This well-connected area in Singapore is one of the most popular destinations for business travel, due to its proximity to Changi Airport and excellent public transport connections to the city’s Downtown. With a pleasant range of local cafés, shops and green spaces, Balestier is one of the best places in Singapore for an authentic extended stay.
Often overlooked by the traditional Singapore area guide, Balestier is a truly authentic Singapore neighbourhood with plenty of ways to get to know the local way of life. Additionally, with recent developments, there are many new and exciting places to visit in Balestier – one of Singapore’s most interesting up-and-coming neighbourhoods.
Balestier markets are steeped in culinary history, and it is known for the origination of the traditional ‘chicken rice’ dish. With hawkers serving the dish since the early 1950s, you can guarantee that any chicken rice you purchase will be of exceptional quality in Balestier.
Historically one of the city’s main entertainment districts, Balestier is filled with historic venues with authentic architecture and décor. The Hoover Theatre was one of these entertainment destinations, and now serves as a film venue for Indian movies.
Culinary treasures, authentic architecture and beautiful green spaces make this neighbourhood what it is, and it is all of this and more that makes it a popular destination for travellers. Although the pace of life is slower in Balestier, it is effortless to connect to the rest of the city – so Orchard Road, Clarke Quay and other Singapore hotspots are only minutes away.
Bukit Timah is a popular residential area of Singapore, known for its proximity to the spectacular Singapore Botanic Gardens and the excellent transport links to the rest of the city. There are plenty of places to visit in Bukit Timah, from the lively Newton Food Centre to the Raffles town Club. Plus, with the popular Novena neighbourhood and the famous Orchard Road all easily reachable via public transport, Bukit Timah is the perfect location for an exciting stay.
Bukit Timah is essentially the nature capital of Singapore, with its Botanical Gardens and National Orchid Garden nearby. However, look beyond the typical Singapore area guide and there are plenty of other things to do in Bukit Timah including excellent shopping venues, delicious restaurants and other nearby attractions.
Bukit Timah Road is the longest road in Singapore, and so you are certain to find something exciting to do along its sidewalks. Lined with beautiful trees, Bukit Timah Road nods to the neighbourhood’s focus on nature, but alongside the trees are modern apartment blocks, hotels and exciting restaurants. Closer to the CBD but still within easy access of Bukit Timah, visitors will find the exciting shopping boulevard Orchard Road, the iconic Marina Bay and the exciting nightlife and entertainment district, Clarke Quay. Pay a visit and take in the natural beauty that Bukit Timah has to offer – or stay in the neighbourhood during your travels to truly get to know this stunning district.
The Changi area has a long history of being popular with business travellers, due to its proximity to Singapore’s international airport (Changi Airport Singapore). However, the area has far more to offer than just its airport – a number of large business parks, corporate offices and the Singapore University of Technology and Design can also be found in the Changi area – and with these popular businesses and institutions come a range of shopping centres and places to eat.
Home to a large population of professionals and powerful executives, Changi has developed a number of country clubs and golf courses for leisure or client entertainment. There are plenty of places to visit in Changi during leisure time, including the Singapore Expo – a popular exhibition and convention centre. Guests can explore the varied tastes of Singapore in the restaurants or Changi markets nearby, or enjoy time in one of the popular bars. Changi is also home to its own museum – The Changi Museum – for an informative exploration of the local area. The East Coast Park should be at the top of anybody’s list of things to do in Changi, as the views of the city from the white, sandy beach are too good to be missed.
The Changi area also offers incredibly convenient public transport links to other major Singapore neighbourhoods, including the downtown core, the Clarke Quay nightlife and entertainment district and the iconic Orchard Road shopping boulevard. Without a doubt, Changi is the perfect base for a productive and varied stay in Singapore.
The typical Singapore area guide tends to over look the quieter, residential areas of the city – but with beautiful green spaces, entertaining local attractions and excellent connections into the rest of the city, residential neighbourhoods such as Hougang are not to be overlooked. With extended stays becoming the norm and corporate travellers seeking a more authentic, local experience in a new city, Hougang is becoming a popular place to stay in Singapore.
There are plenty of things to do in Hougang, from exciting attractions to enviable restaurants and beautifully landscaped green spaces. With an up and coming foodie scene, exploring the neighbourhood meal-by-meal is the perfect way to spend your time in Singapore. From scrambled egg waffles to frog leg porridge, your taste buds will be tantalised every single day – the Hougang markets will have you covered, regardless of the time of day or what you’re craving.
