Singapore 

They don't call it the city of gardens for nothing, and there are so many reasons for you to fall in love with the place (we find it hard just to name one).

Simple put, if your just here to find out if Singapore is worth visiting? Then the answer is yes

Top 15 Places To See In Singapore

Gardens By The Bay

Gardens by the Bay. How do we describe this incredible creation? Set on 101 hectares of reclaimed land it's hard to believe these gardens were once a plot of sand, sea and soil. 

There are many different areas of the gardens for you to explore with more than 1 million plants on display. 

The Supertree groves are man concrete and steel structures that topple over your head, covered in climbing plants. If you want to see them from above and are not afraid of heights, we recommend the OCB walkway. They offer free entrance to the Supertree Grove so be sure to venture back and check out the incredible night show on display.

There are two cooled observatories that are not to be missed - the Cloud Forest and the Flower Dome. Did we mention there is also a Heritage Garden, Sun Pavillion, and Children's Garden?

The gardens have been designed in an environmentally sustainable and energy efficient way, so there is a lot of learning to be had, for both adults and children.  So be prepared to pack a lunch and purchase a return ticket, because it's easy to see how Gardens By The Bay has become Singapore's #1 attraction.  

What we love most? Waterfront views, Seashell shaped greenhouses, futuristic tree structures with climbing plants and an OCB elevated walkway through the 'Supertrees', what more can we say? Let the gardens speak for themselves.

Singapore Botanic Gardens

Established in 1859 by the agriculture-horticultural society on a massive 60 acres of land, lies the beautiful Singapore Botanic Gardens.

Known for being Singapore's first UNESCO world heritage site, the gardens are more than 150 years old and are the leading centre for botanical and horticultural research.

We all know how good botanic gardens can be… but gardens paired with a tropical climate? We’ll let you picture that slice of heaven for yourself.

Palm Valley, Symphony Lake, the Orchid Garden, the Ginger Garden and the Learning Forest, are just a couple of the picturesque and incredible locations you will find within the park.

Plan for a day of exploring and no need to pack a lunch as there are many great restaurants and cafes to explore.  Not only that, the gardens often hold various workshops and events making your return trip a no brainer.

There are so many things to do see within the gardens that you would never get bored, however on the off chance you do - the gardens are conveniently located close by the shopping district of Orchard Road.

What we love most? This is a hard one because overall the gardens are incredible. Our favourite place to explore and relax would have to be the freshwater forest wetlands and lowland rainforests. Treetop boardwalks and rope climbing are sure to get your heart pumping with excitement.

Green Heart At Marina One

There's so much to be said about the incredible planning, architecture and infrastructure of Singapore. But if we have to choose one example of how to successfully plan a cohesively built and natural environment, it would have to be Green Heart at Marina One, designed by Ingenhoven architects. 

If your not familiar with the space, there are 4 high rise buildings (commercial and residential) clustered around a 'Green Heart' of trees, palms and underplantings of up to 400 different species. 

Imagine being able to step outside your office and sit amongst the trees, without having to walk further than 100 metres? If that's not enough, there are extensive eateries and shops underground that are linked to local infrastructure and transport. 

All that we have to say is...Green Heart at Marina One Singapore is well worth the exploration.

What we love most? The incredible Siler waterfall design, delicate selection of materials and the green walls located on the floors above. 

Check out Ingenhoven architects great video below for more information: 

Fort Canning Park

Don't be fooled, this park may seem small in comparison to something like Gardens By The Bay - but once you get exploring, it makes for an very relaxing afternoon.

As a historical landmark of Singapore, Fort Canning Park was once known as the 'Forbidden Hill' and is a great spot for picnicking on outdoor lawns, exploring ancient artefacts such as the underground military complexes or smelling the sweet fragrances of the spice garden. 

Fortunately we got stuck with a heavy downpour the day we explored (which made the gardens seem all that more green and luscious) - so we took refuge next to a beautiful large wooden gate, which we later found out to be the remnants of the fortress built in the 19th Century.

What we love most? The beautiful old engulfing tree canopies, make sure you look up. 

Changi International Airport

For those who are just stopping by, Singapore International Airport (Otherwise known as Changi Airport) is FULL of gardens to explore that will more or less blow your mind...

