When Australia’s travel bubble with Singapore takes off on November 8, it could well be the first destination we fly to after a very long time. And we couldn’t have asked for a better first stop. Clean, green, fascinating and fun — Singapore is a melting pot of culture, food and seriously extraordinary gardens. If you’re planning your itinerary, we’ve got a list of all the things to do in Singapore to make a memorable first trip post-lockdown.
1. Visit Marina Bay Sands
Singapore’s most iconic hotel features an infinity pool, myriad fine dining options and fancy shopping. The world’s most expensive building when it first opened in 2010 at a staggering US$5.7 billion, this integrated hotel has it all to make it a worthwhile trip. It comes with an indoor skating rink, a theatre and other entertainment centres. Although only guests can use the infinity pool, the observation deck is open for all.
2. Spend an evening at Gardens by the Bay
This man-made mechanical forest is a surreal sanctuary in the heart of the city and the perfect escape for nature and photography lovers. With plenty of detail to get lost in and a variety of foliage to discover, the gardens are an absolute must-visit Singapore staple.
3. Soak in the rays at Lazarus Island
One of Singapore’s best-kept secrets, this wonderful little escape is just a 15-minute boat ride from mainland Singapore. Apart from a clean stretch of white sand, the island provides a great opportunity to unwind and relax away from the rush of the city.
4. Visit the picturesque Merlion Park
This promenade is home to Singapore’s beloved Merlion statue, a half-fish, half-lion stone carving that spouts water into the bay. It is also considered a symbol of the Lion City denoting its beginnings as a fishing village.
5. Take in all the views from the Singapore Flyer
At 165 meters tall the Singapore Flyer perfectly encapsulates the city’s stunning skyline. With around a 45-minute ride, you can enjoy panoramic views of the city on the second-highest Ferris wheel in the world.
6. Explore Singapore’s premium art venue — Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay
This performing arts center remains one of the most intriguing places on the island. With magnificent architecture and a unique layout, the overall atmosphere and night shows make it quite an experience.
7. Experience all the movie magic at Universal Studios
This movie-themed park features 24 fun rides and attractions in seven themed zones, making it a great time for both kids and adults. Think Battlestar Galactica roller coasters and a thrilling raft ride inspired by Jurassic Park.
8. Plan a day trip to Sentosa Island
If you’re after some fun in the sun, you’ll want to head straight to Sentosa Island. Highlights include Siloso Beach for an afternoon under the sun, spa retreats, lush rainforests and an underwater world aquarium where you can literally swim with dolphins and other tropical fish.
9. Get your perfect Insta-shot at the Helix Bridge
Another major Singapore landmark, the twisting, turning Helix Bridge is a fascinating structure and a delight to photograph — especially with a dramatic sky in tow.
10. Head to the buzzy Clarke Quay
Clarke Quay is one of Singapore’s most happening places. Filled with great restaurants, trendy boutiques and exceptional waterfront dining options, Clarke Quay is also quite a chic nightspot.
11. Score a souvenir or two at Chinatown
For a slice of China in Singapore, head to Chinatown. With delicious food, cheap shopping, and lots of great stalls at Hawker Centre, Chinatown is an essential stop on your Singapore trip. Also visit the Buddha tooth relic temple, especially its rooftop for some truly divine views.
12. Explore a world set apart at Resorts World Sentosa
Located on an island off Singapore’s south coast, Resorts World Sentosa features a casino, theme parks, restaurants and hotels. Basically a destination of its own and with something for everyone. The Marine Life Park and Dolphin Island come highly recommended as does the Casino.
13. Get your fix of all things Indian at Little India
Little India is a major hub for the Singaporean-Indian community. Dubbed ‘Tekka’ by the locals you can expect vibrant culture, authentic Indian food, an exciting nightlife and heaps of shopping options. It’s especially beautiful during Diwali with the whole area decked up to celebrate the festival.
14. Shop till you drop at Orchard Road
This 2.2 kilometre long shopping destination is one of Singapore’s main shopping streets. Even if you decide to spend all day at Orchard Road, nobody would fault you for it. This shopping destination is home to some of the world’s largest and most expensive brands, upscale dining and gorgeous cafes.
15. Escape from the city bustle at the Botanic Gardens
Housing over 10,000 species of flowers and trees, the Botanic Gardens provide a sweet oasis in the heart of the city. It’s also the world’s first garden dedicated exclusively to children although there’s something for everyone to enjoy at the sprawling 82-hectare green space.
16. Embark on an adventure at the Night Safari
The Singapore Night Safari brings a fun twist to the traditional zoo experience. If you enjoy the night but not necessarily the club scene — this one’s for you. The park is divided into four sections each with its own unique trail. You can walk along these trails and enjoy the antics of some pretty fascinating animals.
17. Art fiends — head to the National Museum of Singapore
If you want to get some insight into Singapore’s history, the National Museum is a great place to start. Housing over 9000 works of art, the gallery hosts several temporary exhibitions along with sections devoted to modern photography and Chinese calligraphy among others.
18. History lovers — the Raffles Hotel is for you
With its elegant colonial ambience and charming service, the Raffles Hotel remains one of Singapore’s crowing glories spanning more than 125 years. Some pretty prominent figures in history have stayed in the hotel including Ernest Hemingway and Rudyard Kipling. The lobby of the main building is open to the public so make sure you add this one to your itinerary.
19. The 10-story-high Jewel Changi airport is a must-see
Famously dubbed the best airport in the world, the Jewel Changi airport is as luxurious and extravagant as they get. In addition to hundreds of shops, its 40-meter-high HSBC Rain Vortex which is an indoor waterfall is tremendously popular the world over. There are also two movie theatres, garden mazes and an entire entertainment corner on offer.