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Singapore is most commonly otherwise known as the Little Red Dot — a reference to how the city-state is depicted as a red dot on many maps of the world. Small as it may be, the Lion City sure does have a lot to offer as a modern country with a rich diversity of cultural and ethnic traditions. Whether you’re stopping by for a quick work trip, or as part of a larger tour of Southeast Asia, be sure to add these nine spots to your itinerary — your Instagram followers will thank you for it.
1. The Infinity Pool at Marina Bay Sands
There’s no better way to enjoy the glittering city skyline than from 57 floors up in the world’s longest and most coveted rooftop infinity pool. Whether you’re relaxing under the shade of palm trees or standing by the edge of the pool, you’ll be sure to incite travel envy in all your Instagram followers. While the pool is only open to hotel guests, you can still enjoy the breathtaking views from the rooftop bar or by paying an entrance fee of 23 SGD (~$17) to access the observation deck.
2. Inside the ArtScience Museum
Look indoors and you may discover one of Singapore’s best Instagram spots yet — the ArtScience Museum. Taking up a quarter of the museum’s total gallery space, the permanent exhibition, Future World, features 15 dazzling digital art installations that cleverly play with light, transforming the museum into an unrivaled avenue for the Instagram creatives.
3. The Helix Bridge
While some bridges are built purely for function, this one is definitely built with design in mind (Cox Architecture gets all the credit here). Inspired by the form of the curved DNA structure, this award-winning double helix bridge is a masterpiece in architectural intricacy and complexity. At night, a series of lights illuminates the structure, creating a special visual experience for visitors.
4. Gardens by the Bay
There’s no better way to get close to nature in the stunningly green metropolis of Singapore than at Gardens by the Bay — a concept developed to transform her from a “Garden City” to a “City in a Garden.” Of the three gardens that span across 250 acres of flora and fauna, be sure to check out the Supertree Grove for its 150-feet-tall tree-like structures that come to life at night with a light and music show. Flora enthusiasts should also pay a visit to the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest to see the wide variety of plants from different regions around the world.
5. National Gallery
National Gallery Singapore is the latest jewel in the country’s art crown, housing an unparalleled collection of modern Singaporean and Southeast Asian art. Located within the former Supreme Court building, the national monument provides plenty of Instagram opportunities, from the black-and-white steps of the foyer to the Padang Atrium, where light shines through the patterned glass roof to form shapes on the wooden floor below. Equally Instagram-worthy are its rotating exhibitions, such as Yayoi Kusama’s Life is the Heart of a Rainbow, which runs until September 9.
6. Haji Lane
If you’re looking for colorful street art to pose in front of, head over to Haji Lane. This tiny lane, flanked by rows of narrow shophouses, is hidden in the heart of the Malay Quarter that is Kampong Glam. Here, you’ll be amazed by the vibrant wall art and colorful graphic illustrations. Needless to say, this is a perfect hipster-friendly spot to add a bit of color to any Insta feed.
7. 1-Altitude Bar
Perched on the 63rd floor of One Raffles Place in the heart of downtown Singapore is 1-Altitude bar, the world’s highest alfresco bar and one of Singapore’s top watering holes. At 925 feet above ground, 1-Altitude is perhaps one of the best places to see the city from above thanks to its 360-degree panoramic views. Be sure to visit in the evenings to grab a drink and watch the sun set against the Marina Bay backdrop.
8. Joo Chiat and Katong
Color up your Instagram feed with these vibrant heritage shophouses in the Joo Chiat and Katong neighborhoods, once home to the Peranakans. The descendants of Chinese immigrants who came to the Malay Archipelago between the 15th and 17th centuries, the Peranakans are known for their brightly colored two-floor abodes, spotting decorative panels and carvings, porcelain and ceramic tiles, wooden jalousie (shuttered) windows and clay-tiled roofs.
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9. Marina Barrage
While Marina Barrage was built as a dam to alleviate floods and supply freshwater, locals have found a place on its green roof for some weekend family fun. About the size of four football fields, the landscape roof not only provides panoramic views of the city skyline and open sea, but also acts as a big, open space for picnics and sunset kite flying.
Are there any other Singaporean spots you would add to this list? Let us know in the comments, below.
Featured image courtesy of Anupong Sonprom/Getty Images.
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