Why? Because even on the luggage carousels - you will find an incredible display of orchids, bromeliads, and other flowering plants that we even had to touch just to make sure they were real!

There are two terminals, and within them you can find a cactus garden, a sunflower rooftop, butterfly and orchid and waterlily gardens, and a koi pond. If you aren't impressed yet, just wait till you get there. 

Note: For those who don't smoke, we found it a little unpleasant that access to some of the gardens were through smoking areas. 

What we love most? The luggage carousels and the green walls, be sure to check them out and have a good walk around. 

Civic Centre Mature Tree Plantings

People go on and on about the trees in Singapore, but what's so special about them?

Well for one, we have tree canopies to thank for providing a little reprieve from very hot and humid conditions walking in the streets. Something you will notice if you intend to walk the Civic District Tree Trail.

A 2 hour, 3km walk that commences at Istana Main Gate and ends at the impressive Empress Lawn. Here you will find 8 trees that are of particular significance. These 8 mature rain trees have been transplanted as a way to rejuvenate the historic district.

Originating from south and central America, these umbrella shaped rain trees with wide spread canopies have leaves with consist of leaflets which fold up in the evening. You will most often see the small clusters of pinkish/white flowers accompanied by thick seed pods.

And my gosh, are they impressive. Often covered in epiphytes such as ferns and orchids, they make for a really good picture. Have an extra look to see if you can spot the lightning conductors, they are there to protect some of the very old trees you're standing under!

What we love most? It is a very scenic and beautiful walk, however the engineering feat. alone of transplanting mature trees was enough to make us gasp. For more information on how the tree transplanting went down, check out National Parks Board's video below:

Marina Bay Sands

Want to live the high life on your stop over? Literally?

If you're looking for somewhere to stay in Singapore that's central, has a view and is a tourist destination in itself, then look no further than Marina Bay Sands. But be prepared to splurge.

Marina Bay Sands Hotel is very distinct and one of its own. From afar, it looks like a boat suspended on stilts. If you need one reason alone to book, just take a look at their infinity pool. With a birds eye view of all of Singapore, paired with an incredibly engineered rooftop garden, we think it's worth it. 

But wait, there's more...

If an overnight stay isn't your thing, The Sands Skypark is a ticketed viewing platform with an observation deck that is just easily as good (minus the pool) with a complete view of Gardens By The Bay. And if your in need of a refreshment? There's a bar where you can relax and sip on your Singapore sling. 

If you find vistas boring, then venture downstairs to explore the luxury retail shops, restaurants, art installations, water features, vegetable garden...the list goes on. 

What we love most? The view from a top is not be missed but having said that, we thoroughly enjoyed the coffee and air conditioning in the buildings below. 

Bollywood Veggies

Singapore is quite small, you won't find many plots of land dedicated to farming as they import a significant amount of their fresh produce. 

If you have explored all the city has to offer and are looking for a good day trip, then we highly recommend a visit to Bollywood Veggies. 

For all those little green thumb and backyard gardeners out there, be prepared to experience a little farming sanctuary out of the city. Opened to the public in the year 2000 by Mrs. Ivy Singh-Lim and her husband Mr. Lim Ho Seng Bollywood Veggies is set on 10 acres in the northwest Kranji countryside. 

What we loved most? Our tour guide was particular quirky and very well rounded in plant knowledge. The restaurant on site also provides one hell of a tasty meal.   

Sungeih Buloh Wetlands

If your any particular nature lover... then you will want to check out Sungeih Buloh Wetlands (SBW). 

Singapore's dedicated nature reserve situated just across the road from the border of Malaysia,  SBW offers up free guided tours to explore the wetlands at its best. The loop walk offered is fairly easy and can be taken at any pace, with educational content and interaction offered along the way. There are mangrove walks, observation decks, bridges, and lots of wildlife. 

Note: Best to pack a lunch and long sleeves. Don't forget your insect repellent.

What we love most? Mangrove boardwalks and sneaky otters in the lake. 

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

You've been cruising around on Singapore's amazing transport so far, enjoying a Singapore sling along the way, but if you're looking for some wilderness and a bit of a challenge (to sweat out those sling toxins), look no further than Bukit Timah Nature Reserve.

