1.Mandarin Oriental Singapore
3.Fullerton Bay Hotel
4.Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore
5 Unique Luxury Escapes in Singapore
- Mandarin Oriental Singapore
- New Majestic
- Fullerton Bay Hotel
- Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore
- Fairmont Singapore
- Cover Photo: Mandarin Oriental
25 Best Things to Do in Singapore
A 70-ton part fish, part lion statue overlooks Singapore’s Marina Bay, paying homage to the Lion City’s humble beginnings as a fishing village. Now a brilliant cosmopolitan blend of past and future, this island city-state at the tip of the Malay Peninsula is a modern-day mecca for international travelers. Visitors can explore 50,000 toys from 40 countries at the Mint Toy Museum, peruse high-value antiques at the ironically named Changi Junk Store, and view the surreal collection of Supertrees at Gardens by the Bay. Jurong Bird Park fascinates with exciting exhibits in the largest bird park of its kind in Asia. Lau Pa Sat, the markets of all markets, is a worthwhile visit for the architecture alone. These are among 25 must-do activities that characterize Singapore and ensure travelers see the best the city has to offer.
The ArtScience Museum was established in 2011 to explore the creative methods at the center of science, art, culture, and technology and how they are used to shape society. Situated along the Marina Bay waterfront, the museum features 21 galleries and has been the host of numerous international exhibits of well-known icons. These include Titanic, Andy Warhol: 15 Minutes Eternal, Dinosaurs: Dawn to Extinction, and Da Vinci: Shaping the Future. This daring lotus-inspired museum also showcases a wealth of permanent exhibitions such as Into the Wild: An Immersive Virtual Adventure. This cutting-edge exhibition transports visitors into a virtual rainforest where they can take an active role in replanting Southeast Asia’s rainforests.
10 Bayfront Avenue, Singapore, 018956, Phone: +65-66-88-88-26
Buddha Tooth Relic Temple & Museum
Located in a 62 million dollar complex in the vibrant Chinatown area of Singapore is the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple & Museum. It’s one of the most prominent attractions in the country not only because of its exceptional architecture, but also because it is said to house a fragment of a tooth from the Buddha. This relic was discovered in Myanmar in 1980 in a collapsed stupa. Viewing opportunities of this historic relic change often, so it’s important to check the website before heading to the temple. In addition to the tooth, the temple features several floors of nagas, Buddha statues, and remarkable ceremonial spaces to meditate and pray.
288 South Bridge Road, Singapore, 058840, Phone: +65-62-20-02-20
Changi Junk Store
The name is quite misleading as the Changi Junk Store houses almost no actual junk, but rather high-value antiques of various time periods, styles, and cultures. This quaint, decades-old store is piled high with antiques recovered from all over the world. It’s crammed with so much stuff that visitors have to enter and exit single file. Owned by collector and dealer Pak Haji Basman, patrons will notice his collection has everything from Peranakan rice baskets to coins from the colonial era. Relics such as knives of Indonesian princes, dolls made of Ming dynasty coins, WWI bayonets, and Qing dynasty porcelain are just a few of the impressive antiquities found here.
125 Joo Chiat Road, Singapore, 427413, Phone: +65-67-36-20-00
Fort Canning Park
Fort Canning Park is an exemplary hilltop landmark that has observed several of Singapore’s historic turning points. It was once the location of the palaces of the Malay kings during the 14th century and the headquarters of the Far East Command Center and British Army Barracks during WWII. Today, this expansive park with its lush greenery serves as a venue for various celebrations and events such as theatre productions, concerts, and festivals. It offers a wealth of attractions like the Fort Canning Spice Garden, Sally Port, the Archeological Dig and Expedition Area, Princess Pond, and the ASEAN Sculpture Garden. A park highlight is touring the Battlebox, located 30 feet beneath the park.
River Valley Road, Singapore, 179037, Phone: +65-1-80-04-71-73-00
Gardens by the Bay
Gardens by the Bay is a landscaping project situated along Singapore’s Marina Bay. It was created as a means to beautify the marina and to assist in transforming this compressed city into a “city in the garden.” Its futuristic design offers an otherworldly appearance, with its most defining feature being a collection of 18 Supertrees. These man-made 80 to 160-foot-tall tree frames feature both green technology and greenery with approximately 200 species of ferns, orchids, and other tropical climbers creating a colorful and lush skin. Visitors can view the space up-close via the 72-foot-high OGBC Skyway. Additionally, two gigantic greenhouses and numerous outdoor lakes and gardens occupy the space.
