For a tiny island, some might find it surprising that Singapore has just about something for everyone. Whether you are a beach bum or a city slicker, a foodie or an adrenaline junkie, look hard enough and you’ll find a little piece of awesome right here in the Lion City. Here are ten of the best, whatever your pleasure:
For the History Buff
Although Singapore might be considered young in its independent state, it is steeped in history. As the major British military base during World War II, Singapore was deemed to be impenetrable, however British seriously underestimated the Japanese forces and Singapore fell in February 1942. Winston Churchill called this the “worst disaster” in British military history. Fort Canning’s Battle Box was part of the Headquarters of the Malaya Command and it was here that the decision was taken to surrender to the Japanese. Take a tour of this fascinating museum and learn a little more about the importance of this underground command center.
For the Beach Bum
It’s not called the State of Fun for nothing! Pack up your buckets and spades and head on over to Sentosa to grab yourself a sandy spot. My favorite hangout is Coastes; taking a prominent position on Siloso Beach, the chilled out vibes, good food and waterfront loungers are the perfect place to while away a lazy Sunday. Get there early to take advantage of their delicious morning croissants or plan an early dinner with a couple of sundowners to finish off your day. Bliss!
For the Wildlife Lover
At first glance, there might not seem a huge amount of wildlife in the urban jungle of Singapore. However, head out of the city center and you will find an abundance of nature ready to be discovered. A great spot for catching a glimpse is the 163-hectare Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, which boasts around 40% of Singapore’s native flora and fauna. Look out for the Malayan colugo (aka Sunda flying lemur), a funny little nocturnal fellow who spends most of the day clinging to tree trunks. Many species of birds can also be found and, of course, monkeys (just make sure you hide your snacks well, or you might just lose them to a hungry macaque).
For the Foodie
There’s no shortage of fine dining on the Little Red Dot, but true foodies will want to cover all bases. Local hawker centers are the absolute best for hidden culinary gems. My go to is at Tiong Bahru wet market. Plenty of choice and the best interactive website to research your favorite dishes before you go. Don’t miss the spicy carrot cake – it’s not cake, there are no carrots in it, but it’s totally delicious!
For the Coffee Lover
My local area of River Valley has an absolute abundance of coffee spots, but for me nothing beats Common Man Coffee Roasters (CMCR). Book a table (weekdays) or prepare to make an early start for your weekend brunch because this awesome café is River Valley’s worst kept secret! CMCR take their coffee very seriously, so whatever your pleasure, you’ll find the perfect brew right here.
For the Outdoorsy Type
Pack your water bottle, sunscreen and bug spray and head to Macritchie Reservoir Park for a hike. Choose from a 3.2km or 4.8km trail and don’t miss the jewel in Macritchie’s crown: the 250m tree top walk. At 25m above ground level, it gives you a true bird’s eye view of the lush plants and native animals that can be found in this haven of greenery.
For the Sports Enthusiast
With fitness corners and perfect running routes dotted all around the island, there’s really no excuse not to embrace fitness in Singapore, but if you prefer to get your fitness hit in one (temperature controlled) place, the Sports Hub is perfect for you. World-class facilities priced for a community center budget, you can book courts, workout in the gym or swim in the Olympic sized pool for a very reasonable fee.
lternatively, you can run around its circumference on the 100Plus track or make use of the outdoor fitness stations free of charge.
For the Life and Soul of the Party
Singapore boasts the highest alfresco bar in the world: 1-Altitude. Offering uninterrupted views of the iconic skyline, no visit to Singapore would be complete without a trip to the top of One Raffles Place. Drinks, DJs and dancing are the order of events, so dress to impress and soak up the atmosphere!
Instaworthy Snaps for the Photographer
While we all love a great pic of the Singapore skyline, there’s a lot more to photography in this city. Charge up your batteries and head over to Joo Chiat for Peranakan shophouses at their most beautiful. Snap till your heart’s content (and your memory card’s full), then grab some well-earned refreshments inside one of these picture-perfect buildings.
For the Culture Vulture
Get on down to Kampong Glam and lose yourself in the colorful tangle of streets that make up this quirky area. Dominated by the golden dome of the impressive Sultan Mosque, built in 1824 for the first sultan of Singapore, Sultan Hussein Shah, Kampong Glam is just waiting to be explored. Vibrant murals and an eclectic mix of shops and eateries combine to make the perfect visit, day or night. If you like live music, don’t miss Blujaz Café on Bali Lane.
Originally from a tiny seaside town in the UK, Frances Strong has called Singapore home since 2011. Six years later, she's still exploring the Little Red Dot and loves to find new and quirky places to wow her visitors. When she's not playing taxi driver for her children, she likes to write about travel, motherhood, food, life... and anything in between.
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