When the sweltering outdoor heat gets too much, Singaporeans love ducking inside for a spot of retail therapy and a good dose of air-conditioning. Orchard Rd is the queen of shopping malls: with all the high-street brands, plenty of high-fashion houses, and a few discount outlets thrown into the mix, everyone’s needs (and more often wants) are catered for here. If you prefer your shopping a little less mass-market, head out to local neighbourhoods for independent designers, quirky art galleries, bustling markets, Chinese medicines, Persian carpets and a sari or two.
BEST TIME TO VISIT SINGAPORE
The best time to visit Singapore is anytime. The island nation experiences a warm, tropical climate year-round with daily highs in the 80s. And with a steady stream of business travelers, the city's hotels are seldom at a loss for occupants and maintain reasonable to high room rates. To avoid exorbitant prices, steer clear of popular events or national holidays like Chinese New Year. But keep in mind, rain is likely year-round.
November-June - If Singapore has a definable high season, this is it. Combine winter leisure travelers, the usual business traffic and numerous holiday festivals (Chinese New Year is the big one), and you'll find Singapore brimming with visitors. However, if you travel between November and January, you'll encounter the Northeast Monsoon season, which dumps plenty of rain on the city. November and December in particular see the highest precipitation, averaging 10 and 12 inches between the two months.
July-October - Travel during the late summer and early fall to enjoy a slight break in the tourist traffic. You'll also catch the tail end of the Great Singapore Sale, the best time to pick up designer duds. The Southwest Monsoon arrives between June and September, but it is less severe than its Northeast counterpart.
GETTING TO SINGAPORE
By Air - Singapore’s Changi Airport is one of the busiest and best connected in the world, handling over 100 airlines flying to some 400 cities. The airport is also home to Singapore Airlines, the flag carrier of Singapore. Together with Scoot, both airlines fly to more than 135 destinations globally. The award-winning airport itself is jam-packed with activities and amenities, making it a world-class attraction in its own right.
By Sea - As a leading homeport in the heart of Asia, Singapore is one of the world’s busiest cruise centres. A host of cruise operators, covering luxury, premium, and contemporary offerings, is ready to whisk you from around the region to one of the city’s terminals. Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore can also accommodate the largest cruise liners around today.
GETTING AROUND SINGAPORE
By train - Singapore’s MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) system is probably the fastest way to zip around the city. Most of our popular attractions are just a short walk away from an MRT station, making our trains a great way to get around.
By bus - Singapore's bus system has an extensive network of routes covering most places in Singapore. Besides being an economical way to get around, it’s one of the most scenic — you’ll be able to indulge in air-conditioned comfort, as you admire the lush greenery and beautiful architecture of our ‘city in a garden’.You can pay for your bus fare using an adult stored value smartcard (EZ-link / Nets FlashPay) or the Singapore Tourist Pass (STP). Just keep an eye out for the electronic card reader — located next to the bus driver—and tap as you board. You can also use your foreign-issued Mastercard® and Visa contactless bank cards issued outside of Singapore to pay for your ride.
By taxi - Taxis are comfortable and especially handy if you want to go to places not accessible by the bus or MRT. Cabs here are metered, but there may be surcharges depending on when, where and which company’s taxi you board.
By Bicycle - Cycling around our sunny island is a great way to get your dose of Vitamin D and enjoy the green spaces that dot our city. Singapore boasts a well-connected network of cycling paths, and you can rent shared bicycles from licensed operators. Feel free to bring your foldable bike onboard our trains and buses, but check if they’re too bulky.
WHERE TO STAY IN SINGAPORE
From luxurious stays to charming boutique accomodations, there's a bed in the city made just for you.
- Andaz Singapore – A Concept by Hyatt (SG Clean)
Nestled between the vibrant districts of Kampong Glam and Bugis, Andaz Singapore – A Concept by Hyatt offers accommodations in Singapore. Guests can enjoy a drink at the in-house bar. Free WiFi is available in all rooms. It is 230 m to Bugis MRT Station and Bugis Junction. Sultan Mosque is 350 m from Andaz Singapore, while Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple and Suntec City Convention Centre are 700 m away. The nearest airport is Changi Airport, 18 km from Andaz Singapore. Featuring locally-inspired designs in warm russet and mustard tones and wood-style tiling by architect Andre Fu, air-conditioned rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows that open up to views of the city. Rooms are fitted with a daybed and plush carpeting. The en suite bathroom includes a rain shower. Complimentary refreshments are served at Sunroom, while in-room minibar is available upon request. The rooftop bar, Mr Stork, is where guests can enjoy a variety of beverages while taking in panoramic city views of downtown Singapore, while Alley on 25 serves up local delights in a street-dining-in-the-sky concept.
