Explore Singapore: Top Attractions, Activities, and Unmissable Experiences

a nighttime view of iconic landmark buildings in Singapore the Marina Sands and ArtScience museum

Singapore, often known as the Lion City, is a bustling metropolis brimming with a diverse range of cultures, stunning architecture, beautiful parks, and world-class attractions.

From exploring the vibrant neighbourhoods and indulging in culinary delights to experiencing the exciting nightlife, there is an endless list of things to do in Singapore. Whether you’re a nature lover, a history buff, a foodie, or an adventure seeker, this fascinating city-state is sure never to leave you bored.

Get ready to immerse yourself in a world of striking contrasts and colourful experiences that showcase the best of what Asia has to offer.

This post is part of our series Discover Southeast Asia

Understanding Singapore: The Basics

Singapore’s Location and Brief History

Singapore, located in Southeast Asia, is a bustling island city-state in southern Malaysia. Its history dates back to 1819 as a British trading colony, gaining independence in 1965, and is currently known for its rapid economic growth.

Connectivity

When visiting its places, having portable WiFi in Singapore can be a game-changer for staying connected on the go. These pocket-sized devices offer reliable internet access across the city, ensuring seamless navigation, access to online resources, and the ability to share your experiences in real-time with friends and family.

Whether you’re exploring bustling markets, relaxing in serene parks, or indulging in culinary delights, portable WiFi keeps you connected, informed, and ready to make the most of your Singaporean adventure.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit largely depends on the destination. Ideal travel periods vary due to weather, local events, or peak tourist seasons. Discovering these factors ensures a sublime trip.

Neighborhoods in Singapore

Chinatown

Chinatown is a vibrant neighbourhood that showcases rich Chinese culture, with various traditional markets, restaurants, and ornate temples. Its bustling streets are alive with celebration, especially during Chinese New Year.

Little India

Little India is a vibrant and culturally rich district in Singapore. Known for its bustling markets, colourful Hindu temples, and authentic Indian cuisine, it offers an immersive ethnic experience in the heart of the city.

Little India in Singapore close up of a colourful building

Marina Bay

Marina Bay is a noteworthy tourist hotspot in Singapore, featuring architectural marvels, luxurious hotels, and entertainment centres. Its exemplary attractions include Gardens by the Bay, the ArtScience Museum, and the iconic Marina Bay Sands.

Sentosa Island

Sentosa Island, located in Singapore, is a popular travel destination offering a variety of attractions. It boasts stunning beaches, theme parks, golf courses, and spa retreats, making it a perfect vacation spot for tourists.

Clarke Quay

Clarke Quay is a popular riverside quay in Singapore, known for its vibrant nightlife. Full of trendy restaurants, boutique shops, and pulsating nightclubs, it attracts both locals and tourists year-round.

Orchard Road

Orchard Road in Singapore is a bustling shopping boulevard, renowned worldwide. Lined with malls, cafes, and hotels, it attracts locals and tourists alike with its vibrant energy.

Top Attractions in Singapore

Gardens by the Bay

Gardens by the Bay is a nature park in Singapore that consists of three waterfront gardens showcasing diverse plant life from around the world. Notable features include the Supertree Grove and Cloud Forest.

Gardens by the Bay in Singapore

Marina Bay Sands

Marina Bay Sands is an iconic luxury hotel located in Singapore. Renowned for its stunning architecture, the establishment boasts a rooftop infinity pool, casino, and a multitude of dining options.

Universal Studios Singapore

Universal Studios Singapore is a world-renowned theme park located in Resorts World Sentosa. It offers 24 movie-themed rides, shows, and attractions, promising endless fun for all ages.

Merlion Park

Merlion Park, located in Singapore, is renowned for its iconic statue, the Merlion. This national symbol, half-lion, half-fish, attracts millions of visitors every year with its majestic water-spouting feature.

Singapore Flyer

The Singapore Flyer is a colossal observation wheel, standing as one of the world’s tallest. This attraction provides breathtaking, panoramic views of Singapore’s skyline and iconic landmarks during its rotation.

ArtScience Museum

The ArtScience Museum, located in Singapore, is a fusion of art, science, design, and technology. With twenty-one cutting-edge galleries, it facilitates dynamic exhibitions showcasing creativity and innovation.

ArtScience Museum in Singapore picturesque daytime view

East Coast Park

East Coast Park, located in Singapore, is a stunning, sprawling seaside park spanning 15 kilometres. It’s renowned for recreational activities like cycling, barbecuing, water sports, and outdoor dining.

Singapore Zoo

Singapore Zoo, located in Mandai, is a globally renowned open-concept wildlife park. Boasting over 2,800 animals from 300 species, visitors enjoy immersive experiences in the creatures’ naturalistic habitats.

Raffles Hotel

Raffles Hotel, an iconic landmark in Singapore, is renowned for its luxurious Colonial-style architecture. The grand hotel, established in 1887, offers world-class accommodations, fine dining establishments, and high-end shopping boutiques.

Activities and Experiences in Singapore

Street Food and Hawker Center Exploration

Exploring Street Food and Hawker Centers provides a vibrant and authentic culinary experience. These places display diverse cultures through their unique flavors, from sizzling street tacos to aromatic Asian noodle soups. They’re budget-friendly and full of unforgettable gastronomic adventures.

Shopping Extravaganza

Shopping Extravaganza is an exciting retail event, drawing in customers with exclusive deals and a wide variety of goods. This festive affair promises a fantastic shopping experience with unique finds and exceptional discounts.

Night Safari Adventure

Embarking on a Night Safari Adventure is an exhilarating experience. This nocturnal journey immerses you in a world teeming with wildlife, showcasing nature’s beauty under the star-studded skyline.

