Singapore is a country based on a small island. This multi-cultural cosmopolitan still manages to mix old architecture with modern new buildings. It’s a great spot for hip travellers, with lots of charm packed into a small space.
In the past, this area was a warehouse district and harbour. But today, it has been upgraded to a high end neighborhood with stylish restaurants, cafes and cool shopping boutiques. As a bonus it’s close to the water and surrounded by trees. At night, the space is dotted with lights. Compared to Singapore’s two other popular spots ‘Clarke Quay’ and ‘Boat Quay’, Robertson Quay is more chilled out and calm. The colourful Art Bridge was painted 55 different shades by Pacita Abad a Filipina artist. Nearby is the Singapore Tyler Print Institute, as well as different galleries, institutes and paper mills. Keep walking and pass under a tunnel to ‘Robertson Walk’, a spot filled with restaurants and shops in a Mediterranean style.
More Info : It’s easiest to get a taxi here, or you can get a boat from Boat Quay or Clarke Quay.
Despite its short length, this street is full of museums and galleries. You can also see the ‘Freemasons’ Hall’ which might sound familiar to anyone who has read ‘The Da Vinci Code’. The building houses Sinagpore’s permanent chapter of the organisation. There is also the Singapore Philatelic Museum, a stamp museum where you can drop a letter in their special postbox and get a unique seal. Walk further and you’ll find beautiful colonial buildings. Among them is The Substation, Singapore’s first independent contemporary arts centre. A hidden secret is in the alley to the side of the building, which is decorated with beautiful graffiti works.
If you come to Singapore and miss shopping on Orchard Road, then you really haven’t seen Singapore. This road has a massive line up of great malls, and you can walk from one right into the next one (some people even walk until dark). We recommend one of the new comers, ION Orchard with its distinctive glass architecture, and more than 300 stores including restaurants and cafes. It’s a shopaholic’s paradise with every brand you could ever want.
More Info : (ionorchard.com)
There isn’t a teen in Singapore who doesn’t know Haji Lane. This small alley is packed with clothing stores that carry outstanding designs. Here, young designers compete to show off their skills and the clothes can easily rival new styles from Tokyo. What makes this lane unique is that the shops are all in pre-war buildings that have been repainted in bright colours, though a few shops might go for a clean monotone look. You can also spy some great graffiti art on the walls, a perfect spot for people who like to take photos.
More Info : Take the MRT to Bugis station and walk along Victoria Street until you reach an intersection at Raffles Hospital. Turn onto Ophir Road, then take a left to North Bridge Road, the second left is Haji Lane.
If you want to see the Chinese people of Singapore, there is no better place than Chinatown. Both sides of this road are lined with old buildings in Chinois style with bright colours and beautiful architectural details. If you’re hungry, you should definitely stop by Smith Street. It’s a centre for delicious Chinese cuisine from dim sum, fish head soup, noodle soup, and Yum Cha. At the corner of the street you’ll find a traditional coffee shop called ‘Nanyang Old Coffee’, which has contemporary decoration but serves traditional coffee brewed in a cloth bag. If you come during the night, this neighborhood also comes alive with many roadside restaurants to choose from.
More Info : Ride the MRT to Chinatown station. (chinatown.sg)
This compact shop has been in Singapore for over 40 years. It’s longevity could be due to the delicious broth, enriched with herbs and pork bone. They serve this with a pickled chilli sauce, and you can add soy sauce to taste. There is a great positive atmosphere here that is reminiscent of old-Singapore. If you get a nice table next to a local family, it’ll add to the uniquely Singaporean atmosphere.
More Info : 11 New Bridge Road #01-01, Singapore 059383 (songfa.com.sg)
It’s just wrong to visit Singapore and miss out on their chicken rice. To taste a ledgend, you have to come to this shop. Started by MR. Thian Boon Hua, who began selling chicken rice in Chinatown. People became addicted to the dipping sauce, and the fluffy rice piled like a pyramid, and the tender chicken which is served steamed or grilled. In 1983 he opened the first branch of Boon Thong Kee on Balestier Road before opening another one at up-scale River Valley Road. Aside from chicken rice, there are also Chinese food like fried vegetables, deep friend crab meat rolls, and soup.
More Info : 425 River Valley Road, Singapore 248324 (boontongkee.com.sg)