- Hotel Indigo Singapore Katong (SG Clean)
Located in Katong, just minutes away from East Coast Parkway beach, Hotel Indigo features designs inspired by the culture and customs of the Joo Chiat Heritage Area. Guests can indulge in a leisurely swim at the outdoor infinity pool which overlooks the neighbourhood. Hotel Indigo Singapore Katong is nestled amongst 112 Katong Mall, the nearby Parkway Parade Mall and shop houses that feature restaurants and cafés. Accessible places of interest include Singapore Expo and Changi Business Park, a 15-minute drive away and Singapore Sports Hub, a 10-minute drive away. Marina Barrage is 7 km away, while the property is a 15-minute drive from the Central Business District. World-class Changi Airport is located just 10 km from the property. With striking and vibrant décor, each room comes equipped with a flat-screen cable TV, minibar and smart LED lighting. The rooms offer views of the surrounding area through floor-to-ceiling windows. En suite bathroom features a luxurious rain shower and complimentary toiletries. Located in the former Joo Chiat Police Station conservation building, Baba Chews Bar and Eatery serves traditional and modern fare from the Straits of Malacca, as a tribute to Peranakan cuisine. Friendly and professional staff at the front desk are available to assist with arranging for tour and ticketing, cleaning services, private and express check-in and check-out, as well as complimentary luggage storage. This wheelchair-friendly property is also fully non-smoking.
- JEN Singapore Orchardgateway by Shangri-La (SG Clean)
With elevated views of the city and situated right in the heart of Orchard Road, JEN Singapore Orchardgateway by Shangri-La offers direct connectivity to public transport and nearby shopping and entertainment areas. The hotel boasts an infinity-edged pool, outdoor dining and panoramic city views from its spacious rooftop space. Guests can enjoy free WiFi access throughout the property. Housed in contemporary glass building, the hotel is only 1 km away from the popular ION Orchard Shopping Mall. Singapore’s Changi International Airport is 17 km away. Featuring modern furnishings, all the rooms are fully air-conditioned and fitted with large windows offering ample natural lighting. A seating area, flat-screen TV and coffee/tea making facilities are included. Bathrooms are en suite. At JEN Singapore Orchardgateway by Shangri-La, you will find a fitness centre and meeting facilities. Staff at the 24-hour front desk can assist you with car rentals, dry-cleaning services and currency exchange services. Guests can enjoy a delectable spread of local Singaporean cuisines including popular Western dishes at the on-site buffet restaurant. In-room dining options are possible and a variety of alcoholic beverages is served at the bar.
- One Farrer Hotel (SG Clean, Staycation Approved)
Conveniently located above Farrer Park MRT Station, One Farrer Hotel features spacious rooms, suites and villas with free Wi-Fi and local calls. Facilities include 5 dining options, an outdoor pool, a spa and a business centre. Rooms, suites and villas feature a flat-screen TV, personal safe, minibar and coffee/tea making facilities. En suite bathrooms come with overhead and handheld showers. Select units come with exclusive benefits or extras such as living and dining areas, a spa bath and a walk-in wardrobe. The property is 400 m from the 24-hour Mustafa Centre and 450 m from City Square Mall. The Orchard Road shopping belt and the Marina Bay Sands are within a 15-minute drive away, while Changi International Airport is a 20-minute drive away.
- PARKROYAL COLLECTION Pickering, Singapore (Staycation Approved)
Located beside Chinatown MRT Station, PARKROYAL COLLECTION Pickering, Singapore boasts a dedicated wellness floor that features an outdoor pool, gym and 300 m garden walk high above the street level. Free Wi-Fi is available. Featuring views of the city or the garden, air-conditioned rooms are furnished with a personal safe, a flat-screen cable TV and a minibar. En suite bathrooms offer a hairdryer, bathrobe and free bath amenities. PARKROYAL COLLECTION Pickering, Singapore operates a 24-hour front desk that provides luggage storage, laundry and babysitting services. Conveniences include a tour desk, business centre and meeting/banqueting facilities. Guests can relax at the sun terrace or indulge in a pampering massage at the spa. LIME restaurant serves a delectable mix of Southeast Asian and International cuisine in a modern yet warm ambiance. Exclusively for club room guests, the rooftop COLLECTION Club lounge features a sweeping 360 degree view of the city skyline. Situated opposite Hong Lim Park, the hotel is within a few minutes’ walk to the bustling Chinatown, Raffles Place and Clarke Quay, Singapore's famous nightlife district. The popular shopping district of Orchard Road is a 15-minute drive away. The hotel is about a 20-minute drive from Changi International Airport.
