It’s hard to believe now, but there was a time when flights to Singapore were nothing more than a stopover on the way to some other destination. Nothing could be further from the truth today, and this impressive city has reinvented itself as a buzzing metropolis and one of the most exciting destinations in Asia.
Singapore is home to awe-inspiring architectural feats such as the Marina Bay Sands Hotel, the city’s iconic centrepiece holding the highest infinity pool in the world. For all its modernity however, the city has retained plenty of natural beauty, from urban oases such as the Gardens by the Bay and the Singapore Botanic Gardens, to the wildlife at Singapore Zoo. Widely regarded as one of the best zoos in the world, the animals here thrive in naturalistic enclosures rather than cages. Plus, in the midst of it all you can still find reminders of the past, such as the teahouses and ancient temples.
Then again, for a lot of travellers, visiting Singapore isn't so much about what you get to see as what you get to eat. This foodie destination has one of the most diverse and fascinating culinary scenes in the world – Malay, Indian, Chinese, European and Middle Eastern delicacies will all vie for your attention. There are restaurants and cafes in Singapore to suit all budgets, whether you're celebrating a special occasion in Michelin-starred Jaan or slurping on a bowl of cheap laksa noodles from a stall at the Maxwell Road Hawker Centre.
Once you've filled up, there are enough late night lounges and nightlife venues to keep you entertained well into the early hours. And when you do want to relax and recuperate, Singapore's hotel offering is truly impressive. Many of its accommodation options are destinations in themselves, such as the historic Raffles Singapore, where Alfred Hitchcock and Ernest Hemingway once hung out (albeit not together). As well as the large luxury chains, there are also midrange boutique hotels and backpacker hostels to accommodate those on more modest budgets.