What to see in Singapore: the 15 best attractions and things to do

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Martí Micolau

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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A cosmopolitan city with a skyline dominated by towering skyscrapers, Singapore is one of the most popular destinations for tourists from all over the world. The reasons? Simple, its colors fascinate, its lights involve, its neighborhoods and its attractions are of singular beauty. Perfect combination of different religions and cultures, of this metropolis of the East you cannot miss the most suggestive corners.

Here is ours guide with things to see in Singapore, the unmissable attractions, but also those a little less famous or to be considered if you have more time available.


  1. Marina Bay and Marina by Sands
  2. Gardens by the Bay
  3. Chinatown
  4. Little India
  5. Singapore Flyer
  6. Singapore Botanic Gardens
  7. Sentosa
  8. Arab Street
  9. Clarke Quay
  10. Orchard Road
  11. Museum of Art and Science
  12. Universal Studios Singapore
  13. Singapore Zoological Garden
  14. Raffles Hotel
  15. Fountain of Wealth
  16. Other attractions to visit
  17. 6 things to do in Singapore
  18. User questions and comments

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1 - Marina Bay and Marina by Sands

The Marina Bay is without a doubt the most innovative district of the city developed around its nerve center, the Marina Bay Sands Resort. The latter is a huge complex which has become one of the symbols of the city, which includes numerous amenities, including a hotel, convention center, casino, shopping mall, art and science museums, theaters and restaurants. We recommend that you go up to the viewing platform, just adjacent to the famous and very photographed swimming pool Infinity Pool.

It is part of the larger Downtown Core neighborhood, the historical and economic center of the city, where you can still admire buildings dating back to the colonial period, such as the Parliament.

The best time to visit Marina Bay is in the evening, when the light and music show involving the whole area is staged. Here is the Merlion, the half fish and half lion statue, mascot-symbol of the city. On the opposite bank, there is the Esplanade-Theaters on the Bay, a venue with a futuristic architecture with a theater, concert hall and shopping center!

Every evening, at 20:00 and 22:00, you can attend the show of dancing fountains and plays of light for free. If, on the other hand, you want to go up to the viewing platform to see the Infinity Pool, we recommend that you do so at sunset and buy your entrance ticket in advance.

  • Marina Bay Sands at 10 Bayfront Ave. Easily accessible on foot from the Singapore Flyer (900m, 11min) or Merlion (1,7km, 21min). Bayfront Subway Station (Circle Line and Downtown Line) - Get directions
  • Marina Bay and Merlion always accessible / Marina Bay Sands panoramic terrace every day 11: 00-21: 00 / Evening water show, lights and music every evening 20:00 and 22:00 (duration 15 min)
  • Marina Bay and Merlion free / Marina Bay Sands panoramic terrace SGD 26,00 (€ 16,30), reduced SGD 20,00 (€ 12,50)

2 - Gardens by the Bay

Consisting of 101 hectares, Gardens by the bay are modern and beautiful gardens. A unique place where nature and technology embrace giving shows at any time of the day. It contains varieties of plants from all over the world, but the main attraction is the gigantic Supertree Grove, artificial super-trees made with a mix of natural elements and lights that reach almost 50 meters. To see these structures up close, you can walk on the OCBC Skywalk, a walkway that crosses all the gardens from above.

The two bioclimatic greenhouses, the Flower Dome, which features different flowers in every season, and the Cloud Forest, with a huge waterfall! The atmosphere becomes even more magical in the evening when the Supertrees light up the park with the Garden Rhapsody show, a kaleidoscope of colored lights (show at 18:45 pm and 19:45 pm, plus additional hours on holidays, lasting 15 min).

To see the wonderful Garden Rapsody show, be sure to arrive early to get a "front row seat". If you want to visit the greenhouses or the walkway, get a skip-the-line electronic ticket

  • 18-Marina Gardens Drive. In addition to taxi and car, you can walk to Marina Bay (1,3 km, 16 min). Bayfront Subway Station (Circle Line and Downtown Line) - Get directions
  • Gardens every day 5: 00-2: 00 / Greenhouses and OCBC Skyway every day 9: 00-21: 00
  • Gardens free / Greenhouses full SGD 28,00 (€ 17,50) reduced SGD 15,00 (€ 9,40) / full OCBC Skyway 5,00 SGD (€ 3,15), reduced SGD 3,00 (€ 1,90, )

3 - Chinatown

Vivave, teeming and colorful, is the area of ​​Singapore inhabited exclusively (or almost!) By Chinese. Here the small traditional houses survive in the shadow of the big skyscrapers of the metropolis, enclosing typically Chinese flavors, colors and customs.

