Once a British trading colony, Singapore today is the world’s busiest port and one of the most prosperous countries in the world. Consisting of a main island and more than 60 surrounding islets, it boasts expansive parklands and several nature reserves. Culturally diverse, modern and sophisticated, Singapore is also one of the most densely populated countries in the world.
How to Get to Singapore
Most cruise ships dock at the Singapore Cruise Center, which is about a 10-15 minute taxi ride from the city center. It is also connected to downtown by the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system. Since 2012, larger ships may instead dock at the Marina Bay Cruise Center. Some ships docking at Marina Bay offer shuttles into the center; otherwise, you will need to catch a taxi. The ride either way is about 25 minutes.
One Day in Singapore
For many visitors, Singapore is all about the shopping and you could easily spend an entire day checking out the many shopping centers around Orchard Road. Try the C.K. Tangs Department Store, the Kinokuniya bookstore, the Wisma Atria and Ngee Ann City.
Aside from shopping, you might start your visit with a stroll along the Boat Quay, a mix of old wharf houses and towering skyscrapers. Then head to the city’s charming colonial district, keeping an eye out for the Old Parliament House, the Fullerton Hotel and St. Andrew’s Church. For lunch, make your way to Chinatown for Chinese cuisine and then check out the Sri Mariamman Hindu temple.
Spend the afternoon exploring Singapore’s nature and wildlife by paying a visit to the Singapore Zoo, the Botanical Gardens or the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. Spread across more than 120 acres, the Botanical Gardens feature a rainforest, lake and multiple gardens, including the National Orchid Garden. The Bukit Timah Nature Reserve is home to more plant species than all of North America and the Zoo has more than 3,000 mammals, birds, reptiles and fish.
Singapore has four official languages, including English, which is widely spoken (Tamil, Chinese and Malay are the others). The official currency is the Singapore dollar. ATMs are available at the cruise terminal and throughout the city and credit cards are also typically accepted.