Lonely Planet recently named Singapore its top country to visit in 2015. The nation, which gained its independence from Britain in 1965, will be celebrating its Golden Jubilee, making it the perfect time to get that bit extra out of your travel experience. The city will be full of celebrations and specials marking this important anniversary, but in case you’re not convinced, here are five reasons you should visit this burgeoning urban paradise.
Singapore is known for its multiculturalism. Its population hails from Malaysia, India and China and one of the largest expat communities in the world. This mix of cultures results in an delicious range of eateries, from market-style street food, to cosmopolitan brunches in hip cafes. You must try laksa in Katong or the Tian Tian Hainanese chicken and rice in the Maxwell Road Hawker Centre.
Hip and trendy
This young city is at the forefront of trendy bar and nightlife experiences, with a number of alternative neighbourhoods to explore. Plan a day as a local hipster with brunch and boutique shopping in trendy Tiong Bahru, then make your way to Katong for a night out. There are also plenty of arty spaces in Singapore but a brand new National Gallery will open in 2015, set to house unique and historic art works from across the continent.
Singapore has a breadth of tourist attractions to please the whole family. If you’re travelling with kids – or even if you’re not – there are plenty of fun tourist sites to keep you occupied. Take a trip to Sentosa Island and Universal Studios, wander around Merlion Park, visit the world-famous Singapore Zoo, or spend the day at Marina Bay. If you’re into sports, Singapore is one of the oldests hosts of Formula 1 Grand Prix events and, in 2015, will also host the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Games.
Singapore is the cleanest city in the world. It is notorious for its strict laws on pollution, like being in possession of chewing gum (illegal) and the abundance of public, open-air no smoking zones. However, this small sacrifice means the rest of us can enjoy an eco-friendly experience of Singapore and take in its pristine green spaces and gardens.
The high life
Be forewarned that Singapore is one of the most expensive cities in the world. However, the price tag comes with the lifestyle. There are great luxury hotels and resorts, as well as shopping and dining opportunities. Stay in style at the ship-shaped Marina Bay Sands or historic Raffles Hotel, or try one of the many hot new editions, including the Sofitel So Singapore or the Patina Capitol Singapore, set to open mid-2015.
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