Singapore is so much more than the sum of its many attractions. It’s constantly evolving and reinventing itself, with people who are passionate about creating new possibilities.
Despite its compact size, Singapore is where foodies, explorers, collectors, action seekers and socialisers come to meet and create new experiences every day.
You may not know this, but the 710 square kilometre nation of Singapore comprises the main island of Singapore plus 63 surrounding islets, including forest reserves, marshes and other green areas.
Aside from the well-known Orchard Road and Singapore Zoo, you can explore around Haji Lane for quirky boutique shopping, and visit Sentosa Island's theme parks and beaches. Perhaps wander the cultural neighbourhoods to take in Singapore's multicultural heritage or simply venture out to meet the locals and discover a Singapore you might not otherwise know about. There’s so much to see and do in Singapore.
Once you’ve ticked off a festival like Deepavali or Chinese New Year, it’s time to see more of this vibrant city and island.
- Experience thrilling rides, shows and attractions based on your favourite films at Universal Studios Singapore
- Take in the Singapore skyline and outlying islands from Imbiah Lookout on Sentosa Island, also home to a cluster of attractions
- Go on an after-dark wildlife adventure at Night Safari
- Visit a hawker centre and eat delicious street food – from indian murtabak to malaysian satay to chinese hokkien mee
- Step out onto the 128 metre long suspended walkway of The Supertrees at Gardens by the Bay.
Explore the cultural precincts and local neighbourhoods for strangely unique and wonderfully diverse experiences.
Chinatown and Downtown Singapore
South of the river lies Singapore's Chinatown and Downtown districts.
Compact Chinatown is characterised by its historic narrow shop houses built in the 1840s. Although it’s now dwarfed by the neighbouring skyscrapers of the CBD, it’s worth wandering the streets to get a glimpse of its former history and a taste of its present day busy exoticism - with herbal medicine shops, long standing businesses, Chinese temples and food markets.
The rise of trendy eateries along Keong Saik Road and Club Street have revived the area and are establishing it as a hip alternative to the traditional nightlife hotspots of Clarke Quay and Boat Quay.
The Civic (downtown) district showcases some of the country’s most historic buildings that have been restored and given a new lease of life. There’s the Arts House built in 1827 which was formerly Singapore’s Old Parliament House, the Asian Civilisation Museum with its original neo-classical architecture or the Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall that was built in 1862.
Little India and Kampong Glam
Once home to a racecourse where the European settlers met and mingled, Little India was later used for cattle breeding and trading. Today a wander down Serangoon Road and its small side streets provides glimpses of spices, floral garlands, gold and fabrics.
Stroll to the Tekka Centre, a landmark building which houses a hawker centre, wet market and custom tailor shops. Or search for a bargain at the Mustafa Centre.
Head east to discover the Malay-Arab quarter of Kampong Glam, originally settled by Arabs, the Bugis, Javanese, Boyanese and people from the Riau Islands. Still a centre for bargains (with a particular focus on fabrics and crafts), the area also boasts fashion and style clout, with new restaurants, antique shops and boutiques popping up in the former shop houses.
Another must see is the Malay Heritage Centre within the well preserved grounds of the royal seat of the Malay sultans in Singapore.
At Marina Bay you can marvel at some of the city’s most iconic architectural masterpieces that dot the impressive Singapore skyline.
Get one of the best views from the Sands SkyPark at Marina Bay Sands, an integrated resort that features a casino, theatres, the ArtScience Museum and hundreds of shops and celebrity chef restaurants.
The spectacular Gardens by the Bay also sit in the area, alongside the Singapore Flyer, Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore as well as the retail and business hubs of Suntec City and Marina Square.
Every September, the streets here are transformed to host the Singapore Grand Prix, the world’s only street night race.
Singapore's famous shopping boulevard, Orchard Road, is named for the pepper and nutmeg plantations that were there in the 1840s. Now it’s the place for high-end luxury brands, small boutiques, hotels, department stores and upmarket malls such as Mandarin Gallery and ION Orchard.
The fashion strip is broken by a clutch of parks, a palace, some sidewalk cafes, the shophouses of Peranakan Place and the Baroque-style terraces of Emerald Hill.
Tanglin Road has a more relaxed pace, with fancy cafes, restaurants, antiques and homewares, and the tropical Botanic Gardens.
Sentosa & Singapore surrounds
Once a pirate refuge and a military forest, Sentosa is now Singapore’s playground island full of beaches, family attractions and Asia’s own Universal Studios, as well as resort hotels, beach bars and even sky diving. Alongside a year-round calendar of events, the 'State of Fun' is also home to walking trails and nature enclosures for those seeking a little peace and tranquillity.
To the south of the city, Southern Singapore is where the busy Port of Singapore is located and is the gateway to Sentosa.
Western Singapore is the industrial zone which has green spaces and theme parks.
Over on the east coast, Geylang Serai has a Malay history and culture; while Katong has a Peranakan and Eurasian identity. The East Coast Park is a drawcard for watersports, while Pulau Ubin and the Changi Village make popular excursions from the city.
Central and Northern Singapore, while densely populated, also have some outstanding green spaces, including Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, and large tracts of tropical forests mangrove.
Singapore Dollar (S$)
220-240V / 50 Hz
Steamy Singapore is generally warm all year around. It can be wet from November to January. Temperatures remain at a consistent 30°C during the day almost all of the time and it stays mild well into the evening.
From the airport
Singapore’s Changi Airport is about 20 minutes drive from the city, and is so enormous that it’s often marketed as a destination in its own right.
The complimentary Sky-Train operates between Terminals 1, 2 and 3, and a shuttle bus will get you to Terminal 4. When you’re ready to leave the Butterfly gardens and The Slide behind, you can get into town by taxi, MRT train, shuttle bus or a convenient private transfer.
In and around the city
Singapore has an excellent network of transportation options. The buses are effective and the MRT, the local subway network, is a fast way to get around the city and to most of Singapore’s key attractions. There are plenty of taxis too.
Singapore car hire
If you’re planning a trip outside the city book a car with Avis, Budget, Hertz or Thrifty with no booking fees.
Your flight with Qantas
Find out more about flights to Singapore.
Pack more into your trip with complimentary checked baggage allowance on every flight.
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Enjoy the freshest seasonal flavours on your flight to Singapore, with Neil Perry inspired menus in Premium cabins.
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