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Mini guide to Asia's cosmopolitan city
Essential and practical information Getting around The city's best attractions and things-to-do Recommended hotels and hostels Singapore's best restaurants and eateries
Shopping tips and recommended places to shop
Nestled on the southernmost tip of continental Asia, the tiny city-state of Singapore has made a name for itself as a strict country, where law and order are taken seriously and streets are spotlessly clean… The truth, however, is that Singapore is a very enjoyable place, which has a lot to offer to its visitors beyond clean sidewalks and well groomed parks… From old temples to ultra-modern skyscrapers, from bustling oriental bazaars to stylish shopping malls, from ethnic quarters to world class attractions, and from fabulous museums to nature reserves and beautiful beaches… Our Singapore Mini Guide was created specifically for those of you who want to get the best information, but don't like reading long books… We hope it will help you to get the most out of your visit or holiday.
Planning to visit Singapore? Click here to get some of the best rates for accommodation in Asia's most cosmopolitan city.
All visitors to Singapore should hold a passport that is valid for at least six months after their planned departure date Many nationalities do not require to obtain visas in advance and will be given a social visit pass upon arrival, that allows them to stay in Singapore for a period of up to thirty days (extendable). For the exact list, visit the Visa Requirements Page at the ICA website.
Average temperatures range between a minimum of 23 - 25 degrees (centigrade) during the cool hours, just before dawn, and a maximum of 30 - 33 degrees during the early afternoon hours.
Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has a number of information-centres across the city-state, especially around the touristy areas (Including Changi International Airport, ION Orchard and Orchard Road). Website (or use this form to ask them to send you free brochures by post )
Singapore dollar (SGD or S$) is the currency of Singapore. For up-to-date exchange rates, you can check www.xe.com
Weather / When to come
Equatorial Singapore has a Tropical weather, which means temperatures and humidity are always high and it can rain at any time of the year, but although there are no distinct seasons, there are certainly "wetter" and "drier" periods... Most of the rains fall during the northeast monsoon, between November and January. July and August are the warmest and driest months, while February is considered as the clearest month, with the highest number of sunshine hours.
The electrical current in Singapore is 220240 volts / 50 cycles AC. The plugs have three rectangular-shaped prongs, just like the ones used in the UK.
Singapore doesn't apply summer saving time. The time is GMT+8 all year round.
Singapore's country code is 65. There is no city code.
Central Post Office
Orchard #B2 -62, ION Orchard Daily, 11am – 7pm (excluding holidays) Killiney Road 1 Killiney Road Mon – Fri, 9.30 am - 9 pm Saturday, 9.30 am - 4 pm Sun/P. Hol 10.30 am – 4 pm
Airport Shuttle Service
This relatively inexpensive service takes passengers from the airport directly to their hotel (all over Singapore, excluding Changi Village and Sentosa Island). Shuttles leave every 30 minutes (6:00am 6:00pm), every 15 minutes (6:15pm midnight) and every 30 minutes (12:30am - 2:00am) and you need to book and pay at the counter, in the Arrival Hall. One way fare (Airport - city) is SG$ 9 per adult and SG$ 6 per child.
Police – 999 Ambulance – 995 Fire Brigade – 995 Flight Information – 1800 542 4422 Touristline (8am - 7pm daily) - 1800 736 2000 (toll-free in Singapore)
I.R.C are opened 24 hours a day and have two central locations : Their Peninsula Plaza branch (#B1-02 Peninsula Plaza) is a short walk from City Hall MRT, while their Parklane Shopping Mall branch (#B1-16) is not far from Dhoby Ghaut MRT. A good place in Little India is the 24 hours internet on 326 Serangoon Rd., just a short walk from Mustafa. Musa, on 16 Bali Lane (next to Arab Street) provides 24 hours internet connection, alongside some basic secretarial services
Raffles Hospital (585 North Bridge Road) – (65) 6311 1111 Singapore General Hospital (Outram Road) – (65) 6222 3322 Gleneagles Hospital (6A Napier Road) – (65) 6473 7222
Taxis are available 24 hours a day. The basic fare from the airport to the city is likely to be around SG$ 20 – 30 (depends on the amount of traffic) In addition to the price shown on the meter, there is a SG$ 3 surcharge (or SG$ 5 if travelling on Friday - Sunday, 5 pm midnight) for trips leaving the airport and, possibly, other surcharges .
Limousine Taxis & Large Taxis
These are dedicated taxis that take passengers to any destination in Singapore at a flat rate (SG$ 45 for the 4-seater and SG$ 50 for the 7-seater). Book through Ground Transport Desks at the Arrival Halls, or simply click HERE.
Do you know? We have a whole range of free eBooks and minicity-guides about Asia's most popular city destinations... Click HERE to view and download them.
English is one of Singapore's official languages and is widely spoken throughout the country.
BlueChip 220 Orchard Road #02-10 Midpoint Orchard (Opposite Somerset MRT) A growing number of coffee shops, like Pacific Coffee, offer wireless connection to their customers and free use of PCs.
Singapore has one of world's best public transport systems, which means it is an ideal destination to explore on your own, without having to rent a car. The MRT (Mass Rapid Transit ) is Singapore's fastest and most comfortable means of transport and covers many of the city-state's attractions. Each MRT station is linked to a bus interchange, where you can find bus routes that service nearby destinations (buses are much slower than the MRT, so passengers prefer to use them only when travelling to places that are not accessible by MRT).
Airport to town
Changi Airport MRT Station is directly connected to Terminals 2 and 3, and by Skytrain to Terminal 1. You can travel with it to Tanah Merah Station, where you will have to change trains before you can continue to town or elsewhere, but in spite of the inconvenience, it is still a fairly quick and inexpensive way of travelling to/from the airport (Daily, 5:30am – after 11pm).
Shopping malls are open 10am – 10pm High street shops in central areas also stay open until fairly late. Business hours are normally from 9 or 9:30am to 5 or 5:30pm, Mon – Thur. (Very few companies operate on Saturday) Banks are normally open from 9:30am to 3pm, as well as on Saturday morning. Some branches also operate during evening.
Bus No. 36 travels to the city center and passes through Raffles Boulevard, Marina Centre, Ritz-Carlton, Stamford Avenue (Swissotel), Dhoby Ghaut, Orchard Road and Bras Basah Road (6am – 12midnight). It picks passengers from the three terminals and journey takes about an hour.
Singapore's taxis are air-conditioned, clean, comfortable and easy to catch… (unless it rains heavily). In the city centre, taxis can be stopped only in designated taxi stops, along the busiest commercial streets, as well as
Singapore's population stands at around four and a half million, of which 76% are Chinese, while the rest are Malay (14%), Indian (8%) and Eurasians (2%). No wonder they call it "Asia's melting pot".
outside main buildings. In other parts of the city, taxis can be stopped anywhere along the streets, although they cannot pick up or drop off passengers in restricted areas. These are the basic rates for taxis in Singapore: Flag fall is SG$ 2.80 and includes the first one kilometer, or less. Every additional 385 meters (or less) will cost you SG$ 0.20 (up to 10 kilometers) and every 45 seconds of waiting costs SG$ 0.20 Additional surcharges may apply in all sorts of situations, for example if you wish to carry extra luggage or pets / If you make an advance booking / During peak hours, late at night, or on public holidays and so on…
Best attractions and things-to-do
Asian Civilisations Museum
This remarkable museum displays the cultures of Asia's tribes and nations, through thousands of beautiful exhibits that include traditional costumes, precious pieces of art, stunning jewelries, historical and religious objects and what not...
