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Things to do in Singapore: The most complete city guide

Hello Nextinationers,

If you are one of those lucky travelers who are organizing your trip to Singapore, this post can be of your interest, because I will show you what to do in Singapore and those places that you should not miss.

The truth is that Singapore has millions of things to do. Maybe that’s one of the reasons I love it. For me it is an important thing to consider when I visit a new place.

Here, you can find famous places but also «off the beaten track» spots so you can get the most out of your time in Singapore. So, let’s start.

Things to do in Singapore: The most complete city guide

Spend the day in Gardens by the Bay

Let’s start with the most obvious. Surely, it is the most famous spot. It’s just spectacular. I recommend you to come here by day and by night.

  • Supertree Grove: where there is an incredible light and music show called «Garden Rhapsody»  at night. These trees are between 25-50 metres tall and are designed with large canopies that proved shade in the day.
  • Flower Dome : it is the largest glass greenhouse in the world as listed in the 2015 Guinness World Records! Be amazed by changing display of flowers and plants from the Mediterranean and semi-arid regions. 
  • Cloud Forest Take in breathtaking mountain views surrounded by diverse vegetation, bar plants and hidden floral gems. 
  • Cactus Garden
  • lakes
  • a children’s playground
  • the Skyway You can stroll along the 22 metre high Skyway and enjoy panoramic vistas of the Gardens and the Marina Bay Skyline. There is even a restaurant there. 
  • a new garden called Serene Garden, inspired by the Japanese Zen Gardens.
  • Also, this 2019 they have open a new place called Floral Fantasy. It is the last addition to Gardens by the Bay. Flowers, artistry and technology come to create a dream-like, fantastical experience for visitors. At the end, you can enjoy a 4D video.
  • There are also several cafes and restaurants of which I recommend the Satay by the Bay.
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Teleport to the Arabian Nights in Kampong Glam

In this area you can not miss the Arab Street with the Sultan mosque. It is full of typical lamp shops and Arabian rugs that will make you teleport to the country of the Arabian Nights. Also here there are many Arab restaurants where you try real delicacies and delicious teas.

I also recommend you to go to Haji Lane, one of Singapore’s liveliest streets with plenty of restaurants, cafes, boutiques as well as lots of Street Art and graffiti.

Immerse yourself in India in Little India

One of the most colorful neighborhoods in Singapore. Almost all the stores, restaurants and shops you’ll find here are Indians. I recommend you to visit the Hindu Temple of Sri Veeranakaliamman and you can not miss the famous colorful building called Tan Teng Niah, which belonged to a prominent Chinese merchant who had several business in the area of Deragon Road.

Currently, every year, a graffiti Event takes place by Little India in January. The event brings together artists and visitors for 5 days. The objective is to show the history and traditions of the neighborhood through these murals, as well as movies, music and shows. Here  you can find more information about this event.

Enjoy Chinatown

Singapore’s Chinatown is beautiful, with colorful houses, food stalls, souvenirs and Chinese food.  This area is full of Chinese lanterns everywhere.

I recommend you to stroll around and feeling yourself in China. You can also visit the Buddhist temple of Buddha Tooth Relic or the Hindu temple of Sri Mariamman. 

Discover the fashionable district: Keong Saik Road

From Chinatown you can get close to this street named after a famous Chinese businessman born in Malacca. Previously this area was known as «The Red Light district» and was full of brothels in the years 60 but today there is nothing left of that. Nowdays, it has become one of the fashionable neighborhoods of Singapore.

It is full of boutique hotels, cafes, restaurants, rooftop bars and art galleries. This area also has the best slow food and fusion restaurants. It also has some amazing places to have the best cocktails.

Today it is part of a conservation area that is among the top ten destinations in Asia.

I recommend you to go to:

Admire the architecture of the temples of Singapore.

Among the temples, I recommend you to visit:

  • Thian Hock Keng Temple. It literally means «Palace of happiness.» This small Taoist temple is based on Confucianism. It is curious to see, especially since it highlights the fact that no nails were used in its construction and is one of the oldest temples of Hokkien in Singapore. It is dedicated to Mazu, the Chinese goddess of the sea. It is worth seeing the dragons and gods that decorate the temple.
  • Another of them is the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple. This temple is based on the architectural style of the Tang dynasty. It is called that because it is said to contain that relic of the historical Buddha. You can see the same on the fourth floor.  
  • Hindu Temple of Sri Veeranakaliamman with its colorful sculptures and flowers in Little India
  • Hindu Temple of Sri Mariamman in Chinatown.
  • Also worth a visit is the Sultan’s mosque in Kampoon Glam. This beautiful mosque stands out in this area thanks to its gallonada and golden Dome and boasts that it has been declared a national monument in 1975.
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Sunset Walk on Esplanade, Merlion Park and Jubilee Bridge

The Merlion is the symbol of Singapore, a lion with fish tail, combines the word «Mer» of «sea» and «lion» of «lion». Note also here the origin of the name of the city «Singapura«, formed by two words «Singa» which means «lion» and «pura» meaning «city«.

