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What to see and do in Singapore – a guide to notable attractions and landmarks

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A cosmopolitan South-east Asian city, innovation and tradition meet in Singapore. Wander past the skyscrapers and through its squeaky clean streets and you’ll soon find yourself at a quaint Malay shophouse, with the smell of sambal fanning from its rafters, a scarlet Chinese temple thick with incense, or a pale colonial relic evoking a bygone era. The past is preserved in a number of well-presented museums, while the embrace of the modern has created attractions like the Singapore Botanic Gardens where manmade architecture melds with the wonders of the natural world. It’s this play between contrasts that keeps Singapore exciting – it’s been a constantly changing city for all of its history, and this spirit is something that is sure to endure. 

Myriam Ohlig & Monika Khaled

My Destination local expert on


Explore Singapore’s past


Spend a day strolling round one of Singapore’s museums for a glimpse into its past. For an insight into a culture unique to the region, visit the Peranakan Museum. See reconstructions and displays of the traditional shop houses of this unique Malay and Singaporean culture – a mix of Chinese and Malay customs. Singapore’s colorful past as an ex-British colony and its occupation by the Japanese (and role in WWII) are explored in various attractions around the island. Visit the Battle Box to relive the night Singapore surrendered to the Japanese, in an interactive tour around an atmospheric bomb-proof underground complex.


Embrace the new


Singapore is a hub of innovation, with new buildings, attractions and events always emerging. The city comes most into its own at night, when its enviable architecture is lit up. This is the setting for its renowned Formula 1 event, a much hyped nighttime route spiraling around the bay area. Watch it from the Singapore flyer – the tallest Ferris wheel in the world and Singapore’s version of the London Eye. Alternatively, see it from the Marina Bay Sands Sky Park, with its eye-catching infinity pool – two recently dreamt up architectural wonders with incredible views.


Where man meets nature


Singapore was once covered in lush, thick jungle, and while it’s a bustling city today, there are still pockets of nature protected all over the island. The historic Singapore Botanic Gardens have been a favorite since colonial times, wander through the Orchid Gardens there and see Singapore’s national flower in all its glory. For a contemporary take on nature in a world-renowned icon of urban design, visit Gardens By The Bay, where mechanically engineered trees and vertical gardens sprout out of the ground.


For kids


Singapore has a huge number of attractions to entertain children. Animal lovers should visit the night safari at Singapore Zoo; it offers a great opportunity to see nocturnal rainforest animals in their natural surroundings – like sugar gliders, the elusive slow loris and leopards. Or, visit Pleasure Island Sentosa for a range of family friendly attractions. Adventure Cove Waterpark has a range of hair-raising rides, including Southeast Asia’s first hydro-magnetic coaster. While visiting Sentosa make sure you stop at the S. E. A. Aquarium, the world’s largest Oceanarium of its kind, and filled with mesmerizing marine life including sharks, eels and manta rays.


After dark


Singapore stays buzzing after dark. If you want go clubbing, head to one of the many bars and clubs lining Singapore River in Clarke Quay, or travel a little further upstream to internationally renowned Club Zouk, which plays the best in contemporary house music. For an awe inspiring view while you sip a cocktail, visit a roof top bar. 1-Altitude is situated at the top of One Raffles Place, the tallest building in the city. Alternatively, cross the river to Marina Bay Sands and lounge about at Ku Dé Ta, another roof top bar perched on top of a casino.