As I live in Singapore myself, many people who visit ask me to share tips. So why not share it with a wide audience at the blog? I wrote about 5 green outdoor activities in Singapore before, in this blog many other of my favourite hotspots, restaurants, museums and places to go!
My first stay in Singapore in 2015 was in the heart of Little India and therefore it feels like coming home. I like going to Little India in the evening for a nice stroll, especially at weekend nights as the area is quite buzzing at that time. The Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple and the 24-hours open shopping centre Mustafa are must see’s.
My absolute favourite restaurant – and I mean in Singapore, not just in Little India – is The Banana Leaf Apollo. We accidentally walked in here at our first night, little did we know that it is actually the best Indian restaurant in town as many cab drivers told me since. Another nice restaurant is Lagnaa Bare Foot Dining where you have dinner while sitting on cushions on the floor and yes, you are invited to take your shoes off.
Kampong Glam, Arab Street & Hadji Lane
Relive old time at the Kampong Glam area! For the newbie’s: A Kampong is a traditional Malaysian village. In this vibrant area you will find a rich history, excellent eateries, colourful shops and a buzzing nightlife.
Stroll around at Arab Street, admire the beautiful Masjid Sultan Mosque and head to the Malay Heritage Centre to learn more about the rich heritage and culture of Singapore’s Malay community. Box n Sticks, the Hangar and Bumbu are some of my favourite eateries for lunch and diner. But if you are looking for a real (affordable) Kampong eating experience, Kampong Glam Cafe is the place to go!
At Haji Lane you will find graffiti art and several boutiques, as wel as hip bars an cafes where you can experience live music at night. I like going to Piedra Negra to enjoy some Mexican food and Corona’s at a Friday nights. Go to Blu Jaz Cafe for live music. Around the corner at Beach Road, mrs. Pho is known to serve the best Vietnamese Pho in town (no vegetarian options available though).
In you are in the mood for some delicious Tai Food, take a walk to The Golden Mile Complex, also known as ‘little Thailand’. I regularly visit this place for lunch during the weekends and to do some shoppings for a very reasonable price.
Chinatown is always fun to visit. Take the MRT to Chinatown – exit A Pagoda ST. Once you get out the station, you are in the middle of the Chinatown Street Market. Walk straight ahead to find the Sri Mariamman Temple at you right hand, don’t forget to take your shoes off when visiting. From there it is easy to get to the beautiful Buddha Tooth Relic Temple. Make sure to cover up in case of bare shoulders, the temple provides extra layers at the entrance. Visit the Maxwell Road Hawker Centre for an authentic Singaporean food experience.
A hotspot nearby that is fun to visit is Pinnacle at Duxton, one of the worlds largest residential buildings. There is an actual running track on top of it! For 5 SDG you can get up to enjoy the view. Only 200 visitors a day are allowed as to not disturb the residents so make sure to go on time.
Marina Bay Sands and Clarke Quay
One of the main attractions in Singapore is the Marina Bay Sands Area. A little touristy but worth the visit. Take the MRT to Bayfront and you will find your way pretty easily to the iconic Marina Bay Sands Hotel and its view deck on ‘the ship’. Head to the Gardens by the Bay to admire the futuristic Supertree Grove, the Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest of the Gardens by the Bay. Don’t miss out on the daily Garden Rhapsody show at 07.45 and 08.45 PM.
On the other site of Marina Bay Sands, you will find the lotus shaped Artscience museum. Take a walk to the other site of the river to meet the famous national symbol statute: the Merlion. Find a seat at Overeasy at Fullerton Road for drinks and bites while enjoying the view.
Clarke Quay is the city’s historical riverside. Here you can book a boat tour that cruises up and down the entire length of the river, offering a view of all the interesting sights along the way including the historical landmarks like the old supreme court building.
Tiong Baru is Singapore’s trendy hipster neighbourhood, famous for its retro cafes and hip eateries and perfect for an easy stroll. One of the hotspots is Tiong Bahru Bakery, an iconic French bakery that is famous for its coffee and pastry. Pick up a good read at BooksActually. Forty Hands is nice place for brunch and diner. At Open Door Policy, organically grown food is served that is diary- and gluten free and includes options for vegans. For a more authentic Asian food experience, Tiong Bahru Market and Food Centre is the place to go.