National Museum of Singapore
The museum's main feature is the highly recommended "Singapore History Gallery", where the visitor walks through dozens of life-size displays that replicate scenes from the city's past, like in a time tunnel… Daily, 10am – 6pm (Singapore Living Galleries remain open until 8pm and admission is free during the last two hours). 93 Stamford Road (Five minutes' walk from Bras Basah MRT Station) website
Tuesday – Sunday : 9am-7pm (till 9pm
on Friday), Monday : 1pm – 7pm Website
The middle of the three historic quays along the Singapore River has become one of the city's best Wine and Dine areas, boasting vivid restaurants, cafés, bars and other night spots. Information on restaurants, cafés and entertainment venues
The Raffles is among the world's most classic hotels and one of Singapore's best known historical landmarks… Other than having famous names, like Rudyard Kipling, Charlie Chaplin, Queen Elizabeth II and Elizabeth Taylor on its guest book, the hotel also prides itself for being the place where the Singapore Sling was invented and where the city's last tiger was hunted… There is a small museum on the arcade's rd 3 floor, where you can see nostalgic paraphernalia from the hotel's past and, of course, there is the legendary high tea at the Tiffin Lounge… (There is also a shop at the arcade where you can buy authentic memorabilia of the Raffles) Daily, from morning till late (The museum opens daily, 10am – 7pm) website Raffles Hotel Museum
Smart cards and passes
EZ-Link is a reloadable stored-value card that costs a minimum of S$15 (nonrefundable SG$ 5 for the card itself + refundable deposit of SG$ 3 + minimum stored-value of SG$ 7) and saves you the hassle of looking for exact change every time you ride a bus or MRT… It is accepted on buses, MRT and LRT (Light Rapid Transit) and can also be used in McDonald's, 7 - Eleven, food centres, supermarkets and even vending machines. The card can be purchased / reloaded at any MRT station, as well as at all TransitLink ticket offices (located at the large bus stations/interchanges). Singapore Tourist Pass (STP) allows unlimited use of almost all public transport (except some niche bus services, like the Chinatown Direct or Night Rider) At the time of writing, the Pass is sold at an introductory price of only SG$ 8 per day, and comes in three options: 1-Day, 2Day or 3-Day pass (SG$ 8 / SG$ 16 / SG$ 24 per pass, respectively). There is also a SG$ 10 refundable deposit. The pass can be purchased at the ticketoffice within the large/main MRT stations (Changi Airport, Orchard, Chinatown, City Hall, Raffles Place, Bugis, HarbourFront and Ang mo Kio), as well as at the Singapore Visitors' Centre (either the one on the corner of Orchard and Cairnhill, in the city, or the one in Changi Airport) and at True Heritage Brew in Clarke Quay. For more information, visit the Singapore Tourist Pass website.
Standing near the mouth of the Singapore River, facing Marina Bay, The statuefountain of "The Merlion" is one of Singapore's best known landmarks. This imaginary creature incorporates a body of a lion, which signifies the lion from the legend about the founding of Singapore, and a tail of a fish, which signifies the city's relationship with the ocean. From Raffles Place MRT – Walk a few minutes along the Singapore River (the river should be on your left) till you get there.
Mint Museum of Toys
Displaying tens of thousands of nostalgic toys, including "prehistoric" versions of Popeye, Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, the world's first toys museum is certainly one of Singapore's must sees… Daily: 9:30am – 6:30pm 26 Seah Street (Near Raffles Hotel – Just a short walk from either Bras Basah MRT Station, or from City Hall MRT) website
The Peranakan Museum
This fantastic museum specializes in the Peranakan culture, which is unique to this part of the world, and displays hundreds of enchanting pieces, including traditional dresses, embroidery, handcrafts, replicas of Peranakan homes and so on… Daily, 9am – 7pm (from 1pm on Monday / Until 9pm on Friday). 39 Armenian Street (not far from City Hall MRT Station) website
Visiting Singapore ? Guided day tours, are one of the best ways to explore this unique city.
The world’s largest Ferris Wheel provides stunning views of Singapore and its environs… The best time to come here is at around 7pm, which is twilight time in Singapore almost all year around, but make sure visibility is fine, or else you are wasting your time and money. Daily, 08:30am – 10:30pm Promenade MRT Station provides direct access to the Singapore Flyer website / Additional info and bookings Opt for the Singapore Flyer Sky Dining and enjoy a 'one-of-a-kind' fine-dining experience on the world's largest observation wheel!
Orchard Road's trendiest shopping mall offers its visitors more than 300 stylish shops, restaurants, cafés and plenty of free cultural events, as well as an th observation terrace on the 55 floor (ION Sky), from which you can enjoy beautiful cityscape views. The mall is linked directly to Orchard MRT Station, as well as to some other popular shopping malls, like Wisma Atria, Wheelock Place, Ngee Ann City, Takashimaya and Tangs Plaza. Daily, 10am – 10pm
Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum
What is purportedly the relic of the tooth of Buddha is kept, in a gold stupa, within this impressive Tang-style building. Other than the holy remnant, there is a lavishly decorated temple here, and a Buddhist Culture Museum, where hundreds of Buddhist artifacts and works of art from all over Asia are on display. Daily, 9am – 7pm South Bridge Road, near the corner of Sago Street (5 minutes' walk from Chinatown MRT) Website
Singapore Botanic Gardens
One of the world's most beautiful botanic gardens. The gardens' main draw is the National Orchid Garden, where you can see the world's largest collection of tropical orchids, including 2,000 hybrids… Daily, 5am – 12midnight (The National Orchid Garden is open 8:30am – 7pm) Botanic Gardens MRT Station will provide direct access to the northern gate. To get to the main gate, take bus Nos. SBS 7, 123, 174, or SMRT 77, 106 from Orchard Boulevard (next to MRT Orchard), or from Somerset Road (next to MRT Somerset Station /313@Somerset). From Marina Bay Sands: SMRT No. 106 Website Map of the gardens
Esplanade-Theatres on the Bay
Housing Singapore's Centre for Performing Arts, this architectural landmark is to Singapore almost like what the famous Opera House is to Sydney. The two colossal domes, under which the performing halls are found, are covered with spikes that make them look like Southeast Asia's king of fruits – The Durian, and the whole centre is, therefore, nicknamed "The Durian". Daily, 10am – 6pm (iTour), although you can also visit the place earlier or later Esplanade MRT Station – exit D Website Information about the iTour
The atmospheric streets of Tanjong Pagar
The historic district of Tanjong Pagar boasts plenty of vivaciously painted shophouses, where lovely cafés and galleries can be found. Take a pleasant stroll through the area's quaint streets, like Duxton, Duxton Hill, Craig and Neil Road and simply enjoy the ambience… (10 minutes' walk from Chinatown MRT, via South Bridge Road and Neil Road) Daily, 24 hours a day
Shopping and authentic food in the picturesque streets of Little India
The streets of Little India are packed with colorful shops where you can find all sorts of authentic goods… From spices and herbal medicines, to silk, Indian clothes, heaps of gold jewellery and then, of course, there are many lovely eateries where traditional street foods are sold. From Little India MRT Station, walk directly to Buffalo Road, visit Tekka Centre, cross Serangoon Road, visit Little India Arcade and onwards, via Campbell Lane and Clive Street to Dunlop Street, then back to Serangoon, where you can visit Sri Veerama Kaliamman Temple and onwards, to Upper Dickson. Daily, 24 hours a day
Marina Bay Sands
This imposing architectural project houses what is currently Southeast Asia's hottest attraction, including the city's first casino, a glitzy shopping mall and endless dining and entertainment options. The real attraction here is, doubtlessly, the Sands SkyPark: An enormous sky terrace that is perched across the three hotel skyscrapers, at a height of more than 200 metres. 24 hours a day / 7 days a week (lifts to Sands SkyPark run 10am - 10pm) From Promenade MRT Station: Walk via Helix Bridge or take bus Nos. 97, 97-e, 133, 106 Info on Sands SkyPark Info on tickets / opening hours
Pagoda Street and Chinatown Heritage Centre
Take a slow stroll through the cluster of narrow alleys where Chinatown sprung th from, in the early 19 century. Most of the old houses were restored and are now housing shops and cafés… One of these heritage buildings has become a museum, where you can learn about day-to-day life in Chinatown and the hardships those newcomers had to deal with. After dark, Smith Street becomes "Food Street", while the small streets around it host a night market. 24/7 (The Heritage Centre is open 9am - 8pm daily, last admission is at 7pm) From Chinatown MRT to Pagoda Street, and from there to the other small streets Website (Chinatown Heritage Centre)
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Kampong Glam and Arab Street
Visit Masjid Sultan, Singapore's largest and most significant mosque, and Istana Kampong Glam, where the imposing manor that was once the palace of the Sultan of Johor can be seen. Proceed to Arab Street, where plenty of 'exotic' shops can be found, selling fabrics, carpets, basketry and bric-a-brac, and move to Bali Lane and Hajji Lane, where some hip shops and cafés are located. From Bugis MRT Station: Take exit-B, turn right to Victoria and after a few minutes right again, to Arab Street.
