From a humble fishing village, Singapore has grown to become a prosperous cosmopolitan nation with four major races, namely Chinese, Malay, Indian and Eurasian. With abundant greenery and world-class attractions like the beautiful Botanical Gardens and the futuristic Gardens by the Bay, Singapore truly is the Garden City. Yet it is our distinct historical neighbourhoods that make Singapore a unique destination, where you can enjoy discovering our cultural, religious and culinary diversity, all within a stone’s throw of the city centre.
A buzzing historic area that shows off the best of Singapore’s Indian community, Little India today is one of Singapore’s most vibrant districts. A walk down Serangoon Road aand neighbouring streets treats your eyes to a harmonious mix of Hindu and Chinese temples, mosques and churches, as well as tantalizes your taste bud for South Indian and North Indian cuisines. While you are there, don’t forget to shop at the 24-hour shopping mall, Mustafa Centre, which offers everything, from electronics to groceries, or take your pick from the open-air Tekka Centre, goldsmith shops and sari stores.
Singapore’s historic Chinatown is a bustling mix of old and new, filled with traditional shops, markets, famous temples and mosques, as well as cool stores, chic restaurants and hipster cafés. Your food trail should include ‘char kway teow’ (stir-fried noodles) and ‘satay’ (barbecued meat skewers) at Chinatown Food Street as well as the hawker stalls and shophouse restaurants along Smith Street. For trendier tastes, restaurants are aplenty at Neil Road, Duxton Road and Keong Saik Road. Afterwards, check out the hangout spots at Club Street and Ann Siang Road.
Discover Kampong Glam’s rich history, living traditions, excellent eateries and trendy shops in this vibrant neighbourhood. Shopaholics can head to colourful Haji Lane – a row of boutiques, hip bars and cafes. Or pick up traditional wares such as Persian carpets, kebaya dresses and handmade perfumes from Arab Street and Bussorah Street. Try an exotic mix of culinary delights, from Middle Eastern to Mexican fare, and local delicacies such as nasi padang (steamed rice served with various dishes) and Malay Kueh (‘cakes’). You can learn more about the rich heritage and culture of Singapore’s Malay community at the Malay Heritage Centre at Istana, the old Sultan's Palace.
Katong is well known as a food haven among the locals. Once a Peranakan enclave, the Joo Chiat district is rich in Peranakan and Eurasian heritage and architecture. Wander along East Coast Road for a choice of delectable local fare, which includes the famous laksa dish, tasty local seafood and Peranakan cuisine.
To find out more about Singapore’s cultural precincts and tourist attractions, visit www.yoursingapore.com
Sights & Sounds of Singapore
Plan your travel with Singapore's top activities
A green city with a distinctive ethnic tapestry of the Chinese, Malay, Indian and Western cultures all interwoven in one, Singapore WOW’s visitors with its one of a kind culinary experience, bustling night life and culture. Whether it’s a day on the beach, shopping at a mall or visiting an iconic location, Singapore has a special treat for everyone!
Golf with a View at Marina Bay Golf Course
Located strategically in the heart of town, it offers golfers great accessibility and a picturesque view of the city skyline, be it day or night. Designed by South African Phil Jacobs, the course has a unique link-styled design with dramatic features, including 91 pot bunkers.
In Singapore, even something as mundane as a dam can be turned into a hotspot for recreational activities. Built across the mouth of the 350-metre wide Marina Channel, the Marina Barrage creates the country’s 15th reservoir, supplying around 10 per cent of the nation’s water needs.
As the water in the reservoir remains calm all year around, it’s ideal for some soaking wet fun, whether it’s kayaking or for the more team-spirited, a dragon boat race. If water sports is not your thing, then head to the rooftop of the barrage, which boasts a green space that’s popular for flying a kite, or just to chill out with the family.
Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve
The wetlands of Sungei Buloh are a dream come true for keen nature lovers. At this sprawling 87-hectare ecological site, you can catch migratory birds escaping the cold on their way to the warmer climes of Australia – with some having come as far away as Siberia.
