Ornate red temple in middle of square in Chinatown, Singapore

It's time to turn your ideas into a tailor-made trip to Singapore

One of the world’s great stopovers, Singapore is often the bridesmaid and rarely the bride — but we’re here to tell you this tiny island nation is a destination in its own right.

To be honest, we’d fly to Singapore just for the food. This is a city where even the hawker stalls have Michelin stars (really!) and where you can just as easily find a vegan probiotic acai bowl or a gourmet burger as Hainanese chicken rice and fish-head curry. But food is just the beginning.

Dig beyond Singapore’s towering skyscrapers, luxurious colonial buildings and modern hipster scene and you’ll find a mish-mash of cultural influences bubbling away like a steaming pot of laksa. There’s Little India, festooned with flower garlands and incense. There’s Malay-Muslim Kampong Glam, where old men sip butter coffee beneath golden-domed mosques. Then there’s Chinatown, where cobblers still fix shoes in the square and pastry shops sell moon cakes made to an age-old recipe.

That said, make no mistake: Singapore is not the place to come for “traditional Asia”. It’s the place to come for non-stop events (from F1 to music festivals), for nights out drinking in trendy cocktail bars, for skyscrapers topped with infinity pools, and for incredible gardens that turn into twinkling wonderlands after dark. Singapore is Asia flying headlong into the future, and as far as we’re concerned, it’s marvellous.

Our favourite routes

Recommendations from our experts for a few days in and around Singapore

Our favourite guided tours and excursions

Did you know that Singapore has one of the most exciting night safaris in the world? Or that is Botanic Gardens are so amazing they’re now a World Heritage Site? Encompassing everything from bike rides to bumboat tours, these are our favourite ways to delve beyond Singapore’s sleek facade and get to know the fascinating and complicated country beneath.

Colourful windows of Old Hill Street police station, Singapore

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The InsideAsia team in Bristol

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