The small but highly prosperous nation of Singapore has quickly emerged as Asia’s most promising commercial hub. This tiny island is synonymous with shiny skyscrapers, glitzy malls and bountiful eateries. But there’s more to Singapore than basking in its cosmopolitan glory. Whether you are in town for a work trip or a leisurely holiday, there is loads to do. We list down top 13 Singapore experiences you can’t afford to miss (and interestingly, none of them involve malls!).
1. A walk in the Gardens by the Bay
Your trip to Singapore cannot be complete without a leisurely stroll in the Gardens by the Bay, one of the most iconic attractions in the city. In the confines of these two magnanimous greenhouses you will find some of the rarest, unusual and exotic species of plants. Not a big nature lover? The beautiful waterfalls, glimmering lights and sculptures will enchant you anyway, especially in the night when a grand display of lights and music brings these gardens to life.
Image Source: William Cho (Flickr)
2. Indulge in the island of fun – Sentosa Island
A quick drive from the city centre will take you to the island of fun itself, the Sentosa Island. This manmade wonder is the hub for all things fun, which justifies the name. Spend the day enjoying treetop trails, water parks, Universal Studios, zip-lining and bungee jumping. More on these later.
Image Source: Viraj Kothalawala (Flickr)
3. Find India outside India – Little India
Ok, so you didn’t travel all the way to Singapore to feel like you are in India. But the island nation’s take on desi culture is worth a visit. Harking back to colonial times, Little India is home to lots of shop houses where everything under the sun is sold. Feeling homesick? You won’t while you are here!
Image Source: Paddy_C (Flickr)
4. Go for a hike at Southern Ridges
If you are a nature lover, you may think a concrete jungle like Singapore won’t have anything for you. But a walk through the Southern Ridges trail will change your mind. Weaving through the treetops of Mount Faber all the way to Labrador Nature Reserve, it offers scintillating views of lush greenery and birds along with Singapore’s urban skyline.
Image Source: Ramesh Kurup (Flickr)
5. Picnic in the Botanic Gardens
If you enjoy a leisurely picnic in the sun, you are in for a surprise! With its green meadows, picturesque foliage and public sculptures, the Botanic Gardens are a little piece of heaven amidst the cityscape. Once you are done chilling, head to the National Orchid Garden, which houses multitude of plants and often hosts classical musical concerts.
Image Source: RF Lewis 495(Flickr)
6. Discover wildlife in Sungei Buloh Wetlands
While Singapore doesn’t have much of its own wildlife, this serene nature reserve will help you acquaint yourself to Asia’s animal and bird kingdom. Walk around to catch a glimpse of myriad of wildlife you may not have seen, including monitor lizards, mudskippers, herons, horseshoe crabs and more.
Image Source: Rajitha Amarasiri (Flickr)
7. Visit the Singapore Zoo and River Safari
Speaking of wildlife, Singapore Zoo and River Safari are a must on your itinerary! Home to over 300 species of creatures, the Singapore Zoo is a great way to spend the day exploring wildlife, especially if you are an animal enthusiast. This award winning zoo will give you sightings of some of the rarest species of animals and birds, including the cuddly pandas. How exciting! And while you’re here, the River Safari next door shouldn’t be missed either.
Image Source: Adriaan van der Bergh (Flickr)
8. Catch a glimpse of the orient in Chinatown
Amidst the glitzy cityscape you’ll find the busy alleys and walkways of Chinatown. Brimming with quintessential Chinese culture and heritage, you’ll find everything from herbal teas and herbs to antiques and clothing in its countless little shops. While you are here, don’t forget to snack on traditional Chinese delicacies sold on the shops along the streets.
Image Source: ptrgan.photo (Flickr)
9. Feel artsy at the Singapore Art Museum
You don’t have to be an art aficionado to enjoy the Singapore Art Museum. Featuring a plethora of South East Asia’s most prominent and promising artists, there are plenty of exhibits to spend the day appreciating the art and soaking in the culture. The little souvenir shop is a great place to take home a piece of these artworks.
Image Source: hathaway_m (flickr)
10. Step back in time at Pulau Ubin
Tired of the city’s bustle? Take a boat ride from Changi Village to Pulau Ubin, Singapore’s biggest island. Home to many local villagers, you’ll get a sense of life in Singapore before it became a commercial hub. Whether you explore the island on foot or a bike, you will find the solitude and peace you need.
Image Source: HL HSi (Flickr)
11. Chill out at the Esplanade
With an Outdoor Theatre to boast of, the Esplanade plays host to live music gigs traversing genres and makes for a perfect spot to spend the evening chilling. For some visual delight, stop by Jendela , a visual arts space at Level 2 where you can enjoy some interesting artworks.
Image Source: Hans Permana (Flickr)
12.Go underwater at the S.E.A Aquarium
The S.E.A Aquarium realm on Sentosa houses more than 100,000 animals of over 800 species and is a great place to explore the underwater fauna. Its Open Water Habitat is one of the biggest in the world, and is home to some of the most awe-inspiring underwater life including enormous sharks, rays and giant turtles.
Image Source: Max Tan (Flickr)
13. Go crazy at the Universal Studios
We’ve saved the best for the last. Singapore’s biggest attraction, the Universal Studios will have you squealing with joy! Divided into seven ‘worlds’, this theme park is the biggest attraction of Sentosa Island and rightfully so. Enjoy fun-filled rides, adrenaline pumping rollercoasters, meet your favourite characters and more in this wonderland. A little expert tip, get to the rollercoasters as soon as the park opens to beat the rush!
Image Source: Manoj Chandran (Flickr)
14. Take a dip in the Infinity Pool at Marina Bay Sands
The famous 146 metre long Infinity Pool on the 57th floor of the luxurious Marina Bay Sands hotel has become an iconic landmark of Singapore. However, this infinity pool is accessible only to the guests of the hotel and you will require to spend quite a bit to experience it.
Image Source: William Cho (Flickr)
We are sure with our little guide by your side, your Singapore trip is going to be a lot more fun. Think we missed something? Let us know in the comments below!