Singapore

Attractions

The best way to get a cross-section of Singaporean cuisine is to visit its street vendors, or hawkers, in hubs like Tiong Bahru. Jump onboard a Singapore cruise to try Cantonese-derived wantan mee noodles, with dumplings and yellow egg noodles topped with slices of char siu pork. Snack on chai tow kway, also called carrot cake, even though it’s made from rice flour and daikon radish fried with eggs in pork fat.
Singapore is a shopper’s paradise, whether you stick to the high-end boutiques of Orchard Road or the local shops throughout the city. One way to guarantee a special souvenir during your Singapore cruise vacation is to shop in the city’s ethnic neighborhoods: Seek out chopsticks and lacquerware in Chinatown or incense and South India dolls in Little India.
The opulent Marina Bay Sands resort complex includes a high-end luxury hotel, a mall with a canal running through it, the ArtScience Museum, and the Marina Bay Sands Skypark – a vantage point for taking in the entire city. The Skypark’s viewing deck and infinity pool are found in the ship (yes, ship) that tops the hotel. Only hotel guests are allowed to use the infinity pool, but anyone can visit the observation deck. From the Skypark, you can see the innovative double helix bridge, the port, the Gardens by the Bay, and the impressive skyline. While up there on top of the city, guests can grab a snack or a coffee at the rooftop restaurant or pick up some keepsakes from the souvenir stand. You can purchase a photo of yourself green-screened in front of the massive hotel as it’s all lit up at night, but the cost is steep: 50 Singapore dollars. Better to ask a fellow tourist to snap a photo of you. The elegant opulence of the Marina Bay Sands exemplifies Singapore’s style and status as a major international city in Southeast Asia.
Once you’ve glimpsed this beautifully designed green space (from the top of the Marina Bay Sands, perhaps) you won’t be able to stay away. Wander through the Bay East Garden, perfect for enjoying the vibrant plant life and escaping the city bustle for a moment. You won’t want to miss Supertree Grove, where you’ll find a cluster of the iconic, futuristic structures designed to perform environmentally sustainable functions. Then, head to the Cloud Forest Dome to see the world’s tallest indoor waterfall and learn a bit about biodiversity. Check the website for final ticket sale and tour times.
Not to be confused with the Gardens on the Bay, the Botanic Gardens are also worth a visit. Singapore received its first UNESCO World Heritage nomination for the botanic gardens, and with good reason. The city can sometimes feel like a concrete jungle, albeit a clean and comfortable one, but the botanic gardens preserve pieces of Singapore’s wilder heritage. Indeed, a walking trail leads to the gardens’ heritage trees, which are conserved as part of an effort to protect the city’s mature tree species. Make sure to see the impressive National Orchid Garden. Other popular things to do include visiting the eco-garden, eco-lake, bonsai garden, sculptures, and several other gardens and unique sites.
Billing itself as the world’s best rainforest zoo, the Singapore Zoo is a pretty impressive place. The facility is clean and inviting, and the animals appear well treated, with plenty of lush vegetation and habitat space. The orangutans are particularly impressive, and visitors can watch as babies and adults alike swing high above their platforms and snack on bananas. There is also a large chimpanzee family, zebras, meerkats, a komodo dragon, mole rats, white tigers, kangaroos, and many other creatures.
Guests can observe feedings for some of the animals. Allow at least three hours to make your way around the zoo. If the zoo doesn’t satisfy your need for getting close to wildlife, there’s also the Night Safari, River Safari (including a giant panda forest), and the Jurong Bird Park. Park hopper passes are available if you plan to visit more than one of the wildlife parks.
For a unique and personal wildlife experience, try the Singapore Zoo Breakfast with the Orangutans. This hassle free tour includes transportation from and to your hotel, allows you a half day to explore the zoo, and has an optional upgrade to enjoy breakfast in the company of the zoo’s much-loved orangutans.
One could be forgiven for coming to Singapore and doing nothing but shopping, as this is a world-class city for style and designer chic. The Orchard Road area is a great place to start a shopping spree, as there are high-end stores at every turn. You’d expect nothing less from a neighborhood that boasts 22 malls and six department stores. There are also four movie theaters, including an IMAX, and a KTV karaoke. If you get hungry while burning through all that cash, there are plenty of eateries in the neighborhood serving international cuisines.
If the observation deck at the Marina Bay Sands doesn’t quite do it for you, try taking in high tea while looking out over the city from the Singapore Flyer, the world’s largest giant observation wheel. Choose from several different packages that allow you to be served and pampered while enjoying a view that encompasses not only the Singapore skyline, but reaches to the Spice Islands of Indonesia and Malaysia’s Straits of Johor. There are several different ticket packages to choose from, and each includes access to the multimedia Journey of Dreams exhibit, which delves into Singapore’s history and the creation of the Singapore Flyer. Flights last 30 minutes each and run from early morning until late at night, so you can choose which view of the city you want to enjoy: the beginning of another bustling day or when Singapore is aglow after dark.
If you’ve ever visited China, Singapore’s Chinatown neighborhood will bring you right back there. From the small mom-and-pop stores and authentic Chinese food to the bright red lanterns, there’s an excitement and hustle in this district. You can visit the Chinese Heritage Centre and see the impressive and beautiful Sri Mariamman Hindu temple. Another temple worth seeing is the Buddha Tooth Relic temple. If you’re up early enough (think 4am), you can hear the morning drum ceremony. Or you can just check out the closing ceremony in the evening after viewing the relic.
