With its modern architecture and vibrant economy that symbolizes the enormous influence it has in the region despite its small size, Singapore never fails to amaze all who visits her.
Despite its economic development and affluence that has made it a global economy, Singapore is a city that hold fast to its multi-cultural heritage and history which makes it an once-in-a-lifetime experience that you’ll never forget.
1. Visit the city’s public housing apartments
More than 80% of Singaporeans live in HDB buildings that are built to maximize comfort with many facilities and amenities located close by for the convenience of the residents. The government’s housing policies also make it such that each building is a micro-representation of the city’s diverse population.
So hop on the train and pay a visit to the heartlands and experience what the locals do, such as visiting a wet market, eating at coffee shops, playing chess at the void decks and jogging at the park connectors.
2. Eating Local Fare in a Hawker Centre or Coffee Shop
Singapore has a smorgasbord of cuisines that reflects the country’s diverse multi-ethnic heritage. Walking around the streets is an exciting sensory experience, thanks to the popular hawker centres and coffee shops located in many housing estates.
With affordable prices and drool-worthy food, you will be in for a delightful treat when you eat local fare in a hawker centre.
In 2016, two local hawkers even made history when they became the first hawker food vendors to be awarded a Michelin Star for serving excellent food.
Hitting the hawker centres with a local is the best way to discover the good foods that only the locals know about. Regardless of what you order, you definitely must try the local delicacies such as fish head curry, chilli crabs, BBQ chicken wings, satays, hokkien mee, fried carrot cake, oyster egg and roti prata.
3. Enjoy the mesmerizing sights of Singapore’s lush greenery
Despite its impressive urban development and population density (the third highest in the world), Singapore has abundant greenery and green spaces which gives it the prestigious name of a City Garden.
There are plenty of outdoor areas where people can exercise, enjoy cultural events, rock concerts or even catch a movie under the stars.
Going to the Singapore Botanic Gardens is probably the best way to kick-start your visit. This 158-year-old tropical garden is honoured as a UNESCO world heritage site and is located right next to the busy Orchard Road shopping belt.
Its lush environment is a favorite weekend destination for families and couples to stroll, enjoy a picnic, walk their dogs, jog or simply watch the graceful swans frolic in the waters.
You definitely must pay a visit to the Gardens by the Bay as well which is an awe-inspiring garden set in the heart of the city, featuring the wonders of horticulture and sustainable architecture!
4. Enjoy a weekend getaway in the city’s most popular island
Singapore is a small city-state but that does not deter its citizens from finding places to escape the busy urban life. Taking a ferry or a cable car to the nearby island of Sentosa can be your perfect weekend adventure. Sentosa island is a beautiful resort that attracts millions of visitors each year.
Besides the scenic beach, Sentosa also has numerous attractions, such as the Universal Studios theme park, S.E.A Aquarium, Adventure Cove Water Park, casino, two golf courses and 14 hotels where you can live in style and experience island living at its best.
5. Shop like a Local
Most tourists would head to the popular shopping areas like Orchard Road but if you really want to get your money’s worth, you’ll have to start shopping like a savvy Singaporean. The city is a perfect location to get a little retail therapy, provided that you know where to look.
Budget-conscious by nature, Singaporeans know that staying away from trendy shopping districts and digging deeper is the best way to find a good bargain. Shopping districts like Joo Chiat, Bugis street and Haji Lane are perfect locations to find quirky stuff from souvenirs to antiques, books, fashionable clothes and even hip cafes.
6. Immerse yourself in the city’s ethnic & cultural diversity
Singapore is one of the foremost multi-cultural cities in the world, with an ethnic and religious makeup that give it a unique character. No visit to Singapore would be complete without a trip to its ethnic enclaves such as Little India, Kampong Glam and Chinatown.
Little India is full of exotic gastronomical opportunities, such as the popular Thali, brightly colored Hindu temples and cheerful Bollywood songs. The vibrant streets of Chinatown does not lag behind, as the spectacular decoration of its buildings makes it a sight to behold.
Kampong Glam captures the mystery of the Middle East, as its noisy streets are filled with cafes offering hookah lounges, tasty baklavas, and exotic belly dancers to keep you entertained for hours.
Singapore also has a variety of festivals and celebrations that take place throughout the year, so you’ll probably be in the city to experience one of these special occasions.
Whether it’s the joy of hearing Christmas carols in the beautifully decorated Orchard Road, experiencing a nation’s pride by watching the National Day Parade live or visiting a weekend flea market, there is always something interesting for everyone to make your trip here an unforgettable one.
If you have any questions about Singapore, do feel free to leave me a message below. 🙂