Burn off those excess calories in the neighbourhood’s many parks and outdoor spaces. These green spaces are incredibly popular amongst local residents and tourists, with plenty of options for exercising, sightseeing or spending time with friends. There are plenty of places to visit in Hougang for niche activities, too, such as the trading card centre for meeting like-minded people, trading cards and playing board games.
Whilst Hougang may not be as busy and lively as the centre of Singapore, it is the perfect place to visit or to stay for a unique taste of this diverse city. Plus, with excellent public transport to the rest of the city, you are never far from the bustling downtown core.
Any Singapore area guide will feature the Marina Bay area – one of the most famous destinations in Singapore. Home to bright lights and a spectacular view, Marina Bay is located next to the Central Business District and is a popular tourist area. Whether alone or with colleagues or friends, there are plenty of places to visit in Marina Bay. From upscale restaurants and trendy bars to the iconic Marina Bay Sands hotel, there is never a dull moment in this delightful part of Singapore.
A futuristic metropolis, the Marina Bay area is truly a sight to behold. The area is home to museums, monuments and other famous attractions, and the nightlife is glossy and sophisticated. Some famous sporting events also take place in the Marina Bay area, including the Singapore F1 Grand Prix. Marina Bay boasts a state-of-the-art theatre and concert hall, with regular performances and visitors’ tours.
One of the main attractions in Marina Bay is the Sands SkyPark Observation Deck, on the 57th level. The observation deck offers sweeping views of the city by day or by night, and is the perfect location to take some photos of your time in Singapore. Another popular tourist destination is the Marina Bay Sands Casino, with its glistening Swarovski chandelier at its centre. Despite being Singapore’s cosmopolitan centre, Marina Bay also boasts a huge garden area, which combines landscaped nature and futuristic man-made structures for a fascinating experience. Each evening, the Marina Bay area hosts an award-winning light and water show, which is a must-see for any visit to the area.
This area of Singapore is known as the city’s medical hub, and has also grown in popularity due to its excellent transport links and proximity to popular shopping centres. Nestled just North of Singapore’s downtown, Novena benefits from being situated close to the best places to see in Singapore, with enough distance to offer a more peaceful and friendly local environment.
Popular amongst corporate travellers and expatriates, Novena provides excellent connections to some of Singapore’s main business hubs and corporate HQs. Offering the perfect work-life balance, Novena is also close to the popular Clarke Quay nightlife and entertainment district, the famous Orchard Road shopping boulevard and the spectacular Singapore Botanic Gardens.
There are plenty of places to visit in Novena, including the Raffles Town Club for golfing enthusiasts, the Newton Food Centre for foodies and the Velocity @ Novena Square Specialist Sports Mall. If you are a fan of fresh produce, Novena Markets include the Hokkaido Fish Market, the Balestier Market and the Pek Kio Market – so you’ll never run short of your favourite food.
Any visitor planning some serious shopping during a stay in Singapore should consider staying near the Novena area, due to its close proximity to some of the best shopping malls in Singapore. From the local United Square Mall to the famous Ion mall on Orchard Road, shopping will never fall short of expectations here. Those looking to get around quickly will find Novena MRT Station an excellent transport hub, offering connections to the main financial district in 25 minutes, the National Museum in 17 minutes and the airport an hour away.
The retail heart of Singapore, Orchard Road offers plenty for new and returning visitors to see and do during their stay. Department stores, upscale boutiques, museums and eateries, everything is available along this two-kilometer stretch of the island. From big American names like Saks Fifth Avenue or local gems in the Far East Plaza, this bustling internal metropolis of Singapore also boasts parks, historic residences, and a state-of-the-art cinema complex to be included on any itinerary.
In the interest of narrowing down, here are the top 5 attractions near Orchard Road we would recommend to any traveler:
- ION Sky Observatory
Known as one of the top attractions in Singapore, the ION Sky Observatory makes up part of the vast ION Mall, and offers stunning and sweeping views of the whole island. Take a break from browsing the designer brands and swing by the rooftop gallery for some seriously enviable photo opportunities.
- Fort Canning Park
A vast green space in the heart of Singapore, Fort Canning Park is filled with colonial artifacts and historic information, ensuring a visit can be as educational as it is relaxing. There are plenty of walking trails and unusual plants for lovers of the green outdoors, and Fort Canning is also home to Battle Box, a fascinating underground tunnel complex that dates back to the Second World War. Now a converted museum, Battle Box contains many exhibits retelling the story of The Battle of Singapore.
