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Top Things To Do in Singapore

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 5 Nov 2020

Navigate to:
Chinatown |  Little India |  Kampong Glam |  Sentosa Island  |  Singapore Zoo  |  Gardens by the Bay  |  Pulau Ubin

Even though Singapore is a small island, there are plenty of things to do around here! From nature trekking to immersing yourself in a whole new culture and island hopping. Here's a top list of things to do and places to visit in Singapore.

CHINATOWN

Chicken Rice in Chinatown

Feast on local hawker cuisine (or get your handicraft fix) 

‘Satay’ (barbecued skewered meat) with peanut sauce, Hokkien prawn mee, ‘roti prata’ (Indian-influenced flatbread) and chicken rice: if there’s one thing Singaporeans fiercely guard, it’s local hawker food (and each dish’s origins, but that’s a whole other story). You’ll spot outdoor stalls just past the Chinatown Street Market, but we’re bigger fans of the area’s surrounding hawker centres like Chinatown Complex, People’s Park Complex and Amoy Food Centre. Our guide to Singapore food’s an excellent primer before you embark on your trip to Chinatown. If you appreciate quality fabrics and handicrafts, People’s Park Centre (not to be confused with People’s Park Complex) is home to the well-loved Golden Dragon Store.

 

Buddha Tooth Relic Temple & Museum Chinatown

Explore the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple & Museum

The Tang Dynasty-styled Buddha Tooth Relic Temple & Museum is five stories high and houses the so-called Sacred Buddha Tooth Relic, itself kept in a massive 3,500kg stupa made from 320kg of gold. For a quiet escape, head to the roof garden that’s set with a pagoda and Buddha prayer wheel. Or hop on a monthly guided tour for insights into the stories behind the Hundred Dragons Hall, Universal Wisdom Hall and Eminent Sangha Museum. Game for more? Hit up some of the best museums in Singapore here.

244 South Bridge Rd. Daily 5.30am-12pm; 6pm-9pm. Free. More details here.

LITTLE INDIA

Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple Little India

Temple Hop

There are plenty of temples in Little India, and each has its own mini ecosystem of stores, restaurants, and community spaces. In ancient India, temples were more than places of religious practices: they often provided social services, meals, and employment to the little villages that sprang up around them. While those days are gone, the temples still retain a distinctly communal feel. If you only have time for one temple visit, check out Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple opposite Mustafa Centre. Go during a prayer session and watch the procession move clockwise around the main structure, paying homage to Shiva, Ganesh, Parvati, and Murugan, among others. A simple donation is customary but not compulsory.
Mustafa Center Little India

Shop 24/7

While there are countless places to shop in Little India, one attraction you shouldn't miss is Mustafa Centre. This gigantic superstore features three combined malls and is open 24 hours a day. Mustafa is famous for selling nearly everything under the sun (with alcohol and pork products being the notable exceptions). It's the place for spices, and electronics, and DVDs, and sporting goods, and healthcare, and stationery, and foreign exchange, and remittance services, and the list goes on. It’s even got a travel agency if you’re keen on exploring South East Asia or beyond. Mustafa is usually packed with shoppers during the day, but if you can wait till after midnight, you'll enjoy a much less crowded visit.

KAMPONG GLAM

Sultan Mosque Kampong Glam

the Sultan Mosque

Located on Muscat Street (Muscat is the capital city of Oman), the Sultan Mosque is easy to spot with its gleaming dome and prominent minarets that reflect its Indo-Saracenic style architecture. The main prayer hall is large enough to accomodate 5,000 worshippers at once.

Built under the auspices of Sultan Hussain, the Sultan of Johor, Masjid Sultan was completed in 1826 with funding from the British East India Company. The architecture has remained unchanged since that time, with only minor renovation works and an additional annex built in the 1990s.

SENTOSA ISLAND

Palawan Beach Sentosa

Hit up Singapore’s best beaches 

Three stretches of glistening white sand and azure waters await at Sentosa’s beaches, but each has its own charm. We’re particularly taken with Palawan Beach, the quieter – just by a hair – sister to Siloso Beach. It’s here you’ll find the Palawan Pirate Ship water playground for kids, as well as a suspended bridge that carries you to the southernmost point of Continental Asia. Want a tranquil escape? Tanjong Beach is your best bet. It skirts Sentosa Cove, a residential area within which Quayside Isle sits – the perfect spot to yacht-spot from over a cocktail. By night, Siloso Beach comes alive with its host of lively bars fronting the South China Sea. 
MegaZip Adventure Sentosa

Zip across Sentosa island at 60kph

‘Breathtaking’ gets new meaning at the Mega Adventure Park when you hop on MegaZip, Southeast Asia’s steepest flying fox that spans 450 metres. Speed over the jungle canopy of Imbiah Hill and beaches of Sentosa at 60kph, then test your limits at the 36-obstacle treetop ropes course, MegaClimb. If that doesn’t give you enough of an adrenalin rush, try the 15-metre free fall simulator at MegaJump that replicates parachute jumping – minus the plane ride. Take note: You'll have to be at least 120cm to attempt the MegaClimb.

Mega Adventure Park, 10A Siloso Beach Walk. Daily 11am-7pm. $50-$100. 

SINGAPORE ZOO

Night Safari

Walk on the wild side

Forget the Singapore Zoo; if you’re looking for an experience with a difference, the Night Safari is the place to be. The world’s first nocturnal wildlife park is split into four zones – Leopard Trail, Fishing Cat Trail, East Lodge Trail and Wallaby Trail – that are best explored on the guided tram ride (it’s free!).

From creatures including the armoured Sunda pangolin and clouded leopard to Malayan Tapir, giant flying squirrel and common palm civet, it’s a rare chance to observe these animals in their habitats, so take plenty of photos.

GARDENS BY THE BAY

Supertrees  Garden by the bay

Bask under Supertrees

With its domed conservatories housing scores of plants from as far as the tropical highlands and semi-arid, subtropical regions, Gardens by the Bay is within walking distance from the Singapore Flyer.

While the last (ticketed) admission to its domes is 8pm, stay for Garden Rhapsody, a light and sound show in the Supertree Grove that takes place nightly at 7.45pm and 8.45pm.

PULAU UBIN

Pulau Ubin

Singapore's village

The untouched island is home to Singapore’s last kampung (Malay for ‘village’), and forested and wetland areas teeming with wildlife. Pulau Ubin, so named after the abandoned granite quarries that dot the area, is perfect for a day trip or overnight stay. 

 

Getting there

Pulau Ubin is just 15 minutes away by boat. 

Make for the Ferry Terminal near Changi Village Hawker Centre – the fastest way there is by taxi or Grab – and hop onto a bumboat (daily 5.30am-9pm) for $2/person (single trip).

Boats only depart when at least 12 passengers are on-board, but if you’re in a hurry, you can get the boat to leave immediately by paying a higher fare. It’s also an extra $2 if you’re bringing a bicycle with you.

Uncover more essential tips before travelling to Singapore here. 

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