Flights to Singapore
Why visit Singapore?
Singapore has finally shrugged off its image as a sterile, strait-laced city. Today, the Little Red Dot is perpetually abuzz with new happenings, from high-tech developments and world-class events to a constantly evolving culinary scene.
The gentrified neighbourhood of Tiong Bahru is the stomping ground of hipsters. Here, you’ll find indie bookstores, photogenic cafes, art studios and more, all housed in charming art deco shophouses.
You probably didn’t know
Don’t be surprised to hear locals conversing in Singlish, a creole language that is essentially an amalgam of English, Malay, Tamil, Hokkien, Teochew, Cantonese and other tongues.
Suggested reading about Singapore
No Other City: The Ethos Anthology of Urban Poetry (edited by Aaron Lee and Alvin Pang, 2000)
- Population: 5,607,300 (2016)
- Annual visitor numbers: 15,231,500 (2015)
- January mean temperature: 26°C
- August mean temperature: 27°C
Things to do in Singapore
Heap Seng Leong
For a quintessentially Singaporean brekkie, head to Heap Seng Leong, an old-school coffee shop at 10 N Bridge Rd, specialising in kaya toast — pillowy slices of bread topped with a thick layer of coconut-and-pandan jam. Order yours with two-soft boiled eggs and a mug of kopi guyou (black coffee mixed with butter) for the complete gustatory experience.
When you are visiting Singapore, forget the usual eggs benny and avo on toast. Instead, sink your teeth into creative (and seriously tasty) Middle Eastern-inspired brunch options at Artichoke, such as lamb shakshouka and Moroccan seafood stew. Ingredients are sourced locally whenever possible, which is a major plus.
Old Airport Road Food Centre
Feel like a veritable feast? Then look no further that this open-air hawker centre at 51 Old Airport Road, where you can sample a smorgasbord of local delights, such as Hokkien mee (stir-fried noodles), oyster omelette and barbecued chicken wings. Wash everything down with a cup of refreshing sugarcane juice.
Taking pride of place in Burnt Ends’ open kitchen are custom-built four-tonne, dual-cavity ovens fired by apple and almond wood. It’s here in Singapore that all sorts of dishes are smoked, roasted and grilled to perfection, from quail eggs to juicy slabs of wagyu.
Once the Singapore’s best kept secret, speakeasy-style bar 28HKS has been thrust into the spotlight, thanks to a recent slew of accolades (it topped the inaugural Asia’s 50 Best Bars Awards 2016). But the attention is well-deserved – the cocktails here, which are shaken up from a range of over 700 craft spirits, are simply phenomenal.
Aura Sky Lounge
The tipples on the menu at Aura Sky Lounge are fairly classic, but decently executed. The real clincher here is the rooftop bar’s postcard-perfect views of the Marina Bay skyline, which makes it a top spot for quaffing a sundowner or two.
Tanjong Beach Club
Being in Singapore, for a more laid-back vibe, check out Tanjong Beach Club, which has a retro aesthetic that’s inspired by a 1950s seaside home. The beats, too, are equally bohemian, ranging from Balearic house to sunshine soul. Snag a daybed by the pool and chill out with a cocktail in hand.
If you’re in need of some serious retail therapy, hotfoot it to Orchard Road, a premier 2.2km-long shopping belt that runs through the heart of Singapore. This boulevard has it all – from international designer and high street labels to home-grown boutiques, housed in gleaming shopping malls and department stores.
For a more offbeat shopping experience, check out Haji Lane, a little alley lined with quirky lifestyle stores, clothing boutiques, hipster cafes and even old-school barber shops. Score a stylish two-wheeler at Tokyobike, or lust after Pinterest-worthy home accessories at Shop Wonderland.
BooksActually is a cosy indie bookstore in the hipster ‘hood of Tiong Bahru. With a lovingly curated selection of both fiction and non-fiction titles, literary trinkets, handmade stationery and vintage curios, it’s nigh impossible to walk away empty handed.
Gardens by the Bay
With its sleek glass conservatories and otherworldly Supertrees (man-made vertical gardens that generate solar power), the urban green lung that is Gardens by the Bay looks like something straight out of a sci-fi movie. Head up to the OCBC Skyway, an aerial walkway suspended at a height of 22 metres, for a marvellous bird’s-eye view of the scene.
National Gallery Singapore
Housed in the former City Hall and Supreme Court, the new National Gallery Singapore is an elegant, beautifully restored space containing the world’s largest public collection of contemporary South-East Asian art. While staying in Singapre, do also check out the museum’s stylish retail-cum-café concept, Gallery & Co, for a midday pick-me-up and a spot of souvenir shopping.
There’s nary a dull moment on Sentosa, an island resort that’s brimming with myriad entertainment options. Get your adrenaline pumping at Universal Studios Singapore, ogle at over 100,000 marine animals at the S.E.A Aquarium (the largest in the world!), or simply soak up some Vitamin D at one of the island’s three beaches.
Events to look out for when you fly to Singapore:
- Singapore Art Week (January)
- Chinese New Year (January/February)
- Chingay Parade (February)
- Singapore International Jazz Festival (March)
- Hari Raya Aidilfitri (June/July)
- Singapore Food Festival (July)
- National Day (August 9)
- Singapore Night Festival (August)
- Singapore International Festival of Arts (August/September)
- Mid-Autumn Festival (September)
- F1 Grand Prix (September)
- WTA Finals Singapore (October)
- Deepavali (October)
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