Singapore travel guide 2022

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Singapore travel guide
đź“· Jisun A | Singapore

While Singapore boasts one of the world’s best airports, this is one city you’ll want to stop and see. Explore the bustling streets filled with hawker markets, epic horticulture and high-flying cocktails at sky-soaring bars with our travel guide.

This is a city where you can simultaneously play it safe or tap into your intrepid side. With the travel between Australia and Singapore now open, it’s the perfect time to visit the city for the first time or to welcome you back. If you’ve never been, here are a few things that may surprise you.

Essential Tips

All travellers can enjoy quarantine-free travel to Singapore with simplified COVID-19 measures in place so that you can explore the island with peace of mind. Please research travel requirements before you travel. Visit here for more info.

As a tourist in Singapore, if you make any purchase of more than S$100 (including GST) at participating shops, you may claim a refund on the 7% Goods and Services Tax (GST) paid. This is known as the Tourism Refund scheme. Be sure to check whether a shop is participating in the Tourism Refund Scheme—Look out for the “Tax Free” shopping logo or sign displayed at the shop.

Visitors can access free Wi-Fi at any Wireless@SGx hotspot with their foreign mobile numbers by downloading the Wireless@SGx App (Overseas charges may apply). You’ll find hotspots in malls, museums, MRT stations, public libraries and more.

You will be able to speak English to Singaporeans, most of whom are fluent in it. Many Singaporeans also speak an additional language, usually Mandarin Chinese, Malay or Tamil.

Singapore is hot and humid all year round, with temperatures usually reaching over 30°C. You should be prepared for rain at any time, which can be torrential but usually brief.

The standard electrical current used in Singapore is 220-240 volts AC (50 cycles) and you can use power plugs with three square prongs here.

Tipping is encouraged when you experience good service, and this would be above the standard 10% gratuity to your bill added by some restaurants and hotels.

Hotels

Concorde Hotel Singapore: Enjoy the warm hospitality and the location in the heart of Singapore’s shopping district. From spacious rooms with free WIFI, fitness facilities and an outdoor pool to relax after a busy day of exploring the city. Offering direct access to Orchard Road and minutes to MRT stations. Dining choices at the hotel offer local Peranakan and Western cuisine at the Spices Cafe (available for breakfast, lunch and dinner), Lobby Lounge (perfect for coffee catchups and afternoon tea) and the Spices Bar for your pre-beverage departure to dinner.

“Service is key and the Concorde Hotel Singapore offered more than that. A home-away-from-home experience, where I felt welcomed by every team member at the Spices Cafe and the hotel’s porte cochère.

100 Orchard Road, Singapore 238840.
T: +65 6733 8855 | E: singapore@concorde.net

Hilton Singapore Orchard: Make yourself at home in one of the 1080 renovated rooms and suites in what is Singapore’s indisputable flagship in APAC. With prime location above the busy Orchard Road, close to key attractions in the area, Raffles City, to the National Museum. Modern spacious rooms that exude luxury from the moment you take your first steps in. Spread over 39 floors, the modern and botanical aesthetic inspiration is seen throughout the hotel. The Executive Lounge, two fully equipped fitness centres, and an outdoor pool will keep you fit and hydrated no matter what time of day it is. With five vibrant dining options from Estate, Ginger.Lily, Osteria Mozza, Shisen Hanten, and Chatterbox.

“A luxury experience like no other, a place for food aficionados to the fashionista who loves to shop. With direct access to the luxury department stores and local emerging designers, to gourmet offerings within the hotel and within walking distance from the hotel. Hilton Honors travellers can expect the same exceptional service here and you can use your app to digitally check in and unlock your accommodation room. Botanically-inspired, exquisite service”

