When you think of the cities of the future, chances are what you imagine looks similar to Singapore right now. From a sprawling waterfall inside the Jewel Changi Airport to the futuristic parks of Gardens by the Bay - this city is light years ahead when it comes to innovation and urban development.
But with big data, it’s easy to lose focus. If your browser is in desperate need of a cool down, we have the solution: Introducing the (technologically advanced) Singapore tourism guide! We used high-end technology, hacked into servers, and gathered all the much-needed information for your trip into this innovative country - etiquette, secret spots, hiring a Singapore tour guide, best foods, and safety tips included!
The World Loves Singapore
Home to 5.92 million people, The Lion City is a fusion of architectural marvels and razor-sharp innovation at the forefront of technological and urban development, making you feel like you are entering the world of Cyberpunk 2077…without the dystopian aspects, of course.
You might think that translates to overly crowded areas and no green spaces, but that’s far from it! Ranking at number 1 worldwide, the country's infrastructure, economic status & political stability makes it a hub for advancements such as strengthening environmental bonds and extending the island's rail network for convenient travel.
So, is Singapore a tourism favorite? It is! Being the 5th most visited country in the world in 2017, the government reached an all-time high with over 19.1 million visitors in 2019. The pandemic slowed down those numbers, but for 2023, 12 to 14 million visitors are already expected, and the numbers keep rising! With the country's GDP in tourism in mind (4%), it is no wonder that tourism is a massive thing in Singapore.
Now the question is: which country is the biggest fan of this start-up heaven? We hacked the numbers:
- Mainland China - Coming in at number 1 is Mainland China, with a staggering 3.6 million visitors in 2019.
- Indonesia - At number 2, Singapore's neighbor Indonesia follows closely with 3.1 million visitors.
- India - Still in the top 3, India swarmed to the country with over 1.4 million visitors in 2019.
- Malaysia -Hot on India’s heels, Malaysia takes spot number 4 with 1.2 million guests.
- Australia - …and Australia rounds up this list with 1.1 million travelers in 2019.
Travel Tip: Want to know how Singapore got so futuristic? This National Geographic documentary will help!
Innovative Pioneering: Singapore’s Top Travel Destinations
Celebrated as the financial hub of the Asian Pacific, Singapore is much more than figures and numbers. These are the most beautiful places to see if you pay a visit.
- Gardens by the Bay - A breathtaking fusion between nature and architecture, this beautiful garden is the ideal representation of Singapore - a mix of urban life, green ecosystem, and futuristic design.
- Marina Bay Sands - A testament to modern-day architecture in Singapore, the distinctive style has made this a city landmark. Enjoy culinary delights on the building's rooftop (or swim in its infinity pool!), go for a shopping tour at the countless designer boutiques, or visit its art gallery full of local artists - the possibilities are endless.
- Jewel Changi Airport - Awarded for being the best airport in the world, you could spend your entire trip simply exploring the many facets of this airport - indoor waterfall, Imax theater, restaurant, and shops included.
- Merlion - If you're looking for THE Instagram spot in Singapore, you will find it here. A mixture of a Lion and a mermaid, the mascot of Singapore, marks the origins of Singapore as a fishing village.
- Singapore Zoo - The zoological garden is a relaxing place for meeting countless distinct species (over 300) while learning more about the incredible Asian biodiversity. Cool thing: the zoo also offers night safaris.
- Sentosa Island - Escaping the city's crowds, Sentosa Island is the perfect place! Stunning beaches and lush greenery make this the ideal spot for family relaxation. In desperate need of a thrill? Then, Universal Studios is right around the corner!
Welcome To The Future - Singapore's Futuristic Spaces
Ever wondered what cities in the future will look like? Then, take a closer look at these Singaporean buildings:
- ArtScience Museum - Astonishing from the outside, educational on the inside. The innovative architecture (shaped like a lotus flower) will be as impressive as its exhibitions on the inside, featuring paintings of timeless artists like Leonardo Da Vinci.
- The Sandcrawler- The Singaporean headquarters of Lucasfilm, and the company behind Star Wars brought this futuristic-looking building to life. It could also be a massive spaceship (*Siri, play Imperial March, please*).
- Marina One- Set in the city's financial sector and surrounded by lush greenery, the skyscraper's striking design is perfect for taking snapshots. Also, architect Christoph Ingenhoven (a German, yeah!) pioneered its sustainable design, blending eco-friendly material with long-lasting architectural methods.
- Henderson Waves - In the mood for a walk? Then, crossing this 274m bridge is the ideal place. Its futuristic, wave-like design will make you speechless…so will the panoramic view of Singapore's Mount Faber Park and Telok Blangah Hill Park.
