Supertree Grove, Gardens by the Bay top things to do in Singapore travel guide.

Top Things To Do In Singapore

Although tiny, this multi-cultural, city-state is one of the world’s top financial centers and full of interesting things to do. Whether you’re into architecture, amazing multi-cultural food, nightlife, culture, beaches, colorful temples, history, or shopping, Singapore has something to offer everyone. This post covers the top things to do when visiting Singapore and how to get there.

Marina Bay

This luxury area is Singapore’s de-facto center. Packed with iconic architecture, glittering skyscrapers, amazing restaurants, shops, and one-of-a-kind sites, Marina Bay is a top destination. It’s also very photogenic, especially at night. The top sites include the following.

Marina Bay | Wikimedia Commons Butko

Marina Bay Sands Complex

Infinity Pool | Wikimedia Commons

Posh Marina Bay Sands is not only impressive in Marina Bay’s skyline, it also boasts top-notch attractions. One of the best is the impressive infinity pool overlooking Singapore at 656’ (200 m).

Although it’s only for guests, non-guests can purchase Sands SkyPark Observation Deck tickets, for similar 360 views. For something even more economical, buy a drink at rooftop CE LA VI sky bar.

Marina Bay Sands is also home of the ArtScience Museum. Ingeniously designed in the shape of a lotus flower (in image at top), its architecture is as interesting as its thought-provoking exhibits.

Other features of Marina Bay Sands include Spectra, an award winning light show, a Casino, Esplanade – Theaters on the Bay, luxury shopping, and celebrity chef restaurants.

How To Get To Marina Bay Sands: Take the MRT Circle or Downtown Line to Bayfront station.

Gardens By The Bay

Designed to be Singapore’s urban outdoor recreation space, or “City in a Garden”, this nature park spans 250 acres in Marina Bay, with several compelling attractions.

The innovative Supertree Grove consists of 18 colossal structures, as high as 160’ (50 m). Covered with over 150,000 plants, they technologically perform plant-like functions. They collect rainwater for irrigation, and absorb sunlight to generate energy for their dazzling kaleidoscope of color at night.

Visiting the Supertree Grove and watching the light show is free, but there is a small fee for the OCBC Skywalk and Observatory.

Supertree Grove, Gardens by the Bay top things to do in Singapore travel guide.
Supertrees and OCBC Skywalk

Although the Supertree Grove is the most popular attraction, Gardens by the Bay is also home to Cloud Forest, the world’s tallest indoor waterfall, Flower Dome, the world’s largest greenhouse, and other sites.

How To Get To Gardens By The Bay: Take the MRT Circle or Downtown Line to Bayfront station. Taking exit B, follow the underground linkway to the Gardens. Cross Dragonfly Bridge and arrive in Malay Garden. From there, continue straight to the Supertree Grove.

Singapore Flyer

Marina Bay also features the Singapore Flyer. This observation wheel, even taller than the London Eye, offers stunning views of the bay.

One complete spin takes about 35 minutes, just enough time to sip on a Singapore Sling, which originated here, while riding in your climate-controlled capsule.

How To Get To The Flyer: Take the MRT via the Circle or Downtown Line to Promenade station. From there, take exit A and follow the signs. If coming from Marina Bay Sands, it’s a 10 minute walk across Helix Pedestrian bridge.

Singapore Flyer is one of the top things to do in Singapore.
Singapore Flyer from Supertree Grove

Botanical Gardens

Singapore botanic gardens travel guide top things to do

Singapore’s Unesco listed Botanical Gardens are what remains of the original rainforest once covering this island.

Located just 5 minutes from Orchard Road, this park covers over 200 acres (82 hectares) and is over 150 years old.

Expect to spend about 2 hours here and don’t miss its highlight, its extensive orchid garden. It has over 1,000 orchid species and 2,000 hybrids.

How To Get To The Botanical Gardens: Take the Circle or Downtown MRT Line to the Botanic Gardens station.

Singapore’s Unesco Hawker Culture

Singapore is a food paradise and its Hawker Centers are a must-visit. These open-air hubs of good, inexpensive food, offer a uniquely Singaporean mix of the best of Chinese, Malaysian, and Indian cooking. In fact, hawker culture is such an important part of Singaporean life, it’s been award Unesco Heritage status.

The biggest Hawker Market is in Chinatown, Chinatown Complex Food Center, with over 260 food stalls. Maxwell Road is another popular one, also in Chinatown. Old Airport Road, Lau Pa Sat, Tekka Center, and Chomp Chomp are just a few of the many, many more. For a more comprehensive list, click here.

Hawker Center Tips: First, find your seat and note your table number. Leave a pack of napkins or some other token item to save it. When you place your order, let them know your table number and they’ll bring the food to you (unless it’s noted as ‘self service’). The best way to find the best food is to look for the longest line, or most popular stall. Especially if it’s full of locals!

