Bid farewell to the old and ring in the New Year at the spectacular Marina Bay Singapore Countdown.
Singapore may be a Little Red Dot, but we’ve got big things to offer. Here are 17 reasons why you should visit us in 2017.
1. The local food
In Singapore, we love our food. So much so that we’re always queuing for the next must-try restaurant or hawker stall on our list. Do as the locals do and join a snaking hawker queue to feast on authentic local eats, or discover local flavours where you might not expect it — find fine dining that plays on traditional tastes at Singapore’s Michelin-recognised restaurants.
2. The melting pot of cultures
Kickstart the year with Chinese New Year in January and join the crowds in their island-wide celebrations. In June, visit the annual bazaar at Geylang in the month leading up to Hari Raya Puasa, a religious holiday celebrated by Muslims where they feast after a month-long fast. If you are planning a visit towards the end of the year, don't forget to join in the revelry as Hindus celebrate the festival of lights - Deepavali in October.
3. The year-round shopping
It’s no secret that Singaporeans love to shop (and we also love our sales — visit mid-year to experience the island-wide Great Singapore Sale). For the best and latest in design, browse through the racks at the new Dover Street Market at COMO Dempsey. Besides the iconic shopping district of Orchard Road, where you can roam the massive Sephora and Uniqlo flagship outlets, shopaholics will have a field day nabbing affordable fashion pieces at Bugis Street, or exploring the unique independent boutique stores of Haji Lane.
4. The arts scene
Singapore’s growing arts culture gives the country that extra spark of character. Celebrate our artists and creatives with festivals like Art Week and the Singapore Writers Festival. Look out, too, for various local theatre shows such as Pangdemonium’s 2017 production of the Broadway hit Fun Home, or join the crowds at annual music mega events like St Jerome’s Laneway Festival, Neon Lights, and the massive electronic party that is Ultra Music Festival — there's something for everyone no matter what tune you sing to.
5. The charming neighbourhoods to explore
Step away from towering skyscrapers and busy traffic when you visit quaint, unique neighbourhoods in Singapore where tradition meets modernity, such as Chinatown, Dempsey Hill and Tiong Bahru. Look out for heritage shophouses, traditional architecture, and plenty of hipster hideaways.
6. The iconic architecture
Singapore’s skyline is as iconic as it is picturesque, peppered with unmistakable silhouettes such as the Esplanade and Marina Bay Sands. Travellers looking for a little insight into Singapore’s architectural history can join The National Gallery Singapore’s Building History Tour which walks you through the historical former Supreme Court and City Hall buildings.
7. The museums
Dedicate a peaceful afternoon to exploring Singapore’s museums. Admire Singapore’s best art collections at the Singapore Art Museum, or learn about Singapore’s history at the National Museum of Singapore. Here with the young ones? Take them to the Mint Museum of Toys for an unconventional museum experience.
8. The family-friendly attractions
Singapore’s also a travel destination for the whole family. Hit up kid-sized city KidZania where they can have a go at fun role-play games, or let them unleash their inner artist at Playeum at Gillman Barracks.
9. The theme parks
Singaporeans know how to have fun. Thrill-seekers can get their adrenaline fix at theme parks such as Universal Studios Singapore and Wild Wild Wet. For a ‘theme park’ with a unique twist, head to Haw Par Villa, where you can put your mettle to the test and brave the ‘10 Courts of Hell’ exhibit.
10. The nightlife
And we know how to party it up. Head to the bustling nightlife district of Clarke Quay where you can knock back a few pints at the pubs, bars and clubs in the area. Also, be sure to hit up annual beach parties such as ZoukOut and the Siloso Beach Party.
11. The sporting events
2017 marks the 10-year anniversary of the FORMULA ONE Singapore Grand Prix’s Marina Bay Street Circuit, so don’t miss this adrenaline-pumping spectacle. Other sporting events to look out for include the WTA Finals and the Singapore Rugby Sevens.
12. The healthy living
Strap on your running shoes and sign up for the Sundown Marathon or the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon. For something more scenic, hit up the running and walking trails island-wide, like the NParks Rain Forest tour. Yogis can also head to Soulscape Festival, where there are mass yoga sessions on the beach as the sun sets.
13. The parks
Swing by the Singapore Botanic Gardens and explore this UNESCO world heritage site on an NParks Heritage Tour. Then, stroll through Gardens by the Bay — marvel at the Cloud Forest and Flower Dome, or hop on a Garden Cruiser tram ride for a guided tour of the Gardens.
14. The wildlife
Find a peaceful respite with nature when you take a walk through MacRitchie Reservoir — you might even catch a glimpse of the native long-tailed macaque. Animal lovers can also head to wildlife conservation destinations such as the Singapore Zoo, River Safari and Night Safari.
15. The off-shore islands
Take a breather from city life and head to Sentosa for some tropical island fun. We recommend hopping on a Sentosa Segway Tour or taking a ferry to Pulau Ubin, Kusu Island or Sisters’ Island where you can reconnect with nature.
16. The transport and travel
With constantly expanding train lines (join an Art in Transit tour for a unique look at Singapore’s Mass Rapid Transit), it’s incredibly easy to get around the country. Singapore’s also a gateway to other destinations in Southeast Asia — simply hop aboard a cruise at the Singapore Cruise Centre or Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore.