Top 10 Places to Visit in Singapore
Despite being one of the smallest countries on earth, everyone has heard of Singapore. And most people know it is a major tourist destination and in fact is home to one of the most-robust economies. But few know the wealth of adventure, enjoyment and luxury that the Lion City truly has to offer. Yes, maybe you are already aware of its scenic skyline. But do you also know that parts of Singapore are even more-modernized than most Western countries? And outside of that, the country is also rich in natural organic life and flora from all corners of the globe. So that being said, here are some of the premiere attractions one can enjoy while in Singapore.
Marina Bay is in the civic center of Singapore, which is known as the Central Area. As such, it houses many of the nation’s premiere attractions.
Amongst these are the Marina Bay Sands, one of the top integrated resorts in the world. Moreover it is a state-of-the-art facility that can be thoroughly enjoyed even by those who don’t gamble. For example, in addition to being a hotel with over 2500 rooms, it has the following awesome attractions:
- Movie theaters
- The famous Sands SkyPark Observation Deck
And by the way, the aforementioned observation deck offers one of the best views of the Lion City.
In all, the Marina Bay Sands is one of the main tourist attractions in Singapore. And it was built specifically to cater to an international audience.
The Singapore Flyer is also a part of Marina Bay
Then of course there’s the famed Singapore Flyer! At over 540 feet (165 m), it is one of the largest ferris wheels in the world. If you’re not afraid of heights, then you’re not going to have any issues getting a good look at Singapore from Marina Bay. And if you aren’t too fond of ascending so high into the air, the Singapore Flyer site is also another state-of-the-art attraction in and of itself. Indeed Marina Bay is the part of Singapore which perhaps best represents the country’s impressive wealth. Furthermore, it also houses the recently-built ArtScience Museum and Helix Bridge, amongst other modern delights.
Shopping on Orchard Road
While Marina Bay is located in the Singapore’s urban center, Orchard Road is the heart of its retail district. Basically, if you plan to get your shopping on, this is the place to go.
The history of Orchard Road dates back to the 19th century, when the area was used primarily for agricultural purposes (thus its name). Yet in recent times it is actually one of Singapore’s main tourist attractions, once again due largely to its exciting shopping opportunities. But even if you don’t purchase a single item, there’s still plenty to gawk at on Orchard Road. In fact some Singaporeans may even argue that Orchard Road is the main tourist attraction of their city-state. As such, you won’t find the area lacking any merchandise, food, accommodation or glitz.
For instance, you can visit Tangs, the first department store established on the strip. This particular institution has a history dating back almost 100 years. Yet despite its traditional Chinese architecture, you wouldn’t know that looking at it now, especially considering it is now also the site of the 33-storey Marriot Tang Plaza Hotel.
Don’t forget the ION Orchard Mall on Orchard Road
Then right across the road is the ION Orchard Mall. Now this mall, in addition to boasting 400 shops also has its own condominium complex and an observation deck. And we some say being in the mall may even give you an even better view than the heights of Marina Bay. And why is this the case? Simply because it is at a higher elevation – 715 feet (218 m) – than both the Marina Bay Sands Skypark and Singapore Flyer. Additionally, the ION Orchard Mall is an ultra-modern complex.
One of the best aspects of Orchard Road is that it is only a little over a mile in length (2.2 km). Thus the area can be joyfully traversed on foot or using local transportation, i.e. Singapore’s Mass Rapid Transit system.
Visit the Singapore River
Let’s be frank – one of the main draws of visiting Singapore is its gorgeous skyline, which is superior to that of many more-famous cities. And we’ve already explored a couple of ways in which you can view its splendor from way up in the air or even on foot. But now we’re going to take it to the next level – the waterways.
The Singapore River snakes through the southern tip of the country. That means it flows from the Marina Bay right through the areas with the highest levels of urban development, as in beautiful skyscrapers and the such. And there are a couple of companies which offer river tours on small water vessels called bumboats (i.e. ferries). If you decide to patronize such a service it is especially recommended that you do so in the evening, when things get lit, as in the skyline and city being beautifully electrified.
Visit the River Safari
And while we’re on the subject of rivers, let’s not forget the River Safari, which is located in one of the less-populated, northern parts of Singapore. A stark contrast from the aforementioned urban areas, this part of the country is known for its preservation of natural environments. In other words, now is the time for you nature enthusiasts to get excited.
The River Safari is actually a zoo and aquarium which also affords visitors river tours throughout the facility. The park also emulates ecosystems from around the world. So even though you’re in Southeast Asia, you’ll be able to enjoy species from the Americas, Africa and even the icy environs of the world.
Giant Pandas in River Safari
But River Safari’s biggest attraction is its giant pandas, Kai Kai and Jia Jia. It is actually China who loaned Singapore these animals for a limited amount of time. So it would be a good idea to take advantage of the opportunity to visit them while you can, as they’re slated to be returned to the Chinese in 2022.
Go to the Night Safari
Another good reason to visit Singapore’s River Safari is that it is also located on the same inlet of rainforest as a couple of other attractions which are maintained by Wildlife Reserves Singapore. One of those is the Night Safari.
