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The Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Singapore

Goh Jun Cheng

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As a bustling multicultural hub with ultra-modern infrastructure and tropical charm, Singapore offers visitors endless possibilities for exploration and discovery.

From historical sites and cultural enclaves to architectural marvels both old and new, Singapore’s diverse attractions showcase what makes this city-state so dynamic.

This post explores the top 10 must-see tourist attractions that no visit to Singapore is complete without. We’ll count down the most popular, iconic sights that provide insights into Singapore’s storied past and cosmopolitan present.

From lush gardens and ethnic quarters to supersized shopping and dining, these are Singapore’s premier destinations for both first-timers and return visitors.

Tiong Bahru

Tiong Bahru offers a glimpse of old Singapore within its art deco buildings, traditional shophouses, and lively morning wet market. As one of Singapore’s first public housing estates, Tiong Bahru retains its vintage 1930s architecture and charm. Stroll the area’s iconic stepped terrace walkways, check out hip indie boutiques and cafes, and experience an authentic historic neighborhood.

Top Things to Do:

  • Wander the vintage shophouses along Tiong Poh Road
  • Have breakfast at the Tiong Bahru Market & Food Centre
  • Snap Instagram pics against the area’s retro backdrop
  • Hunt for local art pieces and curios at indie stores
  • Soak in the old world vibe from a coffee shop perch

With its pedestrian-friendly streets, laid-back hipster vibe, and striking pre-war architecture, Tiong Bahru transports visitors back in time while still feeling contemporary. It captures Singapore history with a modern edge.

Marina Bay

Marina Bay encompasses some of Singapore’s most iconic developments like Marina Bay Sands, the Gardens by the Bay, and the top-rated nightlife of Clarke Quay. This huge neighborhood situated in Singapore’s business district is packed with major attractions.

Top Things to Do:

  • Pose in front of the unmistakable Marina Bay Sands for Insta shots
  • Experience the awesome indoor waterfall of Cloud Forest at Gardens by the Bay
  • Watch the dazzling nightly light and water show at the Marina Bay Sands
  • Take in the lofty views of the Sands SkyPark observation deck
  • Indulge in upscale shopping and celebrity chef dining
  • Soak up stellar city views of the Singapore skyline along the waterfront promenade
  • Drink and dance the night away at the riverside Clarke Quay area

Marina Bay exemplifies modern Singapore through its glitzy hotels, Gardens by the Bay ecological park, and breath-taking city skyline views. It’s a playground for both tourists and locals alike.

Pulau Ubin

Singapore’s natural side can be found on Pulau Ubin, an island boasting lush jungle, abandoned quarries, and tranquil coastal vibes just a 15-minute boat ride from the mainland. With its dirt trails and laid-back atmosphere, Ubin makes a perfect escape from the city.

Top Things to Do:

  • Rent a bike and cycle around the island’s dirt trails and roads
  • Hike through the jungle interior to scenic granite quarries now filled with water
  • Spot wild animals like monkeys, hornbills, wild boar and more
  • Enjoy seafood at the island’s no-frills outdoor restaurants
  • Snorkel or kayak in the rustic coastal areas
  • Take Instagram-worthy photos of the island’s unique sights
  • Experience a slower pace of life surrounded by nature

Pulau Ubin lets visitors experience a contrast from the hyper-modern Singapore mainland. Step back in time and return to nature just a boat ride away.

Orchard Road

For shopaholics, Orchard Road is the bustling epicenter of retail therapy, with dozens of massive malls full of both local and international brands. Stretching over 2 kilometers, this world-famous shopping belt has every label you can imagine.

Top Things to Do:

  • Score deals during the Great Singapore Sale shopping festival
  • See the Christmas light displays during the yearly Orchard Road celebrations
  • Have afternoon tea or cocktails at the historic Raffles Hotel
  • Snap photos in front of the futuristic metallic ION Orchard exterior
  • Soak up skyline views from the roof of Marina Bay Sands shopping mall
  • Experience both household name shops and local indie brands
  • Refuel with an epic feast at a hawker center after shopping til you drop

For shoppers, Orchard Road is infinite bliss with huge malls at every turn flaunting the newest collections. But there’s also plenty of dining, events, and sightseeing nearby too.

Sentosa Island

Sentosa Island is Singapore’s pleasure playground, chock full of fun attractions like Universal Studios Singapore, stunning beaches, luxe resorts, and family-friendly shows. Connected by bridge from the mainland, Sentosa offers nonstop activities.

Top Things to Do:

  • Scream your head off on rollercoasters at Universal Studios Singapore
  • Pose with celebrities at Madame Tussauds wax museum
  • See an underwater world of marine life at SEA Aquarium
  • Admire a sound, light and effects show at Wings of Time
  • Enjoy fun street performers at FestiveWalk
  • Chill at Siloso Beach, overlooking cargo ships anchored offshore
  • Splash down happy at Adventure Cove Waterpark
  • Party late into the night at Contemporary Singapore clubs

At Sentosa, enjoyment comes easy with amusement parks, nature trails, museums, beaches, spas and other draws aplenty. It’s a favorite for both Singapore residents and visitors of all ages.

Singapore Zoo & Night Safari

For an up close look at wildlife, Singapore Zoo and the attached Night Safari allow you to get eye-to-eye with exotic animals from around the world. Spread over 69 acres, the zoo has habitats ranging from the Himalayan Foothills to the Southeast Asian Rainforest. Adjoining it, Night Safari offers nocturnal animal encounters.

