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  • Masjid-Sultan-Singapore - Masjid Sultan, or Sultan Mosque, is located at Muscat Street and North Bridge Road in Singapore.
  • Rhapsody-of-the-Seas-SIngapore - Visit beautiful Singapore when you cruise Southeast Asia on Rhapsody of the Seas.
  • Buddha-Relic-Tooth-Temple-Singapore - The Buddha Relic Tooth Temple in Singapore.
  • Roof-of-Lau-Pat-Sat-Singapore - The roof of Telok Ayer Market, known locally as Lau Pa Sat, a historic building in Singapore's central business district.
  • house-tan-teng-niah-singapore - This eight-room house, built in 1900, is one of the last surviving Chinese Villas in Singapore's Little India.
  • Padang-Central-Singapore - Padang in Central Singapore.
  • center-of-chinatown2-Singapore.jpg - The bustling Chinatown at the center of Singapore.
  • bay-south-financial-center-Singapore.jpg - The three-building Bay South Garden Financial center on the coast of Singapore glitters at night.
  • fullerton-hotel-Singapore.jpg - The landmark Fullerton Hotel, located in downtown Singapore.
  • garden-city-Singapore.jpg - Take a stroll in the parks and gardens in downtown Singapore, with views of the Flyer ferris wheel.
  • gardens-by-the-bay-Singapore.jpg - Gardens by the Bay, home to Singapore's futuristic-looking "supertrees," a horticultural project on the water.
  • henderson-wave-trail-Singapore.jpg - The Henderson Wave pedestrian bridge is the highest pathway in Singapore at 118 feet above Henderson Street.
  • laksa-dish-Singapore.jpg - One of Singapore's signature national dishes, Laksa can be found in the Katong area.
  • marina-bay-sands-night-Singapore.jpg - A night view of Marina Bay Sands skyline, part of Singapore's "City in a Garden" initiative.
  • infinity-pool-marina-bay-Singapore.jpg - The Marina Bay Sands rooftop infinity pool at the Merlion hotel offers a stunning view of the surrounding bay in Singapore.
  • Singapore-night.jpg - A nighttime view of the Singapore skyline.
  • bay-area-sunset-Singapore.jpg - A red-tinted sunset over Singapore's  beautiful bay and skyline.
  • rustic-remains-building-Singapore.jpg - Rustic remains of s building being overtaken by nature in Singapore's garden city.
  • sky-park-aerial-view-Singapore.jpg - An aerial view of tropical Sky Park and the Bay South Financial Center in Singapore.
  • hokkien-mee-dish-Singapore.jpg - Singapore's signature dish of prawn noodles, called Hokkien mee.
  • bay-view-skyline-Singapore.jpg - A panorama of the Singapore skyline from the bay.
  • singapore-cuisine.jpg - Traditional Singapore cuisine of fresh meat and produce.
  • historic-modern-buildings-Singapore.jpg - Traditional Asian historic buildings are offset by the modern Singapore skyline in the background.
  • chinatown-night-Singapore.jpg - The bustle of Chinatown in the evening in Singapore.
  • zouk-out-festival-Singapore.jpg - ZoukOut, one of Asia's largest dance music festivals, is hosted by the Zouk nightclub in Singapore.
  • singapore-skyline.jpg - A beautiful view of the very modern Singapore skyline at dusk.
  • art-science-museum-singapore.jpg - The Lotus flower shaped ArtScience Museum in Marina Bay Sands, Singapore.
  • South-Bay-Gardens-Singapore.jpg - Bay South Garden along Dragonfly Lake offers some of the best attractions in Singapore.
  • marina-bay-sands-Singapore.jpg - A fountain in the Marina Bay Sands neighborhood of Singapore with a view of the Bay South Financial Center.
  • night-scene-chinatown-Singapore.jpg - The fast-paced nightlife of downtown Singapore.

