Gum-free, clutter- free, well organized and a lot of expats. That’s how a lot of people know Singapore. If you litter (which of course we never ever do) you’ll go to jail for life. Ok, not really but you get the picture. ‘So what can you do in Singapore, except enjoying good food?’ people asked me. When bringing a big bag of cash Singapore can be a shopper’s paradise. Foodies indeed can eat their hearts out. But what about the hipster factor? Just how trendy is Singapore? Of course I did some research, lets go!
Shopping Malls galore! Singapore must have the most mall per square meter if you ask me. And each of those malls are so huge that you can easily spend a whole day in there without knowing what’s going on outside. Without any effort you walk from one mall to the other via the underground tunnels and the food courts are really good so who needs fresh air? Couldn’t find that bag you wanted at the Chanel boutique? Don’t worry, just check out one of the many other stores, there are enough to be found on Orchard road. Prada, Louis Vuitton, Miu Miu, Tods? Max out that credit card or put it on your imaginary wish list. Fave malls: Somerset, Paragon and Ion mall. (MRT station: Orchard)
Indonesian, Japanese, Szechuan, Indian, you name it, Singapore has got it all! Sometimes it’s hard to choose a restaurant because there are so many. But unlike the foodcourts in the US (which are usually boring and not of high quality), the food courts in Singapore are a whole different story. One of the better known food courts is Lau Pa Sat. Right in the middle of the financial heart of the city (yes, that means many men in suit during lunch hours, hubba, hubba) and so many kitchens to choose from that it can be overwhelming. My personal fave food hang out: China town. A lot smaller than Lau Pa Sat, so way cozier. The yummiest chicken satay is served here and if you are a veggie there is even a nice organic/vegetarian place here as well. (MRT station Raffles Place for Lau Pa Sat and MRT Chinatown for…yes, Chinatown)
Hanging out in a mall all day can be a bit lame and maybe a good option for when it’s raining but Singapore also has some nice neighborhoods worth paying a visit. Haji lane, a little colorful street in the Kampong Glam area should not to be missed. You’ll find some small boutiques, concept stores, coffee places (#Selfie Coffee, cute) and a Spanish tapas bar. My personal fave is, concept store Mondays Off for cute stationary and jewelry. Parallel to Haji Lane you’ll find Arab Street. There are mostly fabric stores to be found there but also some vintage stores and hostels. (MRT station: Bugis)
Another trendy neighborhood is Tiong Bahru. Still very up-and-coming with a nice mixture of old and authentic and trendy places. New concept stores and coffee places are being alternated with old Chinese temples and ditto bars. The street names you need to remember are, Eng Hoon street and Yong Siak street. (MRT, Tiong Bahru)
For the best coffee and tarts (love that word) you’ll want to go to Drips Bakery Café. Also a must-see and visit is Maissone, a homeware store by New Zealand native and globetrotter Michelle. She travels all over the world, from Morocco to other parts of Africa to buy special goods for her store.
Yoga is still very on trend so of course there is a yoga studio to be found here. Also you’ll run into a nice bookstore called Books, Actually. If you are craving a cupcake (like myself) go get one at Plain Vanilla Bakery. Love design? Have a peek in the store Strangelets.
Big Buddha! This gentleman was taking a breather after a big lunch and minding his own business but I couldn’t help myself. ‘Picture? Yes?’
Sounds nerdy but if you want to get out of the busy streets and take a breather the Singapore Botanical Garden is the place to do just that. Spending an afternoon in this city garden, which for every good reason is on the Unesco World Heritage List, is highly recommended. Don’t forget to visit the Healing Garden and find out which herb can be used for what ailment. Free entry, unless you want to visit the Orchid glasshouse. (Take bus number 123 from Orchard Road)
You haven’t visited Singapore unless you’ve had a drink at the Marina Bay Sands rooftop bar. Even better, take a dip into the infinity pool with the best view ever. Cé La Vi is also the bar to see and be seen at in the evening.
Till very soon, Singapura!