A heady mix of the modern and traditional with lashings of the exotic thrown in, the South East Asian island state that was often overlooked in favor of its neighboring rivals has since come into its own.
With pristine lush gardens, beaches and surrounding islands and a melting pot of cultures, an interesting colonial past and a thriving economy, Singapore is drawing more and more curious visitors.
This is South East Asia but a more gentle and orderly introduction to the region, from my many trips here are my 20 of the most beautiful places to visit in Singapore…
1. Gardens by the Bay – surreal sights and paradise-
Not many people know just how much natural beauty and wonder there is to see in Singapore! The Gardens by the Bay offers some truly unique sights for nature loves including the world’s largest indoor waterfall.
A visit to the Supertree Grove is also a must where you’ll be able to see futuristically designed structures performing environmentally sustainable functions, its nature and the future brought together.
Gardens by the Bay is a wonderland that celebrates the biodiversity of nature in all its forms. So, if you want to escape the hustle and bustle of city life for a while visit Gardens by the Bay.
2. Singapore’s Southern Islands – gorgeous islets once home to native Malay islanders and sea nomads
Singapore’s Southern Islands are well worth a visit and you can even take a tour around many of them! This gorgeous collection of islands where once home to native Malay islanders and sea nomads (before they were relocated to the mainland).
With many Islands to visit there is something for everyone the Kusu Island (also known as Turtle Island) being one of the most mysterious.
It’s home to a Chinese temple and many shrines telling the story of shipwrecked sailors save by a turtle who lived on the Island.
The nearby Lazarus Island is also worth a visit and it features a beautiful beach and amazingly clear waters. With so many Islands to see the South of Singapore has got plenty to offer.
3. Little India – beautiful temples, a lively atmosphere and colorful buildings
Singapore celebrates Indian culture and cuisine with the sprawling Little India. With beautiful bright colours, excellent food and great music Little India is a treat for the senses and the perfect place to visit.
The food court and markets are a must for some authentic Indian cuisine, there are all kinds of shops and you simply must see some of the amazing street art.
There are even some nearby hotels as well so if you really love Little India you can stay nearby. Make sure you try as many restaurants as you can while visiting.
4. Botanic Gardens – the most spectacular of tropical flora set in a stunning verdant landscape
The Singapore Botanic Gardens is a must-visit you can see a wide variety of plants, flowers, animals, lakes and much more. It’s a great place to visit for running and yoga but there’s also plenty of picnic space as well.
Whether it’s on your own or with friends and family the Singapore Botanic Gardens is a wondrous place to visit and you could easily spend all day exploring it.
5. Clarke Quay – a stunning historical riverside quay
Clarke Quay was one of Singapore’s leading commerce sectors during the 19th century and it’s still thriving today! With amazing waterfront views, it’s a wonderous place to visit whether you’re shopping or not.
You can take a river cruise to see the magnificent structures a whole-new way, visit the Asian Civilization Museum or even opt for a bungee jump if you want a rush of adrenaline! There is something for everyone at Clarke Quay.
6. Raffles Hotel – the famous and iconic colonial hotel
It might seem strange to recommend visiting a hotel but there’s plenty to see and do at Raffles without needing to stay there! You can admire the beautiful architecture and even visit many of the great onsite shops and restaurants in the hotel complex.
Whether you’re staying for a visit on just want to see its wonderous architecture up close the Raffle hotel is well worth visiting.
7. Punggol Beach, Coney Island – one of the most beautiful places to visit in Singapore
Singapore isn’t a beach location for most people but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few to visit. The Punggol Beach, Coney Island experience offers something different from your normal beach though.
The island is designed to be as natural as possible and is a fantastic place to visit to relax and unwind.
You can go on hiking and cycle trips around the island, there are bird-watching settlements, and even a small island forest you can explore. Coney Island is all about celebrating nature and it gives you a way to experience a whole new-side to Singapore.
8. Chinatown – a much-loved mix of the old and new
Singapore’s Chinatown is designed to offer an authentic experience to visitors. You’ll find traditional mom and pop-style shops, amazing street food, authentic Chinese restaurants and much more.
You can even pay a visit to the Chinese Heritage Centre and there are numerous ancient temples to visit. There’s free Wi-Fi all around the neighborhood as well which is very handy for tourists.
9. Bukit Batok Hill – a beauty spot filled with lush greenery
Bukit Batok Hill is home to the Bukit Batok Memorial which was built by POWs to commemorate the dead who fought in the Battle of Bukit Timah. The memorial was destroyed after the war but the stairs and remnants of them still exist today.
It’s well worth visiting to see these alone but the surrounding town of Bukit Batok is worth seeing as well. The West Mall, in particular, houses everything you could want including a library, cinema complex, restaurant, shops and much more.
If you want a Singapore shopping extravaganza it’s a great place to visit.
10. The Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum – an attraction rich in history and art
Found in Chinatown the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum is one of the newer attractions in Singapore. Built-in 2007 and named after the left canine of Buddha the temple and museum are the perfect places to spend a day.
The sacred Light Hall holds a stunning relic made from 320 kilograms of gold. Although you can’t enter the relic chamber there is a public viewing platform.
There are also cultural and artistic performances as well. The Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum is the perfect place to explore more about Buddhism but also offers some wonderful examples of art, history, and culture.