- The Fullerton Hotel Singapore (SG Clean, Staycation Approved)
Located in the Central Business District, The Fullerton Hotel Singapore is a 5-minute drive from Clarke Quay and Boat Quay. It features a spa, infinity pool and a fitness centre. The Fullerton Hotel Singapore is a 25-minute drive from Changi International Airport. Raffles Place MRT Station is a short 5-minute walk from the hotel. Each room at Fullerton is equipped with a flat-screen TV and WiFi. A minibar and tea/coffee maker can be found in all rooms. Guests can indulge in spa treatments at The Fullerton Spa. Hotel Fullerton also houses various luxury boutiques on site.
- Marina Bay Sands (SG Clean)
Towering over the bay, this iconic hotel offers the world's largest rooftop infinity pool, 20 dining options and a world-class casino. It has direct access to Singapore’s premier shopping mall and the ArtScience Museum, which features the permanent exhibition, Future World. Free WiFi is available in all rooms. Furnished with contemporary-style dark wood decor and carpeted floors, rooms at Marina Bay Sands are fitted with a flat-screen cable TV with channels including CCTV4. Floor-to-ceiling windows open up to panoramic views of the Singapore skyline. An electric kettle with Grand Jasmine tea and bedroom slippers are provided in all rooms. En suite bathrooms include shower facilities and free toiletries. Marina Bay Sands is located at Bayfront MRT Station and steps from the lively Central Business District. Conveniently connected via a link bridge, Gardens by the Bay is 950 m from Marina Bay Sands, while Marina Barrage is 2.1 km away. Marina Square and Millenia Walk are within 1.4 km from the property. Changi Airport Singapore is 20.2 km away. Guests can approach the 24-hour front desk for currency exchange, tour arrangements and luggage storage. Take in breathtaking views of the city from the rooftop infinity pool or at the Sands SkyPark Observation Deck on level 57. Enjoy soothing massages at world-renowned Banyan Tree Spa. Staff are able to converse in English and Mandarin. Featuring famous celebrity chefs, fine dining options at the Marina Bay Sands include CUT by Wolfgang Puck, Bread Street Kitchen by Gordon Ramsay and Long Chim by David Thompson. Party the night away at the dance club, or unwind at any of the 3 lounges. Asian selections are also available.
- Shangri-La Hotel Singapore (SG Clean, Staycation Approved)
Nestled within 15 acres of tropical gardens, Shangri-La Singapore offers a hideaway just 7-minutes from the hustle and bustle of Orchard Road. This luxurious hotel boasts pampering body treatments at Chi, The Spa and a fitness centre. Free WiFi is available in all rooms and complimentary private parking is offered. It is 1.9 km to ION Orchard Mall. Shangri-La Hotel Singapore 2.2 km from Singapore Botanic Gardens and Far East Plaza. The Museum of Contemporary Arts is 2.9 km from Shangri-La Hotel Singapore. Changi Airport Singapore is 23.4 km away. The property offers complimentary scheduled shuttle services to selected areas. Shangri-La’s rooms are located in 3 distinctive wings, each offering a different atmosphere. Rooms are fitted with cable TVs. Minibars, tea/coffee makers and ironing facilities are provided. The en suite bathroom includes shower facilities and free toiletries. Other facilities at the property include a fitness centre and two tennis courts. Guests can approach the 24-hour front desk for currency exchange, tour arrangements and concierge services. Guests can indulge in body treatments at Chi, The Spa. A family-friendly play space, Buds is available for children at additional charges. Cantonese dishes feature in the Michelin-starred Shang Palace. International cuisine and Japanese fare is served at The Line and NAMI Restaurant and Bar respectively. Waterfall Ristorante Italiano offers authentic Southern Italian cuisine, while local heritage fare can be enjoyed at The Lobby Lounge by Shang-ri La. Artisanal pastries are available at ShopHouse by Shangri-La.
