I told you about the Marina Bay Waterfront, Orchard Road and the Gardens by the Bay in my previous article. But there is so much more to see in Singapore! The place is filled with both historic and very cool new places. I like both, so here are some more tips on what to see in Singapore.
See the City from the Marina Bay Sands Hotel
One of the must-see places in Singapore is the Marina Bay Sands hotel. And more specifically, the SkyPark Observation Deck on top of it. It is of course a popular tourist attraction. There are two options for you here: (1) go up to the actual wood-floored observation deck located at the very end of the SkyPark or (2) go up to the top-floor café and restaurant Célavi. You can choose either, or both.
The difference between the two is that on the observation deck you can actually get to the very edge of the building with nothing but the surrounding glass between you and the city view, which is great for photos. There are also guided tours available on the deck that will provide insights in Singapore’s history and landmarks. From the Célavi café you can have the exact same view, but you’ll sometimes have the lower observation deck in front of you when taking photos. Célavi does provide a great view of the famous infinity pool though, which is only accessible to hotel guests. Both are great for watching the sunset and the Wonder Full light show.
Tickets can be obtained downstairs inside the hotel in tower 3 at the very end of the main hall/lobby. That’s where the elevators take you up. Going up to Célavi costs 23 Singapore dollars. The ticket is also a voucher for drinks in the café on top, so that is very practical. Most drinks start at 10 to 13 dollars so you can definitely put you voucher to good use. It’s good for 2 drinks if you choose wisely. The observation deck costs 26 dollars.
Chinatown: Food and Culture
The Chinese are the largest ethnic group in Singapore, so of course there is a large Chinatown. It is a great mix mix of old and new at the city’s central area. Old temples, historic shophouses, traditional wet markets. Many family-run stores and teahouses can be found here, as well as boutique hotels, restaurants, and hip bars. Chinatown offers a charm that cannot be found in other areas in Singapore. Colourful buildings and alleys, a lot of street art, museums and more. You’ll find lots of local street food at the hawker stalls and at the night street market
Go back in time at the Chinatown Heritage Centre and get a glimpse of the early life in Singapore. The center is a recreation of old houses and street scenes that tell the story of the old Chinatown.
Explore the four-story Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and see over 300 Buddhist artifacts from different parts of Asia. The sacred relic is stored in a 2-metre solid gold stupa at the temple’s 4th floor. Free English tours are available every Tuesday and Thursday.
You can practice your bargaining skills at Chinatown’s street market for all kinds of merchandise. Or you can enjoy the barbecue at Food Street and taste the satay, dim sum, seafood, noodles, and other delicious foods.
Arab Street: Food and Art
Arab Street is an absolute must, as far as I’m concerned. I really liked this place. It is both a street and a neighborhood in Singapore and very popular. It got its name from an Arab merchant, who once owned the area. The place is famous for culture, food, and entertainment. It is a very colourful and hip neighborhood which embraces the multiple ethnicities of Singapore. You really feel like you’re in another place here.
You can shop for Persian rugs, aromatic teas, fabrics, and textiles. Restaurants and cafes will offer you food from all over the world, but especially Middle Eastern, and the accompanying music you here everywhere may give you the impression you are actually in another country altogether. Be sure to really walk around, because every street is different and offers a lot of street art and murals. The main building in the area is the Sultan Mosque, the island’s largest mosque. It is very beautiful to see up close. And the alleys in the immediate vicinity will give you a chance to enjoy the local street art.
Clarke Quay: Food and Entertainment
Clarke Quay is the main nightlife hub in Singapore. As soon as the sun sets, Clarke Quay transforms into a lively and vibrant night spot. This historical riverfront district was named after Singapore’s 2nd Governor, Sir Andrew Clarke. The quay was home to warehouses that stored commercial goods transported from the nearby Boat Quay. Today, the old warehouses have been converted into blocks of bars and restaurants and places to dance and party.
You don’t necessarily have to party, of course. Clarke Quay’s riverfront makes it a perfect spot for a nice evening walk or just to hang out and unwind after a day of sightseeing. The cool breeze from the river is very welcoming after a hot day. And you will surely not go hungry here. There are restaurants and bars all over the place, on both sides of the river, many with a riverside terrace that lets you enjoy the view even more. so be sure to put Clarke Quay on your list of places to see in Singapore!
All this sightseeing requires a place to stay, of course. What is the best place to stay in Singapore? Read it here.