Singapore’s Ethnic Districts

When Singapore was a British colony, these neighborhoods were ethnic enclaves for the Chinese, Malay, and Indian immigrants. Today they’re captivating cultural centers. From Chinatown, to Little India, Kampong Glam, and Katong, there’s a lot to explore.


Chinatown is the largest and most popular district. Even if you only have time to wander the historical building-turned-shophouses and their cultural commodities, it’s worth a visit. However, there are plenty of other fascinating attractions, like the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, Sri Mariamman Temple, which is actually a Hindu temple, the Chinese Heritage center, Singapore City Gallery, and more.

Also you can’t miss Singapore’s amazing melting-pot food at the Maxwell Food Center or Chinatown Complex Hawker Centers.

How To Get To Chinatown: From the Bayfront station at Marina Bay Sands, take the MRT to Chinatown station.

Tooth Relic Temple | Lohasa

Little India

Little India is the most colorful district. Sri Veeramakaliamman, one of the oldest Hindu temples in Singapore, is full of brightly-colored Hindu deities. Sri Srinivasa Perumal, also covered in colorful carvings, is dedicated to Vishnu, while the Temple of 1,000 Lights has a 49’ (15 m) Buddha statue surrounded by lights.

It’s also known for its aromatic Indian restaurants along Sarangoon and Race Course Road, as well as its shopping. The hawker center here is Tekka Center.

How To Get To Little India: By MRT, take the Purple or Downtown Line to Little India station.

Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple Top things to do in Singapore and travel guide
Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple

Kampong Glam

Kampong Glam is Singapore’s Malay-Arab Quarter and home to its largest mosque, Sultan Mosque. The Malay Heritage center, which was once a royal palace, now showcases the history and culture of this area. And, known for its excellent Middle Eastern Food, boutique cocktail bars have also started opening here, making a stop to savor Kampong Glam’s flavors even more compelling.

Sultan Mosque | Wikimedia Commons

How To Get To Kampong Glam: To get to Kampong Glam via MRT, take the Downtown or Green Line to Bugis Station.


Katong, home of the Peranakans, a fusion of Chinese and Malays, was once a small fishing village. A popular stop here for photos is Joo Chiat Road, which is lined with colorful, Peranakan shophouses. Sri Senpaga Vinayagar Temple, temple for the Hindu god Ganesha, can also be found here. And as with all the ethics districts in Singapore, Katong has its own unique mix of cultural and modern Singaporean dishes. Laksa, spicy noodles with curry, and coconut milk, is one of the must-try dishes.

How To Get To Katong: The closest MRT stations to Joo Chiat Road are Peya Lebar and Eunos.

Orchard Road

Orchard Road, which gets its name from the fruit orchards and spices that once grew here, is a mecca for shopping and entertainment. From the 8 levels at glamorous ION Orchard, to department stores, plazas, and malls galore, there’s 1.6 miles (2.5 km) of shopping here.

How To Get To Orchard Road: There are three MRT stops along Orchard Road. Orchard Station is the northernmost station, while Somerset is near the center, and Dhoby Ghaut is on the southern end.

Island Getaways In Singapore

Singapore is one of the most densely populated countries in the world, so if you find the need to escape to one of its 64 islands for a day, it’s not surprising. A few of the top tropical getaways are listed below.

  • Sentosa, is the closest and largest island with Universal Studios, SEA Aquarium. And along with plenty of bars, restaurants, and cafes, it also has some of the most popular beaches. To get here, take the Circle Line to Harborfront station, then take the Sentosa Express or walk across the bridge.
  • Bintan, known for its high-end resorts, gold courses and beautiful beaches and golf is southeast of Singapore. To get here, take a ferry from Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal.
  • St. John’s Island. Once a quarantine area for infectious diseases and later a drug rehabilitation center, this tranquil island is now an oasis of beaches. To get here, take a ferry from Marina South Pier.
  • Lazarus is just east of St. John’s. There is no direct ferry here. You need to get to St. John’s island and then walk by foot.
  • Sister’s Islands is home to Singapore’s first Marine Park. This area is perfect for snorkeling and diving. To get here, take a ferry from Marina South Pier.
  • Pulau Ubin is an island off northeastern Singapore. Its name literally means ‘granite island’ due to the abandoned granite quarries here. The rustic beauty of this island is great for cycling, hiking, kayaking the mangroves, and camping. To get here, take a boat from Changi Point Ferry Terminal.

Want More Tips on Singapore?

For the full range of tips, including best time to visit, money matters, logistics, safety, and what not to do in Singapore, see my Singapore Travel Guide.

Hello! I resigned from a corporate career in product development to explore the world. Although my goal was to travel for a year, 8 years later, I’ve been honored to have explored more than 60 gorgeous countries and met some unbelievably amazing people. Our world truly is a beautiful place! Follow me into the gorgeous unknown by subscribing below. You’ll receive details on fabulous destinations, comprehensive travel guides, travel tips and tidbits, and information on travel trends, like experiential, sustainable, and transformational travel. Where is your next gorgeous unknown? Julie

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