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Exploring City Center

Singapore’s city centre, which is primarily comprised of the area known as the Downtown Core, is the economic and commercial hearth of this thriving city-state. The area encompasses much of the Singapore River Mouth, and includes many significant sites like Raffles Place, key government structures and a host of iconic skyscraper buildings. Intriguing elements of the old harbour are also still on show near the mouth of the Singapore River.

This area is regarded as the heart of the city-state, so tourism is big business here. As a result, visitors will find a host of luxurious, mid-range and inexpensive accommodation options to choose from. The precincts around Chinatown, the riverfront quays and Marina Bay are home to fantastic shopping, dining and entertainment venues, so visitors can always find something to do.

Sights nearby

The City Centre offers many exciting attractions for a fun-filled holiday. Luckily for tourists, there are dozens of comfortable hotels that cater for a range of tastes and needs, located in the immediate area.

Orchard Road
Regarded as Singapore’s most popular shopping strip, Orchard Road is located in the northern reaches of the downtown area. This two-kilometre boulevard is a massive tourist attraction, boasting plenty of shopping malls and pedestrian shopping arcades, including the likes of Plaza Singapura, Orchard Central, the huge Ngee Ann City shopping complex and the upscale ION Orchard. Fantastic restaurants and night life are found here too, making it a popular place to explore day and night.

National Museum of Singapore
This interesting museum, found inside a Neo-Palladian-styled structure, has been in operation since 1849. Today, its intriguing blend of modern and traditional architecture welcomes thousands of visitors each week, who come to explore the fascinating artefacts on display. Renowned sculptures and portraits, including creations from William Farquhar, and historical items, like the Singapore Stone, await visitors. The museum sits adjacent to Fort Canning Park, along Stamford Road.

Boat Quay
Located along the banks of the Singapore River, just upstream from Marina Bay, is Boat Quay. This site, which was formerly Singapore’s busiest port, is now a vibrant precinct of cafés, restaurants, and nightlife. It is situated close to Clarke Quay, so getting here is never an issue, as an MRT station rests only metres away. Visiting this area for a weekend lunch is recommended, although most tourists and locals haunt this place in the evenings, when the atmosphere begins to liven up.

Eating and drinking and shopping nearby

There are so many places to shop in the City Centre of Singapore. Orchard Road is the main haven for shopaholics, yet there are several other interesting places to explore, including Suntec City, Raffles City, Millenia Walk and Central Clarke Quay. Most of these complexes have an excellent report when it comes to dining too, but the quays along Singapore River (Robertson, Clarke and Boat) boast an unrivalled list of restaurants and cafés. The Chinatown area is also home to several hawker venues and traditional restaurants worth checking out. If visitors want an unprecedented dining or socialising experience, they should visit one of the luxurious downtown hotels, such as Swissotel The Stamford, Singapore or Peninsula Excelsior Hotel.

Public transport

There are several public transport options that provide access to and from Singapore’s central area. Both Raffles Place and Clarke Quay have MRT stations, while Dhoby Ghaut and City Hall stations are the most convenient gateways into the northern reaches of the City Centre. There are light rail connections too, and the bus network throughout the downtown core is not only inexpensive, but relatively convenient. Of course, tourists can also opt for river cruises to explore Marina Bay and the Singapore River.

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