Singapore Skyline

City Information

Choosing the best attractions in Singapore was no easy task; this is a city bursting to the seams with impressive things to see and do. Almost everyone will have seen an image of the city’s symbol, the Merlion, and this makes our list alongside the nearby Marina Bay Sands SkyPark and Singapore Flyer – both of which offer breathtaking views across the iconic Singapore skyline.

This tiny island state is also a land of contrasts; Chinatown and Little India, both gastronomic and shopping hubs in their own right, represent the incredible ethnic diversity of the country. For nightlife we’ve got you covered too; sip on a Singapore Sling at the lavish Raffles Hotel, or head to Clarke Quay for some of the city’s most picturesque eating and drinking spots.

Necessities Top Attractions Food

Necessities Guide

Currency

The denomination used in Singapore is the Singapore dollar (SGD/ S$). Money changing services can be found at major shopping centres, hotels, at the airport & banks, arranged in the increasing order of the exchange rates. ATMs, which can be found in most shopping centres & MRT stations, accept major credit cards such as Visa, MasterCard & cards with Plus or Cirrus.

Electricity and Voltage

Get an Electric Plug adaptor for British-style plug holes (with two flat blades & one flat grounding blade) in your country to recharge your mobile phone & laptop. The electricity voltage is 230V 50Hz.

Connectivity

Purchase a Starhub Preferred Tourist Prepaid SIM card at S$15 to enjoy S$18 worth of credit, 20 SMS & 30MB local data bundle with 3-day validity free of charge at the UOB Foreign Exchange counters in Singapore’s Changi Airport Terminal 1, 2 or 3.

Once you finish using the 30 MB or if you are still in Singapore after 3 days, just activate a new data plan by keying *123# into your handset, followed by the Call Connect button.

Data plans available are as follows:-
(a) Pay S$2 and enjoy 30MB with 3-day validity
(b) Pay S$4 and enjoy 200MB with 3-day validity
(c) Pay S$7 and enjoy 1GB with 7-day validity
(d) Pay S$15 and enjoy 600MB with 30-day validity
(e) Pay S$20 and enjoy 1.2GB with 30-day validity

You can also access to free wireless internet at the convention venue & public hotspots across Singapore via Wireless@SG by registering your Starhub mobile number. Click here for the methods of registration.
If you need to call overseas, the IDD number for Starhub is 018.

Maps, Apps & City Guides

Have ready-access information on everything about Singapore in the palm of your hands!
From places of interests, upcoming events, food guides to booking of transportation services, these mobile apps will ensure that you will not miss any highlights and happenings during your stay in Singapore.

Transport

Singapore has one of the most extensive & efficient public transportation systems in the world. With the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) trains, buses & taxis, travelling in the city and suburbs can be a quick and affordable affair. For a comprehensive guide that includes offline maps, estimated prices & time, download free smart phone app Singapore Map by Street Directory Pte Ltd from Google Play or Apple App Store. If you are using a Blackberry, you can still visit www.streetdirectory.com for the same services.

Train (MRT)
The MRT is a fast and cost-effective way of getting around Singapore. You can take the MRT from Changi Airport Terminal 3 to the city for a just couple of dollars. (If you are arriving at Terminal 1 or 2, you can take the Skytrain to Terminal 3.) If your hotel is not walking distance from any MRT station & you wish to save some dollars from transport, you can consider taking the MRT to the nearest MRT station before taking a taxi. Services operate from about 5:30am and usually end before 1 a.m. daily. For the MRT Network Map, click here.

Bus
There are currently more than 300 bus services which run daily from 5.30 to midnight. The suggested app above will direct you to the exact bus-stop and the number to take.

Taxi
Taxis ply the island round the clock, bringing you wherever you want, anytime you want. However, do note that airport, peak-hour, city area & Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) gantry surcharges apply.

To the specific, the airport surcharge for average taxis is as follows:-
S$5 airport surcharge - 5.00pm to 12.00am (Fridays to Sundays)
S$3 airport surcharge - all other times
Midnight surcharge of 50% of final metered fare - 12.00am to 6.00am (daily)
For 4-seater limousine taxi & 7-seater large taxi, the once-off charge to or from the airport are S$55 & S$60 respectively, with an additional S$15 for every additional stop.