- Quincy Hotel by Far East Hospitality (SG Clean)
Just a 5-minute walk from the popular Orchard Road shopping district, the stylish and award-winning Quincy Hotel by Far East Hospitality, offers all-inclusive studios with free WiFi. At Quincy, all-day light refreshments and evening cocktails and canapes are offered at The Lounge. Guests can enjoy an American-style breakfast bento box. Offering captivating city views, each air-conditioned studio features a 42-inch flat-screen cable TV, a Philips docking station and complimentary minibar. Premium mattresses and feather pillows are standard across all rooms. Modern glass bathrooms come with Kevin Murphy Young Again amenities and a bathtub. Recreational facilities include a 24-hour fitness centre and an infinity glass pool overlooking the city, as well as a sauna and a steam room. Quincy Hotel is a 10-minute drive from the lively night spots of Clarke Quay. Changi International Airport is a scenic 25-minute drive away, and transportation can be easily arranged at a small fee.
- The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore (SG Clean)
The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore is located in downtown Marina Bay, Singapore. Luxuriously decorated with a contemporary art collection, it features complimentary high speed WiFi access with a bandwidth of 1Gbps, swimming pool, spa and a 24-hour gym. The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore is a 5-minute walk from the Singapore Flyer and Marina Square Shopping Mall. It is within a 10-minute walk to Marina Bay Sands, ArtScience Museum, Gardens by the Bay and The Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay. Changi International Airport is a 20-minute drive from the hotel. Its a 5-minute walk from Promenade MRT train station and 10-minute walk from Esplanade MRT train station (local train transport system).All rooms and suites offer panoramic views of the city's skyline. Each air-conditioned room comes equipped with a wall-mounted cable TV, walk-in closet and a marble bathroom that includes a rain shower. The exclusive Club Lounge located on level 32 allows club guests to enjoy daily culinary presentations, complimentary limousine transfer to the vicinity and unparalleled concierge service. Delight in Singapore’s heritage cuisines in a British-colonial setting at Colony restaurant. The one Michelin star Summer Pavilion serves sumptuous Cantonese dishes while Chihuly Lounge offers a classic eight-course weekday afternoon tea.
- Mandarin Oriental, Singapore (SG Clean)
Towering over Marina Bay, Mandarin Oriental, Singapore, features an outdoor pool with stunning cityscape views and a luxurious spa. Guests can keep fit at the gym or with Yoga classes. Mandarin Singapore is directly linked to Marina Square Shopping Centre, a 10-minute walk from City Hall MRT Station. A 10-minute drive brings guests to the shopping haven of Orchard Road, while Singapore Changi Airport is a 20-minute ride away. Floor-to-ceiling windows in Oriental Singapore’s rooms overlook the harbour, ocean or city skyline. A surround sound system with CD and DVD options is provided in each room. Cable TV channels and tea/coffee makers are provided. En suite bathrooms offer bathtubs. A separate children’s pool is available for young ones. A range of pampering massage treatments is available for tired bodies. Tennis courts provide guests the opportunity to maintain their fitness while visiting. Dolce Vita features Italian dining by the pool with harbour views while MO BAR offers afternoon tea and cocktails with city skyline view. Mandarin Oriental offers 4 other food and beverage options including Japanese and Cantonese cuisine.
The 5-star Pan Pacific Singapore is directly connected to Marina Square Mall and Suntec Convention Centre. Located at the gateway of Singapore’s Central Business and Financial Districts, it features an outdoor swimming pool and guests can enjoy meals at 6 dining options or have a drink at the bar. Free WiFi is available throughout the hotel. It is 800 m to Esplanade - Theatres By The Bay, while Gardens by the Bay is 1.1 km away. The National Gallery Singapore, Victoria Theatre and Asian Civilisations Museum are within 1.3 km from the property. Changi Airport Singapore is 20 km from Pan Pacific Singapore. Air-conditioned rooms at are equipped with full-length windows featuring panoramic views of the city. All rooms are fitted with a flat-screen satellite TV and a work desk. The en suite bathroom includes shower facilities and free toiletries. Other facilities at the property include a wading pool equipped with cabanas and sun loungers, 2 tennis courts as well as a fitness centre. Located by the pool, the award-winning St. Gregory Spa offers a wide range of pampering face and body treatments. Guests can approach the 24-hour front desk for concierge services and luggage storage. Pacific Marketplace is a gourmet grocery and café serving coffees, croissants and pastries, as well as a wide selection of cakes, chocolates, sandwiches and salads. Other dining options include Keyaki Japanese Restaurant, Hai Tien Lo Cantonese Restaurant and Rang Mahal Indian Restaurant. Drinks and snacks are served at the Atrium, while the new Poolside Bar offers a wide variety of cold beverages and Pacific-inspired snacks and main courses.