Elsewhere, crabs, mudskippers and mud lobsters can be found in their natural habitats, and viewed from a distance at observation posts that dot the park.
The Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve is Singapore's first ASEAN Heritage Park.
The Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve is a world-class eco-tourism experience first discovered in 1986 by a group of birdwatchers from the Malayan Nature Society.
Three years later, the site was designated as a nature park by the Government in 1989, and officially opened in 1993. To properly experience the wetlands, you can take the free guided tours, while activities like art classes and a prawn farming demo will keep you busy the whole day.
If you want to take a break from the concrete jungle of the city, head to this ecological gem in the north-east of Singapore for a breath of fresh air.
Singapore Botanic Gardens
A testament to Singapore’s reputation as a Garden City, the Botanic Gardens is the country’s first UNESCO Heritage Site, joining the ranks of iconic landmarks such as Cambodia’s Angkor Wat and The Great Wall of China.
Established in 1859 by the Agri-Horticultural Society, 60 acres of land were transformed from a disused plantation into the popular recreational garden you see today.
As well as being a favourite recreation venue for jogging, dining or just lazing about, the sprawling grounds are also a leading centre for botanical and horticultural research.
Highlights include The National Orchid Garden, which boasts the world’s largest orchid display, with over 60,000 plants and orchids.
Meanwhile, the SBG Heritage Museum features interactive and multimedia exhibits and panels that detail the Gardens' rich heritage, while the CDL Green Gallery displays botanical related exhibits.
Kids will have a blast at the Jacob Ballas Children’s garden where they can play and learn all about plant life. A host of restaurants and cafes are also available to satisfy thirsty and hungry visitors after a day out in the sun.
And once you’re ready to step back into the concrete jungle, the Orchard Road shopping district is mere minutes away.
MacRitchie Nature Trail & Reservoir Park
Mention MacRitchie to any Singaporean and the talk will certainly turn to cross-country runs, nature trails and the TreeTop Walk.
Anchored by Singapore’s largest reservoir - part of a water catchment system that captures rain water - the park and nature reserve at the very heart of Singapore is a popular destination for runners, water sports enthusiasts, and of course nature lovers.
If you’ve ever wanted to enjoy the tranquility of walking with your head above the trees, you’ll get your chance at the Treetop Walks, a 250-metre aerial free standing suspension bridge spanning the two highest points within MacRitchie.
Take an exhilarating walk around the 11km nature trail loop known as MacRitchie Trails, located within the tropical rainforest of Central Catchment Nature Reserve. You’ll likely bump into long-tailed macaque monkeys, squirrels and monitor lizards. If you’re lucky, you may even encounter colugos (flying lemurs) or owls!
Avid water sports enthusiasts can try their hand at kayaking and canoeing at the reservoir, as these amenities are available.
With so many attractions and scenic spots of nature on offer, MacRitchie is an excellent destination for anyone who loves fun and the outdoors.
Take flying to a whole new level at iFly Singapore
Experience the adrenaline rush of skydiving, without the potential risks. No bad weather. No aeroplanes. Your flight experience begins from the minute you set foot in the airport terminal themed facility. As the only wind tunnel with an 18 feet tall acrylic glass wall, you get to enjoy an unparalleled view of South China Sea and Siloso Beach.
Places to Explore: Day
Singapore Art Museum
The Singapore Art Museum (SAM) focuses on contemporary art practice in Singapore and Southeast Asia. SAM is a national monument as well. Those that love architecture will enjoy the details of this building that has been conserved since 1867.
Gardens by the Bay
Gardens by the Bay has cooled conservatories, individual gardens, event and dining spaces, connecting waterways, lakes, aerial bridges and the showpiece Supertrees, which are tall structures up to 50m high covered by plants. The outdoor gardens consist of Bay East Garden, SuperTree Grove, Sun Pavillion, Heritage Gardens, World of Plants and Dragonfly & Kingfisher Lakes. The highlights of the garden will be the two cooled conservatories; the Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest Dome.