You can download a handy taxi app called Grabtaxi by MyTeksi from Google Play & Apple App Store to call for cabs when you need it. The hotlines for various taxi services in Singapore, are also listed below.

Taxi Company Hotline
6-Dial Cab 6342 5222
Comfort Transportation Pte Ltd 6552 1111
CityCab Pte Ltd 6552 1111
SMRT Taxis Pte Ltd 6555 8888
Trans-Cab Services Pte Ltd 6555 3333
Premier Taxis Pte Ltd 6363 6888
Prime Car Rental & Taxi Services Pte Ltd 6778 0808

- All rates & charges information are correct at the time of publishing-July 2014-

Top Attractions

Merlion Park


Credit: Singapore Tourism Board

A picture with Singapore’s most iconic national mascot, the Merlion (a half-lion, half-fish), is the best proof of “You’ve Been Here” & best of all, it is free to visit!

Pose with the Merlion before taking a walk into the restored colonial architecture Fullerton Hotel which used to be Singapore’s General Post Office, built in 1928. Another interesting restoration nearby is the Fullerton Bay Hotel which incorporated buildings that used to be part of the bustling Collyer Quay. Do make sure you also take a shot of the Esplanade, the durian shaped architecture unique to Singapore.

Merlion Park
1 Fullerton Road
Singapore 049213
Click here for the map


Marina Bay Sands

Another icon of Singapore’s skyline would be the most expensive to build integrated resort in the world – the Marina Bay Sands. You will be able to take a photo of the iconic resort while walking from the Merlion Park towards Suntec Convention Centre. But other than a photo, there are various attractions worth a visit in Marina Bay Sands.

There is the ArtScience Museum which showcases 21 gallery spaces totalling 50000 square feet, featuring major international touring exhibitions from the most renowned collections in the world. There is also the Sands Skypark, perched on the largest cantilever in the world, defying gravity 200 metres in the air, while providing an unrivalled view of the city. As night falls, there is Wonder Full, the largest light & water spectacular in Southeast Asia presented twice every weekday evening and thrice every weekend evening free of charge at the Bay. Of course, there is also the Marina Bay Sands Casino, open 24/7.

Marina Bay Sands
10 Bayfront Ave
Singapore 018956
Click here for the map


Singapore Botanic Gardens

So, you're up early, ready for a morning exercise. Simply head out to the Singapore Botanic Gardens (open 5 a.m. to midnight). Awarded the 2013 Travellers’ Choice Attraction by TripAdvisor, Singapore’s last green lung in the city was founded in 1859 by the British, provides a refreshing retreat for the people up for a morning exercise. The National Orchid Garden inside the Botanic Gardens, which costs S$5 to enter, is lauded as the world’s largest orchid display would also be worth a visit. Keen botanists should check the website (www.sbg.org.sg) for free walking tours.

Singapore Botanic Gardens
1 Cluny Rd
Singapore 259569
Click here for the map


Sim Lim Square

Do you know millions of people flock to Singapore to buy electronic goods every year because it is the only place in Southeast Asia that offers the best & the cheapest electronics? One of the best places to haggle for a great bargain will be Sim Lim Square. MP3 players, tablets, laptops, game consoles, even computer parts are up for grabs & the prices are usually about 10% to 20% cheaper than other commercial outlets.

But of course, extra legwork needs to be done for a lower price. First, do your homework on the price & the product you wish to purchase. When you reach there, go to the information counter on level 1 to find out the list of questionable shops & avoid them at all costs. When comparing prices between shops, do make sure to ask for all the necessary items like an international warranty, memory cards, software etc to be included in the quote & ask if they charge Goods & Service Tax (GST) before haggling for the best price. Ask clearly if there are any other costs & avoid signing anything suspicious such a warranty agreement. DO NOT ever pay without having the exact product in front of you. Walk away if they refuse to open the product in front of you. Make sure everything is within the package. Do note as well there is usually a surcharge if you pay by credit card, thus do prepare the cash beforehand. Look out for popular shops, as it is more likely to be trustworthy. Most importantly, keep your receipt as it is needed for warranty & GST refund.

But if you don’t mind paying a little more for less hassle, you can head down to Funan Digitalife Mall, a 6 storey mall packed with shops selling electronics & other IT gadgets.