Book a guided walking tour of Kampong Glam!
of Southeast Asia's fast vanishing rainforest, including Orangutans, Komodo Dragons, White Tigers and a whole array of small creatures from the depth of the jungle, while the Night Safari is the world's first nocturnal zoo and boasts around a thousand animals, belonging to 130 species, of which a third are endangered. To get there: BusHub operates a bus service called "SINGAPORE ATTRACTIONS EXPRESS", which takes passengers directly from their town centre hotel, or Little India to Jurong Bird Park and Singapore Zoo / Night Safari. Alternatively, you can take SBS bus No. 138 from MRT-Ang Mo Kio Singapore Zoo: Daily, 8:30am – 6pm / Night Safari: 7:30pm – 12 midnight Website (Zoo) Website (Night Safari) Information about "Park Hopper" (discounted combo tickets)
The main highlights within the gardens are The small Live Turtle and Tortoise Museum, where you can see some rare turtles and tortoises that look like prehistoric monsters, and the Bonsai Garden Daily, 6am - 11pm (Turtle Museum and Bonsai Garden : 9am – 6pm) Two minutes' walk from Chinese Garden MRT Station
Haw Par Villa (Tiger Balm Garden)
Originally built in the 1930s, Haw Par Villa is a unique theme park where folktales from the Chinese mythology are depicted through nearly a thousand dioramas and life size sculptures, and although many of the exhibits are a bit kitschy, the park is well worth visiting. Adjacent Hua Song Museum tells the stories of Chinese communities throughout the world. Daily, 9am - 7pm (Hua Song Museum is open daily, except Monday, from 9am to 6pm). Getting there: Haw Par Villa - MRT Station provides direct access. Bus no. 143 comes here from the city centre and has stops on Scotts Road (next to Far East Plaza) and along Orchard Road (outside Tangs Plaza / near "Paragon" - opposite Meritus Mandarin, and next to Concorde Hotel).
Geylang, Joo Chiat Road and Katong
Geylang and Katong are two of Singapore's most characterful neighborhoods. The first is the hub of the city's Malay-Muslim community, while the latter used to be the stronghold of the wealthy Peranakan community more than a century ago, and its streets are lined with many beautiful old shophouses. Take a stroll through Joo Chiat Road and the small streets around it, like Joo Chiat Lane, Tembeling Road and Koon Seng Road, all the way to the corner of East Coast Road, where the heart of old Katong is. Visit Rumah Bebe, a nice Peranakan gallery on 113 East Coast Road and Chin Mee Chin Confectionery, on 204 East Coast Road, which has been serving some of the most authentic breakfasts in Singapore for who knows how many years, before proceeding to Katong Antique House on 208 East Coast Road. You can walk from MRT-Paya Lebar directly to Joo Chiat Road: Turn right as soon as you walk out of the station, cross Sims Ave. and after a couple of minutes turn left to Geylang Road, from which you turn right to Joo Chiat. From town: Bus Nos. 14 or 16 travel to Katong from Orchard Road (Lucky Plaza, Midpoint Orchard, or Concorde Hotel), as well as from Raffles Hotel (Bras Basah side). Routes 10 and 10-e come here from Fullerton Square (near the Merlion Statue).
Jurong BirdPark, one of the best bird-zoos on earth, occupies an area of 50 acres and makes home to almost 10,000 birds, belonging to 600 different species... It boasts the world's largest collection of hornbills and toucans, the world's largest walk-in aviary and the world's tallest manmade waterfall, and there are plenty of bird shows and other fun events… Open daily, 8:30am - 6pm Getting there: BusHub operates direct buses from the city centre (passing through most major hotels), Little India and Chinatown to the BirdPark, but you can also take the MRT to Boon Lay Station and take SBS bus Nos. 194 or 251 from there. Website Info on discounted "Park Hopper" discounted tickets
A cruise to Singapore's islands
A cruise to Singapore's outlying islands makes a lovely way to spend a few hours… It comes with a buffet meal (breakfast, afternoon high tea, or dinner) and provides many photo ops. Daily, morning till evening Watertours provides a complimentary Pick-Up Service from some hotels in town, as well as from Marina Bay MRT Station Short description + photos of the different cruise-trips Up-to-date schedule and price list
The Chinese and Japanese Gardens
Occupying two islands in the middle of Jurong Lake, the gardens offer their visitors manicured lawns, delicate landscaping, fish ponds, magnificent Chinese structures, pavilions, pagodas and statues of Chinese historical heroes and the zodiac animals…
Singapore Zoo and Night Safari
These two neighboring zoos are definitely among the best of Singapore's attractions. Singapore Zoo, the world's first open zoo, boasts a wide variety of mammals, birds and reptiles from all over the world, but puts strong emphasis on the rare animals
Other than Chinese temples, great shopping and world-class museums, Singapore is home to some fantastic theme parks and family attractions… Click here for the city's best attractions.