333 Orchard Road, Singapore 238867
T: +65 6737 4411 | E:hiltonsingaporeorchard.info@hilton.com

Fullerton Hotel: Located in the heart of colonial Singapore, just steps away from the pedestrian 1870 Cavenagh Bridge fronting the Asian Civilizations Museum. Walk another few minutes to Raffles Landing, marking the site of the city’s 1819 origin; the New and Old Parliament buildings, National Gallery, and Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall. Three minutes to Boat Quay, a lively row of historic trading houses with restaurants and bars, and another five-minute walk to Quay Clarke’s bustling nightlife bathed in shifting red and green lights. The lobby’s museum-like Fullerton Heritage Gallery showcases this history, also explained with two complimentary guided tours. A luxurious feel prevails with the marble two-tiered stairwell dominating the pillared, elegant central atrium accented with leafy palm trees. From elegant Courtyard and balconied Premier Quay rooms to high-ceiling, two-story lofts and suites with outdoor terraces, Fullerton’s 400 rooms offer many choices with panoramic skyline and/or waterside views. Town Restaurant offers all-day dining at its al fresco terrace, you can enjoy traditional satay paired with ice-cold craft beers right by the Singapore River. Under the sunlit atrium of The Courtyard, enjoy three-tiered Afternoon Tea, and taste the exquisite Chinese cuisine, and savour the elegant creations at Jade.

1 Fullerton Square, Singapore 049178
T: +65 6533 8388 | E: tfs.reservations@fullertonhotels.com

Getting around Singapore

Singapore’s MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) system is probably the fastest way to zip around the city. Most of our popular attractions are just a short walk away from an MRT station, making our trains a great way to get around.

Visitors can use the following options for MRT journeys:

1. Get a Singapore Tourist Pass (STP), a special EZ-Link stored-value card that will allow you unlimited travel for one day (S$10), two days (S$16) or three days (S$20).

The Pass can be bought at the TransitLink Ticket Office at selected MRT stations listed here, or at the Concession Card Replacement Office at Somerset station. They are also available daily at the Automated STP Kiosks at Orchard station, HarbourFront station, and Changi Airport station (Terminal 2 and 3) near the Transitlink Ticket Office.

2. You can use your foreign-issued Mastercard® and Visa contactless bank cards issued outside of Singapore for the payment of public transport fares in Singapore.

Do take note that admin fees apply for foreign-issued bank cards— you can check out the details at TransitLink’s SimplyGo website.

3. Adult Stored Value Smartcard (EZ-link / Nets FlashPay): These cost $12 inclusive of card value, and come with a stored value of $7 for you to use on your commutes. You’ll be able to purchase this card at any Transitlink Ticket Office or convenience stores.

Singapore’s bus system has an extensive network of routes covering most places in Singapore. You can pay for your bus fare using an adult stored value smartcard (EZ-link / Nets FlashPay) or the Singapore Tourist Pass (STP). Just keep an eye out for the electronic card reader — located next to the bus driver—and tap as you board. You can also use your foreign-issued Mastercard® and Visa contactless bank cards issued outside of Singapore to pay for your ride. Remember to tap your card again, on the reader located at the rear exit, when you alight.

Places to see

Gardens by the Bay: There’s no doubt that Gardens by the Bay is one of the absolute most beautiful places in Singapore. What most tourists don’t know is that the park itself is a collection of separate gardens. Cloud Forest, is home to one of the world’s tallest indoor waterfalls and lush mountain class with plants from around the world. Floral Fantasy, offers a magical escape among suspended bouquets and creative floral arrangements. Here, explore diverse garden landscapes that segue into each other through a meandering space. Flower Dome, for its beauty and its sheer size — this cavernous cooled conservatory holds the Guinness World Record for the largest glass greenhouse! Explore and learn more about this innovative megastructure that literally brings the world’s flora under one roof. For a different point of view, visit the 128m long OCBC Skyway, suspended between two supertrees at 22m above ground, or the Supertree Observatory for unparalleled views of Gardens by the Bay and its surroundings of Marina Bay.