Pagoda Street is the main street where to buy souvenirs and gifts, while Smith Street is the perfect stop to buy food or stop for lunch at the street food stalls in the Chinatown Food Street market.

Among the most important cultural attractions in the neighborhood is the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum, a well-known Buddhist temple with an adjoining museum, inside which there is a sacred relic, which is presumed to be a tooth of the Buddha and is exhibited only on certain occasions. A visit to the Chinatown Heritage Center, ethnographic museum which traces the history of the Chinese who migrated to Singapore and is set up in a tailor's house.

We advise you to reach Chinatown for lunch time, as you can enjoy the many delicacies in one of the many food markets present here! Here you will be surrounded by scents, noises and the very friendly locals

  • not far from Downtown Core and Marina Bay Sands (1,6 km, 20 min walk). Area served by Telok Ayer (Downtown Line) and Chinatown (Downtown Line and North East Line) subway stations - Get Directions
  • neighborhood always open / Chinatown Heritage Center 9: 00-18: 00 / Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum 9: 00-16: 00
  • neighborhood and Buddha Tooth Relic Temple free / Chinatown Heritage Center full SGD 15,00 (€ 9,40), reduced SGD 11,00 (€ 6,90)

4 - Little India

Singapore's folkloric district, Little India is the heart of the city's Indian community. It is really easy to be fascinated by the characteristic shops of fabrics, jewels and spices. And that's where it is one of the oldest streets in the city, Serangoon Road. Do not miss at least a fleeting visit to the Mustafa Center, the 24-hour warehouse where you can find all kinds of objects at bargain prices, and to the Mekka Mall, the most modern and the only warehouse with air conditioning for a some refreshment in the warmer months. Obviously this is the best place to eat great tandoori chicken and palak paneer.

Who we recommend that you also visit the Sri Veerkamaliamman Temple (every day 5: 30-12: 15 and 16: 00-21: 00, Sun only in the morning), the oldest Hindu temple in Singapore and characterized by a particular architecture, with colorful statues representing religious deities.

In the northern part of the city, it borders the Arab Street district. Area served by Jalan Besar (Downtown Line) and Little India (Downtown Line and North East Line) metro stations - Get Directions

Little India is home to beautiful Hindu temples, where acts of worship of the Hindu religion known as puja are often performed. These are very touching celebrations that we recommend you attend. If you can, go there on a Sunday afternoon. It is literally overrun with people because of the market and the "blessings" in the temples. Always carry something with you to keep your shoulders and legs covered in places of worship

5 - Singapore Flyer

The largest Ferris wheel in the world. Located on a 3-storey building, it reaches 165 meters high offering sensational views over the city. Both day and night, there is to be enchanted by the beauty of the views that can be admired from above of the wheel.

Being located in the Marina Bay district, you can see the district itself, the Singapore River and from above some of the most iconic buildings in the city. On clear days (rare) the view extends even as far as Batam and Bintan in Indonesia and over part of Malaysia.

The complete tour takes about 30 minutes. The attraction, inaugurated in 2008, it is one of the most famous in Singapore and is able to accommodate 28 people in each of its 28 cabins.

  • at 30-Raffles Avenue. Easily accessible on foot from Marina Bay Sands (900m, 11min) and Merlion (1,3km, 16min). Promenade Metro Station (Circle Line and Downtown Line) - Get directions
  • every day 8: 30-22: 30
  • full 33,00 SGD (€ 20,70), reduced 21,00 SGD (€ 13,20)

6 - Singapore Botanic Gardens

They represent one of the oldest parks in the city, as well as one of the largest. What can be considered to all intents and purposes "Singapore's green lung" occupies a vast area in the heart of the metropolis, about 74 hectares, offering a perfect refuge from the hustle and bustle of the center.

Ideal for a walk surrounded by the scents and colors of thousands of plants, including the famous orchid, symbol of the city, to which an entire garden is dedicated, the National Orchid Garden. The landscape is made up of rainforests, flower meadows, swan lakes, palm trees, vegetable gardens and herb gardens. The rainforest is also not to be missed. A real paradise for plant and flower lovers!