"Resorts World Sentosa" and Universal Studios
This stately casino-resort boasts some fabulous restaurants, cafés and shops, as well as world-class entertainment spectacles like the "Lake of Dreams" (integrating sound and light effects, pyrotechnics and water) and the very popular "Cranes Dance", where two colossal crane-shaped robots perform a love dance, with lots of effects, fire, water, lasers and what not… (The shows are free). Universal Studios Singapore hardly needs to be introduced. Occupying an a area of 50 acres, right next to Resort World Sentosa, this outstanding entertainment park boasts seven themed zones, including Far Far Away (Shrek), Madagascar, The Lost World (Jurassic Park, with a nice "Shoot-the-Chute" water ride) and The Sci-Fi City, where the (currently) world's tallest dueling roller coasters can be found… 7 days a week, almost 24 hours a day (Universal Studios Singapore is open daily, 10am – 7pm) Getting there: From MRT-Harbor Front (The last station on the Southeast Line): Walk to neighboring VivoCity Mall (Level 3 - Lobby L) and board the Sentosa Express monorail, which will drop you at Waterfront Station, where Resorts World Sentosa and Universal Studios are located Resorts World Sentosa Festive Walk (including "Lake of Dreams" and the "Crane Dance") Universal Studios Tickets cost (including information on special promos)
one-day itinerary ideas
1. History, culture and colonial charm
Our day starts from Raffles Place MRT Station, from where we take a short walk, through the classic Fullerton Hotel, to the Merlion fountain-statue, one of Singapore's most recognized landmarks. We will then cross the river on historic Cavenagh Bridge and visit "Raffles Landing Site", before entering the Asian Civilisations Museum, which displays the cultures and traditions of Asia's different ethnicities. After visiting this splendid museum, we proceed to visit other enchanting colonial buildings in the vicinity, like the Old Parliament House (currently accommodating The Arts House at the Old Parliament), The Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall (including Dalhousie Obelisk ), The Old Supreme Court Building and The City Hall Building (where the "National Art Gallery" is about to be opened). Moving onwards, via Coleman Street, we will visit the Armenian Church, Singapore's oldest church and one of George Coleman's nicest architectural creations, and continue via Armenian Street to the Peranakan Museum, another fantastic museum that specializes in the Peranakan culture, which is unique to this part of the world. From Armenian Street, turn right to Stamford and left to Victoria Street, to visit CHIJMES (pronounced Chimes): A complex of 1840s catholic convent buildings that have been beautifully restored and converted into a thriving food, shopping and entertainment complex. This is where we can have lunch, before moving onwards to the National Museum of Singapore, where the visitor walks through a "time tunnel" along Singapore's timeline… Next in line is The Raffles, one of the world's most classic hotels, where you can enjoy a sundowner at the famous Long Bar, where the Singapore Sling was invented, or opt for the more aristocratic Bar & Billiard Room where Singapore's last tiger was shot. If you still have the energy for more activities, you can wind up the day at the Singapore Flyer, which is the world's largest Ferris wheel, or at Marina Bay Sands, Southeast Asia's newest and most popular mega-attraction. Explore Singapore's less known "gems" through our range of Unique Day Trips and Guided-Walks !
2. Singapore's ethnic quarters
We will get to Little India MRT Station at an early hour of the day. Leave the station via exit E to Buffalo Road, where we visit Tekka Centre (Large wet market, with many authentic stalls and some traditional eateries, serving vegetarian specialties). We then continue to the end of the small street, cross Serangoon Road, Little India's main street, and visit Little India Arcade, which also boasts a wide choice of traditional shops that sell everything India has to offer… Continue walking along Campbell Lane, turn left to Clive Street and right to Dunlop... Walk back along Dunlop and turn right to Serangoon Road and right again, to Upper Dickson Road, which runs parallel to Dunlop and boasts some more authentic shops and eateries. Back to the corner of Serangoon Road, turn right and start walking up the street… Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple, on 141 Serangoon Road, was built in 1880s in honor of Kali, Shiva's wife and destroyer of evil… Further on, you will reach Mustafa Centre, Singapore's super-store, which spans across two connected buildings near the corner of Serangoon and Syed Alwi, on the other side of the street from the Hindu temple (Serangoon Plaza is on 320 Serangoon Road, while Mustafa Centre is just around the corner, on 145 Syed Alwi). From here, cross Serangoon Road and walk via small Owen Road to Farrer Park Station, where you board the MRT and travel to Chinatown. Walk out from Chinatown MRT Station and take a pleasant stroll through the historic streets where Chinatown sprung from two centuries ago, including Pagoda Street, Trengganu, Temple Street and Smith Street (on 335 Smith Street there is a fantastic food centre, where you can have an "authentic" lunch). Move onwards to Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum: An impressive Tangstyle building on 288 South Bridge Road, where the relic of the tooth of Buddha is kept, in a gold stupa. Other than the holy remnant, there is a lavishly decorated temple here, and a Buddhist Culture Museum, where hundreds of Buddhist artifacts are on display.
Occupying an area of only 5 km², the small island of Sentosa is Singapore's wonderland, and one of Asia's most popular destinations, with plenty of exciting tourist attractions and themed rides that appeal to adults and children. The island's main highlights include Fort Siloso, The underwater world and the Dolphin Lagoon, Butterfly Park & Insect Kingdom, Sentosa Luge and Skyride, MegaZip Adventure Park, the CineBlast, the "Songs of the Sea" show, the Wave House and Sentosa's famous cable car. Mini guide to Sentosa (including "how to get there")
… continuation of Singapore's ethnic quarters
3. A day of nature's beauty
We start our day trip at an early hour of the morning in Singapore Botanic Gardens. To get there, take bus Nos. SBS 7, or 123, or 174, or SMRT 77, or 106 from the bus-stop on Orchard Boulevard, next to Orchard MRT Station, or from Somerset Road, next to Somerset MRT Station, or take 105 from Scotts Road (Far East Plaza). Enter the gardens from the main gate (Tanglin Gate), on the corner of Cluny and Napier Road and take a pleasant stroll through the various sightseeing spots, like the Swan Lake, the Swiss Granite Fountain, the Bonsai Display and the Sun Garden, where various species of cactus can be seen, before proceeding to the gardens' main highlight – The National Orchid Garden, where you can see the world's largest collection of tropical orchids, including some 2,000 hybrids… Continue through the Palm Valley and the "Rainforest" to the Visitors' Centre, where you can have your breakfast and onwards, to the Evolution Garden and the northern side of the gardens, where the spanking new Botanic Gardens MRT Station is located. Take the MRT to Buona Vista Station, where you change trains and continue to Boon Lay Station. From the businterchange adjacent to Boon Lay Station, take Nos. 194 or 251 to Jurong BirdPark. Jurong BirdPark, one of the best bird-zoos on earth, occupies an area of 50 acres and makes home to almost 10,000 birds, belonging to 600 different species... It boasts the world's largest collection of hornbills and toucans, as well as the world's largest walk-in aviary, and runs plenty of bird shows and other events… From here, take Bushub's express bus service (Departing from Jurong BirdPark at 1pm or 2pm) and travel with it to Singapore Zoo. After visiting the zoo, you can have a light dinner or coffee at one of the eateries near the gate and continue to the neighboring Night Safari, as soon as it opens, at 7:30pm After visiting the Night Safari, you can use Bushub to travel back to town (see details) Important notes: Make sure that Botanic Gardens MRT Station is operational (it was not yet open at the time of writing), and confirm that Bushub still operates the route from Jurong BirdPark to the Zoo.
