With its unique mix of the best parts of the old and the new Asia, Singapore has got millennials scrambling for cheap international flights to tick the city-state off their bucket lists. At roughly 276 square miles, the bustling island is one of the smallest countries in Asia. But, the metropolis packs a punch, and is not your average island destination with its big-city feel and unique architecture. In addition, there are very few places on earth that can offer such a unique blend of opulence, energy, and history, along with an unbeatable food scene and eye-opening cultural diversity. So why should YOU visit Singapore? Read on to find out more!

It’s Instagram Heaven

 

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Golden hues in Kampong Glam. ✨ Photo by @mariann_yip 📷 #VisitSingapore

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Not that you travel just for the gram, but as far as photo-ops go, Singapore is tops. In fact, it was recently voted the 10th most Instagrammable Country. Fact is, it’s just a gorgeous place with so much color and life that it reads well in photographs. The country is clean and the public aesthetic so thoughtfully designed that any public place, especially in highly populated areas, is likely to be photo-worthy. The modern buildings are also coveted photo opportunities. Some favorites among the Instagram community include:

• Marina Bay Sands Hotel (and infinity pool)
• The Cloud Forest at Gardens by the Bay
• The ArtScience Museum
• Koon Seng Road
• The Helix Bridge

It’s the Destination for Foodies

Delicious Singapore style noodles with curry, shrimp, bbq pork, carrots, red pepper, onion and scallions.

Simply put, Singapore is food heaven. It’s famous for its hawker centers — basically a scaled-up version of American food courts. At these centers, spread throughout the country, you can feast on a variety of cuisines. If you want to find the best, use the Singapore website HungryGoWhere (the equivalent of America’s Yelp.) We recommend the Old Airport Road Market and Newton Hawker Center.

And if made-to-order hawker food isn’t your thing, no problem. Singapore has upscale restaurants and dive bars that all serve some of the most interesting, succulent dishes you’ve ever tried. And if you want a good blend of the two, dine at StraitsKitchen — a buffet line-up of hawker favorites from Chinese, Malay, and Indian cuisines. It will give you a chance to try whatever you want without paying for the dishes individually, or wondering what to order.

Here are a few must-try dishes when you visit:

• Singapore chili crab (think noodle soup with chunks of crab — so good!)
• Hainanese Chicken Rice
• Laksa (noodles in spicy coconut broth)
• Popiah (Singapore’s “burrito”)
• Rendang curry (dry curry)
• Roti prata (flour pancakes)
• Goreng pisang (fried banana fritters)
• Ice kachang (shaved ice with condiments)
• Nonya kuehs (Peranakan cakes)

Ready for your next adventure abroad? Find some cheap international flights to get you there!

It’s Crazy Clean

Fine by law series, Sign No littering in Singapore

Not that long ago, there was an urban legend that you could be thrown in jail for throwing chewing gum on the sidewalk in Singapore. Obviously that’s not the case — but word travels that they value cleanliness. It’s a pristine place, and that makes it a wonderful experience to visit Singapore. There are fewer big city smells (New York, we’re looking at you) since it’s so clean, which makes walking the city more pleasant. It does mean, however, that tourists should be aware of laws since they too can be fined for littering (up to $1,000 for the first offense!). But if you’re an environmentally aware person, you’ll reap the benefits of the collective cleanliness and get the chance to enjoy the country without the pollution, trash, and smells of some the world’s other major cities

It’s Diverse, and that Brings Color to the Whole Country

Detail of the Sri Mariamman Temple in Chinatown, Singapore

Singapore is culturally and religiously diverse, especially in comparison to most Asian countries. There are four official languages spoken in Singapore; English, Tamil, Malay and Mandarin. It nationally celebrates the holidays of multiple religions. The food, as mentioned, is culturally diverse, making it easy to find nearly anything you’re looking for. And the people are diverse, which is the best trait of all. The neighborhoods reflect the country’s rich diversity. Visit any of these districts to fully understand the power of Singapore’s rich and diverse fabric:

• Little India
• Arab Street and the Masjid Sultan Mosque
• Chinatown
• Sri Mariamman Temple (not a neighborhood, but the oldest Hindu temple in Singapore and absolutely a must-see!)
• Tiong Bahru (charming neighborhood that is quintessentially Singaporean)

The Shopping is Some of the Best in Asia

Portrait of a young and pretty Asian woman trying on a hat as she browses the shelves of a fast fashion outlet store in the city.

You don’t have to be crazy rich to enjoy Singapore’s shopping (though it doesn’t hurt!). Orchard Road is the most famous street for shopping, boasting almost two dozen malls in just two kilometers. The malls are connected by an underground tunnel network, so if it’s hot (and it usually is in Singapore) you don’t even have to go outside. And with the architecture and food and performing artists, even those who despise shopping have something to look forward to. And if you’re not into high-end? The narrow street of Haji Lane is a great place to find unique and interesting clothes, accessories, and much more. It’s quirky and colorful … and decidedly not Gucci!

It’s Safe

Indian Asian woman taking the train alone

In our world today, that is no small statement. It’s most likely the safest country in Asia, and petty theft is the most common crime (although even petty theft is rare here since the clean streets and constant monitoring limit crimes on the street). Transportation is safe and reliable. Uber and Grab make getting around affordable, but public transportation is the easiest and cheapest. It’s safe for women traveling alone — even at night.

You may have made up your mind about Singapore after reading all about it being a glitzy modern society. And yes, there is a lot of wealth. But it’s also rich and vibrant culturally. It’s the kind of place that makes you want to check out the local real estate, just in case you decide you might need to relocate. Pack a large suitcase after you’ve booked cheap international flights. You may be staying for longer than you planned.

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About The Author

Mandy Voisin

Hey I'm Mandy. Writer, traveler, wife, mother, author, woman, over-sharer. I like to talk about the grit of travel, the beautiful, and the people that I meet. Oh yeah - and traveling with kids.