As the cultural melting pot of Southeast Asia, Singapore inevitably combines some of the very best the region has to offer. From the spicy smells and vibrant flavours to be found in street-food hawkers and world-class restaurants alike, to the eclectic range of both traditional and innovative arts performances on offer in venues across the city, this is a nation with something to entice everyone.
For the culture vulture
With a plethora of scintillating art museums and sophisticated galleries, Singapore offers an arts scene to catch the eye of even the most travelled culture vulture. No place in the city illustrates the diversity of its culture more than the recently opened National Gallery, the largest visual arts venue in Singapore. Focussing on presenting the development of Singaporean and regional cultures, the gallery holds the world’s largest public collection of Southeast Asian art and tells a beautifully woven narrative of the nation’s social, economic and political history.
You’re likely to be left eager to learn more, so it’s fortunate that the city centre also houses the likes of the Asian Civilizations Museum and the fascinating Peranakan Museum, which explores Singapore’s unique Straits Chinese heritage. For something a little different, the Singapore Pinacothèque de Paris showcases master works by the likes of Rembrandt, Picasso, and Monet – all uniquely contrasted with the tribal arts of Southeast Asia.
For the fanatic foodie
One of the hardest things you’ll encounter as a foodie in Singapore is making a decision: chilli crab or chicken satay at the local hawker? Which world-class restaurant has the best wine list? Is it acceptable to order your fifth Singapore Sling in a row?
Head to the restaurant Pollen and the decision has been made for you. Nestled in the flora and fauna of the Flower Dome at The Gardens by the Bay, here you can admire stunning waterfront views whilst enjoying fresh herbs and vegetables that come straight from the in-house garden. Michelin-starred chef Jason Atherton’s menu of British cuisine fused with Asian influences offers the likes of raw Hokkaido scallops, barbecued Iberico pork, and melt-in-the-mouth Waygu beef.
For the lover of luxury
Singapore does everything by extremes, and luxury is by no means an exception to this rule. Sip a signature Singapore Sling in the luscious courtyard of the iconic Fullerton Hotel, or soak up views of the city skyline from restaurant and lounge Ce La Vi at Marina Bay Sands Hotel. Head two stories down and you can relax in the comfort of the hotel’s award-winning Banyan Tree Spa. Drawing upon time-honoured Asian therapies and a holistic approach to physical, mental and spiritual harmony, the spa’s focus celebrates human touch and uses natural herbs, spices and aromatic oils to leave you feeling relaxed and renewed.
Tom Marchant is Co-founder of Black Tomato.