Wine and Dine Guide
Serves some of the best ribs in Singapore, in a very pleasant environment. Their Buffalo Wings also get very good reviews. Daily, from 3pm till after midnight (Sat and Sun, from 12noon till late...) CHIJMES (Corner of Victoria Street and Bras Basah Road. Tel: 6337 5477 MRT: City Hall or Bras Basah
From here, walk a couple of minutes to Sri Mariamman Temple, on 244 South Bridge Road (near the corner of Pagoda Street), one of Singapore's earliest and most significant Hindu temples, and visit neighboring Masjid Jamae Mosque, which was built in the 1820s and features an eclectic architectural style. The Eu Yan Sang Medical Hall, on 267 South Bridge Road, specializes in Chinese herbal medicines which are prepared on spot, right before your eyes... Even if you don't feel like trying any of their products, it is still recommended to visit the place. Walk through Smith Street to the end and use the pedestrian bridge to cross New Bridge Road, turn left and walk along the road to Outram Park MRT Station, from where you can travel to Bugis. Leave Bugis MRT Station via exit-B, turn right to Victoria Street and after a few minutes right again, to Arab Street, where plenty of 'exotic' shops can be found, selling fabrics, carpets, basketry and brica-brac… Turn left to Muscat Street and visits Masjid Sultan, Singapore's largest and most significant mosque, and continue to Istana Kampong Glam, just a heartbeat from the mosque, where the imposing manor that was once the palace of the Sultan of Johor can be seen. Continue walking down Arab street, turn right and immediately right again, and visit Bali Lane and Hajji Lane, where some hip shops and cafés are located… You can wind up the day at Bugis Junction Mall, right next to Bugis Station, where a good choice of cafés and restaurants can be found, or at Bugis Village, on the other side of Victoria Street, where a "night market" is held every evening, with quite a few nice food stalls.
Dan Ryan's Chicago Grill
"American size portions" of juicy, delicious and cholesterol rich American food... Ribs are the main thing Open daily for lunch and dinner #B1-01 Tanglin Place, 91 Tanglin Road (Next to Regent Hotel). Tel: 6738 2800 MRT: Orchard
This alfresco riverfront restaurant and microbrewery serves hearty portions of American food, alongside a great selection of excellent home-brewed beers, international beers and ales, wines, spirits and what not... Daily, 12noon to 1am Riverside Point, Tel: 6438 7438 MRT: Clarke Quay
This hip resto-bar specializes in contemporary-Australian cuisine. Their set lunch makes a good bang for the buck. Monday to Saturday, for lunch and dinner. 52 Circular Road (behind Boat Quay), Tel: 6438 0141 MRT: Raffles Place
Although Singapore has one of the best public-transport systems in the world, taking the Singapore City Hop-on Hop-off Tour is highly recommended, as it takes you directly to the various attractions and saves you the time and hassle of waiting for a bus or walking from the nearest MRT station…
This excellent buffet-restaurant serves the best of Singapore's street-food and Hawker-centre-fare in a pleasant and modern surroundings... Daily, for lunch and dinner Grand Hyatt Hotel, Phone: 6738 1234 MRT: Orchard 10 Scotts Rd.
Nestled along the Singapore River, right opposite Clarke Quay, this popular restobar is possibly one of the best places in town to have Mexican food, alongside a decent variety of genuine Mexican Tequilas. Daily, 6 pm till well after midnight (Saturday & Sunday, from 12 noon) Riverside Point, Tel: 6236 1275 MRT: Clarke Quay
Open: Midweek, lunch and dinner. Weekends and public holidays: Brunch (10am to 4pm), Premium Tea Service (3pm to 5pm) and Dinner (6.30 pm to 10pm) Singapore Botanic Gardens (Enter via Tyersall Avenue - Same way you access the National Orchid Garden and Burkill Gate). Tel: 6476 6711 MRT: Take a taxi from Orchard
Open daily for dinner (The bar stays open until well after midnight) Level 24, Tower Wing, Shangri-la Hotel Singapore, 22 Orange Grove Road Tel: 6213 4598 MRT: Take a taxi from Orchard MRT Station
Wild Rocket @ Mount Emily
One of Singapore's nicest and most popular fusion restaurants, serving food that is creative, different but not too sophisticated or pretentious, in a pleasant and breezy environment, and at reasonable prices. Daily (except Monday) for lunch and dinner Hangout Hotel, 10A Upper Wilkie Road Tel: 6339 9448 MRT: Little India
Desire at the Scarlet
Nestled within one of Chinatown's most charming boutique hotels, this sophisticated restaurant serves "creative nouvelle-cuisine" in a pleasant and somewhat romantic ambience. Open daily for lunch and dinner The Scarlet, 33 Erskine Road, Chinatown Tel: 6511 3333 MRT: Chinatown
Cherry Garden at Mandarin Oriental
Cherry Garden is hands down one of the finest Cantonese restaurants in Singapore, and is mostly known for its weekend brunch-buffet, where you can indulge on the best dim sums in the city. Open daily for lunch and dinner: Midweek Dim Sum is served from 12noon to 2pm, while Weekend Dim Sum Buffet is 11am – 12.30pm and 1.30pm – 3pm Mandarin Oriental Singapore, 5 Raffles Avenue, Marina Square Tel: 6885 3538 MRT: Esplanade or City Hall
Headed by Chef Claudio Sandri, this fabulous riverfront brasserie has been recently relaunched with new interiors (and an outdoor terrace) and a brand new menu, although it still serves the best of classic French cuisine in a semi-casual environment that makes you feel far more comfortable and relaxed than in a ritzy 'haute-cuisine' establishment... 80 Mohamed Sultan Road, The Pier at Robertson #01-13 Tel: 6835 7818 MRT: Clarke Quay (you can take a rivertaxi from Clarke Quay or elsewhere along the Singapore River)
Housed within one of Singapore's most charismatic boutique hotels, Ember serves imaginative and contemporary food that can be best described as Asian-inspired European cuisine, in a pleasant environment that combines 1970s retro with contemporary chic, but is not too pretentious or snooty... Monday - Friday for Lunch and dinner, Saturday for dinner only (closed on Sunday). Hotel 1929, 50 Keong Saik Road, Chinatown Tel : 6347 1929 MRT: Outram Park
Hai Tien Lo
Other than fabulous Cantonese cuisine, with a slight modern touch, Hai Tien Lo th also offers a perfect location, on the 37 floor, with fantastic cityscape views all around. 37 floor, Pan Pacific Hotel, 7 Raffles Boulevard, Marina Square Tel: 6826 8240 MRT: Esplanade or City Hall
Wah Lok Cantonese Restaurant
Nestled within the swanky Carlton, this splendid restaurant is one of the only places in Singapore where you can try authentic Hong Kong cuisine. Daily, for lunch and dinner Level 2, Carlton Singapore, 76 Bras Basah Road Tel: 6311 8188/8189 MRT: Bras Basah or City Hall
Les Amis Restaurant
The flagship of Singapore's most reputable restaurant's group, Les Amis, is one of the city's gourmet landmarks, serving fine French and contemporary cuisine in a posh and elegant environment. Open daily for lunch and dinner 02 - 16 Shaw Centre, 1 Scotts Road Phone: 6733 2225 MRT: Orchard
Banana Leaf Apollo
This popular restaurant has been serving great Indian fare since 1974 and is now operating through two outlets in Little India. It's not particularly fancy, neither is it owe-inspiring, but the food is hands down scrumptious and the prices are reasonable. Fish Head Curry is the "specialite de la maison" here, but there are many other curry specialties you can try... Open daily for lunch and dinner 54 Race Course Rd., Little India Phone: 6293 8682 MRT: Little India
Nestled among tall palm trees and lush tropical greenery, within the Ginger Garden of the Singapore Botanic Gardens, Halia's food is a fusion of classic European cuisine with the tastes of Southeast Asia.
Praised by both Wine & Dine and Tatler magazines as one of Singapore's best restaurants, Blu offers its diners both fabulous contemporary-French cuisine, as well as breathtaking views and an extremely pleasant and comfortable environment.
