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Top 12 Must-visit Attractions in Singapore

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When it comes to travel destinations that seamlessly blend rich cultural heritage with modern allure, Singapore stands out as a top contender. This vibrant city-state, nestled in the heart of Southeast Asia, boasts a captivating array of attractions that cater to every traveler’s taste. From iconic landmarks and lush green spaces to gastronomic delights and futuristic marvels, Singapore has it all. In this guide, we’ll unveil the top 12 must-visit attractions in Singapore, ensuring your journey to this enchanting island nation is a memorable one. Whether you’re a history buff, nature enthusiast, or foodie at heart, Singapore has something special in store for you.

1. Marina Bay Sands

Marina Bay Sands, located in the heart of Singapore, is a world-famous architectural wonder, celebrated for its luxurious design and iconic rooftop SkyPark with an infinity pool offering stunning city views. This integrated resort complex seamlessly combines entertainment, dining, shopping, and accommodations, boasting a vibrant casino, renowned theaters, upscale boutiques, and diverse dining options. Marina Bay Sands is the epitome of sophistication and opulence, attracting visitors worldwide to experience its breathtaking amenities and unforgettable skyline vistas.

Singapore Marina Bay
Admire the city's illuminated skyline at Marina Bay

2. Gardens by the Bay

Gardens by the Bay in Singapore is a 101-hectare nature park displaying plants from around the world. It consists of three waterfront gardens: Bay South, Bay East, and Bay Central, attracting both locals and tourists. Notable features include the Flower Dome, the world’s largest glass greenhouse with diverse plants, the Cloud Forest, a cool-moist conservatory boasting a 35-meter waterfall and cloud walk, and the stunning Supertree Grove with 18 illuminated vertical gardens at night. The park also hosts festivals like the Mid-Autumn Festival and Orchid Extravaganza, celebrating Singapore’s culture and heritage. Beyond a park, it’s a living display of horticultural artistry, aiming to inspire nature appreciation and preservation.

Singapore Gardens by the Bay

3. Singapore Botanic Gardens

The Singapore Botanic Gardens is a lush 74-hectare nature park in Singapore, known for its stunning tropical flora. Established in 1859, it’s Singapore’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site and a hub for botanical research. Notable attractions include the National Orchid Garden with over 60,000 orchid plants, the SBG Heritage Museum showcasing the Gardens’ rich history, and the Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden for kids to explore plant life. The park hosts diverse cultural events and festivals year-round, celebrating Singapore’s culture and diversity. Beyond a park, it’s a living testament to horticulture and garden artistry, encouraging people to cherish and preserve nature.

Singapore Botanic Gardens

4. Singapore Zoo

The Singapore Zoo, sprawled across 74 hectares, is a nature park celebrated for its open rainforest environment where animals roam freely in natural habitats. Home to over 4,200 animals from 300 species, including rare and endangered ones, it offers attractions like the Wild Africa zone with zebras, giraffes, lions, cheetahs, and rhinos, the Reptopia zone featuring various reptiles, and the Fragile Forest zone allowing you to walk among sloths, monkeys, bats, and mousedeer. The zoo provides wildlife experiences, including feeding sessions, behind-the-scenes tours, and presentations that educate about animal conservation. Beyond being a park, it’s a vibrant display of horticulture and wildlife, aiming to inspire a deeper appreciation and protection of nature.

Singapore Zoo
Zebra in Singapore Zoo

5. Orchard Road

Orchard Road, a well-known street in Singapore, is famous for its shopping, dining, and entertainment offerings, stretching approximately 3 km from Orchard Hotel in the northwest to Plaza Singapura in the southeast. The street got its name from the orchards and plantations that once occupied the area until the early 20th century. Orchard Road boasts a rich history and lively culture, drawing visitors from around the globe. It features notable landmarks like the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Singapore Botanic Gardens, founded in 1859, and the Goodwood Park Hotel, a national monument with a history as a club for German expatriates. Throughout the year, Orchard Road hosts various events and festivals, including the Mid-Autumn Festive Celebration, offering mooncakes and lanterns for all to enjoy.

6. Chinatown

Chinatown in Singapore is a lively and vibrant district that proudly showcases the deep-rooted heritage and culture of the city-state’s Chinese community. Situated in the Outram district within Singapore’s Central Area, it encompasses four distinct neighborhoods: Tanjong Pagar, Bukit Pasoh, Kreta Ayer, and Telok Ayer. Chinatown is a popular destination enjoyed by both tourists and locals alike, offering an array of attractions, activities, and culinary delights.

Some notable highlights of Chinatown include the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple & Museum, an awe-inspiring architectural marvel housing a sacred Buddha relic. The district also boasts the Sri Mariamman Temple, Singapore’s oldest Hindu temple adorned with intricate carvings and sculptures, as well as the Masjid Jamae, a mosque reflecting the diversity of Singapore’s Muslim community. Additionally, the Chinatown Heritage Centre, a museum that vividly recreates the living conditions and stories of early immigrants, adds to the cultural richness of the area. Chinatown is also a fantastic destination for shopping, offering a diverse selection of souvenirs, antiques, handicrafts, and traditional Chinese products, along with the opportunity to savor delectable street food and local delicacies.

