Photo by Michaela Loheit  –  Link



Having famously transitioned from a third to a first world country, this thriving metropolis feels distinctly modern and constantly on the move, known for its clever initiatives, sustainable projects and futuristic buildings. It may be small, but Singapore is a hub for foodies, culture-seekers, shopaholics and businessmen alike, with an assortment of Michelin-starred restaurants, expansive malls and impressive hotels to choose from.

What to see and do

A trip to Singapore wouldn't be complete without a visit to the award-winning Gardens by the Bay park, which showcases an impressive range of horticulture. Bay South, the largest garden, is where you'll find futuristic 'Supertrees' - tree-like vertical gardens. By day, these impressive structures harvest solar energy, and by night they are lit by an unforgettable light show. Get up close and personal with the trees and walk the new 22-metre high OCBC Skyway; the photo opportunities and views won't disappoint! Bay South is also home to the spectacular Flower Dome and Cloud Forest, two impressive greenhouses. Admission to the OCBC Skyway is $8, and to the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest is $28.

To marvel at the gardens from above, take a trip to the luxurious Marina Bay Sands hotel and visit the SkyPark, a boat which appears precariously balanced on top of the resort's three towers. Head up to the 57th floor to the observation deck for unbeatable views of the city. The SkyPark also boasts the world's largest rooftop infinity pool, but access is strictly hotel guests only, so you'll have to book a room to take a dip! Entry to the observation deck costs $23.

Back on the ground, take a walk around the bay to Merlion Park to see the emblematic half-lion-half-fish statue, or why not head to flashy Orchard Road and join the Singaporeans in one of their favourite pastimes - shopping? A visit to Chinatown and Little India should also be on your list, offering a taste of the diverse cultures that coexist in Singapore.

When you need a break, a stop off at Raffles for a legendary Singapore Sling cocktail is the perfect end to a busy day of exploring.

Other notable sights are the Botanical Gardens, the National Gallery and the Singapore Flyer.

Food and drink

Singapore attracts visitors not only for its cool buildings and ample shopping opportunities, but also for its incredible food. Whether you're after authentic street food or Michelin-starred restaurants, you're absolutely spoilt for choice. A good place to start is Chinatown Food Complex, a bustling food court filled to the brim with hundreds of stalls and their delicious aromas. It's by no means fancy, but you'll be able to sample a wide variety of local dishes like mee goreng (fried noodles with meat), nasi lamak (rice cooked in coconut milk and usually served with hard-boiled eggs, peanuts and cucumber) and yong tau foo (tofu filled with ground meat or fish paste).

If you're feeling adventurous, crack open a durian - a native fruit that's known for its strong and unusual odour.

Know the rules

This perfectly clean and orderly metropolis does come with some rules and regulations, and it's important to know the dos and don'ts before you travel.

On top of bans on chewing gum and fines for littering, there are also strict laws on smoking. It is illegal to smoke in some public areas as the government are promoting a smoke-free lifestyle, and this includes a ban on e-cigarettes. Some parks, bus stops, outdoor queues and playgrounds are likely to be smoke-free, so keep an eye out to avoid fines.

Drinking in public is also restricted and is illegal between 10.30pm and 7am. The rules are even tougher in Little India and Geylang, where consuming alcohol in public is banned on weekends and public holidays. But don't worry, it's still completely legal in the many bars and restaurants during restricted times.

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