PLACES TO VISIT & THINGS TO DO IN SINGAPORE
Celebrated as The Lion City of Southeast Asia, Singapore is an absolute must-visit for travellers of all kinds. Whether you’re an adventure-seeker, urban explorer or proud foodie, this sprawling metropolis has no shortage of places to visit & things to do, and is guaranteed to capture your heart. Glitz, golden sands and gardens – Singapore has it all. Here are the list of must-visit attractions & things to do for any visitor to the city-state.
- Immerse yourself at Gardens By The Bay
Arguably one of Singapore’s most recognisable landmarks, the landscape of Gardens by the Bay would fit right in as the set for an alien home planet. Its most striking feature is its Supertree Grove, with 18 vertical gardens, the tallest of which rises nearly 20 storeys! The best time to visit the Supertrees is at night. Admission to Gardens by the Bay is free, and the park is open daily from 5 am to 2 am.
Pulau Ubin is a small island in the northeast of Singapore. Devoid of skyscrapers and cars, this island is a reminder of what Singapore was like just a few decades ago. It is home to one of Singapore’s last traditional villages, and inhabitants there live a simple life supported by fishing and agriculture. To get the most out of your visit to Pulau Ubin, rent a bike to fully explore the island, and look out for the German Girl Shrine and other tokens of Singapore lore. To get to Pulau Ubin, grab a ferry from Changi Point Ferry Terminal.
First opened in 1973, the Singapore Zoo spans nearly 70 acres and is home to over 300 species of animals. It is often praised for its design, opting for an ‘open’ captivity model so that animals feel less restricted by the enclosures. To help visitors get around the grounds of the zoo, they provide a variety of methods of transportation, including trams and boats. For something a bit more unique, you can visit the zoo after dark when it opens for the Night Safari and get a glimpse into how many animals behave at night.
- Explore Singapore’s distinct cultural neighbourhoods
Some of Singapore’s richest heritage lies in its trifecta of cultural neighbourhoods: Chinatown, Little India and Arab Street. Follow one of the National Heritage Board’s self-guided walks around Little India to take in its religious diversity, or queue up for a plate of Michelin star-winning chicken rice. Over in Arab Street, get your fix of Mediterranean food, and then spend an evening enjoying some shisha and people-watching.
- Watch a spectacular light show
Singapore comes to life at night with mesmerising lights shows that delight crowds all over the city. Check out regular, stellar displays at Marina Bay and Sentosa, while keeping a close eye on special events in the pipeline.
- Go hunting for street art in Tiong Bahru
Take a closer look around corners and up on the walls of the Tiong Bahru neighbourhood to find some artistic treasures. Local heritage lover Yip Yew Chong, who grew up in Tiong Bahru, has three murals scattered around, depicting some of his memories of days gone past. Animal photographer Ernest Goh once had a series of chicken fish pasted on the walls, though these days only a family of three goatscan still be seen around Tiong Bahru Market, where you can also spot a colourful peacock and its tail feather on the inner air well by Australian artist Makatron.
- Enjoy a gorgeous sunset at Marina Bay
Singapore is famous for its stunning skyline. The Marina Bay Sands Boardwalk gives you an unimpeded view of what can only be described as the best view in the city. Try to visit around 6pm, so you can people watch and then see the sun go down.
- Soar above the jungle at the MacRitchie Treetop Walk
Grab some water and head to MacRitchie Reservoir to do the MacRitchie Treetop Walk. It’s a 250 metre long bridge that stands 25 metres above the forest floor. The entire hike takes a few hours, so be sure to carry plenty of water and wear good shoes. Afterwards, go for a stroll along the boardwalk that runs around the reservoir and see if you can spot the giant monkey family that lives there.
Fort Canning is located right in the centre of the island. The place has played a significant role in the history of Singapore: Sir Stamford Raffles built his first home on Fort Canning hill, and during World War II it served as the headquarters of the British Army and later as the Japanese Army during their occupation of Singapore.
