The sights, restaurants, hotels, and other travel experiences on these pages are our editors' top picks—our Fodor's Choices. They're the best of their type in the area covered by the book—not to be missed and always worth your time. In the destination chapters that follow, you will find all the details.
$$$$ Jade, CDB. Fundamentally Chinese dishes get a new lease on life at this stunning restaurant in the Fullerton Hotel.
$$$$ Les Amis, Orchard. Hobnob with Singaporean tycoons, celebrities, and wannabe celebrities at this swanky French restaurant.
$$$ Nude, Orchard. Sashay over a transparent catwalk, above running water, toward a colossal aquarium. Welcome to Nude. All the food is prepared free of preserved, stored, or artificial additives.
$$$ Doc Cheng's, Colonial Singapore. How novel: an Asian fusion restaurant that actually works.
$$-$$$ Blood Café, Orchard. Hidden in the rear of an avant garde boutique, the casual café is less experimental and serves some of the island's best salads, sandwiches, and cakes.
$$-$$$ Blue Ginger, Tanjong Pagar. The popular restaurant serves the closest thing to Singaporean cuisine. Perhaps only the brave should dare order the dessert made from the infamous durian.
$$-$$$ mezza9, Orchard. Indecisive diners will appreciate mezza9's "modest" nine kitchens distributed throughout a minimalist dining area.
$$-$$$ Thanying, Tanjong Pagar. This Thai food is royally good. Make sure you save room for the dessert buffet.
$ Banana Leaf Apolo, Little India. "Spicy" is the operative word at this South Indian restaurant, which specializes in robust curries.
$ Samy's Restaurant, Holland Village. The simple banana-leaf eats at this no-frills Indian curry house are delivered by a parade of shuffling waiters, and come with sundry condiments.
$$$$ The Oriental, Singapore, Marina Square. Extraordinarily remarkable service is the thing at this elegant pyramid-shape hotel.
$$$$ Raffles Hotel, Colonial Singapore. Opened in 1887 and visited by such writers as Rudyard Kipling and Somerset Maugham, noble Raffles Hotel continues to ooze tradition and gentility today.
$$$$ The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore, Marina Square. The most dramatic luxury hotel in Marina Bay has 32 floors of unobstructed harbor and city views, and uncommonly large rooms.
$$$ Berjaya Hotel, Tanjong Pagar. The nation's first boutique hotel offers an intimate whiff of Singapore's character before it sold out to steel girders and glass.
$ RELC International Hotel, Nassim Hill. The guest rooms at this conference center-"hostel" are pretty comfortable; they even throw in breakfast.
$ Sha Villa, Orchard. Housed in what was once a ballet academy, this Peranakan-style hotel is welcoming and economical—and minutes away from Orchard Street.
Carlsberg Sky Tower. Ascend to the top of this 361-foot (110-meter) tower on Sentosa Island for a breathtaking view of Singapore.
Empress Place, CBD. This is the best place for a crash course on the fascinating Peranakan culture.
Old Parliament House, Colonial. Originally designed by George Coleman, the building is considered Singapore's oldest government building.
Singapore Botanic Gardens. It's at once an escape from the city and a peerless education in tropical flora, with black swans and awe-inspiring fan palms on the main grounds. The massive National Orchid Garden is also here.
Night Safari. Taken by tram, this safari has two major advantages over the usual zoo experience: the cover of night coaxes even the shyest animals out of hiding, and the open, natural setting means that no bars block your view.
Singapore Science Centre. A little learning never hurt anyone: aviation, nuclear science, robotics, astronomy, space, and the Internet are seldom as fascinatingly explored as they are at this center's 750 exhibits.
Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple, Little India. Intricate sculptures depicting Vishnu in his nine forms cover this lively temple, a starting point for many important Hindu festivals.
Sultan Mosque, Arab District. An imposing structure with a gold dome, minarets, and vast green-and-gold-accented prayer hall, this is the central place of worship for Singapore's Muslims.
Thian Hock Keng Temple, Chinatown. Built in 1839, this is Singapore's oldest Chinese temple.
Sports & the Outdoors
Pulau Ubin Recreation Area. Experience steaming chili crab, mangrove swamps, rare birds, and rural life on this attractive island off the northeast coast.
Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. Not your typical urban park, this small rainforest has well-marked trails and abundant wildlife.
Singapore Polo Club. The sport of kings is showcased at this historic clubhouse off Thomson Road. Indeed, Malaysian royals occasionally play on the greens.
Singapore Cricket Club. Take a walk around the green Padang and admire this structure's sensational colonial architecture.
Singapore Turf Club. Come on a live racing day to experience the pulse of Singaporean gamblers.
East Coast Sailing Centre, East Coast Parkway. At this sailing center you can wind-surf and then linger past sunset at the outdoor Pasta Fresca Italian restaurant.
The Camera Workshop, Colonial. Enthusiastic photographers educate, rather than force sales on inexperienced shoppers.
Chinatown Complex Wet Market, Chinatown. Spy and smell virtually every edible animal, seafood, and plant that makes its way onto a Singapore table. Colorful, hectic, entertaining, and wet.
Club 21, Orchard. All the best fashion designers are concentrated in this underground store linked to the Hilton Hotel.
Evolution Prehistoric Art Gallery, Colonial Singapore. If you've ever wanted to own a fossilized dinosaur footprint, this is the place for you.
Jamal Kazura Aromatics, Arab District. Have your own signature scent created and select a one-of-a-kind handblown glass bottle from Persia to store it in.
Jewel Ashley Gallery, River Valley/Clarke Quay. It's the place for elegantly displayed mod, Asian furnishings.
Ngee Ann City, Orchard. Anchored by Takashimaya, this complex sucks you in with more than 100 specialty stores and the largest bookstore in Southeast Asia.
projectshopBloodbros, Orchard. This local line is so hip, they don't even have a sign outside their store. It's streetwear for the rebels with credit cards.
Sim Lim Square, Colonial. More than a hundred stores with everything and anything that can be plugged in.
Nightlife &the Arts
Asian Civilizations Museum, CBD. The museum's two locations—one on Armenian Street and the other at Empress Place—showcase pan-Asian culture.
Anywhere, Orchard Road. This crowded, smoky club is home base for Tania, a local band, as well as for Malay rock tunes.
Chinese Theatre Circle, Chinatown. The troupe is a leader in the move to make Chinese opera more accessible to all, including non-Chinese speakers.
Crazy Elephant, Clarke Quay. Come here for a scorching blues jam any weeknight.
Harry's Quayside Cafe, Boat Quay. A jazz bastion and staple of the lively Boat Quay scene, this casual hangout also has stunning river views.
Ice Cold Beer, Orchard. This expat favorite is a beer-drinker's paradise and a great spot to rendezvous with friends—or make some new ones.
New Asia Bar, CBD. This upscale bar sits atop Singapore's highest building.
NUS Museums, West Coast. At any one time NUS displays some 1,000 objets d'art from a collection of 10,000 pieces.
Tan Swie Hian Museum, East Coast. Singapore's first private art museum has a serious collection by this Singaporean artist.
Zouk, Velvet Underground, Phuture, Robertson Quay. The hip and beautiful gather at these world-class dance clubs, where varying music styles and age groups mix effortlessly.
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