12 Mar What to see in Singapore: 10 places you can’t miss!
If you are planning a trip to the smallest country in Southeast Asia and you don’t know what to see in Singapore, today I am going to tell you 10 places you can’t miss. It is a country where modernity and tradition go hand in hand. At certain times you will feel that you are in a very modern country when you walk through Gardens by the Bay or Marina Bay Sands. And, in others, you can get lost in its charming neighborhoods of Chinatown, Little India or the Arab quarter.
And another thing! You will hallucinate with cleaning. In fact, according to my experience, it is one of the cleanest countries I have been to. They put fines for everything! For throwing papers on the floor, for throwing gums, cigarette butts … And you will say, well but if you get caught. Do not be confident, there are cameras every 2 meters.
Two or three days are enough to get to know Singapore, although if you want to spend more days prepare your wallet, because it is a rather expensive country compared to its neighbors.
Besides telling you about what to see in Singapore and its essential visits, I will also tell you about the hawkers, the food centers of Singapore, where you can try the most delicious and typical recipes in the country. Of course, what you can not miss is trying the chili crab, the famous spicy crab recipe from Singapore. In a little while I will upload a post in which I talk about the typical cuisine of Singapore!
- 1 How to get to Singapore
- 2 How to get around Singapore
- 3 What to see in Singapore: 10 essential visits
- 4 Other articles of my 3 week trip to Malaysia and Singapore
How to get to Singapore
If you are going to enter or leave Southeast Asia through Singapore you will land at the spectacular Changi Airport, considered right now as the best airport in the world. Honestly, it looks more like a luxury mall than an international airport. It has endless shops, a cinema, several spas, a hotel … And, its star attraction, the largest indoor waterfall in the world, Rain Vortex, 40 meters fall and visible from the 7 floors of the complex.
You will land at the same airport if you travel from another Asian city, such as Kuala Lumpur or Penang, as I did to go to Georgetown. The internal flights with AirAsia are very very cheap, I actually took 6 planes on my 3 week trip through Malaysia and Singapore. In another article that I will write in a while I’ll tell you the routes I took and the prices;).
To go or return from the center of Singapore I recommend you go in Grab, as I tell you in all the articles of Malaysia. It is comfortable, fast and affordable. To give you an idea, from my accommodation (very close to Little India) to the airport, with a distance of almost 20kms, the grab cost me 17S$ (€ 10.80).
Another very cheap way of transportation to get to Singapore from almost any Malaysian city is the bus. It is the transport that I chose to go from Melaka to Singapore, because if I went by plane I had to go back to Kuala Lumpur and, thus, I could admire the landscape of Malaysia.
I read a lot on the internet about the best company or the best route to get to Singapore and the truth that scared me a bit, because many said to be careful to choose a super cheap company because many left you at the border… They talked very good of a specific company, which was also a luxury option but at an affordable price, so I chose that option.
This is the Luxury Coach Service and the total price for two people was 33S$ (€ 21) for a journey of approximately 4 hours. When you buy the tickets they give you a reference hotel to pick up, but a day before they write or call you to confirm at the hotel where you are to see if they can stop and pick you up. I bought the tickets in easybook, very easy and intuitive!
How to get around Singapore
Regarding how to get around Singapore, if you have read other articles of mine, you will know that I love walking! In Singapore it can be done, but be prepared, because the distances are enormous… On more than one occasion I was wondering, why wouldn’t I have taken the subway? Hahaha.
If you don’t want to run out of legs, opt for the subway. I already told you before that this city is quite expensive, so taking a taxi will be expensive and on the bus it is easier to get lost.
As you can see in the following image, the Singapore SMRT (Singapore Mass Rapid Transit) subway consists of 4 lines: red, green, purple and orange. You will find maps in all subway stations, so don’t worry there is no loss!
And the prices of the Singapore subway? Well it depends on the path you are going to do. On its official website you can make the calculations that could cost you each journey, but to give you an idea, the journey from Marina Bay to Little India is 1S$.
