A nation and a city, Singapore is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the world. Lonely Planet, the ultimate travel bible, bestowed the most coveted title of “number one tourist spot in the world” to the Lion City in Best in Travel 2015. Forbes, The Telegraph, and the BBC also hailed Singapore as a buzzing vacation spot as they recognise the steady and growing number of international tourists from far-flung corners of the world visiting the urban city in the recent years. The latest tourism statistics show that Singapore welcomed almost 14 million foreign visitors in 2014.
With a gigantic figure like that, it is an inevitable question to ask: what compels almost 14 million people in the world to pack their bags and see this city? Is it the food? Could it be the culture? Maybe it’s the people? Well, one thing is for sure: you cannot answer that question with a one-liner.
Although Singapore is highly urbanised, the city is beaming with history and tradition. One of the most visited icons is the Merlion, the symbol of Singapore’s legacy. The team from Merlion Sentosa explain that the head represents Singapore’s original name, Singapura, or ‘lion city’ in Malay; the fish tail of the icon, on the other hand, represents the humble beginnings of the nation as a fishing village. The Merlion is an important cultural symbol, which reminds locals and tourists of Singapore’s heritage and legacy.
Attractive Tourist Spots
Luxurious hotels, theme parks, recreation centres, top-notch zoos—Singapore, despite its relatively small size, has it all. At Universal Studios Singapore alone, tourists can have the time of their lives riding the craziest roller coasters, watching world-class theatre plays and concerts, meeting Egyptian mummies—even just the simple act of walking the streets of “Sci-fi City” is a crazy adventure in itself.
They say a trip to Singapore is not complete without a shopping spree. Singapore has many commercial and retail hubs, mostly in Orchard Road, that offer high quality branded products and affordable local souvenirs. But the shopping perks do not stop there. Tourists can get a refund of the 7% Goods and Services Tax on the items they bought.
Because of different influences, Singapore is truly a melting pot of flavours and colours. Food experts say that Singapore food is highly influenced by Chinese, Malay, Indian and Eurasian cultures. The three essentials of Singapore food are noodles, rice and seafood. And you can see this in almost any dining setting—whether it is fine dining or just plain street food.
There is no doubt that Singapore is the number one tourist spot in the world. With historical and fun attractions, a thriving shopping scene and gastronomic hub, the Lion City roars loud, calling out to people of the world to come and visit.