Attractions in Singapore
There are a number of attractions and sights in Singapore. You can visit beautiful Hindu temples and mosques, see magnificent skyscrapers or all of Sentosa’s tourist attractions.
Chinatown in Singapore
Although Singapore is Asia’s most western-oriented and looking city, Chinatown is like going straight into Beijing. 75% of the city’s population is of Chinese origin, and here you can clearly see how busy they are with their cultural, ethnic and historical heritage. Here you will find Chinese temples and pagodas with dense incense scent, dragon carvings and large Buddha statues, such as Singapore’s oldest temple, Sri Mariamman of 1823 on South Bridge Road.
Little India, Singapore
As you stroll along Serangoon Road and know the smells of spices and incense, hear Hindi and see men in turban, statues of Shiva and Ganesh and exotic marketplaces, it’s quick to forget for a moment which country you really are in Bring with you the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple, built in 1881 in honor of the cruel goddess Kali, and the Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple from 1855 with its twenty-meter-high tower.
Kampong Glam / Arab Street
The Islamic part of Singapore is the supreme best for shopping at bazaars. Here you can bargain with the heart’s desire for fabrics, spices, waterpipes and souvenirs and make bargains at surprisingly good prices. The visual center of Kampong Glam is Singapore’s largest mosque, the Sultan Mosque, originally built in 1825 with financial support from the city’s nestor, Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles.
Singapore Zoo / Night Safari
Singapore’s zoo has been acclaimed by zoologists and animal friends as one of the world’s best. Over 1600 animals, half of them endangered species from Asia, live here in the most natural environment possible. Open daily from 2 pm 0830 to 1800, entrance fee NOK 60 for adults and NOK 25 for children.
Night Safari The
Night Safari, which opened in 1994, is the world’s first night zoo, giving visitors a unique opportunity to observe animals that are normally active only after dark. Open from 2 pm 1930 to midnight, entry 80 NOK for adults, children half price.
Singapore Botanical Garden
Not far from Orchard Road is Singapore’s large botanical garden, with thousands of plant species ranging from well- landscaped parks to pure jungle areas. There is also a private orchid garden with over 3000 orchids. Free admission, but the orchid gardens cost it approx. 20 kroner to visit.
Singapore National Museum
Singapore’s National Museum shows with objects and illustrations the development of today’s modern Singapore. There are also about 20 vibrant exhibitions showing important events and daily life in the province. The museum is housed in a grand colonial building, easily recognizable by its large silver dome, not far from the Raffles Hotel. 93 Stamford Road.
Singapore Art Museum
The art enthusiasts will enjoy visiting the city’s art museum, which is just off the historic museum in a beautifully restored old school building. Most of the over 4,000 exhibitions come from local and regional artists, from modern art to centuries-old Chinese paintings and drawings. Entry 12 kroner, 20 at special exhibitions.
Open all days from 2 pm 1000 to 1900. Fridays open until 10 pm 2100, with free admission after 7 p.m. 18:00.
It is almost mandatory for first time visitors to Singapore to visit the Raffles Hotels Long Bar and order a Singapore Sling, which you consume while crunching peanuts and tossing the skulls on the floor. Raffles Hotel is named after Singapore’s legendary governor, Sir Stamford Raffles, and opened its doors in 1887. It quickly became synonymous with the Orient luxury.
Singapore’s premier entertainment area is located on a small island off the southern coast. Here you will find enough attractions to keep everyone busy for days. Sandy beaches, golf courses, view towers, museums, 19th-century fortifications, butterfly parks, rainforest areas, aquarium and dolphin lagoon, restaurants, bars and nightclubs.
Tourist in Singapore
Few trips from Europe to Singapore with intentions to spend the whole holiday trip here. More common is a few days stay before continuing to other destinations, and the city has plenty of offers and attractions to keep you busy during this period.
Singapore’s excellent public transport, both modern and efficient, makes it easy to get around the city on your own. There are also many companies that offer guided tours in several languages. The city’s tourist office STB has a good selection of everything from river cruises and city walks to sightseeing by bus or rickshaw.
