A unique destination and model city state, Singapore is outwardly clean, modern, and business driven. But scratch beneath its surface and you will discover a distinctly Asian city, a mosaic of Asian peoples and influences that still retains elements of the island’s colonial past. Here, East meets West and old meets new in all areas of culture, cuisine and architecture.

Almost sixty islands make up Singapore – nearly half of them inhabited. Situated just 97km north of the equator, the republic enjoys a tropical climate, and despite a myriad of modern urban developments, incorporates numerous green areas, including tree-lined avenues and small parks.

The majestic Singapore River bisects the city’s centre, with the original colonial government buildings and the Padang on the north bank, the main business district to the south and Chinatown to the west.

Singapore is shopping heaven. One area not to be missed is Orchard Road, the city’s premier shopping street, with mall after mall to lure you and take your money. If you don’t want to spend, there are people to watch and places to stop and enjoy a drink or meal. Ngee Ann City on Orchard Road is an impressive shopping complex for all your retail needs. Check out the narrow streets of Chinatown, Little India and Arab Street for atmosphere and souvenirs.

Throughout Singapore, eating out is a glorious pastime thanks to a plethora of cuisines. Enjoy fine dining, select inexpensive delights at simple market stalls, and never miss an opportunity to try everything in between. A visit to Raffles Hotel for their legendary Singapore Sling cocktail is a must for everyone’s itinerary.

Away from the city centre with its shopping and eating are endless attractions.  Singapore is not just about city life; you can see almost the entire natural world here. The Botanical Gardens are unrivalled, with a stunning collection of orchids, while a trip to Sentosa Island adds a totally new dimension to any trip. For a glimpse into the world of nocturnal animals take a one-hour bus trip to the Night Safari, or by day drop into Singapore Zoo, Butterfly Park or Jurong Bird Park.

Feeling energetic? Then get physical with a canoe trip, a hike or cycle ride. For those with a yen for history and culture there are numerous museums churches, temples and mosques. Transport is excellent, with the MRT (mass rapid transport) linking all the areas of the city.

Singapore’s currency is the Singapore dollar, with US dollars, Australian dollars and pounds sterling accepted at many major shopping outlets. Traveller’s cheques, best in pounds sterling, can be exchanged at most banks and licensed currency exchange outlets. But remember, a passport is required. All major credit cards are accepted and ATMs are widespread.


See & Do

Whether you’re going on a short-break or longer holiday, there is much to see and do in Singapore. Here are a few highlights:

  • Orchard Road for shopping and restaurants and Nan Ann City complex
  • Chinatown
  • Little India
  • Arab Street
  • Raffles Hotel
  • Museums and galleries – National Museum of Singapore, Singapore Art Museum, Asian Civilisations Museum, Peranakan Museum
  • Sentosa Island – Underwater World aquarium, water sports, walks, cable car ride
  • Singapore Botanical Gardens
  • Butterfly Park & Insect Kingdom
  • Jurong Bird Park
  • Night Safari
  • Singapore Zoo
  • Bukit Timah Nature Reserve – including a primary rainforest
  • East Coast Park
  • Fort Canning Park – historic site
  • Mount Faber for panoramic views over the harbour
  • Sri Mariamman Temple – Singapore’s oldest Hindu temple located in Chinatown
  • St Andrew’s Cathedral
  • Boat rides along the Singapore River
  • Changi Chapel & Museum, Jahore Battery and other World War II sites
  • Gourmet restaurants
  • Markets



Singapore is one of the world’s premier shopping destinations. From the luxury malls of Orchard Street to the street vendors selling cheap souvenirs there is something for everyone. You will find well priced electrical goods, designer fashions, watches, jewellery, antiques and gifts. In Ngee Ann City have a look at the pricey anchor store Takashimaya, offering departmental shopping at its best and home to Singapore’s best food hall. Other stores include Southeast Asia’s largest bookshop, Books Kinokuniya, and top brand names such as Chanel, Cartier and Tiffany. Other modern shopping complexes include Suntec City.

