20 Top Rated Tourist Attractions in Singapore

Jul 22, 2021

More than just a string of wonderful beaches, Singapore is more a veritable time machine, enticing travellers with its breezy tropical weather, delicious food, and intoxicating combination of Asian and Western cultures.

Its unmistakable skyline has several distinctive and curious features, and the exotic foods – delicacies like durian, lemongrass, and silken string beans – will make you want to never eat anything else again. There's not a lot of time here, so make the most of it.

Few travelers can resist Singapore's charms. For a thorough tour of the highlights, check out our list of the top tourist attractions in Singapore.

Little India

Photo of Little India, Singapore
Little India, Singapore: en.wikipedia.org

In recent years, Singapore has developed a new, contemporary style of urban planning that blends the best of old and new in order to reflect the culture and style of the city. With Little India, the oldest living heritage district in Singapore, you'll find the cultural centers of the country dating back to the 15th century. Little India's architectural landmarks include the Sultan Mosque, built in 1782, and the stunning mosque, the Masjid Sajakulangara, with its dark, vertical facade topped with a copper dome. The India Gates, a gate built in the late 18th century in the style of the original Bandar Seri Begawan, or the Royal Port, which was once the only gateway for trade into the Malay Sultanate, are also worth a visit.

Raffles Hotel

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Raffles Hotel: en.wikipedia.org

The Raffles Hotel is a world-famous hotel in Singapore that is better known as a backdrop to movies and television programs than for any of its outstanding services. It opened in 1898 and was the first major hotel in Southeast Asia, which is only fitting because this was once a great trading port. It was also known for its brothel, and it operated as a first class hotel until 1920. During World War II, the hotel lost its reputation to a degree and changed hands, and it has since enjoyed an upswing, especially since being purchased in 1975 by a Hong Kong businessman who renovated the hotel and added modern conveniences. Not all of the hotel's history has been lost, however, as the three-tiered black staircase and façade remain as well as a collection of period rooms in the old wing. The reason to visit is for the real reasons that make this an international landmark: first of all, the famous cocktail bars (served in the basement and attics) with their walls covered with memorabilia and historical photos, and, second, the views from the top deck (the "world's highest hotel bar"). Guests enjoy free access to the rooftop, which consists of an extensive hotel lounge overlooking the city, a bar, and a Japanese garden with 10 lanterns, brought here from Kyoto in 1997.

Marina Bay Sands

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Marina Bay Sands: en.wikipedia.org

Marina Bay Sands is a hotel and casino complex that opened in 2010 as a casino and showplace for Asia's newest city, the multi-billion dollar metropolis of Singapore. Enormous escalators and elevators take you from the shopping promenade of Marina Bay into a series of four huge observation towers connected to the hotel by escalators. The building resembles the body of a shark, with a sinuous body and fins, but even more impressive than the building itself is the vast, expansive waterfront area that offers a one-of-a-kind setting. The casino holds over 2,000 slot machines, 50 tables games including roulette, craps, and blackjack, a gaming pit with Asian characters, and a sports book. For high rollers, the CSL opulent suites offer first class experiences, such as a private balcony overlooking the bay. For food and drink, guests can enjoy lavish banquets or the chic rooftop Singapore Grill, while wine lovers can indulge at the Allure Bar. Marina Bay Sands also has several movie theaters, a huge two-floor food hall with over 200 stalls offering a selection of local and international cuisine, and a comedy club. The stunning five-star hotel is owned by Canadian developer Andy Cheung's company, but is operated by Las Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, the owner of Sands Macau and the Venetian Macao.

National Museum of Singapore

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National Museum of Singapore: en.wikipedia.org

Singapore is a very popular Asian tourist destination, so don't expect to find a truly authentic museum. This new museum is no exception and although many of the items on display are truly historic, most items are replicas to illustrate items found in archaeological digs. If you want a more traditional experience, visit the Battle Box, the Asian Civilisations Museum and the Old Supreme Court building. There are also some interesting items at the Peranakan Museum. Travel Guide: a brief description of Tokyo Tower, Japan Established in 1973 in the center of Tokyo, Tokyo Tower is the world's tallest moving observation tower. Its 1,612-metre-high observation deck can be reached by elevator or stairs. Each floor features a spectacular view of the city. Tokyo Tower is also home to many restaurants, shops and activities including night-time illuminations that use lights from Tokyo Tower. Around the year, this tower is also used for weddings.

