Why can't we see stars in Singapore
9 real insider tips for Singapore
Singapore has so much more to offer than just a breathtaking skyline and the famous neighborhoods like Chinatown and Little India. In this article, we'll show you our insider tips for Singapore, which will lead you to exciting places that not every traveler comes to.
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Singapore is just great. We fell head over heels in love with Singapore and can't get enough of the city.
We were really skeptical before our first visit to the city together. But it really only took a few hours and Singapore grabbed us!
If you go to Singapore, be sure to plan a little more time for the city.
Many travelers only look at the typical sights in Singapore, but there is so much more to discover.
Here we show you our insider tips for Singapore and take you to exciting places that not every tourist visits.
Read all of our articles on Singapore
# 1 Tiong Bahru
Tiong Bahru is one of our absolute favorite areas in Singapore, but it is still an insider tip among travelers.
Even the first impression of the district is very different from any other area in Singapore. The district was planned on the drawing board in the 1920s and countless apartment blocks were built here until the 1940s.
The best way to describe the architectural style is Art Deco. Unlike the rest of Singapore, where skyscrapers are soaring, most of the buildings in Tiong Bahru are only about 5 stories tall. This is not the only reason why it is much quieter and more contemplative here than in many other areas of Singapore.
In the streets you will find many nice, small cafés, unusual boutiques and individual shops. Tiong Bahru is the perfect place to slow down or for a relaxing Sunday stroll.
We particularly liked a few places and of course we don't want to withhold them from you:
If you enjoy going to bookstores, then you will love Books Actually. Every book in this store was apparently chosen with great care and love, and we would have loved to do a bulk purchase straight away.
9 Yong Siak Street
Sun-Mon: 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Tue-Sat: 10:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Plain Vanilla Bakery
Just a few meters from Books Actually you will find the great Plain Vanilla Bakery. The baking workshop is completely open and you can watch how the many delicious cupcakes and other pastries are made. But it's even better if you just buy something and try it.
1D Yong Siak Street
Mon-Sat: 10:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Sun: 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Tiong Bahru Market
Few tourists get lost in the market hall of Tiong Bahru. On the ground floor you can experience the authentic market life. There are mainly vegetables, meat and fish here.
On the upper floor you will find a great food court, so make sure you bring something hungry with you. We tried two of the most famous booths there:
Tiong Bahru Fried Kway Teow: Stand number 2-11 sells one of the classic Singaporean dishes: Kway Teow. These are fried rice noodles that are mixed with soy sauce, many spices, mussels, sausage and meat. Delicious!
Jian Bo - Tion Bahru Shui Kueh: Here there is Shui Kueh, steamed rice cakes that are eaten with a hearty dip. That wasn't our taste, but you can already try it.
Daily 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. - the opening times of the individual stands may vary.
How to Get to Tiong Bahru
With the East-West-Line you go to the station Tiong Bahru. From there it is a 5 to 10 minute walk to Tiong Bahru Market. Around the market are the streets with the typical buildings and small shops.
# 2 Katong and Joo Chiat
The two neighboring districts of Katong and Joo Chiat in the south-east of Singapore are also very hip and not yet well known to tourists.
Here tradition meets modernity. In addition to hip restaurants and boutiques, there are numerous shops here that sell traditional clothes and shoes.
Also worth seeing are the colorful Peranakan houses along Joo Chiat Road and its side streets. The traditional buildings are some of the most desirable and expensive residential buildings in Singapore today.
How to get to Joo Chiat
The closest metro station is Paya Lebar. You can get there with the CC-Line and the East-West-Line. From there it is only a few hundred meters to Joo Chiat Road, which you can then simply walk south along.
# 3 Southern Ridges
Singapore is one of the greenest cities that we know in Asia. Between all the skyscrapers there are always green spaces and when you drive something out of the city, you suddenly find yourself in the middle of the forest.
If you are in the mood for some rest and relaxation, then you should make your way to the Southern Ridges. Locals like to come here to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, while the Southern Ridges are still an insider tip for travelers.
The Southern Ridges encompass several parks and nature reserves, which are connected by a 10 kilometer long path. These include Mount Faber Park, Telok Blangah Hill Park, HortPark, Kent Ridge Park, and the Labrador Nature Reserve.
A popular photo opportunity in the Southern Ridges is the Henderson Wave, a wave-shaped pedestrian bridge that connects Mount Faber Park with Telok Blangah Hill Park.
How to get to the Southern Ridges
The Southern Ridges span an area several square kilometers. The Southern Ridges are connected to the Metro via the CC-Line.
Depending on which part of the Southern Ridges you want to visit, you get off at a different station. Here you will find an overview of which station is the closest for which part of the Southern Ridges.
- Mount Faber: Harbor Front
- Henderson Wave and Telok Blangah Hill Park: Telok Blangah
- Hort Park: Labrador Park
- Kent Ridge Park: Pasir Panjang or Kent Ridge
# 4 Gillman Barracks
The Gillman Barracks were originally built as barracks for the British in the 1930s. Today the colonial buildings mainly attract art lovers.
