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Top 10 Things to Do and See Upon Arriving in Singapore

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After arriving in Singapore, you might feel overwhelmed by everything that there is to experience and see while you are there. To help you narrow down your to-do list, check out our recommendations for the top 10 things to do and see after you’ve settled in and you’re ready to explore The Lion City.

The Singapore Flyer

1. The Singapore Flyer

The Singapore Flyer observation wheel is unmistakable against the many other buildings and skyscrapers, and you can go for a ride to get some amazing 360° views of Singapore and what it has to offer. Plus, on the clearest days, you might even be able to catch views of Indonesia and Malaysia as well. Impressive!   

When you take a ride on the Singapore Flyer, you will be taken a whopping 165 meters above the ground, so it might be overwhelming if you have a severe fear of heights.

But, because this is the biggest observation wheel in Asia and one of the biggest observation wheels on the planet, most people don’t want to miss out on the experience, which is popular amongst both tourists and locals. By day or by night, you could take a 30-minute ride. And, even on a hot day, you don’t have to worry about feeling uncomfortable because the Flyer’s glass capsules are air-conditioned.


The Singapore Flyer

2. Marina Bay

Considered a popular tourist spot, Marina Bay features a variety of fun things that you can do with your entire family. There, you will find skyscrapers and hotels, along with the popular Marina Bay Sands resort, where you will find nightclubs, a casino, shops, and performance halls. You could also check out The Float at Marina Bay, which is a floating stadium, and the ArtScience Museum. On top of that, there are a variety of fantastic restaurants and shops to browse, and if you are in search of an exciting nightlife, it has that as well. 
 
Despite the many attractions that you will find in Marina Bay, just walking around could be enough to make for an interesting excursion. By day, the atmosphere is described as being quite different than by night, so a lot of people make it a point to experience the area when the sun is shining and when the moon comes out. The waterfront walk is ideal for sightseeing, shopping, and indulging in local cuisine. You could even catch beautiful views of the Singapore skyline on the Helix Bridge before checking out the Cavenagh Bridge and Elgin Bridge. All along the way, you will be able to dive into the culture of the area, with all of its theaters, museums, sculptures, statues, and architecture.

The Singapore Flyer

3. Gardens by the Bay

While you are in Marina Bay, be sure to take a walk through the super popular Garden by the Bay, which is consistently ranked as one of the top things to do and see in Singapore. Mixing a bit of the natural world into the city, Gardens by the Bay is 250 acres in size, so it has a wide variety of interesting features.

Be sure to take some time to see the Supertree Grove, where you will find what are referred to as supertrees. These artificial, solar-powered trees are up to 50 meters tall and serve as vertical gardens. Then you can head to the Desert Dome, where you will find huge cacti, before checking out the Flower Dome, which is one of the biggest greenhouses on the planet, featuring a wide range of beautiful plants from various countries. And then head to the Cloud Forest, which is another popular attraction within the Gardens by the Bay.

There, you will find the world’s tallest indoor waterfall, so be sure to bring your camera. Finally, to round out your experience of these gardens, you can even trek across the OCBC Skyway for an aerial view of your surroundings.


The Singapore Flyer

4. Singapore Botanic Gardens

When you want to be surrounded by a lush and beautiful natural landscape, head over to the Singapore Botanic Gardens. This garden takes up 60 acres, and it is also an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Free admission means that you don’t even need to spend money to get into the Botanic Gardens to see the vast array of lovely plants and the botanical library that is renowned by experts from around the globe.  
 
You will find attractions throughout the Singapore Botanic Gardens, such as the National Orchid Garden, a few lakes, and an area of rainforest. Give yourself a few hours to explore, as there is a lot to see while you are there. Although you can walk through the gardens on your own, guided tours are also available if that is what you prefer. Overall, this is the perfect place to go to unwind, to reconnect with nature, and to simply spend time in a green space that has so much beauty.

The Singapore Flyer

5. Orchard Road

If you want to be in the center of the action, check out Orchard Road, which is Singapore’s commercial avenue and main destination for shoppers. Unlike the tranquility of places like the Singapore Botanic Gardens or the Gardens by the Bay, though, this busy street is filled with people, cars, and neon lights.

This street is a mile long, so you will find a lot of different places to eat yummy foods and shop to your heart’s delight for anything and everything that you need. In fact, you could browse more than 40 shopping malls that feature international retailers, local shops, and high-end brands.

Be prepared to see prices that range from really affordable to really expensive. In fact, many people are satisfied with simply walking through the area and being a part of the hustle and bustle while doing some window shopping. But, in addition to shopping, Orchard Road also features movie theaters, art galleries, food courts, and clubs, so there is something for everyone there. 

