Back in 2017, I had a chance to visit Singapore, a gorgeous Southeast Asian Nation where the cosmopolitan culture never fails to win hearts! I traveled with a friend and it turned out to be one of the most amazing trips of my life!
We did our fair share of research before traveling to Singapore, about the places to visit and the things to do – but when we were there, we realized that it’s better to go with the flow rather than planning a day-to-day itinerary. We were there in the country for 10 days, exploring some of the touristy places (Of course! They’re absolutely worth visiting!) and some not-so-touristy ones about which we got to know from my friend’s cousins (who were also hosting us), cab drivers, shopkeepers, and co-passengers of MRT!
Considering the fact that Singapore is one of the fastest developing countries in Asia and is a commercial hub, it’s a tad bit more expensive than its neighbors like Thailand, Cambodia, or Malaysia. We were super lucky to have a place to live, as it helped us save a lot of money! If you are on a tight budget, you should probably try looking for Couchsurfing options or backpacker’s hostels, as hotel costs might be a little too much.
Popular Places To Visit In Singapore
To begin with, you can visit Merlion Park where the mascot of Singapore, a mythical creature with a lion’s head and the body of a fish, stands with all its glory! And then go for a ride on the Singapore Flyer to get a jaw-dropping view of the entire city. We would suggest you go for the ride in the evening, as that would unveil the glittery side of this fast-paced urban hub.
And you would also visit the Gardens By The Bay – one of the most picturesque man-made urban outdoor recreation spaces, having the world’s largest artificial waterfalls! Stay there for the evening Light & Sound Show, because it’ll surely be a treat for your senses.
And not to forget, take a trip to Sentosa Islands because the Universal Studios and SEA Aquarium are totally worth visiting. Southeast Asia’s first Hollywood movie theme park, Universal Studios will definitely awaken the child in you and make you go bonkers for the rides and other attractions. If you ask us, we absolutely loved the ‘Revenge of the Mummy’ (it gave us goosebumps) and the Jurassic Park Rapids Ride.
These are, however, those things that’ll you find all over the internet once you start looking for things to do in Singapore. Apart from these, there are a few more places that we wouldn’t want you to miss out.
Here’s a list of our favorite places in Singapore which we would like to suggest you explore as well.
As you must have already understood, this is the subzone & ethnic enclave where the Chinese folks had settled and lived for decades. The Chinatown Heritage Center, located in the middle of the hustle & bustle of the market, was a treat for us! It’s from here that we got to know about the history of Singapore and how the Chinese had come to this land and found a life for themselves. You can also pay a visit to the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, which houses one of Buddha’s canine teeth.
However, our motto for visiting Chinatown was something else! For foodies like us, Chinatown is nothing short of a paradise with hundreds of stalls selling delicious Chinese, Indonesian, Malaysian, and Hainanese cuisine! And no matter which dish you order, it’ll cost you something between 5 SGD to 12 SGD. A meal of Hainanese chicken rice comes for 8 SGD and a plate of Singaporean Chilli Crab comes for 10 SGD.
Note: Don’t order it all at once, because the portions are large and you might just end up wasting a lot of food!
Known to be one of the oldest neighborhoods in Singapore, Tiong Bahru is often neglected by tourists who would rather prefer to be buzzed at Clarke Quay! We won’t ask you to ditch the latter, but you should definitely not skip the former. With narrow lanes having beautiful murals, Tiong Bahru will make you walk more than you are thinking – so be prepared!
And the least to say, you’ll absolutely fall in love with the artwork, just as we did. Carry a bottle of water for your stroll, because the weather in Singapore is sultry mostly, and you might feel exhausted after the murals’ hunt! Once done with exploring, head to one of those little ambient cafes – or maybe the Thirsty Craft Beer Shop which serves more than 200 different kinds of craft beers and ciders.
Newton Food Center
Located just next to the Newton MRT Station, you won’t have any hassle in finding this place. Opened in the year 1971, Newton Food Center is a popular dining area among locals and travelers, with nearly 100 stalls serving lip-smacking dishes. It was a crowded evening when we went there, and in no time we figured out that’s the usual scene of the place!
Expect everything from fresh lobsters and oysters to pork and lards, cooked in the finest way and served to you at extremely reasonable costs. You would think we are kidding, but a wholesome dinner for a group of 5 wouldn’t cost you anything more than 100 SGD!
Note: Try the Chicken Laksa, Lobster in Lemon Butter Sauce, Oyster Omelettes, and Pork Chops – are you already drooling?
Not everyone will be keen on exploring a bookstore while traveling, we know, but then, I’m sure that there are book lovers who would be extremely excited to know that Singapore has one of the largest bookstores in Southeast Asia, providing the widest selection of valuable books and magazines uneasy to find elsewhere.
Located at the Ngee Ann City Takashimaya Shopping Center in Orchard Road, Kinokuniya won’t let you down for sure with its collection of over 500,000 quality titles from all over the world. We were actually surprised to find a few Bengali books there as well – which was something that we weren’t expecting! Even if you are in no mood to buy anything, you can just spend a few hours there, scrolling through the racks of your favorite genre.
A day before our trip was about to end, we headed out to explore the Haji Lane & Arab Street. We were glad and surprised to discover a whole new world hidden amidst the lanes of Kampong Glam, with restaurants & cafes serving Arabic, Lebanese, and Turkish delicacies. The graffiti on the walls, the Middle Eastern music, those tiny yet colorful stores, and the aroma of the food created magic in that area.
We kept wondering how we never came to know about this place earlier – and felt glad that we didn’t miss it out! You might be thinking that we’re exaggerating, but every corner of this place will make you pause for a while before you move ahead. The shops might seem to be a little expensive, but if you have faith in your bargaining skills, you can end up getting good deals!
In case you are planning to travel to Singapore, make sure to add these places to your checklist. Apart from these, there’s another place that we would like you to visit – and that’s Jurong Bird Park. A little touristy for sure, but nonetheless, it’ll be one exciting journey to get close to so many avian species. From flamingoes to toucans and macaws to bald eagles – you’ll get to spot them all. And if you are a braveheart, you can pose with a vulture on your head as well!
To say the least, Singapore is a place we would love to go back to again, as we’re sure that there’s more to be explored. If you’ve been to Singapore and loved something, then let us know in the comments below – we’d love to hear back from you!