18 Marina Gardens Drive, Singapore 018953
T: +65 6420 6848 | E: feedback@gardensbythebay.com.sg

The ArtScience Museum: Catch world-class touring exhibitions at this premier exhibition space, where the wondrous worlds of art and science collide. This premier venue houses a constantly changing line-up of major international touring exhibitions, brought in through collaborations with organisations such as the American Museum of Natural History, the Smithsonian Institute and world-renowned furniture designer Herman Miller. Not only does the museum push boundaries with its retinue of world-class exhibitions, but its design architecture is also equally as iconic. The museum’s structure is meant to symbolise the welcoming hand of Singapore with ten fingers. The tip of each “finger” filters in natural light to showcase exhibits in the best light. Highlights were: Future World – Where Art Meets Science; Patricia Piccinini – We are Connected (ends 29 Jan 2023), MENTAL – Colours of Wellbeing (ends 26 Feb 2023), VR Gallery, and more.

6 Bayfront Avenue, Singapore 018974
T: +65 6688 8888 | E:museumenquiries@MarinaBaySands.com

Singapore Zoo: This beloved place first opened its gates to the public in 1973, and has since become one of the best rainforest zoos in the world. Besides being home to over 2,800 animals from 300 species—including crocodiles, Malayan tapirs and white tigers—the zoo has won a trove of international and local awards. As you stroll through the Singapore Zoo’s 11 zones, you’re bound to find myriad opportunities for unforgettable encounters with its inhabitants. The amazing creatures you’ll find here make their homes in open enclosures, designed to resemble their natural habitats. Various opportunities for up-close encounters abound at the zoo, including behind-the-scenes insights on the Wild Discoverer Tour and feeding sessions with animals like giraffes and elephants. Other places to visit are Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari, and River Wonders.

80 Mandai Lake Rd, Singapore 729826
T: +65 6269 3411 | E: enquiry@mandai.com

Singapore Temples: The Sri Mariamman Temple is Singapore’s oldest and most famous Hindu temple. It was established in 1827 and is located in the busy Chinatown. It is dedicated to the goddess Mariamman, known for her power to cure illnesses and diseases. The Buddha Tooth Relic Temple in Chinatown is a five-story temple famous for housing what is said to be Lord Buddha’s left canine tooth, recovered from his cremation pyre in Kushinagar, India. This relic is housed in a gigantic 320kg solid gold stupa that sits gleamingly on the fourth level. Thian Hock Keng Temple is one of the oldest and most important Hokkien temples in Singapore and began as a humble joss house in 1821-22. The temple was built in the traditional southern Chinese architectural style. The entire structure was assembled without nails. It is an architectural masterpiece of stone, tiles and wood, carvings of dragons and phoenixes, intricate sculptures and imposing columns. There is a plaque inscribed with the words Bo Jing Nan Ming (Gentle Waves over the South Seas) presented by Qing Dynasty Emperor Guang Xu in 1907, evidence of the temple’s stature.

Sentosa Island: With its pristine beaches, exciting attractions and tropical landscapes, the State of Fun is sure to leave you spellbound. Whether you’re looking for an adrenaline rush or a day of relaxing in the sun, Sentosa is bound to enchant and delight. Nature lovers fascinated with Southeast Asia’s wealth of tropical flora and fauna can further their pursuit of knowledge with a hands-on journey at Sentosa Nature Discovery. Drop by the S.E.A. Aquarium™ for a trip under the sea. To live out your dreams of rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous, pay a visit to Madame Tussauds Singapore. To live out your dreams of soaring like a superhero, drop by iFly Singapore, the world’s largest wind tunnel for indoor skydiving. For more high-octane activity, brave new heights at the Mega Adventure Park – Singapore. If a day of sun, sand and surf is up your alley, spend the afternoon at Hydrodash instead. After all that fast-paced action, wind down and experience Sentosa and Faber Peak as you take a ride on the Cable Car Sky Network. Southeast Asia’s first Hollywood movie theme park, Universal Studios Singapore, features an enticing selection of attractions, rides and entertainment for families and thrill seekers.

