You might come across thousands of Singaporeans moaning about the fact that they have nothing much to do in the city apart from shopping, movie hopping and dining. But, nothing could be further from the truth. Any trip to Singapore, especially for people visiting the city for the first time, is full of things to do and places to see. Actually, the chances of getting bored are less than zero. Yes, you’re likely to see a lot of Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Gucci, Prada and every other major fashion label in the world, but you’ve also got a wealth of natural beauty, historical wonders, man-made attractions and cultural delights to choose from. Here is a short list of the top things to do in Singapore.
National Orchid Garden
The National Orchid Garden might be located in the Singapore Botanical Gardens, but it definitely deserves to be mentioned separately on this list. This piece of paradise is an excellent choice for any nature lover. The National Orchid Garden offers visitors with more than 2000 hybrids and 1000 different varieties of orchids. The orchid-lined pathways are beautiful places for a romantic walk and places like the orchidarium, the cool house, VIP Orchid Garden and the mist house simply add to the excitement.
Marina Bay Sands
Marina Bay Sands might be a hotel, but it’s unlike any other hotel in the world. There’s just so much to talk about when it comes to Marina Bay Sands, but we’re going to restrict this post to the hotel swimming pool. Located at a height of 52 storeys and stretching to 150 meters, this is definitely one of the highest and sexiest swimming pool in the world. The pool is a tribute to breathtaking architectural engineering and it offers you with some of the most breathtaking views in Singapore. Swim, drink and enjoy views at the same time? Hmm, too good to say no to.
The Singapore Zoo and Night Safari
The Singapore Zoo and Night Safari are an experience that you mustn’t miss out on while in Singapore. The Singapore Zoo is famous as the best zoo in the world and is home to more than 2800 animals from more than 300 species. It boasts of extremely clever enclosures that allow animals to appear within touching distance and still give you a feel of being completely safe. Some of the most popular residents of the Singapore Zoo are giant pandas, orangutans, rhinos, elephants, polar bears, raccoon dogs, wolverines and fruit bats.
Universal Studios might have opened as recently as the year 2010, but each and every Universal Studios property is a big thing and a major crowd puller. The Universal Studios in Singapore is no different. It offers visitors with seven exciting themes and endless rides and shows, all of which relate to some of the most epic Hollywood movies. Some of the star attractions and themes in Universal Studios Singapore include the Hollywood Boulevard, Sci-Fi and Ancient Egypt.
Sentosa Island, popularly known as Asia’s Favorite Playground, is an entire island that has completely been dedicated to fun and exciting activities. You could spend an entire week in Sentosa and still not manage to cover all the wonders that this fantastic island has to offer. It has everything that you could possibly ask for –from beautiful beaches to exhilarating rides, from natural beauty to exciting roller coasters. Some of the star attractions in Sentosa Island include Universal Studios, 3D Magix, Underwater World, iFly Singapore, Resorts World Sentosa, Marine Life Park, Tanjong Beach and Siloso Beach.
Every metropolis in the world has a commercial avenue that is the center for upscale brands, designer boutiques and world famous stores; but Orchard Road is truly something else. This world famous boulevard is home to countless neon lights, malls, brands and hotels. It features more than 300 restaurants alone and is also home to the humongous ION Orchard Shopping Complex. Window shopping might be the order of the day, but you’re free to max your credit cards in one of the many fashion brands located here. The closest MRT to Orchard Road is the Orchard MRT Station.
The Singapore Flyer is the city-state’s answer to the iconic London Eye. It is one of the largest observation wheels in the world and despite all its hype, it has never been popular among locals. Touted as a tourist trap by many, the Singapore Flyer still remains to be popular among tourists. Like it or hate it, there is no denying the fact that this iconic sight might be worth your while. The $29.50 entrance fee might discourage you, but be happy about the fact that you’re almost never likely to find a queue here.
Singapore Botanic Gardens
Best part about the Singapore Botanic Gardens? The entry is free. What’s even better? No one in their right mind allows someone to enjoy one of the most beautiful landscapes on the planet for free. The Singapore Botanic Gardens is a must see place in the city. It covers about 74 hectares and it is the only botanic gardens in the world that is open from 05.00AM – 00.00AM, all 365 days a year. Some of the most popular attractions of the Singapore Botanic Gardens include the National Orchid Garden, Evolution Garden, Ginger Garden, Botany Center and the Rainforest.
Palau Ubin is the second largest off-shore island in the city. The only way of accessing the island is to board a bumboat from the Changi Point Ferry Terminal. This bumboat operates between 06.00AM – 08.00PM. Palau Ubin is famous for being one of the best cycling spots in the city. It is home to a number of interesting mangroves and the fact there are no cars on the island makes it an ideal respite from the smoggy wonders of mainland Singapore.
Singapore is defined by its numerous ethnic neighborhoods and the Singapore Chinatown is definitely the most beautiful one. Like all other Chinatowns around the world, the Singapore Chinatown is extremely famous among travelers. It is full of food stalls, eateries and all sorts of shops selling Chinese goods and the place is always buzzing with locals, tourists, customers and pedestrians. Some of the most popular attractions in Chinatown include the Thian Hock Keng Temple, Chinatown Heritage Centre and the Sri Mariamman Temple. The Chinese New Year celebrations in Singapore are known to rank among the very best in the world. If you happen to visit the city around January or February, it makes sense to time your trip accordingly so that you can catch the excitement of the Chinese New Year parades while in Singapore.
Unfortunately, the swimming pool that the Ritz-Carlton has to offer is no where close to what the Marina Bay Sands has to offer to its guests. But, what the Ritz-Carlton can offer is one of the best artwork collections in the city. The massive Frank Stella piece installed at the entrance of the hotel is among one of the finest artistic wonders of Southeast Asia. The Dale Chihuly crystal glass sculptures are no pushovers either. Furthermore, the contemporary and modern art collection of the hotel is also known to be one of the best in Southeast Asia. Some of the most popular artists featured here include Rainer Gross, Andy Warhol, Henry Moore and David Hockney.
The Singapore Little India is an ideal place for anyone wanting to get a taste of India in Singapore. This beautiful ethnic enclave is home to everything Indian – right from amazing spices and beautiful fabrics to aromatic massage oils and exotic flowers. There are a number of beautiful souvenir shops located along Serangoon Road and its countless alleyways. A visit to the Mustafa Centre, a 24 x 7 shopping mall is also considered to be a must. The Little India MRT is the closest MRT station.