Singapore is truly one place that deserves the title of a global city. Its modern cityscape is but a hallmark of its advanced systems and its development in the global economy.
As a result, many businesses thrive and flourish in the area, giving the city-state that atmosphere of a busy, international vibe. It also attracts tourists worldwide — not just for its world-class facilities and amenities but also because of the vibrant other side that its tourism board promotes.
What doesn’t this city have? It has a beautiful and safe environment, giant shopping malls, delicious foods, rich culture, vibrant nightlife, cost-effective public transport, and many other attractive things that satisfy the visitors’ needs. This travel guide will cover essential information about Singapore before planning a trip.
History and Geography
Singapore is one of the busiest and most important ports in Southeast Asia. It gained its independence on August 9, 1965. Singapore joined the Federation of Malaysia in 1963.
The total land area of Singapore is 724.2 square kilometers comprising the mainland and other islands. Singapore Strait separates Singapore from Indonesia, and the Straits of Johor separates Singapore from Malaysia.
Singapore was known as “Temasek” or “sea-town” earlier, but after a prince of the Indonesia-based Srivijaya empire landed at that place, he changed the name to Singapore. The prince saw an animal in the city that looked like a lion.
Hence, he named the city “Singa Pura” or “Lion City”. This city was under Japanese occupation for nearly four years during World War II. It was made a separate British colony in 1946.
Things to Enjoy in Singapore
Singapore is a melting pot of cultures. A quick hop around their mass rapid transit line will take you to places and different enclaves with their unique atmosphere. Drop by Chinatown for that quintessential Asian vibe, complete with the meal you shouldn’t miss: the Hainanese chicken rice meal.
Not very far away is Little India, where you can sample a bit of Indian culture and see temples. Not too far from that is the Arab quarter, touted as one of the new up-and-coming enclaves in the city-state.
If you’re a museum buff, the National Museum houses excellent works of art that will leave you pondering the culture and heritage of this great city. Art and culture are buzzing alive in this city, and it’s not just confined to museums.
1. Singapore Chinatown
Because this city is known for its bustling economy, this makes it an Asian mecca for shoppers galore. Drop by the famed Orchard Road for the best deals you won’t find anywhere else.
It’s best to visit during the Great Singapore Sale, where merchants drop prices and offer great deals and discounts for thousands of shoppers rushing to take advantage of the deals. The street is like Paris’ Champs-Elysees, an avenue where you can shop til you drop. Shop in international brands like Uniqlo, H&M, and Forever21 here.
Try some of Paris’ famed macarons at Laduree. If you’re looking for quirky, unique finds to give as souvenirs, you can find them here in Orchard Road or hit the cultural enclaves of Chinatown, Little India, and Kampong Glam for various options.
2. Skydrive with iFly
Although the cityscape is dotted with skyscrapers, it’s a green city too. Its famed Gardens by the Bay provide new space for the weary city traveler. Parks nearby also give the urban dweller the much-needed patch of green. First, ride up the Singapore Flyer for a fantastic 360-degree view of the city — it’s exhilarating.
Then, hike up the Marang Trail to Mount Faber park, along the Southern Ridges, and ride a cable car to the artificial island of Sentosa, where you can party the night away on the beach or experience world-class amenities in nature parks, theme parks, and other fun escapes.
Feel like flying? You can simulate what it feels like to skydive with iFly — one of the many options for adrenaline junkies looking for a bit of fun in this city-state.
3. Singapore Zoo
If you’re looking for wildlife adventures, drop by the Singapore Zoo and the Night Safari for a walk on the wild side. See the famed panda and watch how animals interact on the safari.
Then, for quick day trips and escapes, head towards Pulau Ibin, a rustic village that preserves an entirely different side of the city — one that shows a more straightforward way of living. It will almost feel like you’ve stepped back in time.
Then, go to the Changi Point Jetty and take a step back to the past. It is best to bring a bike along, or you can also explore the place on foot. See how locals live and are awed by the diverse biodiversity in the area.
It is a refreshing break from the city’s urban landscape, making it an ideal place for a quick breather. From Changi Point, you have several options — you can even make a short trip to nearby Malaysia if you so wish.
4. City Nightlife
If you’re a nightlife person, this global city’s night scene is buzzing with activity. Because this is a global hotspot of cultures, tourists and locals enjoy a good time over beer and fun company, heading towards Clark Quay, the Esplanade, and the Promenade.
Meander along Marina Bay Sands. See the famed merlion, a symbol of the city-state. Hang around near the river, enjoy a couple of beers in your downtime or have a rowdy good time at any of the bars along the area.
At night, the skyline comes alive in a dazzling display of colors. So head over for a weekend light show along the river and spend 13 minutes watching the night sky come alive in a beautiful spectacle. The area is also perfect for art and culture to meet, with live music usually played out for free and friendly locals willing to share a bit of conversation.
5. The Raffles Hotel
And, of course, don’t leave the city without paying homage to the Raffles Hotel, home of the Singapore Sling. Celebrate the cultural diversity of this megacity in your fancy attire and have a toast or two at this upscale hotel.
Also Read: Molokini Island
Singapore Travel Costs
You must know Singapore’s accommodation costs before flying to the city. Otherwise, you can’t cover the destined places well. Accommodation in Singapore is indeed quite expensive. So, if you have budget issues, you should know the tactics to lower your costs.
For example, cost-friendly dorm rooms are available with 12-18 beds, where you have to count around 25-48 SGD per night. On the contrary, you can book a private room within 60-100 SGD per night if you are uncomfortable staying in dorm rooms.
Wherever you choose to stay, free WiFi and breakfast services will be available. However, you should remember that the more luxurious a place you choose to stay at night, the more you need to pay.
Still, budget-friendly hotel room options are also available for around 65-70 USD with basic amenities like a private bathroom, a TV, air-conditioning system, etc.
Since Singapore is a favorite travel destination for people from all over the world, the city people offer food from different parts of the world to their visitors. As a result, this cosmopolitan hub achieved an excellent reputation for providing a variety of delicious food items, but Chinese and Indian foods are more popular.
People like to order rice or noodles for their meals. Chinese and Indian foods cost around 8-9 SGD per meal. Other popular meals include chili crab, steamed chicken, fish head curry, satay, nasi lemak, etc. There are giant halls full of many small food stalls offering visitors cheaper yet delicious cuisine.
You must try Singaporean seafood for your main meal, which will cost around 20-35 SGD. The good news is that many street stalls offer a very low cost, 6 SGD per meal. Beer costs 8-10 SGD, but a glass of wine can be found for 10-16 SGD.
For a cappuccino, it would cost around 5 SGD. Another interesting fact is you can cook your food in Singapore. You may pay about 95-100 SGD weekly for rice, vegetables, meat or fish, noodles, etc.
Whatever you fancy, Singapore has many options for you and more. Whether you’re an avid shopper, a beach bum, a thrill seeker, an adventure junkie, or a traveler looking for a quick weekend escape, this global hotspot is the perfect destination. You have nothing to worry about the journey as Singapore has the highest-rated airlines and airports for visitors.
You can never hate Singapore for its excellent tourist sites, security, affluence, breathtaking beauty, etc. On the contrary, you should keep this place on your list of dream travel destinations if you prioritize the world’s safest, cleanest, and most highly organized place.