Saturated with greenery, heritage and architecture, our garden city entices the ardent explorer with countless adventures. To uncover the best historic buildings that Singapore preserves, simply follow this checklist and become your own tour guide.
Singapore has four nature reserves and 20 nature areas
Did you know that Singapore is a vital pit stop for migratory birds? One can uncover a plethora of flora and fauna in protected areas like Sungei Buloh, MacRitchie Reservoir, Labrador Park, the Southern Ridges, and Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, all of which are accessible via public transport. Much of Singapore’s nature still exists thanks to Subaraj Rajathurai’s fervent campaigning. Book a tour with Subaraj via his website to enjoy informative tours through Singapore’s various forests and wetlands.
Our country actually comprises of 63 islands
Singapore has grown by more than 25% from its original size and continues to grow—many of our attractions such as Gardens by the Bay, Marina Bay Sands and the Singapore Flyer sit on reclaimed land that was once sea. Go ahead and explore undisturbed environments on islands like Kusu Island, Sisters’ Island and St John’s Island, which are accessible by ferry and good for camping, picnics and snorkelling. Pulau Ubin, the most popular of all, has thriving wetlands, a majestic quarry and tropical wildlife.
Walk through the ancient village of Kampong Lorong Buangkok
You won’t be disappointed by a trip to this rustic village, which is accessible by bus and Mass Rapid Transit (MRT). Walk in the shoes of Singapore’s pioneer generation, who populated these villages before they made way for high-rise buildings in the 1970s and 80s.
Singapore’s narrowest carriageway is Haji Lane
A lane that once housed Muslim pilgrims on the way to Mecca, Haji Lane later functioned as warehouses for businesses. Today, this lively street is home to indie boutiques, bars, restaurants and photogenic murals that are Instagram icons in their own right. Discover the international spread of draft beers of Good luck Beerhouse or join in the music-making on Blu Jaz Café’s open mic nights.
Old Parliament House is Singapore’s oldest building
You can indulge in both performance art and live music at the different stages and bars within The Arts House, which sits beside the restored Victoria Theatre & Victoria Concert Hall. This two-century-old building used to seat Singapore’s Parliament. The bronze elephant at the front of The Arts House was a gift from King Rama V of Siam, which marked the first time a Siamese king had visited a foreign nation.
The National Museum is Singapore’s oldest museum
What started as a section of the Singapore Institution’s library, the Neo-Palladian and Renaissance-style National Museum of Singapore went through several expansions since it was founded in 1849. If you enjoyed learning about the rich history of our nation at the National Museum, head over to Singapore’s other three national museums for more educational fun.
Singapore’s oldest mosque will soon turn 200 years old
Masjid Omar Kampong Melaka was founded by Arab merchant Syed Omar bin Ali Aljunied in 1820 in Kampong Melaka, the neighbourhood that Sir Stamford Raffles had designated for Muslims. After admiring its intricate reliefs, learn more about Singapore’s other religions by visiting Thian Hock Keng, Singapore’s oldest Hokkien temple; Sri Mariamman, Singapore’s oldest Hindu temple; and the Armenian Church, our oldest church. These places of worship sprung up in the 1820s and 30s shortly after the arrival of Stamford Raffles.
Our Night Safari is the world’s first night zoo
Take the tram alongside the Night Safari’s free-roaming beasts—they come alive at night and you are invited to feed some of them. Enjoy more animal experiences at The Animal Resort in nearby Seletar, where you can help feed its animals or watch dogs interact at its pet café.