Crossing Travel
DESTINATIONS Wednesday, 14 October 2015

10 Best Things to Do In Singapore

Skyscanner's Singapore correspondent, and connoisseur of Asian street food, Sam Poullain, takes us on a tour of 10 of the best things to in the Lion City.

1. Eat at a hawker food market

10 Best Things to Do In Singapore

First up, you’ll need some grub - and you’re in luck as Singapore has probably the widest selection of Asian food anywhere on the planet. From Malay dishes such as nasi lemak to local Chinese favourite Hainanese chicken rice, not to mention dim sum, dahl and Korean BBQ, grab a bargain meal with the locals at a hawker food market such as Maxwell Road or Lau Pa Sat.

2. Relax in the Botanic Gardens

10 Best Things to Do In Singapore

If you’re still suffering from jetlag or just need an escape from the city, Singapore’s 74-hectare Botanic Gardens are an oasis of calm. The star attraction is the National Orchid Garden, while there is also a rainforest, lakes and weird and wonderful plants from around the world. The gardens are open from 5am ‘til midnight - so you really can avoid the crowds.

3. Get down to Chinatown

10 Best Things to Do In Singapore

Traditional ‘shop houses’ nestle below skyscrapers in one of the most striking examples of the two sides of the ‘little red dot’, as Singapore is affectionately known. Check out the locals playing Chinese chess before trying some more local food (yes, there’s a theme emerging here). Vegetarians will love the enormous selection on offer at 8 Treasures while seafood lovers should grab a cold beer and try the chilli crab at Chinatown Seafood Restaurant. Relax in a rooftop bar on nearby Club St afterwards.

4. Soak up Little India

10 Best Things to Do In Singapore

Little India’s fragant streets are filled with the smell of spices, flowers and food from across India. Paired with blaring music and multi-coloured buildings, it makes for an intoxicating mix. Explore the many temples and shrines before a visit to 24-hour shopping mecca Mustafa, the gigantic department store where you’ll find everything from perfume to peranakan trinkets.

5. Walk on the wild side at Singapore Zoo and Night Safari

10 Best Things to Do In Singapore

Singapore Zoo and Night Safari are renowned as two of the world’s finest zoological attractions. The zoo is famed for its cleverly-designed open enclosures which mean that many animals appear to be within touching distance. Is it the most popular residents? Giant Pandas Kai Kai and Jia Jia – but be prepared to queue to see them if you visit on a weekend or holiday.

6. Take a trip to Singapore city at Marina Bay Sands

10 Best Things to Do In Singapore

Singapore’s very own slice of Las Vegas, the gigantic Marina Bay Sands ‘integrated resort’ features the city’s biggest casino and a shopping mall so big it has its own canal offering gondola rides - not to mention the boat-like structure perched atop its three enormous curved skyscrapers which houses the world’s highest rooftop pool. Though it may be a little opulent for some, this place has the wow factor to say the least.

7. Re- live Avatar at Gardens by the Bay

10 Best Things to Do In Singapore

Singapore’s cutting edge 101-hectare Gardens by the Bay are home to an exotic array of flora and fauna from around the world housed in the bio-domes Cloud Forest and Flower Dome. The main attraction however is the stunning Supertrees, a group of shimmering 50m structures which dazzle to lights and music every evening. Unless you were pally with James Cameron in the mid-90’s, this is as close as you’ll get to being in Avatar.

8. Sweat it out at a nature reserve

10 Best Things to Do In Singapore

Among the skyscrapers and high-rise homes across the city it’s easy to forget Singapore was once home to swathes of tropical rainforest. The good news is, it still has some left: nature reserves such as Bukit Timah Nature Reserve – the highest point in Singapore - and Macritchie Reservoir Park may no longer be home to tigers, but offer an escape from the city where you can work up a sweat and soak in the local wildlife with birds, monkeys (watch out if you have a packed lunch open) and lizards frequently greeting guests.

9. Enjoy a cold drink by the Riverside

10 Best Things to Do In Singapore

Stretching from Marina Bay right up to Robertson Quay, the Singapore River has something for everyone. Clarke Quay is the number one destination for partygoers (not for the faint hearted after dark!), while a stroll from the prestigious Fullerton Hotel along to Robertson Quay offers several fine dining riverside dining options.

10. Chill in the Arab Quarter

10 Best Things to Do In Singapore

If Singapore’s endless shopping malls don’t float your boat try the hip boutiques on Haji Lane in the centre of the Arab Quarter. From city bikes to bespoke designer dresses, the lane has endless delights – including some Turkish ones. If you feel like a change from Asian food, try a mezze platter at one of the cafés and smoke a shisha pipe as you gaze at the sunset above the golden-domed Sultan Mosque.

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