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Thriving greenery intermingles with a modern cityscape to form Singapore, a city full of character. One of only three remaining city-states in the world, Singapore is an innovative and ever-changing melting pot of cultures. This diverse mix of cultures means that Singapore has gained a reputation as a food-lover’s paradise; here, you can find everything from aromatic Chinese dishes and vibrant Malay street food to spicy Indian curries and European-inspired dishes.
Nature features more deliberately in Singapore than in perhaps any other city. Gardens by the Bay, the crowning jewel in Singapore’s Marina Bay, are a must see for any visitor. This ultra-modern botanic garden combines beautiful forestry with awe-inspiring sculptures. Set across 64 acres, Singapore Zoo showcases some of the most amazing wildlife in the world and even offers a night safari for the brave. Singapore contains many parks that are perfect for an afternoon stroll or a picnic in the sun, including the stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site, Singapore Botanic Gardens.
Southwest of the garden you can find Dempsey Hill, a popular shopping area known for its high-end antiques, art shops and classy restaurants and bars. Shopping is almost a national pastime in Singapore, as is evidenced by the number of shopping malls found throughout the city. Orchard Road and VivoCity are busy shopping spots, while Little India and Haji Lane offer trinkets in market-style alleys. Little India is also home to one of the oldest Hindu temples in the country: Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple.
Singapore has a rich cultural heritage which combines Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist and Western values. Sri Senpaga Vinayagar temple and Loyang Tua Pek Kong temple are not only places of worship, but stunning works of architecture. Be sure to head to Chinatown to visit the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum, a beautiful Tang-style temple thought to house the tooth of Buddha. Singapore also has many museums, art galleries and cultural spaces, such as the Peranakan Museum, the National Museum of Singapore and the National Gallery of Singapore.
You can get away with walking to most places in the city or have the option to make use of Singapore’s excellent public transport system. Singapore’s fast and convenient MRT (rail) system is one of the easiest ways to get around, although it can get crowded during rush hour. Singaporean buses are comfortable, reliable, and can get you to most destinations within Singapore. Both are relatively cheap modes of transport. Affordable taxis can be found throughout the city, while private car hire is expensive and generally discouraged.
Singapore has a hot, humid climate, with average temperatures staying between 23°C and 32°C all year round. The highest rainfall occurs between November and January; for slightly drier conditions, try visiting between March and August. With fewer tourists, rates are also generally cheapest in July and August. Be aware that the Southeast Asian haze, which results from agricultural burning in Indonesia, occurs between August and October and is best avoided.
Singapore Changi Airport
Located around 19 km northeast of the city centre, Singapore Changi Airport is one of the busiest in the world. Regularly voted the best airport in the world, Changi Airport has won over 500 awards since 1981. Flights travel to Singapore Changi Airport from a number of destinations, including Paris, Tokyo, London and Auckland. There are direct flights available from Australia with services beginning at Brisbane, Perth, Sydney and Melbourne.