11. Changi Beach – one of the oldest coastal parks in Singapore
Found in Eastern Singapore Changi Beach offers some amazing views across its 28 hectares. It’s one of the oldest beach parks in Singapore and still retains the 60/70s village atmosphere.
It’s got a very unique charm and is well worth seeing. It’s a popular picnic spot as well and you can also enjoy onsite exercise equipment, barbeque pits, and a playground making it perfect for families.
12. Tanjong Beach – a gorgeous tranquil Singapore beach
Found on Sentosa Island the Tanjong Beach is a relaxing and tranquil spot that is a must-visit! With lush white sand, sparkling water, and beautiful coconut trees it’s a little patch of paradise.
Further out you’ll find some nearby bars and clubs that can be great spots to visit later on. But this beach is known for its more peaceful laidback atmosphere.
13. Labrador Nature Reserve – a picturesque protected area
The Labrador Nature Reserve is another great opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and really get back to nature. You’ll find a great variety of trees, plants, and wildlife. You can enjoy listening to the insects and really relax anyway from everything else.
The nature park also has a lot of historic importance as it was one of the most important points of defence during World War 2.
So, it’s a very historic location and it’s amazing to see how it’s changed over the years. At night you can also enjoy some brilliant skylines making it the perfect spot for photographs.
14. Sentosa Island – filled with pristine beaches, attractions and tropical landscapes
Sentosa Island is full of wondrous things to do from floorboarding, skydiving, ancient tunnel exploring, kayaking, dolphin swimming and much more.
So, be sure to stop by Sentosa Island if you plan of visiting Singapore.
You’ll find some amazing beaches and can even pay a visit to the famous Merlion statue! With the head of a lion and the body of a fish it certainly isn’t something, you see every day.
15. Henderson Waves bridge – an architecturally striking bridge
The Henderson Waves bridge is the highest pedestrian bridge in Singapore! If that doesn’t already make it worth visiting then just wait till you see the views.
The bridge connects Mount Faber Park to Telok Blangah Hill Park and is the perfect vantage point for photographs and video recordings!
You can see some amazing views and if you get a chance visit twice at night and day! The bridge lights up from 7 PM and it quite literally transforms with some stunning lights.
Whether it’s for the architecture, the scenes or just a nice walk the Henderson Waves bridge is definitely worth seeing.
16. Pasir Ris Park – charming, tranquil and easy on the eye
The Pasir Ris Park gives you a quieter more secluded location away from the crowds! The natural, undisturbed stretch of beach is perfect for long walks.
It’s a great spot for families as well and you can even rent sports equipment like volleyballs, and there’s barbeque rental available as well. It’s a quieter more relaxed setting with its own unique charm.
17. Granite Island (Pulau Ubin) – a place to visit to discover lush nature and rich history
Officially known as Pulau Ubin this North Eastern Island was known for its granite quarry which used to support thousands of settlers. Nowadays the island is a popular tourist spot for Summer camps and outdoor activities.
The Check Jawa Cape is one of the most famous areas to visit, it features a natural rocky shore and supports numerous different ecosystems.
Wildlife is incredibly varied all around the island and you can see the marine life up close! And with some famous mountain bike trails, Granite Island is the perfect place to visit for a long, relaxing ride as well.
18. Masjid Sultan – one of Singapore’s most impressive religious buildings
The Masjid Sultan also known as the Sultan Mosque can be found in the Rochor district of Singapore. Construction was completed in 1932 and you can still enjoy much of its amazing architecture today. So, be sure to pay it a visit!
Exploring the interior of the Masjid Sultan will be a very enriching experience and every room is a work of art.
There are also some great authentic Mediterranean and Turkish cafes and shops surrounding the Mosque which are the perfect places to visit after seeing the magnificent Masjid Sultan up close.
19. Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery – Singapore’s largest and most stunning monasteries
The Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery is the perfect place to visit whether you are a spiritual person or not. It offers some amazing scenery with colorful Buddha statues decorating many of the great halls.
There is a Koi pond with a small waterfall as well as a flea market behind the temple which is well worth visiting too.
During religious festivals, the Monastery can get very busy and you must ensure you wear appropriate clothing as well. But at most times the Monastery is a very peaceful and serene place to visit and the perfect way to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
20. Chijmes – a striking historic building complex
This beautiful, historic building is part of Singapore’s history and it gives you a chance to see some amazing architecture up close.
Explore the courtyard with friends and then relax for a drink and dinner.
There are a number of bars and restaurants around Chijmes making it the perfect place to visit before or after lunch. Many people know Chijmes from the film Crazy Rich Asians which used the Cathedral and now you too can explore the amazing surroundings too.
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Emma-Clair Ni Clearaigh – writer and photographer
With itchy feet, an inquisitive nature and an ardent wanderlust, Emma Clair has always been a traveller at heart. Hailing from the Emerald Isle she calls a small coastal town near Dublin home, but has lived in a few countries including Saigon, Vietnam where she resided for over a year, now she balances travel and travel writing with teaching and a passion for vintage interior design. She counts supping on Bloody Marys on a rooftop in Manhattan, downing Singapore slings at the Raffles Hotel, daring a paraglide on the Grand Cayman, spending an exotic Christmas in Malaysia and exploring the Angkor Wat, Cambodia as her all time favourite travel moments. Although, she’ll always have a special place in her heart for the city where she makes her annual pilgrimages – Paris, her true city of lights. Find Emma-Clair on Instagram or Facebook.