At the River Safari, visitors ride a boat through Singapore’s tropical forests. Freshwater animals live on either side of the river, including American beavers, anacondas and adorable giant pandas.
- St John’s & Lazarus Island
Getting to St John’s & Lazarus requires a little bit of advanced planning. Scheduled ferries from Marina South Pier (SG$18/EUR11 per person for a return ticket) take about 30 minutes to get to the island. There are no stores on the island, so bring enough water, snacks and sunscreen for the day. When you get to the beautiful crescent beach and swim in the crystal clear waters of one of Singapore’s nicest beaches, you’ll be glad you made the effort to get out here!
- Universal Studios Singapore
Get your adrenaline pumping at Universal Studios Singapore! Located on Sentosa Island and part of Resorts World, the amusement park is home to seven themed zones, so there’s something for the whole family. Horror film lovers should try to time their visit for October, when Universal Studios Singapore goes all out with their Halloween Horror Nights.
Located on the far end of Sentosa Island, Siloso Beach is our favourite of the three beaches. Tanjong Beach is the party beach and Palawan Beach is mostly frequented by families, but Siloso Beach is a middle ground, with many cute restaurants right on the beach and a very chill vibe.
This is another great activity for thrill-seekers. Adventure Cove Waterpark is home to several water roller coasters. We also love the snorkelling pool where you can swim with fresh water fish.
- Singapore Botanic Gardens
The Singapore Botanic Gardens first opened in 1859, making them one of Singapore's oldest parks and explaining how such a large complex came to exist in the middle of the busy city-state. The park is home to over 10,000 species of plants, and it is one of the premier orchid research and breeding centres in the world. With relatively quiet grounds, the park is also home to a veritable host of jungle creatures, including three-foot long monitor lizards – but don’t worry, they are quite harmless to people as long as they are not antagonised.
The ArtScience Museum is one of the iconic structures that make up the Marina Bay Sands Integrated Resort. Recognisable for its distinct shape, the museum blends the worlds of art and science together through carefully curated exhibitions. The ArtScience Museum has recently revamped their now permanent exhibition Future World, where visitors can explore an interactive high-tech collection of digital installations.
- National Gallery Singapore
Located in two buildings, the former Supreme Court and the former City Hall, the National Gallery Singapore presents a collection of modern art by artists across Southeast Asia. The gallery showcases the works of both up-and-coming and established artists from the region. Be sure to visit the newly opened galleries showcasing Chinese Ink Art, and don’t miss the rooftop sculpture garden featuring works by Vietnamese-born Danish artist Danh Vo.
- National Museum of Singapore
Singapore’s largest museum, the National Museum of Singapore houses two main galleries: the Singapore Living Galleries with exhibitions on food, photography, film, and fashion, and the History Gallery, which traces the island’s history from the 14th century.
Built by the brothers who invented Tiger Balm, Haw Par Villa was built as a way for parents to teach their children about morality through Chinese mythology. Although some of the statues are looking worse for wear these days, it’s well worth a trip to see these bizarre and nightmarish life-sized dioramas. Note that the 10 Courts of Hell are quite graphic and may be frightening to small children.
- Chinese and Japanese Gardens
Get out of the city and head west to the Chinese and Japanese Gardens. During the weekend, people play cricket in one of the park’s open spaces. Tucked into one area of the Chinese Gardens is the Live Turtle & Tortoise Museum, which showcases the world's largest collection of turtle and tortoise items.
WHERE TO EAT IN SINGAPORE
Singapore has become a key destination for trade and travel between Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas. Because of this, Singapore is a cultural melting pot, and this is seen in the city-state’s food scene.
Master of fine dining and world-famous restaurateur Wolfgang Puck takes his art to Singapore with the third location for CUT, his award-winning Beverly Hills steakhouse. This spot offers a different kind of cuisine to mainstream Singapore, a city that is fundamentally composed of places serving Asian dishes. CUT has a classy Western edge, providing only the best cuts of meat treated with the highest respect, for your dining pleasure. This is an authentic American steakhouse, certain to please all of the senses.
Simplistic, fresh, healthy and affordable, May May provides a fusion Asian menu that won’t break the bank. Comfortable wooden seating, leather upholstery, marble table-tops and a bright skylight add to the dining experience and complement the modern take on Asian cooking. May May has a relaxed ambiance and provides great service.
