Where to go and what to see in Singapore: Whether you’re renewing your visa or looking for an off-island escape, this list of top attractions can be your guide – from the Merlion and Marina Bay Sands, to Chinatown and Little India
Almost all visitors to Bali have made the short trip to Singapore at some point, whether it’s a brief city stopover to/from paradise, an off-island escape, or simply to renew that expiring Indonesian visa. But whatever your reason, you’ll certainly want to tick off The Little Red Dot’s best tourist spots, and to help you on your way, we’ve marked down 10 choice attractions for you to hit on your next trip. Selamat jalan!
1. Gardens by the Bay
Singaporeans are really proud of the “Bay” area – and rightly so. Though anything that has the word “Bay” in it is probably a tourist attraction, Gardens by the Bay is a beautiful park in the city that perhaps offers a glimpse to how city parks will be in the future. Abstract super trees line the skyline and the seashell-shaped greenhouses recreate different climates to house over hundreds of trees and plants.
Gardens by the Bay, 18 Marina Gardens Dr, Singapore 018953
2. 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 inside, 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
3. 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 Honeycombers Singapore’s guide of things to do in National Gallery Singapore.
National Gallery Singapore, 1 Saint Andrew’s Road, #01–01, 178957
4. Singapore Botanic Gardens
This city sure has everything. There’s modern, strange-looking buildings, and then there’s 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
5. 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
6. Universal Studios Singapore
Think a trip to Singapore is boring? Nonsense. First, Sentosa (an offshore island in the South) is dubbed the “State of Fun” – check out this 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 attractions 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
7. Merlion Park
Half-lion, half-fish, the 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
8. Little India
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 this 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)
10. Arab Quarters
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