Top Things to Do in Singapore
Every year, a large number of tourists flock to Singapore to enjoy the grandeur and charm the place offers. Singapore offers a perfect mix of the present and past, skyscrapers and serene landscape, and beautiful places of worship, apart from several other spectacular tourist spots.
Marina Bay Sands
The long-awaited grand opening of Singapore’s second integrated resort is slated for June 23 and most of us have been looking forward to getting stuck into the full-fat version of Marina Bay Sands ever since it’s phase one opening at the end of April. Locals pay a S$100 tariff for entry to the casino, while foreigners enter free, but after you’ve given your credit card a working, take a break from the retail roller coaster with a boat ride. Yes, this sampan ride (coming soon) takes you on a cruise down the canal at the Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands. If food is more your thing, pick from the array of restaurants opened by celebrity chefs such as Wolfgang Puck and our very own Justin Quek.
Double helix bridge at Marina Bay
This bridge is proof that, sometimes, a bridge is not just a bridge. More of an architectural wonder, this is certainly one spot for many touristy snaps — and wedding photos too, we imagine. Located next to the floating platform at Marina Bay and the new Youth Olympic Park — and connecting to Marina Bay Sands — the bridge is made up of a major and minor steel helix that wind around each other. If all the steel tubes are laid end to end, it would measure 2,250 metres long. Plus, the entire structure weighs about 1,700 tons. And if you think walking through this bridge gives you the same experience at all times, think again. There’s a night lighting feature built into the bridge, which can be programmed to create various moods for different events.
Universal Studios Singapore
Singapore’s first theme park features rides and attractions that are guaranteed to give you a thrilling time. Meet Shrek and company, take a walk down Hollywood Boulevard or have an amazing encounter with dinosaurs at Jurassic Park. Make a day out of it and check out all the rides, while taking breaks for food and drink at the various F&B outlets. Just make sure you have your meals after the roller coaster rides. Adult tickets are priced from S$66, but varies on different days, so check out the website for more information. Once you’ve paid for entry into the park, rides are free. Just don’t forget to get your souvenirs from the many retail outlets — such as the Universal Studios Store — to complete your theme park experience.
Gardens by the Bay
Monet once referred to his garden as his most beautiful masterpiece. Singapore’s new icon, a 101-hectare horticultural attraction, certainly seems to be the nation’s most beautiful with more than 250 thousand rare plants in huge domed conservatories. Less than a five-minute walk from Marina Bay, the Gardens is split into three waterfront spaces: Bay South, Bay East, and Bay Central, which connects the first two.
Bay South―the largest waterfront garden―is where you’ll find the impressive Supertrees. These 16-storey-tall vertical gardens collect rainwater, generate solar power and act as venting ducts for the park’s conservatories. A suspended 128-metre-long walkway between two Supertrees, the OCBC Skyway, is perfect for walks at any hour, offering a bird’s eye view of the Gardens and the Marina Bay urban area. At Bay East, there’re pretty pavilions, lush lawns, tropical palm trees and natural blossoms, ideal for an evening stroll or a picnic with family and friends. Along its two-kilometer waterfront promenade, you can get an amazing view of the skyline. Location: 18 Marina Gardens Drive, Singapore
Call us weird but we think the idea of a safari at night is really cool. The Night Safari is the world’s first wildlife park for nocturnal animals and has won the Singapore Tourism Board’s Best Visitor Attraction Experience not once, not twice, but eight times! The 40-hectare park is home to over 1,000 animals from 115 species, of which almost 30 percent are threatened. Catch them before they’re gone. Explore the park either on foot via three walking trails or by tram. Either way, you’ll be coming back for more.
80 Mandai Lake Road, Singapore729826; tel. +65 6269 3411
St James Power Station
Why party in just one place when you can do so at nine places in one night? What used to be a real, functioning power station is now a hotspot for night birds, who want more from their clubbing experience. With venues like Dragonfly, Movida, Peppermint Park and Bellini Room providing very different experiences, this is kind of like the clubber’s version of going around the world in one night. Live music features prominently here too, with local and foreign acts and DJs sharing the stage at the individual outlets. Perfect for club hopping without having to queue for taxis numerous times in a night — or just for ADHD party-goers.
3 Sentosa Gateway, Singapore; tel. +65 6270 7676; www.stjamespowerstation.com
Singapore FlyerSingapore Flyer
It’s the world’s largest observation wheel and it’s still standing after two years, unlike the wheel in Melbourne, Australia. It stands at a stunning 165 metres and is the height of a 42-storey building. Plus, it cost S$240 million to build, so it sure is one heck of an expensive ride. Still, once you’re up there, you really can’t put a price on the breathtaking view. As the wheel turns and you get views of landmarks such as the Singapore River, Raffles Place, Marina Bay, Empress Place and the Padang. Being Singapore, you’ll also get to indulge in our top two national pastimes — food and shopping. Eat, drink, shop and be merry, while being on top of the world.
This is a freshwater reservoir in the heart of the city. And it’s also a place for water sports enthusiasts to enjoy their favorite hobbies. It’s also a great picnic spot, especially the rooftop garden that’s also a big attraction for kite flyers. And, as with most green/water-based attractions in Singapore, it’s also a popular backdrop for wedding snaps. But its purpose is not just to be a pretty sight — it’s also very environmentally friendly. Green technologies include a rainwater collection system and solar panels that generate almost half of its electricity needs. Get yourself on one of the tours that take place daily, except Tuesdays, to find out more about this attractive dam.
8 Marina Gardens Drive, Singapore; tel. +65 6514 5959; www.pub.gov.
Tanjong Pagar DistriparkArt galleries at Tanjong Pagar Distripark
Five galleries and one art space are housed in Tanjong Pagar Distripark, right where the docks are. [email protected] is a white minimalist setting for galleries, artists, auction houses and museums. Fortune Cookie Projects bring in major international artists, with the one requirement that “it’s got to be very real, verifiable quality that fits our ethos.” ReDot Fine Art Gallery is the only gallery on our shores that specializes in Australian indigenous art, while Valentine Willie Fine Art focuses on modern and contemporary Southeast Asian art. L2 Space showcases fine art in different media by local and Asian artists and photographers. And, lastly, Galerie Waterton primarily exhibits Indonesian art but is startiing to include artists from countries such as India and the Philippines.
Raffles Amrita Spa
Possibly the most well-known luxury spa in Singapore, Raffles Amrita Spa at Raffles The Plaza is pure indulgence for the body and soul. The treatments offered here are for both men and women and it really doesn’t matter what age you are — everyone loves a relaxing massage, right? Try the Nirvana Body Treatment, an Ayurvedic-inspired treatment that includes a body wrap, a foot massage and application of body moisturizer. And that’s just the prelude to a massage! Other treatments include Golfer’s Escape, De-stresser and Grape Expectations, where grape seed products are used.
2 Stamford Road; tel. +65 6239 1780; www.amritaspa.com
If you want evidence of a city that never sleeps, head to Clarke Quay. What was once an area buzzing with commercial activity in the 19th century now hosts revelers who party till the sun comes up. Restaurants, bars, clubs and retail outlets all scream for your attention. Because of its proximity to the Singapore River, it’s a popular spot for tourists, but you’ll see a fair share of locals hamming it up for the night too. The Pump Room serves up Aussie fare and great music thanks to local band Jive Talking, The Highlander is a Scottish pub, while The Rupee Room brings a Bollywood touch to the heart of Singapore. Just be careful of possible taxi touts when you’re heading home. The taxi queue might look long but there are always plenty of cabs on hand, so just wait patiently.