Another location worth a visit, especially during the odd hours in the night would be the 24-hour budget shopping mall Mustafa Centre in Little India.

Sim Lim Square
1 Rochor Canal Road
Singapore 188504
Click here for the map
Funan Digitalife Mall
109 North Bridge Road
Singapore 179097
Click here for the map
Mustafa Centre
145 Syed Alwi Road
Singapore 207704
Click here for the map

Night Safari & River Safari


Credit: Singapore Tourism Board

In the garden city of Singapore, two gardens of firsts are worth a visit. If you have a free night after the conference, you can visit the world’s first wildlife night park, an 11-time winner of the Best Visitor Attraction Experience, awarded by the Singapore Tourism Board.


Credit: River Safari

Or if you prefer going In the day, you can visit Asia’s first & only river-themed wildlife park & get close to over 5000 aquatic and terrestrial animals, including 42 endangered species & the 2 celebrity giant pandas Kai Kai & Jia Jia. Entry charges are S$39 & S$25, respectively, but you will be able to get a discount if you pre-book online here and here. There are also Park Hopper Special rates if you wish to visit more than one wildlife park during your visit to Singapore.

Night Safari & River Safari
80 Mandai Lake Road
Singapore 729826
Click here for the map


Gardens by the Bay

The latest garden in the red dot of Singapore is the 101 hectares, award-winning horticultural attraction – Gardens by the Bay which houses over 380 thousand plants in Singapore’s new downtown - Marina Bay. Just 5 minutes’ walk from Marina Bay Sands, the Gardens by the Bay include multiple free attractions, the OCBC Skyway for S$5, Cloud Forest & Flower Dome for S$28.

Listed as the #6 attraction on Tripadvisor, the cool-moist conservatory Cloud Forest showcases a 35-metre tall mountain covered in lush vegetation shrouding the world’s tallest indoor waterfall featuring plant life from tropical highlands up to 2,000-metres above sea level. Meanwhile, in the cool-dry conservatory, the Flower Dome replicates the cool-dry climate of Mediterranean regions like South Africa, California and parts of Spain and Italy, housing a collection of plants from deserts all over the world. In fact, the cooled conservatory complex also won the World Building of the Year at the World Architecture Festival 2012.

After the sun sets, don’t miss the sky show of dazzling lights and sounds in the OCBC Garden Rhapsody, which takes place every night amidst the Supertrees. Finally, end the night for with a sumptuous feast of freshly grilled meat on sticks or satay, together with other local delights such as chicken rice & rojak at the food court - Satay by the Bay.

Gardens by the Bay
18 Marina Gardens Drive
Singapore 018953
Click here for the map
Click here for directions


Geylang

If you want to taste some good food while experiencing the seedy side of the clean & safe Singapore, just head down to the red-light district – Geylang. With neon lights marketing China Chinese cuisine, sleazy nightclubs & adult shops lighting up the main street, Geylang is the place where you can find cheap & exotic foods like frog legs in congee or a very expensive crab beehoon (rice vermicelli) in a grimy restaurant listed by celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain as one of the 13 places to eat before you die. While the streetwalkers, particularly the China Chinese ones often just walk up to recommend themselves anywhere along Geylang, you can walk into any of the even-numbered alleys or “lorongs” running perpendicular to the main street, for much more sights like the illegal call girls from various countries lined by the road-side while the legal local prostitutes are seated inside brothels conspicuous with a red light at the door.



There are still many other things you can do in sunny Singapore from Universal Studios to heritage walks, from flight simulators to driving a Supercar on the official F1 circuit, but the list above lists the iconic sights & must-dos (other than eating) for a visitor to Singapore. If you like to find more interesting activities to do in Singapore, you can visit here & here. Now, as a tourist in Singapore, the most important thing to do is to engage in Singapore’s national pastime, that is Eating! Click here to check out the must-try foods of Singapore!


Food

Kaya Toast

Hot toast slathered with kaya – a local spread made of eggs, sugar & coconut milk, & slices of cold butter, dipped into a plate of soft-boiled eggs flavoured with pepper & dark/light soy sauce, finally with a sip of hot coffee is the local traditional start-up for the day.

If you stay near shopping malls in the city, you are highly likely to find one of these chain cafes selling the Kaya Toast, they are Ya Kun, Toast Box, Heavenly Wang & Killiney Kopitiam. If not, drinks stalls in food courts will have it as well.



