Singapore is a city-state located in Southeast Asia and is among the most prominent cities in the world. The perfect mix between East and West, it is one of Asia’s major hubs for travel, business, and tourism. Singapore is renowned for its fast-paced lifestyle, high-end shopping malls, upscale hotels, incredible dining scene, and a plethora of attractions for people of all ages.
Even though the city has a reputation for being expensive as opposed to other Asian cities, Singapore is definitely worth visiting and has so much to offer to all types of travelers. Additionally, it is compact in size and boasts a top-notch public transportation system, making it convenient to explore.
If you decide to add this island city-state to your travel bucket list, the next thing to do is to plan your visit. We’ve done all the work for you and put together a list containing the top 8 must-see attractions in Singapore. (Pro tip: Make your trip more convenient and hassle-free by storing your bags and other items at a luggage locker in the city.)
1. Marina Bay
The Marina Bay district is the epicenter for tourism and activity in Singapore and is one of the places that you should not miss while in the city. The area is home to some of Singapore’s main points of interest, such as the iconic Merlion Park, ArtScience Museum, and The Float stadium.
The centerpiece of the area is the eye-catching Marina Bay Sands, a stunning resort-hotel complex that has everything from casinos, nightclubs, shops, and performance venues. Staying at the hotel can be quite expensive; if you want to experience luxury without booking a room, you can buy a ticket to the SkyPark, which will give you access to the observation deck and infinity pool.
Another one of the main draws in the district is a 250-acre urban jungle known as Gardens by the Bay. This beautiful green space is home to a variety of plant species and the largest indoor waterfall in the world. Don’t miss the Supertree Grove, where you will see a number of futuristic structures that perform various sustainable functions.
2. Singapore Zoo
Billed as the best rainforest zoo in the world, the Singapore Zoo is one attraction that can be enjoyed by visitors of all ages. The impressive zoo covers 28 hectares of space and is comprised of 11 zones, such as Frozen Tundra, Primate Kingdom, and Wild Africa.
Unlike other zoos, the Singapore Zoo prides itself in its “open concept”, where the animals are not locked in cages and are instead placed in individually landscaped enclosures. The zoo has over 4,000 different animals, including the biggest colony of orangutans in the world as well as an extremely rare white tiger.
3. Sentosa Island
The beach isn’t exactly the first thing that comes to mind when visiting Singapore but if you would like to enjoy some time under the sun, Sentosa Island is the perfect destination for you. This island resort is one of the most interesting areas in Singapore and is home to some fun attractions and entertainment spots. If you want some beach time or engage in water sports, you have three beaches to choose from – the Tanjong Beach, Siloso Beach, and Palawan Beach. If you want to watch incredible marine creatures in person, then the S.E.A. Aquarium is the place to go.
One of the major highlights at Sentosa is the Universal Studios Singapore, an amusement park arranged thematically, each of which is dedicated to a certain film, television show, or location. The theme park’s rides range from kid-friendly to daredevil; examples include Jurassic Park Rapids Adventure, Battlestar Galactica, Revenge of the Mummy, and Shrek’s Far Far Away.
4. Orchard Road
Almost every major metropolis in the world has its own commercial avenue; for Singapore, they have the Orchard Road. The area, which once served as an orchard of fruit trees, spans over two kilometers and boasts an abundance of restaurants, malls, cafés, hotels, clubs, art galleries, and other major establishments. It is also considered Singapore’s ultimate shopping destination, featuring both luxury brands as well as discount outlets.
5. National Museum of Singapore
The National Museum of Singapore is the island’s biggest museum and is one of the most important cultural institutions in the city. Formerly known as the Singapore History Museum, the facility underwent a $118 million renovation and rebranding job and has since become more cutting-edge and immersive.
The museum has two primary galleries – the first one is the Singapore History Gallery, which traces the island’s history from the 14th century until present day. The other gallery is the Singapore Living Galleries, which focuses on different lifestyle themes such as film, fashion, photography, and food. The facility also hosts a range of cultural events throughout the year, including art installations, film screenings, and festivals.
6. Clarke Quay
During the 19th century, Clarke Quay was the center of commerce in Singapore, and today, it remains one of the busiest commercial hubs in the city. Situated on the banks of the Singapore River, the area is a favorite hangout spot for both locals and tourists who want to spend a fun day of dining and entertainment by the waterfront.
7. Singapore Botanic Gardens
If you’re looking to experience actual nature while in the city, the Singapore Botanic Gardens is definitely worth a visit. Not to be confused with Gardens by the Bay, this 74-hectare green space was established in 1860 and has since been an oasis for those looking to get away from the busy city life.
The garden, which has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, boasts glassy lakes, lush greenery, and a range of themed gardens. One of the most renowned areas is the National Orchid Garden, which features the largest tropical orchid collection in the world with more than 1000 species and 2,000 hybrids.
8. Raffles Hotel Singapore
Located in Singapore’s Colonial District, the Raffles Hotel is not your ordinary hotel; apart from offering accommodations in the city, it also serves as a major landmark and is one of the few remaining 19th century hotels in the world.
Constructed in 1887, Raffles Hotel has been known to provide luxurious services for over a century and has once welcomed the likes of Charlie Chaplin, Joseph Conrad, and Rudyard Kipling.