Singapore is a city-state in Southeast Asia which is one of the world's most prosperous countries. Singapore, also known as “Garden City”, is a modern city with influence of Chinese, Malay and Indian cultures felt all around it. The city offers a delicious food, good shopping and a tropical climate, making it one of the most popular travel destinations in the world.
Singapore was established by the British as a trading post in 1819. In 1955 Singapore was granted self-rule and 8 years later joined the Malaysian Federation. It didn’t last long as Singapore was expelled from the federation and became independent against its own in 1965.
Attractions in Singapore
Singapore is a small island country and a very crowded city, but more than 50% of its area is covered by greenery and plenty of parks and nature reserves, giving it a name “Garden City”. There are plenty of things to see and do in the city.
The centre of Singapore is located in the south of the island. The centre of the city consists of the Orchard Road shopping area, the Riverside, the Marina Bay area and also the Central Business District.
On the Orchard Road you will find the heaviest shopping mall concentration in Singapore. Shopping malls are not only good for shopping in style but also for hiding from the heat in this tropical city.
The list of the best shopping malls on Orchard Road in Singapore includes:
- ION Orchard
- Orchard Central
- Ngee Ann City
- Paragon Shopping Centre
- Plaza Singapura
- Mandarin Gallery
Riverside is Singapore's colonial district where you can find a number of museums, monuments, historical buildings, theatres, as well as restaurants, bars and clubs.
If you are interested in history of Singapore, don’t miss a chance to visit National Museum of Singapore and explore over 1,700 historical and cultural artifacts at Singapore's oldest museum.
Art lovers can experience modern Southeast Asian art at National Gallery Singapore which is also Singapore's biggest museum housing over 1,000 art works. The National Gallery Singapore is located in Singapore’s iconic historical Supreme Court and City Hall buildings, giving you a chance to explore city's signature architecture.
Other important landmarks at Singapore's Riverside include St. Andrew's Cathedral, Victoria Theatre, Asian Civilisations Museum and Clarke Quay – 19th-century riverside commercial district with restaurants & nightlife.
Marina Bay area is the newest district of Singapore, dominated by the Marina Bay Sands complex and the Marina Barrage.
Marina Bay Sands is a complex featuring Singapore's most iconic hotel with the world's largest rooftop Infinity Pool, award-winning dining, and a wide range of shopping and entertainment options. Only the guests of Marina Bay Sands Hotel can use the Infinity Pool and you need to book it well in advance for a once in a lifetime experience. Book your stay at Marina Bay Sands here: online booking of Marina Bay Sands Hotel.
If staying at Marina Bay Sands Hotel is way out of your travel budget, you can still visit Marina Bay Sands and enjoy the panoramic views of Singapore's iconic skyline at Marina Bay Sands Skypark Observation Deck. Discounted Marina Bay Sands Skypark admission tickets can be found here: Marina Bay Sands Skypark Observation Deck Ticket.
The world's first ArtScience Museum is also a part of Marina Bay Sands complex. Housed in an iconic lotus-inspired building, ArtScience Museum is a must-see in Singapore as here you will find unique exhibitions that will help you learn about space, tech and art.
Gardens by the Bay situated next to Marina Bay Sands is a large public garden with two conservatories (the Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest) and a cluster of gigantic Super Trees. At the Flower Dome you can experience the Mediterranean-like climate. The Cloud Forest not only houses succulents and baobabs but also the world's tallest indoor waterfall falling from a 35-meter mountain of lush vegetation. The Supertree Grove is home to the famed 16-storey man-made trees and the place where you can enjoy Singapore Gardens by the Bay's Garden Rhapsody lights and music show twice every night. Gardens by the Bay is definitely a must visit in Singapore!
Another Singapore's iconic attraction, 165 meters-high ferris wheel called Singapore Flyer is located nearby. Singapore Flyer is Asia's largest observation wheel offering captivating views of Singapore. From 165 m above the ground you can spot most important landmarks of Singapore - Esplanade Theatres, Merlion Park, the F1 Circuit, Helix Bridge, Marina Bay Sands and many others!
Two of Singapore's iconic attractions the Singapore Flyer and Gardens by the Bay can be visited cheaper when booking a package here: Singapore Flyer and Gardens by the Bay Package.
Central Business District
The Shenton way financial district also known as the CBD (Central Business District) is the area around the Singapore River where skyscrapers are clustered. It’s the financial centre of Singapore.
Merlion Park with the iconic Merlion, 8.5 meters-tall statue with the body of a fish & head of a lion, shooting water from its mouth, is located in the area.
Central Singapore can be explored by taking a 40 minute boat cruise on Singapore River. On Singapore River Cruise you can see all the must-see highlights of Singapore, such as historical sites along the river, the colorful traditional shop-houses of Clarke Quay and Boat Quay, The Merlion, The Esplanade, Marina Bay Sands and the modern skyscrapers of the Central Business District. Discounted cruise tickets can be booked online here: Singapore River Cruise.
Singapore's Malay District
Singapore's old Malay district is also known as Bugis and Kampong Glam (Arab St). Nowadays this area is largely taken over by shopping. This district is the best place to experience Malay/Arab culture and cuisine in Singapore.
Malay Heritage Centre is the place where you can learn about the rich Malay culture in Singapore. Here you will find a wonderful cultural exposure with multiple interesting exhibits and exciting activities.
Masjid Sultan or Sultan Mosque is a must-see object if you're visiting the historic Kampong Glam district of Singapore as this mosque is the focal point for Singapore's Muslim community.
Singapore’s Chinatown is a Chinese heritage area popular with tourists. Here you can find many Chinese treats and a number of religious sites.