18 Marina Gardens Drive, Singapore, 018953, Phone: +65-64-20-68-48
Haw Par Villa
Haw Par Villa, affectionately known as a “Buddhist amusement park,” was built in 1937, and offers an educational yet graphic journey through a mixture of Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism. It speaks to the fabric of traditional Chinese life, spirituality, morality, and legend as well as a modicum of references to Singaporean history through hundreds of life-size plaster dioramas and more than 1,000 statues. These include the Ten Courts of Hell Cave, sumo wrestlers, and the Monkey King. There is also a gorgeous and tranquil turtle and koi pond, where visitors can relax while feeding the fish amongst the pagodas, bridges and, a little oddly, the Statue of Liberty.
262 Pasir Panjang Road, Singapore, 118628, Phone: +65-67-36-66-22
Japanese Cemetery Park
The Japanese Cemetery Park was created in 1891, and prostitutes, soldiers, merchants, and businessmen alike are buried here. Some of the most notable people who were laid to rest here are Futabatei Shimei, a leader of realism in Japanese literature, and Ueyama Kantaro, the son of the inventor of the mosquito coil. There are also several memorials and gravestones created by prisoners of war for deceased soldiers and generals within the park. The cemetery also boasts a prayer temple and garden. Since 1969, caretaker Lim Geok Qi has maintained these grounds and acts as a tour guide for visitors who would like to learn about the rich but complicated history of Singapore-Japan relations.
825B Chuan Hoe Avenue, Singapore, 549853, Phone: +65-64-68-00-66
Jurong Bird Park
Built in 1971, Jurong Bird Park is one of the most famous bird sanctuaries in the world with some of the biggest free-flying aviaries known to man. This nearly 50-acre bird park is the largest of its kind in Asia. The habitats displayed here reflect the naturalistic environments of over 5,000 birds from more than 400 different species. They feature award-winning exhibits including the largest walk-in aviary, the Waterfall Aviary with its 98-foot-tall waterfall, over 100 plant species, and more than 600 birds. The 9-story-high Lory Loft, which houses Australian natives as well as the Jungle Jewels, Penguin Coast, Flamingo Lake, and Pelican Cove are also exciting exhibits to view.
2 Jurong Hill, Singapore, 628925, Phone: +65-62-69-34-11
Katong Antique House
Katong Antique House is a two-story filled-to-the-brim antique museum that beautifully preserves the dwindling remnants of the unique, mixed culture of the Peranakan people. Owned and operated by fourth-generation Peranakan Mr. Peter Wee, this intricately decorated antique house serves as part museum for Baba Nyonya artifacts and part store selling Peranakan wares. Adorning the yellow painted and green tiled walls are various Peranakan portraits and prints, while the space is filled with Peranakan furniture, costumes, and crockery. Visitors will also find an array of baju panjang (long dresses) kasot manek (beautiful handmade, beaded shoes with motifs of flowers, fish, dragons, and phoenixes) as well as batik sarongs.
208 E Coast Road, Singapore, 428907
Lau Pa Sat
Lau Pa Sat is the market of all markets, a perfect blend of impressive architecture and a delectable local cuisine. Constructed in the 19th century, this Singapore landmark was named a national monument in 1973. Nestled in the heart of the financial district, it was originally built by renowned architect George Coleman, but was later reconstructed by James MacRitchie, who kept its octagonal shape and ornamental columns. He also added a cast-iron supporting structure and magnificent clock tower. Today, it also features fretted eaves, soaring arches, and narrow Victorian columns adorned with intricate filigree work and serves as a hawker center providing the best local fare as well as ice-cold beer.
18 Raffles Quay, Singapore, 048582, Phone: +65-62-20-21-38
Merlion Park is a prominent staple in the city of Singapore, and was originally built by local craftsman Lim Nang Seng in 1972 and located at the opening of the Singapore River. This 28-foot tall, 70-ton statue served as a symbol to welcome visitors into the city. Due to the construction of the Esplanade Bridge in 1997, which was then blocking the icon, it was relocated in 2002 to almost 400 feet away. This mythical creature, part-fish and part-lion (the head is the lion while the fish is the body), now overlooks Marina Bay. The icon represents the city’s humble beginnings as a fishing town and pays homage to its original name Singapura, or the “Lion City.”
1 Fullerton Road, Singapore, 049213, Phone: +65-67-36-66-22
Mint Toy Museum
The Mint Toy Museum is located in downtown Singapore amongst an array of finance buildings of glass and steel as well as chic clubs. The collection is vast, with more than 50,000 toys from over 40 countries created during most of the 20th century. Batman, Dan Dare, Mickey Mouse, the Green Lantern, and Robby Robot are just a few of the childhood favorites within the museum. Many of the characters have estimated value tags, such as a Popeye character worth a reported USD14,000. Other tags mention if the toy is one-of-a-kind and, if not, they’ll say how many others are still out there.
