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Plan Your Singapore Holiday: Best of Singapore

About Singapore
This tiny island city-state is famous for its unique blend of cultures—Malay, Chinese, and Indian communities, among many others, are well-repped. It's exactly this mixing of influences that gives Singapore a vibe all its own (and makes for a pretty amazing dining scene, too). There's world-class restaurants, sure, but you can't miss checking out the street food at any one of its famous hawker centres. At these large food courts, you can sample everything from iconic noodle dishes to Michelin-starred plates. As for the rest of the island, the scenery can't be undersold—it's a place where lush parks sit alongside futuristic skyscrapers and luxe shopping centres. We recommend starting with the Gardens by the Bay or the MacRitchie Reservoir Park to see some of the green spaces, and be sure to grab a ferry to one of Singapore's 64 outlying islands (Pulau Ubin is a fave). We've got more recs below.

Travel Advice

Essential Singapore

How to do Singapore in 3 days

From gardens to art galleries to food markets
Read on

Singapore food: the best hidden gems

I’m a born-and-bred Singaporean who is obsessed with food and its intersection between history and culture. As a young immigrant nation, Singapore is a major melting pot—with flavours from across Asia served everywhere from hawker markets to haute restaurants. Here are my favourite hidden gems that are off the tourist trail, places where you’ll get a truly local experience.
Bao Lin C, Tiong Bahru, Singapore
  • Marguerite
    10
    Housed in the Flower Dome, Marguerite feels like a lush enchanted garden. The imaginative tasting menu embraces produce and the craft of chef-owner Michael Wilson. My pro-tips: Request a table with a view of the open kitchen, and order the temperance pairing of clarified juices and fermented teas that showcases Wilson’s artistry.
  • Province
    5
    Province is a love letter to the rich and diverse cultures of Southeast Asia. The tasting menu highlights the flavours of the region, featuring ingredients from local and regional farmers and producers. The intimate chef’s table setting allows diners to interact with the young, affable, and passionate chef-owner Law Jia-Jun, who honed his craft in California and is one to watch.
  • Bonding Kitchen
    11
    The Peranakans are an ethnic group that’s unique to cities like Singapore, Malacca, and Penang, resulting from the intermarriage of Chinese merchants and the native Malay population. Run by a former private chef, Bonding Kitchen dazzles with solid cooking that would impress a Peranakan grandmother. For an introduction into Peranakan cuisine, order kueh pie tee (crispy pastry tart filled with vegetables), beef rendang (a dry curry), and chap chye (braised vegetable stew).
  • Thien Kee Steamboat Restaurant
    50
    The Hainanese were the last wave of Chinese immigrants to arrive in Singapore, and many worked as chefs for the then-British colonial government. Established in 1952, the old-school Hainanese restaurant, Thien Kee, is—in my opinion—the best place for chicken rice on the island. It’s my go-to comfort meal whenever I’m back from a trip, and also harkens back to a bygone era in Singapore.
  • Por Kee Eating House
    181
    “Zi char” means “cook and fry” in the Chinese Hokkien dialect. It’s a communal and convivial meal shared with friends or family. Por Kee in Tiong Bahru—a quaint residential neighbourhood—serves up some of Singapore’s best zi char. Must-try dishes include champagne pork ribs, cereal prawns, and chili crab. On a cool evening, dine outdoors and soak in the breeze with a chilled Tiger Beer in hand.
  • Mr Biryani
    126
    This homey restaurant in Little India specialises in Hyderabadi dhum biryani—a heady dish of basmati rice and meat that’s seasoned with spices and aromatics, sealed in dough, and slow-cooked. For the most traditional choice, go for lamb shank, but there are also chicken, seafood, and vegetarian options. You can also try other classic Indian dishes like butter chicken and naan.
  • Rumah Makan Minang
    112
    Nasi padang is a meal of steamed rice and cooked dishes that’s originally from Indonesia but has made its way to Singapore and Malaysia. This casual nasi padang eatery in Kampong Gelam—our Muslim Quarter—is a local favourite. Pick four to five dishes to share between two people. My favourites are the sambal goreng (a spicy stir fry), squid in ink, and curry chicken.
  • Fura
    0 reviews
    A wave of trailblazers are pushing boundaries in Singapore’s food and beverage scene, and leading the pack is the dynamic couple behind Fura: chef Christina Rasmussen and mixologist Sasha Wijidessa. Expect a menu that sparks conversation, with food that is plant-forward, and cocktails that are made from ingredients that have a low carbon footprint or are overabundant in the environment, like jellyfish.