  • 1-Cluny Road, northwest of downtown. Walkable from Orchid Road (1,6km, 20mins) or Marina Bay by Subway Downtown Line (Bayfront-Botanic Gardens, 15mins) - Get Directions
  • Botanic Gardens every day 5: 00-00: 00 / National Orchid Garden every day 8: 30-19: 00
  • Free Botanic Gardens / National Orchid Garden 5,00 SGD (€ 3,15)

7 - Sentosa

Island of rare beauty, located at the southern end of Singapore and accessible via the Sentosa Express line, the Singapore cable car.

Nothing else is that a large amusement park, where attractions for the whole family are concentrated: starting from the famous Universal Studios, to continue with the Adventure Cove Waterpark and the Sentosa 4D AdventureLand adventure park. There are also golf courses, shops and restaurants. Along the coast you will also find kilometers of soft beaches offer a beautiful setting for relaxation and escape the traffic of the city for just one afternoon.

Reachable by North-East line to Harbor Front. At Vivocity Level 3 take the Sentosa Express to the island (every 5-8 min, every day 7: 00-23: 45). To get around Sentosa, free buses (yellow, red and blue lines), trams and trains are available - Get directions

You can buy the Sky Pass for the Sentosa Express cable car conveniently online, avoiding the queues when you arrive at the starting point.

8 - Arab Street

Although the name may suggest that it is only one street, Arab Street actually is the Arab quarter of Singapore and includes the area enclosed by Bussorah Street, Haji and Bali Lane and Muscat Street. The heart of the neighborhood is Haji Lane, an alley full of boutiques and small shops that sell a bit of everything, from clothing to fabrics to gastronomic products, spices, teas and perfumes in the first place.

The sunset offers a magnificent spectacle above the golden dome of the Sultan Masjid Mosque, one of the major attractions of Singapore, with a 200-year long history and features that seem to come out of Aladdin's fairy tale! The silk and batik workmanship is unique for the clothes that take place in the neighborhood shops.

In the northern part of the city, it borders the Little India district. Area served by Jalan Besar metro station (Downtown Line), Nicoll Highway (Circle Line) and Lavender (North East Line) - Get directions

If you like Middle Eastern food, we recommend that you visit the neighborhood in the evening, to taste the many delicacies served in the many places

9 - Clarke Quay

The heart of Singapore's nightlife. This district overlooking the Singapore River and, with a succession of restaurants, bars and clubs of various kinds, it is perfect to spend the evening.

Not by chance comes to life in the evening, when it comes alive with music which offers a lively background to dinners and cocktails sipped along the canal. During the day, the neighborhood is well suited for a stroll spiced up with some healthy shopping.

In the center of Singapore, close to Chinatown and Marina Bay. Walkable to the Merlion (1,2 km, 15 min) and the Singapore Parliament (400 m, 5 min). Clarke Quay (North East Line) and Fort Canning (Downtown Line) Subway Station - Get Directions

10 - Orchard Road

The equivalent of New York's Fifth Avenue, Orchard Road is the most important shopping avenue in the city, and runs from Tanglin Mall, on Tanglin Road, to Plaza Singapura. Here, elegant boutiques of prestigious brands, furniture and accessory shops and large shopping centers are concentrated, which in addition to shops offer a wide range of services, restaurants and entertainment. The skyscrapers facing the avenue house spas, hotels, offices, restaurants and cafes.

There really is everything for spend an afternoon of shopping and fun, so much so that it almost makes you smile to think that this area was originally occupied by plantations, from which the road then took its name.

North of Marina Bay, it stretches from Orchard Towers to Orchard Road Presbyterian Church (total length 2,5km, 35 min walk). Served by multiple metro stations: Orchard and Somerset (North South Line), and Dhoby Ghaut (Circle Line, North South Line and Downtown Line) - Get directions

11 - Museum of Art and Science

Opened in 2011, it represents one of the main centers of cultural diffusion of Singapore and offers an innovative union between the world of arts and sciences.

The external structure of the museum is already striking the visitor, from refined and futuristic design, which recalls the lines of a lotus flower with open petals.

Inside, an area of ​​6.000 square meters where they are organized 21 exhibition spaces. On display, many symbolic objects of human history: among many you can admire them Leonardo da Vinci's flying machine. The exhibits are extremely accurate thanks also to the use of impact devices such as floating stairs and paths shaped by lights and moving images.