One of the main attractions in the Chinatown district of Singapore is Buddha Tooth Relic Temple. The temple was built only recently but its rich interior and impressive exhibits of Buddhist art and history makes it a wonderful place to visit.
Market on the streets around Buddha Tooth Relic Temple is one of the best places for souvenir shopping in Singapore.
Sri Mariamman Temple - the oldest Hindu temple in Singapore is also located in Chinatown. Sri Mariamman Temple is a great place for exploring the ancient Indian culture.
Nicely situated at the heart of Chinatown, Chinatown Heritage Centre offers an authentic slice of Singapore's past as here you can visit restored shophouses with displays of old living spaces and antiques owned by early Chinese settlers.
Little India is a district where you can find a piece of India in Singapore. Little India is located to the north of the city centre. You should visit Little India, if you’re looking for Indian flavours or want to see Hinduist temples as there are plenty of interesting ones.
Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple in Little India is one of the oldest Hindu temples in Singapore. The main feature of the temple is its five-tiered gopuram (entrance tower), which is decorated with the various Hindu deities.
Sri Vadapathira Kaliamman Temple is another Hindu temple in Little India. Even if not as big as others, the temple is very photogenic as the colourings of its walls and figurines are really vivid.
Located in Little India, Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya Temple or the Temple of 1000 Lights is one of the largest and most popular Buddhist temples in Singapore. The temple houses a 15 meters-tall Buddha image.
Mustafa Centre is a 24-hour shopping mall, located in Little India. Mustafa Centre offers a unique shopping experience in Singapore as it resembles shopping at the market. The variety of things on offer here is huge so you won’t be short of ideas when shopping for gifts.
Woodlands is the district in the northern part of the island that forms Singapore's residential and industrial hinterlands. Singapore Zoo is located in the area.
Singapore Zoo is the 'open concept' zoo where you can explore animals roaming freely in their open habitats. Over 2,800 animals can be seen at Singapore Zoo. Discounted tickets to the world-famous zoo can be booked here: Singapore Zoo Ticket.
Sentosa is a separate island in the southern part of Singapore declaring itself as "The state of FUN". In this resort island you will find places for gambling, Universal Studios Singapore theme park, Southeast Asia’s largest aquarium, Adventure Cove Waterpark, three beaches and much much more.
Universal Studios Singapore theme park offers you a possibility to go beyond the screen and experience cutting-edge rides, shows, and attractions based on your favorite films and television series.
S.E.A. Aquarium on Sentosa Island in Singapore is considered to be the largest aquarium in Southeast Asia, featuring the world's largest underwater acrylic dome of 9 meters diameter. Over 100,000 marine creatures from over 800 species can be seen at S.E.A. Aquarium.
Located on Sentosa Island, Adventure Cove Waterpark offers a thrilling aquatic adventure with amazing water slides, snorkeling over tropical fish and many more aquatic activities.
Singapore Cable Car is by no means the most unique and fun way to get to Sentosa Island. On the way to the island you will be able to enjoy 360-degree sights of Mount Faber Park, Universal Studios, Resorts World Sentosa and other famous landmarks in Southern Singapore.
Most nationalities can enter Singapore without a visa for up to 30 days.
Nationals of all European Union member states, Norway, South Korea, Switzerland and the United States can enter Singapore without a visa for up to 90 days.
Each time you enter Singapore you need to fill an immigration card.
Getting to Singapore
There are many options for getting to Singapore from Thailand.
Flights to Singapore
Flying to Singapore from Thailand is the easiest way to enter the country as Singapore is one of Southeast Asia's largest aviation hubs receiving many flights from a number of airports in Thailand.
All international flights land at Singapore Changi Airport (SIN). There are directs flights to Singapore from a number of destinations in Thailand, such as Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai, Krabi, Hat Yai and Koh Samui.
From Bangkok to Singapore you can fly directly with low cost airlines AirAsia, Thai Lion Air, Scoot, Jetstar Asia as well as full service carriers Singapore Airlines, Bangkok Airways, Thai Airway and Cathay Pacific.
Phuket – Singapore route is served by low cost airlines AirAsia, Jetstar Asia, Scoot and standard airlines such as Singapore Airlines and SilkAir.
SilkAir, Singapore Airlines and Bangkok Airways also offer direct flights from Koh Samui to Singapore.
Direct flights from other destinations like Chiang Mai, Krabi and Hat Yai are provided by low cost carrier Scoot. Krabi - Singapore route is also served by low cost airlines AirAsia.
Traveling to Singapore Overland
You need to cross Malaysia when traveling from Thailand to Singapore overland.
There are direct buses from Kuala Lumpur and many other destinations in Malaysia to Singapore. If you are traveling by bus to Singapore from Thailand, you will need to take a bus from Hat Yai in Southern Thailand to Kuala Lumpur first.
There are direct sleeper train services (International Express) operated by the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) and connecting Bangkok with Padang Besar on the Thailand-Malaysia border. From there the national railway operator KTM (Keretapi Tanah Melayu) offers connections to Kuala Lumpur and other destinations in Malaysia as well as Singapore.
Weather in Singapore
The weather in Singapore is usually sunny with no distinct seasons. Rain falls almost daily throughout the year but it rarely last longer than an hour. Most of rainfall occurs from November to January.
The temperature changes only a little throughout the year. In cooler months of December and January average temperatures at the daytime reach 29.5°C and gets as low as 22.5°C or even a bit less at night. For the rest of the year you can expect the temperature to reach about 32°C at the daytime and 24°C at night.
Useful tips for traveling in Singapore can be found here: Singapore Travel Tips.