Find out why Singapore deserves much more than a night or two on a long-haul stopover...
Singapore is often used as a stopover for those making their way from the UK and Europe to Australasia. But as its highlights include the famous Raffles hotel, the exciting Sentosa Island - with its Sky Tower, the impressive city zoo, the Singapore Flyer and an eclectic mix of cuisine, this city-state is so much more than a one-night wonder.
A former British colony, the country's population is now an eclectic mix of cultures with influences from India, Malaysia and China. For the traveller this means an array of fine dining establishments within the hotels offering exciting regional cuisine as well as unique fusion dishes. There are also markets selling everything you can possibly imagine. From local noodles and Asian fast food to exotic fruit and vegetables, the choices are endless.
If you have an interest in history, the Tang Dynasty City is a theme park which recreates Singapore's history and includes some original stonework. Many travellers also enjoy a stroll around China Town, the cultural centre of the city, with its ancient temples and monuments. Other popular activities include spotting ships in the busy harbour, visiting Marina Bay, Changi Museum, Johore Battery, Fort Canning Park, Parliament House or the National Museum.
The city zoo is home to a truly unique experience that is the night safari. Here, forty acres of land have been given over as a reserve for nocturnal animals from across the world.
If you want to take in all the landmarks you could try the world's largest observation wheel, the Singapore Flyer, located on Raffles Avenue. Check out the busy marina or the beauty of the National Orchid Garden from a great height.
An excellent range of hotels in Singapore will tempt you with style, class and top-notch service...
With its reputation for cleanliness and order, you will find it difficult not to be impressed with the immaculate pavements and parks to be found as soon as you leave Singapore Airport (SIN). This pride in presentation is in abundant evidence in Singapore's many hotels. The most famous of Singapore hotels is, of course, the Raffles, the home of the Singapore Sling, which is located in the colonial or historic district.
Many of the other luxury hotels, including the Shangri-La and Mandarin, are found in the opulent Orchard Road area, which is also a popular shopping destination. Major chains such as Dusit and Shangri-La, Mandarin Hotels, Anantara and Amari, as well as international brands such as Holiday Inn, Hilton, Intercontinental and Mercure are represented here. Whilst the country has a reputation for luxury hotels, it also now has many familiar three- and four-star hotel groups.
If you leave the centre of the city to find other hotels in Singapore, the Sentosa Island resort to the south has a lot to offer. Alongside Universal Studios and its Sky Tower - the highest observation tower in Singapore - there are plenty of sports on offer, such as golf and tennis, or if you're more adventurous you could even dive with sharks.
Singapore's reputation for excellent service has made it a hub for business events and conferences as well as the exciting night-time Grand Prix, so do think about hotels early to avoid disappointment.
There are many sights to tempt you into lingering a little longer in scintillating Singapore...
The rich historic tapestry of Singapore hasn't been unpicked by the arrival of superb modern attractions - they all blend beautifully to create a memorable break.
Top five attractions
Visit this world-famous hotel (or stay here if your budget stretches to it) and see the home of the Singapore Sling cocktail, the Long Bar. The colonial splendour of this grand dame of the city is mesmerising.
Just off the southern tip of Singapore is this action-packed island of attractions, beaches, hotels, golf courses, waterparks and shops. It is billed as Asia's favourite playground for dozens of thrilling reasons.
Universal Studios Singapore
Visit this theme park, where rides take journeys through family movies such as Shrek and Jurassic Park.
Slow down the pace and visit this captivating museum about the Peranakan culture of Singapore. Peranakan is a word used for the ancient Chinese and Indian immigrants who arrived in Singapore and peninsular Malaysia centuries ago and shaped so much of the modern culture, cuisine and architecture.
Formerly a thriving hub of trade, this quay has been transformed into a tourism hotspot where restaurants, clubs, bars and attractions jostle for space. It's particularly attractive at night when the lights bounce off the water.
The different cultural influences on Singapore have shaped a unique line up of annual events...
Hotels will be busier than normal during these yearly highlights so book well in advance if you plan to visit Singapore around these times.
Chinese New Year and Chingay Parade; February/March: Billed as the “Mardi Gras of the East”, the Chingay Parade is the highlight of the New Year celebrations and it has recently been moved to the Formula One Pit Building at the Marina Waterfront to accommodate more visitors.
Singapore Food Festival; June-July: Singapore cuisine is bursting with unique delicacies and dishes thanks to the flavours of the Chinese, Malay, Indian and Peranakan communities that serve them up every day. This festival celebrates the best, including the famous chilli crab; events are hosted at various dates and locations.
Singapore Grand Prix; September: A popular stop on the Formula 1 racing calendar, the Marina Bay Street Circuit sees the race action. Huge crowds also gather for the off-track entertainment, which has included performances from the likes of Rihanna, Katy Perry, The Killers and Tom Jones.