Raffles Singapore is delighted to recommend and organise activities for individuals, families or groups. Our concierge is a wonderful source of local knowledge on things to see and places to shop and eat. We can arrange private tours with air-conditioned transportation, driver, and tour guide. Here are a few suggestions.
Singapore is a peaceful mix of different ethnic communities, all of whom have preserved their culture throughout the years. Take a tour through these unique areas – all within 10 minutes by taxi – and experience the people who have made Singapore what it is.
Singapore's Chinatown is an ethnic neighbourhood featuring distinctly Chinese cultural elements and a historically concentrated ethnic Chinese population. Explore the traditional five-foot ways and old shop houses along Pagoda Street. Visit temples, medical halls and teahouses and learn about the age-old traditions of the past. Don't miss a visit to the teahouse to experience the traditional art of tea brewing.
Kampong Glam and Arab Street
Nothing in Singapore beats Arab Street for bazaar-style shopping with true ethnic character. The street itself is a riot of colourful textiles from all over Asia, sold at very low prices. Here you can browse through hole-in-the-wall shops, haggle to your heart's content and come away with the most delightful purchases at bargain prices. These little streets form the historical focal point of Muslim life in Singapore. One of the most significant buildings in the district is the Sultan Mosque, built in 1824.
Geylang Serai is the cultural heart of the Malay community in Singapore. Go back in time and discover the traditional “Kampung Days” lifestyle of Malays in the 1950s and 1960s! Or experience traditional Malay arts and crafts like batik painting, kite making and kampung games such as top spinning.
Little India, located along Serangoon Road, is awash with the scents and sights of the subcontinent. Stroll along this road and the neighbouring alleyways to take in the quaint, old-fashioned shops selling spices, saris, trinkets, Indian jewellery and daily products used by the average Indian household. Not to miss is a visit to the wet markets and Mustafa Centre, Singapore’s only 24-hour shopping mall where you can find almost anything at a bargain. Do not leave Little India without temporary Henna tattoo or trying Teh Tarik, a hand pulled cup of tea.
North of the Singapore River is an area filled with colonial buildings constructed during the British rule. These buildings include the Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall, Parliament House, the Supreme Court, City Hall, Singapore Cricket Club, St Andrew Cathedral and Raffles Hotel. Most of the buildings have been restored to their former glory.
Natural itineraries Singapore Botanic Garden
Situated near Orchard Road, the 52-hectare Botanic Garden combines both primary jungle and manicured gardens that hold thousands of flora species, including many rare specimens. It also houses the 7.4-acre Singapore Orchid Garden, featuring more than 3000 orchids.
Gardens by The Bay
One of the largest garden projects of its kind in the world. Ultimately, the site will total 101 hectares comprising three distinct gardens – Bay South, Bay East and Bay Central. It is a rich fusion of nature, technology and environmental management. Stunning architectural structures are combined with a wide variety of horticultural displays, daily light and sound shows, lakes, forests, event spaces and a host of dining and retail offerings. The design has an intelligent environmental infrastructure, allowing endangered plants, which could not normally grow in Singapore, to flourish; providing both beauty and education to visitors.
Singapore Zoo / Night Safari
Acclaimed by zoologists and tourists as one of the best in the world, Singapore Zoo is set in 170 acres of parkland next to a lake. There are more than 1600 animals in residence and 170 different species, fifty percent of which are endangered species from South-East Asia. The Night Safari provides a rare opportunity to see nocturnal animals in their active state.
Explore Around Singapore River
Start off at Clarke Quay and take a Bumboat ride from High Street Jetty to explore the Singapore River. The area offers a quirky alternative to mainstream attractions, with second-hand and antique shops, flea markets and restaurants with an amazing array of food and beverage options. In the evenings, dance clubs and pubs come alive with music from 1960s to the present.
Look out for Sir Stamford Raffles, Singapore’s founder, standing tall and proud in the form of a dark bronze status in front of Victoria Theatre. Its replica, made of pure white marble, stands at North Boat Quay, an area commonly known as the Raffles Landing Site - the spot where Raffles was believed to have first stepped ashore.
Distance from Hotel: 5-minute by taxi
For any further information please contact the Concierge on Concierge.RafflesHotel@raffles.com or phone +65 6412 1171