When you are new in Singapore, you might surely want reliable information about where to go. You might be poring over maps to find out the local centers for entertainment, food and other activities. Let me tell you who to ask for this information – the hotel concierge.
In this article, three concierges from Singapore’s top hotels are sharing their knowledge with us to let us know where to start our trip. All the unusual places and amazing attractions will surely give you memorable experiences that will make you come back to Singapore.
Singapore is considered a “City in a Garden” with its bustling population and lush greenery which covers only about 710 sq km of land. It is also popularly referred to as the “Little Red Dot”.
Attractions To Visit
Botanic Gardens – This 154-year-old garden is where you will also find the National Orchid Gardens and best for people who love horticulture. Who doesn’t love flowers anyway especially if they are abundant and vibrant in color? The Botanic Gardens is now waiting for the result of its bid to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Raffles Hotel – Get a Singapore Sling in the Long Bar in what is considered a National Monument in Singapore. This is a rite of passage for tourists and travelers and you would surely enjoy the majestic interior of the 125-year-old hotel.
Sentosa Island – For some, it might be overrated but tourists, who seek a retreat from the city and want to enjoy the sea, Sentosa is a great place to escape and unwind. There are theme parks, spa retreats, golf courses and outstanding hotel accommodations surrounded by beaches and rainforests.
Exhibitions To See
National Museum of Singapore – If you want to trace the history of Singapore and have a better understanding of how it become what it is today, you should see the Singapore History Gallery and Singapore Living Galleries. Make sure you go to the Food, Fashion, Film and Wayang, and Photography exhibitions.
Peranakan Museum – If you’re interested in the local heritage, you should seek the Peranakan Museum. The Peranakans are unique to only a few areas in Southeast Asia and Singapore is one of them. Know the unique cuisines, costumes and traditions that the Peranakans have. Buy ornate brooches and other souvenirs while you are there.
Restaurants To Dine In
Restaurant Andre – Have dinner in Andre’s, by Chef Andre Chiang. It is one of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants and it is also included in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants Guide by S. Pellegrino. Enjoy the sophisticated cuisine and elegant ambience of this top-rated restaurant when you are in Singapore.
Catalunya – Want to have an unforgettable dining experience? Try the Catalunya – a wonder encased in glass floating in the Marina Bay waters. Aside from the exquisite food, you’ll have amazing views from inside the dome. The Spanish cuisine prepared by world-renowned chefs will surely make your Singapore trip remarkable.
Hawker Centers to Explore
Maxwell Food Center – One of the most popular hawker centers is along the 1 Kadayanallur Street . Every tourist should really explore the food stalls there especially the chicken rice which is a very famous dish all over Singapore. Check out Stall #01-10 Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice.
Tiong Bahru Market Hawker Centre – To relish a variety of local food, the concierges agree that you should not miss a visit to the Tiong Bahru Market Hawker Centre. Look for the steamed rice cake or “chwee kweh”, satay and chili crabs. You’ll find another local food by going across the road on the housing estate and looking for the fruit stand which sells delicious jelly served inside a coconut husk.
Tipping – Though tipping is not encouraged as there is already a 10% service charged included in your bill, you can certainly leave a tip (from $5 to $10) if you experienced excellent service to encourage the staff.
Phrase or Slang – A bit of knowledge of Singlish (colloquial Singapore English) is important when you are traveling to Singapore. End your sentences with “lah”, or express your gratitude after a meal with “Shiok”.
Etiquette – If you see a piece of tissue paper on a table at hawker centers, which means the table is already reserved. This is customary that people leave tissue papers to indicate that the table is occupied while they buy food from the stalls. So, don’t forget your own tissue papers.
Shopping – When in Singapore, there are plenty of places to shop and Raffles City is probably among the most popular. People can find international brands there for cheaper prices. If you have gift cards from Giift, then you will have the best deals from Singapore’s malls! There are shopping centers that are open for 24 hours a day such as Mustafa Centre.
Laws – Keeping Singapore clean and green is of great importance. Spitting and smoking in public as well jaywalking and littering a big no-nos.
Whether you are in or about to go to Singapore, this article will surely help guide you through what is best and interesting there. Make sure your itinerary includes the places we mentioned to get the most out of your trip!