Constantly evolving, no matter how many times you’ve visited Singapore, there is always something new to experience, whether you’re a nature lover, culture vulture, thrill-seeker or just need some chill-out time.
If you love the arts, then Singapore is the perfect city for museum hopping. Start at the National Gallery Singapore, which houses the world’s largest public collection of Southeast Asian art. The Chinatown Heritage Centre unveiled new features last year, which promise a multi-sensory experience of the Chinatown of old. Then make your way to the Singapore Art Museum before capping the night with a free performance at Esplanade Theatres by the Bay.
Besides the history-rich Chinatown, Kampong Glam and Little India cultural districts, there are more colourful enclaves to explore, such as the colourful Peranakan-style shop houses and traditional food stalls at Joo Chiat and Katong. With a deep love for all things Peranakan, Alvin Yapp has created The Intan (meaning ‘diamond’ in Malay), a private museum displaying the treasures of this unique mix of Chinese-Malay culture. Sign up for the Signature Tea tour experience and tuck into delicious traditional homemade kuehs (tea cakes).
Mention Tiong Bahru, and locals will tell you it’s one of the most happening hoods in town. Lined with row after row of quaint art deco houses, it’s a slice of traditional Singapore that co-exists alongside some of the city’s newest food and lifestyle shops. Be sure not to skip Tiong Bahru Market for a taste of local breakfast!
Resorts World Sentosa
You could spend a whole day at Resorts World Sentosa, with its almost endless array of activities including Universal Studios Singapore, S.E.A Aquarium, Adventure Cove Waterpark and Maritime Experiential Museum. But you could also spend the day pampering yourself at the resort’s ESPA, with its range of rejuvenating treatments, including crystal steam rooms, rock saunas, and ice fountains.
Singapore Botanic Gardens
There’s good reason Singapore is nicknamed ‘City in a Garden’. The Singapore Botanic Gardens, the city’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a lush tropical oasis right in the city centre, but feels like a world away. Gardens by the Bay is spectacular at any time, but especially at night when its ‘supertrees’ are lit up. Meet feathered friends at Jurong Bird Park, or take in your own bird’s-eye views of the city from atop the Singapore Flyer, the world’s second tallest observation wheel.
A walk around Marina Bay is a must, especially for first-time travellers. Visit in the daytime and at night, and you’ll experiences two completely different atmospheres. And of course, you must stop for a selfie with the Merlion statue, Singapore’s national icon.
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When you reluctantly have to return home, you’ll realise that Singapore’s Changi Airport is more than an airport. It’s a destination in itself. Whether it’s stretching your legs on the nature trail or relaxing in the soothing butterfly garden; this is one airport where you’ll wish you could stay longer.
At most airports, it’s not possible to go outdoors, but Changi is the exception, with various gardens, such as the Butterfly Garden, Sunflower Garden, Cactus Garden, and Orchid Garden, dotted throughout its three terminals, each easily reached by Skytrain that operate between terminals.
If you have more time to spare before your flight, take a dip in the rooftop pool located at the Aerotel Airport Transit Hotel at Terminal 1. There's also a jacuzzi, poolside bar and shower facilities for you to relax before your flight. Need more entertainment? Whizz down the four-storey The Slide@T3, the world's tallest slide inside an airport; or catch the latest blockbusters for free at 24-hour movie theatres.
Of course, there’s always shopping, and one not to miss for duty-free bargain hunters is the new DFS Duplex store at Terminal 3, the world’s largest in-airport wine and liquor store. And in case you missed it while in the city, there’s also a Raffles Long Bar within the store, just like the original, where you can sip a Singapore Sling, for free!