The complex overlooks the waters of a swimming pool full of flowers, which also reflects the lights in the evening, when everything is illuminated. We therefore advise you to stop and admire it externally as the sun goes down

  • at 6 Bayfront Ave, across from Marina Bay Sands. Easily accessible on foot from the Singapore Flyer (800m, 11 min). Bayfront Subway Station (Circle Line and Downtown Line) - Get directions
  • every day 10: 00-19: 00
  • one single exhibition full SGD 16,00 (€ 10,00), reduced SGD 12,00 (€ 7,50). Two exhibitions full SGD 25,00 (€ 15,70), reduced SGD 21,00 (€ 13,20)

12 - Universal Studios Singapore

Universal Studios Singapore they are part of the famous Universal Studios theme park chain, like the one in Florida or Hollywood. The theme park is located within Resorts World Sentosa on Sentosa Island. It is the second Universal Studios theme park to have opened in Asia, after Tokyo, and the first in Southeast Asia.

It is organized in 7 thematic areas, there are 28 thematic rides and shows and the various areas are mainly based on movies and TV shows, with their own attractions, meeting and reception places, over 30 restaurants and food kiosks and 20 retail shops.

Hollywood is the park's main entrance area; its only attraction is a Broadway-style theater, surrounded by several restaurants and a variety of shops. The area is lined with palm trees and boasts Hollywood-inspired architecture, complete with a replica of the famous Hollywood Walk of Fame.

If you are staying in central Singapore and, above all, if you are traveling with children, we recommend that you buy the Studios ticket with hotel pickup, so you don't have to worry about traveling

  • in Sentosa. Metro North-East line to Harbor Front. At Vivocity Level 3 take the Sentosa Express to the island (every 5-8 min, every day 7: 00-23: 45). Resorts World Station stop outside main entrance - Get directions
  • generally every day 10: 00-17: 00, but they can change according to day and season. We recommend consulting the official website
  • full from 79,00 SGD (€ 49,70), reduced from 59,00 SGD (€ 37,10)

13 - Singapore Zoological Garden

Another popular attraction in Singapore is the Zoological Garden. Despite being a zoo, actually it looks more like a natural park. With its 26 hectares of lush tropical forest, this large nature reserve has been providing oxygen to the city for more than 40 years!

Animals do not live in cages, but they roam in semi-freedom in wide open spaces that exactly reproduce their original habitat. There are more than 2.800 specimens, large and small, of over 300 different species, including rare ones, typical of both Asia and distant lands. And over 60 species of reptiles and amphibians, such as alligators, pythons, Komodo dragons, poisonous frogs, basilisks and chameleons. The park's paths can be explored on foot, choosing from different routes ranging from 4 to 8 hours. Alternatively, it is possible to move on board an internal minibus with unlimited rides starting at 8:30.

Very suggestive and requested is the experience of the Night Safari, for which we advise you to buy the complete package of entrance, tram ride and return transfer, so as not to have to move alone in the evening between bus and metro

  • north of Singapore. Accessible by metro (Downtown Line) from Marina Bay to Bukit Panjang, then bus to the zoo. Safari Gate Bus available (from Suntec City, Marina Baym to the zoo, active outward 8: 30-16: 00, return 11: 30-17: 00, more info on the official website - Get directions
  • zoo every day 8: 30-18: 00 / Night Safari Thu-Sun 19: 00-23: 00. Times may vary according to day and season, consult the official website
  • full zoo 39,00 SGD (€ 24,50), reduced 26,00 SGD (€ 16,40) / Night Safari full 51,00 SGD (€ 32,10), reduced 34,00 SGD (€ 21,40)

14 - Raffles Hotel

Historic hotel with colonial charm. Singapore icon, emblem of luxury and symbol of the Orient hosted all the greats: from Joseph Conrad and Rudyard Kipling to Prince William and Kate Middleton. A Sikh porter welcomes you at the entrance.

A room can be expensive, but to browse and take a look inside there is no need to stay overnight. The hall, in fact, is free to access, but above all the bar, one of the most famous bars in all of Asia, is open to all, with the wooden counter covered in a finger-high layer of peanut husks and the wicker and bamboo fans.

