Plan Your Independent Tour!
Use this Singapore Guide to decide what attractions and activities most appeal when you visit this popular and fascinating travel destination.
Circle your activities and landmarks on your map....decide where your starting point will be and draw links between the marked places of interest.
You have just planned your independent tour of Singapore!You will need to do a different one for each day. I suggest you check transport options....although if you are a good walker the distances are often not great.
SINGAPORE GUIDE TIP: If you ask a Singaporean they will say a destination is too far to walk and suggest a taxi or other mode of transport. In fact invariably the distance was not very far at all. Other travellers we met also commented on this.
Singapore Attractions and Activities
Bughis Street Market – This local fleamarket at Bugis Junction is a great place to find cheap clothing, bags, shoes, mobile phone parts etc I bought a fold up umbrella suitable for wet weather as well as keeping out the UV for the princely sum of $4....about the same as a cup of coffee!
SINGAPORE GUIDE TIP:You should bargain....and if not happy try another stall..many of the products are repeated around the market.
Raffles Hotel – Raffles Hotel is probably the most famous Singapore landmark in the world and could tell some fascinating stories! Tourists flock to have a look at this stunning colonial building that has been beautifully restored from its crumbling state in 1989-1991 and is now a picture of elegant white columns, arches, tropical gardens, wide verandahs and a truly beautiful building.
Enjoy a Singapore Sling in the tropical outdoor bar area, wander through the shops with a wide array of house wares, clothes, jewellery and souvenirs, browse the interesting Raffles Museum and get a feel for the decadent colonial past that was played out in this Hotel. You need to allow a good hour to have a really good look.
Raffles Museum – is part of the hotel and a fascinating look at the history with old photos, books, furniture, musical instruments and the every day items that were used to serve the usually rich and famous who wined, dined and were entertained at Raffles in it’s real hey days.
Malay Street – We came upon Malay Street as we headed off from Raffles Hotel. Stepping through the entry we entered another world where the old colonial style buildings with their pale aqua shutters sat on top of modern ground floor stores. The wide covered mall had a line of Malay style craft stalls with scarves, jewellery, sunwear, crafts etc
Suntec Towers - This is actually a series of 5 buildings all interlinked, covering a large area. The interior is the typical Mall with a wide array of all kinds of wares from books to clothing, electronics to health products and eating places. Above the first 2-3 floors is offices.
SINGAPORE GUIDE TIP - Free shuttle buses leave from outside the bottom of Suntec Tower 1, in front of the Booking Office. They are a dark blue with no writing on the bus.They travel to several destinations including Marina Bay Sands and Orchard Road.
Fountain of Wealth - The world’s largest fountain with a base area of 1,683 square metres, was out of action when we were in Singapore. However, it is easy to include as you tour the city... being directly opposite Suntec Towers.
Marina Bay Sands – Singapore Guide suggests this is a must visit for any visitor. Recently opened the architecture is a real masterpiece. The building is seen from many vantage points around the city and looks like a ship sitting on top of three glass pillars. The interior is just as interesting with huge tubs of trees and interesting angled ceilings.
SINGAPORE GUIDE TIP - Buying a Ticket to go to Viewing Platform
Go to the far end of the ground floor to buy tickets at $20 to go up to the 57th floor. Here is the vantage point to view the city. Try and go just before sunset. You will see the city in daylight, watch it fading into the sunset and then get a third dimension as the city lights spring into action. With 360o views it was just stunning!
The platform area is huge. You can go up the steps to the edge of the pool which stretches the full length of the building and may well be in use by the hotel patrons staying in the hotel area. With palm trees and pool this area is like some futuristic scene.
The opening of the The Sands as most Singaporeans call this building means the Singapore Flyer has been rather displaced.
Singapore Flyer – You will get wonderful views of the Singapore Flyer from The Sands. While you will get similar views from Marina Bay Sands, you may still want to try this unusual ferris wheel. The capsules are the size of a bus, each holding 28 people, the flyer at maximum holds 784 people!
It slowly rotates at 1 rotation every 30 minutes giving viewers magnificent city views. At a height of 165m, Singapore Flyer is the world’s largest Giant Observation Wheel. Look out for special tourist deals. If you presented your passport 2 could go for the price of one when we were in Singapore.