Day 1 in Singapore
We start the day with a hearty and tasty breakfast at the hotel or at a local coffee shop. Feel free to try the local, strong copy coffee. Afterwards, take the subway (MRT) to Raffles Place Station and cross the Singapore River at Cavenagh Bridge. Notice the statue of a cat family on the left. Right in front of you is the Old Parliament House, Singapore’s oldest administration building. Outside the stately facade stands a gift from Siam’s King of 1871, a large bronze statue of an elephant.
Old Parliament House is now turned into The Arts House, which devotes itself to arts such as film, theater, music and dance with both local and international artists. Free admission, but guided tours cost approx. 30 kroner per person.
From here you can take a taxi or walk the wide North Bridge Road north, and after approx. one and a half miles you will reach the cross street Arab Street. This street has not got its name for nothing, because in the quarters around here, Singapore’s Islamic community lives, and they make a strong impression on the neighborhood. Kampong Glam, as the area is called, has several mosques, the largest and most important of which is the Sultan Mosque of 1825 with its large golden dome.
The market streets are excellent for shopping for example. fabrics, spices and hookahs, and unlike the rest of Singapore, it is perfectly fine (and required) to bargain for the goods here.
Continue a half mile west, and it will suddenly feel like you’ve gone from Arabia to India. The main street in Little India, where most of Singapore’s 340,000 Indians live, is Serangoon Road. Here you can visit several Hindu temples dedicated to Kali and Vishnu, shop at exotic markets in the aroma of spices and incense, and have a tasty lunch from one of the simple South Indian restaurants found throughout Little India. For example, try Komala Vilas in 76 Serangoon Road. In the same street is also the large shopping complex Mustafa, which sells affordable electronic equipment 24 hours a day.
If you hop on the subway (MRT) in Little India, the next stop is south of Handy Road. You are now at the beginning of Singapore’s long main shopping street Orchard Road, with shops and shopping centers on both sides of the road. Here you will find more than enough to do until you feel ripe for a trip back to the hotel to put away your shopping bags, have a shower and relax a bit.
As darkness descends over Singapore and the neon signs and skyscrapers light up the city streets, it’s time to take a taxi to the city’s highest-ranking restaurant. On the 70th floor of the old Swissotel is the exclusive restaurant Equinox, which has great oriental decor and a fantastic view of Singapore. If you have been predictive enough to book a window table in advance (phone 6837 3322), this will be an unforgettable dinner. It is by no means cheap, but an experience you should enjoy while in Singapore.
If you want to experience some of Singapore’s nightlife afterwards, you can easily walk upstairs to the trendy New Asia Bar & Grill. If you prefer a slightly more popular pub, you have the very Irish Father Flanagans a few meters up the street from the Swissotel.
Day 2 in Singapore
After breakfast, we head to one of Singapore’s most colorful and fascinating neighborhoods, Chinatown. If you take the MRT, get off at Chinatown or Outram Park Station. Although heavily influenced by its Chinese population, you will find both the Al-Abrar Mosque and the Hindu Sri Mariamman Temple here, proof that various religious and ethnic groups can actually live side by side in peace and tolerance.
It is worth spending a few hours at the large, new Chinatown Heritage Center on Pagoda Street. This is an interactive museum that shows the interesting history of the city’s origins and Chinese culture and living conditions in Singapore. Open all days from 2 pm 9 am to 2 pm 2000, entry fee less than NOK 100.
Most of the shops and street activities can be found in Trengganu and Smith Street. The latter is also known as Food Street, after all the food serving stalls set up here every night from 7 p.m. 1700. Here you can sample a number of different local dishes and eat yourself dumplings for twenty kroner. At the same time, Chinatown Night Market takes place in Pagoda Street and Sago Street, where you can look at all sorts of items, from Chinese masks and silk kimonos to Levi’s pants and camera lenses.
It may have become a cliché, but as a tourist you must of course turn to the Raffles Hotel, sit down at the bar in The Long Bar and order the classic Singapore Sling, the drink made just here around 1912. The price is on a stiff amount of money compared to most others in Singapore.
The Sinapore Sling drink has by no means been popular since its inception. For a while, the bar stopped selling it and actually forgot the recipe, which fortunately reappeared on some old papers.
How about ending the day with a buffet dinner of local cuisine while cruising down the Singapore River and Marina Bay on a traditional Chinese dip, accompanied by live music? Several operators arrange this at prices starting from 250 kroner.