Jewel Changi Airport: Seamlessly linked to Terminal 1’s Arrival Hall and via a pedestrian walkway from Terminals 2 and 3, this ten-storey nexus is a sparkling mix of dining establishments, top-notch retail and breath-taking spaces. This urban oasis, visitors will be able to marvel at the 40-metre-high Rain Vortex—the world’s largest indoor waterfall—and explore verdant nature amidst the 2,000 trees, of the Forest Valley. With a range of facilities that are ripe for exploration, Jewel Changi Airport will redefine your notion of an airport, providing visitors with immersive attractions to explore. These include Foggy Bowls—mist-filled play areas that evoke the illusion of playing amidst the clouds—and a spectacular, 14,000-square-metre rooftop park that’s home to gardens, walking trails and play attractions.

78 Airport Boulevard, Singapore 81966

Places to eat

Spices Cafe: A local flavour buffet by day, the Singapore Flavours Buffet offers authentic Peranakan dishes such as Ayam Buah Keluak, Sambal Udang Petai and assorted Nyonya Kuehs. Your taste buds will be amazed by their unique blend of local flavours. The evening dining experience, Harvest of the Sea, is a seafood feast by night, offering a selection of chilli crab dishes, meats hot off the grill and an array of sweets to round off a perfect meal. From cereal and drunken prawns, laksa, to lobster. Spices Cafe is an experience that reflects the culinary style of traditional chefs, whilst dining in a colonial, regal and elegant ambience.

Concorde Hotel, 100 Orchard Rd, Singapore 238840, T: +65 6734 0393 | E: spices.chs@concorde.net

Estate: In line with the botanical theme of the luxury hotel, that is Hilton. The interior combines modern opulence with nature-inspired touches, soft lighting, use of natural materials, residential-style open kitchens and cosy dining rooms. Experience the Residential Buffet Lunch or Dinner experience or their Sunday Grand Champagne Brunch Buffet. From the raw & seafood kitchen where you will indulge in tiger prawns, freshly seasonal oysters; charcuterie selection with an array of meats, cheeses and artisanal break; salad bar; from the grill kitchen enjoy local Singapore flavoured skewers; smoked beef short ribs, leg of lamb and more from the western kitchen; enjoy wagyu beef noodles, signature squid ink tagliatelle, Estate black truffle roasted duck, assortment of dim sums from the noodle and Asian kitchens; lastly save room for the dessert kitchen section.

Hilton Singapore Orchard, 333 Orchard Rd, Singapore 238867, T: +65 6831 6270 | E:SINOR_FB@hilton.com

Ginger.Lily: A new botanical-inspired tearoom makes for elegant afternoon tea and cocktails. The newly open lounge is cleverly curated and flourishes with flavour. From the larger-than-life pastel pink hardcover book – The Orchard Trail Experience afternoon tea, a four-part journey from the mini lobster roll, Iberico ham crostini; to the warm savouries of the smoked beef burger and salt-crusted pork bun; to spreading your scones with their homemade Ginger.Lily jam; and ending with spices and flora-inspired sweets and a choice from their 10 premium tea varieties.

Hilton Singapore Orchard, 333 Orchard Rd, Singapore 238867, T: +65 6831 6273 | E:SINOR_FB@hilton.com

Revolver: Bold and refind grill that laces Indian cooking with international flair and ingredients. Fire is an essential element in the creation of Chef Saurabh’s revolving menu. Custom-built woodfire and bincho grills, tandoor and smokers create charred flavours and form a central part of the dynamic, open kitchen. With its unadulterated, industrial-chic design and rocking atmosphere, Revolver brings upbeat energy to its shophouse setting on Tras Steet.

Not your ordinary dinner night out. Experimenting with the grills and home spices led to the creation of bold flavours in his progressive menu. Fresh and seasonal dishes for lunch and dinner, the degustation menu (Discovery & Experience) is worthy of mention to friends and foodies.

