Singapore is a city-state of superlatives. If I’m ever asked where to go in Singapore you can guarantee the words tallest, greatest, highest, bestest will feature in the conversation because Singapore doesn’t do tourist attractions in half measures.
With gardens full of ‘supertrees’, lush rainforests with suspension and sculptural bridges, a fusion of culture represent by colourful Peranakan shophouses and, let’s not forget, the world’s tallest indoor waterfall at Jewel Changi Airport, a visit to Singapore is sure to give you interesting stories to come home with.
So, for a Singapore experience to remember, check out these 6 cool places you can’t miss, based on several visits I’ve made to Singapore over the years.
Plus, learn how Singaporean businesses are implementing the highest hygiene and cleanliness standards so that visitors can enjoy peace of mind when international travel resumes.
6 cool places to go in Singapore
1. Gardens By The Bay
One place you absolutely have to go when in Singapore is Gardens By The Bay. Don’t be a fool (like me) and think that as you’re not really green-fingered you can give Singapore’s award-winning conservatories a miss, because, honestly, you have never seen plants like this.
Gardens By The Bay is an out-of-this-world horticultural park, featuring 2 humungous conservatories (Cloud Forest and Flower Dome), a giant man-made waterfall and a grove of solar-powered ‘Supertrees’ that dazzle and dance like fireworks as part of a free show in the evenings.
The mesmerising Garden Rhapsody light and sound show takes place at Supertree Grove daily at 7.45pm and 8.45pm.
You’ll feel like you’ve fallen into the Avatar movie while scaling the Skyway that connects 2 of the 50-metre-tall Supertrees. Afterwards, grab a cold drink at the Supertree Observatory Cafe and take in 360 degree views from the open-air roof deck atop the tallest tree.
There are an array of food halls and cafes in the park including a super-clean hawker centre, aptly named Satay By The Bay, where you can enjoy foliage-framed views of Marina Bay Sands and tuck into satay sticks by the plate.
Families note: This whole complex is incredibly child and buggy-friendly with ample lift access, high chairs and baby changing facilities, plus they are happy to let you store things with reception if, like us, you’ve come with a car seat you can’t be bothered to cart around with you!
Discover more of the amazing parks and gardens in Singapore
2. Jewel at Changi Airport
Singapore’s award-winning Changi Airport became even more impressive in 2019 with the opening of the Jewel dining, retail and entertainment complex. At the centre of this shopping-centre-like-none-other is the world’s largest indoor waterfall, and you absolutely need to see it to truly appreciate how amazing it is.
Found at the heart of Jewel, the incredible 40-metre-high HSBC Rain Vortex creates rainbows during the day and is turned into a creative light and sound show by night. (7.30pm – 11.30pm daily, at hourly intervals.)
While Jewel is connected to Changi Airport (via the arrivals hall of terminal 1 or link bridge and /or shuttle bus to the others) you don’t have to have a boarding pass to get in here, so you can easily add a whole day here onto your Singapore itinerary.
Entrance is free with just some additional cool features like a Hedge Maze, Mirror Maze, Canopy Bridge and Park ticketed. (Available from machines on the day.)
Jewel is also a great place to kill a few hours before a night flight because a number of airlines let you check in your luggage early, meaning you don’t have to wheel it around with you.
For families with older kids (or adults with lots of energy!) you can wear them out before flying at the Manulife Sky Nets. This giant 250-metre-long net extends above the Canopy Park on Jewel’s upper level and lets you leap right up to the ceiling. (Or at least feel like it.)
The Sky Net ticket includes access to a number of fun things in the Canopy Park, including Discovery Slides & Foggy Bowls, so you’ll easily pass the time before a night flight here.
Find more ideas for things to do in my guide to Jewel for First Stop Singapore.
3. LeVeL 33 Craft Brewery
Fancy a cold beer with a sensational view? Of course you do. Another cool place to go in Singapore is LeVel 33 Brewery.
You may already know about CÉ LA VI SkyBar at Marina Bay Sands, (S$20 entry fee redeemable on food and drinks) but I always think that the view from there is missing something – you know, like one of the most iconic buildings in the city.
So, for sweeping views of Singapore, including unobstructed views of the Marina Bay Sands laser light show, AND a delicious cold craft brew, I recommend you head to LeVeL 33 Brewery and grab a seat at their restaurant or roof terrace.
The world’s highest urban craft brewery offers tasters by the paddle and a dining menu that pairs perfectly if you’re peckish. There is no entry fee and we found it easy to get a table (with our a highchair) during the daytime.
(Lonely Planet says it gets much busier after 6pm – read more here.)
Discover more amazing Singapore food experiences in this post by Cook Sister.
4. TreeTop Walk at MacRitchie
If you stick to the Marina it’s easy to think Singapore is an island city filled with skyscrapers and super modern architecture. Head to the MacRitchie Nature Trail & Reservoir Park, however, and you’ll soon discover some of Singapore’s lush green landscape that has earned it the nickname of a ‘city in a garden’.
A 6 – 11 km walking trail will take you on a loop of the reserve, including across its 250m-long suspension bridge, which offers a birds-eye view of the forest canopy and perhaps some of the skinks, lizards and birds that live there.
Click here for a guide to the Treetop Walk walking trail. It takes approx. 2-3 hours so pack lots and lots of water!
5. Henderson Waves
Closer to Downtown, in the green belt south of Singapore, are the eye-catching curves of a 274-metre long pedestrian bridge known as Henderson Waves.
This fantastical wooden structure, the highest pedestrian bridge in Singapore, connects 2 parks in the Southern Ridges Walk and is lit in LED lights at dusk.
It’s a lovely place to go if you want to feel like more of a local, and the photography opportunities are plentiful. (Sorry my pic from 2014 doesn’t quite do it justice!)
6. Peranakan Houses in Joo Chiat
To learn about the more traditional architecture of Singapore and the area’s rich cultural mix of European, Chinese, Malay and Indian influences, check out the Peranakan Shophouses in Joo Chiat and Katong.
While the rainbow-coloured row of houses in Joo Chiat have become a bit of an Instagram sensation, don’t forget to explore the surrounding shops, cafes and businesses to learn a bit more about Peranakan fashion, cuisine and custom.
Where to stay in Singapore
We chose to base ourselves at Hotel Indigo in Katong during our recent visit (who can resist Laksa and gelato on your doorstep?), which combines retro Peranakan décor with giant bathtubs and a rooftop pool.
We used the Grab or Uber app to get taxis to all places mentioned as it was the easiest way to do it with a baby. We travelled with our own car seat for this reason. Find more of our baby travel essentials here.
Singapore Airlines offer some great stopover packages where you can add a hotel and 1-way transfer onto your flight booking from as little as $35 SGD per person. Find more information here.
Safe travel in Singapore
Tourism in Singapore will re-open in a safe and gradual manner in the future, with certain tourism activities restarting later than others depending on whether the necessary safe management measures can be
The health and safety of Singaporeans and all visitors is a top priority and so a SG Clean initiative was launched in February 2020 to ensure all businesses have rigorous standards of hygiene and cleanliness in place.
Various businesses in the tourism sector, from hotels to attractions and restaurants, are currently being independently assessed, so that when visitors return they can seek out the SG Clean quality mark for quick and easy reassurance.
Singapore was the last destination I visited before Covid-19 and due to its proactive approach to ensuring the safety of visitors, and the plethora of amazing experiences you have there, it will likely be one of the first I return to!
Would you like to visit any of these places in Singapore one day?
Note: This post was written in January 2020 and has been updated as part of a collaboration with Singapore Tourism Board. My last trip to Singapore was self-funded and all opinions are my own.
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