A bewitching blend of east and west, and a melting pot of Malay, European and Chinese cultures, Singapore is a popular holiday destination and a fantastic city for you to discover. Renowned for its shopping malls and street markets, explore exquisite restaurants serving up a world of culinary adventures, charming colonial attractions, outstanding natural beauty and a full calendar of exhilarating and colourful events to enthral and enchant.
The colonial region of Riverside, also known as the Civic Region, is where the British Statesman Sir Thomas Stamford Bingley Raffles landed and first founded the city of Singapore in the early 19th Century. Today, you can stand on the banks of the Singapore River and watch 100 dragon boats rhythmically pulsating through the water during October’s River Regatta. On the south bank of the river you will see the modern shimmering skyscrapers of the central business district and find a myriad of bars, clubs and restaurants at Boat Quay.
For the locals of Singapore, dining out is a passion as a whole host of Oriental delicacies, local specialities and cuisine from around the world are a mere stone’s throw away. Decide amongst a selection of Chinese, Malay, Indian, French and Italian restaurants, from informal to high end and treat your tastebuds with delights such as chilli crab, sambal stingray or char kway teow (literally meaning stir-fried ricecake strips) in the food-lover’s heaven that is the Hawker Centre, or simply enjoy a civilised afternoon tea at the legendary Raffles Hotel.
The retail heart of the city is primarily located along the recently renovated Orchard Road. Once lined with spice orchards and plantations, the road is now dominated by high-end fashion emporiums and malls that draw you in with their glitzy façades and promise of treasures within. Take your pick of the fashion houses and space-age gadgets in over 200 malls around the shopping mecca of Singapore, or rummage for antiques at Peranakan Place. After a jam-packed day in shopping paradise, take a cable car to the top of Mount Faber and sit on a bench under the red flame trees, gazing out over the port and sprawling skyscrapers.
Spot flying lemurs and long-tailed macaques while mountain biking through the forests of Buki Timah Nature Reserve, or stop to admire Sri Mariammam Temple in Chinatown, covered in colourful sculptures of gods, goddesses and mythical beasts. If you’re here for the Thimithi festival, you’ll see devotees walking barefoot over hot coals.
Singapore’s Botanic Garden is one of the most famous of its kind throughout the world. Open since 1859 as an ornamental park which held fetes and flower shows, the park has been instrumental in the role of making Singapore a ‘Garden City’. Wander through the exotic gardens, including the National Orchid Garden, which is synonymous with this world-renowned garden.
To escape the city, locals and tourists head to Sentosa Island, a resort self-titled as ‘Asia’s Favourite Playground’. The island is home to Resorts World – Singapore’s own Universal Studios, the adrenaline-fuelled theme park of Imbiah Lookout and a number of fun-filled attractions along its two mile beach. Sentosa Island is a family’s dream destination which also features charming coastal and forest ecosystems and nature walks, ideal for a bit of wildlife spotting.
Best time to visit
Singapore experiences a tropical climate all year round and is hot and humid whenever you choose to travel. The wettest period is between November-January, but although there is a chance of rain year round, there is also plenty of sunshine and consistently high temperatures.