The holiday island of Sentosa (Internet: www.sentosa.com.sg ) offers a variety of leisure activities and attractions: The Butterfly Park is home to over 50 different types of butterflies, Fort Siloso has an interactive exhibition reminiscent of the time of World War II and Tiger Sky Tower has a fantastic view of the city. The many attractions also include the lifelike wax figures of Madame Tussauds Singapore, MegaZip Adventure Park, Underwater World Singapore and a 37m high walk-in replica of the Merlion. All imaginable water sports can be practiced on the beautiful beaches of the island and well-developed hiking trails invite you to go for a walk.
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Orchard Road is to Singapore what Fifth Avenue is to New York or Oxford Street to London. On Singapore’s popular shopping street with its huge, luxurious shopping centers you will find branches of large retail chains as well as small souvenir shops. Anyone who needs a break can stop off at one of the numerous cafés or restaurants.
The Singapore Flyer, which is the second tallest Ferris wheel in the world at 165, has fantastic views of Marina Bay and the downtown skyscrapers (website: www.singaporeflyer.com.sg ).
The best way to explore the Singapore River is to take a trip on one of the many bumboats. These small boats were originally used to bring goods into port from larger ships. Today, they offer a great way to see the contrast between the city’s historic and modern architectural styles. Moorings include Boat Quay, Raffles Landing and Boat Quay.
No visit would be complete without a detour to the world-famous Raffles Hotel (website: www.singapore.raffles.com ), named after Singapore’s founder, Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles. Enjoying a Singapore Sling cocktail at Long Bar is almost a must (don’t show up in shorts and sandals because of the dress code).
Singapore Botanic Gardens with National Orchid Garden
In the west of the city is the botanical garden with its original primeval forest (Internet: www.sbg.org.sg ). This 74 hectare facility is home to numerous animal and plant species and is the most visited botanical garden in the world. In the National Orchid Garden you can admire the largest collection of orchids in the world. The botanical garden is open daily from 5 a.m. to 12 a.m. Admission is free except for the orchid garden. Free guided tours are offered on Saturdays.
Singapore Zoo and Night Safari
The Singapore Zoo is one of the best zoos in the world and has already won a number of awards (Internet: www.zoo.com.sg ). More than 300 animal species, including orangutans, Sumatran tigers, Komodo dragons and panthers, live mainly in outdoor enclosures and are only separated from visitors by natural barriers such as moats or rocks. When the zoo closes, the Night Safari next door lures visitors (website: www.nightsafari.com.sg ). Thanks to the subtle lighting, you can experience the nocturnal animals up close without disturbing them.
Jurong Bird Park
The Jurong Bird Park on Jurong Hill (near the Chinese and Japanese Gardens) covers an area of 20 hectares and is home to an unrivaled variety of Southeast Asian bird species (website: www.birdpark.com.sg ; daily 0900-1800 o’clock open). In the largest aviary in the world you can admire birds in free flight, in another house various nocturnal birds are housed. Several spectacular bird shows are shown.
Museum of Ice Cream
Who doesn’t want to make their sweetest dreams come true? You can at the Museum of Ice Cream in Singapore. Multimedia installations appeal to all of the visitors’ senses. In addition, just like in the Land of Cockaigne, there are endless sweet and ice-cold culinary temptations at every corner. And what’s on offer as a cherry on top? On the way through the museum, numerous activities invite you to take part. Ice cream lovers can sing and dance, play in the Dragon Playground and swim in the Sprinkle Pool.
National Museum of Singapore
All sorts of interesting facts about the country’s history can be found in the renovated National Museum of Singapore (Internet: www.nationalmuseum.sg ). In addition to the exhibits that tell of the colorful past of the island state, the museum offers a variety of cultural events and festivals.
The imposing Parliament House on the banks of the Singapore River transports the viewer back to colonial times. The oldest government building in the country was built in the 1820s. Parliament sessions are open to the public and tours of the building are available (website: www.parliament.gov.sg ).
In bustling and colorful Chinatown, visit Fuk Tak Ch’i Temple on Telok Ayer Street and Yueh Hai Ching Temple (Temple of the Calm Sea) on Philip Street. The Hindu Sri Mariamman Temple is definitely worth seeing. At the traditional night market in Pagoda, Trengganu and Sago Street, numerous stalls enliven the district even after dark. The market, which sells antiques and handicrafts, among other things, is open Sunday to Thursday from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., and on Fridays, Saturdays and public holidays until 1 a.m.
Chinatown Heritage Centre
Learn more about the history of Singapore’s Chinese people at this fascinating museum (website: www.chinatownheritagecentre.sg ). Highlights include footage of interviews with elderly residents, as well as recreating the cramped living conditions many people once lived in.