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The Top 15 Places to See in Singapore
If you're an urban explorer, you'll love checking Singapore's attractions one-by-one. It's a lovely place, if you know what to visit...
I was lucky enough to visit this country twice and I explored thoroughly.
Based on my experiences and some research - here's a list of the best places to visit in Singapore.
Before we go into details, let me mention just a few more besides these 15, because you may come across them (multiple attractions being very close to one another): The Parliament, The City Hall, the Outram area, the Theatres on the Bay in the Esplanade area, Suntec City...
Belive me, it was hard putting together the top 15 list, trimming, cutting out so many fantastic, magnetic attractions.
OK, now let's see the top 15 below!
#1 Marina Bay Sands Hotel and the Singapore Skyline
The three skyscrapers are among the newest and most well-known attractions, especially because of the observatory deck from which you can admire a 360 degree view of Singapore's wonderful skyline and, you can even see the Singapore Strait, which is typically full of transiting ships.
It cost me 23 SGD to visit the observatory deck and it was worth every penny I paid!
The three skyscraper complex Marina Bay Sands Hotel was the World's most expensive building at its construction in 2011 (and it even holds the record in mid-2014!)
#2 The ArtScience Museum
The lotus flower-shaped modern building near the Marina Bay is the ArtScience Museum, which frequently hosts mainly art exhibitions, archaeological exhibitions.
The ArtScience Museum was opened in early 2011 and is owned by Las Vegas Sands (a US-based company that also built the Marina Bay Sands Hotel).
It has both permanent and occasional exhibitions. The museum generally hosts touring exhibitions of items owned by other institutions.
The museum is much larger than just the white lotus flower building... Large rooms are found below ground.
#3 Raffles Place and the Central Business District
Raffles Place is in the middle of the central business district of Singapore. This is where most skyscrapers are found and it's probably the busiest area of the country.
The vaster area is known as the Central Business District, but I consider Raffles Place the core of the Central Business District!
Impressive high-rise buildings surround it and there are lots of (expensive) fine restaurants, but you can also find the (cheaper) hawker center Telok Ayer (Lau Pa Sat) - found in an old (historic) building.
Just some of the Central Business District's skyscrapers...
#4 Lau Pa Sat (Telok Ayer Market)
Lau Pa Sat hawker center
Hawker eatery in the middle of the skyscraper area, a short walk away from Raffles Place.
You will find it between tall skyscrapers - it's a historic building with where you taste a large number of Asian delicacies.
It's actually the Telok Ayer Market - but I liked the old name of Lau Pa Sat more... anyway, both names are used.
The Malay name of "Telok Ayer" means "Water Bay", while the Chinese "Lau Pa Sat" means "Old Market".
Whenever I was spending time in the Raffles area, I went out for brunches at the Lau Pa Sat hawker center.
I consider this a gastronomical retreat area.
I came across Chinese, Indian, Indonesian, Korean, Vietnamese, Japanese and other Asian foods sold at an abundance of small eateries, restaurants.
One thing I didn't like about this hawker center was hygiene.
They didn't clean the tables properly - they looked dirty, some with food leftovers, spills, spots on them... So, I had to skip 5-6 tables until I found an acceptable one that I had to clean myself.
Besides what is in the building during the day, the eateries extend to the streets during the late evening hours and the night hours.
Here's a little introduction about eating and drinking in Singapore. Pretty basic info about what you can eat and where you can do just that...
Although about three quarters of Singapore's population is made up of Chinese people, they still have a Chinatown! Which at first I found strange, but nice.
It's extremely well-maintained, but somewhat quiet area. Besides the Chinese restaurants and shops, you'll even find Western-style pubs, bars and restaurants...
I spent a lot of time in the Chinatown - Outram area photographing and even buying some delicacies. Don't miss this place under any circumstance!
A pinch of Chinatown in the dark... it was my first night in Singapore. And what a night that was!
#6 Little India
As the name suggests, it's the ethnic neighbourhood of the Indian community from Singapore.
Traditional old architecture present in the area is both Chinese and Indian. I observed an interesting mix of Chinese, European and Indian architecture - reflecting from some of the buildings there.
Go to Little India to see the buildings, the stalls of the agricultural produce sellers or, to taste Indian delicacies.
During my first Singaporean escape I checked it out on a very hot day.
My favourite building in Little India
#7 Arab Street
The other beautiful ethnic neighbourhood with a suggestive name.
The most prominent attraction there is the Masjid Sultan - a picturesque mosque with a golden cupola.
It was my second trip that brought me to Arab Street, which I found scenic for taking photos, also ideal for buying souvenirs. I even noticed several precious metal jewelry merchants'shops.
#8 Bugis Street
Shopping area. The best way to get there is by MRT: Bugis Junction station. A bit further you will find the Kwan Im Temple and the Sri Krishnan Temple.
Contrasful buildings and impressive shopping centers are found in the area. Of course, it's a good place for eating. I munched and brunched myself!
Another way to get in- and out of there (but a bit more walking is required) is through the Bras Basah MRT station.
You can get lost looking around in the shops, at the markets and tasting the delicacies
#9 Boat Quay
Scenic bay-like area formed on the Singapore River, found near the Parliament. It's just below Clarke Quay, to the south, near the Central Business District.
You can take a stroll around it or, you can take a boat cruise on it!
Boat Quay near the Singaporean Parliament
#10 Clarke Quay
A beautiful historic riverside quay along the Singapore River.
Another great place for dining, but also for attending night clubs. I missed this place (no time), remains to be checked out next time when I'm in Singapore!
#11 The Merlion Statue at Merlion Park
Don't leave the symbol of Singapore out!
There are two large Merlion Statues (one at Merlion Park and one on the Island of Sentosa). You can easily get to Merlion Park through the Raffles Place or Esplanade MRT stations.
Only my second Singapore trip brought me to Merlion Park (pictures and details about the Merlion in that article).
#12 Orchard Road
Singapore's main high-end shopping district. Lots and lots of lavish shops and high-end bars, restaurants, high quality hotels... At least a walk in the area is recommended.
But you can find plenty of (genuine!) Tiffany's jewelry there, Cartier and Gucci shops and the list could go on for long...
If you're aiming at the "top of the line" shops and restaurants, then go straight to Orchard!
I visited Orchard Road during my second trip to Singapore - see article here for details and pictures.
#13 Fullerton Hotel
Iconic old hotel at the edge of the Raffles area, at the southern tip of Boat Quay.
It is an iconic 5-star hotel. The building was finalized in 1928, but had served various other purposes like: the General Post Office, The Exchange, Singapore Club (now Singapore Town Club), the Marine Department, and the Import and Export Department...
The Fullerton Hotel is located between the Boat Quay and the Marina Bay
#14 Gardens by The Bay
Located right behind the Marina Bay Sands Hotel, it's a lush green retreat area, but more than a park, it's a real botanical garden (not to be confused with the Botanical Garden).
The official site shows it off - see the pictures and understand what it's all about. Worth visiting.
At the time of my visit they were still under construction, next time I'll pay a visit there.
#15 Sentosa Island
It's an entertainment area filled with theme parks, hotels, restaurants, gold courses and Universal Studios Singapore...
Ideal for families. Great for visiting if you're traveling with kids.
About the Author:
Escape Hunter, the young solo traveler in his early 30's explores the World driven by curiosity, thirst for adventure, deep passion for beauty, love for freedom and diversity.
With a nuanced, even humorous approach to travel, an obsession for art and design, Escape Hunter prefers to travel slowly, in order to learn and "soak up" the local atmosphere...
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