Singapore is an island state crammed with things to do and see. Within the heart of the city, with its towering financial institutions and hotels lies a variety of places worth experiencing. Check them out.
Clarke Quay along the Singapore River is a place dotted with numerous places to spend your evenings. Looking for a pub that serves authentic American spirits or a microbrewery with its own range of beers? You’ll find it all here. The nightlife is varied and never-ending, ranging from quiet spots for intimate conversation to nightclubs that simply explode with sound. There’s also themed parties, night shows, boutique shops and an eclectic mix of patrons.
An institution in itself, the Raffles Hotel is home to as many as 18 distinctive bars and restaurants. Boutique stores are plentiful here too, and the hotel itself has been host to some of the biggest legends since it first opened its doors in 1882. The Hotel’s Long Bar is the birthplace of the famous Singapore Sling cocktail, created way back between 1915 and 1920. Elizabeth Taylor, Queen Elizabeth II and Michael Jackson have been guests of the hotel, and it’s got all the decadent ambience you’d expect.
Marina Bay, with its astounding landscape, is considered the most sophisticated and beautiful place on the island. The Marina Bay Sands dominates the view with a triple tower hotel and the breathtaking broadside of the rooftop Skypark that connects three separate mega structures at the 57th floor. There is a spectacular light show at eight in the evening here. The sights include the beautiful Esplanade theater complex and the ArtScience Museum.
The world’s largest observation wheel, the Singapore Flyer, is 30 meters taller than the London Eye and has a diameter of 150 meters. Make two trips – one during the day and one at night – to appreciate the view of Singapore’s downtown fully from up in the sky. Visitors have yet to decide which one is more spectacular.
A huge colorful and futuristic design, the Gardens by the Bay is one of the prime attractions of Singapore. The Supertree structure created provides the skywalk experience of a lifetime. Two oversized greenhouses create environments for the plants and fauna housed within, and will leave travelers with the distinct impression of having wandered into another world altogether. The Cloud Forest encompasses a hill with an African tropical environment in it, while the Flower Dome takes you into drier climates like the Mediterranean.
The Merlion represents the spirit of Singapore. Folklore attributes it to the very origins of the city. Here, it’s serene and peaceful. Enjoy the view of the Marina Bay across the water, and – of course – the photo-op of a lifetime. There are also many cool bars and chic restaurants lining this part of the marina, so be sure to head down and check it out after dark.
Mint Museum of Toys, Singapore | Courtesy of the Mint Museum of Toys
This one is a must for all, whether young or old. The Mint Museum of Toys is a private collection of more than 3,000 toys from all around the world. It features classics and favorites, many of which are rare and one-of-a-kind pieces not seen anywhere else. Kids will go crazy about the place, but so will many adults, especially upon finding many of the toys from their childhood are on-site.
The ArtScience Musem is impossible to miss, shaped in the form of a lotus as a sign of welcome to would-be visitors. A prime location for international touring exhibitions, the waterfall created by the building’s shape is the centerpiece of a place filled with many notable attractions. Check ahead to see what masterpieces might be gracing the walls when you’re in town.
Built in 2002 at a cost of $600 million, this eye-catching complex is located on the bay, directly next to the Marina Bay Sands. It comprises eight main attractions, including a theater to seat 2,000 people and a 1,600-seat concert hall. There are also a number of smaller halls and studios for niche and private performances. It is known locally as ‘The Durian’ (jackfruit) because of its resemblance to the local – and famously pungent – tropical fruit.
Singapore is home to people from all across Asia, as testified by the sights and sounds of the city state in all its majesty. The Asian Civilizations Museum captures the records of these various civilizations across the Asian continent, spanning India, China, Japan and a host of other countries’ archaeology and history. There’s arguably nowhere better in the world to get acquainted with the histories of these diverse and wonderful peoples.