Singapore is one of our favourite cities in Asia and we want you to love it as much as we do! Whether you’re starting to build an itinerary for your next Singapore trip or are just looking for some travel inspo, this neighbourhood guide will show you all the different types of experiences you can have when you’re in town.
In a nutshell: All things modern and super-stylish.
The deets: From the iconic Marina Bay Sands hotel to the innovative Gardens by the Bay, this place has something for every traveller. Visit the Marina Bay Sands’ casino for a gamble if it tickles your fancy or a spot of luxury shopping at The Shoppes if that’s your thing. Not into malls? Take a short walk to Gardens by the Bay for a breezy stroll at the Conservatory or the suspended OCBC Skyway for a bird’s eye-view of Singapore.
In a nutshell: Welcome to Orchard Road, a shopaholic’s playground!
The deets: With malls that line the streets and more brands than you can count, this is the place to take part in Singapore’s second national pastime – shopping. There are countless shopping malls to make your way through, and plenty of dining and entertainment options if your feet need a break. Don’t leave Orchard Road without trying out an ice cream sandwich. We suggest grabbing your sandwich before you shop because they can sell out early during the day!
In a nutshell: Fun-filled island for families and couples.
The deets: Theme parks like Adventure Cove Waterpark and Universal Studios will ensure that you’ll have a thrilling time regardless of your age. If you’re looking to impress your partner or date, take a sunset stroll down the beach or boardwalk and then retire to the Tanjong Beach Club for a cocktail. Wrap up the Sentosa experience by checking out Wings of Time – an outdoor night show on the open sea featuring 3D project mapping, lasers, pyrotechnics, fountains and water jets.
In a nutshell: Knock back a drink (or three).
The deets: Welcome to the land of 1-for-1s and all-night Happy Hours! Clarke Quay, the neighbourhood for drinking and dancing, is the partygoer’s start to a more-than-pleasant night. If you’re a thrill seeker, why not try the G-Max Reverse Bungy, which gives us a heart attack every single time we watch from afar?
For dance parties, get stamped at f. Club, Canvas and Attica, and just promise us you’ll take the bumboat down the river the next morning!
In a nutshell: A lively hub for Chinese food, culture, and heritage.
The deets: Transport yourself back in time by checking out the Chinatown Heritage Centre to learn how early Chinese migrants once lived or visit the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple for a free guided tour of the temple’s sacred Buddha statutes and relics. After this, walk around the many narrow alleyways to pick up some souvenirs and street food from the hawkers.
In a nutshell: Hello Old, meet New.
The deets: At a glance, this small family-friendly neighbourhood may not seem like much, but upon closer inspection, Tiong Bahru will make your heart swell and your stomach sing. Welcome to Singapore’s old school meets new food district, where shophouses bring you back to the 1980s and the food is a venn diagram of chic, yum, and affordable. Don’t miss the famous Tiong Bahru Bakery for a croissant and independent local bookstore BooksActually for a good read.
In a nutshell: A hidden gem worth exploring.
The deets: Best described as a colourful, cultural heaven in the afternoon and a total chillout zone in the evening, the small Muslim enclave is enthralling with historical sights like the Masjid Sultan (Sultan Mosque). Spend some time marvelling at street art and making your way through the many quirky shops that sell everything from Persian-styled lamps to locally designed apparel. Wrap up your visit to Haji Lane with a cold beer at the cosy Blu Jaz Cafe or a spending spree at Craft Assembly.
In a nutshell: Hip dining district that’s full of personality.
The deets: With a truly international array of restaurants (think Mexican, Middle Eastern and Malaysian), you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to dinner options. Enjoy alfresco dining, giving you the best excuse to people watch while you wait for food. Streets are pedestrian-only, so you won’t have to worry about inhaling Carbon Monoxide while tucking into your chimichanga or hor fun.
In a nutshell: Tranquility amidst the bustle.
The deets: If you’re after some locally sourced produce during your travels, the Farmers’ Market at Loewen Gardens or the Open Farm Community are great places to visit. For everything from posh supermarkets to antique stores, there’s also Tanglin Mall and neighbour Tanglin Shopping Centre for you to browse through.
In a nutshell: Bohemian enclave.
The deets: Originally a military camp, this quaint neighbourhood has transformed into the place to celebrate a special occasion like a birthday or an anniversary. Check out the many restaurants on Dempsey Hill from the likes of Michelin-starred Candlenut or grab a beer at the Red Dot Brewhouse. Don’t miss the Open Farm Community or the Farmers’ Market at Loewen Gardens for a way to eat locally sourced produce that tastes good, too. For a bit of heritage, why not learn more about Dempsey’s military history with a walking trail? It’d be a great excuse to walk off all those calories you’re sure to have worked up eating your way through Singapore!
In a nutshell: Buzzing ethnic district that’s rich in culture, architecture, and history.
The deets: You’ll find Hindu temples with intricate designs and marvellous statues, including the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple, first built in 1881. If you get hungry, start off with some fruits from a street vendor. For some after-hours shopping, try the 24-hour Mustafa Centre, which sells practically everything from electronics to toiletries to jewellery.
In a nutshell: See some of Singapore’s historic and cultural landmarks.
The deets: Home to the historical and regal Fullerton Hotel, an office tower commissioned in 1924, the Asian Civilisation Museum, and the Singapore River, you’re bound to get a little closer to Singapore’s rich cultural background. Finish your day here dining on fresh seafood and having a drink (or two!) in a charming bar like Timbre.
In a nutshell: Where to get some of the yummiest food.
The deets: Wear your best walking shoes to kickstart a gastronomic journey trying various local favourites like dimsum, frog porridge, and roti prata. As for dessert, we recommend being brave and trying some melt-in-your-mouth Mao Shan Wang durian. Shopaholics will enjoy Geylang Serai Wet Market, where you’ll find a truckload of souvenirs to bring home.
In a nutshell: Fun under the sun for all.
The deets: Home to top seafood restaurants like Jumbo and Long Beach, and a number of hawker centres that open till late like the East Coast Lagoon Food Village and the Changi Village Food Centre, this neighbourhood is definitely worth visiting if you’re a massive foodie.
For the adventurous, try cycling from East Coast Park to Changi Village Food Centre in the evening just before sunset.
In a nutshell: Street shopping and food galore.
The deets: For a side of Singapore that’s both bustling and surprisingly orderly, try Bugis — the neighbourhood for affordable shopping, eating and merrymaking.
Make time for Liang Seah Street: there’s plenty to eat here, from steamboat to Thai restaurants to simple hawker fare, and you can cap off your dinner with a durian or mango dessert from Dessert First. Shop till you drop at the discount aplenty Bugis Street or Bugis Village. Here, you’ll find souvenirs, T-shirts and shoes for less than 10 dollars a piece.
Not enough? Go “prawning”, or throw some darts at Bugis+ for nothing more than the price of a beer!
For an even more authentic experience, skip the taxis and hop on a public bus to get a better grasp of how it really feels to live in Singapore. Just don’t forget to tap your transport card when you alight!