Singapore Chinatown

7. Sentosa Island

Sentosa Island, a sunny haven off the southern coast of Singapore, is renowned for its shopping, dining, and entertainment. Covering about 5 square kilometers and home to around 2,000 residents, it’s a hotspot for tourists and locals alike, offering a diverse range of attractions, activities, and culinary delights. Notable highlights include Universal Studios Singapore, a theme park with 28 Hollywood-inspired rides and shows, S.E.A. Aquarium, one of the world’s largest, housing over 100,000 marine creatures, Fort Siloso, a military museum delving into Singapore’s World War II history, and the Singapore Cable Car, providing breathtaking city skyline and island views. Sentosa Island also hosts numerous events and festivals throughout the year, such as Sentosa FunFest with giant inflatables and foam pools on the beach, and Sentosa GrillFest, offering delectable grilled dishes from 30+ stalls along a 1 km stretch of Siloso Beach. It’s a must-visit destination for those seeking the vibrant charm of Singapore’s island retreat.

Singapore Sentosa Island

8. Clarke Quay

Clarke Quay, situated along the Singapore River and near the Central Business District, is a historically significant landmark that was once the city’s bustling commercial center in the 19th century. Today, it has been transformed into a vibrant entertainment and dining destination, featuring restored shophouses and warehouses housing a variety of restaurants, bars, shops, and attractions. Some of its highlights include the scenic River Cruise, the thrilling G-MAX Reverse Bungy, Clarke Quay Central shopping mall with local and international brands, and a Japanese food street. Moreover, Clarke Quay is known for its lively nightlife scene, offering pubs, clubs, and live music venues for various tastes. It’s a place that beautifully blends Singapore’s heritage charm with the excitement of modern living, offering visitors the best of both worlds.

9. Night Safari Singapore

Night Safari Singapore is the world’s first nocturnal wildlife park, located alongside the Singapore Zoo and Upper Seletar Reservoir, covering 35 hectares of secondary rainforest. Here, you can observe over 1,000 animals from 100 different species in their natural habitats at night, offering a unique experience with tram rides, walking trails, animal shows, and dining options. Highlights include the “Creatures of the Night” show featuring binturongs, otters, raccoons, and civets, the “Safari Tram Adventure” exploring seven geographical regions, and the “Tipi Tent Dining Experience” for a gourmet meal amidst wildlife. It’s a place to uncover the wonders of nighttime nature and learn about the incredible animals thriving in the dark.

Singapore Night Safari

10. Merlion Park

Merlion Park in Singapore is a famous spot for tourists. Here, you’ll encounter the iconic Merlion statue, which embodies the city’s history and culture. The Merlion is a mythical creature with a lion’s head and a fish’s body, symbolizing Singapore’s roots as a fishing village and its original name, Singapura, which means “lion city” in Sanskrit. The park, located at One Fullerton near the Central Business District, offers a beautiful view of Marina Bay and the city skyline. You can also spot other Merlion statues around the island, including a smaller one at the park and a giant version on Sentosa Island. Merlion Park welcomes visitors 24/7, and there’s no admission fee.

Recommended Itinerary

11. Pulau Ubin (Granite Island)

Pulau Ubin, a small island in northeast Singapore known as “Granite Island,” is a unique destination preserving both natural and cultural heritage. As one of Singapore’s last rural areas, it offers a window into the nation’s history and biodiversity. To reach Pulau Ubin, take a S$6 round-trip bumboat ride from Changi Point Ferry Terminal. Once on the island, renting a bicycle near the jetty allows you to explore attractions like the diverse Chek Jawa Wetlands, the Ubin Fruit Orchard with over 350 fruit trees, and the scenic Pekan Quarry-turned-lake inhabited by otters, dragonflies, and birds. The island also hosts Singapore’s final kampong, a traditional village, providing a glimpse into the simple and rustic islander lifestyle.

Singapore Pulau Ubin

12. National Gallery Singapore

The National Gallery Singapore, a public institution and national museum situated in Singapore’s Civic District, is dedicated to art and culture. It houses the world’s largest collection of art from Singapore and the broader Eastern world, particularly Southeast Asia, boasting over 9,000 pieces. The Gallery’s mission is to foster an understanding and appreciation of art and culture, with a primary focus on Singapore’s heritage, its connections with other Asian cultures, and the global context. Housed within two historical national monuments—the former Supreme Court and City Hall buildings, integral to Singapore’s history—the Gallery has meticulously restored and converted these structures into a modern museum. Here, visitors can explore the works of prominent local artists like Georgette Chen, Chen Chong Swee, and Liu Kang, as well as significant artworks from Southeast Asia and around the world. The Gallery also offers a range of programs and activities to enhance visitors’ understanding of the exhibitions and Singapore’s thriving art scene.

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