Yes, you read that right – this is a zoo which operates only at night and affords visitors the opportunity to witness various animals in natural-nocturnal settings. And like the River Safari, it also features simulated environments to accommodate these diverse species. Also the Night Safari regularly stages cultural performances, in which visitors can enjoy forms of entertainment indigenous to Singapore.
Don’t forget Singapore Zoo
And then there’s the actual Singapore Zoo itself, which is also adjacent to the River Safari and Night Safari. This facility houses many exotic and even endangered species. It also boasts the largest colony of orangutans in captivity on the planet, which visitors are allowed to interact with directly if they desire. The site also has elephants and once again a slew of animals from across the globe, including lions, giraffes, cheetah and special attractions, such as pony rides, which cater to children. Moreover there’s a tram that runs through the facility which affords you another spectacular point of view.
The Jurong Bird Park
We wanted to give a special shoutout to the major tourist facilities run by Wildlife Reserves Singapore, since most visitors already are aware of the splendor of the modern side of the country. So last on that list is the Jurong Bird Park, which houses more than 5,000 avians which belong to 400 different species, including the likes of penguins and flamingos. And there are a bunch of activities one can enjoy within the grounds of the Bird Park, such as walking over suspended bridges. Scientists may also relish taking a visit to Jurong, as it is actively engaged in the conservation of a number of endangered species of birds. And this facility is known in particular for its family-friendliness, just in case you’re intending to bring the kids along.
Visit the amazing Gardens By the Bay
Now let’s take a look at place which serves as the ideal synthesis of both modern and natural attraction – the Gardens By the Bay. This is a nature park which will delight those who appreciate urban environments as well. The site is located within the midst of Singapore’s highly-urbanized south. But it was constructed in recent years with the specific goal of offering a fresh respite from city life. Basically the Gardens are being infused into the city itself, with the purpose of making the surrounding environs greener.
And by now you probably already know that when the Singaporeans do something, they do it big. And the Gardens By the Bay is no exception. For example, there aren’t many places like this location which lets you get up close and personal with “Supertrees”. But in addition to exotic flora you will also bear witness to, there is also modernity of the venue.
For instance, situated therein are two conservatories which have been fitted with the latest technologies in environmental conservation. They are even designed to collect rainwater for the purpose of keeping the flora cool.
The Cloud Forest Dome is a part of the Gardens By the Bay too!
And as a further testament to their modernity, one of the observatories, the Cloud Forest Dome, actually houses an in-door waterfall. This waterfall is said to be the largest of its kind. It is also home of the “Cloud Mountain”. Here, visitors get the opportunity to simulate the experience of actually descending from a mountaintop.
And the Cloud Forest Dome’s counterpart is known as the Flower Dome. This structure holds the distinction of currently being the largest-glass greenhouse on earth. If we really wanted to go there, we could talk about the Gardens By the Bay for days. But let’s just sum it up by saying that this is considered by many to be the most-exceptional location in the entirety of Singapore, a country that is known more or less as a giant tourist destination already.
Whereas Singapore is popular in its own right, China is perhaps the most-influential country in Southeast Asia. And accordingly, its presence is felt in the Lion City. This is a good area to get familiar with Chinese culture, even if you don’t have time to visit China itself.
The locale serves as a homage to Chinese living and the nation’s cultural and religious heritage. Moreover, if like many travelers you have an affinity for Chinese food, this is definitely someplace you would want to visit. And why? Because it features local dishes from the Red Dragon and indeed the entirety of Asia. In fact while the focus may be on a particular country, this is perhaps the part of Singapore where visitors will be introduced to cultures from throughout the continent. For instance, the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple contains artifacts from throughout Asia as opposed to China alone.
Additionally, if you are one of those type of people who likes a hands-on bargaining experience, Chinatown is the place to go. In other words, the costs of many items aren’t definitively marked as they are in retail shops. Instead interacting with Chinatown’s street hawkers and vendors gives you the opportunity to negotiate your own prices for available goods.
Clarke Quay is located near the Marina Bay, where you’re likely to spend a good deal of your time in Singapore. Last but not least, we had to give the Quay a shoutout because it’s the center of the country’s nightlife. That means you can go there to enjoy an endless stream of clubs and restaurants. Moreover, being situated on the River means that some of the venues are actually set in the water, as in floating eateries. In fact being located at the mouth of the Singapore River, Clarke Quay is a place you will likely encounter at some time during your tenure in Singapore. And we understand that not all travelers are into partying. But if you are, then make sure to spend at least one evening at this location.
Clarke Quay has an indistinguishable local flavor. Also it has enough of a foreign influence – including a Hooter’s and the Crazy Elephant, a rock & roll club – to appease all appetites.
You’ve made a great decision in choosing to visit Singapore. Or if you’re already resident in the country, perhaps you weren’t aware of all it has to offer. Either way, the places that we have listed are designed to accommodate a number of tastes, both foreign and domestic, high-tech and traditional, child and adult. In fact just compiling this list makes us wish we would could be there to greet you when you arrive. And who knows – perhaps we will meet on a ferry on the Singapore River or engage in a joint Night Safari. But all of that being said, we wish you a happy tour of the Lion City. And we look forward to hearing from you about your exciting experiences soon!