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Top Things to Do in Singapore

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Singapore, often referred to as the “Lion City,” is a vibrant and diverse destination that offers a wide array of experiences for travelers. From its stunning skyline to its lush green spaces, there’s something for everyone in this city-state. Whether you’re a foodie, nature lover, history enthusiast, or adventure seeker, Singapore has it all. In this article, we’ll explore the 15 best things to do in Singapore to ensure you have an unforgettable visit.

Now, let’s dive into each of these incredible experiences that await you in Singapore.

1. Explore City Skyline at Marina Bay Sands

Your Singapore adventure should begin with a visit to the iconic Marina Bay Sands. This architectural wonder features a breathtaking rooftop infinity pool with panoramic views of the city skyline.

The Marina Bay Sands skyline in Singapore is a breathtaking spectacle, especially after dark when the lights and reflections combine to create a mesmerizing display. There are several ways to experience this attraction:

  1. Visit the SkyPark Observation Deck, situated atop Marina Bay Sands, offering panoramic views of Marina Bay and Singapore’s world-renowned cityscape. For an enhanced experience, consider the SkyPark Exclusive: Sunset in the Sky program, which includes priority access, dedicated seating areas, and premium dining options.
  2. Stay at one of the three impressive 57-story hotel towers that provide commanding views of downtown Singapore. These towers also feature a 200-meter-high rooftop observation deck and the famous Infinity Pool. Don’t miss the opportunity to appreciate the architectural marvel of the hotel, designed by the renowned architect Moshe Safdie, drawing inspiration from the concept of a modern Garden City.
  3. Explore the integrated resort, which includes a museum, two theaters, a shopping mall, a convention center, and an outdoor event plaza. From the SkyPark Observation Deck or the event plaza, you can witness the awe-inspiring Spectra light and water show.
Singapore Marina Bay
Admire the city's illuminated skyline at Marina Bay

2. Gardens by the Bay: Where Nature Meets Futurism

Gardens by the Bay stands as a remarkable attraction, seamlessly blending the marvels of nature within a futuristic environment. This destination offers an opportunity to immerse yourself in the diverse beauty of ecosystems, marvel at stunning architectural creations, and partake in a variety of events and programs throughout the year. Here are some of the standout features of this captivating attraction:

The Flower Dome: This colossal glass greenhouse boasts an ever-changing collection of plants and flowers from five continents, including the Orchid Extravaganza with over 500 orchid varieties from Southeast Asia.

The Cloud Forest: Step into a world of rare flora within the Cloud Forest, featuring a 35-meter-tall Cloud Mountain covered in lush greenery and the world’s tallest indoor waterfall. Gain insights into climate change and biodiversity conservation.

The Supertree Grove: Marvel at soaring vertical gardens reaching heights of 25 to 50 meters. Walk the 128-meter-long OCBC Skyway for panoramic views. At night, enjoy the Garden Rhapsody, a captivating light and sound show.

The Bay East Garden: Find serenity with scenic views of Marina Bay and the city skyline. Relax on lush lawns, bike along the promenade, or picnic under palm trees.

3. Sentosa Island: The Ultimate Entertainment Hub

Sentosa Island, a sunny haven in Singapore, is the ultimate destination for those seeking fun, adventure, and excitement. This vibrant island offers a myriad of attractions, from thrilling events and themed experiences to luxurious spas, lush rainforests, golden beaches, and upscale hotels. Here’s a glimpse of what awaits you on Sentosa Island:

Universal Studios Singapore: Experience heart-pounding rides and dazzling shows at Southeast Asia’s exclusive Universal theme park. Explore seven themed zones which are all inspired by your favorite movies and TV shows.

S.E.A. Aquarium: Dive into the mysteries of marine life at one of the world’s largest aquariums. Witness 100,000 creatures from diverse species, including sharks, rays, dolphins, and sea lions. Explore ocean habitats, from the Strait of Malacca to the Open Ocean.

Fort Siloso: Uncover Sentosa Island’s history at Fort Siloso, a preserved coastal fort from World War II. Discover original guns, tunnels, and bunkers. Walk the 181-meter Fort Siloso Skywalk for panoramic island and harbor views.

Beach Bliss: Soak up the sun and sand at Sentosa’s three beaches: Siloso Beach, Palawan Beach, and Tanjong Beach. Whether you seek relaxation or adventure, these beaches have it all. Enjoy water sports and parties at Siloso Beach, visit the Southernmost Point of Continental Asia at Palawan Beach, or simply unwind at tranquil Tanjong Beach.

