Established as a British trading colony in 1819, modern-day Singapore is one of the world's most prosperous countries and boasts the world's busiest port, so it goes without saying that there are loads to see and do in the city-state.
Combining the towering skyscrapers of a growing modern city with a medley of ancient Chinese, Malay and Indian influences, and a tropical climate with tasty food, good shopping and vibrant nightlife, Singapore has plenty to offer expats from all walks of life.
Here are some of the best things to see and do in Singapore.
Recommended attractions in Singapore
Marina Bay Sands
This lavish resort complex is home to an opulent hotel, an ArtScience Museum, a mall, and the Marina Bay Sands Skypark Observation Deck, which not only has a viewing deck with breathtaking vistas of the whole of Singapore, but also an exhilarating infinity pool. Hungry guests can also sit down at the rooftop restaurant.
For a bit of fun in the sun head to Sentosa Island. Catch some rays on Siloso Beach, play a round of volleyball or get in a bit of kayaking. The island also boasts an Underwater World aquarium where you can swim with dolphins. And don’t miss out on the Merlion, the famous statue with the head of a lion and body of a fish, from which one can enjoy panoramic views of the area. Also check out the Wave House, where you can strap on a wave-propelled jet pack.
Gardens by the Bay
This large, beautiful park area of Singapore stretches over 101 hectares, boasting an impressive skywalk over lush gardens, greenhouses which recreate chilly mountain climates, as well as several themed areas for visitors to explore.
The Singapore Flyer
Said to be one of the world’s largest observation wheels, the Singapore Flyover offers expats an exciting one-of-a-kind panoramic view over the city. The ‘flight’ lasts 30 minutes, and sights to look out for include the Singapore River, Marina Bay, Raffles Place, Empress Place and the Padang.
Every new arrival should try to take a short cruise down the Singapore River, which cuts through the heart of the city. For many decades, it was the main artery of trade and commerce for the British – today, stately Victorian buildings stand side by side with towering glass skyscrapers along its banks.
Kids, in particular, will enjoy a walkabout of Singapore Zoo, which is home to more than 300 animal species from across the world housed on 28 hectares. There are also opportunities to get up close and personal with the zoo's denizens at feeding time.
Universal Studios Singapore
Expats families looking for a fun outing in Singapore should pay a visit to Universal Studios Singapore. The park is arranged according to themes, each area paying tribute to a location, film or television show. Take a visual trip to destinations such as Hollywood, New York City, Madagascar, and a trip back in time to Ancient Egypt. Fiction-themed areas include Shrek's Far Far Away, Lost World, and Sci-Fi City, complete with movie-themed roller coasters.
The Maritime Experiential Museum
Based on the water, this indoor-outdoor museum is a fun way to explore Singapore’s maritime history. Among the exciting interactive exhibits, the highlight is probably the Jewel of Muscat, a replica of the sailing vessel that sank in 830 CE between Africa and China. Visitors can experience a 9th-century shipwreck at Typhoon Theater, learn navigation skills and marvel at huge models of trading ships.