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Top Singapore Attractions

The first time you visit Singapore, or any new destination, the question asked isn’t usually what attractions should be scene but what attraction to see first, what to expect, how to get there, and how much time is needed. We’ve provided tips, advice, and other information about the top tourist attractions in Singapore to help with your itinerary planning.

Clarke Quay Clarke Quay
The Arts House The Arts House
Sentosa Island Sentosa Island

Clarke Quay


Clarke Quay, once the center of commerce during the late 19th century, is now a quaint spot filled with charming shop houses and restaurants. The best time to visit this area is in the evening, when the Singapore River reflects the kaleidoscope of colors that are emitted from restaurant lights situated on either side of the river's banks. It's the perfect outdoor spot (partially sheltered by umbrellas) to sit and relax, while sipping Shiraz on your own from a nearby wine bar or munching on oven-baked pizza with friends. Getting here can be a lot of fun: simply hop on a river taxi from “Raffles Place,” one of the public train stations. Or, for budget conscious travelers, walk five minutes from the Clarke Quay train stop. Restaurants vary in cost and cuisine, but most have menus posted outside the door so it's easy to compare prices without looking awkward. Bridges at both ends of the quay make it easy to crossover to the other side and fully explore the area.

A complete breakdown of the latest activities and highlights of restaurants can be found on the website.


The Arts House

 Address No 1 Old Parliament Lane
 Hours Mon-Fri: 10am-8pm; Sat: 11am-8pm; Sun: Closed (except for events, when the box office opens 1.5 hours before show time)
 Phone (+65)-6332-6900

The Arts House is a must for arts and culture buffs. Originally built in 1827 as a private residence for merchant John Maxwell, it later became Singapore's first Court House, the Old Court House, the Assembly House and then the Parliament House. After some touch-ups, The Arts House reopened in March 2004 as Singapore's newest arts and heritage venue (and remains the country's oldest surviving government building). What's most interesting is that each area of the building is named after different parts of a house and has different kinds of activities and themes. The front corridor, for instance, houses works by the finest photographers and painters in Singapore, while the inner corridor of the ground floor retains the jail-bars from the building's Court House days but has been transformed into a film gallery with historic movie posters lining the walls.


Sentosa Island

 Hours Guest Services Hours of Operation: Mon-Sun: 9am-6:30pm
 Phone 1800-SENTOSA (736-8672)

Sentosa Island offers a little excitement for everyone, though each attraction usually costs a few Singaporean dollars. Kids, especially, will love the Butterfly Park and Insect Kingdom Museum. It features a walk-in aviary with over 2,500 fluttering butterflies, while those less averse to bugs can enjoy a thorough display with over 4,000 mounted insects. Older historian buffs might want to check out the Maritime Museum or old Fort Siloso, which offers a glimpse into the military life that stretches back to the late 1800s. The Lost Civilisation and & Ruined City is a portal to a tribal village that’s decorated with stone deities and exotic remnants of the past. It’s also one of the few areas you can explore for free, if you’re worried about ballooning your budget any further. There are other fantastic events and activities that shouldn’t be looked over, including the Magical Sentosa light and laser show, the tropically scenic yet challenging Sentosa Golf Club, Sentosa Orchid Gardens and Underwater World.

The island is easily accessible through the public bus system and only costs S$2 a person for entrance onto the island. Although the bus is more affordable, most tourists prefer to take the S$15 roundtrip glass cable car ride, which offers a breathtaking view of Singapore and the harbor. There are also ferries available to and from the island. In addition to the island’s current bus system (the light rail Sentosa Express will begin operating at the end of 2006, replacing the outdated monorail that ran from 1982 until March 2005), you can also find pushbikes available for rent by the hour, if you want the freedom to explore the island at your own pace.

For a complete list of events, activities, gardens, museums, restaurants and hotels visit the website.


Singapore Travel Guides
 Frommer's Singapore
 Lonely Planet Singapore
 Let's Go Singapore
 Fodors Singapore