Singapore Sentosa Island
Sentosa Island

4. Chinatown: A Cultural Journey

Singapore Chinatown offers a captivating cultural journey through the rich history, heritage, and diversity of the Chinese community in Singapore. This vibrant district, one of the world’s oldest and most authentic Chinatowns, immerses you in a sensory experience of sights, sounds, and flavors. Here’s a glimpse of what awaits you in Singapore Chinatown:

Places of Worship: Explore Chinatown’s religious diversity at sacred sites like the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple & Museum, housing a revered Buddha relic and showcasing Buddhist art. Discover the Sri Mariamman Temple, Singapore’s oldest Hindu temple dedicated to the rain and fertility goddess. Don’t miss Masjid Jamae, one of Singapore’s oldest mosques, built by Tamil Muslims in the 19th century.

Heritage and Traditions: Immerse yourself in Chinatown’s heritage at the Chinatown Heritage Centre, vividly recreating early immigrant stories and living conditions. Explore the bustling Chinatown Street Market for souvenirs, antiques, handicrafts, and delectable street food. Satisfy your taste buds at Chinatown Food Street with local delicacies like chicken rice, satay, laksa, and dim sum.

Nightlife and Entertainment: After sunset, Chinatown buzzes with nightlife on Ann Siang Hill and Club Street. Discover hip venues with live music, craft cocktails, and fine wines. Alternatively, explore traditional spots offering karaoke, tea ceremonies, and even opera performances.

5. Little India: A Burst of Colors and Flavors

Little India, situated east of the Singapore River and adjacent to Chinatown while being north of Kampong Glam, is a vibrant Singaporean district that celebrates the rich cultural tapestry of the Indian community. Immerse yourself in its colorful streets, where you can shop for exotic spices, fine silk, and exquisite jewelry. Discover the district’s spiritual side by visiting its ornate temples and mosques, and savor the delectable Indian cuisine that defines this lively neighborhood. Don’t miss the Little India Arcade, a bustling shopping complex offering a diverse array of products and services. Visiting Little India is a sensory journey that transports you to the heart of India itself.

6. Singapore Zoo: Get Closer to Wildlife

Singapore Zoo offers an opportunity to connect with wildlife and immerse yourself in the marvels of a rainforest setting, featuring over 4,200 animals from over 300 species, including some of the world’s rarest and most endangered creatures. Here’s what you can experience at Singapore Zoo:

Explore diverse zones like Wild Africa, Fragile Forest, RepTopia, and Frozen Tundra to discover animal adaptations, behaviors, and conservation. Witness captivating animal presentations featuring elephants, sea lions, orangutans, and birds, and don’t miss the Rainforest Fights Back show on environmental protection. Participate in behind-the-scenes wildlife experiences, including giraffe, rhino, and elephant feedings, or enjoy breakfast with orangutans. Engage in guided tours, keeper talks, and animal encounters to deepen your understanding of animal care and conservation.

Singapore Zoo
Zebra in Singapore Zoo

7. Universal Studios Singapore: A World of Movie Magic

Universal Studios Singapore is a cinematic wonderland, offering an array of thrilling rides, interactive shows, and diverse attractions inspired by beloved movies and TV series. From Hollywood’s glamour to the adventures of Jurassic Park and the enchantment of Far Far Away, it caters to various tastes, including fans of Shrek, Transformers, Madagascar, The Mummy, and Minions.

As Southeast Asia’s sole Universal Studios theme park, it’s nestled in Resorts World Sentosa on Sentosa Island, Singapore, presenting 28 captivating rides, shows, and experiences across seven themed zones. Special events like Halloween Horror Nights and Trick or Thrills add to the excitement, allowing you to meet costumed stars, enjoy entertaining performances, and brave haunted houses and scare zones.

Recommended Itinerary

8. Visit the Iconic Merlion

The Merlion, Singapore’s official mascot, symbolizes the city’s origins as a fishing village and its original name, Singapura, meaning “lion city.” To visit the iconic Merlion, head to Merlion Park, a picturesque spot situated at One Fullerton, near Singapore’s Central Business District. The park features two Merlion statues: the original, standing at 8.6 meters tall, which spouts water from its mouth, and a smaller 2-meter-tall version adjacent to the original statue.  

Merlion Park is a popular tourist destination, offering breathtaking views of Marina Bay waterfront and the city skyline, along with proximity to other attractions like the Esplanade Bridge, Singapore River Bumboat Cruise, and the Lantern Bar.

9. Singapore Botanic Gardens: UNESCO World Heritage

Singapore Botanic Gardens, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, showcases tropical flora in a lush, vibrant landscape. As one of the world’s oldest and most authentic botanic gardens, it stands at the forefront of botanical and horticultural research.

With 160 years of history, Singapore Botanic Gardens boasts over 10,000 plant types, including rare species, and captivating zones like the world’s largest orchid display in the National Orchid Garden. Beyond its lush beauty, the gardens host vibrant community events, workshops, and tours. It’s a hub for conservation and education, fostering love for nature, plants, and gardening, with opportunities to support as staff, volunteers, or donors.