- The Istana
Formerly known as the Government House, Orchard Road’s regal landmark The Istana is the location of the current Singaporean President’s office. Built between 1867 and 1869 in the neo-Palladian style, it boasts beautiful surroundings and landscaping, a 105mm Japanese cannon, an old well, and a six-foot marble statue of Queen Victoria. The Istana grounds are also open annually to the public in celebration of Chinese New Year, Labour Day and National Day, with spectacular celebrations put on.
- Via Ferrata
Scale the highest mountain with Via Ferrata, the tallest indoor climbing wall in Singapore. Rising to 30 meters over five floors of Orchard Central, simply attempting to scale this wall will count towards that weekly workout. Whether a visitor is a novice at rock climbing or a seasoned pro, the instructors will all be well-trained and well-equipped to match any standard. And the panoramic views from up top are simply to fall for!
- BOUNCE Singapore
Unleash that inner child with BOUNCE Singapore, the island’s largest indoor urban playground! With 28 interconnected trampolines in an area of 24,000 square feet, children and adults alike can find hours of entertainment, and sessions run for 60 minutes, so it’s a great way of livening up and filling some free time.
Museums Near Orchard Road
Orchard Road is not just known as a shopping and financial hub however: there is also plenty of history to discover in its local museums. Whether it’s the first visit to Singapore or a long-awaited return, sometimes the best part about visiting any city is getting to know the story behind it: the social progress and industrial development that makes a place what it is today. There are a number of excellent museums in galleries near Orchard Road. Here are our top 5:
- Singapore Art Museum
With over 10,000 square meters of exhibition space, the Singapore Art Museum is a great place to dive into the history and culture of the island. Nearly 8,000 pieces of modern and contemporary art are housed here, including photography and installation pieces, and many of them reflect the diversity of life and fusion of social outlooks that make up modern-day Southeast Asia. The museum also has a small shop for browsing souvenirs, as well as a restaurant and café. Admission costs $10 for adults and $5 for concessions.
- National Museum of Singapore
One of the most prominent national monuments in the city-state, as well as the oldest museum, the National Museum of Singapore was initially a segment of the Singapore Institution’s library (1849-1887), and today is home to hundreds of exhibits spread throughout its 18,400 square meters of exhibition space. Most of the collection focuses on the rich history of Singapore, through its founding to its political and religious standings, but there are also sections that study Asia as a whole. Standard admission is $15, with $10 for concessions.
- Pop and Contemporary Fine Art Gallery
Home to some of Singapore’s best pop art and sculptures, the Pop and Contemporary Fine Art Gallery is a must-see for anyone with some time to kill near Orchard Road. Located on the third floor of Palais Renaissance, the gallery contains works from the likes of Andy Warhol, Burton Morris, and others, with much of it available to purchase. Specialists are also on-site to offer professional insight to anybody wishing to know more about the pieces.
- Peranakan Museum
A sister museum to the Asian Civilisations Museum, which is also worth a visit, the Peranakan Museum primarily specializes in Peranakan cultures in Singapore and Southeast Asia. Everything about the Peranakan way of life is covered here, from the 12-day wedding ceremonies to the arts, politics, and religions of the various settlements. Wander over to the Old Tao Nan School building to check it out: it’s guaranteed to enrich any Singapore visit.
- ArtScience Museum
The ArtScience Museum is located within the integrated resort of Marina Bay Sands in Downtown Singapore, though it is still easily accessible from Orchard Road. Comprising 21 gallery spaces, the museum strives to showcase the latest innovations in art and science, as well as chart significant technological progress over the centuries. Though there are touring exhibitions curated by other museums, permanent displays include a Kongming Lantern, a high-tech robotic fish, and the sketches for Leonard da Vinci’s Flying Machine. Spellbinding and insightful.
Shopping in Orchard Road
Known as Singapore’s prime shopping region, Orchard Road will naturally offer an incredibly broad range of shops and boutiques for visitors to explore in their downtime. Global brands and designer stores, pop-up outlets and skyscraping malls, the retail opportunities are endless, and whatever is on the list, there will always be somewhere to find it.
Here are the best places to shop in Orchard Road:
- Orchard Central Mall
With super-escalators transporting its customers up the modern building, not to mention the world’s tallest indoor climbing wall, Orchard Central Mall is surely one of the best shopping centers on Orchard Road, not to mention the newest. With a huge directory of stores and restaurants to choose from, visitors can spend hours browsing the latest gadgets and enjoying some fine local cuisine, and a 25% Off ‘Discount Passport’ is also available at the concierge, allowing shoppers to pick up a few new items at a lower price tag.
