Singapore is a multicultural city, the place where west and east meet, where modern mingles perfectly with traditional. From modern skyscrapers to sandy beaches, from futuristic art to natural attractions, there is something for everybody’s taste in this amazing location. For somebody who has never been to Asia, I would say that Singapore is the best place for a first glimpse of this amazing continent. It is cosmopolitan and resembles so much America or Europe, that sometimes you will forget you are in Asia, but in the same time you will have a taste of the different cultures and traditions that make this continent so unique.
Although Singapore offers a lot more to see and do, if you only have a couple of days, these top tourist attractions will certainly make you fall in love with it and will determine you to come back someday soon.
Gardens by the Bay
Gardens by the Bay was born from the desire of the country’s government to raise the people’s quality of life by transforming Singapore from “Garden City” into “City in a Garden”. The Gardens’ attractions include the Flower Dome, where you can find different species of flowers and plants and even a Dutch themed garden and Cloud Forest, which is hosting the tallest indoor waterfall in the world. But what will truly amaze you is the surreal Supertree Grove, a collection of giant trees, that after sunset come to life and charm you with their music and lights show.
Marina Bay Sands
Nowadays, when you tell somebody you visited Singapore, they will immediately ask you, if you’ve stayed at THAT hotel. Many of them may not know that its name is Marina Bay Sands, but they will all know that in Singapore there is a hotel with an interesting architecture and with an infinity pool. Even if it only opened in 2010, this resort has already become the symbol of Singapore and it does not need any presentation. The complex is on every traveler’s must see list when in Singapore and it offers luxury accommodation, high-end restaurants and shops, the world’s largest rooftop infinity pool, an ArtScience Museum and many other entertainment options.
Singapore Botanical Garden
The Singapore Botanical Garden is the only site from Singapore to be included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The Garden is situated at the heart of the city and offers an oasis getaway from the busy and hectic urban life of Singapore. The most visited part of the site is National Orchid Garden, which hosts more than 3.000 species of orchids, some of them bearing the name of VIP persons. For example, there is a special hybrid orchid that was named in honor of Princess Diana. Beside this, you can see bonsai, palm or ginger gardens, take a walk in the Rainforest or admire the black swans from Eco-Garden.
Orchard Road, the most famous shopping street in whole Asia, is the dream of every shopper. The 2.2 km boulevard is bustling with malls and shops for every budget and every taste. Beside shopping, it offers many entertainment and dining options. The district is so huge, that even if you spend an entire day there, you might not see it all.
Chinatown, Arab Street and Little India
No trip to Singapore is complete without a visit to its most cultural neighborhoods. Chinatown, Arab Street and Little India are the places where you can truly observe Singapore’s multiculturality and its traditions. Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, which exhibits a canine of the Buddha and the Chinese Heritage Center, the famous Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple and Sri Mariamman Temple, or the Masjid Jamae and Masjid Sultan mosques are the landmarks you have to visit for an authentic taste of Chinese, Indian and Muslim cultures.
Merlion, the half-fish, half-lion symbol of Singapore is a must-see attraction for every tourist that comes to Singapore. This icon was first created by Singapore Tourist Promotion Board, back in 1964 to reflect its humble origins as a fishing village and its name, which means “The Lion City”. According to a mythical tale, a Malay prince, while sailing across the seas, arrived on a fishing island called “Temasek”. He was greeted by a sea monster, appearing to be a lion. The creature made such an impression on the prince, that he decided to rename the island and call it Singapura – The Lion City.
There are many Merlions spread in the entire city, but you will definitely want to see the one located in Merlion Park, on the shore of Singapore River. And while checking out this particular Merlion, you will also have a splendid view of Singapore high-rises skyline and the Marina Bay Sands hotel.
Resort World Sentosa, built on an island in the south of Singapore, is a destination by itself. The island is home to a casino, beaches, theme parks, as well as many restaurants and hotels, so you can be sure not to get bored easily. Visit Universal Studios and immerse yourself in the magical world of movies and Universal Studios’ Classics, discover the marine life at S.E.A. Aquarium, swim with dolphins on Dolphin Island or simply walk to the southernmost point of continental Asia.
Raffles Hotel is a colonial-style complex hotel, that was named in honor of Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, the founder of Singapore. The legend says, that when Sir Raffles stepped for the first time in the then small fishing village, he immediately saw its potential as a port, purchased the land from the Sultan of Johor and commenced to put the bases of the nowadays Singapore.
After opening its doors in the 19th century, the hotel became the epitome of luxury and welcomed among other VIP guests, Charlie Chaplin, Queen Elisabeth II and Michael Jackson. The complex features beside suites, many lavish Michelin-starred restaurants and boutiques and its premises are opened to the public.
From all these top attractions in Singapore, my favorite one is Gardens by the Bay. Which one is yours?