- Catalunya, Restaurant, Singapore
The epitome of charm and luxury, from the decor to the food to the gorgeous view out to the bay through the ceiling high windows, Catalunya tenders a chic and contemporary Spanish feast. The architecturally stunning Singapore dining room is the perfect setting for the gastronomic delights that await you. This journey through the finest quality Spanish dining available is topped off by a wonderful view of the city.
The Wejs (pronounced ‘wedges’) makes a connection to North Africa with their alluring and straightforward Tunisian cuisine. There’s nothing fancy here, just genuine, tasty, heart-warming cooking. This is a great place to go as a group, with affordable prices and generous servings, you won’t leave hungry and certainly not disappointed.
Stripped back to the traditional basics of Italian cuisine, Fratini La Trattoria doesn’t have a menu. Instead, to eat here you have to entrust your dining experience to Gabriel Fratini, an award-winning Italian chef with more than four decades of experience. The absence of a menu means there is a sense of artistic integrity in the food. Also, without a menu to stick to, ingredients and dishes change by the day depending on the available produce of the season. Fratini La Trattoria is elegant yet homely, more like a private kitchen than a restaurant, and is perfect for a romantic dinner.
Its geographic location means that Singapore is home to a vast array of gastronomic influences, from Chinese and French to Vietnamese and South American. Something that often goes overlooked is the delicious and traditional Malay cuisine. Guan Hoe Soon serves deliciously fresh Malaysian food with authentic Peranakan spices to create traditional flavors that dance around on the palate. This perfect method of cooking has been passed through the generations and is a must-try for those visiting the city.
Majestic Restaurant in Singapore serves more than your average Chinese food. It offers diners a fusion of European flavors and ingredients prepared in a manner resembling that of Asian cuisine. The decor juxtaposes modern designer furniture with a modern twist against the delicate gastronomy with stimulating European and Asian flavors.
- Rhubarb Le Restaurant, Singapore
Located in downtown Singapore, Rhubarb prides itself on being the pinnacle of excellent service. Rhubarb uses classic French cooking techniques and incredible contemporary finesse to create refined and elegant dishes. The intense and complex flavor combinations are coupled with an extensive and affordable selection of wine, a marriage that has been developed as a tribute to la cuisine française. With only seven tables, Rhubarb has an intimate ambiance that is complemented by the contemporary, personalized cooking of chef Paul Longworth.
Uncomplicated and tasty vegetarian dishes can be found at Miao Yi. It’s not surprising that this busy restaurant is packed every day for both lunch and dinner. Miao Yi’s mock meat dishes use alternative vegetarian ingredients to create flavors and textures that carnivores won’t be able to tell is meat-free.
WHERE TO SHOP IN SINGAPORE
Being a fusion of east and west, Singapore offers endless shopping opportunities, and there is an impressive mix of both tradition and modernity, noticeable in the shopping as well as everywhere else. In the city center and surrounding areas, there is a huge variety of markets and malls, making it possible to discover both foreign luxury fashion and pieces of local culture. Undoubtedly, in Singapore, you can find anything and everything.
Commonly known as Takashimaya, after its prominent Japanese department store, Ngee Ann City is a must-see of Singapore’s shopping world. The majestic building complex is located conveniently on Orchard Road — the main shopping area of the city — and hard to miss. At the entrance, the proud golden lions guarding the building give you a certain pampered feeling. Naturally, the main department store offers everything from A to Z, but don’t miss out on the rest of the mall. Drench yourself in books on the top floor, or explore the bottom floors filled with both fashion and food.
Being one of Singapore’s most elaborate malls, ION Orchard is, indeed, huge. The eight-story shopping center is located toward the end of Orchard Road, just a couple of steps from Ngee Ann City. Located partially underground, the center is filled with stores ranging from high status to basic brands. At ground level and above, you’ll find well-polished floors and a luxuriously decorated environment matching the couture brands located there. Further down, find a large variety of noticeable stores, such as the Japanese dollar store, stocking everything you might need.
In the neighborhood of Bugis, you’ll find not only two large shopping malls but also a crowded street market. The air-conditioned malls house famous retail chains on the bottom floors and small local boutiques on the upper levels. At the market among the cramped stalls and crowded aisles, you’ll find cheap copies of the latest Asian fashion trends as well as a variety of candy, fresh fruit, and plastic shoes.
