Singapore is just a tiny red dot on the world map. However, this city-state is an ultra-modern country with world-class amenities, making it one of the best holiday destinations. Moreover, it is clean and almost 100% crime-free. While the city is full of skyscrapers and luxurious buildings, Singapore has been able to preserve its cultural essence with places like Little India and Chinatown. Moreover, you do not have to spend your entire holiday inside the concrete jungle. On the other hand, Singapore has some of best zoos, parks and open-air activities that anyone would enjoy. With a variety of places and activities available in Singapore, it is one of the best places to go on a family holiday.
One of the major attractions that interest adults and children alike is the Singapore Zoo. The Singapore Zoo is not the traditional zoo but has open exhibits with moats, hidden barriers and glass separating the animals from the visitors. This rainforest zoo is home to 315 species of animals and has the largest colony of orangutans. Apart from orangutans, you would get to see African lion, white tiger, cheetah, wolverine, polar bear, white rhinoceros, large flying fox, leopard, mountain lion and several other wild animals in this zoo. Moreover, the zoo also hosts some interesting shows like Breakfast with an Orangutan, Elephants at Work and Play, Splash Safari, Animal Friends and Rainforest Fights Back.
Just adjacent to the Singapore Zoo is the Singapore Night Safari which is the first nocturnal zoo not just in the city-state but also in the entire world. The Night Safari has seven geographical zones which can be explored by tram or by foot using one of the 4 walking trails. The Indian Subcontinent, Himalayan Foothills, Asian Riverine Forest, Burmese Hillside, Nepalese River Valley and equatorial Africa are some of the exhibits you would find here, while the Fishing Cat, Wallaby, Leopard trail, east Lodge Trail are the trails that you can follow if you want to explore the place on foot. The lighting here resembles actual moonlight (slightly brighter) to give the nocturnal animals a setting same as their natural environment. Apart from viewing Asian elephants, Indian rhinoceros, and other such wild animals, you would also get to enjoy some great shows like Thumbuakar Show and Creatures of the Night Show.
Right in between the Singapore Zoo and Night Safari is located the River Safari which is a river-themed zoo as well as an aquarium. The place offers riverboat rides and freshwater attractions that attract thousands of people here every year. During your tour on the River Safari, you get to see 10 different ecosystems including Mississippi, River Nile, Yangtze River, Tundra, and Amazon. The park has around 5000 animals amongst 300 species some of which are West Indian manatees, red pandas, squirrel monkeys, giant otters, Chinese alligators, paddlefish, golden pheasants, Mekong freshwater stingrays, electric eels, etc. While all this interesting, the major highlight of this park is the Amazon River quest which is a boat ride on the Amazon River where you would get to see more than 30 wildlife species including red and black howler monkeys, golden-headed lion tamarins, capybaras, collared peccaries, giant anteaters, jaguars, etc.
Jurong Bird Park
Jurong Bird Park is an open aviary that is home to more than 5000 birds amongst 380 bird species. The park covers 49 acres of area and is divided into different exhibits as per geography. You would have a great time looking at African Waterfall Aviary, Dinosaur Descendants, Lory Loft, Wings of Asia, Pelican Cove, Penguin Coast and World of Darkness. While visiting these exhibits are fun, you should also not miss the interesting shows that are available here. High Flyers Show is a show where you can enjoy a performance by talented birds, and Kings of the Skies Show give you the opportunity to watch eagles, falcons, hawks and other birds of prey put up a great show. Another interesting show is having lunch with the parrots. The Jurong Bird Park is a great place to visit if you are looking for things to do in Singapore with family, especially for kids.
Gardens by the Bay
Right in the middle of the sprawling city of Singapore lies a green haven called the Gardens by the Bay. Located right next to the Marina Reservoir, this park has three waterfront gardens, namely Bay East Garden, Bay South Garden and Bay Central Garden. The landscape design of this park is awe-inspiring combing garden artistry and tropical horticulture quite beautifully. There are two conservatories in the park which are Flower Dome and Cloud Forest. Another highlight of this park is the Supertree Grove where you would find huge tree-like structures which work as environmental engineers. The best time to visit this park is in the evening when the supertrees glow with lights and music. The park also has a Children’s Garden and other horticultural themed gardens.
Your visit to Singapore would not be complete without a visit to Merlion Park which is home to the idol of Singapore’s mascot, the Merlion which has the head of a lion and body of fish. The Merlion Park is a landmark of Singapore and has two statues of the Merlion. The bigger statue is 8.6 meters in height and spouts water from its mouth while the shorter one is 2 meters tall. The park is near the Marina Bay area and hence gives you the opportunity to admire the marvellous skyline of the place. On the other hand, you can take a tour on the Singapore River and explore places like Clarke Quay.
