Choosing the best things to do in Singapore was no easy task; this is a city bursting to the seams with impressive attractions, exciting activities, and plenty of day trips for all the family. Almost everyone will have seen an image of the city’s symbol, the Merlion, and this makes our list alongside the nearby Marina Bay Sands SkyPark and Singapore Flyer – both of which offer breathtaking views across the iconic Singapore skyline. This tiny island state is also a land of contrasts; Chinatown and Little India, both gastronomic and shopping hubs in their own right, represent the incredible ethnic diversity of the country. For nightlife we’ve got you covered too; sip on a Singapore Sling at the lavish Raffles Hotel, or head to Clarke Quay for some of the city’s most picturesque eating and drinking spots. Discover all of these, and more, in our list of Singapore’s best things to do!
Marina Bay Singapore Singapore’s famed Marina Bay is the place to go to see the city’s most spectacular things to do. With the fast development of this cosmopolitan city-state, the whole Marina Bay area has undergone a transformation of epic proportions. The S$5.5 billion Marina Bay Sands complex is the focal point of the bay, and many of the great things to do and see in the area revolve around this epic building and resort, such as the Science Museum, Casino and various shopping, dining and nightlife options. Arrive at Marina Bay around 20:00 to catch the spectacular light show, which illuminates the water as well as several icon landmarks you’ve probably seen on the postcard.
This delightful riverside development is packed full of bustling bars and restaurants, boutique shops and pumping nightclubs, attracting a steady stream of tourists alongside Singapore’s party animals. Clarke Quay’s location takes full advantage of the picturesque body of water that emerges from the city’s main river, with alfresco-style dining to be had in an endless number of eateries set around the water’s edge. Head under the futuristic, jelly-like roof and you’ll find some great shopping options as well as a plentiful supply of bars, making this a real bar-hoppers’ heaven.
Universal Studios Singapore
Universal Studios Singapore is the first amusement park of its kind to open in Southeast Asia. The park has more than 20 attractions in themed zones including the Lost World, Ancient Egypt, New York, Hollywood, Madagascar and Far Far Away (remember Shrek?). Regarding the rides, two are water themed and five are thrilling roller coasters of which two of are currently the world’s tallest ‘dueling’ roller coasters. Families with small children can also make the most of the kids’ roller coaster and a merry-go-round too.
Gardens by the Bay is a huge, colourful, futuristic park in the bay area of Singapore; and has been crowned World Building of the year at the world Architecture Festival 2012. The famous Supertree structures offer an impressive skywalk over the gardens, over-sized seashell-shaped greenhouses recreate chilly mountain climates and there are hundreds of trees and plants to discover, making this destination great fun for both kids and adults.
This luxurious colonial-style hotel has a long history dating back to 1887 and has become one of the most important Singapore landmarks. Among famous guests are Elizabeth Taylor, Queen Elizabeth II and the late King of Pop, Michael Jackson. The Raffles Hotel features 103 suites and 18 distinctive restaurants and bars as well as an arcade with over 40 boutiques and stores (think Louis Vuitton and Tiffany & Co.) Many come for the Raffles Bar experience and you can be sure to enjoy the best Singapore Sling in town. After all, it was invented here and they’ve had almost 100 years of experience at making them
Chinatown is another Singapore icon; great for shopping (many swear by it as the cheapest souvenirs location in town.), to see all kind of important attractions and trying out authentic Chinese food. There are countless restaurants and hawker food vendors to choose from. Learn more about its history from the Chinatown Heritage Centre on Pagoda Street. Its main focus is on the Chinese immigrants who lived a hard life and were the main group of people who founded Singapore. Other attractions include Thian Hock Keng Temple, the oldest temple in Singapore, Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, Eu Yan Sang Chinese Medical Hall and Maxwell Road Food Centre
The Singapore Flyer is the world’s largest observation wheel. A one-of-a-kind experience and built over a three-story terminal building, the Flyer is 150 metres in diameter, 165 metres high, and travels at 0.21m per second (it is some 30 metres taller than the famous London Eye!) With breathtaking panorama views that are so radically different during the day and at night, it’s hard to choose the best time to take a ride. Passengers will get to see such city sights as the Singapore River, Raffles Place, Marina Bay, Empress Place and the Padang.
Sentosa Island is a man-made island that was built for fun and recreation. The many attractions on offer at Sentosa include the expansive Resorts World, Universal Studios Singapore, Tiger Sky Tower, Singapore Butterfly & Insect Kingdom, and one of the largest collections of aquatic animals in the world, SEA Aquarium, all of which continue to draw repeat visitors from all over Asia. Located just south of Singapore CBD, the 12-minute cable car ride from Vivo City to Sentosa Island has the added bonus of providing astounding panoramic views. If all of this sounds exhausting, don’t worry, because Sentosa Island are several soft, sandy beaches along the southern coast which are especially popular on weekends. This is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of the CBD and allows you to have a beach resort experience just a few minutes from one of Asia’s most enigmatic cities.
Singapore Night Safari is truly a unique attraction. It is not only an interesting place worth a visit but a leading conservation and research centre in Asia. As a zoo it offers an unusual glimpse into the nocturnal animal kingdom, with more than 59 exhibits and 1,000 animals to be seen from around the world. These include Himalayan griffon vultures, greater one-horned rhinoceroses, wildebeests and gazelles. You can simply start with the ‘Creatures of the Night’ show for a good 20-minute overview of the animals to be seen here.