Treasure trove of hidden gems waiting to be discovered.
BANGKOK, THAILAND – Singapore, renowned for its iconic skyline, attractions on Sentosa Island, first class shopping and melting pot of Asian cultures, has been voted as one of the top ten destinations in the world to visit according to Agoda’s Travel Optimism 2022 Survey. With so much to explore, from the famous and familiar to the hidden and unexpected, Agoda draws on its travel expertise and insights to share why Singapore is well worth the visit.
Influenced by a culturally diverse population, Singapore has some of the best cuisine in the region, available all day and night and suiting everyone’s budgets. From its famous local delicacies like Laksa and Chilli Crab sold in food courts and hawker centres such as Newton Food Centre or La Pa Sat, to Indian, Chinese, Malaysian, Middle Eastern and everything in between.
Cool architecture. Singapore is home to some of the most iconic architecture in the region, from architectural wonders in the bustling business district to colonial structures that embody the history and cultural diversity in the island state’s tapestry of vibrant neighbourhoods. The preserved shophouses of Chinatown or Joo Chiat, the Art Deco style of Tiong Bahru and the colonial grandeur of Singapore’s black and white houses dotted across the island, including at the shopping and eating enclave Dempsey Hill, truly reflect how the city has preserved its past while embracing the future.
Vibrant neighbourhoods. Singapore is rich with vibrant enclaves and cultural hives. From the likes of Little India, Chinatown and Arab Street, a day out in any of these vivid areas will lead one on a journey of discovering vast cultural diversity.
Little India: One of Singapore’s most spirited districts, this buzzing ethnic neighbourhood is peppered with spice shops, iconic flower vendors, age-old temples and a dizzying array of eateries to satisfy any hunger cravings.
Chinatown: This cultural precinct offers an intoxicating blend of old and new. From traditional landmarks, sights and flavours of hawker delicacies to boundary-pushing Michelin-starred establishments and trendy bars, Chinatown will keep you busy from dusk to dawn.
Arab Street: The veteran hipster hood of Singapore, Arab Street brings age-old traditions and contemporary lifestyle together in a heady blend. A true mecca for Middle Eastern foodies, this atmospheric quarter serves an array of Moroccan, Lebanese, Persian and Turkish cuisines.
Historical pride. Although only 57 years old, Singapore’ s long history is widely celebrated. Museums throughout the island showcase the people and cultures that are part of its incredible journey. Cultural spots such as Peranakan Museum, the Asian Civilization Museum and Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, as well as war museums and memorials at the Ford Factory or the Battle box at Fort Canning, all provide a glimpse into the past. More eccentric spots like Haw Par Villa offer a journey through the richness of Chinese mythology, folklore and religious beliefs depicted in 1,000 statues and 150 giant dioramas.
The Arts. For the creative, artistic and expressive minds, Singapore boasts a vibrant palette of art galleries featuring show stopping works from local and international talent all year round. From national art hubs and cultural spaces like National Gallery Singapore, National Museum of Singapore and Art Science Museum, to boutique galleries like Degiosart Gallery and Art Blue Studio.
Outdoor Adventures. There is never a dull weekend in the Lion City with a thriving recreational hive. For a dose of outdoor adventure, East Coast Park and Beach presents activities galore. Spread over a 15-kilometre stretch of beach, avid cyclists can enjoy a breezy ride or even rollerblade their way through the park and beach. Other activities include cable skiing, water sports, world-class Xtreme SkatePark, a picnic at the beach or just kick back and relax at the many restaurants, bars and cafés.
Idyllic islands. That’s right. Aside from the ever-popular Sentosa Island, locals and visitors alike have been exploring Lazarus Island, a C-shaped lagoon with clean white sands and crystal blue waters that draws visitors near and far to enjoy the beach while exploring the vicinity, including the nearby St. John’s Island. Keep a look out for local dolphins playing in the waves.
Singapore Gardens. Singapore is known as the Garden city for good reason, with wide tree lined boulevards from the airport reflecting the city’s commitment to staying green. Take a break from the bustle with a visit to the Gardens by the Bay, a horticulture showpiece that strives to both educate and wow visitors with its wide-ranging plant species seldom found in Singapore. Be sure to also check out the Supertree Observatory for a unique experience.
Hiking Trails. Singapore is also dotted with National Parks and Reserves that lends to its reputation as the garden city. Breathe in some fresh air and take in all that nature has to offer by hiking the Southern Ridges. This 10km trail is one of the longest walking routes in Singapore connecting Mount Faber Park, Telok Blangah Hill Park, the ever-popular Henderson Waves bridge, HortPark, Kent Ridge Park and Labrador Nature Reserve.
A shopping paradise. No visit to Singapore would be complete without a dose of retail therapy. Check out the designer stores in Marina Bay Sands and Orchard Road; visit the independent boutiques that line the streets of Joo Chiat or Chinatown; or take in the busy markets at Bugis or Little India that sell everything from tech to tea, clothes to ceramics, flowers and tourist gifts galore.