Singapore is a city-state and one of the richest countries in Asia. Stepping off the plane there did not feel like arriving in a South-East Asian country at all. From the state of the art airport to the skyscrapers and luxury hotels, everything in Singapore is shiny, new and clean. This incredibly well-organized city can feel like a modern oasis compared to the grime and chaos of Bangkok or Manila. So while it is not exactly an accurate reflection of South East Asia, its prosperity is one of the reasons this city is a must visit. it is packed with beautiful architecture, great restaurants and culture. Maneuvering around the city is easy with a great subway system as well as city bikes. Be prepared to empty your pockets though as Singapore is as pricey as Europe. Here are my tips on things to do and see in Singapore:
1. Admire the art at Singapore National Gallery
The Singapore National Gallery is housed in the stunning architecture of the former City Hall and Courthouse. It is a beautiful, modern museum that can easily rival well known European museum, such as the Louvre. As everything in Singapore, it is slightly expensive and be prepared to wait in line for a ticket, but it is worth it! The museum houses a rich diversity of old and new Asian art as well as temporary western exhibitions. And it has a great view of the bay!
2. See the lightshow at the Garden by the Bay
The Gardens by the Bay may be the most photographed sight in Singapore and with good reason. The artificial trees are impressive and stunning and the park itself a delight. You might even run into a few otters! I strongly recommend visiting the park in the evening. Grab a bite at Sate by the Bay food court and walk to the trees to see the light show. It is delightful and on every day at 7.30 and 8.30 pm.
3. Take in the view from the Marina Bay Sands Hotel
After the Gardens by the Bay, take the walk bridge to the Marina Bay Sands Hotel. This world-famous hotel is expensive to stay at, but visitors can access the rooftop bar. All you have to do is buy a 20 dollar drink voucher, which you can spend on a delicious cocktail while you take in the amazing view.
4. Stroll through Little India and China Town
Food in Singapore is expensive, except in Little India. The food court by the Little India subway station offers all kinds of Indian and Chinese delicacies at affordable prices. From noodle soup to curry and fried rice to ice cream, there is something tasty here for everybody. The rest of Little India and China Town are worth a walk through to see the temples, shops, and markets.
5. Botanic Gardens
The Singapore Botanic Gardens are basically a huge park filled with all kinds of themed sections of fauna. A great place to walk around or picknick in the sun, and it doesn’t charge an entrance fee.