Singapore is a very popular round-the-year tourist destination in the South East Asian region for many reasons. Multicultural society, highly developed infrastructure, Chinese and Indian temples, numerous shopping malls, restro-bars, luxurious yet affordable hotels, fabulous food for all classes and tastes, Art & Science museums, Botanic gardens, jungles, zoo, cable car rides and much more.
An overview of the top tourist attractions in Singapore
MARINA BAY DISTRCT
Marina Bay is the centre of tourist attractions like the world’s largest floating stadium, Gardens by the bay, Marina Bay Sand resort, Singapore Flier, Merion Park, Art & Science Museum, high class casinos, night clubs, hotels, shopping areas and numerous eateries meeting tastes and preferences of one and all.
2. GARDENS BY THE BAY
A large potion of coastal area which has been developed into an attractive tourist destination is part of the reclaimed sea land. Garden by the Bay is a park in the bay region which provides a panoramic breathtaking view of the garden from the climate-controlled sky walk. The huge sea shell shaped green houses with hundreds of species of tropical trees and flowering plants provide a great attraction to tourist of all ages. The fascinating sound and light show conducted every evening is just out of the world. Eateries are perched on top of huge tree like structures alongwith an open sky bar.
Green House Garden: Daily 5:00 a.m. to 02:00 p.m.
Garden Cruiser: Mon – Fri : 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Sat-Sun & holidays: 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Green House fee: Adult – 28 SGD
Children – 15 SGD
3. SINGAPORE ZOO
An excellent and priceless destination for kids. It has the distinction of housing some very rare species of wild animals and birds. With over 300 species of wild animals, mammals, birds, etc., housed in a very spacious and thoughtfully created habitat spreading over more than 20 hectares, it can consume half a day with kids. Some of the major attractions are the Giant Tortoise, Pygmy Hippos, Sea Lion (Seal), Apes and other primates, the White Tiger, Tree Kangaroos, etc. There are splash safari shows (one during day around 10 a.m. and the other in the evening around 5:00 p.m.)
Special tours around the zoo for the little ones is a daily affair. Getting close to farm animals and pets like goats, rabbits, chicks and feeding or patting them makes for an exhilarating experience for kids. Pony rides are also available. Forest wonderland has been created fro some extra fun for kids on the theme of rain forests of Africa. You may carry one extra set of clothes for your kids should they get wet and messy while having fun.
Finally, you are taken around the Zoo-rassic park where you get to see animated figures of prehistoric animals like a variety of dinosaurs.
Timings: 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. 24*7
The entire island is a resort in itself that would provide you a while day full of fun with not a single dull moment and more. It is truly a holiday resort with plenty to do for ages and tastes. It provides great relaxation for the not so young on the extensive and specklessly clean Palawan beaches, ample of adventure and exploring for the not so old at the Flying Trapeze, Adventure Cove and Aquarium and of course all round amusement for all ages at the Universal Studio. A free mobile app will guide you to Sentosa and beyond and also update you on the various seasonal activities/programmes that may be scheduled during your stay at Singapore. You just need to reach Sentosa Gateway from where you can crossover to the island by the walking over the bridge, take the cable way, or tram or bus. Sentosa invites you with the same enthusiasm throughout the year.
5. UNIVERSAL STUDIOS SINGAPORE
As the name suggests, this is Asia first Hollywood movie theme park. In simple words it is a power pack of entertainment involving extreme thrills through seemingly never ending rides.
At the Hollywood zone you will witness different rides themed on famous Hollywood movies which are packed with adventurous thrills coupled with breathtaking sound and light special effects which can get you to the edge of your seat.
There are 3d battle themed rides that feature the awe inspiring depiction of evil forces and make you miss a beat. You may enter the underworld of the Egyptian era and comfort the frightful faces of mummies while moving on the indoor roller coaster ride that passes through dark tunnels that bring these murals suddenly to life with dazzling light & sound effects.
Then you have the fun filled splash ride of Madagascar, when you end up all wet and drenched while in about ride. To add to adventure there is the 4d movie show experience which makes you feel as part of all the action and thrill.
To take the excitement to its zenith you get to view live shows of the water world where in death defying stunts are performed that can bring your heart into your mouth. As you move from ride to ride you can cool off at refreshment counters and rejuvenate yourself.
6. SINGAPORE FLYER
This is Asia’s largest Ferris Wheel towering at 543 feet equivalent to a 40 storey tall sky scraper. At the top you can have a 360 degree view of the Bay area and on a clear day with binoculars, you could be lucky to have a glimpse of Malaysia too. It is almost a hundred feet taller than the famous London Eye.
