Did you know that Singapore attracted 17.4 million international tourists in 2017? Chances are, at least a few of them are your friends or relatives visiting or passing through to get to their next major destination. Your job as the host includes feeding them amazing food and bringing them to places that isn’t a shopping mall.
If you’ve ever faced the struggle of coming up with an interesting itinerary for your faraway friends, we’ve come up with a list of places to impress them—because Singapore is more than just Marina Bay Sands.
1. An atas rooftop bar
One advantage of living in a modern metropolitan city is the existence of rooftop bars. They serve as a great place to catch up with each others’ lives, exchange travel tips, and gossip the night away with a cocktail in hand.
Many atas rooftop bars come with both classic and special cocktail menus, and great service. Coupled with an unbeatable view of the city skyline, you’ve got yourself the perfect location for a fabulous night out. Check out Ce La Vi at Marina Bay Sands, 1-Altitude at One Raffles Place, LeVeL33 at MBFC, or Salt Grill & Sky Bar at ION Orchard.
Ce La Vi
Time: 12 pm – late
Venue: 1 Bayfront Avenue Marina Bay Sands Tower 3
Price: $20 entrance fee to the Sky Deck Club Lounge
Time: 6 pm – late
Venue: 1 Raffles Place
Price: $35 entrance fee with 2 drinks (6 pm – 9 pm entry)
$45 entrance fee with 2 drinks (entry after 9 pm)
Time: 11.30 am – 12 am (Mondays – Thursdays), 11.30 am – 2 am (Fridays & Saturdays), 12 pm – 12 am (Sundays)
Venue: 8 Marina Blvd, #33-01
Price: Free, but prepare to spend ~$60 each.
Salt Grill & Sky Bar
Time: 11.30 am – 1.45 pm, 6 pm – 9.45 pm
Venue: 2 Orchard Turn, #55-01 ION Orchard Mall
Price: Free, but prepare to spend ~$120 each.
2. ION Art Gallery and ION Sky
Not only can you bring your friends to shop till they drop at ION Orchard, but it’s also a place where they can soak in some arts and culture. The ION Art Gallery, a dedicated space for art, design, and new media exhibits feature both emerging and established artists all year round—so no matter when you’re there, there’s always something to check out.
While you’re there, don’t forget to ascend 55 storeys high to ION Sky for a beautiful panoramic view of Singapore right from the heart of town. Unfortunately, admission to ION Sky is no longer free, but all you have to do is download the ION Orchard mobile app and receive an admission ticket for every $20 spent at ION Orchard.
ION Art Gallery
Time: 10 am – 10 pm
Venue: ION Orchard Mall, Level 4
Time: 2 pm – 8.30 pm
Venue: ION Orchard Mall, Level 56
Price: Admission with every $20 spent at ION
3. Haw Par Villa
This Chinese folklore theme park is the perfect place to go for that weirdo in your group. Filled with over 1,000 statues and 150 dioramas featuring depictions of traditional and religious myths and stories, your friends will surely get a couple of eyebrow-raising shots for the ‘gram.
For a small fee, you can even book tours provided by the park to learn more about the story behind the dioramas, notably about the infamous Ten Courts of Hell. Read more about the park’s rich history here.
Looking for more spooky places to visit?
Haw Par Villa
Time: 9 am – 7 pm
Venue: 262 Pasir Panjang Rd
NOTE: Haw Par Villa is undergoing repairs from Dec 1 2018 to Feb 28 2019, and will be open again on 1 Mar 2019.
4. Henderson Waves Bridge
“You want to take me to a bridge?” your friend might ask incredulously, thinking if they should engage a tour guide instead. Tell him or her to suspend skepticism, because the Henderson Waves Bridge isn’t simply a structure that connects two places. It is that, but it’s also a gorgeous 274-metre pedestrian bridge built to mimic the shape of a wave. Its hardwood curves and twists allows for hidden recesses and alcoves for a calming place to relax and enjoy the lush view of the city. Visit past dusk, and the LED displays along the bridge serves as a romantic backdrop to your night.
Henderson Waves Bridge
Time: All Day
Venue: Henderson Rd
5. Newton Food Centre
Yes, it’s that hawker centre featured in Crazy Rich Asians . The lively food centre is home to many favourite local specialities, with some even boasting Michelin stars. Give your friends a taste of local where they’ll be spoilt for choice, choosing from chili crab, sambal stingray, hokkien mee, satay, carrot cake, and more—you name it, they have it.
Visit at night for dinner or supper where the bustling atmosphere truly begins. Its location smack in the middle of Newton makes it a great pit stop when you’re out in the city. Just remember to have some buffer time to nurse that inevitable food coma.
Newton Food Centre
Time: 12 pm – 2 am
Venue: 500 Clemenceau Avenue North
Price: Free, but bring cash!