Singapore Botanic Gardens
Singapore Botanic Gardens

10. Discover Orchard Road's Shopping Paradise

Orchard Road, Singapore’s shopping haven, offers a diverse blend of luxury brands, street fashion, international dining, local delicacies, art galleries, and entertainment venues. Here are some Orchard Road highlights worth exploring:

TANGS: Established in 1958 by C.K. Tang, TANGS, the first Orchard Road department store, boasts a unique design inspired by the Forbidden City, featuring a jade-green roof and red columns. Inside, you’ll discover Asian collectibles, souvenirs, and renowned brands.

ION Orchard: With its striking facade and over eight floors of shops, ION Orchard is a shopping mecca. Explore luxury labels, high street fashion, and entertainment outlets. Don’t miss The Grande Whisky Collection, housing 4,500 of the world’s rarest and oldest whiskies. Art enthusiasts can visit the ION Art Gallery, showcasing international and local exhibitions.

Far East Plaza: A must-visit for street fashion aficionados and savvy shoppers, Far East Plaza offers trendy streetwear stores, budget-friendly beauty services, and great deals on electronics.

More than shopping, Orchard Road also offers a diverse dining scene. Don’t miss Oriole Coffee and Bar, known for its in-house roasted coffee and delicious breakfasts. For a global culinary experience, visit Wild Honey, a cozy cafe serving dishes from Italy, Turkey, Mexico, and more.

11. National Museum of Singapore: Unraveling History

The National Museum of Singapore, founded in 1849, stands as the country’s oldest and one of Asia’s largest museums. Situated in the Civic District, near the City Hall MRT station, it serves as a vital institution dedicated to Singaporean art, culture, and history. Within its galleries, visitors can explore diverse facets of Singapore’s rich heritage, including its colonial history, multicultural society, economic development, and artistic expressions.

National Museum of Singapore
National Museum of Singapore

12. Hawker Centers: A Food Lover's Delight

Hawker centers in Singapore are a food lover’s delight, as they offer a wide range of delicious and affordable dishes from various cuisines. Hawker centers are cherished culinary hubs, providing diverse and affordable food options in an open-air setting. They serve as a melting pot of cultures, fostering communal dining experiences regardless of backgrounds or beliefs. With roots dating back to colonial times, these centers have adapted over the years to cater to evolving tastes. Among the top hawker centers are Maxwell Food Centre, Hong Lim Food Centre, Chinatown Complex Food Centre, Tekka Centre, and Lau Pa Sat.

13. Spectacular Night Safari Adventures

For an extraordinary night safari experience in Singapore, don’t miss the Night Safari, renowned as the world’s pioneering nocturnal zoo and a beloved tourist hotspot. Situated within the Mandai Wildlife Reserve, which includes River Wonders, Singapore Zoo, and Bird Paradise, this unique attraction allows you to traverse six global regions on an open-sided tram, offering a glimpse of over 900 animals from over 100 species, including 41% classified as endangered.

Be captivated by the engaging “Creatures of the Night” presentation, showcasing the remarkable natural behaviors and talents of nocturnal animal superstars. For a deeper immersion, join an expert-guided buggy and walking adventure or savor a distinctive dining experience beneath the starry sky in a Tipi tent.

Singapore Night Safari
Night Safari for Spotting Lions

14. Explore the ArtScience Museum

The ArtScience Museum in Singapore is a captivating fusion of art, science, culture, and technology, serving as a prominent cultural icon. Here, you can delve into pioneering exhibitions and immersive encounters crafted by renowned artists and scientists from around the globe. Experience the pinnacle of creativity where art, science, design, media, architecture, and technology converge at the ArtScience Museum. Explore the ArtScience Museum’s captivating highlights:

Future World: Where Art Meets Science – A permanent exhibition featuring interactive digital installations that transport you into a realm of art, science, magic, and metaphor.

Sensory Odyssey: Into the Heart of Our Living World – Immerse yourself in this multisensory journey delving into the wonders of nature, organized across four thematic zones: Earth, Water, Air, and Fire.

Notes From the Ether: From NFTs To AI – Experience the future of digital art in this exhibition, which delves into emerging technologies like Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) and Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI), showcasing how contemporary artists are pushing the boundaries of art.

15. Take a Stroll along Clarke Quay

Enjoy Singapore’s nightlife and scenic beauty with a stroll along Clarke Quay, a historic riverside quay nestled along the Singapore River. Here, conserved shophouses blend seamlessly with modern art-deco structures, offering a glimpse of rich heritage and contemporary vibes.

Explore a diverse range of dining and drink options, from local flavors to international cuisine, spanning restaurants, bars, pubs, clubs, and cafes to suit all tastes and moods. Don’t miss the chance to cruise the river or embark on a bumboat ride to savor breathtaking views of the city skyline and iconic landmarks along the water.

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