Heritage markers have been installed throughout the neighborhood in English, Japanese, and simplified Chinese, so visitors can better understand the significance of the area. But this neighborhood is not just a testament to the influence of the Chinese throughout Singapore’s past. This is a progressive neighborhood (with free Wi-Fi for all), and it’s home to the trendy Ann Siang Hill area
Singapore isn’t exactly known as a beach destination, but if you’re really craving some fun in the sun, Sentosa Island is the place to find it. Siloso Beach is a good spot for getting in beach time, and visitors can play volleyball on free courts or go kayaking and skimboarding. There are several other beach attractions as well, plus an Underwater World aquarium, where you can swim with dolphins. A must-see on Sentosa Island is the Merlion, Singapore’s famous statue that has the head of a lion and the body of a fish. You can take an escalator to the top of the statue and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding area. Fort Siloso, the country’s only preserved fort, is also located on Sentosa Island. Adventurous types will want to check out The Flying Trapeze and the SeaBreeze Water-Sports @ Wave House, where you can try your hand at flying strapped to a water-propelled jet pack.
The “center of commerce during the 19th century,” Clarke Quay lives up to its legacy as a busy hub. Today, it has a more polished sheen, so after a long day of shopping on Orchard Road, visitors can happily head to Clarke Quay for an evening of waterfront dining and entertainment. River taxis and cruises also depart from here, giving tourists the chance to admire some of the city’s historic bridges and view landmarks like the Merlion from the water. The Quay’s biggest hit with younger tourists is a giant bungy-jumping attraction, an adrenaline-packed thrill ride. Nearby attractions include the Asian Civilisation Museum; the Civil Defence Heritage Gallery located in Singapore’s oldest fire station; and the Hong San See Temple, a picturesque century-old Buddhist place of worship.
Universal Studios Singapore occupies 49 acres of Resorts World Sentosa. The park is arranged thematically, with each area paying tribute to a location, film, or television show. Destinations include New York City, Hollywood, Madagascar, and a trip back to Ancient Egypt. Fiction-themed areas include Shrek’s Far Far Away, the Lost World, and Sci-Fi City where a pair of Battlestar Galactica-themed roller coasters dominate. In addition to the many rides that range from kiddie-friendly to daredevil, the park has diverse dining options, shopping, and live shows throughout the day and night.
Night Safari Singapore puts a new twist on the traditional zoo experience by introducing visitors to the nocturnal lives of the residents. The park’s habitats are divided into four sections, each with its own trail that lets you observe these elusive creatures as they go about their “day.” The Leopard Trail has, as expected, leopards, as well as lions, flying foxes, civets, and porcupines among other animals. The Fishing Cat Trail tours the habitat of animals native to Singapore, including the fish-loving felines, pangolin, binturong, and other species both common and endangered. East Lodge Trail features Malayan tigers and spotted hyenas, and the Wallaby Trail introduces visitors to the marsupials of Australia. Private tours, buggy rides, and educational sessions are available, as well as once in a
If the Raffles Hotel and Fort Canning Park haven’t satisfied your taste for colonial architecture, pay a visit to the Empress Place Building. It was constructed in 1865 and built in the Neoclassical style, and was named in honor of Queen Victoria. It now houses the Asian Civilisations Museum, which delves into the many Asian cultures that helped form Singapore. The museum’s collections focus on the themes of trade and spirituality, both of which heavily influenced Asian cultures and served as vehicles for the cultures to spread. Exhibits include topics like Indian Ocean trade, stories of faith and belief, and a look at the important role that scholars played in Chinese culture for centuries.
If the Raffles Hotel and Fort Canning Park haven’t satisfied your taste for colonial architecture, pay a visit to the Empress Place Building. It was constructed in 1865 and built in the Neoclassical style, and was named in honor of Queen Victoria. It now houses the Asian Civilisations Museum, which delves into the many Asian cultures that helped form Singapore. The museum’s collections focus on the themes of trade and spirituality, both of which heavily influenced Asian cultures and served as vehicles for the cultures to spread. Exhibits include topics like Indian Ocean trade, stories of faith and belief, and a look at the important role that scholars played in Chinese culture for centuries.
For a look at what life in Singapore was like before it was all glamor and skyscrapers, visit the small island of Pulau Ubin, where fewer than 100 people still live in the same simple way as they did in the 1960s. The island’s name is Malay for “Granite Island,” a moniker given due to its past prominence as a quarry town. Today, it is a peaceful, rustic place where tourists can enjoy unspoiled forests and diverse wildlife. The island is also home to the Chek Jawa Wetlands, which contain a coral reef teeming with sea life. The island is easily reached by boat, a ten-minute ride that departs from Changi Point Ferry Terminal.
As military strongholds go, Fort Canning has had a long and varied life. Built in 1859, the fort was an essential site for Singapore’s defense. Now in peacetime, the original building is home to modern performing arts troupes, and the park regularly sees picnics, concerts, theater performances, and festivals. Other attractions at the park include relics from Singapore’s early history, from as far back as the 14th century, and Sir Stamford Raffles’ personal bungalow. Guests can also see a replica of the spice market Raffles established in 1822, as well as the ASEAN sculptures that were erected in the 1980s

