Insta-worthy spots to check out in Singapore

25 January 2020

You may be forgiven for thinking there’s not much to do on our little island except to shop, eat, and maybe watch a movie or two over the weekend. But venture out a little, and you may be pleasantly surprised at the numerous options that are just waiting for you. Some of these are still relatively untouched, and undiscovered.

There is no lack of iconic landmarks in Singapore. Not when you’ve got the Marina Bay Sands towering around the Bay Area, Gardens by the Bay with its futuristic Super Trees, the Merlion (but of course), and the Singapore Flyer just to name a few.

National Gallery Singapore
Formed by the historic City Hall and Supreme Court buildings in the Civic District, the National Gallery Singapore features an imposing Palladian façade, and equally grand interiors. Housing the world’s largest Southeast Asian art collection, the gallery itself is a work of art with many postcard-perfect venues such as the Padang and Coleman Decks, the Rotunda Dome, and Supreme Court Foyer.

Marina Barrage
Singapore’s first reservoir in the city was first built for practical reasons – to increase Singapore’s water catchment areas. But now, thanks to stunning views and a breezy climate, the barrage has become a hotspot for gatherings, kite-flying activities, and picnics.

Singapore Botanic Gardens
The 82-hectare tropical gardens, located at the fringe of Orchard Road, is home to a myriad of tropical flora and fauna that was amassed since its opening in 1859. Named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2015, the Gardens has welcomed numerous dignitaries, celebrities, and royalty throughout its storied history.

MacRitchie Tree Top Walk
The 250m-long suspension bridge, which measures at a height of 25m at its highest point, is located between the two highest points in the Central Catchment Nature Reserve. There, you’ll be at eye level with the rainforest canopy, allowing you an aerial view of the lush surroundings including some fauna native to the area.

Wheeler’s Estate @ Seletar Aerospace Park
Housed in a two-storey colonial bungalow, the restaurant dishes out oodles of rustic charm – from its camper van in its yard, to its alfresco café, as well as lawn area, where fairy lights dot the area.

Punggol East Container Park
Channeling hipster-cool vibes, the dining enclave comprises seven container restaurants, each serving a different cuisine. Beyond the food and the easy vibes, each restaurant also supports a social cause – mental illnesses, low-income families, ex-offenders, single mothers, and so on – which makes it even more meaningful to dine there.

Coney Island
Head back in time amidst the undeveloped landscape at Coney Island! Formerly known as Pulau Serangoon, the offshore island, located near Punggol, is perfect for trails, outdoor adventures, and of course, photography sessions. While you’re there, don’t miss out on visiting the Punggol Waterway, and Gallop Stables, if you have time!

People’s Park Complex
Once seen as an old decrepit building for Chinese New Year shopping, the building’s rooftop, which can be accessed on level five, has been given new life thanks to Lepark, and the numerous Instagram opportunities afforded there. With its spacious grounds and breathtaking sights of the surrounding buildings in Chinatown, you’ll be hard-pressed to find bad angles.

Joo Chiat/Katong
For a piece of Peranakan flavoured-heritage in Singapore, visit the pastel-hued shophouses in the neighbourhood of Joo Chiat and Katong. Most of the abodes there still retain the signature Peranakan look – vibrant and intricate floral-like tiles and carvings.

Lazarus Island
Head to the Southern island for pristine beaches, white sandy shores, tufts of overgrown grass, and views of a fiery sunset (if the weather holds). Linked to St. John’s Island by bridge, head there by boat via the Marina South Pier, or hire a private yacht

Cast Iron Bridge at Bukit Timah
The former KTM (Keratapi Tanah Melayu) Railway tracks remain a landmark at Bukit Timah despite its disuse since 2011. Connecting Dunearn Road and Bukit Timah Road, the tracks are a bridge to the good old days in Singapore. Since its closure, the bridge, with its unique architectural structure and heritage, has been popular as a site for photoshoots.

Chinese & Japanese Gardens
Modelled after the art of Chinese gardening and Muramachi and Azuchi-Momoyama periods in Japan respectively, both premises offer different landscapes that are not commonly seen in Singapore. Stand-out structures in the Chinese Gardens include the 13-Arch Bridge, modelled after the 17-Arch Bridge in Beijing’s Summer Palace, Stone Boat, and the seven-storey Pagoda. The Japanese Gardens are famed for its stone lanterns, traditional and rest houses, and serene ponds.

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