Set on 163 hectares of nature reserve, you will find Singapore's closest thing to a mountain, Bukit Timah Hill. A mere 163 metre high, climbing the 'Hill' is not for the faint hearted. Pack some water and be prepared to sweat. If Singapore humidity hasn't not hit you yet, it soon will. 

What we love most? For those who want to leisure at the base, they have a great interactive visitor centre at the base, very useful for learning about local flora and fauna.

HortPark

Definitely underrated, Hortpark - a mixture of education and recreation, lies in the western part of Singapore.

It's a great space to lounge, picnic and hang out. There's a restaurant/cafe with some good food but why go to a park to eat inside when you can lounge on the grassy lawns amongst the flowers. 

As a resource centre, they offer tours and workshops so if your stopping by for an extended period of time, be sure to look them up so you can get your hands dirty. Not just a great space for kids, we enjoyed it too!

What we love most? The interactive activities gives everybody the opportunity to learn something about nature. The green walls were looking a little shabby when we went, but are a great display of the different techniques that are out there. 

Sentosa Island

You come to a tropical climate but your stuck in the city, so what do you do? Visit Sentosa Island. 

Bring your swimmers, sunscreen and a good book. For the kids, they have the amusement park, but for adults who just want to relax? A refreshing dip in the water, followed by a cold beer on the beach.

Say. No. More.

After walking in the humid climate of Singapore, Sentosa Island will be a refreshing change. And it's relatively easy to get there too. The gardens are nice, as with every garden in Singapore, manicured to it's finest. 

What we love most? The palm trees in the sand, the oddly placed cargo boats on the horizon, and the carpentered walkway that leads you into the amusement park is a sight for those who love a good wood structure. 

Retail Garden Centres And Nurseries

If you have ANY interest in gardens and plants whatsoever, you will want to make the effort to visit Singapore's retail garden centres and singapore nurseries. 

They are all lined up in a row - so this makes them very easy to access. They have HUGE displays of plants and flowers, so just wandering around by foot is interesting enough. 

Of course, there are restrictions on the types of plant material that you can bring back with you, so be sure to look this up before taking anything back with you to your home country. Orchid cultures anyone?

What we love most? The incredibly cheap orchids on display are a sight to see for itself - at home these cost a fortune. 

Singapore Zoo

Don't get us wrong, we aren't really zoo people - the thought of animals couped up in cages? Not our average cup of tea.

Having said that, Singapore Zoo is slightly different to what you might expect. 

Let's start by picturing monkeys swinging off trees above your head getting ready for their feeding time by keepers...on the footpath...as you enter. Singapore Zoo is well known and prized for its 'open concept' style. Set amidst a rainforest environment (much like the rest of singapore), if you look up, fair chances you will catch some type on animal swinging above your head.

They have educational and interactive exhibits, night safaris and breakfast with the animals, great for children and adults, and the gardens are pretty delicious too. Very luscious and green. 

So if you are looking for a nice day out, Singapore Zoo is well worth a visit. Friendly staff and keepers will always be happy to lend a hand to lost stragglers wanting more information.

What we love most? The open orangutan exhibit and the naked mole rats...yes, we said that correctly...naked mole rats.

Singapore Flyer

A little kept secret that not many people know about...and we aren't talking about the Singapore Flyer (Although that view is not too bad either).

We are talking about what's underneath - The Rainforest Discovery.

A built in rainforest at the base of the Singapore Flyer, which lets you cool off in the heat amongst tropical palms, shrubs and water features. 

What we love most? First of all, it's free. Secondly? Go get mesmerized by the the koi fish ponds.


Top 10 Things To Eat In Singapore

My throat is already starting to salivate. Why? Because Singapore has AMAZING food!

They have everything - from international and local cuisine, to boring food chain alternatives and  incredible bars and pubs (Be warned though alcohol will set you back a dime or two - happy hour is the way to avoid an empty wallet).

If you love exploring new cities and are willing to try new experiences - then guaranteed, we highly recommend exploring Singapore Hawker Markets. Why spend $20, when you can spend 1/4 of that and get an entree, main and dessert with a fresh squeezed juice?