26 Seah Street, Singapore, 188382, Phone: +65-63-39-06-60
National Gallery Singapore
The National Gallery of Singapore is located in the heart of the Civic District, and is housed inside two national monuments, the former supreme court and city hall. It is a visual arts institution that manages the biggest public collection of modern art in Southeast Asia. Its collection features Singaporean and Southeast Asian art, showcasing their unique geographical location and heritage through their long-term and significant exhibitions. Among the permanent exhibitions are Siapa Nama Kamu and Law of the Land, highlighting Singapore’s constitutional documents. New arrivals include works by Vietnamese-born Danish artist, Danh Vo, and artist Wu Guanzhong’s paintings of China, “A Walk Through Nature.”
1 Saint Andrew’s Road, #01-01, Singapore, 178957, Phone: +65-62-71-70-00
National Museum of Singapore
An architectural and cultural landmark, the National Museum of Singapore is located within a 19th century colonial building featuring a history that dates back to 1887. It is the oldest museum in the nation and uses cutting-edge technology to showcase the nation’s development and legacy. Their permanent collections include Art of the Rehearsal, a video installation depicting Singaporean dancers from differing cultures practicing their craft, Desire and Danger, and Growing Up, which provides a look at Singapore’s early years. The museum also hosts an array of events and activities throughout the year, such as visually stunning art installations, film screenings, performances, and recurring experiences like the famed Night Festival.
93 Stamford Road, Singapore, 178897, Phone: +65-63-32-36-59
The Night Safari opened in 1994 next to the Singapore Zoo, and is the first safari park in the world for nocturnal animals. It is more a wildlife park than an actual safari, featuring more than 2,500 animals from over 130 species. Many are indigenous to the region, like the Malayan tiger, Asian elephant, and Malayan tapir. The park comprises roughly 85 acres of dense rainforest. Fierce animals, such as leopards, can be viewed behind barriers while tamer animals like deer are able to roam freely throughout the park. Tram rides take visitors from the Himalayan foothills to equatorial Africa, highlighting the nocturnal animals of each distinctive area.
3E Temasek Boulevard, #01-330, Singapore, 038984, Phone: +65-62-69-34-11
The Peranakan Museum resides in the former Tao Nan Chinese School built in 1912; its purpose is to explore the culture of the Peranakan communities present in Southeast Asia. This charming museum offers one of the best and most extensive collections of Peranakan objects. It features three floors of galleries that exhibit the extraordinary visual arts and cultural traditions of the Peranakans. The galleries showcase the origins, language, fashion, religion, food, weddings, and public life of the Peranakan people. Among the museum’s highlights are a beadwork tablecloth with more than a million glass beads, wedding beds with ornately carved fertility symbols, and mosaic portraits of Mr. and Mrs. Tan Soo Bin.
39 Armenian Street, Singapore, 179941, Phone: +65-63-32-75-91
Science Centre Singapore
Science Centre Singapore is an enriching attraction that houses the biggest collection of educational objects dedicated to science in Singapore. With 14 galleries featuring thousands of interactive exhibits, it’s the perfect place to inspire up-and-coming world-renowned Singaporean researchers. There are 20 permanent exhibitions such as Defending Science, showcasing the latest in flight, surveillance, radar, and armor used in battle, and the Ecogarden, featuring a wide array of plants that grow naturally without any special aid. Visitors will also have the opportunity to power an engine using the heat from their palm and explore the different layers of the earth’s surface.
15 Science Centre Road, Singapore, 609081, Phone: +65-64-25-25-00
Singapore Botanic Gardens
Singapore Botanic Gardens is the oldest of its kind in the city and the first UNESCO World Heritage Site in the country. Once a plantation, these 60 acres of land have been transformed into a recreational garden. A leading center for horticultural and botanical research, it is also the perfect place for a scenic jog or a tranquil picnic. A highlight is the National Orchid Garden, which features the largest orchid display in the world with more than 60,000 orchids and plants. Kids can learn about plant life while playing in their Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden as well as explore the SBG Heritage Museum, which boasts multimedia and interactive exhibits.