Singapore’s largest shopping mall, VivoCity, is located near the popular island resort, Sentosa. This spacious venue also has a terrace where you can step outside and enjoy the surrounding view. The mall has a wide variety of stores but with an emphasis on trendy, ordinary stores and contemporary brands. You’ll also find spas, gigantic food courts, movie theaters, and children’s playgrounds; there is basically enough to spend an entire day there exploring.
- Chinatown Market, Singapore
Just a short walk from the downtown area, you’ll find the lively district of ChinaTown. With its bright lights, colorful decorations, and delicious smells, shopping becomes an adventure here. Walk around and between the stalls and shops, and discover everything from cheap souvenirs and traditional clothing to gorgeous fabric and amazing food. Get something to munch on, do some bargaining, and don’t forget to check out the surrounding beautiful antique architecture.
Located across the street from antique Raffles Hotel and right in between two underground stations, Raffles City is a gem among malls. The lower floors have busy food courts, while the upper floors offer a wide selection of both regular stores and fancy brands. Also, as it is connected with underground passes via one of the MRT stations to Marina Square Mall, CityLink Mall and Suntec City Mall, it’s possible to continue the shopping trip without ever going outside.
At the beginning of Orchard Road, you’ll find Plaza Singapura, a noteworthy shopping mall. Located away from the busiest part of Orchard, this nine-story mall is not as crowded as others in the area, yet it features just as much shopping. Check out the large food court on the bottom floors, or go see a movie at the cinema on the top floor. If you need a break, sit and relax on the well-kept benches outside, or take a walk in the green Istana Park across the street.
With numerous small shops, Lucky Plaza has managed to capture the spirit of the intense Chinatown marketplace and put it into a mall. Right across from the expensive Ngee Ann City, this mall is almost the absolute opposite, with small stores featuring everything from handmade shoes to chocolate boxes and imported jewelry. Essentially, this is the spot to visit if you want the busy marketplace shopping but with air-conditioning and more personal space.
- The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands
If you’re looking for pure luxury without having to walk around outside in the heat between boutiques, then Marina Bay Sands is the place to go. The newly built complex opened in 2011 and features a large variety of fashionable brand stores in its mall section. There is also a casino, a costly sky park, along with the expensive resort hotel. Stop by if you want classic luxury and glamour — better-polished floors and shinier windows have never been seen.
Open 24 hours a day, this bustling shopping mall is a true experience. Located in the area of Little India, Mustafa Center never sleeps, which is great if you only have time to shop at inconvenient hours. Get electronic goods, budget fashion, as well as some groceries all at the same time; there is nothing that cannot be found at this mall. Don’t let the rough exterior scare you as both the shopping and the neighborhood are truly charming and honest. The shopping experience doesn’t get more authentic than this.
- Tekka Wet Market, Singapore
Tekka Wet Market is just next to Little India underground station, right at the end of Serangoon Road. This down-to-earth neighbourhood market is the epitome of Singapore’s multicultural heritage: exchanges are often in a mixture of Singapore’s four official languages (English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil), and the crowd is usually dressed in typical Singaporean garb – t-shirt, shorts and slippers. The huge market is divided into a wet area and dry one. The wet area (which is constantly hosed down – therefore a ‘wet market’) has stalls selling fresh produce like vegetables, fish, meat; whereas the dry area offers dried goods like herbs, spices, rice, dried noodles, dried seafood and beans. Upstairs on the second level you’ll find Indian clothing, brass ware, linen and some kitschy souvenirs. A part of the market is allocated to a hawker centre filled with various food stalls selling local fare, to complete your ‘get to know Singapore’ outing.
So Gelam Market in Singapore is a pop-up market not to be missed – if you are in Singapore at the right time. The vibrant market held on the last weekend of each month is a quintessential Singaporean flea market, filled with food and drink stalls, as well as those selling knick-knacks like homemade beauty products, candles and art prints. In true Singaporean kampong spirit, try out some traditional kampong games like five stones and spinning tops; or buy some yummy snacks and lounge around on a mat on the central lawn for a picnic. This is the best way to immerse yourself in the laissez-faire atmosphere of Kampong Glam.
- Katong Square Lifestyle and Vintage Market
As the name suggests, this market located in the Peranakan neighbourhood of Katong offers all things vintage. Whether it’s watches, vintage jewellery, haute couture, vinyl records, curios, art or anything else you can think of that is bohemian with a tinge of nostalgia, you can find it here. The Katong area is also a culinary institution where you can get some of the best local food like katong laksa or old school kaya toast – the perfect round-up to your vintage shopping day.