This enormous Ferris wheel, towering above Singapore, offers panoramic views across the Marina Bay, skyscrapers and the city beyond. In fact the riders can see across into Malaysia, and even the Indonesian islands of Batam and Bintan. Standing at 165m (541ft) it is the largest such wheel in the world, and the graceful curve described against the Singapore skyline, artfully lit at night, is an attraction in itself. A ride in one of the wheel’s 28 pods will take just over 30 minutes, and there are in-capsule guided tours of the sights below and beyond. Tickets include entry to the new Journey of Dreams attraction, covering Singapore’s history and culture as well as the creation of the Flyer.
Opening Times: Daily 0830-1030. Admission Fees: Yes. Disabled Access: Yes
Address: 30 Raffles Avenue, Singapore, Singapore. Telephone: 6333 3311.
Gardens by the Bay
Part of the ambitious Marina Bay land reclamation project, which also includes the brash Sands casino and hotel, the Gardens by the Bay area welcome and award-winning addition to the city. It’s free to go for a stroll in the open-air gardens, but the most attention-grabbing features are the two conservatories – the Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest. There are eating options for every budget including (at the high end) Pollen, fronted by Michelin-starred UK chef Jason Atherton. Look out also for temporary art exhibitions and other events.
Opening Times: Outdoor gardens: Mon-Sun 0500-0200, conservatories 0900-2100.
Admission Fees: No (except for conservatories). Disabled Access: Yes.
Address: 18 Marina Gardens Drive, Singapore, Singapore. Telephone: 6420 6848.
Asian Civilisations Museum
This intriguing museum, housed in the restored Empress Place Building which dates from 1865, aims to provide a broad yet in-depth perspective on pan-Asian culture and civilisations. It houses 11 galleries containing over 1,300 artefacts from civilisations of China, South East Asia, South Asia and West Asia. The displays on the influence of Islam are particularly good, and the temporary exhibitions are typically worth the extra fee. Free guided tours in English are available. The location of the museum was once a government office and overlooks the mouth of the Singapore River, and its café and restaurant are also convenient places to take a break from sightseeing.
Opening Times: Sat–Thurs 0900-1900, Fri 0900-2100. Admission Fees: Yes. Disabled Access: Yes.
Address: 1 Empress Place, Singapore, Singapore. Telephone: 6332 7798.
Singapore Art Museum
Transformed from a 19th-century boys’ school built by Irish Catholic monks, this is one of Singapore’s most striking structures. It exhibits are predominantly 20th-century South East Asian art, with one of the world’s largest collections of paintings, sculptures and installations from the region. There are also works from elsewhere in Asia, intended to provide a cultural context for the main collection. Since 2008 the museum has also had a second building, SAM at 8Q, which presents multi-disciplinary, interactive and community-oriented projects. Free guided tours in English are available.
Opening Times: Sat-Thu 1000-1900, Fri 1000-2100.
Admission Fees: Yes (free on Fri 1800-2100). Disabled Access: Yes
Address: 71 Bras Basah Road, Singapore, Singapore. Telephone: 6332 3222.
Singapore Heritage Festival 2015
Singapore’s largest celebration of its roots and culture showcases a large collection of events over five weekends, including May 15-17. There are often free guided tours of museums, walks, film screenings and activities organized by community groups on offer.