Have you really visited Singapore if you haven’t taken a photo in front of these iconic landmarks?
Singapore prides itself in being home to many of the world’s first and best – from the tallest indoor waterfall in the world to the largest glass greenhouse in existence. However, aside from its futuristic and sometimes odd-looking buildings, this Little Red Dot is bursting at the seams with culture and history. We’re not all just a bunch of Crazy Rich Asians!
And what better way to share the beauty of this fine garden city with your friends back home by immortalising these world firsts and cultural landmarks on your social media feed? After all, have you really visited Singapore if you haven’t posed for one of these iconic shots?
Read on to discover the best photo spots in Singapore and how you can enjoy UNLIMITED rides on public transport while exploring the city:
1. Jewel Changi Airport – HSBC Rain Vortex
Our first addition to this list is also the newest, located right in Changi Airport! But before you start your exploration, have your transport in Singapore settled for the next three days by purchasing the newly launched 3-day SG Tourist Pass from Changi Airport. For only S$25 (no rental deposit required), the SG Tourist Pass offers tourists UNLIMITED RIDES on Singapore’s public transport system which includes the MRT, LRT and buses.
The best part? The SG Tourist Pass comes with an adorable Merli the Merlion design, which you can keep as a souvenir or use on your next trip back in Singapore as a top-up-as-you-go transport card. Now available at selected Cheers outlets in Changi Airport, get yours today and start your exploration of Singapore with the city’s favourite icon!
Once you’re all set, head over to Jewel Changi which is connected to three of Changi Airport’s four terminals. A unique retail concept where nature meets modernity, it’ll give you a sneak peek into what your forthcoming holiday in Singapore has to offer. The crown jewel (pun intended) of Jewel Changi is the HSBC Rain Vortex – the world’s tallest indoor waterfall at 40 metres tall.
No matter the time of day, you’ll be treated to a mesmerising display, whether it’s as the rain showers glisten under the morning sun or the captivating light-and-sound show that erupts as night falls. If you’re arriving in (or leaving) Singapore, be sure to make a stop at Jewel Changi to take a snap against this magnificent structure, along with the many other installations like the Shisedo Forest Valley, Canopy Bridge and Canopy Park.
How to get to Jewel Changi: The nearest MRT to Jewel Changi is Changi Airport Station. Upon exiting the station, Jewel is a 5 to 10-minute walk via the link bridges at level 2 of Terminals 2 and 3. You can also take buses 24, 27, 34, 36, 53, 110 and 858 to Terminal 1 and walk to Jewel Changi via the Arrival Hall. From Terminal 4, you will have to take the free airport shuttle to Terminal 2 first.
2. Merlion at Merlion Park
Armed with your Merli the Merlion SG Tourist Pass, a visit to the country’s favourite half-fish, half-lion icon is in order. While there are multiple Merlion statues across Singapore, the most iconic one is at Merlion Park near One Fullerton.
The spouting water also allows you to flex those creative juices for a quirky shot on Instagram. You can even pose for a photo while holding your adorable Merli the Merlion SG Tourist Pass! The most popular pose by far? Creating the illusion of the Merlion spurting water right into your mouth!
How to get to Merlion Park: The nearest MRT to Merlion Park is Raffles Place Station. Thereafter, it is a 6-minute walk via Battery Road. Otherwise, the nearest bus stop is 2 minutes away at Fullerton Square.
Just a five-minute walk from the Merlion Park is yet another iconic landmark in Singapore, the Esplanade, also affectionately referred to as “the durian” for obvious reasons.
But the Esplanade is a cultural icon of Singapore for reasons more than its prickly exterior. This durian is also the King of the Arts in Singapore, with visual art installations, free daily performances and world-class shows held at the Esplanade Concert Hall.
Bonus: For those up for a real challenge, try an actual durian and pose for a photo with your conquest!
How to get to the Esplanade: The nearest MRT to Esplanade is City Hall Station (EWL) or Esplanade Station (Circle Line). Thereafter, it is a 5 to 10-minute underground walk via CityLink or Esplanade Xchange respectively. The nearest bus stop is right outside Esplanade Mall along Raffles Avenue.
