The extremely high quality of life is one of the many reasons Singapore is an expat’s haven. There is plenty to see and do, from cultural gems to high-class entertainment, days out to fine dining – perfect for you and your family, whatever your interests.
In this expat guide, we explore some of the top things to do in the city-state, perfect for making plans when you’re moving to Singapore.
There are plenty of galleries and museums to visit for a cultural fix in Singapore. The Singapore Art Museum has a wide-ranging choice of contemporary exhibitions. It is housed in a restored 19th Century mission school. It displays art from around the world, but with a special focus on Singapore and Southeast Asia.
If you are interested in seeing a convergence between modern science and art, the Art Science Museum is worth a visit. Exhibitions push boundaries, and recent displays have included high-tech interactive experiences, graffiti art and giant walking sculptures.
For people who are moving to Singapore with children, it’s hard to avoid Sentosa, aka The State of Fun. This is a manmade theme-park style island, designed to be an all-in-one family resort and a popular choice for mini breaks. It has a world-class and award-winning golf course, home of the SMBC Singapore Open, HSBC Women’s Champions and the Asian Tour. There are also three beaches, shopping malls, restaurants, hotels and spas. For the younger members of the family, there is Universal Studios Singapore, Madame Tussauds Singapore and a waterpark. You can reach Sentosa by cable car, which gives an aerial view of the Singapore city skyline.
For those who like to be active, Singapore is a great city to indulge in sports. There are classes and clubs for all types of sport from the adventurous – like dragonboating or wakeboarding – to the more relaxing – such as yoga or tennis. All sports facilities are maintained to a high standard and help to encourage an outdoor lifestyle.
There is no shortage of high-quality establishments when it comes to eating out in Singapore. For the best Japanese food in the area, Shinji by Kanesaka is a must-try. It is an extension of the Michelin-starred chef Shinji Kanesaka’s Tokyo sushi restaurant. Food is prepared by team of Japanese artisan chefs and retains the incredibly high standards of its flagship establishment.
The 1 Michelin Star Jann was listed among Asia’s top 50 restaurants in 2018, offering modern European cuisine. Book a table early to experience the incredible menu, as the intimate venue only has 40 seats, each with a stunning view of the Singapore skyline.
Proving that every possible culinary culture is catered for in Singapore is Burnt Ends, an Australian barbecue restaurant. It’s popular with expats and residents alike, and offers an eclectic but highly regarded menu. Food is cooked in a four-tonne, two-oven brick kiln designed by owner and chef Dave Pynt. If that’s not enough to convince you to try it, it also ranked as 12th in Asia’s top 50 best restaurants 2018.
Singapore has a buzzing nightlife scene. There are numerous upmarket venues, offering bespoke cocktails, glamourous surroundings and excellent service. Employees Only is a cocktail bar that focuses on hospitality and routinely wins global awards. It’s the place where aspiring bartenders want to land a job, though the coveted spots are granted only to the very best.
Lula’s Lounge is a relaxed lounge bar that offers late and live entertainment, from jazz to acoustics and even burlesque. Its aim is to be innovative and offer something different on the Singapore nightlife scene, no small ambition in the city that has everything.
If the theatre is more to your liking, the Sands Theatre at Marina Bay Sands enjoys a run of Broadway and West End classics. There are also a number of home-grown theatre companies for original productions, as well as the annual Singapore Fringe Festival.