Whether you are in Singapore for a stopover or for a holiday, this cultural melting pot offers plenty to do. The weather is humid, but if you can resist the urge to seek air-conditioning, you will stumble upon colourful houses, huge public parks, and a number of breath-takingly beautiful temples from different religions.
Singapore has a number of green spaces in and around the bustling city, there is the famous Gardens by the Bay, Fort Canning Park, and the Bukit Timur Nature Reserve. The nature reserve is 30 minutes outside of Singapore, but as the only remaining section of rainforest in Singapore, it is well worth a visit. There are numerous hiking and biking trails which take visitors right by flying lemurs, macaques, monkeys, and birds. There is a visitor centre near the entrance of the park which teaches guests about the different animals and plants they will see.
Chinatown is one of the top places you have to visit while in Singapore, it is a bustling hub of life, filled with fantastic smelling food and some of the most beautiful temples. Stop here for lunch or dinner and check out Buddha Tooth Relic Temple. The temple houses a multitude of Buddhist artefacts, as well as what is believed to be Buddha’s canine tooth, recovered from his funeral pyre.
If you enjoy checking out art galleries and museums, then one of the best in Singapore is the ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands. It collaborates with the Smithsonian Institute and American Museum of Natural History to bring fantastic temporary collections to Singapore. They house a permanent exhibition called FUTURE WORLD which explores the intersection of art and science through interactive installations. Temporary exhibitions focus on unique art exhibitions, as well as innovative science, technology, and human knowledge.
Singapore has some really unique options for evenings out on the town. LeVel 33 is the world’s highest microbrewery, located on the 33rdfloor of the Marina Bay financial district. The copper brew house kettles are on the bar floor, and the roof is adorned with a map of copper piping, transporting the beer to the bar. Get there early to snag a table outside so you can look out over the bright lights of the marina. Another unique watering hole is Smoke & Mirrors, a cocktail bar located on the rooftop of the National Gallery. It captures the creative atmosphere of the building with aesthetically pleasing, tasty cocktails with a side of panoramic city view. If you are travelling to Singapore during the Grand Prix, this rooftop bar offers great views of the action.
Singapore also has a really lively clubbing scene, while there are a mix of underground clubs all around the city, Clarke Quay is the hub for great nights out. Check out Attica, a club that has multiple rooms playing different types of music. The main room plays mainstream dance music, while other rooms play hip-hop, electronic, and grime music. Check their events during your stay, they occasionally have some big names DJing.
Singapore is hot and humid all year round! It is slightly cooler in December or January, but it is so close to the equator that there is little to no variation in temperature. December to March, the monsoon season means rain is more likely.
There are four main languages spoken in Singapore, English, Malay, Tamil, and Mandarin. It is a very multi-cultural city, and most people will speak their “mother tongue” and English.
VOYA’S FAVOURITE PLACES TO VISIT INCLUDE
The Night Safari is high on our list of favourite things to do in Singapore. It is the best place to see nocturnal creatures that you wouldn’t normally get to see in most zoos. There are over 100 species in the Night Safari, including the tapir, Asian elephant, and Malaysian tiger.
The Gardens by the Bay is another must-see attraction in Singapore. It is easy to spend all day wandering through the botanical gardens which houses plants from five continents. It is 100 hectares of themed gardens, lakes, and statues. There is also the second-largest indoor waterfall in the world (the largest is in Changi Airport) with a walkway overlooking it. If you go in the evening, there are two Supertrees light shows. It is a truly spectacular experience.
VOYA'S FAVOURITE PLACES TO STAY INCLUDE
Swissotel Stamford is a huge hotel with the facilities to match. Onsite there are two swimming pools, six tennis courts, a huge gym, and an award-winning spa. There are also eight restaurants, including Michelin star restaurant JAAN by Kirk Westaway. The hotel is connected to Raffles City Shopping Centre, perfect for a shopping trip without having to brave the humidity.
Park Royal on Pickering is a modern design-focused hotel with 15,000 square metres of planter terraces, waterfalls, and gardens. The infinity-edge outdoor pool offers amazing views of the city, and birdcage style cabanas for relaxing. There is a 300 metre walking track around the hotel, as well as a well-equipped gym. The rooms are modern and minimalistic, with all the amenities you need, but none of the extras.
VOYA'S FAVOURITE DISHES TO TRY
Chilli crab is a famous Singaporean dish, huge, locally caught crab cooked in a spicy tomato sauce or black pepper sauce. It is a Chinese dish and can be found everywhere in Singapore due to its popularity. There is no way to eat it gracefully, just grab the bib tuck in. Every Singaporean will have an opinion on where to get the best chilli crab, but one of the best places to start is Makansutra Glutton’s Bay, it is great value, and right by the Gardens by the Bay.
The Malaysian dish char kway teow is another must-try dish. It is a comforting noodle dish with prawns, egg, beansprouts, Chinese chives, and flat rice noodles. The dish can be quite oily, so it’s not the healthiest choice, but it is delicious and perfect for filling your belly after a long day of exploring in the heat and humidity.