Central Business District
Located between the Singapore River, Marina Bay and Chinatown, the Central Business District, commonly referred to as “the city” or CBD, is the centre of all commercial and financial activities. Some of the most prestigious companies, both local and international, have their offices in this densely built area.
Here you find the impressive skyscrapers that are part of Singapore’s beautiful skyline and the backdrop for dazzling attractions of the Marina Bay. The scenery gets especially dramatic during the evening hours when the sun sets directly behind the CBD. The best photos are taken during this time from either the Esplanade or The Shoppes, allowing you to capture the entire panoramic view.
The three highest buildings are the UOB Plaza One with 67 floors, the Republic Plaza with 66 floors and the One Raffles Place with 63 floors, all of them as high as 280 meters.
Obviously, offices occupy most of the space of these prominent towers yet some top floors are set aside for fine-dining restaurants and patrons enjoy not only delicious food but also amazing views. On clear days you can see as far as to the nearby Indonesian islands Bintan and Batam.
For those visiting this area, we recommend to start at the Fullerton Hotel and walk towards Raffles Place, the heart of the Central Business District with the impeccable white, colonial inspired MRT building on both sides. Soak in the impressive atmosphere while enjoying the hustle and bustle of this very busy place. From here, Church Street, Robinson Road, Raffles Quay, Collyer Quay and Marina Boulevard form a grid of streets lined with one office tower after the other.
The CBD is also well known for fantastic street food with many Hawker Centres to satisfy the cravings of the business crowd. One of the most popular is Lau Pa Sat, a beautiful colonial style building right at the centre of Shenton Way, Raffles Quay and Cross Street. Currently under renovations until November 2013, it’s the place to go to for delicious Satay, especially in the evening hours when the small side street closes to make space for traditional street pushcarts.
There are a few colonial buildings and temples around this area, creating a wonderful contrast between the traditional and modern Singapore. Built in 1850, Yueh Hai Ching Temple in Philip Street is the oldest Taoist temple in Singapore. Renovated in 2011, it is the only temple with three-dimensional roof ornaments.
Once you put your foot onto the other side of Cross Street, China Town greets you with richly coloured and charming shophouses and you feel like you just stepped into an entirely different world.