy seeing a bit of wildlife when away. Whether swimming with dolphins, helping out at an animal shelter or riding an elephant, I will always look to involve animals in some kind of activity while on holiday and you can certainly do so in Singapore. This zoo has very much an open enclosure, allowing you to get up and close with all of your favourite animals. Do try to time your visit so you don’t visit during school holidays or the busiest summer months, or even weekends, as some of the main attractions will have kids galore surrounding the animals, meaning it will be difficult to get close and even harder to get a photo without people jumping in your way. Visit the Giant Pandas if you get the chance! Right next door to this is the Night Safari, I could easily place this as a separate activity, but as its next door, you might as well do both of these in one day, therefore I have grouped them together.
4. Get A Photo Of Yourself In Front Of Merlion
This might seem a bit cliche, but this skyline has an image which will remind you of New York. The Skyline has a perfect view when you are standing right next to the Merlion statue, of a lion spitting water (spitting water probably isn’t the most beautiful way to describe this monument but its the best way I can think of at the moment). This one you can squeeze in on the first day when ticking off the touristy activities. It won’t stay long in the memory, but the photos will and this is one you will show off or place as your Facebook profile photo, so try not to leave it out.
5. Hawker Food
I am well and truly addicted to Asian food, while Singapore proudly offers everything from Indian to Thai food, as well as local delicacies. The Hawker Food market has become world renowned for its wide selection of choices, all at an unbelievably great price. A key recommendation is to get here as early as possible as it will get very busy at Amoy Street Hawker Center, which you will find at Tanjong Pagar. An extra recommendation to avoid the masses is to come on a weekday and visit before midday.
6. Visit The Botanic Garden
I found one of the best surprises when visiting Amsterdam was how amazing some of the parks were, much the same with Croatia. Many have also pointed out the botanic gardens of Singapore to have that same impact. Make yourself a picnic, pack some fun games and a book and head straight over there. Take a stroll through the rainforest, watch the swans on the lake and try to identify the local plants while having a kick about with the local kids, that sounds like a good way to spend a day off.
7. Little India
Everyone goes on about Chinatown in Singapore and to be honest it should probably be on this list, however I opted for Little India due to my love of everything Indian. The gorgeous aroma of spices will entice you in the general direction of Little India before you’ve got anywhere near. Indian music will be blaring out of every building, with a number of shrines and great tasting restaurants, this is another place to tick off in regards to food.
8) National Gallery
The art museum can be found in the downtown core district, on St Andrew’s road, being the largest public display of South East Asian art in the world.
Opened in November 2015, the focus is predominantly on modern Asian art, with a number of beautiful abstract pieces on show. There are approximately 8,000 pieces to admire, so expect to spend a good few hours here.
9) National Orchid Garden
The tropical Montane Orchidetum garden was opened in 1995 and now contains over 2,000 orchids. This is a great place to visit during the peak blossoming months, but expect a fair few crowds, so earlier is better, with the gardens opening at 8:30am and staying open until 7pm, 7 days a week.
The gardens are also very centrally located, meaning you can tick this off on the same day as some other attractions.
10) Night Safari
While it can be fascinating to walk around a zoo or an animal sanctuary, one of the issues is that most are sleeping. They’re animals, they’re not here to entertain us, so if you want to see them a little more lively then you’d have to visit at night, but most zoo’s close for the evening. This is where the concept came out of offering a nocturnal zoo, the first in the world (apparently) to do so.
With more than 2,500 animals, from 130 different species, there is plenty of wildlife to admire. Th night safari opens at 6:30pm and stays open till midnight, however it’s only open from Thursdays to Sundays, so make sure to time your visit pertinently.
11) Marine Bay Waterfront
You’ve spent the day in zoos and looking at various attractions, so finish your evening with a great tasting meal at a restaurant and then a stroll along the Marine Bay Waterfront Promenade.
The view of the skyscrapers all lit up, the various unique architectural buildings and the nightly light show make this quite a romantic scene. Hint – expect to see a fair few people proposing.
12) Sidecar City Tour
This is the world’s first vintage vespa sidecar tour service, a really unique way of getting around town and seeing all the sights in a fun way. It slightly reminds me of the hot rod tours they have in Dusseldorf.
While the day tours are obviously the most popular, there are also a number of groups that opt for the night rides, being able to see the town all lit up. There is also a growing number of hen and stag do groups booking this activity.
It’s not just the main attractions they can take you to, some use this to take themselves to the biggest restaurants around town, the most popular bars or even to the shops and malls.
13) Raffles Hotel
I’m often adverse to including a hotel on a list of things to do, as it’s not something that can entertain for long, however this colonial-style hotel is definitely worth a visit for a few snaps.
Located on Beach road, you may also want to stay here, but the prices are pretty high. The iconic building can be reached via the City Hall MRT station, while you can even book a historical tour of the premises.
Expect stand-alone baths and spacious suites, while they can even arrange for limo airport transfers if you’re feeling a bit flashy or staying here on your honeymoon.
14) Hi Roller
Imagine a scene from the 80’s, with families and friends laughing away in an indoor skating rink, with music blasting overhead, yep, you’ve got the picture.
You can opt for either roller skates or inline skates, depending on your preference, I know the most I could accomplish would be roller skates. If you don’t know the difference, the roller skates are the four wheel ones that are easy to stand on, whereas the inline skate wheels are in a straight line and I can stand up for about a second before plummeting down.
They also have an academy in place for those who want to learn to skate, from basics and new starters, up to elite training.
15) Pulau Ubin
This is a small island located just North Easy of mainland Singapore, meaning a quick boat trip over. Considering Singapore is famous for the skyscrapers and modern art, Pulau Ubin offers a very different view, which people say is reminiscent of what Singapore looked like just a few decades ago.
You can get a 15 minute ferry over to the island, where you will suddenly notice the stunning kingfishers and bulbul birds.
If you feel like island hopping, you can also head on to Pulau Tekong afterwards, found to the east of the island, with many boat options offering 1 day tours of the islands.
I can’t mention Little India and not mention Singapore’s own Chinatown. This is a great spot to head for if you’re feeling hungry, while the atmosphere is beyond lively. They’re are also an increasing amount of popular bars, while you can blend the old with the new by also visiting some historic temples.
There is now actually 2 Chinatowns in Singapore, the official one and then also a smaller version in Geylang. The architecture of the buildings is quite impressive, while the buddhist temples are worth a visit.