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.
Ready to go?
These tours & activities make it easy:
Best places to stay in Singapore
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...
Singapore Super Saver: Singapore Zoo Night Safari plus River Safari
Explore the world’s freshwater rivers and nocturnal habitats on this combo tour of River Safari and Singapore Zoo Night Safari -- winner of the Singapore Tourism Awards Best Leisure Attraction Experience! Encounter more than 300 animal species at the river-themed wildlife park, from the manatees of the Amazon Flooded Forest to the Yangtze River zone where giant pandas dwell.
Shopping in Singapore
A chugging 10-minute bumboat ride from Changi Point Ferry Terminal at Changi Village lands you on the shores of Pulau Ubin. There’s no timetable; boats depart when 12 people are ready to go Singaporeans like to wax nostalgic about Ubin’s kampung atmosphere, and a small resort aside, it has thus far resisted the lure of cashed-up developers.
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. Utter nonsense. Singapore is in fact one of the most enjoyable cities in Southeast Asia.
Bangkok to Singapore
Travel from Bangkok to Singapore on a voyage of discovery, soaking up traditional cultures and revelling in the exotic flavours of the region. With golden temples and saffron-robed monks, soft white beaches and bright blue skies, tantalising seafood and a host of shopping spots, our journey from Thailand down to the Malay Peninsula is sure to delight.
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...
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.
Architecture and the urban landscape in Singapore
Top 10 city breaks with kids
City trips aren't just for business travellers and adults looking for a grown-up good time, in fact in many ways cities can be ideal destinations for families even with young kids...
Singapore Botanic Gardens
Established in 1860, this dreamy 74-hectare park retains an aura of Victorian gentility, with its swan lake, symphony stage and themed gardens (including the National Orchid Garden).
Granted, drink prices are exorbitant, but there's something undeniably fabulous about an afternoon cocktail at Singapore's most iconic hotel (at least once). Ditch the gloomy, cliched Long Bar for the fountain-graced Raffles Courtyard or sip Raj-style on the verandah at the Bar & Billiard Room .