By: Sophia Smith
Singapore is not only the gateway to Asia and a huge economic and commercial force, but it’s actually the most developed country in the world. Thanks to its clever mixture of tradition and technology, this island attracts thousands of tourists from all over the globe. Sure, groups of travelers are common, but if you’re ready for a solo adventure, there’s no better place than Singapore! This country is extremely safe, well-connected and English is spoken everywhere. And with all the sightseeing, shopping, eating and exploring, you’ll not even notice you’re alone on your trip.
So, if these adventures sound very attractive to you, here are the top five things you simply can’t skip in Singapore when traveling solo.
Check out the local hotspots
One of the best ways to get to know a destination is to check out its hotspots first. There are truly so many free things to do in Singapore, so feel free to tackle any of them. You can go museum hopping, check out libraries and visit gardens. The Singapore Botanical Garden is the perfect place for relaxed strolling when on a solo trip. If you want to spend some money, you can check out one of the (overpriced) bars and have a cocktail. For an amazing view, you can climb to the top of the museum’s roof bar and soak up the scenery.
Eat your fill at a hawker center
Singapore is known for its modern architecture, high fashion shopping and state-of-the-art transport, but there’s one thing you can’t find almost anywhere else in the world—hawker centers. These local food courts serve the most authentic Asian food for an amazing price. So, whenever you feel peckish, find a hawker and dig in. The most difficult part is choosing what to get because everything they serve looks and sounds delicious and exotic. However, you simply can’t leave Singapore without trying chicken rice, some dim sum, and wanton mee! There are other local cuisine specials—the list just goes on.
If you don’t know where to start your search for good food, Maxwell Food Center in Chinatown is one of the oldest and most popular ones. If you’re in Katong neighborhood, make sure to grab something from the Old Airport Road Hawker Center or try Makansutra Gluttons Bay when in Marina Bay District. Newton Food Centre is one of the most popular hawker centers very close to Orchard Road. You can find plenty of great Singapore hotel packages in the area, so you’ll surely get to explore the neighborhood and enjoy Newton. All in all, you’ll probably get back to your hotel with a full stomach and maybe even meet some new friends. Locals can be very friendly as long as you’re polite and respectful.
Zen out in a temple
Singapore is a melting pot of cultures, so it’s not a surprise to see many temples around the city. Most are open to the public and you can enter even if you’re a non-believer. However, make sure to be mindful that these spaces are made for worship, even though they might let you inside. Try to watch others before coming into the main hall and see what they do—it will be very helpful. If you’re lucky, you can even get a chance to meditate and get a blessing.
Spend some dough in Chinatown
If you love to shop around, imagine this: Cobbled streets, little outdoor shops, colorful spices, pretty souvenirs and plenty of things you don’t even know what they’re for. This is Chinatown! This part of the city is probably the friendliest for solo travelers. No matter if you want to shop, try some great food or just people-watch, you’ll get to do all of that in Chinatown. You’re going to have the time of your life splurging money on knick-knacks, clothing and jewelry. Shopkeepers are also a ton of fun and if you know how to bargain, you can get a pretty good price for your souvenirs and gifts for friends and family. And if you happen to be visiting during Chinese New Year, expect to have a blast—literally! Fireworks, firecrackers and sparklers are usually all over the place during this cheerful celebration.
Breathe some fresh air in Cloud Forest
Once you get tired of the sounds and smells of the big city, seek some peace and quiet in Cloud Forest. This building is a truly magical place! It’s got mountains, flowers, ferns, trees and so much more. Besides photo-perfect views of waterfalls and mountains, you’ll also get to learn about different animal and plant species. This really is a must-visit spot for all solo travelers.
Even though relatively slow, Singapore truly has everything a tourist on a solo adventure needs. From architecture to people, from concrete to nature, whatever you need, Singapore will provide. So, next time you’re looking for an interesting place to visit, make sure to put this Asian wonder at the top of your list.