Image by Singapore-based illustrator Marie Toh

The Insider Guide

Numerous cultures thrive side by side in the island city-state of Singapore, combining into one giant melting pot that just keeps on giving. Here is your ultimate guide to making the most of the Garden City's diverse food, culture and history.

Read More

The Main Attractions

Stalk the 19th-century shophouses of Chinatown for lucky cat souvenirs and dim sum, then take in the pastel-painted facades of Little India and Sri Veeramakaliamman, a statue-covered temple built by early Indian settlers. Kampong Glam is the Arabic quarter where bazaars, flea markets and shisha bars hum and the vibe is a world away from downtown. Hungry? Look no further than the nearest hawker centre, an open-air food market where you can grab a quick, cheap bite. For all its urban buzz, Singapore is one of the greenest urban centres in Asia. Hop on the MRT for speedy access to Marina Bay, where steel and glass collide with nature at the Gardens by the Bay. Comprising three spaces over 100ha (247 acres), this green oasis is home to plants and flowers from five continents, including thousand-year-old olive trees, magnolias and orchids. The soaring and surreal Supertrees is a grove of gardens lit up at night in a spectacle of light and sound. Watch it unfold from the Supertree Observatory, 50m (164ft) up. Another of Marina Bay’s attractions is the flower-like ArtScience Museum, an architectural feat and symbiosis of design and technology. It’s right across the water from the Asian Civilisations Museum and National Gallery Singapore, where you’ll find an unrivalled collection of Singaporean and Southeast Asian art. The tropical Singapore Botanic Gardens add further clout to Singapore’s eco-credentials and make for a wonderful change of scenery after the ritzy shops and boutiques of nearby Orchard Road. And if you’re here with little ones in tow, Singapore Zoo and River Safari theme park will keep them entertained. All that sightseeing is thirsty work – the only thing for it is a cocktail at the colonial-era Raffles Hotel, birthplace of the world-famous Singapore Sling. Read on for more insider tips.

Neighborhoods in Singapore