Singapore City holidays
On the northern shore of the Singapore River lies the colonial district, the site where Sir Stamford Raffles stepped ashore to establish Singapore as a free-trading post under the control of the East India Company in 1819.
The Padang is an open field at the heart of this direct that has witnessed many of Singapore's important historical moments and holds several important landmarks.
On nearby Waterloo Street a Chinese temple, a synagogue and an Indian temple stand virtually side-by-side, evidence of Singapore's cultural diversity and success.
Little India & The Arab Quarter
Little India is a mini-Mumbai of temples, restaurants and clairvoyants, where you're greeted by the heavy scent of spices and can leave carting carvings, silverware and colourful silk saris.
On Arab Street, beneath the gilded dome of the Sultan Mosque, share shishas and mint tea with cloth and carpet traders.
Singapore's large and thriving Chinatown is one of the most attractive areas of the city to explore, with an abundance of shophouses, street markets, bars and restaurants.
Singapore actually has two Chinatowns, the official Niu Che Shui and the newer Geylang ‘People's Chinatown', which is more spontaneous and authentic.
The area is not exclusively Chinese though, with local Indian temples, mosques and churches getting adding colour alongside the Chinese monasteries and temples.
Singapore Flyer & Marina Bay
Views across the skyline of Singapore and beyond, to Malaysia and the Indonesian islands, can be had from the world's largest Ferris wheel, the Singapore Flyer.
At 165 metres tall it is around 30 metres taller than the London Eye, and is among the varied attractions of the thriving Marina Bay area.
New shops, galleries, walkways and restaurants are popping up all the time, in and around the enormous Marina Bay Sands hotel resort.
Singapore Zoo & Night Safari
Moats and streams replace barred cages at one of the world's few open zoos, which houses more than 300 species, including rare Asian animals such as the Komodo dragon, Sumatran tiger and clouded leopard, and a large colony of orangutan.
Consumerism plays its part, with local brew Tiger beer sponsoring the tiger enclosure, for instance, but it remains an extremely popular and interesting excursion: on its own, or combined with a visit to the world's first nocturnal zoo, the Night Safari, next door.
This attraction invites visitors to take a safari through the jungle, on a tram or on foot with a guide, and observe the night-time habits of more than 900 animals.
Shopping is something of a national obsession in Singapore and Orchard Road is its most famous shopping district.
This long expanse of gleaming shopping centres and air-conditioned, tax-free boutiques flanked by tree-lined walkways takes its name from the fruit, pepper and nutmeg plantations that it once led to.
The one-way road buzzes with activity day and night, not least in the run up to the ‘Christmas Light Up' and during Chinese New Year, when a street parade takes place along it.
As well as being a shopaholic's dream, the road is Singapore's main entertainment area, with lots of restaurants, nightclubs and hotels.
A mix of theme parks, golf courses, beaches and hotels, the small Sentosa Island is where Singaporeans come to enjoy themselves.
Once a fishing village, Sentosa means ‘peace and tranquillity' in Malay, although finding that during the weekends and holidays can be difficult as the island is extremely popular.
It's packaged and processed fun, as is the Singaporean way, but there's something for everyone - from the scenic cable car ride from the mainland and a 40-metre-tall statue of a Merlion (half lion, half mermaid), to the sprawling Fort Siloso, which reveals the story of Singapore's occupation and relief in the Second World War.
The newest addition is Resorts World, a medley of shows, rides and attractions, among them the world's largest oceanarium.
Top itineraries in Singapore
The tiny island state of Singapore goes by many names: ’The Garden City’, ’The Food Capital of Asia’, 'The New York of the East’. All are equally applicable to this diminutive powerhouse, which also punches far above its weight economically.
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Top places to stay in Singapore
Southeast Asia’s only luxury train is the continent’s answer to Europe’s Orient Express, resplendent in colonial grandeur, open-bar delights and fine-dining indulgences.
Raffles Singapore is more than just a hotel. This iconic landmark is perhaps the best -known hotel anywhere in the world, a destination in its own right and a byword for luxury and elegance.
This central Singapore luxury hotel, consistently ranked among the best in Asia, is set amid expansive tropical gardens featuring over 130,000 individual plants and trees.
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