Often dubbed one of the world’s cleanest cities, Singapore is a modern, vibrant and green island-city packed with ample sights and sounds to suit all tastes.
Even if you’ve only a short amount of time to spend in this sovereign city-state metropolis, due to its relatively small size and wonderful transportation system you’ll still be able to explore plenty of Singapore’s ‘must-see’ attractions…
Climb the world’s most expensive building
Costing a cool US$ 4.7 billion, the iconic Marina Bay Sands, located in a Marina Bay area of the city, is the world’s most expensive building. Opened in 2011, this mightily impressive structure boasts 2,561 hotel rooms, conference and shopping centres, restaurants and theatres, and is by far the most recognisable landmark in Singapore.
A trip to the lofty rooftop Sands SkyPark offers incredible and unbeatable panoramic 360-degree views of Singapore’s skyline, which can be enjoyed with a glass of wine or two from the park’s 150-metre infinity pool.
Take a trip to the zoo
Singapore Zoo is world-class. Beautifully designed (no cages as such, instead the animals roam about on leafy, moated islands) and just a short bus ride from the centre of town, it’s a great place to while away a few hours. The Night Safari next door is equally brilliant, and is a must if you extend your stay for a couple of days.
Get lost in the lush Botanic Gardens
Once visited by Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge, Singapore’s Botanic Garden is an 183-acre flourishing paradise, home to a collection of over 1,000 orchid species and 2,000 hybrids.
The gardens open between 5am and midnight and is awash with joggers, dog walkers and locals practising tai chi.
Shop till you drop on Orchard Road
When it comes to quality shopping destinations in Asia, Singapore is up there with the best of them. The city’s famous Orchard Road is lined with huge shopping malls and worldwide brands, including Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Burberry and Chanel.
The introduction of cinemas, bowling alleys, restaurants and hotels makes this not only a shopper’s haven but also the main entertainment area of Singapore.
Ride Singapore’s take on the London Eye
When it first opened in 2008, Singapore’s answer to the London Eye didn’t go down too well with locals, mainly because they were put off by the ticket price. However, we think the US $20 fare is pretty good value – you get a 30-minute ride in the world’s second largest observation wheel, and the views are stunning. And since Singaporeans aren’t much interested, it means you won’t have to wait in line for quite so long!
Hitching a ride after sunset offers perhaps the most spectacular views of the softly-lit skyscrapers.
Got more than one day?
If you decide to extend your stay in Singapore for more than a day, why not take a trip to nearby Sentosa Island? Used as a British military base during the Second World War, today the island is visited by more than 5 million people per year and is home to a 2-kilometre long sheltered beach, golf courses, five-star hotels and Universal Studios Singapore.
Image credit: Les Haines and Prachanart Viriyaraks