This extremely popular curry house has been serving some of the best Fish Curry Head in Singapore for the last almost 40 years, alongside a whole plethora of both north and south Indian specialties, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian... Open daily, 10 am - 10 pm 138 Race Course Rd., Little India Phone: 6392 1722 MRT: Farrer Park
This legendary restaurant has been serving some of the best Chicken Rice in Singapore for the last almost 40 years and it just keeps on getting better... If the superb chicken rice is not a good enough reason for you to come here, you can top it up with some absolutely spectacular panoramic views of the city from the 38th floor, where the restaurant is nestled... Open daily, day and night 38th floor, Meritus Mandarin Hotel, 333 Orchard Road Tel: 6831 6291 MRT: Somerset or Orchard
Gordon Grill, one of Singapore's legendary restaurants, has been serving some of the finest steaks and grill dishes in Singapore for the last 40 years or so, in an elegant and refined setting, and although their prices are slightly high, they offer setlunch options that are excellent value for money. Open daily for lunch and dinner Goodwood Park Hotel, 22 Scotts Road, Phone: 6730 1744 MRT: Orchard
Garibaldi Italian Restaurant & Bar
Nestled in a classic shophouseone, Garibaldi has been around for quite some time and still retains its position as one of Singapore's most sought after restaurants. The menu emphasizes classic Italian cuisine, with a slight modern touch, prepared with fine ingredients that are imported directly from Italy. Daily for lunch and dinner 36 Purvis Street MRT: City Hall or Bugis Tel: 6837 1468
Lawry's The Prime Rib
Focusing, as its name implies, on USA Prime Ribs, this opulent restaurant is one of Singapore's finest grill-houses, and has a lot more to offer to its customers than just superb ribs: From its legendary Stir fried roast beef sandwich to Crispy lamb shank and other culinary surprises... Prices are slightly high but the dining experience is exceptional. Daily, for lunch and dinner #04-01/31 Mandarin Gallery, Mandarin Orchard, 333A Orchard Rd, Tel: 6836 3333 MRT: Orchard or Somerset
House of Peranakan cuisine
Housed at the Pan Pacific Orchard Hotel, House of Peranakan Cuisine serves a wide choice of authentic, delicious Peranakan fare in a very nice environment and at a surprisingly reasonable price. Open daily for lunch and dinner Pan Pacific Orchard, 10 Claymore Road, Phone: 6733 4411 MRT: Orchard
Occupying a lovely old shophouse on Chinatown's Bukit Pasoh, Oso boasts an ever changing menu that features the classics of the Italian cuisine, with more than a touch of innovation and modernism... Ambience is fairly elegant and even romantic, although it is not too pretentious Daily (except Sunday): Lunch from Monday to Friday and Dinner from Monday to Saturday. 46 Bukit Pasoh Road MRT: Outram Park Tel : 6327 8378
Blue Ginger Restaurant
Nestled in a charming old shophouse on Chinatown's Tanjong Pajar Road, this small and somewhat cozy restaurant serves what is possibly the best authentic Peranakan fare in Singapore, in a pleasant and elegant surroundings, with plenty of classic Peranakan pieces that help in creating the right ambience... Open daily for lunch and dinner 97 Tanjong Pagar Road, Chinatown Tel: 6222 3928 MRT: Tanjong Pagar
LingZhi Vegetarian Restaurant
Located in Orchard Road's Liat Towers, LingZhi takes Chinese vegetarian cooking to new heights by giving it a lighter and healthier touch, and although it is more than an eatery, the prices are sane. Open daily for lunch and dinner 05-01 Liat Towers, 541 Orchard Rd. Phone: 6734 3788 MRT: Orchard
Flutes at the fort
Occupying an elegant colonial villa within leafy Fort Canning Park, Flutes at the fort is one of these restaurants where location and ambience play as great of a role as the food itself… The food they serve can be described as modern Australian, although there is a strong presence of Classic European cuisine on the menu. Daily (except Sunday) for lunch and dinner 21 Lewin Terrace, Fort Canning Park Tel : 6338 8770 MRT: City Hall
International high-tea at Tiffin Room
Raffles Hotel has made a name for itself as the ultimate place for "British colonialstyle high tea" in Singapore... The hotel is, indeed, one of the best places to experience Southeast Asia's colonial past, and other than grandeur and splendor, there is some fabulous tea and lovely food to indulge on… Daily, at the afternoon Tiffin Room, The Phone: 6412 1816 MRT: City Hall Raffles hotel
Long Beach Seafood Restaurant
This iconic restaurant has been serving fabulous seafood dishes since god knows when and is among the best places in Singapore to enjoy Chili Crab and Black pepper crab: Two of the city-state's most favorite delicacies. It boasts a few outlets, but the most popular ones are on East Coast Parkway. Daily, lunch and dinner (until quite late) 1018 East Coast Parkway Tel: 6445 8833
East Coast Seafood Centre Tel: 6448 3636 MRT: Take a cab from Eunos-MRT
Cafés and bars
The Marmalade Pantry
This trendy café serves a wide variety of International dishes, with a modern touch, in pleasant surroundings, that makes it one of Orchard Road's most popular meeting points. Daily from 10am to 10pm #03-22, Ion Orchard, Tel: 6734 2700 MRT: Orchard
Miss Clarity Café
Nestled along tiny Purvis Street, near the Raffles Hotel, Miss Clarity Café is well known for its funky décor and vivacious ambience, as well as for its lovely and reasonably priced bistro-café food... The menu features a nice choice of familiar favorites, from salads and sandwiches to Pan-Seared Dory Fillet and Wagyu Steak. Open Mondays - Saturdays & Public Holidays (closed on Sundays) 11am - 11pm 5 Purvis Street MRT: City Hall or Bugis Phone: 6339 4803
Where to Stay
Hostels and guesthouses
Hangout @ Mt Emily
Dormitories and rooms 10-A Upper Wilkie Road (in between the MRT stations of Dhoby Ghaut and Little India) click here for more info, photos and rates
Royal Copenhagen Tea Lounge
As its name denotes, this well-known institution serves some fabulous European and teahouse fare, with a touch of class, using delicate porcelain crockery. 2nd level, Takashimaya, 391 Orchard Rd. Tel: 6735 6833 MRT: Orchard
Prince of Wales
Accommodation is available in both double rooms and 6-bed dormitories. 101 Dunlop Street, Little India (An offshoot of the hostel has opened recently on Boat Quay – facing the Singapore River) Click here for more info, photos and rates
No. 5 Emerald Hill
Nestled within a beautifully-restored early 1900s shophouse in trendy Peranakan Place, this bar has been serving fantastic cocktails and a whole lot of other booze, alongside some snacks, for quite a few years, and it is still as popular as ever... The bar draws decent crowd, with more than a few regulars, so you can enjoy a relaxed evening with no loudmouths... Open daily, from 12 noon till well after midnight (From 5pm on Sunday) Peranakan Place, Orchard Road Tel: 6732 0818 MRT: Somerset
Dormitories and rooms No. 11 Mackenzie Road (Opposite Rex Cinema) Website
Local high tea at Goodwood Park Hotel
If you want to experience a bit of the splendorous charm of bygone colonial days in Southeast Asia (and to enjoy some lovely tea and finger foods), go for the Local High Tea, at the Goodwood Park. Local High Tea is served daily, 3 - 5:30 pm, at the Coffee Lounge, while English Afternoon Tea is served at L'Espresso : Mon – Thurs: 2pm – 5.30pm, Fri – Sun & PH: 12noon – 2.30pm (1st seating) and 3pm – 5.30pm (2nd seating) GoodWood Park Hotel, Scotts Road, Tel: 6730 1746 MRT: Orchard
Dormitories and rooms 33-B Hongkong Street (Between Clarke Quay and Chinatown) click here for more info, photos and rates
Formally known as Jazz@Southbridge, Southbridge Jazz@7Atenine is one of Singapore's best Jazz bars, with plenty of great live performances of both local and international artists. Daily, 5pm till late (live entertainment starts after 9pm) #01-10/12 Esplanade Mall (Esplanade Theatres on the Bay), 8 Raffles Avenue Tel: 6338 0789 MRT: Esplanade
Beary Nice and A Beary Good Hostel