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If you are looking for pure fun and entertainment after a lot of sightseeing, Sentosa Island is a place you must definitely visit. The place is a separate island away from mainland Singapore and has a beach, two golf courses, several luxurious hotels, water parks, a Merlion statue and a fort too. With so many attractions and resorts, you can possibly spend your entire holiday in Sentosa. However, you should not miss the attractions in Singapore and hence plan to spend at least a few days on this amazing island. Some of the attractions that you should not miss when in Sentosa Island are Tiger Sky Tower, Butterfly Park and the Insect Kingdom, The Wings of Time, Fort Siloso, Sentosa 4D Adventureland, Madame Tussauds, MegaZip Adventure Park, iFly Singapore, Wave House, Sentosa Nature Discovery and the Skyline Luge & Skyride. Universal Studios Singapore is also one of the major highlights of Sentosa Island.
If you want to see the whole of Singapore and maybe catch a glimpse of the neighbouring countries of Malaysia and Indonesia, you must go on a ride of the Singapore Flyer. Consisting of 28 capsules, each with a capacity of holding 28 passengers, the Singapore Flyer is one giant Ferris wheel that would give you a 360o bird’s eye view of the entire city. You can take a look at all the iconic landmarks of the city including Raffles Place, Empress Place, Merlion Park, Singapore River, etc. during your journey on the Ferris wheel. The Singapore Flyer is also available for premium sky ding and champagne flight if you want to make the evening even more special.
If you want to take a break from the glitz and glamour of Singapore and explore the culture and heritage of the place, Chinatown is the place you must visit. There are temples to visit, museums to explore and plenty of shopping to be done from the various old shops that line the street. Some of the major attractions of the place are Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, Sri Mariamman Temple, Red Dot Design Museum, Thian Hock Keng Temple, Hong Lim Park, Singapore City Gallery, Singapore Coin and Notes Museum, etc. You must also save some energy to explore Chinatown Street Market where you can shop and eat to your heart’s content.
Just across Chinatown is another ethnic district of Singapore called Little India. Little India is where Indian immigrants lived during the period of colonization. Today, this area is one of the most vibrant and bustling parts of the city. This place preserves and reflects the Indian culture beautifully the temples, shops, and restaurants. Little India is a great place for shopping. The Mustafa Centre is a 24 hours mall and sells everything from clothes to electronics. You must also check out Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple, Tekka Centre, and Jothi Store & Flower Shop when in this part of the city. Apart from this, Little India also has several restaurants that serve delicious North Indian and South Indian delicacies.
Singapore Botanic Gardens
The Singapore Botanic Gardens is a tropical garden which is 158 years old and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, making it one of the places to visit in sightseeing. The park has a three-core concept which includes the Tanglin Core, Central Core, and Bukit Timah Core, each of which offers something unique and interesting to see. The garden has added a fourth score to it recently, the Tyersall-Gallop which includes a tour of the rainforest that exists inside the park. Another thing that you should not miss here is the National Orchid Garden which is home to more than 1000 orchids of different colours as well as hybrids. The place is a great place to have a stroll when you want to get away from the crowd and noise of the city.
Marina Bay Sands Sky Park
The Marina Bay Sands Resort is one of the iconic structures of Singapore. The hotel comprises of three tall buildings and a wooden decked area on top which is the Sky Park. Sky Park has an observation deck which gives you a 360o view of the entire city. Apart from this, the place has a museum, an event space, a retail space where you can shop for the world’s most popular brands, theatres and several cafes and restaurants. However, the highlight of the place is the infinity pool. However, you cannot take a dip in the pool if you are not a guest at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel. Nevertheless, do not miss the chance to take a look at this amazing pool that gives an amazing view of the city.
No holiday can be complete without shopping. If you love shopping, you must head to Orchard Road which is not just Singapore but also Asia’s most famous shopping street. It is a haven for shopping lovers as you would find street shops, speciality stores as well as boutiques at this place. You can buy everything from fast fashion and ethnic wares to designer labels at this place. There are also several eateries, restaurants, and cafes where you can have delicious meals and hang out leisurely. As it is one of the happening places in the city, you should not miss visiting Orchard Road even if shopping is not something you enjoy.
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Although a part of Sentosa Island, Universal Studios does need a special mention. This theme park is something you should visit if you love movies and Hollywood. The park has several theme zones which include Hollywood, New York, Far Far Away, Sci-Fi City, The Lost World, Madagascar and Ancient Egypt. Not only can you visit the locations of your favourite movies but can also meet your favourite movie characters. Apart from this, the numerous thrilling rides and roller coasters would definitely hook you to this place.
If you want to explore and enjoy Singapore’s nightlife, Clarke Quay is the place you must visit. This historical site is along the Singapore River and has some great restaurants, cafes, pubs, and nightclubs of the city. The place is also great for those who are seeking adventure. The G-MAX Reverse Bungee is a place for those who would like to fly, while the GX-5 Extreme Swing gives you the opportunity for free fall 40 meters in the air. If you want to visit this place with your children, it would be best to do so in the day. However, it is during the night-time that the place lits up with different colours and lights. If you want to have a relaxing evening on Clarke Quay, go for one of the Singapore River Cruises.
The city-state of Singapore offers tons of things to locals, residents, and tourists. It is not just beautiful but has several attractions that would keep you interested and busy throughout your holiday.
Akshay Koranne is a travel blogger who loves to travel across the world and shares the experience through travel blogs and articles. Apart from traveling and blogging, he likes playing Chess and Cricket.