- ION Orchard
One of the top shopping destinations in Singapore, ION Orchard is also one of the most iconic sights in the area. Here, the futuristic architecture blends with brand name boutiques to create a shopper’s paradise; Singapore’s most glamorous tourists and locals come here for their retail therapy, and there are even special toilets for the bigger spenders. The ION Mall also hosts regular exhibitions and catwalk shows, which makes it well worth a visit whether buying or browsing.
- Far East Plaza
Visitors wishing to immerse themselves in the local shopping scene will find that Far East Plaza offers a lot more history and culture than the other big centers. Attracting frequent shoppers with its bespoke pieces and unknown designers, the mall also provides more bargains among its shelves, and though some of the wares may be a little extravagant for the casual tourist, it is still a great place to pick up discounted bags, gadgets and jewelry.
- Paragon Shopping Centre
The Paragon Shopping Centre is a six-story mall on Orchard Street often popular with tourists due to its easily navigable premises. Fashion stores, eateries, sports boutiques, and designer department outlets are all here, including Jimmy Choo, MUJI and Nike. And for parents, there are plenty of brand name kids clothing stores to choose from, among them Armani Junior, Petit Bateau and GUESS Kids.
- Ngee Ann City
Ngee Ann City is something of a retail landmark on Orchard Road, having provided shoppers with brand name stores, bookshops, beauty parlors, and restaurants for the last couple of decades. Spread over many stories, the mall boasts an arts and creativity section, the Takashimaya department store, and the current High Commission of New Zealand in office space on the 15th floor. In addition to this, the exterior Civic Plaza frequently hosts concerts, fashion shows, and carnivals, and has space for up to 3,000 attendees. Truly a sight worth seeing.
Food and Drink Near Orchard Road
Exploring the varied cuisine on offer is one of the many perks of visiting a new city. London’s Aldgate district is home to a variety of bars and restaurants that will showcase a great array of tastes and flavors with every mouthful. From modern British treats to continental and Oriental cuisine, the area really does deliver for all palates.
When we travel to new locations, food and drink are of the highest priority. In fact, one of the top things to do in Fitzrovia and indeed London itself is to eat out and drink out. The Fitzrovia district is home to a variety of restaurants and places to drink that will take the day and night away with every bite and sip. From modern British treats to cuisines from afar, the area does really deliver for all palates.
Here’s a list of our top 5 restaurants near Orchard Road catering to all tastes:
- Mitzo Restaurant & Bar
Mitzo breaks the mold of traditional Chinese dining by combining contemporary Cantonese cuisine with a menu of artisanal cocktails, all of which are delicious. A casual and intimate dining experience, the bar’s full-length windows and fourth-floor setting provide excellent views of the local area and let in plenty of natural light, creating an atmosphere that is both vibrant and inviting. And when night falls, Mitzo blurs the line between restaurant, cocktail bar and club, taking on the persona of a modern supper club.
Address: Level 4 Grand Park Orchard, 270 Orchard Rd, Singapore 238857
- Hua Ting Restaurant
Located within the Orchard Hotel, Hua Ting restaurant is arguably one of the best and one of the earliest-founded hotel restaurants in Singapore. Established in 1992, Hua Ting offers award-winning Cantonese food in a serene setting. New signature dishes include Chilled Marinated South African Baby Abalone with Japanese Sake, Double-boiled Chicken Soup with Sea Whelk, and Stuffed Sliced Crispy Suckling Pig with Prawn Paste and Foie Gras. Delicious!
Address: Level 2 Orchard Hotel Singapore, 442 Orchard Rd, Singapore 238879
Specializing in quality meatless cuisine, Joie (pronounced ‘joy’) boasts stunning views from its position on the rooftop garden of Orchard Central. Influenced by the new wave dining trend of Europe and Taiwan, Joie’s menu focuses on the uplifting and innovative natural fare, with all dishes prepared from the freshest fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Diners can choose a seat along with the plush leather-quilted banquette, or in one of the five private rooms (seating four to sixteen people) at no extra cost.
Address: 12-01 Orchard Central, 181 Orchard Road, Singapore 238896
- Crossroads Café
Strategically located at the busiest crossroad on Orchard Road, the Crossroads Café is the ultimate all in one dining destination. An enticing selection of signature dishes combines Eastern and Western culinary concepts, with many premium wines and draft beers on tap. We recommend the Wagyu Burger or the Seafood Char Hor Fun, both all-time local favorites, but there are plenty more indulgences to be enjoyed.