In perfect colonial style, traditions are kept alive here such as 17 o'clock tea and the brunch ritual, to be consumed on comfortable damask armchairs. On the ground floor there are elegant shops of big names like Luis Vuitton.

Here the Singapore Sling was invented, a cocktail appreciated all over the world, consisting of pineapple juice, lime juice, a cherry, but also gin, brandy, cointreau and Dom Benedictine. If you love alcohol, order one at the hotel bar!

  • at 1 Beach Rd. Easily accessible on foot from the Esplanade-Theaters on the Bay (600m, 7 min) or the Merlion (950m, 12 min). City Hall Subway Station (East West Line and North South Line) - Get directions
  • shops and boutiques generally 10 am-00pm, bars varying hours, until late
  • Hall free access / Bar consumption

15 - Fountain of Wealth

As seen so far, Singapore is a modern and avant-garde city, where everything is calculated down to the smallest detail. The malls are also large, clean and modern, and one of the most famous is Suntec City, which is definitely worth a visit!

Inside, in fact, you can find one of the main attractions of the city. We are talking about the Fountain of Wealth, the largest fountain in the world. It is even possible to enter the fountain, where you will find a sign with instructions to follow: "stretch your arm inwards and make three laps around the center of the fountain, it will bring you luck".

  • at 3 Temasek Blvd, within Suntec City. Easily accessible on foot from the Raffles Hotel (850 m, 11 min). Promenade Metro Station (Downtown Line and Circle Line) - Get directions
  • Suntec City hours, generally 10 am-00pm
  • free

Other attractions to visit

Obviously the city is full of many other attractions that are worth visiting, especially if you have the opportunity to stop for several days. In the Marina area, admire the Helix Bridge, which takes its name from its shape, in the evening it is all lit up in purple. The Padang district is also worth visiting, full of colonial buildings, symbols of ancient British imperialism: the Victoria Theater, the City Hall, the former seat of Parliament, the Supreme Court, St. Andrews Cathedral and the Empress Place Building which houses the Museum of Asian Civilization ( 3,75,00 SGD / € 2,35).

ll Jurong bird park it is instead the perfect place for bird lovers as it is one of the largest in the world dedicated to these animals (28,80 SGD / € 18,00). For a 100% natural experience we also recommend the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve: over 10 hectares outside the city center, the perfect place for lovers of trekking and mountain biking, and for those who practice climbing.

And finally, for a sensory experience, go to the Takashimaya Food Village, where you will find many varieties of foods that reflect the different ethnic groups that live together in Singapore.

6 things to do in Singapore

  1. Jewel Changi Airport: Singapore airport is one of the most beautiful in the world, a real attraction! For example, we recommend that you buy an entrance ticket to Canopy Park, the large park on the top floor of the airport
  2. Duck ride: See Singapore from another perspective on a city tour aboard a DUCK, a Vietnamese amphibious vehicle dating back to World War II
  3. Discover the hawkers: these are areas full of stalls where you can taste traditional dishes, a real culinary journey. You can find them in the Chinatown area.
  4. River safari: in addition to the zoo and the Night Safari, you can also experience the River Safari with hotel pickup, activities that children will especially love
  5. Selfie in front of the Merlion: you cannot say that you have been to Singapore without taking a selfie in front of the large statue of the Merlion, with the Marina Bay Sands in the background
  6. Swim in the Infinity Pool: unfortunately it is reserved for hotel guests, but if you don't have budget problems, treat yourself to a swim in one of the most beautiful and famous swimming pools in the world!

Plan your stay in Singapore: flights and hotels

The fastest way to reach Singapore from Italy is by plane. Direct flights depart from Rome and Milan, and all land at Singapore Changi International Airport (starting from € 478,00). Once you arrive, you can comfortably reach your hotel with the one-way shuttle service.

To stay, consider that Marina Bay is the most touristic area, but also the most expensive. Cheaper accommodation can be found in Chinatown from where it is easy to get around using the subway (accommodation from € 60,00 per night). Singapore is an easy city to visit: the most characteristic neighborhoods can be easily explored on foot and from one area to another you can move very well with the metro.

If you love nightlife, Clarke Quay and Marina Bay these are the areas where the opportunities for fun to stay up late in the evening are concentrated, while if you are traveling with children, plan a ride on the Singapore Flyer and a day in Sentosa, but also at the Zoo (perhaps taking part in the Night Safari) .

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