Where to go and what to see in Singapore? Whether you’re a tourist or showing visitors around, this list of top attractions should be your guide – from the Merlion and Marina Bay Sands, to Chinatown and Little India
If you’re visiting Singapore for a short visit and need to make quick stops to all the essential tourist spots on the island – you’re lucky Singapore’s a small place – we marked down some choice spots for you to hit. And if you’re not a tourist – or if you’ve exhausted all these fun things to do in Singapore – we reckon it’ll still be fun to act like one once in a while. You might even end up loving this Garden City a lil’ more.
Gardens by the Bay
We’re really proud of the “Bay” area – anything that has the word “Bay” in it is probably a tourist attraction. That said, Gardens by the Bay is a beautiful park in the city, and perhaps a glimpse of how city parks will be in the future, with the abstract super trees lining the skyline and the seashell-shaped greenhouses that recreate different climates to house over hundreds of trees and plants.
Gardens by the Bay, 18 Marina Gardens Dr, Singapore 018953
Marina Bay Sands
You can’t possibly miss this building as it towers spectacularly over… everything else. It’s the first picture you see when you Google Singapore, and probably the first thing tourism videos shove in your face when you land – but for good reason! Check out the curated boutiques, fine dining establishments, the modern ArtScience museum, and the stunning views you get whether you’re on top of the building, or chilling down by the bay at sunset.
Marina Bay Sands, 10 Bayfront Avenue, Singapore 018956
National Gallery Singapore
The National Gallery isn’t just a majestic building with art in it – it’s a building with a lot of history that houses some of the most important and largest collections of modern art from Southeast Asia. What used to be the Supreme Court building and City Hall has now been restored to become the largest visual arts venue in Singapore. Walk through the vast galleries to check out the artworks and stroll through a piece of history in Singapore. Check out our guide of things to do in National Gallery Singapore.
National Gallery Singapore, 1 Saint Andrew’s Road, #01–01, 178957
Singapore Botanic Gardens
This city sure has everything. We’ve got modern, strange-looking buildings, and then we have a 158-year-old tropical garden that’s been honoured as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Sprawling over 82 hectares of land, the Botanic Gardens is a national treasure for Singapore and an important botanical institute in the horticultural and agricultural industry. And yes, you can have a picnic here.
Singapore Botanic Gardens, 1 Cluny Rd, Singapore 259569
Singapore Zoo, River Safari, Night Safari
With eco-tourism on the rise, a visit to the Singapore Zoo is a must. There’s a reason why it is the best rainforest zoo in the world with its beautiful and well-landscaped grounds and leading conservation programmes. White tigers, giant crocs, and even naked mole rats await you at the zoo. Stay for the night after the sun sets, and it’s off to a nocturnal adventure at the Night Safari.
Singapore Zoo, 80 Mandai Lake Road, Singapore 729826
Universal Studios Singapore
Singaporeans don’t know how to have fun? Nonsense. First, Sentosa (an offshore island in the South) is dubbed the “State of Fun” – check out our guide of things to do in Sentosa if you don’t believe us. And secondly, guess what else is on Sentosa? The award-winning Best Amusement Park in Asia, Universal Studios Singapore. There’s a rollercoaster and attraction for everyone, from the scaredy-cats to the adrenaline junkie. And if there aren’t any crowds and queues (fingers crossed) you can zoom through all the rides in this park in an hour or two.
Universal Studios Singapore, 8 Sentosa Gateway, Singapore 098269
Half-lion, half-fish, our mascot of Singapore might sound a tad silly. But real talk: the lion bit represents Singapore’s original name, Singapura, which means Lion City, and the fish stands for Singapore’s humble beginnings as a fishing village. Besides Marina Bay Sands, the Merlion is a well-known icon of Singapore. Witness it in the flesh (or concrete) at the Merlion Park; it’s worth a photo or two.
Merlion Park, 1 Fullerton Rd, Singapore 049213
Not everything nice in Singapore is in an air-conditioned mall. Put on your good walking shoes and explore this neighbourhood not far from the city centre. Flower markets, fresh produce in Tekka Market, places of worship, and all the great food you can eat can be found here. From a stack of crispy roti prata to hole-in-the-wall cafés, and shopping in the eclectic and iconic Mustafa Centre, Little India has lots to offer to the inquisitive and curious traveller. Check out our guide of things to do when you’re in little India!
Take the Downtown Line or the North East Line and alight at Little India (DT12/NE7)
Primarily known as a Chinese enclave in Singapore, Chinatown is teeming with new energy these days. You can embark on a historical heritage walk through the markets, temples and quaint souvenir shops in the quarter. Check out what you should be doing at charming Chinatown. And when you’re ready to turn it up a notch, it’s over to Ann Siang Hill for some alfresco dining and cocktails in the numerous bars there.
Take the Downtown Line or the North East Line and alight at Chinatown (DT19/NE4)
Like most of Singapore’s attractions, there’s a bit of old and new here. Drop by the Arab Quarters and walk through the heritage buildings, browse through shops selling traditional wares, and take in the architecture of the Sultan Mosque. Then switch it up as you hop over to Haji Lane and Bali Lane, where cafes, bars and chic lifestyle shops line the streets – it gets a bit of rep for being a ‘hipster’ street too.
Start your trail from Sultan Mosque, 3 Muscat Street, Singapore 198833