Finally, if you are going to spend several days, you will be compensated to take the EZ · link card, a rechargeable card that costs 12S$ (€ 7.5), of which 5S$ is for the purchase of the card and taxes. The remaining 7S$ is the actual balance you will have to use in transportation.
What to see in Singapore: 10 essential visits
Finally, we are going with the 10 essential visits to see in Singapore. As I told you before, with 2 or 3 days you will have enough to enjoy all of them, but you will have to hurry up!
Marina Bay Sands
We could say that the most famous site in Singapore is Marina Bay Sands, which comes to mind when we think of this country. This bay includes a museum, two theaters, restaurants, a shopping center … but the most famous is undoubtedly the hotel.
Those high towers with a huge upper platform shaped like a ship. A real madness. And how could it be otherwise, its design has made it one of the most impressive hotels in the world.
The best known of this hotel is the pool on the upper platform and its incredible views of the entire city. The only possibility to enjoy the swimming pool is to be a guest of the hotel, so you are obliged to pay a night of accommodation. If your budget does not allow it, you can also go up to the Skypark, the panoramic viewpoint located on the 57th floor. The adult ticket costs almost € 17 to change.
Don’t miss the Spectra light show, a free nighttime outdoor show that is displayed on the water at the Event Plaza. You can see it for 15 minutes from Sunday to Thursday at 8:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. and on Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m., 9:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.
Gardens by the Bay
Gardens by the Bay is one of the most beautiful gardens in the world and if you ask yourself what to see in Singapore, this is one of the first places.
These beautiful and modern gardens, located behind Marina Bay Sands, are characterized by so-called super trees (Supertree Grove). With vertical gardens between 25 and 50 meters high, they are totally sustainable thanks to their photovoltaic cells, which accumulate energy during the day, to be able to illuminate at night.
The entrance to the park is free, but if you want to access the Skywalk, the walkway that connects several Supertrees to more than 20 meters high, you will have to pay approximately € 5 per person.
I recommend you go in the afternoon-evening so you don’t miss the light show they do in the Supertree Grove area at 7:45 p.m. and 8:45 p.m. Is beautiful!
In front of the Marina Bay Sands, on the other side of the bay, you can admire stunning views, with many of the most emblematic buildings in Singapore, in addition to Merlion. This statue, 9 meters high and half lion-half fish, represents the city’s fishing past and is the symbol and one of the most famous places to see in Singapore.
This is also one of the best places to see the Spectra light show that I mentioned before. It looks a little further than if you see it from the side of Marina Bay Sands, but it also has beautiful views.
For me, Little India is the most beautiful and charming neighborhood in Singapore and, therefore, one of the best places in my 10 essential places to see in Singapore. In this area, logically with a majority of Indian community, you can walk among colorful buildings, Hindu markets, shopping centers, beautiful temples, and in addition, you can taste delicacies of Indian cuisine, such as samosas!
Among the most beautiful Hindu temples in the neighborhood are Sri Veeramakaliamman and Sri Srinivasa Perumal, both located on Serangoon Road, the most famous street.
If you have half an hour, stop by the Mustafa Center shopping center. It is not a normal mall with stores, but everything is a huge store. You can find what you want, from souvenirs, to utensils or household products, electronics … anything! Keep in mind that when you enter they will put a bridle on your backpacks or bags! Do not forget to ask them to cut the bridle when you leave.
Do not miss the house of Tan Teng Niah, a colorful house of Chinese origin that you will surely have seen in some photo on Instagram.
Another must see in Singapore! It is not a very large area but still maintains a small Arab community.
In the Arab quarter you cannot miss the Sultan Mosque, the most important mosque in Singapore, which together with the Sultan’s Palace, form the nerve center of this neighborhood. Keep in mind that the entrance to the interior of the mosque is reserved only for Muslims.
