Discover Singapore, the South East Asian city-state located on 63 small islands and worldwide known as the Garden City. Thanks to its tropical forests and environmental sustainability, Singapore is already projected into the future.
Singapore is one of the main economic capital of the globe and has also lots of touristic attractions. For instance, it hosts the best airport in the world, or some of the most engaging ethnic neighbourhoods, together with several beaches located on the surrounding islands.
THE GARDEN CITY
More than a half of Singapore’s land is covered by green areas; in particular, the city hosts 50 parks and 4 natural reserves. And yet, despite all this green, this is the second city in the world for population density.
The Gardens By the Bay express perfectly the combination of nature and urban space: this futuristic city forest, with its bars and restaurants, is the perfect place where to relax.
The National Orchid Garden represents another natural paradise near the city centre. Just think that it holds the world’s greatest collection of orchids. Here you can walk around different paths among orchid, lakes and animal species in partial freedom, or enjoy concerts and fine dining restaurants.
The colonial and historic part of the city overlooks Singapore’s river and it sports several artistic centres. Among the museums and theaters located on the northern shore of the river, there are also the government buildings.
Where to stay on the Riverside
The financial centre of the city is situated on the southern shore. Around the piers of Boat Quay, Robertson Quay and Clarke Quay are many restaurants and nightlife clubs. In this area are also situated most of the city’s hotels, among which The Warehouse (320 Havelock Road, 169628 Robertson Quay, thewarehousehotel.com), M Social (90 Robertson Quay, millenniumhotels.com/en/singapore/m-social-singapore/), Raffles (1 Beach Rd, affles.com/singapore/), and the Parkroyal On Pickering (3 Upper Pickering Street, Chinatown, parkroyalhotels.com/en/hotels-resorts/singapore/pickering.html). The latter is a luxury hotel known for its vegetal terraces, which give the hosts the impression to be in a garden and in a hotel at the same time.
Where to eat on the Riverside
The sushi served at the One Fullerton Hotel (1 Fullerton Rd, fullertonhotels.com/the-fullerton-hotel) is highly recommended, as well as the 1 Altitude Bar (1 Raffles Place, 1-altitude.com/), where to enjoy a good cocktail on the panoramic roof of a skyscraper.
In the Riverside area, you may also visit the National Gallery, a wonderful colonial palace overlooking the river which contains a lot of modern Southeast Asian artworks (1 St Andrew’s Rd, nationalgallery.sg/).
The alleys of this neighbourhood represent the perfect place to have a walk, maybe while looking for something to eat. In fact, Chinatown is full of restaurants: the most recommended choices are the Australian barbecue-style Burnt Ends (20 Teck Lim Road, burntends.com.sg/); the vibrant Mexican notes of Lucha Loco (15 Duxton Hill, super-loco.com/luchaloco/), and the Mediterranean influences of Lolla (22 Ann Siang Rd, lolla.com.sg/). But you will surely find a lot of other interesting places while wandering around!
Not far from this district, you can also visit the famous Baba House (157 Neil Rd, babahouse.nus.edu.sg/), an important residential house of the Peranakan community, that has become nowadays a fascinating museum.
Ten minutes walking from there is located the Adler Luxury Hostel, very comfortable and extremely central (259 South Bridge Rd, adlerhostel.com/).
Marina Bay is the neighbourhood that overlooks the sea, and it is dominated by the Marina Bay Sands Resort (10 Bayfront Avenue, marinabaysands.com/). In this three-towers’ building you can find a hotel, a casino, a shopping mall, a conference hall and a museum.
The main green parts of the Garden City are located in this area, among which the Super Trees, real vertical gardens grown on special structures. Often considered as the symbol of Singapore, these trees become charming light shows in the night.
A little further east of Marina Bay, on the so-called East Coast, you can also find Koon Seng Road, home of the most colourful houses in Singapore.
Where to eat and drink in Marina Bay
Near the Marina Bay Sands, there are two recommended places for a fine dinner: the Cut by Wolfgang Puck (2 Bayfront Avenue, B1-71, Galleria Level, wolfgangpuck.com/dining/cut-singapore/), where to taste a delicious gourmet cuisine; and the panoramic bar Level 33 (8 Marina Boulevard 33-01, Marina Bay Financial Centre Tower 1, level33.com.sg/), which serves also excellent beers!
Moreover, you can’t miss the Atlas Bar (600 North Bridge Rd, Parkview Square, atlasbar.sg/), situated in an amazing colonial background in the northern part of the district.
The tree-lined and shiny Orchard Road lies in the northern part of the city centre and it is known as the main shopping street of Singapore. Underground passages, where you can find some pleasing conditioned air, link the several shopping centers. Near Orchard Road are also located the Singapore Botanic Gardens, where to visit the orchid park described above.
The colonial area of Bras Basah is instead less commercial, and you can find here some historic houses and museums.
If you are looking for a drink in this area, you can try those of the Manhattan Bar within the Regent Hotel (1 Cuscaden Road Level 2, Regent, regenthotels.com/regent-singapore/dining/manhattan), while Shinji by Kanesaka at the Hotel St. Regis serves an excellent sushi (29 Tanglin Rd, stregissingapore.com/shinji).