Many told us Singapore can be seen in 2-3 days. Well we stayed for a whole week and I can’t say we saw everything. We were absolutely enchanted with how modern, futuristic and green this little country is. At the same time it’s also very traditional and vibrant with many different cultures put together on such a small area. I’m sure we will go back at some point to discover more secret spots that Singapore has to offer but for now we want to suggest few absolute musts that no one should skip!
Gardens by the Bay
Gardens by the Bay are the most futuristic place I have ever seen in my life. The most prominent part are the SuperTrees that are massive man-made trees with their own ecosystem that creates energy used every evening for the most spectacular light show. Those are not the only attractions. There are plenty of other gardens, parks and even lakes to see there. This Avatar-like area deserved a separate post so read it here.
Marina Bay Sands Skypark observation deck
Marina Bay Sands Mall is a pretty impressive spot for all the shoppers. With our tight budget and eyes set up for remarkable experiences rather than things we didn’t spend much time around there. Regretfully we also didn’t spend any time in their hotel in the same building. But we did go to the observation deck which is absolutely unique. It literally looks like a boat on top of a 50-sth store building. How often would we be able to see something like that, right? Unmissable!
The construction itself is mesmerizing but the views top even that. Coming just before sunset we could enjoy the views on the Gardens by the Bay bathing in stunning light. We could even see their light show from above. Priceless.
Above the observation deck there is a huge 150m infinity pool available for people with a bit of a higher budget… hotel guests.
The Little India
Bollywood music cracking from doubtful quality speakers, smell of spices, omnipresent screaming.. yep it’s Little India. Little chaos among the kingdom of perfect order. That’s why we loved it so much. Obviously it’s still Singapore so you won’t spot much dirt but you won’t get Deli belly either. Except for the food and coconut water we loved the crazy colors of the houses, especially the ones of Tan Teng Niah villa.
The Orchard Library
This little, charming library is everything a book-lover could potentially need. It’s beautiful, peaceful, centrally located, it has comfy sitting space, competent workers and lots of books on many different subjects! You can just walk in and sit back with a book, escaping the buzz of the city and heat!! Yep, it has pretty good airco and that’s a big benefit in a city like Sinapore.
Except for the obvious fact of having great exhibitions the building itself is a gem!! We especially loved the modern atrium connecting the gallery with the former Supreme Court. Going further to the Supreme Court part of the building we found an amazing terrace with spectacular views on Marina Bay Sands.
Singapore has an incredible collection of shophouses. Although Joo Chiat Perankan Houses are the most popular I wouldn’t say they are a must. They are quite far from downtown and in the center there are so many stunning streets with lots and lots of shophouses in different styles and from different periods. Simple, modest houses along Erskine Road are a stunning example of 1840’ Chinese marchants’ houses. For more ornamented ones you should hit Petain Road and for our favorites Emeral Hill Road. Keep your eyes open, they are everywhere!
The Botanic Gardens in Singapore is where local life starts before the heat of the day begins. It’s where people go for running, yoga, tai chi or zumba. The entrance is free except additional attractions like the Orchid Garden, probably the most beautiful part of the park.
Singapore can be very expensive so local food courts are little life savers. We especially loved the Indian food that they served but they also had Malaysian, Chinese and even Middle Eastern cuisines. The most famous one is Telok Ayer Market but keep your eyes open for others! They're everywhere!
Not a very common thing to put on a list, I know, but the new Apple store has one of the most heavenly staircases I have ever seen! Besides it’s a popular spot to hang out, the upper floor has a very comfy sitting area for the clients… or anyone with an Iphone.
Former Old Hill Street Police station
Definitely one of the most spectacular buildings in the city. It’s impossible to miss those 927 windows with shutters in all colors of the rainbow. I can’t even imagine how marvelous it had to be to live there as a policeman many years ago. Yep there were many living quarters in there. It’s such a shame you can’t really visit the inside since nowadays it’s the Ministry of Communication and Information as well as the Cultural Ministry. I guess the corridors of this marvelous building will remain a sweet secret reserved for the few working in there.
Pretty new concept that is already booming in Singapore. Some buildings have multiple outdoor terraces jammed with trees and plants. More and more are joining in placing enormous vines covering whole walls. The most famous ones are: ParkRoyal and Oasia Hotel.
Although we could only enjoy the view from the outside it was such a surreal sight. It literally makes the city center look like a natural jungle rather than a business center.