Char Kway Teow

Loosely translated as “stir-fried rice cake strips”, Char Kway Teow is expertly stir-fried flat rice noodles with sweet black soy sauce that have the right Wok Hei (breath of the wok) flavour, mixed with bean sprouts, chinese sausages, cockles, & my oh my, a sprinkling of the heavenly sinful bits of crisp fried pork lard. Despite being a dieter’s worst nightmare, there is nothing to stop Singaporeans from indulging in the distinctive rich flavours of this hawker favourite.

One of the best Char Kway Teow stall is Outram Park Fried Kway Teow Mee, situated at the edge of Chinatown in the city. If you feel guilty, do note the stall is just walking distance from the Chinatown Street Market along Pagoda, Trengganu and Sago streets & the Chinatown Heritage Centre on Pagoda Street, so you can easily walk off the calories after indulging in a plate of Char Kway Teow.

Outram Park Fried Kway Teow Mee
Blk 531A Upper Cross Street, #02-17,
Hong Lim Food Centre, Singapore 510531
Click here for the map
Mon - Sat: 6am to 4.30pm
Closed Sun and PH


Hainanese Chicken Rice

One of Singapore’s most well-known & celebrated dish, the chicken is first steeped in chicken stock with ginger, garlic & occasionally pandan leaves to cook, followed by dipping the bird in ice water after cooking to create a jelly-like finish on the chicken’s skin. In the meantime, the remaining broth is used to cook the rice with garlic & pandan leaves, resulting in a glossy flavourful oily rice, to be served all together with garlic chilli sauce & dark sweet soy sauce topped with ginger mash.

The most famous stall will have to be Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice who was praised by Anthony Bourdain & won the match Hawker Heroes VS Gordon Ramsey in July 2013. After visiting Jamae Mosque, Sri Mariamman Temple & the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple along South Bridge Road, you can end your Chinatown trail with a queue for the famous chicken rice.

Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice
Stall 10, Maxwell Food Centre
1 Kadayanallur Street 069184
Click here for the map
Tue – Sun: 11am to 8pm
Closed Mon


Hokkien Mee

A dish created during the post war years by Hokkien noodle factory workers who would gather along Rochor Road & fry any excess noodles they had left, Hokkien Mee is a combination of yellow egg noodles & rice vermicelli, stir-fried with prawns, squid, small strips of pork belly & deep-fried lard bits, then simmered in a rich prawn stock for the robust sweet flavour. Sambal chilli & a small kalamansi lime are also given on the side to give this signature dish an extra zing & tanginess.

A popular stall near the city would be Hainan Hokkien Mee situated along Beach Road, near Suntec Singapore. You can start with a taste of this Hokkien Mee at the end of Beach Road, & begin the trail along Beach Road towards the city, exploring the gazetted Kampong Glam district. You can visit The Masjid Sultan (Malay for Sultan Mosque) built in 1826 at Muscat Street, check out the conserved shophouses & shops along the pedestrian walk way on Bussorah Street, find a good tailor at the textile haven Arab Street & experience the hip lifestyle of young Singaporeans along Bali and Haji Lane. Finally, you can give your Beach Road trail a rustic end by walking to the start of Beach Road to snap a photo of the iconic Raffles Hotel built in 1887 & go to the Long Bar with decors inspired by the Malayan Plantations of the 1920s to sip a Singapore Sling right at its birth place.

Hainan Hokkien Mee
#B1-34, Golden Mile Food Centre
505 Beach Road
Singapore 199583
Thu – Tue: 11am to 2pm, 3pm to 9pm
Closed Wed
Click here for the map


Chilli Crab

Singapore’s most famous dish is the Chilli Crab where red hot Sri Lankan crabs are blanketed with a velvety, sweet & mildly spicy chilli-tomato gravy thickened with egg. To eat the dish, you got to get your hands dirty & armed with a claw cracker, slowly tease out the juicy flesh with your fingers & mouth, then savour the silky gravy by dipping in a deep-fried mantou (Chinese plain bun)….mmm… finger licking good! Other versions of crab popular with Singaporeans include the pepper crab, butter crab & salted egg crab, which you can also consider trying.