Two relatively new hostels in Chinatown, offering mostly dormitories. Beary Nice is on Smith Street, while A Beary Good Hostel is on 66 Pagoda Street (Both are within a short walk from MRT Chinatown) More info
This hip café is one of Orchard Road's most popular meeting places and has made a name for itself for using fresh and quality ingredients, and for preparing flavorful dishes... The menu consists of salads, pasta and luscious sandwiches, as well as all sorts of 'culinary creations' that combine the cooking styles of Europe and Southeast Asia, as expected from an Australian-style café... Open daily, 10.30am – 10.30pm 03-41/44, Paragon, 290 Orchard Road Tel: 6735 6765 MRT: Orchard or Somerset
Service World Backpackers Hostel Que Pasa
Occupying a classically restored Peranakan shophouse, Que Pasa is a lovely Tapas & Wine Bar, with pleasant ambience, that is popular among locals, expats and visitors alike. Open daily, from 6 pm till the wee hours of the night 7 Emerald Hill Rd., (behind Peranakan Placa), Tel: 6235 6626 MRT: Somerset Accommodation is mostly in dormitories Banda Street 02-82, Block 5, Chinatown click here for more info and rates
Pillows & Toast
Accommodation here is in mixed 10-bed dorms, although there are also "private" rooms with only four beds, as well as" girls only" dormitories. 40 Mosque Street, Chinatown Click here for more info and rates
Cheap and mid-range hotels
Ibis Singapore on Bencoolen
Fantastically located on Bencoolen Street, just a short walk from Orchard Road, Bugis, Chijmes and the museums, the relatively new 'Ibis Singapore on Bencoolen' is one of the only international hotels in Singapore that cater for low to mid-range budget. Address: 170 Bencoolen Street (next to the city centre) More info, including photos and rates
Royal Plaza on Scotts
Fantastically located near the corner of Scotts and Orchard Roads, just a heartbeat away from Singapore's most popular shopping malls and entertainment centres, as well as from MRT Orchard, Royal Plaza on Scotts is one of Singapore's most affordable luxury hotels and an excellent choice for city centre lovers. Address: 25 Scotts Road, City Centre More info, including photos and rates
Luxury and 5-star hotels
Pan Pacific Singapore
Superbly located in Marina Bay, right next to mega shopping malls and attractions like the Esplanade Theatres, Singapore River, the Singapore Flyer and Marina Bay Sands, the glitzy Pan Pacific Singapore boasts very spacious rooms, that are both beautifully decked and comfortable, and come with all the amenities you might expect from such a plush hotel. 7 Raffles Boulevard, Marina Square More info, including photos and rates
This cozy boutique hotel occupies a beautifully restored Peranakan building in Little India, just within a short walking distance to shops, restaurants and places of interest. Address: 12 Perak Road, Little India More info, including photos and rates
Grand Park City Hall
Occupying an architecturally inspiring building that encompasses some beautifully restored shophouses, right in the heart of Singapore's "Colonial District", the Grand Park City Hall has become very popular both for its superb location, as well as for its outstanding service. Address: 10 Coleman Street, Historic district (between the Singapore River and City Centre) More info, including photos and rates
Grand Hyatt Singapore
Superb location in the heart of the city's shopping and entertainment belt, together with spacious guestrooms, plenty of facilities and fantastic service, have made the Grand Hyatt one of Singapore's most sought after hotels. Address: 10 Scotts Road, City Centre More info, including photos and rates
The Bencoolen owes its popularity mainly to its good location, in between Orchard Road, Little India and Bugis. Otherwise, it is a reasonably good hotel, with relatively small rooms (as the case is in most of the hotels around Singapore's city centre) a nice rooftop restaurant and a spa pool, which is quite refreshing after a long day of shopping and walking the hot streets Address: 47 Bencoolen Street More info, including photos and rates
The combination of great location (right next to Bugis), very comfortable rooms, excellent facilities, and some of the friendliest and most efficient hotel staff in town, have made the InterContinental Singapore the favorite choice of many visitors to Singapore Address: 80 Middle Road (Next to Bugis) More info, including photos and rates
Holiday Inn Parkview Singapore
Strategically located a stone's throw from Orchard Road and Dhoby Ghaut MRT, the fantastic Holiday Inn Parkview stands out for its helpful staff and excellent service and makes an excellent choice for those who want a top-class city centre hotel at a reasonable price. Address: 11 Cavenagh Road, City More info, including photos and rates
Constantly ranked as one of Singapore's best hotels, the über luxurious Shangri-La enjoys a nice location, within a green and quiet area, yet very close to Orchard Road's shopping and entertainment belt. Facilities are superb and include a lovely tropical garden, large outdoor pool, Jacuzzi, spa, fitness centre and more... Address: 22 Orange Grove Road More info, including photos and rates
RELC International Hotel
Fantastically located in a leafy and quaint The Scarlet Hotel residential area, just a 10 minutes' walk from Orchard Road and its international shopping malls, and a couple of minutes from the swanky Shangri La, the RELC International Hotel offers fairly good accommodation at very reasonable prices. Address: 30 Orange Grove Road (off Orchard Road) More info, including photos and rates
Occupying a line of beautifully restored 1920s shophouses on Chinatown's Erskine Road, just a short stroll from everything, the beautiful Scarlet has taken Singapore's boutique hotel scene to new heights... Address: 33 Erskine Road, Chinatown More info, including photos and rates
Rendezvous Hotel Singapore
Occupying a complex of both colonial and modern buildings on Bras Basah, just steps away from Singapore's best museums and many other attractions, as well as from public transport, the Rendezvous provides deluxe accommodation at sane prices. Address: 9 Bras Basah Rd., City Centre More info, including photos and rates
"The grand old dame", as the Raffles is often called, is one of the world's classiest and most luxurious hotels, with a long and glorious history of well more than a century… Address: 1 Beach Road, City More info, including photos and rates
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Singapore's Fifth Avenue, as this long and elegant avenue is often referred to, is lined with numerous glitzy malls, fancy shops and swanky hotels, which have their own shopping arcades. ION Orchard, possibly the best and trendiest mall along the street is linked directly to Orchard MRT Station, as well as to some other shopping malls, including Wisma Atria, Ngee Ann City, Takashimaya, Tangs Plaza and Wheelock Place. Other significant malls around this part of the street include The Paragon, on 290 Orchard Road, Shaw House, on the corner of Orchard and Scotts, and DFS Galleria (on Scotts Road), which is one of Singapore's best duty free shops. Bargain hunters should take a look at Lucky Plaza, opposite Wisma Atria (connected directly to Orchards MRT Station) and Far East Plaza, on Scotts Road Further on, near Somerset MRT Station, there are a few other world class malls, worth mentioning : 313@somerset is, probably, the best, although Centrepoint is also very popular. Mandarin Gallery, on the corner of Orchard Link, boasts a choice of upmarket boutiques and shops, catering mostly for well-off shoppers. The ever popular Plaza Singapura, on 68 Orchard Road (Adjoining MRT- Dhoby Ghaut), is one of the street's oldest malls, With dozens of lifestyle shops and food outlets, the mall is particularly popular among families and young adults. On the other end of the street, between Orchard MRT and the Botanic Gardens, there are three malls that are worth mentioning: Hilton Shopping Gallery, one of Singapore's swankiest shopping arcades, boasts a selection of well-heeled boutiques, while Tanglin Shopping Centre and neighboring Tudor Court boast a few fantastic galleries that specialize in arts and crafts from various Asian countries.