56 Tras St, Singapore 078997
T: +65 6223 2812 | E: reservations@revolver.com.sg

Culina at Como Dempsey: A destination restaurant for food lovers, the Culina Bistro is the address for gourmands who appreciate exceptional foods and wines. Serving modern European cuisine prepared with Culina’s fresh produce and quality products, diners can choose between an air-conditioned inside area and an al fresco dining section. Experience the Culina commitment to the freshest and the best produce in the world each time you dine with us. Pick your favourite cut of premium quality meat or seafood at the counter and have it cooked and served at the Bistro. You can also savour the extensive menu prepared from the finest selection of freshly air-flown ingredients. The Bistro also offers an edited selection of well-priced wines by the glass, as well as wines from more than 30 prestigious wineries worldwide, many of which are award-winning and highly acclaimed.

Block 15 Dempsey Rd, Singapore 249675
T: +65 6474 7388 | E: bistro@culina.com.sg

The Dempsey Cookhouse & Bar: The name Jean-Georges Vongerichten needs no introduction. Best known for his skills as a chef and restaurateur, this culinary superstar owns a deep stable of restaurants that have gathered critical accolades and Michelin stars alike. The menu here is one to be excited for, be it the rich Egg Caviar that’s composed of a warm and oozy egg capped off with caviar and herbs, or the decadent and heavenly Black Truffle and Fontina Pizza. On a hot day, there’s nothing cooler than a bowl of Tomato Gazpacho that’s enhanced with a drizzle of olive oil. Fans of seafood will also appreciate the Maine Lobster, accompanied by baby corn and a smoked chilli-almond condiment. And we can’t think of a better way to end the meal than with a glass Lychee Raspberry Bellini.

Block 17D Dempsey Rd, Singapore 249676
T: +65 6486 1054

Jumbo Seafood: One of Singapore’s most recognisable home-grown brands, has over the years built its name on quality seafood at reasonable prices. This has earned it a name as one of the must-go places for its famous Chili Crab amongst locals and tourists alike. However, it should be noted that JUMBO is famous for so much more than just its award-winning Chili Crab. Some of its other signature dishes include Fried Prawns with Cereal, Crispy Baby Squid and Golden Egg Salted Prawns. Jumbo Seafood offers a la carte, set menu catering to 2-10 people, 7 days Dim Sum lunch menu, and a 7 day Seafood Canape & Dim Sum Afternoon Tea. With five locations in Singapore, we tried ION Orchard, to enjoy the food and the panoramic views of the city streets.

ION Orchard, 2 Orchard Turn #04-09/10, Singapore 238801
T: +65 6737 3435

Places to drink

Ginger.Lily: Head Mixologist Michael Mendoza heads up the cocktail bar highlighting native fruits, herbs and ingredients, creating imaginative cocktails that will enliven your senses. “Like flowers that bloom all year round, signature cocktails remain a perennial favourite”. Michael finds all manner of herbs to combine with local fruits, vegetables, spices and spirits from Asia, and even makes their own distillates, resulting in cocktails that have a true sense of place. The newly crafted cocktail menu is separated into three sections, Perennial – signature cocktails, Changing of the Seasons – drinks for every occasion just as nature governs the seasons, and finally Evergreen – enjoyment at any time or day including a range of mocktails (non-alcoholic). Recommendations: In Full Bloom – Mendoza’s take on a G&T – a botanical mix of citrus, berries and herbs infused with peach Rinquinquin and tonic water served in a Porthole infuser. Birds & The Bees – a medley of the tropical sweetness of pineapple, jackfruit and passionfruit, topped with Aberfeldy whisky and ginger ale.