6. An authentic Singaporean Cooking Experience
After bringing your friends to feast on our local delicacies, take it up a notch by signing them up for cooking classes to learn how to whip up Singaporean dishes such as chili crab, curry fish head and many more. Cookery Magic offers a one of a kind cooking class in the garden of a century old village home. Almost like stepping back in time, your friends can learn how to recreate classic flavours of Singapore and Asian cuisine in an outdoor kitchen reminiscent of Singapore in the 1950s. Who knows, they may even be better at cooking these local delights than you!
Find out more unique workshops and activities in Singapore.
Time: Check schedule
Venue: 117 Fidelio St
7. Mustafa Centre
You’ve never had a true Singapore experience unless you’ve shopped at Mustafa Centre. Offering pretty much everything you’ll ever need, from groceries and clothes to home decor items and sports goods, the indoor market-style shopping centre is open 24-hours for a unique adventure at any time of the day. Visitors can even shop for gold at inexpensive prices and souvenirs all in one place.
Mustafa Centre is also located in Little India, amidst a variety of well-known Indian restaurants such as Banana Leaf, Sri Kamala Villas, and Khansama.
Time: 24 Hours
Venue: 145 Syed Alwi Road
Price: Free, but bring cash!
8. Buddha Tooth Relic Temple
The Buddha Tooth Relic Temple is a stunning four-storey temple that’s known to house the tooth relic of the historical Buddha, thus its name. It’s worth a visit just for the extravagant two-meter stupa on the fourth floor, where the sacred relic is kept. If your visitor is a fan of culture and history, this is a place not to be missed for its beautiful Tang dynasty architecture.
You can even book some tours or attend a ceremony available daily. If you’re tired from a day of sightseeing, the second-floor teahouse serves as a serene place to rest and recharge before going about the rest of your day. Remember to dress appropriately as it is a spiritual and religious venue, so no shorts, short skirts or bare shoulders here.
Buddha Tooth Relic Temple
Time: 7 am – 7 pm (Monday to Sunday), including public holiday
9 am – 6 pm (Museum and Stupa Chamber) (Monday to Sunday), including public holiday
Venue: 288 South Bridge Rd
9. Singapore’s Offshore Islands
For the more active travellers, Singapore has various small islands scattered around for a quick day trip where you can cycle, snorkel, kayak, hike, and all kinds of exploration. Our tropical climate makes them a perfect destination all year round, and they’re all less than an hour away.
Some ideas for unique days out include beach bumming at Lazarus Island, cycling to and from Coney Island and Punggol Waterway, a heritage walk across Pulau Ubin, snorkeling across the Sisters’ Islands, and diving into the waters of Pulau Hantu.
10. Animal Farms
With Singapore being a city, we don’t get many sightings of stray deer, sheep, or horses. But if you’re keen to experience Singapore’s kampung roots, there are animal farms dedicated to preserving that spirit. The alternative to Singapore Zoo and Jurong Bird Park is The Animal Resort, where you can visit exotic birds, various other fowl, rabbits, guinea pigs, and even a racehorse.
If you and your visitors are more of a domestic pet lover, the Ericsson Pet Farm in Pasir Ris houses puppies, kittens, small animals, and an array of pet accessories. They offer adoption services, but we discourage travellers from adopting the pets for obvious reasons.
The Animal Resort
Time: 10 am – 6 pm
Address: 81 Seletar West Farmway 5
Ericsson Pet Farm
Time: 10.30 am – 7 pm
Address: 18 Pasir Ris Farmway 2
11. G-Max Reverse Bungy
Call upon your thrill-seeker friends who can’t get enough of defying g-forces. This reverse bungy ejects you from the ground and hurls you 60 metres above at almost 200 km/h. Situated in the heart of Singapore’s nightlife centre, this attraction promises an unforgettable experience flying high above the city and swinging above the crowds.
Known to have a 100% safety record, your friends will still make it safely to ground level and back to their hometown. However, no promises on keeping their meals within their digestive systems. Just looking at the height of the structure makes our stomachs churn.
G-Max Reverse Bungy
Time: 2 pm – 12 am
Address: 3E River Valley Rd
Price: $45 per pax (G-MAX Reverse Bungy/GX-5 Extreme Swing, Standard)
$35 per pax (G-MAX Reverse Bungy/GX-5 Extreme Swing, Student)
$69 per pax (Both rides, Standard)
$50 per pax (Both rides, Student)
12) Merlion Hunting
Visiting the Merlion statue at Merlion Park may be a popular activity and obvious choice among tourists. However, did you know that there are six other Merlions around Singapore? Challenge your friend and yourself by finding all seven of the iconic mythical creature across Singapore!
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