The Polis Insider’s Complete Travel Guide

Apart from its futuristic architecture, Singapore also has an abundance of parks and outdoor spaces that are kept green thanks to its tropical climate.
Photo by Shutterstock/F11

Before the meme, there was a visual that was circulating in Singapore’s digital space for a while. It reads: “Dey, wǒ men paktor always makan at kopitiam one”, which means “Hey, when we date, we always eat at the coffee shop.” If you have trouble understanding the original sentence, it’s because it’s pure Singlish – a unique fusion of the languages ​​and dialects spoken in Singapore. The same visuals break it down: “dey” is Tamil; “wǒ men” is the Chinese pinyin of “we”, aka “us”; “paktor” is Cantonese; “makan” and “kopi” are Malay “Tiam” is Hokkien/Hakka. That’s a summary of Singapore and what you can expect when you visit this unique island nation.

I was born and raised in Singapore, where I have lived my whole life, from the heart of Toa Payoh to Geylang, the only legal red light district in Singapore. I also spent many years in my career as a lifestyle writer, discovering the sights, food and things to do in Singapore.

I’ve spent my life exploring Singapore’s unique neighborhoods and discovering the coolest places.
Sam Dovey

With four official languages ​​and more spoken by locals and immigrants alike, Singapore is a vibrant melting pot of cultures. Growing up here as a product of a cross-cultural marriage, I celebrated most of the cultural events and festivals, from Chinese New Year to Deepavali and Christmas, my meals always had a variety of Chinese, Indian, Malay and European Asian cuisine table.

Then there are the modern layers of bustling Singapore – for such a young country, only 57 years old, it is so dependent on technology that many of its systems, attractions and buildings look futuristic. Thanks to its strong tropical climate, the Lion City is also very green – the Singapore National Parks Board estimates that by 2020, nearly 50% of Singapore’s land will be covered by green space, with tree canopy coverage approaching 30%, making it the greenest city in the world.

There’s so much to see and do, from tasting food from across Asia to wandering unique ethnic enclaves to meeting locals from all backgrounds. Here’s my complete guide from being a local with all the best places to stay, eat, explore and more to help you plan your Singapore itinerary.

Discover an insider’s guide to visiting Singapore.

→ How to get to Singapore by land, sea or air, plus tips from locals on using public transport and taxi services

→ Locals’ recommended places to stay in Singapore – best hotels, hostels and more

→ 10 Best Restaurants and Places to Eat Authentic Food in Singapore

→ 9 unique adventures and things to do in Singapore, from lush wetland hikes to nighttime ghost tours

→ What to Know Before Traveling to Singapore – Latest COVID-19 Regulations, Weather Forecast and Visiting Times

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