Singapore travel guide & photo tour

our guide

The vibe

Founded in the early 1800s by Sir Stamford Raffles as a trading outpost, Singapore has turned from trading mecca to an Asian port where people from varied backgrounds have mixed, creating an Asian melange of cultures. Arab, Chinese, Indian and Malay merchants have all made their home here, and combined with the influence of the British empire, Singapore has become a friendly, safe and beautiful island nation where a diverse set of cultures and religions have found a home. 

The master designer of modern Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew, kept a core faith with Raffles' notion of a service providing a trading and cruise port and shaped the city into the metropolis it is today. The city’s current commitment to modernization adds futuristic touches as yet another element into the city’s mélange. Though modern Singapore is characterized by gleaming towers, Blackberries and vast air-conditioned shopping malls, it still retains that essential presence of all the traders who came over to make their way in Asia.

Cruise ships that call on Singapore

Top reasons to go

  • Center of religious faiths. Visit Buddhist and Hindu temples, as well as mosques and churches that have found their home in this diverse area.
  • The Bukit Timah Nature Reserve has more plant species than all of North America.
  • View the eye-catching skyscrapers along the Singapore River.
Padang in central Singapore.
Robert Lowe / Creative Commons BYPadang in central Singapore.

Top things to do & see in Singapore

Singapore Art Museum

Located at 71 Bras Basah Road (6332-3222), this museum is home to over three thousand pieces of artwork and sculptures. Most of the displays are either Singaporean or Malaysian in style, and they are rotated frequently to keep them new and fresh for visitors. 

Fort Canning Park

This place was once the home and lookout point for Stamford Raffles, a local who had visions for Singapore as a great port city. The fort was destroyed in 1907, but the Fort Wall and Fort Gate stand in its place, as were built so sturdily that they could not be demolished when the actual fort was torn down. Today, Fort Canning Park is a place worth hiking and exploring in the historic district of Singapore along the Singapore River, whether looking at the fort or visiting the keramat, or sacred grave on the grounds.

Beaches

There are a variety of beaches to take part of in Singapore. There are plenty of white sandy beaches along the East Coast of Singapore, although the areas around them remain relatively residential. If you want an island getaway for your beaches, there are three beaches on Sentosa and plenty on its southern islands. 

Shopping

There are multiple opportunities for shopping in Singapore, with the highest concentration of shopping malls along Orchard Road. However, there are also unique shopping opportunities, like Chijmes. Once a Catholic convent, it has been repurposed to become an entertainment district, with shopping, dining and even an art gallery. There is even an events hall that features weddings and shows. However, there has been great care to preserve the architecture.

Outdoor Sports

For golf, your best bet is the Jurong Country Club, which is located at 9 Science Center Road (6560-5655). You should make arrangements ahead of time, as golf is quite popular in Singapore. Waterskiing on the Kallang River is extremely enjoyable, and to make arrangements call the Cowabunga Ski Centre, located at 10 Stadium Lane (6344-8813). Sailspirit is located at 1212 East Coast Parkway (6445-5108) and offers windsurfing and sailboat rentals. The lagoon is a wonderful place to do a little sailing, and this company is one of the most reliable in Singapore.

Nightlife

Brewerkz, located at 30 Merchant Road, Brewerkz (6438-7438), is a haven for beer lovers who love rare ales. Harry's Quayside is an extremely popular bar that can be found at 28 Boat Quay (6538-3029). A great dance floor and fancy cocktails are only the beginning, as blues, jazz, and rock n' roll are played nightly. If you are in the mood for some rip-roaring live music, visit the Crazy Elephant at 01-07 Clark Quay (6337-1990).

The roof of Telok Ayer Market, known locally as Lau Pa Sat, a historic building in Singapore's central business district.
Lau Pa Sat / Creative Commons BYThe roof of Telok Ayer Market, known locally as Lau Pa Sat, a historic building in Singapore's central business district.

Best bets for dining

Singapore is so diverse with all the flavors of Asia and beyond that you will have no problem enjoying a completely different type of cuisine for every meal. For a unique dining experience, head to Imperial Herbal at 41 Seah Street (6337-0491). This ancient establishment specializes in preparing herb-based meals to cure what ails you. The menu is not set per se, in that you can order concoctions not found anywhere else. Simply tell the chef what your particular ailment might be, and he will cook up something with the appropriate ingredients. For prime rib and seafood, head to Harbour Grill at 581 Orchard Road (6730-3393). The cuisine is prepared with the finest ingredients possible, and the entrees have a distinct lack of fat or creams added to them.