Singapore Zoo – Singapore Zoo is very popular. Set in 40 hectares of rainforest - the animals are in relatively open spaces and you can get up close and personal for viewing. You may want to go back in the evening for the Wildlife Safari.
Singapore Night Safari –You can enjoy a meal in a very African Safari style restaurant “Ulu Ulu” and make your way to the animal and tribal performance shows ( they have limited entrance numbers so don’t leave it till the last minute), then enjoy the train which wends its way through the Zoo.
You then should still have time to walk the tracks the train took getting a closer view of the animals. There are three options you can walk.
SINGAPORE GUIDE TIP - IMPORTANT: - I suggest you will see far more by arranging your own transport and arriving early for the Wildlife Safari! . We made the expensive mistake of booking to go on a tour. We missed the shows because the bus took so long getting there, after having sat over 40 minutes in a car park waiting for all the tour group to arrive from other hotels!
I DO NOT RECOMMEND A TOUR.
Jurong Park Bird Zoo - Jurong Bird Park is located in a 20+ hectare park with open exhibits featuring about 9,000 birds representing 600 different species. The park is Asia Pacific’s largest indoor aviary, with world’s largest collection of South-east Asian birds and the world’s tallest artificial waterfall. Get close to the birds and see the various shows – the Penguin Parade in17,000 square feet of replicated Antarctica, an African Wetlands, and Swan Lake.
China Town – China Town encompasses the area between Pagoda Street and Smith Street which has been restored as an interesting tourist destination , but the working area of Chinatown is located south and east, merging into the Central Business District. You can plan to visit Merlion Park after your visit to Chinatown.
Restored shophouses, temples, and other historic buildings as well as small eateries offering excellent..... although sometimes expensive.... Western cuisine.
Cantonese is the main dialect spoken in Singapore Chinatown.
Little India – Serangoon Rd is the main Little India thoroughfare. With a mix of interesting buildings, shops and restaurants, temples including picturesque Sri Veerama Kaliamman Temple, a mosque and a Buddhist temple.. The influence of the Tamils who were originally brought here is seen in the architecture. The street names however are very English...it was not until the early 1900 that the Indian influence arrived.
Little India Shopping - Mustafa Shopping Mall stocks just about you could imagine everything at good prices, and is a shoppers treasure trove.The Tekka Centre opposite the Little India train station is interesting with products from India including beautiful saris, antiques and collectibles, spices and a wet market with fresh fish and meat. Wander this unique area of Singapore mingling with the locals for a real feel of India mixed with Singaporean style.
Merlion Park and Statue - Merlion has a head of a lion and body of a fish(half lion, half fish) since in Sanskrit “Singapore”or “Singapura” means “Lion City”. Standing about 28 feet tall and weighing 70 tons, it was designed in 1964 by Fraser Brunner as Singapore’s Symbol by the Tourism Board. It was relocated to Merlion Park on Marina Bay in 2002.
SINGAPORE GUIDE TIP - You can walk to Merlion Park or for a different angle catch the bum boat from Clarke Quay or Robertson Quay to see the Merlion Statue at it’s best from the water.
Singapore Art Museum – Originally a Catholic Boys School this beautiful historic building has been restored to house a changing series of art works, and puts on educational and art programmes.
Peranakan Museum – A neo classical building built in the early 1900’s this is another stunning ex school building the Old Tao Nan School, now restored it has become the Peranakan Museum, displaying the history of Straits Chinese from Singapore,Malacca, and Penang.
The Arts House – Set opposite Fullerton’s Hotel on the other side of the bridge this Centre features art works. Originally built as a house it then became the first Court House and then Parliament House. Not only does it house a collection of art works and an exhibitio displaying the history of the building...it also has two restaurants...one Thai. With free admission and only an $8 charge for a guided tour this is good value.
Sentosa – You can take the cable car from Mt Faber to Sentosa. Once there you have quite a selection of fun parks and activities to choose from.
- Tiger Sky Tower
- Butterfly Park
- Songs of the Sea Show
- Fort Siliso
- Sentosa Luge and Sky ride – Originated in NZ
- Go Green Segway Eco Adventure
- The Flying Trapeze
- Siliso, Palawan and Tanjong Beaches
- Universal Studios
- Underwater World
Sentosa Island is definitely a place for family fun in Singapore.
MORE SINGAPORE LINKS
Return to Fascinating-Travel-Destinations - Home