Singapore is one of the most astonishing cities on earth. It is glamorous, expensive, swish and high class all the way. The city has some amazing buildings and attractions. It draws millions of visitors every year and never disappoints. There really is nowhere quite like this vibrant City-State, sitting a mere 1 degree north of the equator. It has one of the most amazing skylines imaginable. Here are some of the top attractions in Singapore.
1. Marina Bay Sands Casino and Resort
This one really is a no brainer to be honest, the Marina Bay Sands is an astonishing complex. The most expensive building ever built anywhere on the planet! Quite a claim to fame, but it’s true. The three 55-storey towers are joined at the roof by a platform that house a magnificent infinity pool and much more. A complete resort in the sky. It is far more than just a casino, it houses: The Arts and Sciences Museum or ArtScience Museum, Business and Convention Centres, Two 2000 seats Theatres, Seven Celebrity Chef Restaurants, Two Floating Crystal Pavilions, and The Shoppes, a shopping mall that has a full sized canal running right through it. This is an unbelievable development.
2. The Singapore Grand Prix
The F1 Grand Prix circus comes to town every October and is a highlight of the year. Established in 2008, it has quickly become a favourite of drivers and fans alike. An anti-clockwise street circuit, raced at night, was thought by many to be a bit of a gimmick. But the whole package that Singapore puts together on race week is astonishing. World superstars like Robbie Williams, the Pet Shop Boys and John Legend fly in to perform and the whole city comes alive. The 82,000 people in the grandstands are joined by many more times that number watching from hotel rooms and every available space. This has quickly become one of the very top attractions in Singapore.
3. Sentosa Island
This originally had the rather unfortunate name of Pulau Belakang Mati, which means The Island After Death. It was the scene of Britain’s darkest hour, the unsuccessful Fortress Singapore in WWII. It was completely rebranded and turned into a tourist location, popular among local Singaporeans and tourists alike. The centre piece is Resorts World, which is home to the Universal Studios theme park and also opened the first casino in the city. There is also Voyage de la Vie, a circus theatre spectacular.
4. A Singapore Sling at Raffles Hotel
Enjoying a Singapore Sling in the Long Bar Raffles Hotel has become something of an institution over the years. When two Armenian brothers built this magnificent hotel in Singapore, they named it in honour of Sir Stamford Raffles, the founder of modern Singapore. Ngiam Tong Boon, was a Hainanese bartender who worked at the Long Bar. He developed the drink, calling it simply a Gin Sling. It has lost its gloss a little bit in recent years, after you finished your drink, they used to present you with your cleaned glass in a wooden box. Sadly this is no longer the case but it is still on most people’s to do list when arriving.
5. The Singapore Flyer
This giant wheel was an instant success with Singaporeans, making it one of the top 10 attractions in Singapore, right from the start. 28 air-conditioned gondolas each carry 28 passengers an impressive 540 feet into the air. It is the best place to go to get an ariel view of the city. Riders also get to see Malaysia and Indonesia during the first half of the ride. When opened it was the biggest ferris wheel in the world, but has lost that title to the ‘High Roller’ in Las Vegas, which opened in March 2014. On 4 August 2008 the rotational direction was reversed on the advice of Feng Shui masters. It is possible to book a gondola for dinner, there cannot be better restaurant table views anywhere in the world.
6. Singapore Botanic Gardens
For those of a horticultural bent, this is your chance to see among other things, the world’s largest collection of orchids. 20,000 of these beautiful plants are on display here. The pathways meander through the gardens fringed with greenery. This is a place where locals regularly come to stroll around or take in one of the complimentary exercise classes. This is a large site covering 183 acres. It opens its doors at 5.00am and closes at midnight everyday of the year and admission is free. It is currently on the list to be approved as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
7. Orchard Road
This is a shopaholics paradise. Cited in 2012 as the world’s top shopping street by a leading French shopping consultant it is a mile and a half stretch of road, housing no less than 22 designer shopping malls and 6 department stores. All the world’s top brands are here and in extremely classy surroundings. The road was revamped in 2009 at a cost of $40 Million. As far as shoppers go, this is definitely the best attraction in Singapore.
Singapore is an ethnic melting pot and the largest ethnic group is Chinese. Chinatown is the island’s traditional Chinese quarter. Of course, the entire city of Singapore is largely Chinese, but this area has managed to retain some of its original charm. The area is known as Niu Che Shui ito the Chinese and Kreta Ayer to the Malay people. Both these names meaning “bullock cart water”, and refers to the carts that used to deliver drinking water. The town itself is the main attraction here as the old shop houses sell everything imaginable.
9. Little India
Whilst some might claim this to be a bit of a cleaned up version of what it should, there is no doubting the charm of the place. It has not been allowed to turn into a mere tourist attraction and for that it should be applauded. It is a brightly coloured and interesting place. The brightly painted shophouses have become an icon of Singapore. Most of the Tamil signs, sadly, have been replaced with Hindi, Bengali and other Indian scripts. The shops sell saris, gold bangles, spices and just about everything else you could imagine. The scent of incense fills the air as does the Bollywood music. It’s a fascinating place and worthy of its spot in any top 1-0 attractions of Singapore list.
10. Science Centre Singapore
Anyone even remotely interested in science will have a great time in this place. The centre houses over 850 exhibits in 14 galleries. It opened in 1977 at a cost of $12 million. The IMAX cinema here opened in 1987, costing $18 million it is still the only IMAX in the country. The Science Centre has continually been upgraded and improved and is not how to the Observatory. One of the only ones on earth, located almost on the equator. The public can enjoy star gazing sessions on clear nights, every Friday between 7.50 and 10.00pm.