Best time to go

Singapore is about 87 miles north of the equator, so its tropical temperatures remain high throughout most of the year. However, they also remain stable throughout, so anytime is a good time to visit.

Fun Facts

  • The two world’s most expensive building are located in Singapore. The Marina Bay Sands and the Resort World Sentosa - both with around $5 billion total construction costs. The Marina Bay Sands is a famous landmark of the Singapore skyline with it’s the three towers and the connecting platform (including a pool) on top.
  • About 40% of Singapore’s residents are foreigners, which is one of the highest percentage in the world. You will hear expats from all around the world as you walk around.
  • Since Singapore is a small island with a high population density, the number of private cars on the road is restricted in order to curb pollution and congestion. Car buyers must pay duties one-and-a-half times the vehicle’s market value, and bid for a Singaporean “Certificate of Entitlement”, which allows the car to run on the road for a decade.
  • The national anthem of Singapore is in Malay. The full text is printed on the back side of the SD $1,000 note.

When you arrive

Docking information

Cruise ships dock at the Port of Singapore. This is truly a world-class cruise facility, completely renovated with terrific passenger facilities.

Getting around

Singapore has an efficient bus system that will take you to many of the popular tourist destinations at a fraction of the cost of taxis. If you would prefer to take a taxi, contact CityCab (6552-2222). If you'd like to rent a car while in Singapore, contact Avis (6737-1668), but keep in mind that you need an international driver's license to operate a motor vehicle in Singapore.

Need to know

Passport: All U.S. and Canadian citizens will need a passport to enter.

Language: The national language is Malay, but almost all the younger residents speak English.

Currency: Singapore dollar.

Store hours:  Most shops in Singapore are open from 10 am to 10 pm from Monday to Sunday.

Tipping:  In Singapore there is often a 10% service charge added to the bill. You don’t need to tip extra, but be aware that the person serving you will probably not receive this money as it goes to the restaurant. Taxi drivers don’t expect a tip, either, but you can round up the fare for convenience and this will not be refused.

Safety:  Singapore placed second on TripAdvisor‘s 2012 survey of the safest cities in the world. The reason? Singapore operates under a very strict legal system, so pay heed as punishments can be stiff. For example, you better leave your chewing gum at home — it's forbidden in Singapore. There are also mandatory death sentences for some drug trafficking offenses. Crime isn't unknown, so be especially wary of pickpockets in shopping areas. 

Your take

Have you been to Singapore? What was the highlight of your trip? Please share your experience and photos! 

See anything wrong? What did we overlook? Be a co-creator!

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Cruiseable team
The Cruiseable editorial team consists of award-winning travel writers, cruise bloggers and journalists.

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Overheard

“In fall 2015, a five-mile historic public art trail called the Jubilee Walk will be inaugurated, and the National Gallery Singapore opens in the grand former Supreme Court and City Hall buildings, where it will house one of the largest collections of Southeast Asian art in the world.”

New York Times

“An homage to Castilian cuisine from celebrated Brit chef Jason Atherton, this boisterous dine-at-the-bar tapas joint is crowded three-deep most nights. Be sure to order the melt-in-your-mouth ox cheek with hazelnut pesto. (16 Jiak Chuan Road)

Condé Nast Traveler

“Café Hua Bee, which has served the same fishball mee pok (noodles) for 70 years, was recently saved from demolition by locals. The developer's compromise? At night, the café shuts down to make way for Bincho, a modern yakitori-ya serving grilled meats.”

Afar magazine

“I like following in the footsteps of Rudyard Kipling and Ernest Hemingway by sipping a highball at the Long Bar at Singapore's Raffles Hotel. It was behind this bar that the first Singapore Sling was poured sometime before 1915.”

Condé Nast Traveler

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