Popular Singapore tourist attractions – Singapore has been described as a playground for the rich, and it’s true that the small city-state does have a sheen of wealth. But Singapore offers more than just upscale shopping, luxury hotels, and fine dining (though it’s worth pampering yourself a bit if you can). There’s also a vibrant and ethnically diverse history to explore, along with the many family-friendly attractions and beautiful public spaces that make visiting this somewhat futuristic city worthwhile.
Singapore has an excellent public transport system that makes getting around convenient and easy. Once you understand the metro map, you will have no trouble getting from one part of the city to another. English is spoken everywhere, and signs are also in English. In fact, Singapore is one of the easiest and most comfortable countries to navigate in Southeast Asia. And as long as you don’t compare prices with nearby Thailand or Vietnam, you’ll have a pleasant stay.
For ideas on things to see and do, read our list of the top attractions in Singapore. Popular Singapore tourist attractions :
1. Marina Bay Sands
The luxurious Marina Bay Sands resort complex includes upscale luxury hotels, a mall with a canal that runs through it, the ArtScience Museum and the Marina Bay Sands Skypark Observation Deck – a favorable base from which to explore the rest of the city. The Skypark observation deck and infinity pool are found on the boat (yes, the boat) that tops the hotel. Only hotel guests are allowed to use the infinity pool, but anyone can visit the observation deck.
From the Skypark, you can see the innovative double helical bridge, the harbour, Gardens by the Bay (101 hectares of land converted into a waterfront garden), and the impressive skyline.
While above town, guests can enjoy a snack or coffee at the rooftop restaurant or purchase some souvenirs from the gift stand. You can buy a photo of yourself on the green screen in front of the big hotel as it’s all lit up at night, but it costs a whopping 50 Singapore dollars — better ask fellow tourists to take your photo if possible. The elegant luxury of Marina Bay Sands exemplifies Singapore’s style and status as a major international city in Southeast Asia.
2. Gardens by the Bay
Once you’ve caught a glimpse of this beautifully designed green space (from above Marina Bay Sands, perhaps), you won’t be able to stay away. Explore the Bay East Garden, perfect for enjoying the vibrant plant life and taking a break from the hustle and bustle of the city.
You don’t want to miss Supertree Grove, where you’ll find a bevy of iconic and futuristic buildings designed to perform eco-friendly functions. Then, head to the Cloud Forest Dome to see the world’s tallest indoor waterfall and learn a little about biodiversity. Check the website for ticket sale prices and tour times.
3. Botanical Gardens
Don’t get confused with Gardens on the Bay, the Botanic Gardens are also worth a visit. Singapore received its first UNESCO World Heritage nomination for a botanical garden, and with good reason. The city can sometimes feel like a concrete jungle, although clean and comfortable, the botanical gardens preserve Singapore’s wilder heritage.
Here, trails lead to the park’s heritage trees, which were preserved as part of efforts to protect the city’s mature tree species. Be sure to visit the impressive National Orchid Garden as well.
Other popular things to do include visiting the eco-garden, eco-lake, bonsai garden, sculptures, and several other formal gardens. Popular Singapore tourist attractions :
4. Singapore Zoo
Considering itself the best rainforest zoo in the world, the Singapore Zoo is quite the place to be. The facilities are clean and attractive, and the animals appear to be well cared for, with plenty of lush vegetation and habitat space.
Orangutans are very impressive, and visitors can watch as babies and adults alike swing high on their platforms and snack on fruit. There is also a large family of chimpanzees, zebras, meerkats, komodo dragons, mole rats, white tigers, kangaroos, and many other creatures.
Guests can observe the feeding of several animals. Allow at least three hours to explore the zoo.
If a zoo doesn’t meet your need for getting close to wildlife, there are also Night Safari, River Safari (including giant panda forest), and Jurong Bird Park. Park hopper passes are available if you plan to visit more than one wildlife park.
For a unique and personal wildlife experience, try the Singapore Zoo Breakfast with Orangutan. This hassle-free tour includes transportation to and from your hotel, allowing you half a day to explore the zoo, and have the option of an upgrade to enjoy breakfast with the zoo’s much-loved orangutans.
5. Orchard Road
One can be forgiven for coming to Singapore and doing nothing but shopping, as it is a world-class city for style and chic designer. The Orchard Road area is a great place to start shopping, as there are high-end shops around every turn. You will expect nothing less from a neighborhood that offers 22 malls and six department stores. There are also four cinemas, including an IMAX cinema, and a KTV karaoke venue.
If you’re feeling hungry while spending all that money, there are many restaurants in the neighborhood that serve international food.
