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Places of Interest - Civic District Attractions

20 Feb 2007  
3.5 of 5 bubbles based on 8 votes

Before Singapore became a fully independent Republic, the island was a British colony. Today, beneath the futuristic skyscrapers which embody modern Singapore, much of this grand colonial charm still remains.

  • Category: Best of
  • 1. City Hall and Padang

    If only the grand steps of City Hall could talk, what stories they could tell! Here is where many of Singapore’s historic events that took place, including the surrender of the Japanese to the British forces in 1945 and the declaration of Singapore's independence by the then Prime Minister Mr. Lee Kuan Yew on 9 August 1965.

    On weekends, you may be able to catch a game of cricket on the Padang (Malay word meaning ‘flat field’) – the city’s oldest untouched plot of land used since the 1830’s for sport and recreational activities.

  • 2. Raffles Hotel

    Restored to its 1920s’ grandeur, this grand old dame is world-renowned for its charm and elegance. Singapore's oldest hotel had played host to famous celebrities and writers like Somerset Maugham and Joseph Conrad. Learn about the hotel’s memorabilia since it first started.

    Try the Tiffin Curry buffet lunch or dinner at the Tiffin Room, enjoy a generous buffet spread at the Bar & Billiard Room or spoil yourself with a six-course epicurean dinner at the Raffles Grill Room. Alternatively, sip on a refreshing Singapore Sling at the Long Bar – home to this cocktail drink since 1915!

    Tip: Make a reservation if you intend to dine at the Raffles.

    The Raffles Hotel Museum opens from 10:00am to 7:00pm. Admission: Free

  • 3. Raffles Landing Site

    This spot along Boat Quay is where Singapore's founder, Sir Stamford Raffles, is believed to have first stepped ashore and is marked by a statue made of pure white polymarble. The original figure stands outside Victoria Concert Hall and Theatre, and was cast in dark bronze by Thomas Woolner.

  • 4. Singapore River

    This river that runs through the city used to be the lifeline of Singapore. It was where the first immigrants eked out a meager living and helped transform Singapore from an obscure fishing village to a great seaport. Soak in the tranquil ambience of the riverside when you visit the Merlion Park, located at the river mouth, or at the Landing Site of Raffles located behind Parliament House. Visit the oldest mosque on the island – the Omar Kampong Melaka Mosque or the interesting Taoist Tan Si Chong Su Temple or simply wander through the Asian Civilisations Museum at Empress Place to learn more about the region’s heritage.

    Then, when it’s cooler in the evening, enjoy a beer or a sumptuous meal at one of the many restaurants at Boat Quay (the first section of the river) or the tranquil atmosphere of Robertson Quay a little further down. Enjoy browsing at the shops located within the restored warehouses at Clarke Quay or take a postcard picture of the Singapore night skyline with the Merlion and the Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay at the Merlion Park.

    Best time to visit: In the morning for riverside attractions and in the evening for a meal or simply take a bumboat ride from Boat Quay to Clarke Quay.