4. Helix Bridge
On your way towards Marina Bay Sands, you’ll cross the Helix Bridge – the longest pedestrian bridge in Singapore. Modelled after the helical structure of DNA, the Helix Bridge provides 360 views of the entire Bayfront area.
Pose for a photo along the bridge to capture its hypnotising twists and spirals, which is even more captivating at night when the soft LED lights illuminate every strand of its structure – a scene straight out of a sci-fi movie.
How to get to Helix Bridge: The Helix Bridge is a 10-minute walk from the Esplanade. The nearest bus stops are 2 minutes away at The Float Seating Gallery and after the Singapore Flyer. The nearest MRT to the Helix Bridge is Bayfront Station. Thereafter, it is a 10-minute walk via The Shoppes.
5. Marina Bay Sands
The Helix Bridge is also the perfect vantage point to snap a photo of the facade of the Marina Bay Sands (MBS). From across the bay, you can also get creative with your photos! An MBS foot-long Sub, anyone? MBS is also directly connected to Bayfront MRT, which is easily accessible using the unlimited rides on your SG Tourist Pass.
If you’re fortunate enough to be able to enjoy a stay at the MBS hotel, you can admire the views from the rooftop infinity pool – now one of the most iconic views in the world from 57 floors above. Capture infinite views of Singapore, as you seemingly dangle precariously off the edge of the building. But even if don’t have access to the infinity pool, you can still enjoy unparalleled views from CÉ LA VI, the rooftop SkyBar which is open to the public. Pose for a photo with one of CÉ LA VI’s signature cocktails in hand and with the Singapore skyline as your backdrop.
How to get to Marina Bay Sands: The nearest MRT to MBS is Bayfront Station. You can also take buses 97, 106 and 133 to the bus stop after Bayfront Station Exit E.
6. ArtScience Museum
Another iconic building in the Bayfront area is the ArtScience Museum, the world’s first of its kind. Resembling an outstretched hand, the museum embraces the intersection of art, science, design, media, architecture and technology and has showcased exhibitions from some of the most revered artists in the world.
But other than its facade, one of the photo-worthy highlights of the ArtScience Museum is the Future World: Where Art Meets Science exhibit. Created by the renowned Japanese art collective teamLab, this permanent exhibit features high-tech and interactive artworks that are also visually arresting and the epitome of the new trend of “Instagrammable” art.
A favourite is Crystal Universe, an ethereal and scintillating artwork that concludes the Future World exhibition. Created with over 170,000 LED lights, the installation showcases the vastness of the universe, transporting you amongst the stars and galaxies.
How to get to ArtScience Museum: The nearest MRT to the ArtScience Museum is Bayfront Station. Thereafter, it is a 10-minute walk via The Shoppes. You can also take buses 97, 106 and 133 to the bus stop after Bayfront Station Exit E.
7. Gardens by the Bay
The last must-visit spot in the Bayfront area is Gardens by the Bay, a 101-hectare nature park that has become a model for how nature and urban environments can interact, after being featured in BBC’s Planet Earth II.
The most iconic feature of the Gardens is the 50-metre tall Supertrees, massive canopies that burst into a display of lights and sounds at night. Take a photo from the ground to showcase the majesty of these imposing structures, or head up to the OCBC Skyway to capture a breathtaking shot of you floating about the ground.
While you’re there, don’t forget to visit the Flower Dome – the largest glass greenhouse in the world – and the Cloud Forest – a 35-metre tall indoor mountain.
How to get to Gardens by the Bay: The nearest MRT to the Gardens by the Bay is Bayfront Station. Thereafter, take Exit B and follow the underground linkway to the Gardens. Otherwise, you can take bus 400 to the bus stop outside Gardens by the Bay.
8. Chinatown – Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, Maxwell Food Centre & People’s Park Complex
When you’re done admiring the modern architecture of Singapore, it’s about time you slow it down and explore Singapore’s historic districts, most of them located conveniently along the MRT lines. With your SG Tourist Pass in hand, make your first stop at Chinatown Station!
While the main Chinatown Street Markets offer plenty of photo ops, souvenir shopping opportunities and dining options, you want to venture beyond those streets to truly uncover what the area has to offer. One of which is the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple & Museum.