 

The Singapore Flyer

6. Chinatown

Because Singapore is filled with immigrants from around the world, you have the opportunity to experience a variety of cultures while you are there. And Singapore’s Chinatown will make you feel as though you are actually in China. It consists of five districts that are filled with food stalls, eateries, pubs, karaoke lounges, and shops that will keep you busy by day and by night.

In addition to shopping and eating, Chinatown also boasts some unique sites that you can explore as you dive into Chinese culture, such as the Thian Hock Keng Temple.

You can also visit the Sri Mariamman, which is the oldest Hindu temple in Singapore, and the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum, as a couple of examples of the other impressive sites in this part of Singapore. These quiet areas could be a nice shift from the bustling atmosphere throughout Chinatown, where tourists and locals always find something entertaining to do.


The Singapore Flyer

7. Little India

When you’re done exploring Chinatown, you could also take some time to see what’s going on in Little India, which is known for its cultural authenticity. This community is more than 200 years old, and you might feel as though you have been transported to India once you arrive there.

While you’re in this fun little cultural neighborhood, you can walk through the streets and shop for everything from unique fabrics to fragrant spices. And, of course, you could also head into some of the many eateries throughout Little India to get your fill of delicious Indian cuisine.

But if you want to take some time in a quiet space, visit the Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple, the Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya Temple, the Leong San See Temple, or the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple. Plus, if you’re there at just the right time, you might even find yourself taking part in a celebration for one of the traditional Indian holidays that are observed.


The Singapore Flyer

8. Sentosa Island

Sentosa Island is a resort destination that both locals and tourists flock to because there are so many things to do on this 500-hectare island. Plus, it is roughly 15 minutes away from the central shopping and business districts of Singapore, making it super easy to get to. Once there, you will find beaches to lounge on, golf courses to play on, rainforests to explore, spas to rejuvenate yourself in, and theme parks to have fun with the kids in. On top of that, you will find luxurious accommodations, fantastic restaurants, and plenty of opportunities to shop.
 
Some of the many popular attractions throughout Sentosa Island include the Fort Siloso Skywalk, Adventure Cove Waterpark, Mega Adventure Park, Butterfly Park and Insect Kingdom, KidZania Singapore, Wave House Sentosa, and Universal Studios Singapore. So, whether you are spending time on Sentosa Island for business or pleasure, and whether you are traveling solo or with kids, there really is something for everyone there

9. Mount Faber Park  

Outdoor enthusiasts will love spending time in Mount Faber Park, which is part of the Southern Ridges. This is one of the oldest parks in the country, and it is popular amongst locals and tourists alike, thanks to all of the activities that you can participate in while you are there. Plus, this park is truly stunning, as it’s covered by secondary rainforest, so be sure to pack your camera. As you trek through the park, you will find an abundant array of plant life and wildlife. Bird watching enthusiasts will really enjoy the area, as you can even participate in bird watching tours so that you can catch glimpses of some of the area’s most beautiful feathered creatures.
 
In addition to wildlife watching, you could take a ride in a cable car that runs to Sentosa Island. There are also several lookout points that provide spectacular panoramic views of the surrounding area, including the southern islands. But if you want to get the best views, head to Faber Point, which is the highest point in the entire park. There, you will even find an interesting mural wall that showcases scenes of the area’s history. And, if you have enough time, you could also explore other parks in the Southern Ridges, such as HortPark, Labrador Nature Reserve, Kent Ridge Park, and Telok Blangah Hill Park.
The Singapore Flyer

10. Kampong Glam

Kampong Glam is a Malay enclave, so if you enjoyed exploring areas of Singapore like Little India and Chinatown, this should also be on your to-do list. There, you will find a mix of culture and history that blends perfectly with modern trends. Shop at boutiques and stores on Bussorah Street, Arab Street, and vibrant Haji Lane before heading into a cafe or bar to relax. And, during Ramadan, you could participate in the ‘breaking of fast’ meal in the evening, as well as check out the busy nighttime markets.  
 
Follow the Kampong Glam Heritage Trail to check out the Malay neighborhood in Singapore, which still showcases the area’s Malay-Arab history. Some of the landmarks that are found along the way include the Istana Kampong Gelam, the Gedung Kuning, and the Masjid Sultan Mosque, which features impressive golden domes. You will also pass by a host of shops and restaurants, so you can take a break and have some yummy Indonesian cuisine to fuel the rest of your day.

Make the most of your time in Singapore!

Whether you’re planning on moving to Singapore for work, you’re transferring your savings to retire in Singapore, or you’re simply taking a trip to this unique Asian country, there are a lot of things to do and see once you get there. So be sure to take advantage of your access to the diverse cultural and historical sites, entertainment, shopping, and dining that help make Singapore such a fabulous place to be.
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