The glass cabins/pods are very comfortable with air-conditioned enivrons, very spacious and provide great opportunity to carry back snapshot memories. The ideal time to take this 30 minutes breathtaking ride is just before dusk so that you get a glimpse of the glittering lights just after dusk.
Fee for the ride is fairly high at approx.. 35 SGD. In case you choose a package alongwith meals, the cost shoots up. You can make your bookings online as well which should save you the queueing up and waiting time at the counter.
Timings: 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
7. MERLION PARK
The mythical figure with the head of a Lion and body of a fish is Singapore’s mascot. The figure symbolizes the historic evolution of Singapore with a humble beginning as a fishing village with a modest economy and the Lion’s head (Singa meaning Lion) represents it’s original name Singapora. Initially this 8.6 meters tall Merlion that weighs about 70 tonnes was located at the mouth of the Singapore River. However in 2002, this Merlion was relocated for the benefit of tourists close to Fullerton Hotel facing Marina Bay. Water pumps are fitted to this iconic figure for spraying an impressive jet of water from the mouth of the lion into the Bay. It provides an excellent background to a selfie and is a must-visit site. Over the years, a number of smaller and larger versions of the Merlion have been erected at different locations so that tourists do not miss viewing it. The Giant version is located at Sentosa Island.
8.SINGAPORE BOTANIC GARDENS
True to its name as the ‘City of Gardens’, the Botanic Gardens house the rarest of rare variety of trees, plants and flowers including a large variety of colourful orchids. A large variety of restaurants are also located here to meet the comfort and hunger of the tourists. Children learn a lot at no cost as children below 12 years have a free entry. Open on Saturdays from 10 to 6 at a nominal entry fee.
9. CHINA TOWN
Here you get to see everything of Chinese culture, religion artifacts, eats and drinks and you can carry home lovely souvenirs. Bar-be-que (Bak Kwa) is a star attraction. Tourist mostly visit the famous traditional Chinese medical shops at South Bridge Road. Here you will also find Hindu temples, Jamae Mosque and Mariamma temple. Throughout China Town, wi-fi is free and you can stay connected to the world.
10. LITTLE INDIA
Moment you are identified as an Indian on landing. The first question you face from the cab driver is- Mustafa sir? Majority of Indians head straight for this extraordinary 24*7 mall. Where you can find almost everything literally, and at a fairly reasonable price plus meeting the desired quality. Even grocery, vegetables & small fast-food stalls are packed under the same roof.
History dates back to the nineteenth century when migrant Indians and Chinese traders settled here. They even had a race course, cattle herders and brick kilns. Their places of worship were co-located which can be seen even today, displaying the richness of art and craftsman ship by way of Hindu and Chinese temples as well as the mosques and churches.
The vibrant Hindu culture is predominantly visible in all activities you get to see in this area and this is overwhelmingly displayed during deepavali (oct/nov) and pongal (mid Jan). The restaurants in this area serve delicious south Indian dishes and the mouth watering north Indian muglai non-veg & tandoori (earthen furnace) dishes. “Teh tarik” (pulled tea in Malay) is a star attraction. Tourists just look out for the brewers as it is indeed amazing to watch the fellow pull the hot milk tea.
Little India is located very close to the main city area and getting there is very simple.
11. SHOPPING & DINING (ORCHID ROAD)
Singapore is truly a shopper’s paradise. The latest additions beyond the numerous malls on Orchard Road are the crazy boutiques at Haji Lane and Tiong Bahru. Marina Bay too has a sprawling shopping avenue full of boutiques with latest designer collections which if visited on weekends, give you a very cheap bargain like Indian haat (Sunday Market).
New Restro-bars (Trenchard Arms), Laksa Restuarants, Katong in the area of Everton Park are some of the latest additions to the never ending list of Chinese, Thailand & Indian restaurants that provide huge variety of vegetarian non-veg and sea-food preparations. These joints stay open till fairly late close to midnight.
12. THE ASIAN CIVILISATIONS MUSEUM
If interested in cultural history of the Singapore. This is the palace to visit. It will tack you through the most enthralling past of this country where traders and scholars from across the global showed keen interest in this region. Thus the rich cultural bonding of the east with the west got established and the same has been very beautifully preserved and displayed in a huge building.
To take you beyond just the historical artifacts and art work an annual event called “the river night festival” is organized with the involvement of Japanese nationals during October/November. The programme helps you to connect with the different cultures associated with history of Singapore and its changing identity over the centuries & colonial past. Each year the theme is different and displays the colorful night life after sunset. It starts at 7 pm and carries on till late. There is no entry fee to this show.