In the former barracks there are now numerous galleries, which mainly show modern art from Asia, but also from other parts of the world.
You hardly ever see tourists here, so the Gillman Barracks are definitely an insider tip for art lovers.
Tue-Sun: 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
The opening times of the individual galleries may vary slightly.
This is how you get to the Gillman Barracks
The Gillman Barracks are located very close to the Souther Ridges, so you can perfectly combine a visit to these two insider tips.
The closest metro station to Gillman Barracks is Labrador Park
# 5 Haw Par Villa
Haw Par Villa is a park full of characters from Chinese mythology. The park was built in 1937 by one of the two inventors of the tiger balm as a gift for his brother.
Haw Par Villa is one of the bizarre sights in Singapore and a real insider tip. We were actually all alone there. Only on weekends should it get crowded there, because then many Chinese families go to the park with their children.
The highlight of the park are the 10 Courts of Hell, which depict the various torture methods that sinners can expect after their death in Hell. After the visit, we decided to always be good in the future. But we were already before.
This is how you get to the Haw Par Villa
The Haw Par Villa metro station on the CC line is right in front of the park entrance. A visit can also be combined with the Southern Ridges and the Gillman Barracks, as both are not far away.
262 Pasir Panjang Road
Daily 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Ten Courts of Hell until 6 p.m.
# 6 Dempsey Hill and Holland Village
Holland Village and Dempsey Hill are particularly popular areas with expats and young, wealthier locals.
Holland Village is home to many trendy restaurants and bars. The name has nothing to do with Holland, by the way, but goes back to the architect Hugh Holland.
Dempsey Hill is best known for its antique and design shops. There are outrageously expensive shops here, but a stroll through the district is also fun if you don't buy anything.
How to Get to Holland Village and Dempsey Hill
You can reach Holland Village on the EW and CC metro lines via Buona Vista station.
Dempsey Hill is unfortunately not directly connected to the metro, but can be easily reached by bus from Holland Village. Bus routes 5, 75 and 106 will get you from Holland Village Station to the Dempsey Club House stop in just 5 minutes.
# 7 Old Hill Street Police Station
We discovered the Old Hill Street Police Station by accident. On a large, busy street, we suddenly saw a house with wonderful, brightly colored windows: the Old Hill Police Station.
There are a total of 927 brightly colored windows that adorn the historic building - definitely one of our favorite photo opportunities in Singapore!
How to get to the Old Hill Police Station
The Old Hill Street Police Station is located directly on Fort Canning Park, just a few minutes' walk from Clarke Quay. The closest metro stations are Clarke Quay (NE) and City Hall (NS and EW).
# 8 The best view in Singapore
In total, we visited eight viewpoints in Singapore and one very clear favorite: the LeVeL33.
The LeVeL33 is still an insider tip. Most visitors go to the Marina Bay Sands or the famous 1-Altitude Skybar. But we liked the view from LeVeL33 best, because from there you have a completely different view of Marina Bay and Singapore.
It also has probably the tastiest beer in all of Singapore, which is actually brewed right up there.
8 Marina Boulevard 33-01
Daily 11:30 a.m. to 12:00 a.m.
Fri and Sat: until 2:00 a.m.
Free (drinks from SGD 10)
By the way, we have summarized all information about the best viewpoints in Singapore in a detailed article:
The 9 best viewpoints in Singapore
# 9 The best food in Singapore
Singapore and Essen - they just go together. Hardly any other city has as many different and delicious cuisines as Singapore.
We tried a lot of delicious dishes in Singapore. We have been to hawker centers and restaurants and in this article we want to share our best tips with you in a short and compact way.
Of course, we have also written a detailed article on the subject of food, food courts and restaurants:
Eating Out in Singapore - The Best Hawker Centers and Restaurants
But here are our little insider tips for you in short:
- Best Dim Sum: Din Tai Fung
- Best Indian food: Rasu’s Mama Curry
- Best Hawker Center: Tiong Bahru Market
- Coolest Hawker Center: Timbre +
- Cheapest beer: SideWalk Foodcourt (5.50 SGD for a large Tiger Beer)
- Cheapest Michelin Star Cuisine: Liao Fan (SGD 2.50 for the award-winning dish)
Also read our article on our favorite Singapore restaurants and food courts.
Even more insider tips
These were our insider tips for Singapore. If you want to experience the city a little away from the typical tourist routes, you will definitely have a few days to do with these tips.
Is that not enough for you? We found a great book about Singapore in the wonderful Books Actually bookstore: the Lost Guide Singapore. In this book, the author Anna Chittenden presents her very personal insider tips for Singapore, mostly restaurants and small shops.
So if you are looking for even more insider tips for Singapore, then this book is definitely for you. However, the book is only available in English.
To the Lost Guide Singapore
Do you also have a tip for Singapore? Then we look forward to your comment. Because we will definitely not have been to Singapore for the last time and we are always happy to see new places to discover.
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