Cruise lines

Best time to Go

High Season (November through early January, June and July)

Singapore doesn’t have a definable high and low season, though crowds tend to be at their peak during the holidays due to the combination of winter travelers, holiday festivals and the usual business traffic. Accommodation rates are at their highest, and negotiating any kind of discount is unlikely. Winter also brings a bit more rain as it falls during the Northeast Monson season, though you won’t notice a significant difference in the weather no matter what time of year you arrive. The crowds peak again in June and July during the Great Singapore Sale, with hotels and other accommodations filling to capacity. During this time, you may also experience throat and eye irritation from the smoke and haze produced from the clearing fires.

Low Season (August through October, except mid-September)

There is a slight break in the tourist traffic during late summer and early fall, with the exception of mid-September due to the Singapore Grand Prix. Although the Southwest Monsoon arrives around this time, it’s less severe than its Northeast counterpart. Temperatures are also slightly higher than what you’ll find during the rest of the year. Although there aren’t noticeable differences in hotel rates, this is probably your best time to negotiate a price that’s a bit more favorable.

Tips

1

Singapore has a fairly consistent weather and welcoming enough for travelers all year round for sightseeing. However, if you wish to avoid any crowds flocking the places, then you must avoid the peak months December, January, and June.

2

If you are a shopaholic and want to visit Singapore only for your love of shopping, then visit the country between June to August. That’s the best season to visit Singapore for shopping as The Great Singapore Sale is organized during this period.

3

The duration between July and August is not a very popular time to visit Singapore, therefore giving you an opportunity to crack some of the best flight and hotel deals. If you are a solo traveler, you need not worry about the best time to visit Singapore, as it has a lot in the store every month.

Reviews

Atul Sehgal


My family had a wonderful experience at the Norwegian cruise.
They were all praises for the arrangements done by your agency from beginning to the end of tour.

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