Hilton Singapore Orchard, 333 Orchard Rd, Singapore 238867, T: +65 6831 6273 | E:SINOR_FB@hilton.com

The Other Room: It is a well-kept secret (so keep it between you and me), hidden behind an unassuming door at the Marriott Hotel is one of Singapore’s speakeasy cocktail bars that serves up some pretty mean prohibition-inspired craft cocktails. From the treasures that are extremely rare in the 1970s, we enjoyed Between the Sheets, made with Rum, Larsen Cognac, Cointreau and Lemon; to the Rob Roy with Scotch Whiskey and Martini Rosso. Discover the via their timeline menu, where the drinks carry a good punch and yet the perfect balance between all ingredients. The food menu is predominately tapas, from the Sake Sea Urchin & Oyster Shot, ManchEGO Mini Beef Sliders, Nduja Bruschetta, to the Spanish Cheese Platter. If you like your drinks with a little bit of mystery, try and find the door (mum’s the word).

Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel, 320 Orchard Road #01-05, Singapore 238865
T: +65 6100 7778 | E: reservations@theotherroom.com.sg

Atlas: A vaulted bar in an awe-inspiring location, Atlas never fails to wow, from the sheer grandeur of the art-deco space to the more than 1,300-brand-strong gin tower. The afternoon tea is extremely popular, as is a Martini (or three) after work. If you want to nerd out about gin, there is always the Juniper Society, a membership-based community with monthly gin tastings and other special events. Its collection of wine, champagne and whiskies is also staggering. If you’re lucky, head bartender Jesse Vida may take you on a tour of the tower and then make you a cocktail from the recent La Grande Nation menu inspired by artists of 1925, the beginning of Art Deco. Try the AM’s Alliance if you like a bit of a kick, and get the croque monsieur if you’re peckish (there is a full food menu too if you’re really hungry).

Parkview Square, 600 North Bridge Rd, Singapore 188778
T: +65 6396 4466 | E: info@atlasbar.sg

Native: Native’s commitment to local and regional products is apparent in its drinking vessels, aprons and wonderful ingredients, from fermented grasshoppers to laksa leaves. You may not recognise the bottles, but you’ll like what’s in your glass. Its compact menu contains no classics, rather it draws upon founder Vijay Mudaliar’s experiences from other renowned Singapore drinking dens such as Operation Dagger, with highly creative and zero-waste cocktails. Its interior is set up and built almost entirely by hand. Plus a menu that rotates on a weekly basis made up of six core drinks based on classic styles of Daiquiri, Flip, Highball, Martini, Old Fashioned, and Sidecar, you’d be sure to sip on something new each week.

52A Amoy St, Singapore 069878
T: +65 8869 6520 | E: fo@tribenative.com

The Guild: If you’re a fan of craft beer, you’re in luck at The Guild. This hip gastropub housed in a refurbished shophouse is opened by Hong Kong’s Young Master, one of the region’s best craft beer breweries. Apart from their own beers, they have a rotating selection of guest taps from their mates all over the world. It’s not just about the pints though. They also offer all-natural wines and cocktails based on small-batch spirits. The food is great, with an emphasis on using local ingredients to make Asian-inflected modern pub eats—think locally farmed Pulau Ubin oysters, fried chicken with a salted egg crust, and BCM (bak chor mee, one of the real Singapore noodles) tagliatelle. The setting marries the conviviality of a Victorian public house with the homey touches of a Peranakan shophouse.

55 Keong Saik Rd, Singapore 089158
T: +65 9042 3900 | E: yumsik@theguild.sg

Long Bar: You’ve made it to the home of the Singapore Sling. Before you start, yes it costs SGD $37, for the 1915 Malaya plantation-inspired Widges London Dry gin cocktail. That resembles a fruit punch with its pink rosy hues and tastes like your Summer holiday starting. The vibes here are colonial, with a hint of modern restoration, light cane and rattan furniture that sits around the famous spiral staircase. The Long Bar is more your classic cocktail bar than inventive, with free peanuts on offer to snack on and you can discard your shells on the floor (I couldn’t do it). Other cocktails to consider would be the Rosella Sour with Califonia Citrus Vodka, The Golden Milk Punch with Blended Scotch Whisky and spiced saffron almond milk,

Raffles Singapore, #02-01 Raffles Arcade, 328 North Bridge Rd, Singapore 188719
T: +65 6412 1816 | E: singapore@raffles.com