Having what is believed to be the sacred tooth of Buddha on display, visitors are allowed to take photos within the temple in the public viewing areas. However, you don’t want to miss photographing its majestic 5-storey facade, featuring Tang-style architecture and inspired by the Buddhist Mandala.
If you’re feeling peckish, head further down South Bridge Road to Maxwell Food Centre, one of the best hawker centres in Singapore for a taste of local food. Just remember to document your perfect local feast – a plate of Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice and a mug of ice cold sugar cane juice or Tiger Beer!
For the adventurous, Chinatown is also a great area for urban exploration, home to plenty of unconventionally historical buildings that have become neglected over time. People’s Park Complex is one of those locations that has garnered a reignited interest as a result of urban explorers and Instagram. Singapore’s answer to the Montane Mansion in Hong Kong, it has always been loved by locals though is now gaining popularity amongst tourists as well − just remember to be respectful as it’s still a residential area!
How to get to Chinatown: The nearest MRT to Chinatown is Chinatown Station.
The Buddha Tooth Relic Temple is 3 minutes away from Chinatown Station via Trengganu St.
Maxwell Food Centre is 6 minutes away from Chinatown Station via Pagoda St and South Bridge Rd.
People’s Park Complex 1 minute away from Chinatown Station via Exit C.
9. Bugis – Haji Lane & Masjid Sultan
Then tap in, hop on a bus and let your SG Tourist Pass take you to Bugis, another area with plenty of historic landmarks, most notably in the Kampong Glam district.
Head to Singapore’s original “hipster” street, Haji Lane, to explore the local shops, cafés and buzzing nightlife and snap a picture against the many vibrant graffiti walls.
As you wander through the streets of vivid murals and bustling shops, you’ll probably find your way to Muscat Street where a majestic and stately mosque, Masjid Sultan, will catch your eye. One of the most prominent religious landmarks in Singapore, it is a centrepiece of Singapore’s Muslim community. Admire the beautiful facade and try to capture the details of its regal golden domes – each decorated with pieces of glass bottles that were contributed by the lower income Muslims during its construction.
How to get to Bugis: The nearest MRT to Bugis is Bugis Station.
Haji Lane is 5 minutes away from Bugis Station via North Bridge Rd.
Masjid Sultan is 4 minutes away from Bugis Station via North Bridge Rd.
10. Little India – Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple & House of Tan Teng Niah
Just two stops away from Bugis, take your SG Tourist Pass and get onboard the Downtown MRT Line to Little India, another historic area in Singapore. The Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple in Little India is one such remnant of colonial Singapore, said to have even frequented by migrant Indian workers during the time. While the colourful and intricately-detailed facade you see today is a result of major reconstruction in the 1980s and 90s, the temple is a popular photo spot with travellers hoping to capture a heavenly slice of Singapore’s religious history.
But that’s not all that Little India has to show for Singapore’s racial and religious harmony. The area is also home to the House of Tang Teng Niah, the last remaining Chinese villa in Little India. Even if you’re not aware of the historical and cultural significance of this building, its striking and multi-coloured facade is reminiscent of the colourful streets of Europe and provides the perfect photo op.
How to get to Little India: The nearest MRT to Little India is Little India Station.
Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple is 4 minutes away from Little India Station via Race Course Rd and Belilios Rd.
House of Tan Teng Niah is 1 minute away from Little India Station via Race Course Rd and Kerbau Rd.
Merli Merlion SG Tourist Pass
If you only have three days to spare in Singapore, this list provides a good glimpse into Singapore’s modern architecture, diverse nature and rich culture!
For only S$25 (no rental deposit required), the Merli Merlion 3-day SG Tourist Pass offers tourists UNLIMITED RIDES on Singapore’s MRTs, LRTs and buses. That means that you can hop on and off Singapore’s world-class and efficient public transport as much as you want, as you explore all of Singapore’s top photo spots!
Now available at the following Cheers outlets in Changi Airport, get yours today and start your exploring and documenting your time in this beautiful city in a garden!
- Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 3, 65 Airport Boulevard, Basement 2 North #01-24
- Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2, Departure / Check-in Hall South, Unit No: 026-039-01
- Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 4, 10 Airport Boulevard, Arrival Hall, #01-09
[Credits: Tripzilla Singapore]