Singapore Botanic Gardens

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Singapore Botanic Gardens: en.wikipedia.org

Singapore's botanic gardens are as historic as they are beautiful. The first botanical garden in the world, the gardens were first developed as an estate by the British East India Company to provide rest and recreation for its European employees. Later, the botanic gardens were relocated from the Upper Lascar Row to its present site on the southern part of Singapore island in 1859. Today, the Singapore Botanic Gardens' 50 acres include spectacular collections of bonsai and palm trees, tropical and subtropical rain forests, floral exhibitions, and a 13-hectare glass house. The garden's four theme centers are the Rainforest Gallery, Chinese Heritage Garden, Wintergarden, and Flower Dome. There are also numerous parkland trails, shrines, ponds, and more, making the gardens a pleasant place to walk or just sit and contemplate. In the largest and most impressive center is the Singapore Butterfly Garden. Housed in a 13-hectare greenhouse, the garden features thousands of exotic and indigenous species of butterflies and tropical plants. After exploring the gardens, be sure to find a bit of time to explore the Lion City. The 13 square miles of green space, which includes several museums and public housing, was named by Lonely Planet as one of the world's top 100 urban outdoor attractions.

City Hall

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City Hall, Singapore: en.wikipedia.org

City Hall in Singapore (Singapore City Hall) is considered one of the city's most impressive architectural landmarks. Towering 30 meters and with an elegant classical style, it was built in 1990 to serve as the seat of government, and as such, to hold the key ministries such as Finance, Home Affairs, Defense, Education, Transport and Health. City Hall was designed by Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, architects famous for their work with Zaha Hadid. The building is a bold blend of classical design elements and glass and steel skyscrapers. The tallest building in the country, the skyscraper has 108 levels and can be accessed by staircase, elevator or elevator. The lowest level houses the National Archives. Also on the first floor is the National Museum of Singapore, which holds a significant collection of Asian art.

Singapore River

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Singapore River: en.wikipedia.org

At the heart of a city that's full of towers and elevated trains, the historic Singapore River offers a lush contrast with the concrete cityscape. Unlike most rivers in the city, it's not a waterway like the others, but is more akin to a dark, winding road. Running from just north of the River Entrance Flyover in the north down to the city's tip, this river was initially built as the city's main river; however, its course is now heavily altered and the River's significance is far more in its riverine parks and colonial era beauty than in its role as a public waterway. To explore the river, join one of the popular free walking tours run by the Singapore River Conservancy. Sights include the glittering Cathay Theater, the skyline-high Padang, a popular garden near the river's north, and the empty-looking Marina Bay MRT station, a rare insight into what the world of Singapore would look like without its river, its skyline, or even the city.

Holland Village

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Holland Village, Singapore: en.wikipedia.org

One of Singapore's favorite heritage neighborhoods, Holland Village preserves the historic district as it once was. Between shopping in small, independent shops and hanging out at the chic cafés, restaurants, and cocktail bars, Holland Village is a great place to visit and spend a few hours soaking in the nostalgia of yesteryear. Spanning 3 hectares (7 acres), Holland Village was built in 1885 on reclaimed land. Houses are designed in the bungalow style that characterized Singapore's pre-World War II government housing. Dutch owners built them here to escape hot Singapore. Most of them are now long-term rentals. Some have been modernized while maintaining much of their past charm. One of the highlights of Holland Village is the Dutch colonial architectural style. The property forms a cluster of four distinct blocks: Garden Avenue, Holland Avenue, Francis Avenue, and Francis Street, named after the owners who built them.

Singapore Flyer

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Singapore Flyer: en.wikipedia.org

With a height of 1,122 meters, the Flyer is the world's tallest cantilever coaster. It has a two-loop layout, running at 70 meters/second for 8 kilometers (26,000 ft). Passengers can board either the front or rear station via elevators and, on the interior, they can enjoy fully-stocked refreshments, fast-food outlets, and a variety of shops. Singapore Flyer offers a variety of packages, including the "Instant Ticket" which allows you to ride as many times as you want for one time only. If you would like to try your luck and jump on at the very last second, you can purchase a "Guess the Start" package.