Walking along the Esplanade and the Jubilee Bridge is highly recommended since you will have a magnificent view of all the skyscrapers in Singapore and its most representative hotel, the Marina Bay Sands.

Also, in this area there are plenty of cafes and restaurants with terraces all of them with magnificent views.

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Spend a night at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel

It is one of the most famous hotels in the world and it is also considered one of the most expensive casinos in the world.

Its owner, owner of Las Vegas Sands has a couple of hotels and casinos in Las Vegas as well. The most iconic place in this hotel is the infinity pool located in the Sky Park.  It is considered the longest high pool in the world and the views are just insane.

We stayed here one night to be able to fully enjoy the hotel and its pool.

My advice is that if you are going to spend several days in Singapore, save yourself a night to stay here and be able to enjoy its restaurants, its breathtaking views and its pool. Our room had views of the «Gardens by the Bay» and one night we saw the «Raphsody Show» from the room, champagne in hand, a real treat.

Watch the «Spectra and Water Show»

In front of this hotel there is the Marina Shoppes Mall, with all the luxury brands.

Just in the bayfront, next to Louis Vuitton’s shop, a light and music show called a «Spectra»  takes place every day at 8 pm, 9 pm. Friday and Saturday also make another show at 22.00. You can enjoy colorful lights, choreography of fountains and music.

TIP. My advice is to watch the show just in front of the Marina Shoppes Mall and not in the other side of the bay. The difference is huge. Here you can appreciate the hologramas, the music and the lights.

I’ll leave the information here. 

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Cross the Helix Bridge and visit the Singapore Science Museum

The Art and Science Museum is part of the Marina Bay Sands complex along with the hotel, restaurants and shopping Mall. It is one of the museums most photographed in Singapore.  I have to say that I didn’t expect it that way as it was very pleasantly surprised.

If you have children, they will love to go since, many of the pieces they have, are interactive and are intended for them. Yes, adults are also going to enjoy a lot.

One of the exhibitions that I liked the most, since there are some, was the «Future World: Where Art Meets Science«. This is a permanent exhibition so whenever you come to Singapore you will be able to see it. It’s like to submerge into a world of magic.

The installation known as «Crystal Universe» is a room with thousands of crystals hanging from the ceiling and flickering lights that are changing color simulating space and the universe.

Next to the Science Museum and Marina Bay Sands, you’ll find the Helix Bridge, inspired by the human DNA structure. The bridge has two pairs of letters, «C and G» and «A and T» that represent the four bases of DNA: cytosine, guaina, adenine and thymine.

Have a coffee in the famous Central Perk Café

If you recognize this coffee, it is because you are also a fan of the series «Friends.» I couldn’t leave Singapore without coming to this cafe, the «Central Perk», set of the American series «Friends».

It’s really the third time I was going to one. Years ago, I was in the «Central Perk» in Shanghai and also, I was inside the «Central Perk» at Warner Studios in Hollywood, Los Angeles, fill with the original furniture.

In this one, in Singapore, they also sale souvenirs and you can buy some T-shirts and the DVDs. In the Cafe, they have a giant screen where, of course, they were broadcasting the series and the whole menu was inspired by the characters.

Address: 1 Magazine Rd, #01-01 Central Mall, Singapore 059567

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Walk through the Colonial District

I was a pleasant surprise to see that not everything in Singapore is modern and dates from very recent years.

Singapore also has its colonial side with colonial buildings dating back to the British era.

In the Colonial District you will find:

  • Peranakan Museum, which was formerly a school that welcomed those who came from the Chinese province of Fujian. Here you can see objects and photos of the traditions of these peranakans, a term that refers to those Chinese, Malays or Indonesians of origin but those who were born in Singapore.
  • National Museum
  • St. Andrew’s Cathedral
  • Court building
  • Parliament
  • Singapore Art Museum
  • Victoria Theatre which also houses the Victoria Concert Hall. 
  • The sculpture of Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, the Englishman who founded Singapore and who built a British port that allowed the island to become an important mall with India and China.
  • The Cavenagh bridge with lots of boats passing under
  • Fullerton Hotel, another of the landmarks in Singapore. In the past, this Hotel was a post office and it was named after Robert Fullerton, the first Governor of the strait settlements.
  • The Empress Lawn Park area next to the river is beautiful, bordered by typical colonial-era low buildings and shophouses on one side and the other, flanked by the skyscrapers of Raffles Place, the Financial district of Singapore. It is a lively area.
  • Asian Civilizations Museum
  • Boat Quay: When the working day ends, many people go to Boat Quay, the area by the river with lots of shophouses that nowadays are bars/restaurants that usually offer the happy hour.
  • For a great bird view, you should go to the observation room on the 28th floor of the UOB Plaza One skyscraper. It is open to the public, and, you can get a spectacular view of the Singapore River, the Civic district with its colonial structures and Boat Quay.
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Visit Sentosa Island and Universal Studios by funicular. 

One of the activities to do in Singapore is to spend the day on the island of Sentosa which is a great tourist attraction. You can find some beaches there, that it is a way to escape the tremendous heat and humidity in Singapore, especially in the summer months.

