With its futuristic skyscrapers, world-class restaurant and bar scene and cutting-edge tourist attractions, Singapore has staked its claim as one of the most forward-looking cities in Asia and a premier destination for tourists from all over the world. But far from being a soulless concrete jungle, the city-state is also chock-full of sights, sounds and – perhaps most importantly – tastes that harken back to its storied past and reflect its present status as a unique multicultural metropolis. With its stellar public transportation network, compact size and relative walkability, you’ll be able to dine on cheap and delicious food whipped up by a third-generation hawker, explore numerous cultural sites via a heritage trail, pick up souvenirs crafted by a local artisan and wander through a high-tech indoor garden exhibition – all before lunch. Just remember to slap on the sunscreen and pack an umbrella, portable fan or extra shirt to combat the year-round heat and humidity.
Nature lovers will have a field day at the first and only tropical garden to be designated a Unesco World Heritage Site. Be sure to stop by the National Orchid Garden, which displays over 1,000 species and 2,000 hybrids of Singapore’s national flower; as well as the Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden, which is the first garden in Asia dedicated to children and includes a farm, an orchard and a play area.