Duxton Hill and Keong Saik Road
This is my favourite area for drinks and a bite at Friday and Saturday nights. Many fine bars and restaurants are located in this area. At Duxton Hill, Bar Celona is a personal favourite as they offer a wide variety of affordable cava’s and delicious finger food. At Lucha Loco you can enjoy margarita’s and taco’s at their garden terrace.
Head to Keon Saik Road for burgers and cocktails at Potato Head Folk, try to get a table at the rooftop. If you are in for some fine dining, Esquina is the place to be. Go to Burnt Ends for a dinner Australian BBQ style. Afterglow by Angelo is the place to be for vegans.
Nightlife and rooftop terraces
Club Street is the place to go for drinks! There is a lot to choose from as many (outdoor) bars and restaurants are located in this area. I like going to Indochine or Oxwell & Co, but generally you can just follow the crowd to find a spot with a nice atmosphere.
For cocktails, head to 28 Hong Kong Street, a speak-easy bar with creative cocktails that are a little pricy but tasty. Make sure to book in advance, this is a popular spot. The Library is another nice speak-easy option for cocktails, however, you need to figure out the password at their Facebook page in advance. If you want to start your night in a more affordable way, head to Wine Connection at Robertson Walk.
With a skyline this impressive, your visit is incomplete without visiting a rooftop bar. I like going to Loof for the relaxed atmosphere and the finger food. From there you can see a hint of the Marina Bay Sends. The rooftop terrace of Potato Head Folk has not the widest view but it is a perfect hangout to grab a burger with a drink at a Saturday night. Go to Southbridge to enjoy cocktails with a view at the city’s iconic landmarks. Or visit 1-Altitude at the 63rd floor for a wide view over the entire city. The entrance fee is $30, this includes one drink. Entrance is free for ladies every Wednesday night.
If you are in the mood to party, go to the Kilo Lounge at Tanjong Pagar Road or to the Mad Man Attic to enjoy some live music at their rooftop dancing. Since 1-Altitude is also a nightclub, it’s open during the night for dancing with a view. I would not necessarily go there for the music as it is usually quit loud (ear plugs are recommended). But the experience of dancing at this altitude is the big reward that makes it worth a visit.
Geylang is a nice area to get the more authentic Asian vibe. It is also infamously known as the tolerated red light district of Singapore and it is a bit rawer than the modern city centre. And, very important factor, it is my little vegan paradise in Singapore. Have lunch at Lovinghut with fried rice and vegan sate or grab a burger at Veganburg – the best burgers in town! Head to Brownice for a wide variety of Italian vegan ice cream. For non-vegans, Little Vietnam is a nice place to have diner like a local.
Geylang is also a great place to do some shoppings! The Attaby Collective is a boutique department store at Joo Chiang Road, which ofers a curated selection of independent designers and brands. I especially like the furniture of Elements Concept, natural handcrafted furniture and home accessories.
Other hotspots in Singapore
- For a beach day, Tanjong Beach Club is the place to be. You can either bring you own food and mat to find a place at the beach or take a seat at a sun bed.
- My favourite brunch place is Artichoke: Middle Eastern dishes that differ from the usual poached eggs. Many vegetarian options are available.
- Dempsey Hill is a former British army barracks now housing a selection of upscale stores & restaurants. The White Rabbit, Jones the Groccer, La Ventana and (the garden of) PS Cafe are amongst my favourites.
- As I am definitely not a shopaholic, I can’t consider Orchard Road as one of my personal hotspots. But since malls are such an essential factor in Singapore, it may be worth a visit just for the experience. Be ready to get lost in the malls though!
- Newton Food Centre is my neighbouring hawker centre and well known in the city.
- Two hawker stalls in Singapore have been rewarded with a Michelin Star in 2016 and if you don’t mind waiting for at least one hour, you might want to give it a go: Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle at Crawford Lane and Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodle in Chinatown.
- No matter where you are in the world, Yoga is always a good idea to come to your senses. Book a mat at one of the six Yoga Movement locations.
- If you need ideas on what to do or where to go in the weekend, check the TimeOut website for the latest events updates.