The city-state of Singapore is a true marvel of the modern world: a highly urbanised, cosmopolitan economic powerhouse where skyscrapers and high-tech infrastructure blends seamlessly with an interesting cultural mix of Chinese, Malay and Indian influences.
Singapore Travel Guide
Known as the Garden City due it’s extraordinary amount of parks and urban greenery, Singapore is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Asia, welcoming well over 10 million international visitors each year.
Singapore is also one of the most popular destinations in the world for expatriate workers, and although many foreign visitors to Singapore are there for long-term stints, it remains a beguiling holiday destination as well. This is especially the case for families travelling with children in tow: a survey of Singapore’s most-visited tourist attractions, including the Singapore Zoo, Universal Studios Singapore and the Singapore Discovery Centre, reveals it’s status as a premier family vacation destination.
For the culturally-minded, Singapore is home to an impressive range of museums (such as the Asian Civilisation Museum), while the areas of Chinatown, Little India, and the Arab Quarter pay homage to the city’s roots, and play host to some of the city’s best cultural sights, events and cuisine. Outdoor enthusiasts will delight in the amount of open space Singapore has on offer, including the urban rainforest of the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve; while from the second they step foot on Orchard Road, shopaholics will feel as though they’ve died and gone to heaven. As if all this wasn’t impressive enough, Singapore also lays claim to a vibrant (and pretty wild) nightlife, and the resort hub of Sentosa Island.
Best time to visit Singapore
Singapore has a tropical climate, characterised by hot and humid weather all year round. Although rainfall is common throughout the year, the wettest months are between November and January. The best time to visit Singapore is during it’s festive seasons, the best of which is Chinese New Year (occurring at the end of January or beginning of February each year).
What to pack
Pack an umbrella and a lightweight rain-slicker for Singapore, as heavy downpours are a common occurrence. A light sweater is also a good idea for ultra air-conditioned buildings, even in the heat of summer.
What to buy
Merlion key-rings and jewellery, jade carvings, bronze statues and coasters made from Peranakan tiles.
Chilli crab, satay (barbecued meat served on a skewer) with peanut sauce, and the coconut milk-based curry known as laksa
A final word
Singapore is a complex land, where several strong cultures mix with economic prosperity and cutting edge technology, offering visitors a dream Asian holiday destination full of old and new world charm.
DISTANCE FROM AIRPORT TO CITY CENTRE: 25 kilometres
TIME ZONE: GMT +7 hours
CURRENCY: Singapore Dollar (SGD)
LANGUAGES: Mandarin Chinese, English, Malay and Tamil are the official languages