Chinatown MRT Station

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Chinatown MRT station: en.wikipedia.org

From its beginnings in the 1850s, the name Chinatown has become synonymous with the bustling Asian community of the eastern part of Singapore. Much of the central area is pedestrianized and its buildings are a mix of old and new. From the 1930s onwards, many Chinese business people moved into the area, taking advantage of more affordable rents, and the area flourished as a major commercial area, attracting thousands of workers in the construction, export and import trade. Today, the area houses restaurants, temples, food markets, business hotels, souvenir shops, shopping malls and embassies, and makes a good place to wander around.

Merlion

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Merlion: en.wikipedia.org

With one front leg, the bronze feline Merlion (Lion Merlion) is an unofficial mascot of Singapore. It represents the nation's link to the sea and is the centerpiece of Merlion Park, a popular tourist attraction on the southern part of the island. Merlion Park is best known for the impressive Lion City Bridge that links the park to Sentosa Island, an entertainment district in the heart of the island. At night, the park's flower-filled grounds are illuminated, making it a popular place for couples.

Gardens by the Bay

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Gardens by the Bay: en.wikipedia.org

With 550 acres and the highest concentration of horticultural excellence in the world, Gardens by the Bay is more than just a pleasant place to stroll. This colossal park showcases plants from all over the globe, some of which are included within the two theme gardens. The plants, as well as being beautiful to look at, are fitted with electrical cables and will even release some fragrance in warmer months. Of course, the most spectacular of the "flowers" at Gardens by the Bay is the Orbit, a spherical dome-shaped kinetic art and attraction that captures the visitor's attention and marks the center of this large oasis. It's fitted with plants and even has its own aerodynamic tubes that enable the visitor to sit inside. There are also a number of interesting museum-style attractions that give an insight into the science and technology of the future. Visitors may also be able to catch a glimpse of the sleek, dome-shaped Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument aboard the Suomi NPP satellite. So if you enjoy strolling along the paths, taking photos or just relaxing, then Gardens by the Bay is a must!

Marina Barrage

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Marina Barrage: en.wikipedia.org

Singaporeans have access to not only the usual tourist attractions such as the Singapore Zoo and Night Safari, but also several man-made attractions. One of the most striking is the Marina Barrage, a massive dam that lies beneath the surface of the Marina Bay. Although it's not the largest dam in the world, it still rivals some of the largest in height and length. Some of the more popular tourist attractions in Singapore include the Botanic Gardens, or Singapore Botanic Gardens. Just as impressive as the gardens themselves is the architecture that surrounds them, ranging from the Marina Barrage itself to the Marina South Beach, Singapore's new, free-standing tropical resort development. The building of Marina Barrage was one of the more controversial proposals and was fiercely opposed by some residents, including the famous opposition activist, Leong Keng Yew. As for whether you should visit, if you want to swim at a giant artificial dam, or even walk along it, this will be a pretty impressive experience.

River Safari

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River Safari: en.wikipedia.org

River Safari, the popular show-themed attraction where visitors can get up-close to amazing animals, is the largest and most successful of the family shows in Singapore. The zoo, which has been going strong since 1987, is located within the residential district of Orchard Road and is home to more than 10,000 animals of 600 species. The first attraction to the River Safari is the Day Safari, which is a 7-hour guided safari walk for up to 8,000 visitors where visitors can experience the animals in a natural environment. Other major features of River Safari are the Night Safari, which gives visitors a chance to see and interact with the nocturnal animals and the Key Animal Show, which allows guests to see animal behaviours in close proximity.

East Coast Park

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East Coast Park: en.wikipedia.org

East Coast Park is a man-made wilderness of reforested mangrove swamps, nature trails, beaches and coastal forests. It is the largest park on the East Coast of Singapore, with a land area of 25 sq. km and over three million visitors a year. This enormous park is probably most popular with those who are keen to spot wild orangutans, tigers, crocodiles and its one-and-only resident species of rhinoceros. The park also has a "turtle zone" where visitors can observe large sea turtles during the nesting season. Other highlights include the Johor Bahru Water Park, one of the largest water parks in the region, and the magnificent Temenggong's Mausoleum. East Coast Park is popular with domestic tourists during weekends. However, during weekdays, Singaporeans usually go for jogging in the morning and afternoon in the forested areas near the Lower East Coast Parkway. At night, the rest of Singaporeans hit up shopping malls such as ION Orchard, Orchard Road, Parkway Parade, Robinson Walk and IKEA.

