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With a current population of 5,822,967, Singapore’s culture is a blend of Chinese, Indian and Malay, with a little English flare. Singapore is known as the Republic of Singapore and is only a bridge crossing away from the Malaysian border. So here is the best of Singapore’s culture in one day.
Things you should know before you explore Singapore’s Culture
Although the weather in Singapore is always hot and humid, rain can also be unpredictable. The tropical showers can come fast and furious but be gone as quick as they arrive. Please note – always bring an umbrella and fan, two fundamental essentials.
Transport to explore Singapore’s Culture
Download both the grab and ComfortDelGro apps before you go, this way, you can catch a taxi or grab anywhere and at any time of the day. Catching a grab car or taxi is by far the easiest way to get around Singapore, however public transport is just as easy and just as reliable.
This will allow you to hop on and off buses and trains, which is by far the most cost-effective way to see the sites of Singapore.
Fast, reliable and affordable, and more importantly, it has air conditioning.
Buses are frequent, and it is an excellent way to see the city, they also have airconditioning but can sometimes be crowded during rush hour.
Always bring along something to protect you from the force of the airconditioning; this is because there is only one temperature setting here – freezing.
Things to remember before exploring Singapore’s Culture –
Remember to bring an umbrella, as you never know when that tropical rainstorm may hit. Also bring along a bottle of water, as it can get hot, especially if you decide the entire route yourself. Lastly, bring along something light as temperatures can drop on public transport and some air-conditioned restaurants and shopping malls.
If you are unsure whether you need a visa or not, you should check ivisa as it takes the stress out of searching the embassy information. It is a one-stop-shop for all visa enquiries.
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Accommodation for exploring Singapore’s Culture
This hostel is in an excellent location to begin your day. There is a free shuttle bus from the airport, and the staff are fluent in both English and Chinese. This hostel has dorm-style accommodation only but does have excellent onsite facilities.
Centrally located on the infamous Orchard Rd, not only known for its plethora of shopping choices, but it is an excellent place for food and beverages as well.
Start the morning at Sri Mariamman Temple (Corner of South Bridge Rd and Pagoda St), just at the beginning of Chinatown. This temple is open daily from 7 am to 12 pm and 6 pm to 9 pm.
Chinatown Street Market
Here you will find all the things you typically would expect from a Chinese market, but it is also an understanding of Singapore’s culture. This market includes such items as ornaments, gadgets, clothing and souvenirs. The market is open from 10 am to 10 pm, so if you decide to stop for lunch then head over to Boon Tat St (known as Satay St), for numerous stores selling the best satay sticks in town.
LITTLE INDIA AND SINGAPORE’S CULTURE
Getting there – If you choose to walk the route it is approximately 45 minutes, be warned if the sun is shining the temperature can sore, and you will end up wishing you could find a shower, but this route is fascinating and has some great little stops along the way. Otherwise, the MRT is pretty convenient and will only take you about 20 minutes (including walking time) as it is only two stops on the train line.
The former House of Tang Teng Niah
The former House of Tang Teng Niah is a short distance from the MRT and a great photo location. You can choose to eat here (not very expensive). However the food is okay, nothing that I would suggest is a must-do! If you want to try a little Indian, there are many places along the way that are more affordable and are of equal standard. The location is 37 Kerbau Rd; it is open to all hours (possibly even 24 hours), so you can come back anytime if you wish to.
There are many temples in Little India and around Singapore. However, this is by far the prettiest and more vibrant of them all. Although the entrance is free of charge, you will need to enter without shoes and ensure you are dressed respectfully (if you brought a cardigan then this will come in handy here). The temple is a short distance away at 141 Serangoon Rd and Opening hours are 8 am to 1230pm and 2 pm to 830pm and is a perfect example of Singapore’s Culture
Can be found at 145 Syed Alwi Rd, which is in a great location in the heart of Little India. However, before arriving at the Mustafa Center check out the many shops along the way, it does feel like you are back in India and is a true indication of Singapore’s culture. You will find everything, from clothing to jewellery along the way. Why not stop for a quick little curry to share along the way and watch while they cook your chapati on an old fashion stovetop. If you get to head there during Deepavali, then the decorations are gorgeous, bright and vibrant and worth a photo. Mustafa Center is open 24 hours so that you can come back anytime.
KAMPONG GLAM AND ITS SURROUNDINGS – Singapore’s Culture
Getting there– Public transport between these two locations is a little bit difficult and in fact, would probably take the same amount of time if you walked. If the heat is too much, then I would recommend hiring a grab car or taxi. Otherwise, the walk will take approximately 15 minutes door to door.
Malay Heritage Center
The Malay Heritage centre is located at 85 Sultan Gate. This museum is open from 10 am to 9 pm Tuesday to Sunday. Adults are $6, and children and seniors are $4 at the time this was written. For group bookings and family packages, there is a discount. Please check the website here to see what exhibitions are on at the time of your visit. It is a great way to understand the Malay culture and the long history of Malaysia and how it has evolved into Singapore’s culture.
The one minute walk to The Sultan Mosque which can be found at 3 Muscat St will have you gobsmacked. The mosque is the largest in Singapore and is beautiful to see, as it is a true indication of Singapore culture. The opening hours are Monday to Thursday 10 am– 12 pm, 2– 4 pm
Friday 2.30– 4 pm, Saturday 10 am– 12 pm, 2– 4 pm and Closed on Sunday and Public Holidays. If you wish for a guided tour, then contact [email protected] to set this up. Remember to dress appropriately and only enter from the main entrance, check the official website here, for more details.
Arab street will dazzle you, with its array of shop fronts that will transform you back to the middle east and is a showcase of Singapore culture. Whether you are looking for clothes, jewellery or even carpets, there is something here for everyone.
This cool lane is a funky lane full of little boutiques, cool wall art and great small restaurants. You can choose to eat here or somewhere closer to the mosque, depending on what you feel like eating for dinner. Haji lane on weekends and during the evening is sprawled with great little musicians along the lane, so you will be bopping along in no time. The other option is to eat close to the mosque as there are a variety of great Middle Eastern restaurants to explore Singapore’s Culture
RESTAURANTS AND BARS – Singapore’s Culture
If you would instead like to try the infamous Michelin star chicken and rice then head over to Hawker Chan formerly known as Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice Noodle, you will not be disappointed. Singapore prides itself on being a country of great restaurants. Singapore’s culture is truly a blend of many different food types. This place is open from 10 am to 8 pm but closed on Wednesdays.
If you would like an alternative to Indian, then El Cubanos has great lunch specials. Open from 12- 10 pm daily (excluding Sunday’s) this little hidden gem is an ideal alternative to a heavy Indian lunch.
Selfie Coffee is a great little pit stop for an ice-cold coffee with a selfie on the top. Yes, you heard right. Stop by, take a photo and your face will appear on your delicious ice coffee.
You can make a reservation online, for this cool bar which is open from 5 pm daily. This cool bespoke bar has a great vibe, no need to decide on a cocktail they will do it for you! The staff at Bar Stories will ask you some questions and come back with a cocktail especially for you.
Wanting more from Singapore? Then check out the best of Singapore in 1 day