Singapore is the most magical, clean, well-functioning city we’ve ever been to… maybe one of the hottest as well, but putting that aside, it’s somewhere everyone needs to go at least once in their lifetime! It’s so clean that even buildings in the city centre, which would stand for over 100 years in England, are stripped down and rebuilt once they start to look a bit shabby.
Because of this rebuilding culture, the city is always evolving, meaning there are multiple ‘must-see’ sites to see in Singapore. From learning about the roots of the city and mixing in the local culture, to the glitzy touristy and Central Business District, the city provides a huge mixture.
We were lucky enough to be in the city for five days – which we think is a perfect amount of time – and stayed in the Tiong Bahru district, our favourite area as it still holds a lot of traditional charm.
During these five days we crammed in as much as possible, below we’ve listed a selection of places which we think are worth battling the heat and humidity to see. In no particular order we have…
Gardens By the Bay
Gardens by the Bay was our number one choice and the first place we headed when we landed to Singapore. As always we arrived early, around about 8:30am, and luckily enough we pretty much had it to ourselves. The vibe compared to when we left at around 2pm in the afternoon was so so different. It was so much more magical walking between the Supergroves in the morning, so yeah, get there early.
The entrance to see the Supergroves is free as it’s open to the public, but if you are looking to go into the two domes, do the Canopy Walk or any of the exhibitions you’ll need to buy individual tickets or one bundle ticket for the whole thing. We decided to get the bundle as we were only there for a few days, who know’s when we would be lucky enough to come back so… we wanted to see everything!
We have to say the Cloud Forest was our favourite part. The dome was really tranquil and the sound of the trickling water was dreamy. The flower dome is a little bit crazy, but there are some amazing flowers so worth a visit and the canopy walk was also pretty cool as you were able to be so close to the Supergroves.
One thing we would say though is you have to come back at night. Every evening they hold two light and music shows which are absolutely stunning. The trees are pretty much dancing to the music and it’s really beautiful and we’re going to put it out there we were a little bit emotional. Plus, as it’s free you really don’t have an excuse either…
Art Science Museum
The Art Science Museum has a number of exhibitions to explore but our favourite was ‘Future World: Where Art Meets Science.’ We would recommend buying a single ticket to this exhibition, but if you want to see them all then you can get a bundle package.
The ‘Future World: Where Art Meets Science’ exhibition is made up of lots of different interactive light installations, so when you move the butterflies will move towards you or the water will flow over you. There is also a slide for people would feel like finding their inner-child.
Now word of warning… this exhibition is aimed at children so it can get quite busy with lots of little ones. We would recommend seeing the exhibition at the beginning or the end of the day to avoid the rush. Although we love children, the exhibition is more enjoyable without them if we’re being honest. But, if you have kids of your own then crack on any time…
Drinks at Marina Bay Sands
It wouldn’t be a trip to Singapore if you didn’t have a drink at Marina Bay Sands, the most famous building in Singapore, maybe even Asia, maybe even the world (that last one might be pushing it…!?)
As luck would have it there is bar at the top which you don’t need a reservation for, you can rock up to when you please. LAVO, at the ‘back of the boat’ (the building is meant to be a boat riding on waves… can you see that now?) is open to the public without reservation. You may not get a table but who wants a table when you can stand by the edge and look out over the most insane view!?
We also did push the boat out (did you get it?) and book at table at SPAGO for dinner. The food was lovely but we have to say we wasn’t blown away. The reason you go up to the top is to see the view, but in SPAGO you can only see an inch of the view because you’re in a box in the middle… lovely food but we’re not sure it’s worth it.
It’s one thing looking down from the Marina Bay Sands over the bay but its another walking going around the bay and looking up. We hired Grab Scooters for the afternoon (which is one of the easiest ways to get round the city) and circled the bay. You get to see the Helix Bridge, the Esplanade Bridge and Merlion – which is basically a weird lion fish thing which squirts water out of its mouth – very popular selfie stick area but we never really understood why.
Colourful, hectic, loud and we loved it. China Town in every city is busy, but due to such a huge Chinese population living in Singapore it’s even crazier here! You have markets, food halls, street art and just wondering around is enough to get every sense going.
Go to China Town bam smack in the middle of the day, it wouldn’t be as fun without a little shoulder barging…
This was one of our favourite parts of Singapore and oh gosh the food is insane. Our two favourite things to do in Litte India – apart from eating obviously – were the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple and House of Tan Teng Niah.
While we were there the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple was absolutely buzzing with life. There were people there making offerings, Hindus decorating and cleaning the statues, people signing, praying, it was an absolutely wonderful thing to witness and one of our favourite moments throughout the whole trip.
On the other hand you have the House of Tan Teng Niah, a beautiful, vibrant and funky multicoloured house in the middle of little India which dates back to the early 1900. Even though it is in the middle of Little India it’s actually based around Chinese architecture, either way it’s stunning.
We didn’t see much of Sentosa Island and this is definitely something we want to explore more next time we visit. However, we did spend one lovely afternoon on the beach. The beaches of Sentosa are manmade and the water isn’t the cleanest as there are about 100 crate ships in the distance, but the beach bars are really good fun and have a great vibe especially at the weekends when the locals come down too! Just be prepared for Ibiza prices.
National Museum of Singapore
This museum is located in the heart of the city and has a fantastic exhibition about the history of Singapore. We’re quite into history and pride ourselves on our WW2 knowledge however, we had no idea about the impact our occupation and WW2 had on the locals and the Chinese community living in Singapore at the time.
This museum is not only an architectural dream but absolutely fascinating and educational. We think it’s important when you are away to understand where the place your visiting has come from because then you can understand what you see better. This place gives you that insight and it also had air conditioning so you know…
Walk the Southern Ridges
If you’re ever feeling a little cramped in the city there are loads of places to break out. One of our favourites is the Southern Ridges walk. It runs along the hills of Singapore overlooking the city and there are a number of different paths you can take. It’s great to see a different side to the city, a more holistic and local side and if you’re lucky enough you might even see a monkey or two, we didn’t… it’s a bit of a sore spot.