Modern Singapore was founded in the 19th century thanks to political decisions, global trade and the efforts of a man known as Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles.
Malaysia was founded in 1963 and consisted of the Federation of Malaya, Singapore, Sarawak and North Borneo (now Sabah).
The federation only lasted two years. On 9th August 1965, Singapore left the alliance and became a sovereign state, The Republic of Singapore.
In the old heart of Singapore, with its numerous colonial buildings and Christian churches, one feels to travel back in time to the early 19th century when the city was a British colony. Many of these wonderful buildings are open to the public as they are now home to many museums for examples the National Gallery.
Tip: The newly renovated Raffles Hotel
The new heart of the city is undoubtedly Marina Bay with its breathtaking skyline, dominated by the Marina Bay Sands (MBS) complex, designed by star architect Moshe Safdie and opened almost ten years ago. The MBS is not only a hotel, but also contains a casino, numerous restaurants, bars and the Skypark on the surfboard-like roof that connects the three towers of the building.
Tip: Famous infinity pool on top of the building – for hotel guests only
Dempsey Hill is probably most idyllic and currently one of the trendiest quarters of Singapore. This less-known lifestyle paradise is a captivating place with new concepts in an environment of historical charm.
Tip: Peranakan* restaurant «Candlenut» with one Michelin Star
The historic district, located between the city center and Changi Airport, is known for its colorful, pretty shophouses, its rich cultural heritage and its fantastic local dishes. Katong was once full of coconut plantations and popular as a weekend destination for rich city dwellers before becoming a suburban residential area in the early 20th century. The area is only a short ten-minute drive from the city center.
Tip: Admire Peranakan* shop houses and colonial bungalows
* Peranakan: Ethni group with Chinese and Malay roots, whose culture is reflected in e.g. architecture and cuisine.
Some say that Kampong Glam is actually glam (short for glamorous). The area is a mix of history, culture and a trendy lifestyle scene. Here travelers can expect culinary delights ranging from local delicacies such as nasi padang (steamed rice with various dishes) and Malay kuih (cake) to Middle Eastern, Japanese, Swedish and even Mexican cuisine.
The colorful Haji Lane invites you to shop - a small street full of shops of different brands, original boutiques and hip bars and cafés. Alternatively, visitors can browse Arab Street or Bussorah Street for traditional products such as carpets, kebaya dresses (a traditional garment worn by Indonesian, Malay and Singaporean women on formal occasions) and handmade perfumes.
Little India is today one of Singapore's liveliest neighborhoods. Here locals and visitors can browse the colorful markets and enjoy the wide selection of fragrant spices. One of the quarter's most famous markets is the Tekka Centre, which offers visitors and locals a huge selection of fresh food in the immediate vicinity of the MRT station. The yellow-orange warehouse was renovated a few years ago and has quickly become a meeting place for gourmets looking for the best food at fair prices. The Tekka Centre stands out from the rest of the Hawker Centers in Singapore as it serves predominantly Indian dishes, including many Halal dishes.
Tip: A very special shopping experience is offered by the Mustafa Centre, a gigantic shopping centre where you can literally buy anything around the clock (it is open 24 hours a day)
This quarter offers a great cultural heritage and many delicacies. In Chinatown, historic squares are right next to more modern sights and Hindu temples and mosques are next to Chinese churches. In this quarter you will find almost everything your heart desires - fascinating temples and souvenir shops, trendy bars and cooks (Food Hawker Stalls). Those who spend the day in Chinatown should definitely make a stop at the Chinatown Complex Food Centre - a true gourmet temple!
Tiong Bahru is the oldest housing estate in Singapore. Old and new meet in this idyllic setting and form a unique symbol. There's something for everyone here: Art Deco commercial buildings, some of the best dining and lifestyle offerings, and historic places that give visitors an impression of traditional Singapore. At the Tiong Bahru Market and Food Centre, visitors will find popular local dishes and a selection of fresh food. For art lovers, a visit to the Grey Projects Gallery is a must, and sweets lovers will find plenty of sweet delicacies in the Tiong Bahru Bakery.
Singapore's diversity is also reflected in the numerous shopping possibilities. From large shopping centres to cheap shops and indie outlets, Singapore has something for everyone. Whether luxury brands or bargains, the city has a wide selection of large shopping centres selling both international and local brands. In Singapore's ethnic neighborhoods you can get authentic souvenirs, but one street that comes to mind immediately when thinking of shopping in Singapore is the 2.2 km stretch of Orchard Road.
Tip: «Design Orchard» on Orchard Road with local brands and designers only
With 1.87 million passengers (2018), Singapore is one of the most important cruise hubs in the world. The Lion City has two cruise terminals: The Singapore Cruise Centre (SCC), which accommodates small and medium-sized ships, strategically located in the Sentosa Harbour front district. The impressive new Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore (MBCCS) can accommodate the largest cruise ships of the world. The architectural landmark with innovative design offers visitors an impressive view of the skyline of the city and the Strait of Malacca.
Throughout Singapore, there are places full of pristine nature, green spaces and more diverse plant species than throughout North America. In addition to Singapore's Botanical Garden, which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2015, the futuristic Gardens by the Bay and the «urban jungle» Bukit Timah also offer a welcome natural retreat after city adventures.
A 10 km long hike along the Southern Ridges is an ideal option, partly over elevated paths and bridges - eye to eye with treetops.