Singapore

Singapore City Guide: A melting pot in every way

A country and a city in one, Singapore is a melting pot of people. With a huge population of Chinese, but also a lot of Malay, Indian, Indonesian and European people, this place is influenced by so many cultures. This translates into the architecture, the food, the way people dress, and the way people treat each other. 

With so many ancient cultures fading in, it’s amazing to see how futuristic this city is as well. Public transport is incredibly well arranged, the buildings and skyscrapers are true pieces of art, the city is clean, and the people are absurdly friendly. Singapore could easily entertain you for a week, but even if you’re just flying through to other destinations it’s worth spending a few days in this bustling city. So tag along with us through the different neighborhoods and their different characters. 

Katong neighborhood

Although maybe not as known as all the other neighborhoods of Singapore, this part is definitely a must-see or the ideal place to stay in the city. Right in between the airport and downtown this part of Singapore is scattered with nice restaurants and bars. The neighborhood is well known for its beautiful typical Peranakan shophouses which you can find all around Koon Seng Road. If you’re looking for a typical bite to eat, stop by at Katong Laksa. It’s quite straightforward, so only one choice of Laksa with shrimps (wouldn’t want it any other way) and about three choices of bao’s. Take a plastic seat on the pavement, enjoy your meal and watch all sorts of locals passing by.

katong neighborhood peranakan houses singapore
swimmingpool rooftop hotel indigo katong singapore

Hotel Indigo Katong Singapore

If you’re looking for a place to stay, I can highly recommend Hotel Indigo Singapore Katong. It’s a beautiful boutique-style hotel with all the facilities you can wish for. Nice big and bright rooms full of color and a bathroom with quite the view. However, their rooftop pool and gym are the absolute winners here. I don’t know about you guys, but I seriously had to get adjusted to this 34 degrees all day, every day. Lounging at that pool with those incredible views was the perfect treat after a day strolling around the city.

street art mural little india singapore

Little India

The moment you enter Little India you’ll notice it. The smells, the sounds, the sights. It smells like curries everywhere, Bollywood songs play out of every single shop and the streets are filled with color. Little India is covered with beautiful Hindu temples that you can visit as long as you conform to the dressing standards (always carry a scarf with you, comes in very handy here!). Just walk around in the area and you’ll stumble upon quite a few colorful treasures. You’ll probably come across a lot of cool street art as well. Local artists have made plenty of murals influenced by their Indian roots. It really is a feast to walk around here with so much going on.

Arab Quarter

When visiting the Arab Quarter you gotta go to Haji Lane. This street (and the surrounding streets) is covered with street art while cute little cafes and shops fill the area. The contrast between the skyscrapers, the mosques, and the busy little streets in the Arab Quarter is pretty cool and so typical for Singapore.

haji lane street art arab quarter singapore
singapore china town

China Town

Normally I’m not a huge fan of all the China Towns in the world, but this one is definitely a must-see. Go straight to Food Street and spend hours here just trying everything out. At the end of Food St., there’s the well-known Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodle “hawker”. Although not really a hawker anymore, this one-star Michelin restaurant serves you $3 meals that will make you drool. If you’re done with eating, have a walk around and visit the beautiful Buddha tooth relic temple or stroll around the market selling a lot of doubtful curios.

Downtown

Downtown Singapore is a city on its own. The immense skyscrapers with the most original architecture will blow your mind. I love how nature has been integrated into city life here, with entire walls of those skyscrapers being covered in lush greens. One of the masterpieces is the ION Orchid shopping mall. The entrance alone is impressive enough to pay this mall a visit. If you do wanna shop in Singapore this whole area is your mecca. Any brand you can think of has its shop here.

skyline marina bay singapore
swimmingpool marina bay sands rooftop view singapore

Marina Bay Sands

Marina Bay Sands might be one of the most well-known landmarks of Singapore and not without reason. Not only is the hotel recognizable from almost any corner of the city due to its unique architecture, but also the swimming pool is one of a kind. Unfortunately, this is for hotel guests only who happen to pay a minimum of 285 bucks, but thanks to the hotel the “commoners” can have a taste of those stunning views as well. For only 20SGD including a drink, you can visit the bar on the roof and enjoy the incredible 360 views of Singapore. If the weather is nice, do this during sunset. I promise you it will blow you away!

One of a kind Singapore

There are not many cities like Singapore. I absolutely loved all the different influences from so many cultures around the world, blending in so perfectly. The kindness of people here was noteworthy, and so was the greenness of the city. Do expect to pay European prices or more, cause Singapore isn’t cheap like the other Southeast Asian countries. But even taken this into account, I gotta say, Singapore is a city you gotta visit at least once in your life. Be inspired and prepare for eating lots and lots of food!

Love,

Marthe

Sunset view over the Singapore skyline

Photos by: M. Barends & J. Roeland©

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