Also on the island of Sentosa you have lots of things to do:

You have more information here.

Photograph the most colorful streets in Singapore

Singapore is full of shophouses, local architecture and characteristic of the Asian heritage. They have usually narrow facades with a corridor in the front part for pedestrians and, usually, they have internal patios, open staircases and skylights to bring light to the interior that is usually dark.

They are often painted in vivid colors and they use to have tiles, as well as an eclectic mix of Chinese, Malay and European elements.

  • Emerald Hill Road: This street really was a real surprise because I had no idea about it before going to Singapore. In my opinion it is one of the cutest streets in Singapore, thanks to the pastel-colored houses.
  • Koon Seng Road: Probably the most photographed street in Singapore. These typical coloured houses are also known as ‘ Peranakan houses ‘ and date back to the 1920s and 30s. This colorful street is called Koon Seng in honor of one of the students of the Anglo-Chinese School of Singapore. Until the years 70, this area was inhabited by Chinese Perakan, descendants of Chinese immigrants but born in Singapore, hence this area has this unique Chinese architecture. This street is located in the district of Joo Chiat, formerly full of coconut plantations. Today, these plantations have disappeared but a typical dish in this neighborhood, also called Katong, is to try the famous Katong Laksa, a noodle soup with hot coconut milk.
  • Little India
  • Chinatown is full of colourful houses.
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Go shopping

  • Haji Lane
  • Orchard Road where there is the greatest concentration of shopping centers, of all kinds, of luxury brands or more affordable brands. Without a doubt, a street you have to travel, come shopping in Singapore or not.
  • Bugis+ y Bugis Junction.
  • Between both Bugis there is the Bugis Street, a street market where you will find real bargains. If you want typical glass chandeliers, rugs to all kinds of fabrics. There are over 800 places where gifts and souvenirs, books, DVDs, food stands, etc.
  • Little India for spices and gold or silver, watches or saris.
  • In Chinatown you will find, of course, Chinese items, cheap clothes, Chinese food, incense, etc.
  • Marina Square
  • Suntec City
  • Ion Orchard where all the luxury brands are

Visit the historical hotels.

  • The Raffles Hotel is one of those hotels that it is a must visit while in Singapore. It was inaugurated at the end of the nineteenth century being the first building in Singapore to use electric lights and fans. It was declared a National Monument in 1987. A the time, it was synonymous of colonial indulgence with lounges, restaurants, bars and tranquil gardens. It was here where the famous Singapore Sling Cocktail was born, however it is closed by restoration and plans to open sometime in the 2019.  It’s a shame because the three times I’ve been to Singapore, the hotel has reminded closed and under construction.
  • Another hotel to visit while in Singapore is the Fullerton Hotel. This hotel is a large neoclassical monument of 1928. It has played a fundamental role in the history of Singapore, because before being a Post Office, it served as a hospital during the Second World War and later was the center of the Japanese military administration in Singapore. It was recently qualified as a National Monument.

 Visit the Zoo

One of those places to go while in Singapore, if you come for a few days, is the zoo. Especially the kids will love it. I recommend you to stay also for the Night Safari. You won’t be disappointed. I leave more information by clicking here. 

Discover the parks of Singapore: Botanical Garden and Jurong gardens. 

Singapore besides «Gardens by the Bay» , has lots of parks. Singapore is a big green lung in Asia.

I recommend you to go to the Botanical gardens and the Jurong gardens, that are formed by a Chinese garden and a Japanese garden.

These gardens are located about 30 minutes drive from Singapore, but if you have plenty of time, I recommend you to go. The pagodas are amazing.

TIP: You have to be aware that in Singapore you are not being able to smoke on the outdoor terraces of the bars, not chewing gum, not crossing the street if there is a signposted zebra pass, not eating on the subway. It is forbidden to introduce tobacco without declaring it before passing customs and the possession or sale of drugs are grounds for the death penalty.

If you have any questions or questions, you can send me an email or write it in comments.

If you want to see more pictures of my travels, since here I only put a few, do not hesitate to follow me in my Instagram clicking here. and subscribe to the blog here:

Thank you so much for reading me.

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11 comentarios

  1. Wow! Singapore looks like a wonderful place to visit, not only when it comes to the culture, but also to the architecture. I’d also love to try out its cuisine! 🙂

  2. Wow, looking at the first picture, I had to read the title twice… I thought it was a Caribbean island!! How cool! We’ll be in Singapore in the next year and a half and can’t wait to see everything you highlighted here!

  3. I’ve been to Singapore and it truly is a beautiful place! I enjoyed walking around specially the Coloninial district and the Marina Bay Sands. I haven’t gone to Keong Saik Road yet but I definitely would like to see it.

  4. I’d like to see the pool. I like to come across a good view too. I have a blogger friend in Singapore that I would like to meet.

  5. No kidding about complete! This is the most amazingly comprehensive travel guide i’ve ever seen… Singapore is definitely in my top lost of places to visit, now! Bookmarking this!

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