The multi-cultural island metropolis with British colonial roots
The whole island-nation of Singapore is made up of one giant city-state, situated off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula. This extraordinary metropolis developed in just 150 years from a small Malay Sultanate, mostly comprised of fishing villages, into one of Asia’s foremost economic powerhouses. Singapore now forms part of the ‘Four Asian Tigers’ alongside Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan, who all have similarly advanced, high-income economies. Singapore’s rise to prominence came after it was developed as a trading post and settlement for the East India Trading Company, before becoming a fully-fledged part of the British Empire in the 1820s. The highly-rated Singapore Changi Airport is a major Asian hub, and acts as a fuel stop-off point for flights to Sydney, Melbourne and other Australian cities, but Singapore is also an extremely popular tourist destination in its own right with a huge amount to offer.
With a well-developed transport system in such a relatively small place, Singapore is perfectly suited to tourism. It is a culturally diverse city-state, with a wide variety of cultural attractions in addition to its huge, modern shopping centres and buzzing 365-days-a-year nightlife.
When to Go?
Singapore is fairly hot and humid throughout the year with almost no variation so there is no best time to visit in terms of the climate. Chinese New Year in January is a colourful and festive time in Singapore with street parades and celebrations galore, although it can feel very crowded and busy. There is a popular arts festival from May to June, featuring music, dance, theatre and film.
How to get there?
As one of Asia’s most important airport hubs, there is decent competition for flights to Singapore Changi International (SIN) , which of course is good for customers, although your choice of departure airports is somewhat limited. From London Heathrow there are three airlines offering Singapore Flights : British Airways, Qantas and Singapore Airlines, who also fly from Manchester. Air France offer a good selection of indirect flights to Singapore via Paris (CDG).
Orchard Road is the first place most people gravitate towards; the main hub of shopping and entertainment where you can find big name designer outlets, restaurants, cafés and nightclubs. The Botanic Gardens are an oasis of greenery among the towering urban sprawl, where you can see over a thousand species of orchid in the beautiful National Orchid Garden. The Art District is a great place to discover the magnificent multiculturalism of Singapore, from the indigenous Malay art scene and the Chinatown Heritage Centre to the Singapore Art Museum, which contains a large collection of international and Asian contemporary art.