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Singapore is an Instagrammer’s paradise. Peranakan shophouses, which reflect the deep Chinese roots of the local population, line the streets like exquisite doll’s houses as modern glass high-rises like Four Seasons Hotel Singapore aim at the sky. Once you’ve got the perfect shot of your suite – the Hotel has unveiled newly redesigned interiors with […]

An Instagram Tour of Singapore – Plus What Your Phone Can’t Capture

We’ve rounded up eight of the city’s most colourful, camera-ready spots, plus the city’s best food stalls, restaurants and bars to replenish you along the way.

Singapore is an Instagrammer’s paradise. Peranakan shophouses, which reflect the deep Chinese roots of the local population, line the streets like exquisite doll’s houses as modern glass high-rises like Four Seasons Hotel Singapore aim at the sky. Once you’ve got the perfect shot of your suite – the Hotel has unveiled newly redesigned interiors with fascinating Singaporean details to celebrate the Lion City’s 200th anniversary – head out to these picture-worthy places, recommended by our experts.

Singapore Botanic Gardens

It’s easy to take a quiet moment for yourself as you wander the sprawling 82 hectares (200 acres) of Singapore Botanic Gardens, the city’s first UNESCO World Heritage site. “In this 160-year-old tropical garden, you can take a stroll and enjoy a breath of fresh air,” says Wahidah Jabbar, Four Seasons Hotel Singapore Guest Recognition Specialist. The National Orchid Garden is the most popular stop – no surprise here, as it’s the largest collection in the world.

Outside the Frame:

Dress in your Sunday best for dinner at The White Rabbit, in an elegantly restored chapel from the 1930s. The acclaimed prix fixe menu is made up of classic, exquisitely plated European dishes.

National Gallery Singapore

The former Supreme Court building and the old City Hall have been combined to make the largest museum in Singapore. The National Gallery commingles modern architecture, a historic façade, stately staircases and an impressive collection of Southeast Asian art. Don’t miss the rooftop bar’s unobstructed views of the iconic Marina Bay Sands.

Outside the Frame:

Inside the same building is the National Kitchen by Violet Oon, serving elevated Peranakan-style food. The satay is not to be missed,” says Christopher Tsoi, Guest Experience Manager at Four Seasons Hotel Singapore, but for something different, try the beef cheek braised in a spicy tamarind gravy with gula melaka [a type of palm sugar].”

Koon Seng Road

Travellers from around the globe come for a photo shoot in Koon Seng Road, Singapore’s most colourful street. This row of Peranakan shophouses is painted in bright hues that preserve its Chinese history.

Outside the Frame:

Laksa, a spicy noodle soup, is a staple in Singapore, and 328 Katong Laksa is an institution. “Be sure to try one of Singapore’s most famous laksa there, where Gordon Ramsay had a cook-off in 2013,” says Sean Chew, Four Seasons Hotel Singapore Guest Relations Officer.

Old Hill Street Police Station

With 927 rainbow-painted shutters, Old Hill Street Police Station might just be the prettiest former jail in the world. Now home to the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) and Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, this national monument is best photographed from across the street.

Outside the Frame:

Named one of Asia’s 50 Best Bars in 2018, The Old Man is just a 20-minute walk away. “This bar’s cocktail menu is inspired by Ernest Hemingway,” says Yanlin Tan, Four Seasons Hotel Singapore Reservations and Telephones Manager. “Be sure to take a seat at the bar, as it has a cold counter to keep your drinks cool.”

Tan Teng Niah

Tan Teng Niah, a Chinese villa painted in a crayon box of colours, is another example of what makes this vibrant city a photographer’s dream. Built in 1900, it’s the last Chinese bungalow standing in Little India. And as of this year, it’s for sale.

Outside the Frame:

Across the street at Tekka Hawker Centre is one of the best street food stalls in Singapore. “Try 545 Whampoa Prawn Noodles for just $4. It’s run by Lu Ruifang, a finance graduate turned third-generation hawker,” says Isylana Ismail, Four Seasons Hotel Singapore Guest Services Manager. Her recipe was passed down to her from her grandfather.”

Gardens By The Bay

An admittedly touristy spot, thanks to a marvellous collection of 1.5 million flowers and plants spread over a dozen different attractions, Gardens by the Bay is nevertheless worth a night-time visit for the light-and-music show known as Garden Rhapsody. “Get there around 6:00 pm so that you have some time to explore and find a good spot on the grass to enjoy the show,” says Kamarl John, restaurant chef at One-Ninety at Four Seasons Hotel Singapore.

Outside the Frame:

Started by KF Seetoh – the champion of Singapore street food and a friend of Anthony Bourdain – Makansutra Gluttons Bay gathers together a fantastic selection of food stalls serving local favourites like Hainanese chicken rice and chilli crab.

Fort Canning Park

This relatively small hill near downtown Singapore has seen its share of history – including the arrival of British forces in 1819 – but today the green space hosts free festivals, concerts and parties. “Keep an eye out for the Shakespeare in the Park productions in May and Films at the Fort outdoor movies in August,” Tsoi says. Pro tip: The park’s heavily Instagrammed spiral staircase can be difficult to find. It’s not actually inside the park, but at the end of Fort Canning Tunnel underpass just outside the entrance.

Outside the Frame:

You may recognize Chijmes as the beautiful Catholic church from the wedding scene in Crazy Rich Asians. In fact, it’s a neoclassical former convent redesigned into a complex with dozens of bars and restaurants.

Jewel Changi Airport

Singapore’s Changi Airport is a destination in itself. Consistently ranked as the best airport in the world, it boasts an addition, Jewel, that has locals and tourists pulling out their cell phones. “Get your insta-worthy shots at the world’s tallest indoor waterfall, then check out the Canopy Bridge with its glass-bottom walkway,” says Gladys Lim, Four Seasons Hotel Singapore Guest Relations Officer, of the 10-storey complex, which opened in April.

Outside the Frame:

For a unique dining experience, ride a bumboat out into the water. “At Smith Marine Floating Restaurant,” Lim says, “you can catch your own fish at the Smith Marine and have it cooked on the spot any way you like it.”

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