Discover Singapore

Take in the sights, smells and sounds of Serangoon Road’s inner hives, where street vendors spruik gold, incense, flowers, spices and textiles.

The city-state mixes elements of the east and the west confidently, with an outstanding energy and things to see and do. 

Home to Chinese, Indian, British and Malay ethnicities, plus a large Western expatriate community, Singapore is abuzz with a medley of cultural neighbourhoods.

Colourful and chaotic, Little India is one of the city’s most culturally-authentic districts. Take in the sights, smells and sounds of Serangoon Road’s inner hives, where street vendors spruik gold, incense, flowers, spices and textiles. Experience a Hindu ritual and worship the goddess Kali at the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple.  Explore the 24-hour Mustafa Center emporium and rummage through a treasure trove of knick-knacks and apparel.

Singapore's largest ethnic group, the Chinese, are well represented within the exciting and enchanting neighbourhood of Niu Che Shui (Chinatown). Relive the days of early Chinese migrants at the Chinatown Heritage Centre’s exhibitions spaces. Join locals for a meal at one of more than 100 food stalls at the Smith Street hawker centre. Learn about the teachings of Maitreya Buddha at the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum.

A gazetted conservation area rich with history, Kampong Glam is Singapore’s Malay-Muslim quarter. Encounter the culture and heritage of Singaporean Malays at the former home of the Sultan, The Malay Heritage Centre. Marvel at the district’s most prominent landmark, the Sultan Mosque and its magnificent golden dome. Explore Arab Street, Baghdad Street and Bussorah Street, where rows of conserved shop houses sell specialties like textiles, perfume and carpet.

While hubs like Little India, Chinatown and Kampong Glam highlight Singapore’s nature as a microcosm of Asia, precincts like Marina Bay and Orchard Road exhibits the city’s flourishing reputation as a centre of ultra-modern Western commerce.

Fringing the Kallang River with a variety of over-the-top leisure and cultural experiences, Marina Bay (pictured) shines a spotlight on Singapore’s modernity. Admire Marina Bay Sands six billion dollar engineering feata world-famous hotel and entertainment complex topped with a 12,400 square metre boat and 150 metre infinity pool.  Wander the grounds of the awe-inspiring and award-winning horticultural attraction, Gardens by the Bay. Shop, eat and relax at Marina Square high-end fashion boutiques, restaurants and hotels.

Covering more than two kilometres in the heart the city, Orchard Road is also exemplary of Singapore’s contemporary character. An ever-lively hotspot of activity, the glitzy strip is the city-state’s most popular retail and entertainment hub. Shop for luxury brands at one of two dozen shopping malls  the two billion dollar futuristic ION Orchard is particularly impressive.

Words by Alice Nash - Published 30 September 2013
Quick Facts 
Population 3 million
Area 712 km2
Time Zone GMT + 8
Languages Malay, Mandarin, Tamil and English (official languages)
Currency Singapore dollar (SGD)
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