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Travel to Singapore for urban jungles and tropical forests

By Amy Adejokun Amy Adejokun Section editor
The dragon of Asia, Singapore is located between Malaysia and Indonesia and it certainly isn't limited to a transit airport on the way to Bali or Australia. The world's third financial hub unfolds around skyscrapers, like a Manhattan in the heart of Asia.

Travel guide

This built-up metropolis has so much to offer visitors, who be enchanted by the multicultural tapestry of its population and its mosaic of different districts. These include Chinatown, Little India, Arab Street and the charming colonial districts where pagodas, temples, mosques and cathedrals mark the sights on offer. It is an island on which there are no shortage of things to do, as it boasts numerous festivals, museums, a buzzing nightlife and a coveted cuisine.

Sinagpore's world-class zoo and incredible safaris are two of the jewels in its crown, alongside the spawling beaches which pillar the shores of the glittering metropolis. It is home to the world's largest ferris wheel, bungee jumping and even a night-time grand prix in September. Oh, and did we mention the shopping?

Our Editorial team's advice

What to do

From the top of Singapore Flyer, the world's highest ferris wheel towering at 541 ft (higher than the London Eye), you can nab front seat to the action in a glass-walled pod. Oggle at the plains of Indonesia and Malaysia, the impressive skyline, and one of the world's largest cargo ship concentrations. The wheel goes around in 37 minutes.

The incredible cityscape of Singapor is dominated by the towering heights of Marina Bay Sands, one of the giants of the hotel industry, grouping together the world's largest rooftop infinity pool, immense suites and Michelin-starred restaurants. It is a must.

Pay a visit to the majestic Fullerton hotel, a neo-classical building which was once the central post office.

Go to the stunning colonial-style Raffles hotel, where a delicious Singapore Sling cocktail is obligatory.

Visit the Merlion, symbol of Singapore, half lion half fish, spouting water at the base of the financial centre's skyscrapers.

Marvel at the gargantuan, futuristic trees in the breathtaking Gardens by The Bay.

Explore the possibility of enjoying more original activities such as bungee jumping and flight simulators.

Have your feet massaged by fish nibbling your toes at one of the numerous beauty salons, or even at the airport.

Embark upon a cruise along the Singapore River to see the city centre from the river or hire a 'bumboat' (motorized sampans) to explore the surrounding islands.

Watch a concert, a play at the theatre or an opera performance at the Victoria Theatre and concert hall (which brings Sydney's opera to mind).

Do a spot of shopping, of course. There is an underground city which awaits you in the form of a gigantic, air-conditioned shopping gallery, offering some unmissable deals.

Don't forget about the nature here - experience the unique night-safari in the heart of a forest, close to the world-famous zoo, with the world's largest colony of orangutans. You can also go for a hike in Bukit Timah natural reserve, the last remaining part of primary jungle on the island.

Have a good old fashioned relax on holiday. Singapore has some beautiful beaches, so don't forget your swimming costume. We recommend the blissful shores of Sentosa Island beach.


  • +Still possible to find a good bargain.
  • +Singapore is a melting pot of cultures and offers some of the best dishes in Asia.
  • +One of the safest places to travel to in the world.


  • -Living costs are far higher than in the UK.
  • -Some laws on individual freedoms may seem suprising.


The basics

Smoking in the street, less than 16 ft from some hotels, will cost you a fine of £500.

Never throw your chewing gum on the floor, particularly considering that it is hardly even tolerated in your mouth!

Drug trafficking is punishable by death.

A drug test may be made upon entering the country: a person who tests positive may be accused of consuming drugs on the territory.


Singapore has an almost impeccable reputation for providing the highest standards of Asian gastronomy. It has a wealth of restaurants serving every cuisine under the sun. From Chinese and vegetarian cuisine to Indian, Malaysian, Indonesian, Nyonya, Thai, Japanese, Korean, Burmese, Taiwanese, Italian or French gastronomy, there is something for everyone. A must see is the Michelin-starred street food stall where a dish will cost you under £5. Prepare for the queue, though! Another idea for a quick bite is a "Hawker Centre" - dotted all around the city, you can eat well on a shoestring.

Whatever you do, be sure to make time to stop off at the Long Bar on the first floor of the Raffles to try the famous Singapore Sling cocktail - which Ernest Hemingway sampled himself. This creal-walled colonial hotel is the only place in Singapore where you can throw things on the floor, which is in fact carpeted with peanut shells.


Singapore is a major shopping destination. From artwork and antiques to designer clothes and gadgets, you will find everything that you can think of in the various districts of the city and in the spacious white halls of Changi airport. Generally, department stores and shopping centres are open from 10:00 am to around 9:30 pm. At the Muslim shopping centre Mustapha in the district of Little India, you will find absolutely everything from glimmering jewels to cooking spices, but of course no cigarettes, alcohol or pork. For top brands, go to Orchard Road, the city's main street, where you will find Singapore's Hard Rock Café, as well as Armani, Cartier, Louis Vuitton and Chanel. The best deals, however, are found during the Great Singapore Sale in June and July.

What to see

Chinatown , Singapore
The colonial neighbourhood , Singapore
The colonial neighbourhood
 Little India , Little India and Arab street , Singapore
Little India
The attractions, Monuments and walks, Singapore
The attractions
Singapore Flyer , The Singapore Flyer , Singapore
Singapore Flyer
A small cruise down Singapore's river. , A mini cruise on Singapore River , Singapore
A small cruise down Singapore's river.
Orchard Road, The Orchard neighbourhood, Shopping, Singapore
The Orchard neighbourhood
The Jurong parks , The parks in Jurong , Singapore
The Jurong parks
The botanical gardens, The botanic gardens, Nature Reserves and gardens, Singapore
The botanic gardens
The Sentosa park , Sentosa park , Singapore
The Sentosa park
The zoological garden , Singapore
The zoological garden
The Night Safari , Singapore
The Night Safari
The Bukit Timah nature reserve , Bukit Timah Nature Reserve , Singapore
The Bukit Timah nature reserve
Le parc Gardens by the Bay , Singapore
Le parc Gardens by the Bay
Le River Safari , Singapore
Le River Safari
Singapore : Explore