Welcome to your guide to Singapore, The Lion City! Discover the highlights and hidden treasures of one of the world’s most vibrant and exciting cities.
Singapore is a city-state, located at the southern-most tip of Malaysia. When the British East India Company discovered Singapore, this small island with only 710 square kilometres, was home to a simple fishing village of just 1,000 inhabitants. Today, Singapore’s population has grown to over 6 million, making it the world’s second-most-densely-populated country – and one of Asia’s most successful economies.
The city’s rich mixture of Asian and Western cultures results in intriguing blends and contrasts found nowhere else on Earth, and offers visitors a truly unique experience. Boasting four official languages – English, Malay, Chinese and Tamil – Singapore’s multi-cultural community lives in harmony, celebrating all major cultural festivals, and ultimately combining to form a unity of excellence.
Singapore’s highly efficient public transport system is world-renowned, making island exploration easy and convenient. Everywhere you go, you’ll be delighted by the impeccable cleanliness and order that have also become hallmarks of the island. Visitors are struck by this the moment they arrive at Singapore’s modern Changi Airport, with its shiny arrival halls and short, well-organized taxi queues. The highways leading to the city are likewise neat and trim, lined with majestic palm trees and colourful bougainvilleas. Offshore, vessels from all across the globe queue up for their turns to load and unload in one of the world’s busiest container ports.
Singaporean food is legendary. The city’s distinctive hawker centres, coffee shops and food courts line the streets and malls, offering an abundance of sumptuous local fare – and unique tastes of colourful local culture, too. Eating happens to be one of Singapore’s favourite pastimes, a fact reflected in the city’s amazing assortment of celebrity-chef restaurants.
Another favourite pastime is exploring the city’s glitzy, vibrant and uber-fancy shopping malls. You’ll find entire roads dedicated to shopping, with such an astonishing variety of malls, department stores, designer boutiques and art galleries that you’ll find yourself looking for a spa at day’s end, just to soothe your happily tired feet.
Singapore’s skyline has grown enormously over the past few years. The Marina Bay Sands – a world-class luxury hotel and casino – is just one of the many highlights, joined by such iconic establishments as the Esplanade, the Fullerton Bay Hotel and the Singapore Flyer. Yet in contrast and complement to all the dazzlingly modern structures, lovely historic shop houses in areas such as China Town, Arab Street and Little India retain their timeless charm, and are well taken care of by the Singaporean government.
While much of the city has enjoyed a remarkable burst of new construction in recent years, half the country is still wrapped in lush greenery, offering abundant opportunities for lively jungle hikes and serene nature walks. Mischievous monkeys, colourful birds and impressive water monitor lizards are common sights in the island’s many well-kept nature reserves.
This island country is actually not limited to just a single island. In fact, it is officially composed of a total of 63 islands – though there is only one among them that is developed and a major attraction: The island-resort of Sentosa – whose name means "peace and tranquillity" in the native Malay language – is well worth a visit. It offers gorgeous beaches, five-star hotels, beautiful golf courses, and even a major theme park, Universal Studios Singapore.
Shop, eat, explore and have a fabulous and fun-filled visit. No matter what your tastes or budget, here you’ll discover an unforgettable garden city, nestled on a tropical island filled end-to-end with exotic sights, exciting activities and once-in-a-lifetime surprises.