singapore travel guide

Tourist guide

Travel 9,000 miles to experience stunning skyscrapers, sprawling botanical gardens and some of the world’s best steamed chicken before the country’s iconic Raffles Hotel opens in Boston this summer.

Singapore’s glittering skyline at dusk. Photo by Jeremy Woodhouse/Getty Images

name of singapore Derived from the Malay word for “lion city,” this partly explains the waterfront’s nearly 30-foot-tall Merlion fountain (a not-to-be-missed Instagram opportunity). It also works for a fast-growing economy: it’s one of the busiest shipping ports in the world. It is an ultra-modern melting pot that combines Chinese and Indian cultures with influences from the British colonies, Malaysia and Indonesia. The result is a compact, multilingual metropolis free from litter, graffiti and street crime thanks to strict laws and close surveillance. This may have earned Singapore a reputation as the nation of nannies, but it also makes it one of the safest places in the world (see: phones and wallets left as placeholders on outdoor cafe tables). The humid tropical climate that wraps the city’s space-age exoskeleton in jungle-like greenery also means fresh produce is available year-round. In short, what started as a remote trading post in the early 1800s is now a futuristic city with the world’s longest rooftop infinity pool and a Louis Vuitton boutique that looks like it’s floating on the harbour. Even Changi Airport is a tourist attraction, with the world’s tallest indoor waterfall, butterfly and sunflower gardens, and an underground amusement park/arcade.

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The colorful houses of Tan Teng Niah in Little India. /Photo by John Seton Callaghan/Getty Images


this singapore botanic gardenss, an expansive park including a spectacular outdoor stage for concerts, and the National Orchid Garden. The VIP Gardens feature varieties named after Princess Diana and the Obamas, while the aptly named Cool House welcomes guests with air conditioning and incredible fresh flowers.this Gardens by the BayMeanwhile, featuring “Supergroves” – giant tree-like structures that support vast amounts of plant life – are illuminated each night in a sound and light show.just a short walk Marina Bay Sands, three towers with a common roof have become an icon of the Singapore skyline.There are hotels, casinos, shops, restaurants and observation decks inside, but the views from the boat are also unforgettable Singapore Flyer, the largest Ferris wheel in Asia.Be sure to set aside a few hours (every hour) to explore Little India – filled with candy-colored historic sites house of Tan Teng Niah-and Chinatownwith colorful murals, beautiful mosques and the stunning Temple of the Tooth Relic (had to climb three floors to see the problem tooth).

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Tempting dishes from National Kitchen in Violet Oon. / Photo by Violet Oon Singapore


It’s hard to have a bad meal in Singapore, whether you’re craving street food or a Michelin-starred restaurant.However, there are two standouts that are Arabesque Like Like In an old shophouse and ornate Country Kitchen by Violet Oon Inside the National thing for every visitor must Try: Hainanese chicken rice, Singapore’s national dish.


Singapore is a shopping paradise: Hermès alone has no fewer than six outlets, and there seems to be a mall on every corner.However, for more authentic items, try the Chinatown or Tekka Center In Little India.

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Luxurious studio suite at Raffles. / Photo by Raffles Hotel Singapore


Queen Elizabeth is said to have told Prince William, “When you are Raffles, try to see more of Singapore. Indeed, the storied hotel — which opened its first North American hotel in Boston this summer — is steeped in its fascinating history. Named after Singapore’s founder, Sir Stamford Raffles, it opened in 1887 as a A seaside quarters for Malay rubber planters and intrepid adventurers opened. Since then, it has been a home away from home for such luminaries as Noël Coward, whose song “I’ll See You Again” will chime on the original grandfather clock in the lobby. The best way to experience all its secrets is to spend time with hotel historian Roslee Sukar. He can wind up an old gramophone and escort you through the Strip (the original home of the Singapore Sling), and show you the Hat Boutique in the hotel mall, where you can push a wall of shelves to open a secret door to the Amex Centurion Haus lounge.

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A scenic pavilion at the Singapore Botanic Gardens. / Photo: Seng Chye Teo

reach there

Singapore Airlines operates one of the longest nonstop flights in the world from Newark Liberty Airport. 18.5 hours flies by, especially from the magic carpet ride in business class, but even premium economy is comfortable enough for a good night’s sleep.

First published in print in the May 2023 issue under the title “Boston Traveler: Singapore.”

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