35 Cool Things to See and Do in Singapore – Part 1

Hi Everyone,

Singapore to me is like a melting pot of different cultures and bottomless magical Pandora’s box all in one. Many think of  Singapore as a stopover rather than vacation destination. Guilty as charged! That is until last November when I started to scratch beneath the surface discovering what Singapore really does have to offer, (see posts here and here).

Two months later I am back. Now realising that my discoveries have only just begun.

I got to experience the most beautiful light show, go clubbing on the top of Marina Bay Sands, eat in the first ever Peranakan Michelin star restaurant, discover some local designers, learn about the local architecture and much more.

This post is part 1 of 2, outlining 35 cool things to see and do in Singapore. To make things easier and more useful for anyone planning a trip to Singapore the posts have been organised into 9 areas:

Included in Part 1
  • China Town & Telok Ayer
  • Central Downtown & Marina Bay
  • East Coast, Katong & Geyling
Included in Part 2
  • Tiong Bahru
  • Orchard Road
  • Sentosa and Southern Ridges
  • Little India
  • Dempsey Hill & Holland Village
  • The Pinacle

35 Cool Things to See and Do in Singapore – Part 1

China Town & Telok Ayer

  1. Visit the Thian Hock Keng Temple

Thian Hock Keng Temple

Once established as a trading port Singapore had an influx of migrants from China. Everyone hoping to make their fortune and then return back home to the mainland. It was a long taxing journey and the first port of call in those days would be the Thian Hock Keng Temple built in 1839. A Sea Goddess temple.

Thian Hock Keng TempleNow there is reclaimed land in front of the temple. No signs of it ever being by the sea. It does however remain the most important and oldest temple of the Hokkien people in Singapore today.


2. Stroll through China Town

See the wonderful decorations around Chinese New Year. 2018 is the year of the Dog, see your horoscope for the year here.

Watch the local men playing board games together…

Visit the Chinese Heritage Centre Museum (Adults SGD 4, Children SGD 2)

There is just a different feel to the streets at nite and if you’re lucky you’ll see a group of Monks along the way…


3. Eat at the Michelin Star  Hawker Chan centre for SGD 5!

Hawker Chan

See the chef himself preparing the food!

Hawker Chan

Hawker Chan: 78 Smith St, Singapore


4. Visit the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum

Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum

Singapore’s newest temple. The Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum (BTRTM) was founded in 2002 by Venerable Shi Fazhao. The Temple is dedicated to the Maitreya Buddha, meaning  ‘The Compassionate One’.

Shi Fazhao was given the land for 35 years by the government but no funding. So he created the temple with the Buddha in 100 different postures. Giving all Buddha worshippers  the chance to contribute a little towards the cost.


5. Eat at Coriander Leaf Grill

Coriander Leaf

A wonderful selection of modern Asian food. Coriander Leaf Grill is also renowned for it’s cooking classes .

6. Experience the open air ambiance at the Screening Room

The open-air rooftop bar is a beautiful spot for after-screening drinks offering great views. The Screening Room is also known for dinner and  movie nights, where the house chefs pair the menu with the film.

7. Experience artisan cocktails at Nutmeg & Clove

Nutmeg and Clove

Learn how to make a new version of the traditional Singaporean cocktails.  Nutmeg & Clove really is the perfect way to begin a nite out.


8. Have a nite cap at the Spiffy Dapper

You really need to look this one up (Second Floor at 73 Amoy Streetas from the street you’d never guess there’s this very special bar just up the stairs. Quite a cult place to visit with the most fascinating selection of drinks ever. Definitely not run of the mill. Make sure you have a chat with the owner George. He knows everything there is to know about gin which is how the bar started. Funky fact; the Spiffy Dapper began with a mere SGD 1’500 in George’s pocket!


Central Downtown & Marina Bay

9. Visit the Arts and Science Museum

As if the architecture alone isn’t stunning enough! Do take the time to go inside and visit at least one of the cool exhibitions.

Currently showing the future world. A fantastic interactive exhibition. Perfect for all ages.

See what’s on here.


10. Visit Gardens by the Bay at nite.

I have never seen such magical gardens before!

Also great during the day but nite time for me was even more magical. Try to make it to the daily light shows (7:45pm and 8:45 pm). More information here.


11. Go clubbing at Cé La Vi Club Lounge, Marina Bay Sands

A soaring 57 floors above ground. Soak in the magnificent view. Get to see the infamous Marina Bay Sands pool. Things are quiet before midnight. Afterwards the action begins to roll. Perfect for people watching.

Expats like to become members, starting at a mere SGD 5’000 pa will give you access to the VIP area!


