Gardens by the Bay
Gardens by the Bay
The rise of Singapore is a story for a lifetime. Within 60 years of independence, the island nation achieved unbelievable economic success, making itself a huge tourist destination. Let us review the best landmarks in Singapore for your next trip.
The mythical Merlion is often the image most people have of Singapore. It is the crown jewel of the island nation, attracting millions of tourists. The park is named after the Merlion, a creature having the head of a lion and the body of a fish. Legend says that a Malaysian prince named Sang Nila Utama met a lion when he arrived on the shores of Singapore, then called Temasek. His meeting with the lion prompted him to name the island Singapura, which was later changed to Singapore.
Tip: Visit the Merlion early in the morning or late at night to catch the best view of the Marina Bay Sands.
Location: 1 Fullerton Rd, Singapore 049213. Find on map
The CHIJMES's transformation from a convent (and whatnot) to an entertainment hub is why Singapore is such a powerful economy. Back in the 1800s, the CHIJMES was a Catholic convent school but was later converted into a girls' school and then an orphanage for abandoned babies. The varied architecture of the building testifies to its metamorphosis and is an attraction for tourists. When you're done exploring, you can hop into the hip bars in the complex, check out the local stalls, or dance to an in-house concert.
Tip: If you're planning to propose in Singapore, why not marry there as well? The CHIJMES are available for weddings.
Location: 30 Victoria St, Singapore 187996. Find on map
Singapore is a financial superpower but isn't far behind in arts and entertainment either. The Theatres on the Bay is a major reason for the upliftment and globalisation of Singapore's local arts and culture. Nicknamed "the Durian" because of its shape, the Esplanade consists of a 1,600-seat Concert Hall, a 2,000-seat Theatre, and many other auditoriums. It is spread over 60,000-square-metres and began taking shape in the 1970s. It was opened to the public in 2002 and has since hosted many events, including the musical Les Misérables.
Tip: Although the Esplanade was built to promote local arts and culture, it also hosts many international events.
Location: 1 Esplanade Dr, Singapore 038981. Find on map
History wasn't kind to Singapore. You can revisit some gory yet significant stories of Singapore's independence at the Kranji War Memorial. Among the quietest landmarks in Singapore, the Kranji War Memorial is a tribute to the heroes from Singapore, Australia, India, and Malaya. They died protecting the island nation from the Japanese Forces. The Memorial is designed to represent the three branches of the military – the Army, the Air Force and the Navy – and contains 12 columns where you'll see 24,000 names. These were the heroes whose bodies were never found.
Interesting fact: The Kranji War Memorial is built on the same place that was once a prisoner war camp and a burial ground.
Location: 9 Woodlands Rd, Singapore 738656. Find on map
Cocktail lovers cannot (and should not) miss the home of the Singapore Sling! Widely known as the national drink of Singapore, the Sling was invented by the bartender Ngiam Tong Boon in the iconic Long Bar of the Raffles Hotel. Sipping the gin-based cocktail in the lavish interiors of the Raffles is, in a word, a delight, although that isn't the only attractive thing about the Hotel. The Raffles is arguably the most famous building in Singapore, thanks to its colonial architecture and fascinating history. It is named after Sir Stamford Raffles, the founder of Singapore.
Interesting fact: Despite being named after Sir Stamford Raffles, the Raffles Hotel was actually owned by two Armenian brothers.
Location: 1 Beach Rd, Singapore 189673. Find on map
Standing tall against the country's massive skyscrapers is Tan Teng Niah, a villa you wouldn't believe exists in Singapore. Built in 1900, the Tan Teng Niah was once home to Tan Teng Niah, a local businessman. It survived Singapore's rapid architectural transformation and is now a huge attraction for tourists. What separates this small yet beautiful villa is its exterior: it is painted in vivid colours that you can spot from afar. Inside the villa, you'll find tenants selling everyday products.
Interesting fact: The villa, restored in the 1980s, has historical landmark status and is preserved by the National Heritage Board.
Location: 37 Kerbau Rd, Singapore 219168. Find on map
Sky-high towers and digital billboards can take their toll. A pleasant walk in nature is a quick remedy; this is where the Henderson Waves come in handy. Constructed at the height of 36 metres, the Henderson Waves is the tallest footbridge in Singapore. Its USP? An uber-cool wave design worthy of an Instagram post. Although it ends within thousand feet, the construction will leave you with admiration for the engineering involved. You can access the bridge for a morning stroll or an evening post-dinner time in nature.
Interesting fact: The Henderson Waves is made from certified sustainable timber imported from East Malaysia.
Location: Henderson Waves, Singapore. Find on map
A visit to Singapore is incomplete without heading to one of the bars or nightclubs in Clarke Quay. The waterfront area is a celebration of colours and nightlife in the island nation. There are some fantastic nightclubs like Zouk and the F-Club, where you can gulp your favourite drink and dance till your legs stop. The restaurants here are vibrant and diverse, allowing you to try different cuisines. Since Clarke Quay sits next to the Singapore River, you can also indulge in heart-throbbing watersports.