- The Interlace - These high-rise blocks look like the neighborhoods of the future, starting with their hexagonal pattern and their sustainable features such as rainwater harvesting or natural ventilation.
Next-Gen Urban Oases: The Green Spaces of the City
Singapore is known for 2 things: its incredible futuristic architecture, urban green spaces…and the fact that it's the setting for the film Crazy Rich Asians. Okay, that's 3 things. Let's examine why Singapore is also called a “City in a Garden”.
- Singapore Botanic Gardens - One of the oldest botanical gardens in the world, this UNESCO Heritage site is a sanctuary for a wide range of flora and fauna and is ideal for leisurely afternoon strolls.
- Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park - Located in the center of Singapore, this urban park is an excellent spot for taking a break from the hectic urban life. Looking for a place to go for a family picnic? This is your spot.
- Fort Canning Park - Not only a park but a historical landmark of the country of Singapore, this is a green hub for countless festivals, theater productions, and concerts. With its 9 historical gardens, there is no shortage of lush vegetation and exciting trivia to learn.
- Mount Faber Park - If you're a fan of panoramic views, then the second-highest mountain in Singapore is a safe bet. Taking the cable car from Sentosa Island to enjoy the stunning view atop the hill makes for a breathtaking experience.
- Rail Corridor - This 24 km former railway line is the ideal walking trip to get lost in the picturesque natural flora. Want to take a look at the road? Here you go!
Travel Tip: To preserve nocturnal animal wildlife, the park is not lit at night, so exploring it during the daytime is best.
Movie Trivia: You loved the film Crazy Rich Asians? Nice, me too! Then grab an ice-cold Tiger beer at Newton Food Center, or have a(n) (intense!) round of Mahjong at the Blue Mansion and revisit your favorite moments from the film!
Futuristic Delights - The Best Things To Eat In Singapore
From the delicious street food shops at countless hawker stands to the extravagant cuisine of the financial district, there's plenty of mouth-watering food everywhere! Let's look at some of the must-try dishes and where to find them!
- Hainanese Chicken Rice - Considered by many to be a national dish, this unique rice meal is a testament to the multicultural history of Singapore.
Where to find it: Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice at Maxwell Food Center.
Culinary tip: Want to know how it's made? Check out this Hainanese video! (Caution: don't watch on an empty stomach!)
- Laksa - This flavorful noodle dish comes in multiple variations, the most famous one undoubtedly being Katong Laksa (creamy coconut milk, aromatic spices, irresistibly delicious)!
Where to find it:Depot Road Zhen Shan Mei Claypot Laksa at Alexandra Village Food Center
- Chili Crab - Like Hainanese Chicken Rice, this savory local dish is considered a Singaporean stable. If you’re a fan of seafood, don’t miss out on the tender, juicy crab drenched in spicy tomato-chili sauce.
Where to find it:Alliance Seafood at Newton Circus Food Center
- Prawn Mee/Hokkien Me - A testament to the multicultural cuisine of Malaysia and Singapore, this famous noodle soup comes with prawn and pork slices. Usually, you can choose between two variations: Hokkien Mee (savory seafood broth) and Prawn Mee (broth made from prawn shells).
Where to find it: Hokkien Man Hokkien Mee at Blk 19, Toa Payoh 7
- Kaya Toast - If you're looking for the perfect Singaporean breakfast, this is it! 2 slices of toasted bread and one spoon of sweet and creamy kaya jam is all it needs. Often served with a soft-boiled egg and coffee or tea, this will make for a perfect start to the day!
Where to find it: Tong Ah Eating House at 35 Keong Saik Road
Forward Shopping: Singapore’s Cutting-Edge Malls
Innovation meets luxury in the magnificent shopping malls of Singapore. These are the Crème de la Crème.
- Orchard Road - Not only an architectural marvel but also the perfect place for retail therapy, this shopping district is known for its many designer labels, international fashion brands, and culinary variety.
- Marina Bay Shopping Mall - Looking for an exclusive shopping experience? Then head over to the Shoppes, dress yourself in the most fashionable designer clothes, and enjoy the view of the Singaporean skyline on Sky Park.
- Raffles Hotel Shopping Arcade - Looking for an extravagant souvenir for friends? You will definitely find it here.
Maneuvering The Lion City - Apps You Need For Singapore
Singapore is a city of technological innovation, which is why using these apps will simplify your journey through the city a lot!
