Super shiok spots!
What’s your ONE place in Singapore that you think everyone – locals, tourists, your visitors from home – absolutely has to hit?
We couldn’t pinpoint just 1, but we narrowed it down to 15!
This one’s a great place to take out-of-town guests to try the world’s original Singapore Sling ($31).
Invented a century ago by former bar captain Ngiam Tong Boon, the sweet yet refreshing cocktail combines gin, cherry liqueur, brandy, triple sec, pineapple juice, lime juice and a dash of grenadine.
Then, bar-hop to these other drinking holes around town for unconventional, locally-inspired cocktails.
Raffles Hotel, 1 Beach Rd, Singapore 189673
NEXT: Geylang →
It might be known as the local red light district, but Geylang is peppered with trendy cafes, late-night hawkers and Chinese eateries, too – it’s even known as the “New Chinatown” of Singapore. (Just FYI: Even-numbered sidestreets, or lorongs, house the majority of brothels.)
Check out Fresh Frog Porridge on 7 Lor 9 Geylang for claypot frog leg congee, rice porridge. Two things to know: It really does taste like chicken, and there are lots of small bones – but it’s worth the effort! Also hit Sin Huat Eating House on 659 Lor 35 Geylang for the Crab Beehoon – U.S. Chef Anthony Bourdain’s fave!
NEXT: Little India →
Streets overflowing with vibrant flower garlands and sarees, Bollywood songs blasting from colourful shophouses, the scent of fragrant incense in the air – welcome to Little India.
Here’s where you’ll find hip lodgings like Wanderlust Hotel and spectacular heritage landmarks like the Sri Veeramakaliammam Temple. Savour hot, crispy thosais, Indian-style crepes (from $3.20) from Komala Vilas and don’t miss the Little India Arcade for cool curios.
Need a guide? Book a walking tour with Ruby Dot Trails ($32).
NEXT: Gillman Barracks →
Formerly a British military camp, Gillman Barracks is now a contemporary art destination in Singapore where a total of 12 galleries hold rotating exhibitions from around the world. Check for ongoing exhibitions here.
After browsing, kick back with a glass of wine or check out the extensive range of gins at Timbre @ Gillman, where live bands perform every evening.
9 Lock Rd, Singapore 108937
NEXT: Dempsey Hill →
Before the British turned Dempsey Hill into another military outpost circa 1867, it was a thriving nutmeg plantation. Today, it’s morphed into a haven for vintage furniture shops and hip eateries, many in renovated black-and-white colonial houses.
Stop by Chopsuey Cafe, the sister of crowd-fave PS Cafe, for yummy Pumpkin and Cod Dumplings ($9 for 3) and more new age Chinese fare.
Dempsey Rd, Singapore 249679
NEXT: Haw Par Villa →
Built in 1937, this heritage park (also known as the Tiger Balm Gardens) contains more than 1,000 statues and 150 giant dioramas depicting scenes from Chinese mythology and famous folklore. It’s known for its famed “10 Courts of Hell” exhibit, which depicts gnarly after-life punishments for crimes committed.
Rumour has it, some Singaporean parents and grandparents would take their kids here to scare them into obedience!
Tip: Visit the park in the morning or evening when it’s slightly cooler, as there’s limited shade.
262 Pasir Panjang Rd, Singapore 118628
NEXT: Pulau Ubin →
With no access to modern public utilities, this rustic island is home to SG’s last surviving kampong (village).
Villagers rely on wells for water, diesel generators for electricity and depend on traditional farming and fishing for subsistence.
Take a bumboat from Changi Point Ferry Terminal ($3 per trip) and stay at the island’s only resort, Celestial Resort Pulau Ubin (from $168 per night), or pitch a tent and sleep under the stars. Explore the island’s rugged terrain (NParks does $60 tours for groups of 15) or rent mountain bikes from the rental shops at the village near the jetty.
NEXT: Cable car sky dining →
Enjoy a gourmet meal on board Singapore Cable Car with the stunning view of Mount Faber and beyond. The three-course Sky Dining experience includes a welcome drink, glass of wine, coffee or tea and to-go box of chocolates (from $288 per couple).
About two hours long, the ride starts at 6 p.m. from Mount Faber Cable Car station and offers panoramic views of Harbourfront and Sentosa Island, before returning.
109 Mount Faber Rd, Faber Peak, Singapore 099203
NEXT: The Kumar Show →
One of Singapore’s best-loved comedians – and its most popular drag queen – Kumar is known for his no-holds-barred, risque humour.
He currently performs at FRESH every Friday, 10pm to midnight. Call to book tickets ($55 per adult plus two hours of free-flow drinks). Kumar will also appear in Dream Academy’s Happy Ever Laughter, opening October 26 at the Esplanade.
NEXT: Harriers’ Hash →
If you’re into fitness, lace on your trainers and get yourself to a hash already. These fun team runs – originated in nearby Malaysia in the 1930s – involve a pack or “hash” that follows a trail of flour through all types of terrain (trails are set earlier by “hares”).
Dinner and drinks follow. Check directly with clubs for their membership fees.
NEXT: Private room karaoke →
Unlike in the West where you’ve got to sing on stage with all eyes on you, here in Singapore, you can warble away in private rooms with your friends. Tang Music Box and Party World KTV rent out rooms by the hour (prices vary), and you can order from in-house menus.
Tip: If you’re looking for family fun, avoid businesses with the word “lounge” in the name, as these are where hostesses will entertain you.
NEXT: Art deco architecture →
Do you appreciate the sleek, sharp lines; bold, bright colours; metallic finishes and amalgamation of different impulses that came together in the Art Deco movement? Then, have your camera ready – and don’t forget to look up!
Two gorgeous examples in Singapore: the “rocket” building that sits at the junction of Circular Road and Lorong Telok, and Parkview Square in Bugis – known by locals as the Gotham building (while there, pop into the over-the-top wine bar within).
NEXT: The Projector →
This secret cinema is housed in the lovingly restored Golden Theatre (the largest cinema in Singapore and Malaysia back in the 1970s).
Indie movie buffs flock to The Projector for foreign cult favourites like the 2016 Oscar-winning Son Of Saul, local classics such as Mee Pok Man and other arthouse and retrospective films. Check out Sundays With French Cinema ($13 per ticket) for weekly never-before screened-in-Singapore French classics.
#05-00, Golden Mile Tower, 6001 Beach Rd, Singapore 199589
NEXT: Mustafa Centre →
Open 24 hours, 365 days a year, this super store has everything from electronics to groceries – at knocked-down prices.
The faux jewellery department is especially temptying with floor-to-ceiling racks of sparkly bangles (some for less than a dollar) and real freshwater pearl necklaces (that cost as low as $150).
Hint: bring a bottle of drinking water – hours get sucked away in here, and you’ll suddenly realise you’re dying of thirst. Hungry? Fuel up at Kebabs and Curries (Level 7), the Centre’s rooftop restaurant with stunning views.
145 Syed Alwi Road, Singapore 207704
NEXT: National Gallery Singapore →
The old Supreme Court and City Hall now houses the National Gallery Singapore, where you can see permanent and travelling exhibitions of contemporary Southeast Asian art.
This beautiful, historic structure – displaying some of the region’s finest art, is a true SG original. It’s not to be missed!
1 St. Andrew’s Rd, Singapore 178957
NEXT: The Long Bar at Raffles Hotel →
By Candy Lim, The Finder, last updated May 2017
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