Introducing Singapore (country)
Ditch the image of Singapore as a dull, sterile Utopia – scratch the surface and you’ll discover a strange brew of Chinese, Malay, Indian and Western cultures, a rich social stew that’s anything but boring. Sure, the graffiti-free trains run on time, traffic jams are nonexistent and everyone looks clean-cut and wholesome, but who needs pollution, poverty and chaos?
Singapore’s mouthwatering food is the number one drawcard. Pull up a pew at a hawker centre, crack open a Tiger beer and immerse yourself in a munificent range of Asian delights; heavy on the flavour, light on the wallet. Want to splurge? Singapore delivers Southeast Asia’s best shopping and innovative, stylish restaurants, plus a swathe of top-notch hotels. Top of the tree is Raffles, a timeless symbol of colonial opulence.
Of course, it’s not all about shopping, eating and G&Ts on the veranda. Work up a sweat with outdoor activities – walking, cycling and water sports – or check out the contemporary arts scene, thriving under the government’s promotion of Singapore as an arts hub. If you want a break from the urban confines, the centre of the island has sparkling reservoirs and leafy tracts of forest where all you’ll hear is monkeys clattering through the boughs.
The Lion City is more than you bargained for – dust off your credit card, prime your stomach and dive right in.
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Best places to stay in Singapore
Malaysia, Singapore & Brunei travel guide
Southeast Asia’s terrific trio offer steamy jungles packed with wildlife, beautiful beaches, idyllic islands, culinary sensations and multiethnic culture.
20 free things to do in Singapore
Though Singapore may be one of the most expensive countries to visit in Southeast Asia, there are plenty of free things to see and do to ease the wallet pain. Here are some of our favourite Singapore freebies.
Shopping in Singapore
Architecture and the urban landscape in Singapore
Singapore city guide
This perennial stopover city is constantly reinventing itself as a destination in its own right, jostling for the position of top dog among Asia’s – even the world’s – best cities.
It's popular to dismiss Singapore as a kind of Asia Lite - blandly efficient and safe, a boringly tasteless, disciplinarian and unadventurous place where citizens are robbed of their cherished freedom to spit on the street and chew gum.
Five of Singapore's up-and-coming neighbourhoods
Staid, efficient, clean, dull. Singapore has been described as all these things but change is coming. Singapore now has its finger firmly on the pulse, and in-the-know locals are spoiled for choice with indie bookstores, craft markets and speciality coffee shops popping up across the island.
Smart, sharp and just a little sexy, Singapore is Southeast Asia’s new ‘It kid’, subverting staid old stereotypes with ambitious architecture, dynamic museums, celebrity chefs and hip boutiques. Spike it all with smoky temples, gut-rumbleinducing food markets and pockets of steamy jungle, and you too might find that Asia’s ‘wallflower’ is a much more intriguing bloom than you ever gave it credit for.
Bangkok to Singapore on a Shoestring
Bliss out on world-class beaches in exotic southern Thailand before cooling off in the Cameron Highlands of Malaysia. This 2-week tour will introduce you to three diverse nations—and three of the region’s most vibrant cities. Sample street food or hit Bangkok’s clubs with other travellers your own age—so you can be sure to get down with those that’ll keep up.
Singapore Zoo Morning Tour with optional Jungle Breakfast amongst Orangutans
See the orangutans at Singapore Zoo on a morning tour from Singapore, with the option of enjoying a wild breakfast with these fascinating animals. Singapore Zoo has the world's most successful orangutan-breeding program, and the largest social colony of these highly intelligent primates.
Smooth skies: the world’s best airlines
There’s that all-too-familiar sinking feeling that accompanies hunkering down for a fourteen-hour flight with a cramped seat, no personal screen and a tetchy flight attendant in complete control of your comfort.
Discover Malaysia & Singapore travel guide
Southeast Asia’s dynamic duo offer wildlife-rich jungles, beautiful beaches, idyllic islands, culinary sensations, andmultiethnic culture in 21st-century metropolises.