A highly rated rendition of the Chilli Crab is Jumbo Seafood Restaurant. If you were to book a table at its Riverside Point outlet, you can enjoy a post-dinner stroll along the Singapore River or cross the bridge over to Clarke Quay, where the centre of Singapore’s nightlife is situated.

Jumbo Seafood Restaurant (Riverside Point)
30 Merchant Road # 01-01/02
Riverside Point, Singapore 058282
Tel : 6532-3435
Daily: 12pm – 3pm (last order at 2.15pm), 6pm – 12am (last order at 11.15pm)
Click here for the map


Bak Kut Teh

Bak Kut Teh, translated means Pork Rib Tea, refers to a robust pork rib consommé popular in Singapore & Malaysia, consumed with freshly brewed Chinese tea on the side. There are three variants for this dish & the variant that is most common in Singapore is the Teochew Bak Kut Teh, where the clear pork rib soup is flavoured mainly with pepper & garlic. Tender pork rib dipped in dark sweet soy sauce, followed by mouthfuls of fragrant Thai white rice; dough fritter soaked in the peppery pork soup; finally tiny cups of strong Chinese tea to wash down the oil. That is one hearty meal Singaporeans could eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner or supper.

The most “powerful” Bak Kut Teh in Singapore will have to be that restaurant that refused to open doors for the then Chief Executive of Hong Kong, Donald Tsang & kicked out the ex-Prime Minister of Thailand Thaksin Shinawatra out of its doors – Ng Ah Sio Pork Ribs Soup Eating House. You can head down to Ng Ah Sio for an early breakfast before the conference, or take a stroll after your meal to Little India to experience the truly authentic sights, sounds & smell of India.

Ng Ah Sio Pork Ribs Soup Eating House
208 Rangoon Road
Singapore 218453
Tue – Sun: 7am to 10pm
Closed Mon
Click here for the map


Satay

Satay is an extremely popular dish of marinated meats on bamboo skewers, grilled over an open fire. They are served with a sweet & spicy peanut sauce, ketupat (rice cakes), cucumber & onions. The common meats used are chicken, beef, mutton, beef intestine, beef tripe & pork, depending if it is a Malay/Indian Muslim or Chinese stall. Satay is so popular Singapore had an entire eating centre selling mainly satay from 1940-2005, called the Satay Club. The latest incarnation of the Satay Club is Satay by the Bay at Gardens by the Bay.

After the conference, you can head down to the Old Airport Road Block 51 Market & Food Centre for the best satay in Singapore. For the Halal satay, you ought to try the stall that is probably the oldest surviving satay stall in Singapore - Fatman Satay with its history tracing back to 1948. They are the only stall that still uses minced meat for their tender satay. For the Chinese satay, the best stall is Chuan Kee Satay, where their signature satay sauce includes grated pineapple.

Fatman Satay
Blk 51 Old Airport Road
#01-45 Old Airport Road Food Centre
Singapore 390051
Click here for the map
Mon-Sun: 7pm to 12mn
Chuan Kee Satay
Block 51 Old Airport Road
#01-85 Old Airport Road Food Centre
Singapore 390051
Click here for the map
Tue-Wed, Fri-Sat: 6:30pm until sold out around 10pm
Sun: 1pm until sold out around 10pm
Closed on Mon & Thu

If your schedule is too packed & you can only spare time for a special meal or two, you can take a short walk or a 2 stop bus-ride from Suntec Convention Centre to the 1960s-themed Singapore Food Trail at the Singapore Flyer for lunch or a 5 minutes’ walk to Makansutra Gluttons Bay at the Esplanade for dinner. Both food courts have invited some of the well-known hawkers across the island to open an outlet there, thus the food quality is relatively good. Another option available for a great lunch or dinner is Old Airport Road Block 51 Market & Food Centre, which is 4 MRT train stops away from Suntec Singapore. Click here for a list of famous stalls at Old Airport Road Market.

Singapore Food Trail
Level 1, Singapore Flyer,
30 Raffles Avenue,
Singapore 039803
Click here for the map
Mon – Sun: 10:30am – 11:30pm
Makansutra Gluttons Bay
8 Raffles Avenue,
Singapore 039802
Click here for the map
Mon – Sun: 1pm – 1am
Old Airport Road Block 51 Market & Food Centre
51 Old Airport Road
Singapore 390051
Click here for the map