6. Singapore Flyer
If the observation deck at Marina Bay Sands isn’t enough for you, try drinking tea while looking out over the city from the Singapore Flyer, the world’s largest giant observation wheel. Choose from several different packages that allow you to be served and pampered while enjoying views that span not only the Singapore skyline but also the Spice Islands in Indonesia and the Straits of Johor in Malaysia.
There are several ticket packages to choose from, and each includes access to the Journey of Dreams multimedia exhibition, which explores the history of Singapore and the creation of the Singapore Flyer.
Flights last 30 minutes and operate from early morning to late at night, so you can choose which city view you want to enjoy: the start of a busy day or when Singapore shines at night. Popular Singapore tourist attractions :
7. Raffles Hotel Singapore
This colonial building is one of the largest 19th-century hotels in the world, having been visited by literary figures such as Rudyard Kipling and Joseph Conrad, as well as the film star Charlie Chaplin.
Built in 1887, this property has served as a city landmark for more than a century and continues to maintain its high reputation for excellent food and service. Classic architecture and tropical gardens provide a chic setting and represent another aspect of Singapore’s rich and diverse history.
Raffles Hotel Singapore is located in the city’s Colonial District, which is also home to several other historical sites, and a good place to base yourself in the city. Here, you’ll find the Raffles Landing Site, where Sir Stamford Raffles, the founder of Singapore, is said to have come ashore in 1819. According to the story, he saw a small fishing village but realized its potential as a port, so he bought the land from the Sultan of Johor and invited Chinese and Indian immigrants to move here. So the seeds of Singapore’s multiethnic identity were sown.
If you’ve ever visited China, Singapore’s Chinatown neighborhood will bring you back here. From tiny mom-and-pop shops and authentic Chinese food to bright red lanterns, there is both excitement and bustle in the district. You can visit the Chinese Heritage Center and see the impressive and beautiful Hindu Sri Mariamman temple.
Another temple worth seeing is the Buddhist Tooth Relic temple. If you wake up early enough (think 4 a.m.) you can hear the morning drum ceremony. Or you can watch the closing ceremony in the evening after seeing the relic.
Heritage markers have been installed throughout the environment in simplified English, Japanese and Chinese, so that visitors can better understand the importance of the area. But this environment is not just a testament to the influence of Chinese people throughout Singapore’s past. It’s a progressive neighborhood (with free Wi-Fi for all), and is home to the trendy Ann Siang Hill area, where quaint bistros and upscale boutiques can be home to any Western city. Popular Singapore tourist attractions :
9. Sentosa Island
Singapore isn’t exactly known as a beach destination, but if you really want to have some fun in the sun, Sentosa Island is the place to be. Siloso Beach is a great place to enjoy some beach time, and visitors can play volleyball on the free course or kayak and skimboard. There are several other beach attractions, plus the Underwater World aquarium, where you can swim with dolphins.
A must-see on Sentosa Island is the Merlion, Singapore’s famous statue which has the head of a lion and the body of a fish. You can take the escalator above the statue and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding area. Adventurous types will want to check out The Flying Trapeze and SeaBreeze Water-Sports @ Wave House, where you can try flying strapped to a water-fueled jet pack.
10. Clarke Quay
“A trading center during the 19th century”, Clarke Quay lives up to its legacy as a busy centre. Nowadays, it has a more subtle luster, so after a day of shopping on Orchard Road, visitors can happily head to
to Clarke Quay for dinner and entertainment by the sea.
River taxis and cruises also depart from here, giving tourists the opportunity to admire some of the city’s historic bridges and see landmarks like the Merlion from the water. Most popular at Quay with younger tourists is the giant bungee-jumping attraction, an adrenaline-pumping ride.
Nearby attractions include the Asian Civilizations Museum; The Civil Defense Heritage Gallery located at the oldest fire station in Singapore; and the Hong San See Temple, a beautiful century-old Buddhist shrine.
11. Universal Studios Singapore
Universal Studios Singapore occupies 49 hectares of Resorts World Sentosa. The gardens are arranged thematically, with each area paying homage to a location, film, or television show. Destinations include New York City, Hollywood, Madagascar, and a trip back to Ancient Egypt. Fiction-themed areas include Shrek’s Far Far Away, Lost World, and Sci-Fi City, where duel roller coasters themed Battlestar Galactica and the indoor dark coaster, Revenge of the Mummy, dominate the thrilling rides.
In addition to the many rides — from kid-friendly to daring — the park also has a variety of dining, shopping, and live performance options throughout the day and night. Popular Singapore tourist attraction :
12. Singapore Night Safari
The Singapore Night Safari brings a new twist to the traditional zoo experience by introducing visitors to the nocturnal life of the residents. The garden’s habitat is divided into four sections, each with its own path that allows you to observe these elusive creatures as they go about their “day.”