1 Cluny Road, Singapore, 259569, Phone: +65-64-71-71-38
The Singapore Flyer is a 540-foot-high giant observation wheel conceived of and designed by Dr. Kisho Kurokawa and DP Architects; it opened in 2008. Located in the center of downtown Marina Bay, it is the biggest of its kind in Asia, featuring 28 capsules, each with a 28-person capacity. Each revolution of the wheel takes roughly 30 minutes and offers incredible 360-degree views of the Marina Bay skyline with glimpses of the neighboring countries of Indonesia and Malaysia. Some of the most notable landmarks that can be seen are Merlion Park, the Singapore River, and Raffles Place. As a bonus, visitors can choose from their in-flight packages, which include fine dining, high tea, or champagne.
30 Raffles Avenue, Singapore, 039803, Phone: +65-63-33-33-11
Singapore Rooftop Pool
Situated atop three 55-story-high hotel towers is the Singapore Rooftop Pool, the largest skyline swimming pool in the world. Located on the roof of the Marina Bay Sands Resort and designed by architect Moshe Safdie, the nearly 500-foot vanishing edge appears to abruptly cut off and disappear at 650 feet above the ground. While that might seem daunting, if not slightly scary, there is actually a trough-style basin beneath that collects the water and returns it to the pool. There is also a spa, bar, restaurant, observation deck, and botanical garden featuring 650 species of plants and 250 species of trees.
10 Bayfront Avenue, Singapore, 018956, Phone: +65-66-88-88-68
The Singapore Zoo is an award-winning wildlife park situated on 65 acres of land and home to more than 300 species of mammals, reptiles, and birds. These include pygmy hippos, white tigers, and naked mole rats. Many of their tame animals are also allowed to roam freely throughout the park, allowing visitors an up-close and personal look as they stroll through the park. The zoo features 11 distinct zones that are distinguished by the animal’s country of origin or breed, such as the Frozen Tundra, Australasia, Primate Kingdom, and the Reptile Garden. Inuka, agile wallabies, and the first polar bear born in the tropics can all be found here.
80 Mandai Lake Road, Singapore, 729826, Phone: +65-62-69-34-11
St. Joseph’s Church
St. Joseph’s Church is the first Catholic church in Singapore featuring neo-Gothic architecture. Located in the bustling Central Business District, it is surrounded by glassy corporate buildings and crowded shopping centers. This charming white church was built in the shape of a Latin cross and became a national monument in 2005. Created by iconic architect D. McLeod Craik, the church is filled with Portuguese decorative tiles, marble statues, and alters, including an altar of Our Lady of Fatima and St. Anthony, both of which were created by Bertelli. The most prominent aspect is the original statue of Fatima, which was donated by Dr. Caetano Xavier Furtado, a Portuguese parishioner.
143 Victoria Street, Singapore, 188020, Phone: +65-63-38-31-67
Sungei Buloh Wetlands Reserve
The Sungei Buloh Wetlands Reserve is a truly unique and rare wildlife sanctuary in Singapore with a tropical rainforest feel more reminiscent of something found in Indonesia or Malaysia. It features a rich biodiversity and natural greenery that is unusual for a city; this is especially true around the mangroves. The trails cover more than 12,000 feet of space passing through forests and coastal areas filled with migratory birds. It’s a popular stopping point for more than 150 species of birds traveling as far away as northern China, Siberia, Alaska, and Australia. There are also many other peculiar fauna found here, such as the Malayan water monitor lizard.
301 Neo Tiew Cres, Singapore, 718925, Phone: +65-67-94-14-01
The Live Turtle and Tortoise Museum
The Live Turtle and Tortoise Museum is located inside the Chinese Gardens, a park devoted to classic northern Chinese landscaping. It is home to over 800 tortoises and turtles from more than 50 distinct species. These terrapins showcase a colorful diversity with a mixture that includes mata-mata, soft shell turtles, and snake-headed turtles as they relax in tanks, pools, and ponds. Visitors are welcome to purchase vegetables in order to feed the turtles, but it is recommended to do so with care as these reptiles may mistake fingers for carrots. There is also a museum featuring terrapin-shaped furniture, ceramics, and dishes.
1 Chinese Garden Road, Singapore, 619795, Phone: +65-62-68-53-63
Umbrella Trees of Little India
With a tropical rainforest climate and 92 inches of rainfall each year, it’s no surprise that Singapore would have a collection of umbrella-covered trees. Located on Hindoo Road in the Little India neighborhood, visitors will notice five colorful umbrella trees featuring a palate of blue, purple, red, orange, and yellow. Local artist Mathalia Budiman created this rain reprieve as part of an art installation project in a small public park space. Each of the trees provide a large green cushion area that rises up from the ground, allowing passerbys to grab a seat and relax as they escape the rain or the harsh sun.
216 Orchard Road, Singapore, 238898, Phone: +65-67-36-20-00