Maybe you’ve just watched Crazy Rich Asians, or maybe Singapore has always been on your list. Either way, the country is having a major moment right now and it’s for good reason.
I first visited Singapore in 2015 during a 12-hour layover and knew immediately that I needed to return. Since then I’ve gone back twice and each time it leaves me wanting more. To me it’s the perfect place to spend a few days feasting on delicious food, enjoying the futuristic sights, and admiring the cleanliness and efficiency of the country. It seems everything Singapore does, it does better than the rest of the world.
Here is a list of the 10 best things to do in Singapore. Check these things off and I guarantee you will leave Singapore already plotting when to return.
1. Explore Gardens by the Bay
Let’s start off with my favourite Singapore attraction: Gardens by the Bay. Go early in the morning and you will likely have much of the grounds to yourself. Head to the famous Supertree Grove and feel like you’ve just teleported to the future.
Don’t forget to visit the Cloud Forest, a giant greenhouse with a soaring waterfall and floating tree-top walkways. This place gets busy fast so try to visit when it first opens in the morning.
Lastly, your visit is not complete without watching the nightly Light Show at the Supertree Grove. The trees light up to the sound of music and despite sounding a little touristy, it’s visually stunning and you can’t help but be impressed.
2. Eat at a hawker centre
One of the most distinctive eating experiences in Singapore is to visit a hawker centre. These are basically food halls filled with individual stalls. Each stall generally serves one type of dish that they have perfected over the years. You can find all the famous Singaporean dishes here such as Hainanese chicken rice, char kuay teow, laksa, satay, and many more.
Some of the best hawker centres to visit are: Lau Pa Sat, Old Airport Road Food Centre, Maxwell Road Hawker Centre, Chinatown Complex Food Centre, and Tiong Bahru Food Centre.
3. Visit Marina Bay Sands
Probably the most recognizable building in Singapore, Marina Bay Sands is a luxury hotel with a world famous infinity pool on its Skypark. If you have the budget for it, staying here is your only option for visiting the pool. But even if you’re not, the complex is still worth a visit. There are the Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, a great place to window shop and have an air-conditioned break from the heat of Singapore. You can also grab a drink at the Ce La Vi Skybar, located on the 57th level of Marina Bay Sands with a sweeping view of Singapore.
4. Wander around Haji Lane and Arab street
Haji Lane is a colourful street filled with murals and lined with shops and cafes. It’s a great place to spend an afternoon browsing through hip boutiques and grabbing a quick bite. It’s located in the Arab Quarter where you can also find the beautiful Masjid Sultan Mosque.
5. Ride the Singapore Flyer
The Singapore Flyer is hard to miss from anywhere near the downtown core. It’s a giant observation wheel providing unique views of the city and a fun experience. I’m always a sucker for observation wheels so you’ll bet we rode it the first time we visited Singapore, definitely no regrets.
6. Admire the Peranakan Houses on Koon Seng Road
Singapore has a rich Peranakan Culture which can be seen in these historical shophouses along Koon Seng Road. These houses are famous for their colourful and beautifully adorned facades. The Peranakans are an ethnic group of Chinese immigrants who settled down in the Malay Peninsula back in the 15th century. You can learn more about their culture at the Peranakan Museum in Singapore.
7. Eat Chilli Crab
No trip to Singapore is complete without eating chilli crab, one of the most popular and delicious local dishes. We usually go to either Jumbo Seafood or Red House. I like the Riverwalk location of Jumbo because you can sit on the patio and enjoy the view of Clarke Quay while feasting. If you have the chance try both the chilli crab and the black pepper crab, I honestly can’t decide which one I love more.
8. Take in the skyline from Merlion Park
Singapore is known as the Lion City after all, and the Merlion is the official mascot of Singapore. The statue is located at Merlion Park and is a popular attraction. If you don’t take a picture here did you even come to Singapore? From the park you get a great view of the Singapore skyline and Marina Bay Sands. It’s especially stunning at night when all the lights turn on.
9. Visit the ArtScience Museum
The ArtScience Museum is part of the Marina Bay Sands complex and easily recognized for its lotus shaped structure. There are several exhibitions showing at a time, with the most famous one being Future World. Aside from being an Instagram hotspot, the exhibition is a great interactive experience and features cool high-tech installations.
10. Enjoy the nightlife at Clarke Quay
Clarke Quay is located along the Singapore River and one the best places for a night out in the city. It’s lined with bars and restaurants with patios right along the river. The atmosphere is always lively and there are endless options for dining and entertainment. It’s a great place to just go for a stroll and soak in the vibe.