Cruise on the Singapore River

Taking a cruise on the Singapore River provides breathtaking views of the city’s iconic skyline. It offers a unique way to explore its historical landmarks and modern architectural marvels.

A colorful river cruise in Singapore

Walking Tours

Walking tours provide an immersive way to explore and learn about new places. They offer a closer look at a location’s history, landmarks, and culture, allowing participants to experience the uniqueness of their surroundings.

Unique Cultural Experiences in Singapore

Thaipusam Festival

Thaipusam Festival is a significant Hindu celebration observed by the Tamil community. Marked by vibrant rituals, it honours Lord Murugan, celebrating his victory over evil forces. Devotees participate in self-mortification rites showcasing their faith and devotion.

Chinese New Year Celebrations

Chinese New Year celebrations are vibrant and festive, filled with traditions like dragon dances, red lanterns, firecrackers, and special cuisines. In Chinese culture, it symbolizes new beginnings, reunion, and prosperity.

Mid-Autumn Festival

The Mid Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival, is a traditional Chinese festival celebrating the full moon and family reunion. It involves lantern displays, mooncake consumption, and various cultural performances.

Deepavali

Deepavali, also known as Diwali, is a significant Hindu festival celebrated across the world. It symbolizes the spiritual victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance.

Outdoor and Adventure Activities in Singapore

Water Sports at East Coast Park

East Coast Park in Singapore is a haven for water sports enthusiasts. It offers a range of activities, including wakeboarding, windsurfing, and sailing, amid beautiful and refreshing natural surroundings.

Hiking on the Southern Ridges

Hiking on the Southern Ridges in Singapore is a captivating experience. The scenic trail provides breathtaking cityscape views, lush greenery, and opportunities to observe diverse wildlife.

Wildlife Expeditions

Wildlife expeditions are adventurous journeys aimed at exploring the diverse animal kingdom. They provide an unforgettable experience of close encounters with wild animals and rare species in their natural habitats.

We have a more detailed guide to the best outdoor activities and attractions in Singapore over here.

Essential Singapore Eateries

Local Food Restaurants

Local food restaurants offer a unique culinary experience, emphasizing homegrown, sustainable ingredients. Their focus on farm-to-table practices supports local agriculture, infuses the economy, and provides fresh, seasonal menu options.

Street Food and Hawkers

Street food and hawkers provide a glimpse into the culinary culture of a region. Often affordable and convenient, their offerings range from savoury meals to sweet treats, reflecting local flavours and traditions.

Fine Dining Options

Fine dining options offer culinary experiences that go beyond just good food. They often feature top-quality ingredients, exquisite presentation, exceptional service, and elegant ambience, creating a memorable gastronomic journey.

Tips on Getting Around Singapore

Singapore’s Public Transportation System

Singapore’s public transportation system is highly efficient and reliable, consisting of an extensive network of buses, taxis, and a mass rapid transit (MRT) system. Travelling is convenient, with timely schedules and clean facilities.

Using Taxis and Rental Cars

Using taxis and rental cars can significantly ease transportation during trips. Taxis offer convenience, especially in unfamiliar areas, while rental cars provide flexibility and freedom to explore at one’s own pace.

Fun Alternative Modes of Transport

Innovative and fun alternative modes of transport, such as Segways, rickshaws, or even hoverboards, offer unique travel experiences while reducing harmful emissions. They are practical, eco-friendly, and promote enjoyable, outdoor adventures. A cable car to Sentosa is another unique way to explore high above the city.

cable car in Singapore to Sentosa

Singapore Tips for Travelers

Visa Requirements and Safety Measures

Visa requirements vary by country, requiring careful research before travel. Most countries do not require a visa before travelling. However, all tourists need to complete the SG Arrival Card, up to 3 days before arrival.

Ensuring safety measures includes up-to-date vaccinations, travel insurance, understanding local laws, and precautions for potential health risks. A valid passport with at least six months to expiry is essential.

Essential Items to Pack

Packing essentials for Singapore include clothing suited to the humid weather, toiletries, important documents, gadgets, and medication. We’d always pack a good pair of shoes for city exploring and throw in your beach gear if you’ll be hitting the water during your time in Singapore.

Common Local Customs and Etiquette

Local customs and etiquette vary worldwide, embodying core values and methods of social interaction. These include greetings, dining manners, gift-giving practices, and respect for social hierarchies, fostering mutual respect and understanding.

Things to do in Singapore FAQs

Is 2 days in Singapore enough?

While it’s possible to explore key attractions, such as Marina Bay Sands and Gardens by the Bay, within two days in Singapore, a longer stay would allow a better appreciation of the city’s diverse cultures, food scene, and nightlife.

Is 3 days enough in Singapore?

Three days in Singapore may feel rushed, yet it provides a snapshot of the city’s vibrant culture, heritage, and modern architecture. Adequate planning will ensure significant attractions aren’t missed.

If you have longer to spend in Singapore, we suggest you follow along with our 5-day Singapore itinerary to maximise your time in the country

Is Singapore cheap or expensive?

Living in Singapore can be quite expensive. The cost of housing, groceries, and utilities is notably high. However, it provides a great quality of life and efficient public services.

What is the most famous thing in Singapore?

The most famous attraction in Singapore is the Marina Bay Sands, renowned for its extraordinary architecture, luxury hotel, and stunning rooftop infinity pool overlooking the city.


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view underneath the trees at Gardens by the bay in Singapore with text overlay Singapore attractions
Explore Singapore view of Marina Sands and the ArtScience Museum of Singapore

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