The modern shopping and entertainment district of Marina Bay accommodates some of Singapore's biggest and most glittering shopping malls and is quickly becoming one of Southeast Asia's most sought after shopping destinations. Raffles City, right next to MRT-City Hall Station is a fairly large shopping mall, featuring a good mix between fashion and lifestyle, with strong presence of semicasual brands. Located within Singapore's classiest hotel, Raffles Hotel Arcade is certainly one of Singapore's most elegant and exclusive shopping destinations, housing some of the city's finest shops... The architecturally inspiring complex of Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay, or "The Durian" as it is popularly known, is not among Singapore's leading shopping destinations, but the mall it houses is worth visiting, for the unique shops it boasts, including a "Movie Memorabilia Specialist", manufacturer of handcrafted guitars, violins shop and others… (Direct access from Esplanade MRT, exit D, as well as from City Hall MRT) Still around Esplanade MRT, Suntec City, one of Singapore's biggest shopping malls, boasts some 360 outlets that cater for different budgets and styles. Marina Square, which was once Singapore's largest mall, has more than 300 quality shops, selling everything from international designer labels to funky fashion, accessories, home décor, furnishings, toys, gifts, jewelries, arts and crafts and what not.. Millenia Walk, just a heartbeat away, is not as big as Marina Square or Suntec City Mall but is nonetheless worth visiting, especially if it is fashion you are after, as it boasts a decent choice of different shops, including the famous Cortina Watch Escape Boutique, where Asia's largest watch gallery can be found (Easily accessed from Promenade MRT). The jewel in the crown of Singapore's shopping scene is The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands. Housed within the grandiose tourism and entertainment complex of Marina Bay Sands, this shopping mecca boasts almost one million square feet of retail and restaurant space, with hundreds of world-class boutiques and shops (Access via Promenade MRT Station).
The shopping centres along New Bridge Road, on the border of Chinatown, make a good alternative to the glitzy malls of Orchard Road and Marina Bay, especially if you are on the look for something slightly more local… Most of the action takes place around Chinatown MRT Station, from where you can directly access Chinatown Point (Via exit-E), People's Park Centre (exit-D), and People's Park Complex (exit C) Yue Hwa Chinese Products, opposite People's Park Centre, is an old and well established Chinese department store where you can get everything from Chinese medicines to porcelain and fashion ware…
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Serangoon Road, Little India's main thoroughfare, is lined with numerous sari boutiques, spice shops, emporiums and dazzling goldsmith shops, as well as eateries and restaurants, where you can indulge on different Indian specialties. The small streets around Serangoon are also worth strolling through, especially Buffalo Road (direct access from Little India MRT Station – exit E), where you can visit Tekka Centre), Dunlop Street and Upper Dickson Road… The Verge (also known as Tekka Mall), near the corner of Sungei and Serangoon Road, is Little India's first and only modern shopping mall, boasting a variety of thrift shops, including Jewelers and boutiques. Mustafa Centre, Singapore's famous superstore, occupies two large buildings on the corner of Syed Alwi and Serangoon Road (Serangoon Plaza is like a "wing" of Mustafa Centre, and the two are linked by a pedestrian bridge). Open 24/7, this megastore sells everything you can think of at some of the best prices in town.
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Bugis Junction, one of Singapore's most pleasant shopping malls, is directly linked to Bugis MRT. In Bugis Village and Bugis Street, on the other side of Victoria Street, there are hundreds of stalls that sell almost everything, from trendy street wear and watches to knick-knacks, and from cheap cosmetics and fashion accessories to fruits and vegetables...
Other significant shopping areas
Sim Lim Square is one of the cheapest places in Singapore to buy electronics and computer gadgets, and while the centre used to be infamous for its cunning traders, things have somewhat changed during the last few years, since they introduced STARetailers program. Corner of Bencoolen and Rochor Canal Road. Can be accessed from Little India MRT, or from Bugis MRT (via Rochor Road) Funan DigitalLife Mall, also known as Funan Centre, is one of the best places in Singapore to look for newly released electronic gadgets and other IT toys. There are 178 shops here, loaded with whatever you can think about… From City Hall MRT Station: Take exit B, turn left to North Bridge Road and after crossing Coleman Street you will see the mall on your right. VivoCity, Singapore's largest shopping mall, is really the kind of place where you can spend a whole day easily... Other than hundreds of shops that sell everything, from international fashion brands to toys and books, it also boasts a whole shebang of great dining and entertainment facilities... Entertainment wise, VivoCity houses Singapore's largest multiplex, with 15 cinemas and one of Asia's widest screens, and then there is a 300 m long seafront promenade with 'alfresco' cafés and restaurants, excellent food courts, and a rooftop park with water features, shallow pool for kids and outdoor amphitheatre... Directly linked to HarbourFront - MRT Shop where the locals do When you feel tired of all those glitzy malls around Orchard Road, or if you are on the look for something slightly more local, head to one of Singapore's public housing towns, where most of the citystate's population lives, and shop where the locals do. The two best towns to visit are probably Toa Payoh and Ang mo Kio: In both cases, the "Town Centre" comprises a large open-air pedestrian mall, where you can find plenty of shops selling reasonable quality stuff at walleteasy prices, alongside some local eateries (Toa Payoh Station and Ang mo Kio Station are along the North-South(NS) MRT line).
Please note: Prices and other details mentioned in this ebook were correct at the time of writing and may change by the time of your visit.
Arab Street / Kampong Glam
Arab Street and the small offshoots around it are packed with old-style shops, where you can get a whole lot of exotic and oriental stuff: Great variety of textiles and fabrics at reasonable prices seems to be the area's main drawing point, but there are also shops here that sell basketry and other products of rattan, cane and straw, as well as carpets, spices, and a wide range of authentic ornaments and bric-a-brac... Hajji Lane and Bali Lane, next to Arab Street, are dominated by a few cool and hip shops, selling all sorts of funky stuff like second hand records and designer clothes. To get here: Take exit-B from Bugis MRT Station, turn right to Victoria and after a few minutes right again, to Arab Street
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Geylang and Katong
Geylang Serai Market, one of Singapore's most popular and authentic markets, boasts many spice shops, as well as small boutiques where traditional clothes are sold, alongside cheap jewelleries and wide choice of scrumptious street foods… Corner of Geylang Serai and Changi Road: From MRT-Paya Lebar: Turn right to Eunos Road and almost immediately left to Sims Avenue (after you have crossed it). From Sims Avenue, turn right to Geyang Serai and you will see the market on your left (It's less than a 10 minutes' walk). Around the old centre of Katong and Joo Chiat Road there are quite a few galleries that sell Peranakan arts and crafts, as well as all sorts of old shops and plenty of authentic eateries. To get there: Bus Nos. 14 or 16 can be boarded along Orchard Road (Lucky Plaza, Midpoint Orchard, or Concorde Hotel), as well as from the Raffles Hotel (Bras Basah side).
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