Chances are, if you’re Malaysian, you’ve probably visited our neighbour Singapore at least once. While the Lion City may be small, there’s plenty to see and do on the island, be it enjoying the delicious local food, soaking in the multi-cultural arts scene, or having fun at the many tourist destinations. For your next visit, make sure you check out these iconic places in Singapore!
#1 Marina Bay Sands
The triple-towered Marina Bay Sands has changed Singapore’s skyline since its completion 6 years ago, becoming a globally recognised icon of the small but prosperous city state. Tourists throng to the Sands, as it often referred to by locals, to admire the breaktaking view from its rooftop infinity pool, as well as the swanky shopping mall and casino below. By extension, the Gardens by the Bay – specifically its solar-powered ‘supertrees’ – have likewise become synonymous with Singapore.
#2 Esplanade Theatres by the Bay (a.k.a. “The Durian”)
The unmistakeable building of the Esplanade Theatres by the Bay is fondly nicknamed “the Durian” by Singaporeans for its resemblance to the popular fruit. Don’t expect to find the King of Fruits here though; the Esplanade is the place to go for local and international performances and creative exhibitions.
#3 Orchard Road
No shopping spree in Singapore is complete without a trip to the famous Orchard Road, a 2.2 kilometre-long boulevard that is the retail and entertainment hub of Singapore. Often known simply as Orchard, the area is a major tourist attraction which got its name from the various orchards and plantations that existed in the area in the early 20th century. You’ll find something to suit your fancy from the cheapest to most luxurious items on the retail spectrum here.
#4 Lau Pa Sat Festival Market
Surrounded by towering skyscrapers in the middle of the Central Business District, the 175-year-old Lau Pa Sat (“old market”) has stood strong through the changes going on around it. Originally the country’s first wet market, it was converted into a hawker centre and was gazetted a national monument. Come lunch time, you’ll find lots of smartly-dressed office workers flocking here for lunch.
#5 Haw Par Villa
Another icon from years past that is still standing strong, Har Par Villa, which many Singaporeans affectionately remember as the “Tiger Balm Gardens”, was built in 1937 by business magnate Aw Boon Haw, the ‘Tiger Balm King’. The sprawling gardens surrounding the mansion were developed as an entertainment park to illustrate vignettes of Chinese mythology. There are more than 1,000 statues and 150 dioramas based on famous Chinese historical personalities, mythology and folklore distributed throughout the park, some which are fairly disturbing (to say the least) but definitely fascinating.
#6 Sentosa Merlion
Long before the Marina Bay Sands was built, Singapore’s icon was the Merlion, a mythical creature with a lion’s head and the body of a fish. It is still widely used as a mascot and national personification of Singapore. There are 5 “official” Merlion statues dotted around Singapore, but the largest one is the 37-metre tall Merlion at Sentosa Island which includes two viewing galleries (one at the Merlion’s mouth and the other at the top of its head).
#7 Raffles Hotel
One of the oldest hotels in Singapore, the Raffles Hotel is a stately building that retains much of its old-world charm. Built in the 1830s, it has been a beach house, hotel (several times), and even a girls’ boarding school. It was declared a Singapore National Monument in 1987, a century after it first opened, and is the birthplace of the national cocktail, the Singapore Sling.
#8 Pinnacle @ Duxton
Towering above the Tanjong Pagar neighbourhood is the Pinnacle at Duxton, which was built on the site of Singapore’s oldest HDB blocks. What makes this public housing project stand out from the rest (literally) – besides the fact that it is the world’s tallest public housing buildings – is that all 7 of its 50-storey blocks are connected by two skybridges and boast two of the world’s longest sky gardens. For those with acrophobia, we suggest you avoid going up to the roof. Another stunning (and likewise award-winning) piece of architectural genius is The Interlace, which looks like giant lego blocks stacked haphazardly atop one another.
So how about it? Fancy a trip to the Lion City? Better yet, check out our Estate123 Singapore site and Estate123 SG iOS App to search for your ideal property in Singapore, and you’ll be able to enjoy all the wonderful things the city state has to offer!