Hip city, shopping paradise, adventure park and much more: Discover "Asia for beginners" in all its diversity!

Art & Culture

Singapore is an island and city state, which means it is a (group of) island(s), a state and a city at the same time. The metropolis that has one of the most important harbours in the world is also known as "Asia for beginners". A wide range of cultures and religions are found in Singapore – in addition to many new things, almost everybody discovers something familiar here. Furthermore, it is possible to communicate almost everywhere in the world language English. The colourful blend of cultures and languages definitely contributes to Singapore's unparalleled atmosphere!

The many green areas found in Singapore are something that differentiates it from many other large cities. There are parks, rooftop gardens, beautifully planted grass strips and enormous, giant trees everywhere you go. In the Gardens by the Bay you can admire the so-called "Supertree Groves": "trees" made of metal, many many metres high, with all kinds of plants climbing up them. The contrast between the impressive high-rise buildings and the omnipresent greenery makes Singapore particularly appealing to many people. By the way, you can gain a fantastic first impression of the city from the viewpoint Mount Faber, the "local mountain" in Singapore.

The Central Business District (CBD), with its hustle and bustle and glass-skyscrapers all around, is located in the centre of the city. An excursion to the Marina Bay is a must here. Both the bay in the city centre and the area around the bay are referred to as the Marina Bay. A special highlight is the Marina Bay Sands Resort with its three towers and roof that is shaped like a ship. The complex does not only include a hotel, but also a shopping centre, museum, theatre halls and clubs.

Singapore's landmark, the Merlion, is found in the Merlion Park, close to the Marina Bay. It is a mythical creature that is part lion and part mermaid, which watches over the city as a water-spouting statue.

The Colonial Quarter, not far from the Singapore River that runs through the city, is incidentally the historical centre of the city – here you can view both old and present government buildings, such as the Supreme Court.

Singapore's cultural diversity also becomes evident in the various quarters, most of which are named after early immigrants. In the Arabian Quarter around Arab Street, the Masjid Sultan, the Sultan mosque stands out in particular with its magnificent, golden domes. Here you will feel like you are in an entirely different world! Afterwards you can dive into Chinese life in Chinatown: Many street stalls, a lot of red, many beautiful temples and parks offer the right thing for everyone.
In the quarter called Little India you can enjoy a piece of India with bright colours and the aromatic odours of spices and incense sticks. Apart from impressive temples, above all you can find exciting street markets, shops with all kinds of exotic fruit and vegetables and interesting food stalls here.

Shopping Time

Welcome to the shopping paradise! With its miles of shopping streets, Singapore whisks you off on a shopping marathon. Orchard Road, to the west of the Central Business District, is Singapore's most famous shopping street. Here you can find, for example, one of the largest malls, The Centrepoint. Around 180 stores from all areas await you on 6 floor levels. Cafés and restaurants on every corner offer in-between refreshments. The Funan DigitaLife Mall is a must for all computer fans. Comprising of over 200 shops, it is the largest computer store in Singapore and will make technology-hearts beat faster.

But Orchard Road is not the only place that offers an abundance of shopping facilities. You can also find souvenirs for you and your loved ones in Little India, Chinatown and the Colonial Quarter. Generally, products are not cheaper in Singapore than at home. But due to the many shopping options, price pressure leads to regular discount campaigns. The cheapest time to go shopping is from the end of May until mid-July, when the "Great Singapore Sale" takes place.

Fitness & Fun

Those who haven't walked enough miles through Singapore's shopping streets, can burn off energy to their heart's content on Sentosa Island, a smaller neighbouring island. Here, beach, bathing fun and water sports activities are awaiting you. By the way, you can also get there with Singapore's cableway from Mount Faber – fantastic view included! But especially at the weekends, the small island is overrun by tourists and locals.

Then, it is worthwhile taking a trip to the Tiger Sky Tower, which is 110 metres high. The ride in airy heights reminds one of an adventure park attraction: The visitors ride in a cabin, which rotates around the tower while going up. Those, who prefer to explore the depths of the sea, can do so in the saltwater aquarium "Underwater World and Dolphin Lagoon". When else does one have the opportunity to dare to dive with sharks? Alternatively, flora and fauna can be explored on foot. Exotic birds, plants and prosimians can be discovered on the 1.8 km Nature Walk. Further highlights include the adventure park Universal Studios Singapore, which allows you to look behind the scenes of your favourite films and series and the Singapore Zoo that includes a wildlife reserve and safari adventure tour.

Local Specialities

Singapore's cultural diversity is also reflected by the food: Chinese, Malayan, Indian and further influences characterise Singapore's cuisine. Sweet & sour shellfish is popular. The "Chili Crab” is an insider tip: huge boiled mangrove crab in slightly sweet tomato-chilli sauce with ginger strips and coriander leaves. But vegetarians and vegans will also find delicious dishes in Singapore, for example rice and noodle dishes with tofu, soya products and a lot of vegetables. Those, who are less eager to try out new things, will also find something to suit their taste buds: There are also Italian and French restaurants, as well as the usual fast food chains. A tip for all fruit lovers: Visit one of the markets in Singapore and taste exotic fruit varieties for very little money!

A few little facts

Singapore is a very hospitable country with strong European influences. However, it is important when you are out and about to respect the different cultural peculiarities. Otherwise, thoughtless gestures could unintentionally lead to misunderstandings. You should never stick your chopsticks vertically into the rice, as this is a symbol of death in Singapore. It is also considered impolite to point a finger at somebody. It is common to take off your shoes before entering a temple, mosque or private home. When dealing with the locals, politeness and friendly reserve are of paramount importance.

Good to know

Singapore has strict laws, which warn the people on every street corner to keep everywhere clean and orderly. These laws should be abided at all times. For example, it is prohibited to chew gum, smoke or eat on public transport or in public buildings. Anyone, who gets caught, has to pay big fines.

If you are now asking yourself how you can communicate in the foreign country, be reassured. Singapore has four official languages: Malay, Chinese, Tamil and English.