Described as a playground for the rich, Singapore offers more than just high-end shopping malls, luxury hotels, and fine dining (though it’s worth indulging in those if you want). There are many family-friendly attractions and lovely public spaces that make visiting this modern city worthwhile. Singapore has an excellent public transportation system. English is spoken everywhere and signs are in English as well.
Marina Bay Sands
The plush Marina Bay Sands resort complex includes a hotel, high-end luxury brands, a mall with a canal running through it, the Art Science Museum, and the Marina Bay Sands Skypark – a vantage point for taking in the entire city. The Skypark’s viewing deck and infinity pool are found in the ship that tops the hotel. Only hotel guests are allowed to use the infinity pool but anyone can visit the observation deck.
If the observation deck at the Marina Bay Sands doesn’t quite do it for you, try the Singapore Flyer, the world’s largest giant observation wheel. Choose from several different packages that allow you to be served and pampered while enjoying a view that encompasses not only the Singapore skyline, but reaches to the Spice Islands of Indonesia and Malaysia’s Straits of Johor.
If you’ve ever visited China, Singapore’s Chinatown neighborhood will bring you right back there. From the small mom-and-pop stores and authentic Chinese food to the bright red lanterns, there’s an excitement and hustle in this district. You can visit the Chinese Heritage Centre and see the impressive and beautiful Sri Mariamman Hindu temple.
Changi Chapel and Museum
The museum displays the letters, photographs, drawings, and personal effects that are now testaments to the imprisonment of more than 50,000 civilians and soldiers in Changi Prison, thanks to World War II. The Changi Chapel, found in the open-air courtyard of the museum, is a replica of one of the many chapels that were built during World War II.
The world’s best rainforest zoo, the Singapore Zoo is a pretty impressive place. The facility is clean and inviting, and the animals appear well treated with plenty of lush vegetation and habitat space. There is also a large chimpanzee family, zebras, meerkats, a komodo dragon, mole rats, white tigers, orangutans, kangaroos, and many other creatures. There’s also the Night Safari, River Safari (including a giant panda forest), and the Jurong Bird Park.
Singapore isn’t exactly known as a beach destination, but if you’re really craving some fun in the sun, Sentosa Island is the place to find it. Siloso Beach is a good spot for getting in beach time. There is also an Underwater World aquarium where you can swim with dolphins. A must-see on Sentosa Island is the Merlion, Singapore’s famous statue that has the head of a lion and the body of a fish.
This delightful riverside development is packed full of bustling bars and restaurants, boutique shops and pumping nightclubs, attracting a steady stream of tourists alongside Singapore’s party animals. Clarke Quay’s location takes full advantage of the picturesque body of water that emerges from the city’s main river.
Universal Studios Singapore
The Universal Studios Singapore is the first of its kind to open in Southeast Asia. The park has more than 20 attractions in themed zones including the Lost World, Ancient Egypt, New York, Hollywood, Madagascar and Far Far Away (remember Shrek?). Regarding the rides, two are water themed and five are thrilling roller coasters of which two of are currently the world’s tallest ‘dueling’ roller coasters.
Travelers who enjoy nightlife but are tired of the club scene should head over to Night Safari where nocturnal animals are on display. Since it opened in 1984, it is one of Singapore’s top attractions, with more than one million people annually enjoying a tram ride through seven of the world’s geographic regions.
Gardens by the Bay
This is a recent addition to Singapore’s tourist attractions, but is one that gardeners won’t want to miss visiting. Open less than a decade, Gardens by the Bay is built on reclaimed land in central Singapore. It consists of three gardens: Bay Central, a garden with a waterfront walk that will eventually connect the other two gardens; Bay East, which is opening in phases as sections are completed, and Bay South, the largest garden, which showcases tropical horticulture and includes tree-like structures up to 50 meters (160 feet) high that dominate the Gardens’ landscape.