Top Things to Do:

  • See unique Southeast Asian animals like capybaras and white rhinos
  • Walk through giant open-air enclosures via elevated boardwalks
  • Dine at a restaurant beside orangutans during their mealtime too
  • Get your photo taken with a friendly sloth or hairy python
  • Experience the waterfall aviary with thousands of fluttering birds
  • Marvel at the majestic tigers and hear their bellowing roars
  • Feed inquisitive elephants and watch them at play
  • Spot nocturnal creatures on a tram or walking trail at Night Safari

This world-class zoo immerses you in wildlife habitats and lets you encounter beasts from tiny meerkats to mighty polar bears. It’s an interactive education for the whole family.

Gardens by the Bay

Gardens by the Bay spans a massive 250 acres right in Singapore’s downtown, encapsulating diverse environments like cloud forests and flower domes along with Supertree Grove’s futuristic structures. These iconic, illuminating Supertrees have become a Singapore landmark.

Top Things to Do:

  • Stroll the aerial walkway through the Supertree Grove as trees light up colorfully at night
  • See thousands of plants from temperate and tropical regions inside the cooled conservatories
  • Ride the elevator up to the OCBC Skyway bridge suspended nearly 23 stories high
  • Wander through the mystical Cloud Forest conservatory with its 35-meter mountain covered in vegetation
  • Instagram the colorful changing floral displays of the Flower Dome
  • Unwind with a cocktail overlooking the gardens at one of the onsite bars

Gardens by the Bay transports you through diverse climates and otherworldly settings right in the heart of the city. It encapsulates Singapore’s vision of creating an urban oasis.

Singapore Flyer

The iconic Singapore Flyer is the world’s largest observation wheel, rising an impressive 165 meters to offer breathtaking panoramas over Singapore and beyond. Each flight lasts 30 minutes as you soar in an air conditioned capsule.

Top Things to Do:

  • Soak up unrivalled cityscape views of the Singapore River and historic districts
  • Spot landmarks like Marina Bay Sands, the Esplanade and F1 track from above
  • Look out across the Strait of Singapore towards neighboring countries
  • Enhance the experience with a champagne flight or romantic in-capsule dinner
  • Glimpse Singapore’s port, the world’s second busiest
  • Photograph the tiny cityscape below through the capsule glass
  • Time it so you take off just as the sun is setting for unforgettable views

The giant Singapore Flyer is a can’t-miss activity for aerial sightseeing over Singapore’s stellar cityscape. Float up to the sky for a unique vantage point.

Chinatown

Experience Singapore’s Chinese heritage come alive in the bustling Chinatown district. From tantalizing street food to historic temples and cultural museums, Chinatown transports you to old Singapore. Don’t forget to bargain for souvenirs at the lively markets!

Top Things to Do:

  • Feast at Maxwell Road Hawker Centre, home of Singapore’s favorite chicken rice
  • Visit elegant temples like Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Sri Mariamman
  • Check out traditional medicinal shops filled with herbs and remedies
  • Stroll down quintessentially Asian Pagoda Street for trinkets and gifts
  • Sample authentic local flavours like laksa, chilli crab and kaya toast
  • Admire intricate Chinese architecture throughout the area
  • Learn about Singapore’s history at Chinatown Heritage Centre
  • Haggle for everything from silk robes to jade bracelets in the street markets

Chinatown’s atmospheric lanes and alleys offer intoxicating glimpses of Singapore’s past layered with everyday hustle-and-bustle. Get lost in the neighborhood’s historic charm.

Singapore Botanic Gardens

The #1 attraction is Singapore Botanic Gardens, which lives up to its UNESCO World Heritage Site status as an urban tropical oasis. Home to more than 10,000 species of flora, the gardens hold amazing biodiversity.

Top Things to Do:

  • Seek out rare orchids, exotic palms, and other spectacular vegetation
  • Wander through the lush rainforest setting of the Bukit Timah Core
  • Don’t miss the National Orchid Garden with 1000+ types of hybrid orchids
  • Climb up sympathetically designed Swan Lake Visitors Centre for views
  • Check out art exhibits at the gardens’ galleries and venues
  • Spot monitor lizards, common spotted doves, and other wildlife
  • Relax beside the waters of Swan Lake
  • Grab an ice cream and admire the scenery around every turn

The Singapore Botanic Gardens offer countless breathtaking vistas and Instagram spots amidst its sprawling natural beauty. There’s no better place to experience Singapore’s tropical environs up close.

Conclusion

From bustling ethnic enclaves to superlative shopping, dining, attractions and nature spots, Singapore delivers incredible variety and vibrancy within a compact area. These top 10 tourist draws provide just a taste of what makes Singapore such a phenomenal destination for first-timers and repeat visitors.

Each attraction showcases particular aspects of Singapore’s culture, history, cuisine, environment or visionary outlook. While modern city life pulses throughout, remnants of old Singapore live on as well. The diversity makes exploring Singapore endlessly rewarding.

There is truly something for everyone among these must-see sites. Get a true taste of Singapore’s essence by visiting its highlights and digging deeper into its heritage. Let Singapore’s multifaceted attractions dazzle your senses and immerse you in all its cosmopolitan glory.

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