The Leopard Trail has, as one would expect, leopards, as well as lions, flying foxes, raccoons and hedgehogs among other animals. The Fishing Cat Trail explores the habitat of Singapore’s native animals, including fish-loving cats, pangolins, binturongs and other common and endangered species. The East Lodge Trail features Malayan tigers and spotted hyenas, and the Wallaby Trail introduces visitors to Australian marsupials.
Private tours, buggy rides and educational sessions are available, as well as once-in-a-lifetime experiences, such as the Asian elephant feeding session.
13. Merlion Park
The Singapore Merlion is exactly what its name suggests — a mythical creature that has the head of a lion and the body and tail of a fish. Merlion represents the city’s humble beginnings as a fishing village combined with Singapore’s traditional Malay name, “lion city”.
The building, which was moved to Merlion Park in 2002, where it can overlook Marina Bay, weighs 70 tons and is 8.6 meters high, spitting water from its mouth into the fountain.
The “Son of Merlion” is nearby, only two meters high but weighing three tons, and there are five additional official Merlion statues throughout the city. Merlion Park is an ideal spot for photos, whether you’re snapping a selfie in front of an iconic creature or capturing the beautiful view from the park overlooking the bay.
14. Museum of Asian Civilizations
If the Raffles Hotel and Fort Canning Park haven’t satisfied your taste for colonial architecture, head over to the Empress Place Building. It was built in 1865 and built in the Neoclassical style, and was named in honor of Queen Victoria. It now houses the Museum of Asian Civilizations, which investigates the many Asian cultures that helped shape Singapore.
The museum’s collections focus on themes of commerce and spirituality, both of which have profoundly influenced Asian culture. Exhibits cover topics such as Indian Ocean trade, stories about faith and belief, and look at the important role scholars have played in Chinese culture over the centuries.
15. Pulau Ubin (Grani Pulau te)
To see what life in Singapore was like before it was all about glamor and skyscrapers, visit the tiny island of Pulau Ubin, where less than 100 people still live in the same humble way they did in the 1960s. The island’s name is Malay for “Granite Island”, a nickname given to its former prominence as a mining town.
Today, it is a peaceful rural place where tourists can enjoy unspoiled forests and diverse wildlife. The island is also home to the Chek Jawa Wetlands, which have coral reefs teeming with marine life.
The island is easily reached by boat, a 10-minute ride departing from Changi Point Ferry Terminal.
16. Fort Canning Park
As a military stronghold, Fort Canning has a long and varied lifespan. Built in 1859, the fort was originally intended to defend Singapore from attack but became a bunker during World War II and was eventually handed over to the Japanese in 1942.
Now in peacetime, the original building is home to a modern performing arts troupe, and the park regularly hosts picnics, concerts,
theater performances, and festivals.
Other attractions in the park include relics from Singapore’s early history, from the 14th century, and Sir Stamford Raffles’ private bungalow. Guests can also see a replica of the spice market that Raffles founded in 1822, as well as statues of ASEAN that were erected in the 1980s. Popular Singapore tourist attractions :
17. Maritime Experience Museum
This indoor-outdoor museum is located right on the water, and is a great way to explore Singapore’s maritime history through fun interactive exhibits. Before you even enter the building, you will be able to see several ships docked here.
Inside, the museum’s highlight is the Muscat Gem, a replica of a sailing ship that sank in AD 830 while traveling between Africa and China. You can also see models of large merchant ships traveling the Silk Road, learn navigational skills and how to read nautical charts, and experience 9th-century shipwrecks at the Typhoon Theater in a special effects simulation.
18. Siloso Fort
Siloso Fort, the only preserved fort and military museum in the country, is located on Sentosa Island. You can reach the fort via the Fort Siloso Skywalk, a massive steel bridge that rises 11 stories high. Surrounded by a lush tropical canopy, the bridge is accessible by a glass lift or a simple staircase — although taking the lift means sweeping open views of Keppel Harbour, which you can’t see if you choose to walk up. The 181-meter-long bridge offers views of the nearby islands, as well as the forest floor below.
Once at the fort, visitors can take a guided tour to learn more about the history of the area — although you can also explore on your own, just walking around and taking in the sights.
Highlights within the fort include the many large cannons on display, the three tunnel systems used to move ammunition, and special exhibits showcasing daily life inside the fort for the soldiers who lived there in the 1800s. popular tourist places
The entire fort is a lovely shady garden, where you can spend several hours exploring. Popular Singapore tourist attractions.