Haw Par Villa
Haw Par Villa was built by the founders of Tiger Balm. Visitors can be dazzled by over 1,000 statues and 150 giant dioramas depicting various different scenes of Chinese mythology. It is the only eclectic Chinese mythological park of its kind. Visitors can visit for free or take a guided tour through the mysterious park at the various different attractions. The most famous among them is the 10 Courts of Hell.
S.E.A. Aquarium, within Resorts World at Sentosa, is a magical marine world with more than 100,000 under water animals from 800 species, swimming in 45 million litres of water.
Exhibits in the Singapore Zoo are divided into 11 zones which include the Primate Kingdom, Reptile Garden and the Frozen Tundra. Enjoy the special experience of having breakfast with orang utans. Watch animal shows such as Splash Safari Show, Elephants at Work & Play Show and Rainforest Fights Back Show.
Places to Explore: Night
The Night Safari is the world’s first nocturnal zoo and has won awards such as ‘Top 10 Best Family Experience’, ‘Best Leisure Attraction Experience’ and ‘Leisure Attraction of the Year’. The Night Safari currently houses 2,500 animals of 130 species.
Bumboat River Cruise
Enjoy a traditional bumboat ride along Singapore River for the perfect opportunity to star gaze and relax, away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Party Like a Rockstar
Wine and Chill at 1-Altitude
1-Altitude is one of singapore’s highest dining and entertainment venues, situated 282 metres above sea level. A place to chill out while enjoying splendid views of Singapore. The vibe here is akin to a Morocco-meets-Manhatten-night; relaxed yet sophisticated.
There is a great variety of restaurants and clubs along Clarke Quay. If you love shots, The Chupitos Bar is the place for you. It has more than 130 different shots. There are many other bars such as Brewerkz Riverside Point and Beer Market. Not only is Clarke Quay known for its nightlight, the first G-Max Reverse Bungee in Singapore is also located here.
Boat Quay is a river embankment on the Singapore River and is one of the oldest and most historical areas in the Central Region. There are many bars and restaurants located in the area. Some popular bars in the area include The Penny Black which is the first Boat Quay pub, RedDot BrewHouse and Charlie's Tapas, Grill & Bar.
Party World KTV is one of the largest karaoke chains in Singapore, providing customers with great places to sing and have fun with families and friends. It has large database of songs, excellent sound systems and enjoyable environment are the best of Party World KTV.
K Suites aims to offer karaoke lovers an entertainment option with unparalleled standards of service, audio and visual quality. K Suites has a chic and cozy concept with themed rooms such as Cottage of Angels, Crazy Pink Suites, Dynasty and others.
Shop ‘Till You Drop!
With its colourful fusion of races, Singapore respresents a treasure trove of ethnic finds. Discover silk in the Chinese neighbourhoods; browse batiks and leather ware in the Malay quarter; and find handicrafts and jewellery in the Indian section.
Malls along Orchard Road
Orchard Road is a prime shopping district with countless retailers offering products and services. The long stretch is home to famous brands such as H&M, Forever 21 and Abercrombie & Fitch, as well as various malls. There’s ION Orchard, which houses boutiques that span every budget, from designer label Prada to fast fashion giant Uniqlo. The revamped Coach boutique at Wisma Atria is the biggest in Southeast Asia, carrying the region’s most extensive men’s collection.
Wisma Atria: http://www.wismaonline.com/?ch=english_home
Ion Orchard: http://www.ionorchard.com/en
Quaint Stores at Haji Lane
The historical Arab Quarter has hip cafés, eateries and boutiques. The best shopping haunt here is Haji Lane, filled with independent multi-label stores, such as Mondays Off and Soon Lee as well as Et-I-Kit at the nearby Kandahar Street.
Bugis is filled with countless shops and restaurants. There are malls such as Bugis Junction and Bugis+. For more affordable options, scale down Bugis Street billed as "the largest street-shopping location in Singapore"
Mustafa Centre is Singapore's only 24-hour shopping mall located at Syed Alwi Road in Little India. Within a walking distance from Farrer Park station on the North East Line, Mustafa Centre is a retail hub attracting many shoppers with its wide variety of products and services.