Address: 320 Orchard Rd, Singapore 238865
- Pool Grill
Pool Grill combines the best of alfresco dining with contemporary western cuisine in it’s a la carte menu. Both a peaceful resort-style oasis by day and a captivating romantic spot by night, the restaurant prioritizes taste, portion size, and presentation in all its dishes. Pool Grill’s signature Tableside Caesar Salad is a testament to this, but we’d also recommend the light and refreshing Boston Lobster Cocktail and the savory Duck, Foie Gras. Well worth a return.
Address: 320 Orchard Rd, Singapore 238865
This neighbourhood, close to the centre of Singapore, is a popular place to visit or to stay in the city. With the Singapore River to the north and the Downtown Core to the south, Outram Park is situated within easy reach of the best things to see and do in Singapore. Offering excellent transport links and convenient access to Singapore’s main business and financial hubs, Outram Park is a popular destination for business trips to the city.
Home to the Singapore General Hospital and other highly regarded medical and educational institutions, Outram Park is a well-known area for medical professionals and academics to stay. However, there are also plenty of places to visit in Outram Park, from exciting new restaurants to nightlife destinations and tourist attractions.
There are plenty of things to do in the neighbourhood – from authentic Outram Park markets to local cafés, restaurants and bars. Outram Park is also known as one of the city’s key transport destinations, as its local MRT Station (Outram Park MRT) is one of the few stations where the East West Line and the North East Line cross over. As such, visitors to the neighbourhood can reach other hotspots from their Singapore Area Guide with ease.
With some of Singapore’s key tourist attractions nearby, those wondering what to do in Outram Park will never be disappointed. Within a few minutes, visitors can reach the busy market streets of Chinatown, the Clarke Quay nightlife and entertainment district or the well-known National Museum and Singapore Art Museum.
Robertson Quay is the quieter and more laid back neighbour to popular nightlife area Clarke Quay, and is one of the best places to visit in Singapore if you are after a relaxing time near the Singapore River. One of the three largest wharfs along the Singapore River; Robertson Quay is a popular addition to any Singapore area guide.
Having recently undergone a significant redevelopment project, Robertson Quay is entirely new, improved and ready to explore. The redevelopment project includes a range of sophisticated restaurants and bars, all ideally situated by the riverside. Despite this exciting redevelopment, Robertson Quay has maintained its reputation as a quiet and laid back place to enjoy a drink, a meal or a coffee with river views.
Robertson Quay benefits from excellent transport connections, including Clarke Quay, Outram and Chinatown MRT Stations nearby. There are plenty of places to visit in Robertson Quay – with Fort Canning Park, Hong Lim Park and the Mohamed Sultan entertainment area all within easy reach. Robertson Quay markets can be found within the numerous nearby shopping centres, including Robertson Walk and Riverside Point.
There is plenty to do in Robertson Quay, from shopping to dining and nightlife. The Lau Pat Sat Market is a popular destination for hawker food, and the multi-colored Alkaff Bridge is a popular tourist attraction. Those wishing to stay in the area will also find plenty of quality accommodation nearby. Plus, if you ever tire of the relaxed pace of Robertson Quay, bustling nightlife district Clarke Quay and famous shopping avenue Orchard Road are very close by.
No Singapore area guide is complete without mention of Sentosa Island – one of the most popular tourist attractions in Singapore. Home to the Universal Studios – Singapore, the S.E.A. Aquarium and the famous Singapore Cable Car, Sentosa is a glorious island retreat off the mainland.There are plenty of places to visit on Sentosa Island, whether you are travelling solo, as a couple or with family.
If you can’t decide what to do on Sentosa Island, a great place to start is the Singapore Cable Car. Offering sweeping views across the city and the island, you can get a birdseye view of all that’s on offer. Families in particular with adore the Universal Studios – Singapore, where thrill-seekers can experience the adrenaline rush of rollercoasters and rides. If a water-based adventure is more your style, then visit the Adventure Cove Waterpark and enjoy the slides and waves.
Sentosa Island is also home to the iconic Madame Tussauds Singapore, where you can pose with hyper-realistic models of your favourite stars, including Beyoncé and footballer Fandi Ahmad. If you tire of the constant action and adventure, Sentosa Island is also home to a number of sandy beaches where you can lay down a towel and soak up the sun. The Island offers a wide range of delicious restaurants and lively bars, so stay a while and soak up the atmosphere on this exciting island. Whether its Malaysian food or Mediterranean dishes on your mind, you’ll find it on Sentosa Island.