Article first written/published in February 2017. Prices and information correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change and/or availability.
1. Visit a hawker food market and get something to eat
Singapore has one of the most varied selections of Asian food you’ll find anywhere in the world. The local favorites include dim sum, Hainanese chicken rice and the nasi lemak national disk. You’ll find all of these and many, many more at food markets including Maxwell Road and Lau Pa Sat. You can eat like a king at a Singaporean food market for under Dh50. As usual, choose a busy stall and the fully-cooked options to avoid giving your stomach something unpleasant to deal with.
2. Visit Singapore Zoo and Night Safari
A very popular choice for “best things to do in Singapore with kids and family”. The Singapore Zoo is well known for being smart with its enclosure designs and making the animals look closer to you than they actually are, which makes it an even more special experience. The Night Safari is also a new zoo concept and gives you a glimpse of the nocturnal animals in their natural habitat when they’re stirring.
Address: 80 Mandai Lake Rd, Singapore 729826
*Price:** Zoo tickets start at around Dh55 for children and Dh85 for adults. Tickets for the Night Safari cost around Dh75 for children and Dh115 for adults.
3. Check out some amazing Singapore hotels
Few cities in the world can boast as many luxurious hotels as Singapore. If you’d like to treat yourself (or want to see how the other half lives) start with the Swissotel The Stamford, which offers incredible views of the country (as well as some Malaysian and Indonesian Islands) and is in easy walking distance of the National Museum of Singapore, St Andrew’s Cathedral and the Esplanade Theaters on the Bay. The hotel’s restaurants are on floors 70 to 72 (the views are a given!) and it boasts two outdoor swimming pools and the famous Willow Stream Spa. **The best bit? A room at Swissotel The Stamford won’t break the bank, with prices starting at around Dh1,000***. If you want a different sort of Singapore hotel, check out Hotel Indigo Singapore Katong which was built to reflect its location – the Katong neighborhood of Joo Chiat, Singapore’s first designated Heritage Town. Rooms here start at around Dh700.Find the best rates for Singapore hotels
4. Stop and smell the flowers at the Singapore Botanic Gardens
The Singapore Botanic Gardens may be a popular Singapore tourist spot but it’s still a good place to take a moment to relax. There’s an incredible collection of plants, shrubs and flowers from all around the world, as well as a rainforest and lakes! The pièce de résistance is the National Orchid Garden where you can stroll through seven acres of garden and see more than 60,000 orchid plants. It’s cheaper that some of the other attractions in the city-state, so a good thing to add to your list if you want to see Singapore on a budget.
Address: 1 Cluny Rd, Singapore 259569
*Price:** Entry to the Singapore Botanic Garden is free. A ticket to the National Orchid Garden is around Dh12 for adults, children go free.
5. Head to Chinatown
If you’re looking for things do in Singapore where you can mingle with the locals, Chinatown is it. One of the coolest things to see when you’re walking around Singapore is spotting a traditional “shop house” dwarfed by the skyscraper’s in Chinatown. Here you can sit and watch the locals play a game of chess, and maybe even get invited into a game yourself. Grab a refreshment at the rooftop bar on Club Street and some food at the Chinatown Seafood Restaurant (we recommend the chili crab).Find cheap flights to Singapore
6. Imagine you’re in Las Vegas
The impressive Marina Bay Sands has everything you’d want from a Las Vegas hotel without the 19-plus hour flight time to get there – a dramatic fountain show, a shopping mall with gondola rides, ice skating rink and an ArtScience Museum. There’s also an infinity pool 57 stories from the ground in a boat-like structure that sits on three skyscrapers. How more Las Vegas can you get, hey?
Address: 10 Bayfront Avenue, Singapore 018956
7. Eat at the White Rabbit
White Rabbit is a very cool place to eat in Singapore and is located in an old garrison church used by the British Army in the 1950s. It still has some original imposing stained-glass windows. The menu includes tagliatelle, Wagyu carpaccio and deconstructed cheesecake. You can find it in the Dempsey Hill neighborhood which also has some great art galleries and spas in some of the other buildings that were historically used by the British.
Address: 39C Harding Rd, Singapore 249541
8. Get a bird’s-eye view on the Singapore Flyer
This is Singapore’s equivalent of the London Eye and is one of the most fun things to do in Singapore (if you like heights!). Standing at an eye-watering 541 feet, it’s is one of the tallest Ferris wheels in the world (although this will soon be usurped by the Ain Dubai observation wheel in Dubai which is going to be almost twice the size of the London Eye). Each ride is 30 minutes and the locals aren’t quite taken with it yet so you shouldn’t have to wait long to board.
Address: 30 Raffles Ave, Singapore 039803
*Price:** Tickets cost around Dh85 for adults and Dh55 for children
9. Relax in the Arab Quarter
If you’re missing home, stroll to Haji Lane in the middle of the city’s Arab Quarter. You’ll find unique designer tresses and Persian carpets at some of the many, many cool shops. Or take a seat with a shisha pipe as you look onto the golden-domed Sultan Mosque, one of the most important mosque’s in the city. You can also take a tour inside the mosque, where the same dress code rules apply as in Dubai.
10. Experience Little India
Just to show you how diverse the country is, your final place to visit in Singapore should be the Little India neighborhood. The blaring music, scent of the spices, bustling crowds and delicious smell of the foods are a feast for the senses and enough to make you feel you’re in India (if you close your eyes!). Some of the architecture is more colorful than you’d find in Mumbai or New Delhi, but it’s a welcome change from most of the other glass-panelled skyscrapers in the city. Visit Mustafa, the 24-hour department store, while you’re here and pick up everything from golden baubles to perfumes!
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