The bubbling pot of endless entertainment, incredible sights, and gastronomical treats that is Singapore will have you spoilt for choice. In spite of its size, Singapore has an abundance of cool cafes, sprawling parks and beaches, and free sightseeing spots in the city to suit your mood of the day. Here is just a short list of the many options:
Marina Bay Sands
To get a full panoramic view of Singapore, head up 55 storeys to the top of Marina Bay Sands. From the Skypark, you can take in the full city especially the innovative double helix bridge, the port and the Gardens by the Bay. The luxury integrated resort comprises the hotel with 2,561 luxury rooms and suites, Sands Expo and Convention Centre with 1.3 million square feet of flexible convention and exhibition space, and close to 800,000 square feet of retail and dining space with over 80 dining choices.
Additionally, there is the ArtScience Museum constructed in the shape of a lotus. To get your shopping fix, walk into the building and venture through more than 300 retail stores that include brands such as Ralph Lauren, Chanel, Prada, Gucci, and Armani, just to name a few.
Gardens by the Bay
This innovated complex offers breath-taking waterfront views as well as its award-winning horticultural design. Bay South Garden is the largest garden in the complex and is inspired by the beautifully shaped orchid. Amidst this garden are also Supertrees, which are vertically shaped gardens 16 storeys tall.
Another main attraction is the Cloud Forest, which houses a 35-metre tall mountain inside a bio-dome. The unique balance of nature and technology, allows for lush vegetation amidst the world’s tallest indoor waterfall. Here, you will find plant life from tropical highlands up to 2,000 metres above sea level.
Singapore Botanic Gardens
Immerse yourself in the world’s first and only tropical botanic garden listed as a UNESCO’s World Heritage Site. 82 hectares in size and with 150 years of history, this sprawling botanic garden is only a stone’s throw away from Gleneagles Hospital. Its many trails, small lakes and ponds, heritage trees, and also a couple of choice restaurants make it one of the most tranquil places to take a stroll, have a picnic, get some exercise, and be at one with nature while still in a thriving urban environment. If you don’t want to get too lost, take a pick from its many themed spaces such as the Swan Lake, Healing Garden, Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden, Trellis Garden, National Orchid Garden, and Fragrant Garden, among many others. You may also enjoy your earthy time accompanied by some music if you happen to be in town during one of the regular orchestral performances at Palm Valley and Symphony Lake.
East Coast Park
A favourite among the locals, especially so for the east-siders, East Coast Park is actually a combination of a park and the beach that runs 15 km long. Have a go at the East Coast Lagoon, a Singapore-style hawker centre selling delectable local dishes like the famous barbequed wings, oyster omelettes, sambal stingray, and satay. To walk off such a feast, stroll along the walking path that leads to the Bedok Jetty where you can enjoy looking at fishing enthusiasts with their rods and their catch, or the Xtreme Skatepark that’s always teeming with skateboarders and roller-bladers, or further on to The Playground at Big Splash where more food and drinks await from its various restaurants and bars. These are just a few of the many foodie places dotted across the Park. Renting a single, double or family bicycle is an alternative if you want to cover more ground and maximise your time. East Coast Park is a family-friendly place that is perpetually abuzz with activity, yet still retains the serenity we yearn for at the beach.
Keong Saik Road
This hip neighbourhood awash with art-deco and colonial-style conservation shophouses brims to the full with super chic bistros, restaurants and bars. Unapologetically drawing in a cool crowd day after day, the variety and eclecticism of its unique eateries make it a place for anyone looking to spice up an otherwise boring eat-out evening. For one, there is Potato Head Folk, a 4-storey gastronomical destination that serves up gourmet burgers at Levels 1 and 2, has an intimate reservations-only lounge bar Studio 1939 on Level 3, and a rooftop bar overlooking bustling Chinatown. Then there is The Library, a studious bar serving fantastic cocktails where one needs a password-of-the-week to enter through its secret doors disguised as a large bookshelf. Here’s a little cheat code: you can get the password from its sister bistro, The Study. For a local flavour, try Tong Ah Eating House that sells the iconic melt-in-mouth Kaya (coconut egg jam) and Butter Toast traditionally served with half-boiled eggs, and hot milk tea. Fancy some Caribbean vibes? Lime House has classic Caribbean dishes like jerk carpaccio and red snapper escovitch, as well as a bonus in the form of a dedicated rum rooftop bar that serves killer rum mixes. Keong Saik Road is a one-stop destination for those looking for a full experience instead of the same ol’ dinner.
Henderson Waves Bridge
This impressively designed boardwalk bridge is the highest pedestrian bridge in Singapore, at a height of 36 metres above Henderson Road. It acts as a connection from Mount Faber Park to Telok Blangah Hill Park. Great for a stroll at any time of day or night, one can also just lay out a mat and take in the ambience and breeze. Part of the Southern Ridges’ attractions, you can also walk on from Henderson Waves Bridge and reach the Forest Walk and the Canopy Walk— bridges that cut through a secondary forest known as Adinandra Belukar, where you can enjoy a rich range of flora and fauna and even get to spot exotic birds and wild flowers.