So without further ado, here's our top 10 (local) things you should eat whilst in singapore:

  • Ice Kacang. This peculiar dessert is worth a try - for it's novelty, but may not be enjoyed by most. Shaved ice topped with sugar syrup that is layered on top of corn, red beans, condensed milk, jelly and the famous palm seed (An edible palm seed? These palms are found growing in water).
  • Fried Carrot Cake. Don't be fooled by the name - this cuisine is far from the sweet carrot cake that you and i know. Think more along the lines of a salty, potato grated omelette with chives. Made out of preserved radish, there's a salty and sweet version. A very common dish among the locals.
  • Popiah. A thin wheat crepe that encases delicious ingredients of noodles, meat and veggies and comes with a yummy sweet hoisin sauce. Fried or steamed, both recommended!
  • Laksa. A mix of chinese and malay cuisine - there are many different flavours of laksa in Singapore. A delicious soup of noodles, your choice of meat, veggies, tofu, coconut cream and spices. Not an uncommon cuisine as it is found in many asian countries, but well worth a taste in Singapore.
  • Bak Kut Teh. This is literally a meat bone / pork rib soup. A light delicious salty broth with bits of meat in it. Traditionally, a dish for the poor made out of scraps which is now - a celebrated traditional Singaporean dish.
  • Pork buns. Big or small - you will be amazed at the size of some of the pork buns found in Singapore. 
  • Pandan Cake. A Chiffon cake that is light and often green inside. Eating this feels like your eating something as light as air - softly sweet, you will need to buy seconds!
  • Kueh lapis. This cake can be stripped off in layers and eaten slowly for fun - made of  flour, tapioca, water sugar and coconut milk. Makes a great addition to that afternoon cup of iced tea!
  • Durian fruit. Watch out for that pungent smell and expensive fruit tag! Adored by locals, so get into it and give it a try!
  • Black Sesame paste. You can see locals eatings this like soup in hawker markets - not for the faint hearted, but if you enjoy sesame - and you like sweet, you will definitely love this one. A thick black sesame paste that is sweet, and can be enjoyed before or after your meal.

Best Cultural Sights in Singapore

Singapore is an incredibly rich country - rich in it's diversity of ethnicity, religion, and culture.

Many immigrants arrived to Singapore in the 19th and 20th century and as a result, there are communities that reflect particular cultures. Each neighbourhood is different and worth visiting whether it be for the sights, smells, or the people.

On the list be sure to check out:

  • Little India
  • The Arab Quarter
  • Joo Chiat/Katong
  • China Town
  • Holland Town
  • Haw Par Villa (For a cultural experience on the extreme side)

FAQ's

Is Singapore worth visiting?

I think we have already established this - The answer is YES. The real question is - have you booked your flights yet?

What is the best time to go to Singapore?

Although some people may prefer to travel in the low season (August through October) this really depends on how well you can tolerate Singapore's Climatic conditions of heat, humidity, and rain. 

It's a tropical climate. Our suggestion for the best time to visit? All. Year. Round.

How many days in Singapore?

When we travelled to Singapore, we took a cruisy two weeks. But you can explore a decent amount in less than one week. Just be prepared to walk your little feet around!

What language does singapore Speak?

Singaporeans are bilingual, so this makes getting around very easy!

They can speak English, Mandarin, Tamil and even Malay. You may even hear some singlish! Keep an ear out Lah. 

Is Singapore expensive?

This is a really personal question - because it really depends on what type of traveller you are. Though generally speaking, yes - Singapore is a moderately expensive country (at least when you compare it to its neighbouring country Malaysia). So here's the answer to your question in a nutshell:

  • Accommodation can be expensive, and tourist attractions are not often free but they ARE worth the price. 
  • Travel is relatively cheap, this includes taxis and public transport.
  • If you stick to western cuisine - it will cost you $$.
  • If you're looking for good food and a full belly for around $5.00 - check out the hawker markets.
  • If alcohol is your thing - (it's hot so why not dabble in some Singapore slings) -  save your pennies because alcohol will cost you an arm and a leg. 

A Mesmerizing City Of Gardens

Visiting Singapore is an experience of a lifetime - not to be missed.

It is an incredible city of gardens. The climate, combined with the care of the local people and government evidently shows in the landscape. Simply take a walk and breathe in the nature that surrounds you. 

We cannot avoid the demand for growth, population or the rising demand for built environments but Singapore is an example of a city whose fundamental values are to preserve the environment - enabling economic growth while preserving their green space. 

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