Merlion Park

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Merlion Park: en.wikipedia.org

Many countries, such as Australia and New Zealand, have their most distinctive wildlife in its coastal waters. It's the same in Singapore, where the huge (25.5 million liters), aggressive basking cat, aka the Singaporean Lion, is the city's most recognizable symbol. The lion got its name, Merlion, from its two-horned head and a mixture of Indian and Malay legends. As Merlion is not caged, he rules a huge sea of artificial grass on a peninsula with high, sheer cliffs. The lion can usually be found at sunset. Marks the spot for Singapore's star attraction: the Merlion Park Resort, a spectacular eco-friendly hotel where the design plays off the giant park, Merlion, and merlins, the bird of prey to which it's dedicated. Guests can stay in glassed-in boxes, or, if they prefer, sleep in the open on the grass of the park (sleeping bags and foam mats are provided). If that sounds too wild, Merlion Park is also home to other upscale lodgings and dining options. Merlion Park is Singapore's last free zoo, and a pretty impressive one, with many animal species on display. It's a good option if you want a taste of everything Singapore has to offer in a very short time.

Esplanade Park

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Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay: en.wikipedia.org

Esplanade Park in the heart of Singapore's financial district is flanked by skyscrapers, spanned by towering umbrellas, and often painted in rainbow-hued stripes by street artists. In 2005, Esplanade was renamed in the name of Sir Wilbur Gordon Swinton Asshefact, founder of the Thomson Corporation, which gave the park its first blue-and-white tiling in 1916. Today, Esplanade is known for its trees and landscaped areas. Located here is the National Gallery Singapore (all ages, daily 10am-8pm), a good choice for art lovers. For cheaper fare, head to the People's Park Complex, next door, which has a huge indoor market and is surrounded by lots of malls and cheap restaurants. What to see? The Esplanade is home to the Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay, home to the Singapore Repertory Theatre, the Mural Bay View, the city's first purpose-built arts theater, and the Queen Elizabeth Hall, a National Symphony Orchestra venue. Next door to Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay is People's Park Complex, a 6-million-square-foot retail and residential hub. Here you'll find a huge indoor market with plenty of stalls, supermarkets, and restaurants.

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

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Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve: en.wikipedia.org

A small island off the coast of the country's west, Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, is a splendid park and bird habitat, not to mention being located between Singapore's mainland city center and the Singapore Zoo. One of the country's most important urban wildlife areas, the reserve is a favorite among bird-watching tourists. Facilities in the park include birdwatching walks, exhibitions of the reserve's flora and fauna, education and conservation displays, boat rides, and sunset cruise. One part of the reserve is the Islet, home to Malaysia's largest primary rainforest. For a more pleasant experience, spend the night in the park's jungle camp.

Buddhist Temples

Photo of Burmese Buddhist Temple (Singapore)
Burmese Buddhist Temple (Singapore): en.wikipedia.org

The magnificent heritage of Southeast Asia, combining Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and even Taoism, has left behind a multitude of historical monuments and natural wonders. From vast urban temples, impressive temples, and serene Buddhist pilgrimage sites, Singapore's temples evoke spirituality as much as other Southeast Asian countries. The grandest temple in Singapore is the Khmer Buddhist temple of Chettiar Kanesvarar Temple, its lavish architecture and impressive tiled carvings complementing its great religious heritage. The closest to Singapore, Batu Caves are one of the largest temples in South East Asia. They can be accessed easily, just a 45-minute bus ride from the heart of the city. In between Batu Caves and the state temples of Penang are other religious attractions, including Teng Keng Muk Song (a hill which has over 12,000 step stairs). Along with its religious significance, Singapore has a variety of parks, memorials, museum, and lakes worth a visit. Singapore Botanic Gardens is a beautiful place to visit where you will find many exotic and beautiful plants. The national monument, the Parliament house, National Monument and the Colonial Districts make up the list of must-see places in Singapore.

Pulau Ubin

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Pulau Ubin: en.wikipedia.org

Ubin is an interesting Malaysian island in the southern part of Singapore. Not very high above sea level, Ubin can be found between the Straits of Johor and the South China Sea. Ubin, a former tribal village, was changed and modernized when Singapore was formed. It is home to little more than a few scattered longhouses and the only natural beach in Singapore, Pulau Ubin Beach. Ubin is not very easy to visit, and one must plan their trip well. It's possible to take a bus from the city, get off at the nearest bus stop, and walk along the beach. The village may be reached by hiring a local car, motorbike or bicycle. If the weather is good and a group of you decide to go to Ubin, you will have fun and enjoy yourselves.