- Grab (Android/IOS) - In an area with no taxis? No problem! Conveniently book a Grab, and you’ll arrive at your destination in no time.
- Explore Singapore MRT (Android/IOS) - If you're getting lost often, this app will be your life saver! Usable both online and offline, street maps, route planners, prices, and time schedules will make your journey through Singapore less stressful.
- Weather SG (Android/IOS) - You're soaking wet because the weather app on your phone was imprecise…again…this week. With weather SG, you'll know exactly when the next rain shower is around the corner.
Next-Gen Navigation: How To Get Around In Singapore
Singapore has an excellent transport system which has been awarded multiple times. Want to know the most convenient ways to get around? Here they are:
- Subway - By far, the most efficient way of getting around in the city is by using the MRT (Mass Rapid Transit). Known for punctuality and rapid frequency, you’ll reach your destination swiftly every time.
- On Foot - The best way to find Singaporean hidden gems and take in the architectural marvels up close is by taking a relaxed walk. Despite the city's heat, many walking areas feature shadow lanes, which makes strolling around more comfortable.
- Bus - Similar to the subway system, Singapore's buses have an extensive network to offer. Bonus point: you can enjoy many of the iconic landmarks that make this city so incredible from the comfort of your seat.
- Taxi - A taxi is still your best choice if you need venue-to-venue service, or want a private ride.
- Travel tip: With sudden rain, or during rush hour times, the demand for taxis can increase. In that case, it's best to call a taxi by phone.
(Singaporean) Music Tip: If you're looking for the Singaporean sound of the future, by sure to check out Myrne! Blending countless electronic genres together, the result is a captivating fusion that will make you feel like you're driving along a cyberpunk-esque highway.
When to Go: Singapore by the Seasons
With temperatures between 26°C-30°C, cloudless blue skies, and a tropical vibe throughout the year, Singapore is one of those places you could visit anytime. Yet, there are some factors to consider before starting your journey. Let's look at Singapore’s weather and the ideal time to go.
Winter (December to February) - Falling into monsoon season, your umbrella will be used frequently. Expect temperatures ranging from 30 to 32 °C. At this time of the year, indoor activities like museums and shopping malls will be your best friend.
Cool thing to do: In February, there is the Chinese New Year's Festival to celebrate!
Spring (March-May) - With less rain comes more chances to explore scenic nature and do all the outdoor activities on your to-do list. Temperatures are also dropping towards 27°C, which makes outside activities more manageable.
Cool thing to do:The Singapore Festival of Arts is the perfect way to immerse yourself in the artistic side of Singapore, in which both national and international artists present their work.
Summer (June-August) - The good: rainfall and occasional rain showers are rare since this time is considered the driest. The bad: temperatures are between 32- 34°C, and most tourists visit the country during this time of the year, so expect larger crowds. Still, with a full water bottle by your side and enough sunscreen on your skin, this makes for an ideal time to explore Singapore's many outdoor attractions.
Cool thing to do: If you're there for the food, you chose the right time. The Singapore Food Festival will make all your culinary dreams come true! Also, there's no better time for escaping to Sentosa Island to slurp a cold cocktail on the beach.
Autumn (September-November) - With falling temperatures (25-32 °C) and fewer crowds, Singapore has become an excellent place for exploring, especially with the many activities that will fill your calendar. The downside: rainfall and humid temperatures are very common, especially near the end of autumn. Also, it becomes very foggy during the morning hours.
Cool thing to do: A highlight in autumn is the Formula One Grand Prix, which draws in fans from around the world and gives the city a specific flair. The Mid-Autumn festival, marking the end of the autumn harvest, is another reason for traveling to Singapore during this time.
Travel tip: No matter when you want to start your Singapore trip, don’t forget to bring an umbrella, strong sunscreen, and comfortable clothing!
Navigating Tomorrow: Do's and Don'ts - Singapore Edition
Cyber Security - Safety in Singapore:
Let's get this out of the way: Singapore is unbeaten when it comes to safety and cleanliness. With a safety index of 76.36 and a crime index of 23.64, Singapore beats out cities with the lowest crime indexes, like Copenhagen or Tokyo.
Crimes like pick-pocketing can still happen occasionally, so have your personal items in sight when traveling around.
So, is Singapore also safe for female solo travelers? Absolutely! In 2022, the GPI (Global Peace Index) ranked Singapore among the safest cities in the world, so it's an ideal destination for everyone!
So, you’ve packed your bags, re-watched “Crazy Rich Asians” (again), and are ready to make your Singaporean travel dreams come true? Perfect! Then get in touch with your Singapore tour guide and plan your itinerary together!