Jumbo Seafood Restaurant
Addresss: Block 1206 East Coast Parkway
#01-07/08, East Coast Seafood Centre, Singapore 449883
Average Price: $50 per person
The Singapore home grown seafood restaurant group was established in 1987 with its first restaurant located in the popular East Coast Seafood Centre. JUMBO SEAFOOD has grown into a group of 5 restaurants serving live seafood prepared in familiar local and Hong Kong styles. The 5 outlets all offer distinctive menu features in addition to the regular award-winning signature dishes, so there's always something different to savour at JUMBO.
Addresss: #01-14 The Quayside, 60 Robertson Quay, Singapore 238252
Average Price: $45 per person
Red House is a seafood restaurant that specialises in Asian seafood dishes and Singaporean favourites. Red House is popular among the locals as well as expatriates and tourists
Pontini Italian Restaurant
Addresss: 392 Havelock Road, Level 1
Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel, 169663
Average Price: $68 per person
Pontini is an Italian restaurant located in Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel. It serves authentic Italian cuisine with a modern twist. It has an Italian Semi Lunch Buffet which is priced at $58 per person.
Addresss: 252 North Bridge Road,, #B1-44E
Raffles City Shopping Centre, 179103
Average Price: $35 per person
Buffet Town is an international buffet that offers more than 300 buffet items over 29 categories.
The Blue Ginger Restaurant
Addresss: 97 Tanjong Pagar Rd, Singapore 088518
Average Price: $39 per person
The Blue Ginger Restaurant is a Peranakan restaurant that is located in Tanjong Pagar.
Nyonya and Baba
Addresss: 1 Harbourfront Walk, #01-54/56 Vivo City, 098585
Average Price: $25 per person
Nonya and Baba serves traditional Peranakan favourites and has house specials such as ayam buah keluak, babi pongteh, udang masak nanas and nyonya crayfish.
Ikoi Japanese Restaurant
Address: 401 Havelock Rd, #01-01, Hotel Miramar, 169631
Average Price: $48 per person
Ikoi Japanese Restaurant offers authentic Japanese cuisines perfectly set in a lush Japanese setting. Ikoi Japanese Restaurant is located in Hotel Miramar Singapore.
Address: 138 Race Course Road #01-01 S (218591)
Average Price: $21 per person
While ensuring that culinary standards remain as their highest priority, Muthu’s Curry also strives to complement their menu with excellent service amidst tasteful decorations to add to the comfort and enjoyment of their customers. With a Chettinadu themed interior, reminiscing the old world charm and open kitchen concept, guest can be assured of an experiential dining.
Muthu’s Curry, the pioneers of the South Indian version of Fish Head Curry, has proved to be a favourite dining destination for many Singaporeans, while tantalising the palates of guests worldwide. It has been living by its promise "SERVING PASSIONATELY SINCE 1969". http://www.muthuscurry.com
The Banana Leaf Apolo
Address: 54 Race Course Rd, Singapore 218564
Average Price: $18 per person
As one of Singapore’s oldest standing Indian restaurant, you can expect great things to come from Banana Leaf Apolo. Having long-years of reputation to uphold, Banana Leaf Apolo has never fallen short of giving customers an excellent service and best food.
One of The Banana Leaf Apolo’s most sought-after dishes would be the Fish Head Curry. It is probably the trademark local food of Singapore aside from Hainanese Chicken Rice and Chili Crab, although it is generally not considered as a cheap hawker food. It is a dish in Malaysian and Singaporean cuisine with Chinese and Indian roots.
Lotus Vegetarian Restaurant
Address: 201 Balestier Rd, Singapore 329926
Average Price: $25 per person
A leading Chinese vegetarian restaurant from Taiwan, Lotus Vegetarian Restaurant boasts delicious and flavourful vegetarian dishes prepared by a team of culinary professionals. Using the freshest produce and fine ingredients, the restaurant offers over 100 dishes, including the best-selling Taiwanese dim sum. Apart from the ala-carte menu, Lotus also features a steamboat buffet and an Asian buffet that many diners have come to love.