12. Have a Singapore Sling at the Lantern Bar and enjoy the Marina Bay Sands Light Show

The Lantern rooftop bar situated on top of  The Fullerton Bay Hotel Singapore derives its  name from Clifford Pier’s historical Chinese name of Red Lantern Pier.  The pier was the key landing point for Singapore’s early immigrants. Red lanterns illuminated the journey along Marina Bay.

The view of Marina Bay Sands is stunning – especially when coupled with the daily light show.


13. Enjoy local delights at Lau Pa Sat Food Court

Lau pa Sat is the most prestigious of Food courts in Singapore. The decorative wrought iron frame was imported from Scotland and as Designated as world heritage site: July 6, 1973.

I’m still dreaming satay sticks – smile.


East Coast, Katong & Geyling

14. Stroll or bike along the East Coast Park

A part of Singapore largely left uncovered by tourists. The East Coast Park is such a pretty place for a morning or evening stroll. Take your children for a play in the park.  Have a lite meal or simply coffee and cake at one of the restaurants as you watch the ships in the distance.

For those early birds of you try the open air Thai Chi!


15. Visit the Intan – living Peranakan Museum

35 Cool Things to See and Do in Singapore - Part 1

The Intan is where Alvin Yapp invites people into his home (hence the name living museum), to share with them the historical culture of the Peranakan people. Peranakan meaning a fusion of Chinese and Malay cultures. Alvin has been collecting Peranakan items for 35 years now. The house is an absolute dream for any shoe or history lover.

35 Cool Things to See and Do in Singapore - Part 1

Enjoy the morning tea made by his aunts. (Note anyone a generation older than you in Singapore is considered to be an aunt or uncle out of respect.)

At SGD 60 per person not cheap but certainly a real experience.


16. Koon Seng Road – Most Colourful Houses In Singapore

35 Cool Things to See and Do in Singapore - Part 1Koon Seng Road named after Cheong Koon Seng, born in the 1800′s, who was one of the first thirteen students at Singapore’s Anglo-Chinese School.

35 Cool Things to See and Do in Singapore - Part 1

The houses were built in the 1920’s and 1930’s but it was until the early 90’s that they were to be officially marked for conservation. Today the area is every Instagrammers delight and you may even see weddings being photographed down this road.


17. Geylang Nite Fruit Market

Gelang Road is busy all day through but visit at nite to enjoy the real experience as locals drive through with their cars to buy favourite fruit and vegetables. Join in on the fun of eating Durian (not for me – sorry). I was however so taken by the lovely packaging of oranges in honour of Chinese New Year.


So much to see and do in Singapore and the 35 cool items selection is a result of my 4 day visit in collaboration with the Singapore Tourist Board.

Hope you enjoyed part 1. Stay tuned for part 2 coming soon!

Just to recap:
Included in Part 1
  • China Town & Telok Ayer
  • Central Downtown & Marina Bay
  • East Coast, Katong & Geyling
Included in Part 2
  • Tiong Bahru
  • Orchard Road
  • Sentosa and Southern Ridges
  • Little India
  • Dempsey Hill & Holland Village
  • The Pinacle

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Hi! I’m Yvonne, a 40 something (wink) Kiwi, living in Zurich. I love fashion, travel, shopping and food – believing chocolate will cure almost anything!

  1. wou it makes me on to go to Singapore right away and have some holiday there for at least one week it looks so interesting and different from when we went the first time to Singapore thank you for all those lovely photos

  2. 122 Middle RoadMercure Singapore BugisSingapore 188973Daily: 11am – 10pmNearest Station: Bugis *Opens on all 3 days of Chinese New Year SPICE BRASSERIE Spice Brasserie at PARKROYAL On Kitchener Road celebrates the arrival of the Lunar New Year with an array of mouth-watering auspicious delights where you can expect Chinese New Year classics as well as Nyonya flavours all in one place. Known for their crabs, Executive Chef Kelvin Chuah and his team have created an extensive line-up with a Peranakan twist that features the  Lucky Fortune Set which will be served right at your table for dinner buffet on 15, 16 and 17 February 2018.

  3. Hi dear Yvonne I just went to Singapore with you and love every bit I wish that travel will be soon again so that we can go there and have a ball in seeing those places all over again thank you very much

  4. Wow, this comprehensive guide to Singapore is amazing! FUNKYFORTY has done an incredible job outlining 35 cool things to see and do in Singapore, covering a wide range of attractions and experiences. From exploring China Town and Telok Ayer to enjoying the vibrant nightlife at Marina Bay, there’s something for everyone. I can’t wait to read Part 2 and discover even more hidden gems in this fascinating city-state!

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