Tip: We'd recommend an evening visit to Clarke Quay to catch the best views of the city's skyline.
Location: 3 River Valley Rd, Singapore 179024. Find on map
Peace can be elusive in Singapore's buzzing corporate streets, but you can feel it in Chinatown. Located within the Outram district in the Central Area of Singapore, Chinatown is home to the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, which houses immortal Buddhist wisdom. The Temple has a beautiful red exterior and intricately designed green window shutters. There are five floors inside the Temple and a massive 3,500-kilogram stupa made from 320 kilograms of gold. Visit on a Saturday to get a guided tour of the Temple.
Interesting fact: Designed in Tang-style, the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple contains the left canine tooth of Buddha recovered from Kushinagar, India.
Location: 288 South Bridge Rd, Singapore 058840. Find on map
The Singapore Botanic Gardens is the first landmark in Singapore to be named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was handed this accolade in 2015 and remains the only tropical botanic garden to make it to the UNESCO World Heritage list. The park, built in 1859 and again in 2015, is spread over sixty acres and contains four Core areas. Each is home to diverse plants and natural formations, including rare orchids, ancient trees, lakes, and a "learning forest."
Tip: Many cafes lie within the Singapore Botanic Gardens, allowing you to explore the gardens without torturing your stomach.
Location: 1 Cluny Rd, Singapore 259569. Find on map
The Helix Bridge, which connects Singapore's business district to the bayfront area, is marvellous proof of the island nation's architectural prowess. It is just 280 metres long, but the short journey will teleport you straight to 2050. The bridge has a fascinating curved structure enclosed in a double helix. It is inspired by the geometry of a DNA strand and was built over six years. We recommend an evening stroll on the Helix Bridge, as the LED lights illuminate the path, making for the perfect picture.
Tip: The Helix Bridge connects the Marina Bay Sands complex and the National Performing Arts Centre whilst the four platforms offer smashing city views.
Location: Downtown Core, Singapore. Find on map
A popular landmark in Singapore, Bugis+ attracts people of all ages. It is home to numerous shops selling the best clothes, shoes, and watches you can find anywhere. The country's youth love the Bugis+ as it offers unlimited entertainment, including an open-air theatre and cafe pods that provide fantastic city views. You'll also adore the shopping mall's brilliant and unique architecture; it has curved panels embedded with hexagonal parts in monochrome. It shines in multiple colours that light up the night sky.
Tip: Many performance and exhibition spaces and restaurants exist within the Bugis+, so there's something for everyone.
Location: 201 Victoria St, Singapore 188067. Find on map
Few Asian countries can boast the same sporting facilities as the Singapore Sports Hub. Opened in 2014, the venue is another architectural marvel; it is designed in the shape of a dome with a retractable roof. The arena has hosted entertainment giants like BTS, U2, Ed Sheeran, and John Mayer through the years. Sporting greats like Liverpool FC, Manchester United FC and Harlem Globetrotters have also graced the Singapore Sports Hub. 2019 was the best year for the venue, as it delivered 400 event days and served 15 million people.
Interesting Fact: During the pandemic, the Singapore Sports Hub provided shelter to over 3000 migrant workers.
Location: 1 Stadium Drive Singapore 397629. Find on map
Forces from southeast Asia played a role in Singapore's independence. The country owes a great deal to them, and its appreciation is visible in multicultural neighbourhoods like Chinatown. Besides housing the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, Chinatown also contains the Sri Mariamman Temple, the oldest Hinde temple in Singapore. Built in the 1860s, the Temple was a place of worship and hosted several cultural events, too. It is dedicated to the Hindu goddess Mariamman, who was known to cure illnesses and diseases.
Interesting fact: The Sri Mariamman Temple was last restored in 2010 at a cost S$4-million.
Location: 244 South Bridge Rd, Singapore 058793. Find on map
The Marina Bay Sands, Merlion Park, and the Singapore Flyer are among the most famous landmarks in Singapore.
Gardens by the Bay, the Raffles Hotel, and the Marina Bay Sands are a few best-known landmarks in Singapore you cannot miss.
Many famous landmarks in Singapore date back to the colonial era. The Sri Mariamman Temple, for instance, is among the oldest landmarks in Singapore, dating back to the 1860s.
The Marina Bay Sands, the Raffles Hotel, and the Gardens by the Bay have the most-visited landmarks in Singapore.
The Henderson Waves and the Helix Bridge are two extraordinary Singapore landmarks.
While the giant skyscrapers are Singapore's USP, don't forget to check out the culturally-rich neighbourhood of Chinatown.
The Marina Bay Sands, Merlion Park, and the Gardens by the Bay are the top three landmarks in Singapore.
The National Gallery of Singapore and the Raffles Hotel are the most famous historical landmarks in Singapore.
Visit the Clarke Quay and the CHIJMES to taste the culture of Singapore.
The Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and the Sri Mariamman Temple are two famous religious landmarks in Singapore.