Browse collections

Restaurants that go all out

For when you’re feeling fancy-ish

Into the wild

Nature, wildlife, and island escapes

Shop your heart out

The best finds across the city

For the love of tea

Get steeped in local culture

Architectural gems

Modern buildings that’ll wow you

Singapore Travel Guide

Travelers' pro tips or experiencing Singapore

ScherIrani

Keep an umbrella handy, you can get caught in an unexpected shower.

j100lok

If you want to drink beer cheaply - visit a local outdoor food court (hawker centre) and look at for the drinks stall - you pay a lot less than at a swanky bar.

PandanBear

Tipping is not expected in Singapore but always appreciated for good service.

Maryngshwuling

Singapore is a modern and affluent city in South-East Asia. It is great for those who love food, shopping and a warm climate.

N K

Singapore is a nature lover's paradise that combines beautiful gardens, animal parks, and many green spots and all of this in a comfortable urban setting reachable by the subway (MRT) or a bus.

Ajay Arora ( Food N Travel Diaries )

Singapore is a beautiful city with both its natural resources and man made architecture making it a lovely city for locals and tourists alike. This guide is to share my experience on the places that are scenic, good for a trek as well as portray the natural beauty of this island nation.

What is the best way to get there?

flying

Singapore Changi Airport is located at the most eastern side of the island with five main passenger terminals. The airport is well-connected to the transport network of the island and the city center is only 30 minutes drive away.

Read more about getting to Singapore here.

Do I need a visa?

If you’re visiting Singapore from overseas, check out the Immigration & Checkpoints Authorities’ website (ICA) to see if you need a visa.

When is the best time to visit?

True to its Southeast Asian location, Singapore has a hot and humid climate all year round. Even during its non-monsoon season, it rains almost every day, but the quick showers can be quite refreshing as they offer some respite from the sun. Average daily temperatures for much of the year range from 24-32°C (75-89°F).

Get around

train

Mass Rapid Transit ( MRT ) was put into service in 1987, and has since been augmented by and linked to the Light Rapid Transit. Combined, you can often get you within walking distance of most destinations. The maps on the metro system are easy to read, complete with English version, and an EZ-Link card or the NETS Flashpay Card (stored value cards), easily purchased at all MRT stations and bus interchange, makes using the MRT a snap.

taxis

Available throughout Singapore, and the prices are considered reasonable. Cabs can be hailed on the street, at taxi stands around the city or calling for pickup.

cars

Private vehicle use, including rental cars, for use in the Central Area is discouraged (at least unofficially) by the number of tolls implemented through an electronic road pricing system, which operates during peak hours. Driving in Singapore is actually easy however, thanks to well-marked road signs, which are in English.

Read more about getting around Singapore here.

On the ground

What is the timezone?

Singapore Standard Time (GMT+8)

What are the voltage/plug types?

230V at 50Hz. Plugs are type G 3 pin plugs

What is the local currency?

Singapore Dollar

Are ATMs readily accessible?

Yes

Are credit cards widely accepted?

Yes

Is it easy to find a bank?

Yes

How much do I tip?

Tipping is not customary in Singapore so you don’t have to worry about paying tip for services here. A 10% service charge is added to the bill in most restaurants instead. But a reward for excellent service, though it is not expected, would be greatly appreciated.

Are there local customs I should know?

Greetings

A handshake is the most common greeting in Singapore.

Language

English is widely spoken in Singapore, but due to its diverse population, Singaporeans have their own language: Singlish, a mix of English, Malay, Hokkien, Cantonese, and Mandarin.

Exercise

With Singapore’s sweltering midday heat, save extensive outdoor activities for early morning or late afternoon.