If you go to the Arab quarter about lunch or dinner, you will find restaurants with Arab flavors that come from countries such as Egypt, Turkey and Lebanon, but also Indonesian or Persian.
How to get to the Arab quarter of Singapore: you can do it on foot after visiting Little India, they are next to each other. If you want to start your route through this area you can take the subway and get off at the Bugis stop.
Haji Lane & Arab Street
You must also visit Arab Street and Haji Lane, in the Arab quarter.
Arab Street is the most representative street in the Arab quarter, and where you will find the typical bazaars with fabric shops, carpets, perfumes, apart from coffee shops and restaurants for tourists.
Haji Lane, less famous than the previous one, but for me with much more charm. It is an alley that in recent years has become well known for being the center of the most in fashion, with independent shops and boutiques of local designers. You will also find many impressive graffiti, restaurants, bars with live music…
To get a little out of Asian food, when I passed through Haji Lane I came across a Mexican restaurant called Piedra Negra and, suddenly, I got the gluttony and stopped to eat there. Super recommended!
Chinatown is another of the neighborhoods with more atmosphere of the city and that could not be missing in the list of what to see in Singapore.
Like everything in Singapore, it is best to kick the entire neighborhood, discovering street food markets, small temples, colonial houses and streets full of Chinese red lanterns.
The most important and beautiful temple in Chinatown is the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, which holds a relic in the shape of a Buddha tooth. Put it on your list of essentials because it is beautiful outside and inside.
Kreta Ayer Square is one of the best areas of Chinatown, full of traditional Chinese crafts and souvenir shops. You will pass by without a doubt on your walk through Chinatown.
Clarke Quay, on the banks of the Singapore River, is one of the liveliest areas of Singapore where you will find endless restaurants, bars and shops. If you are tired of Asian cuisine and need a break, this is your place. They have restaurants of all themes and countries, Japanese, German, Spanish, Chinese, American, Italian…
If you can choose when to visit Clarke Quay, opt for the night. With the lights and the atmosphere it is much more fun and beautiful than during the day.
Bugis Street is the largest commercial district in Singapore, known throughout Asia. With more than 800 stores, it is a perfect plan to spend a couple of hours of your time.
You have stores of all kinds, from electronics, souvenirs, fashion from local designers, books, music… You will literally hallucinate.
If I can recommend you when to go to Bugis Street, I would tell you at night. It becomes a night market, it is filled with local handicraft vendors and street food stalls that sell cheap typical food of the place, such as laksa or stewed chicken and fruit juices.
Street Food (Hawkers)
The hawkers, centers or areas of street food, are a sign of identity and an indispensable pillar of Singapore’s life. In them you will find a wide range of varied food at very affordable prices. Without a doubt, one of the 10 places to see in Singapore.
Here is a list of the most famous hawkers in Singapore:
Newton Food Centre
Bustling street vendor center that has long been one of Singapore’s most popular places to eat, with about 100 street vendor stores.
Amoy Street Food Centre
Another center of traditional street vendors but with a more modern fusion meal at affordable prices. The Noodle Story stand (# 01-139) serves a Michelin Bib Gourmand noodle dish that fuses the Japanese ramen with prawns, roast beef and meatballs.
Maxwell Food Centre
In the Maxwell Food Center, located near Chinatown in a historic pre-war neighborhood, you can find local dishes such as Tian Tian Chicken Rice (# 01-10 / 11), which was recommended by Bib Gourmand from the Michelin Guide, as well as Eurasian meals like shepherd’s pie and devil curry from Popo & Nana’s Delights (# 01-70).
Lau Pa Sat
This historic market, designed in the 1830s, is the place of reference in the central business district. It is the hawker preferred by locals where they serve international cuisine from North India, Korea and Vietnam. If you like satay as much as I do, on Satay Street, parallel to Lau Pa Sat, you will find several meat and chicken satay stalls.
And here is the end of the post of what to see in Singapore and it’s 10 essential places! If you think I should add any, please do not hesitate to leave a comment 😉