Address: 238 Thomson Rd, 307683
Average Price: $30 per person
Chinese Vegetarian Gourmet Cuisine at LingZhi - Innovative and quality dishes which have kept many coming back for more since 1991. Gone are the primitive, conservative style of preparing vegetarian dishes with gluten, mock meats, artificial colouring, and addictives. In its place, is a range of dishes filled with wholesome goodness, and townifying fare prepared from the finest, freshest natural as well as organic ingredients. Each dish is meticulously prepared to ensure that it is well-represented and the cooking methods used allow maximum retention of the original tastes and nutritional values. This, of course, is no small feat, achievable only by chefs who have honed their culinary skills over several years of hard work. So whether you follow a strict vegetarian lifestyle or are someone who’s looking for healthier, tastier options, we welcome you to the exciting culinary world of LingZhi Vegetarian.
Eat Like a Local
Boon Tong Kee, Balestier
Address: 399 /401 /403 Balestier Road, Singapore 329801
Average Price: $17 per person
Chicken rice: bite-sized chicken pieces – or a whole chicken if you’re eating as a big group - served with fragrant rice and a spicy chilli and ginger paste.
The recipe for the dish is adapted from early Chinese immigrants from Hainan Island, off the southern coast of China. Back in Hainan, locals call the dish "Wenchang chicken". They use a particular fowl that is bony and fibrous, and serve the chicken with oily rice. A ground green chilli dip rounds off the dish.
The cooking method hails back to its Hainanese roots. The chicken is steeped in boiling water or blanched till it is fully cooked, before soaking it in cold water to ensure the meat remains tender. In a local twist, the chicken can also be roasted or braised in soya sauce for a different taste.
In Singapore, the dish is infused with local Cantonese influences which inspired the tangy red chilli sauce dip and the use of tender and young chicken.
It is, however, the rice and chilli sauce that can make or break the dish. The rice, cooked in chicken stock with ginger and pandan leaves, with just the right amount of oiliness. And the chilli must have the right blend of spiciness and sourness.
Address: 399 /401 /403 Balestier Road, Singapore 329801
Average Price: $5 per person
Katong Laksa is a must try when in Singapore. It is cooked using a recipe that has been passed down from generation to generation. Laksa is a popular spicy noodle soup in the Peranakan cuisine, which is a combination of Chinese and Malay cuisine. Laksa consists of rice noodles or rice vermicelli with chicken, prawn or fish, served in spicy soup; either based on rich and spicy curry coconut milk, or based on sour asam (tamarind or gelugur).
Selera Rasa Nasi Lemak
Address: 2 Adam Rd, #01-02, Adam Road Food Centre, 289876
Average Price: $5 per person
Nasi lemak is a perfect mix of flavours: aromatic rice infused with coconut milk and pandan leaves, eaten with deep-fried fish or chicken wings, 'otah' (grilled fish paste), fried 'ikan bilis' (local anchovies) and peanuts, eggs, cucumber slices, and 'sambal' (spicy chilli paste).
Hajjah Mona Nasi Padang
Address: #02-166, Geylang Serai Market and Food Centre
1 Geylang Serai, 402001
Average Price: $10 per person
Located in Geylang Serai Market and Food Centre on Geylang Serai, Hajjah Mona serves a wide variety of Malay food including Ayam Opor, Beef Rendang and Sayur Lodeh.
Lau Pa Sat
Address: 18 Raffles Quay, 048582
Average Price: $5 per person
A food centre located in Singapore's central business district, Lau Pa Sat was announced as a national monument in 1973 and is an architectural gem. One can marvel at its architectural beauty while enjoying the delicious local cuisine.
Maxwell Food Centre
Address: 1 Kadayanallur St, 069184
Average Price: $4.50 per person
Maxwell Food Centre has a wide variety of Singapore-style food.
Hong Lim Food Centre
Address: 531A Upper Cross Street, 051531
Average Price: $3.80 per person
This two storey food centre is known for its scrumptious street food.
Singapore Food Trail
Address: 30 Raffles Avenue, #01-09/12 Singapore Flyer, 039803
Average Price: $7 per person Singapore Food Trail is a 1960s themed food street which sells popular local delights.