For ethnic souvenirs try atmospheric Chinatown, Little India and Arab Street selling herbs and spices, heady perfumes in beautiful glass bottles, bright coloured fabrics, batik and interesting jewellery. Remember, it is perfectly acceptable to try a little haggling. Dempsey Road is full of converted warehouses selling antiques, furniture, carpets and artworks and Geylang Serai Market sells traditional Malayan items.

Food & Drink

Singaporeans are passionate about food and eating. From street corners to top-flight restaurants there is endless variety at any hour of the day and night. Almost every nationality’s cuisine is represented, producing a gastronomic adventure for every visitor.

Malay cuisine, with its unique blend of spices and coconut milk, remains a great favourite. Specialities include satay (meat skewered and cooked over charcoal and served with a peanut sauce), chilli crab, beef randang (curry cooked in coconut milk), gado gado (fruit and vegetable salad in peanut sauce), char kway teow (thick rice noodles stir fried with soy sauce, vegetables, fish or meat). Beware the durian fruit. It tastes good but its aroma is not for the fainthearted.

Drinks include the famed Singapore Sling, teh arak tarik (ginger tea with milk), sugar cane juice and Tiger beer.

Here are a few restaurants from the large number available:

  • Hong Lim Complex, Chinatown
  • East Coast Seafood Centre (try Red House)
  • The China Club, Robinson Road – Chinese
  • Waroeng 613, Orchard Road –- Malayan
  • Steffi’s and the Wine Company, Alexandra Terrace – fusion
  • East Coast Lagoon Food Village – stalls
  • Flutes at the Fort – upmarket Australian restaurant in Fort Canning Park
  • IndoChine Waterfront, Asian Civilistions Museum – Asian fusion
  • Samy’s Curry Restaurant, Civil Service Club – southern Indian banana leaf restaurant
  • Song of India, Scotts Road – Indian fine dining
  • Yin Tang, Tanglin Road – Chinese fine dining



With its huge number of bars, clubs, discos and karaoke pubs, there’s never a dull moment at night in Singapore city. The river attracts a crowd with boat cruises and floating bars and restaurants, with Boat Quay and Clarke Quay both popular venues. For food, drink and entertainment head for Bugis Street, Changi Village and Holland V (Village).

Muhammad Sultan Road, the latest entertainment hub, was once an area of old Chinese godowns but is now the heart of Singapore’s nightlife. Orchard Road throbs to the sound of music from numerous clubs and bars. Two casinos to be up and running in 2009, and the first in Singapore’s history, are located on Sentosa Island and Marina Bay. You will also find multiplex cinema complexes, concerts and theatre productions. And don’t forget the Long Bar at Raffles Hotel.

If you are looking for more traditional entertainment try Chinese opera, known as wayang. Shows take place at Clarke Quay, while impromptu street opera and dance are also staged. Night markets provide a great way to spend an evening.


There is so much to occupy visitors in the heart of the city it would be easy to overlook everything beyond. So turn to the See & Do section for examples of numerous attractions - and keep in mind it is possible to enjoy organised trips on land or water, with river and harbour trips leaving regularly from Clarke Quay and Boat Quay. Check with Singapore Visitors Centre, Orchard Road for excursion details.

Health & Safety

Health care is of an extremely high standard in Singapore but it is expensive and medical insurance is highly recommended. Ask your doctor if vaccinations are required as recommendations vary.

Avoid poorly cooked food, particularly seafood, and be cautious when eating fish. Take precautions against mosquitoes, which can transmit dengue fever.

Drinking water is safe but bottled water is readily available.

Singapore is a safe destination but take the usual precautions against theft. Be aware of the harsh penalties for relatively minor offences such as smoking in public or dropping litter.







ACCEPT COOKIESTo give you the best possible experience, this site uses cookies. Using this site means you agree to our use of cookies. We have published a cookies policy, which you should read to find out more about the cookies we use. View cookies policy.