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Amid Singapore’s skyscrapers and lush greenery, you’ll find no lack of Instagram-worthy spots — but the question is, where else hasn’t been photographed by everyone? Besides popular tourist spots like Gardens by the Bay, ArtScience Museum and Chijmes, all of which are still must visit places in Singapore, and very scenic ones at that – here are some unique sights you might not expect to find in this little red dot. More than just photogenic views, the mix of outdoor and indoor places we’ve picked out have a story to tell, historically and culturally! #aesthetic #wanderlust #nofilter
Sang Nila Utama Garden: Brick stones and sunset hues
Where the royal palace of ancient Malay rulers once stood and British armed forces camped at during the colonial times, Fort Canning Park has always been a destination for history buffs and nature lovers. But with new gardens created in 2019 to reflect landscapes of ancient past, the historical park has grown in popularity with visitors, not to mention IG lovers who want another for the ‘gram. Sang Nila Utama Garden, one of the nine spaces believed to reflect a time of kings and palaces, is a particular spot to visit for its awe-inspiring Javanese façade.
Like a frame right out of Temple Run, this garden was inspired by the first ancient king of Singapore, Sang Nila Utama. From the grand Javanese split gates that greet you at the entrance to intricate statues of frogs, fish and ducks — creatures believed to once run the palace gardens — every corner makes for an idyllic photoshoot backdrop. Go ahead and explore the other gardens around the area too, including the Pancur Larangan (Forbidden Spring), Jubilee Park, Farquhar Garden, Spice Garden, Artisan’s Garden, Raffles Garden, Armenian Street Park and a restored botanical garden at the foot of Fort Canning Hill.
Address: Fort Canning Park, River Valley Road, Singapore 179037
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday - 7:00pm to 7:00am
How to get there: Take the Circle Line and exit at Fort Canning MRT Station (Exit B), turn left to Jubilee Park and pass Raffles Garden to reach Sang Nila Utama Garden.
Lakeside Garden: Dreamy grasslands and all-things nature
What’s a trip around the City in a Garden without visiting its national gardens? Next to tourist favourites like Botanic Gardens and Gardens by the Bay, perhaps you’d find this newest addition a quieter spot for a stroll and a few snaps along the way.
At Lakeside Gardens, find yourself standing in the middle of a dreamy field of lalang (a coarse weedy grass similar to pampas) that stretches across a vast space, or pose for a cinematic shot with a man-made Lone Tree — yes, man-made. A life-size sculpture made of recycled iron parts, the Lone Tree is here to stay regardless of rain or shine. Bonus if you’re here with your Instagram-boyfriends/girlfriends: Have some child-like fun at the Forest Ramble, a nature-inspired playground; attend a workshop at the Garden House; or find respite from the heat while admiring the scenic view from Fusion Spoon.
Address: Jurong Lake Gardens, Yuan Ching Road
Opening Hours: Opens 24 hours daily
How to get there: Take the East-West Line, exit at Lakeside MRT Station (Exit A) and follow the sheltered pathway to the North Entrance of Lakeside Gardens.
Raffles Marina Lighthouse: Nautical vibes and clear horizons
Another gem hidden deep in the West is Raffles Marina Lighthouse. Situated near Tuas, one of Singapore’s industrial areas, you wouldn’t think of finding a view like this. Built in 1994 and overlooking the Tuas Second Link (Singapore’s second causeway to Malaysia), this 12-meter high lighthouse is a beacon to behold.
A popular spot for nautical pre-wedding shoots, the pristine white tower stands majestically against the blue skies and sea. And if you take a stroll around the pier, you’ll find many other photo-ops to strike your best sailor pose. If you’re feeling peckish, you could also get a taste of wind-in-your-hair, champagne-in-hand kind of alfresco dining at the nearby restaurant, Marina Bistro. Tip: Come in the evening to soak in an undisrupted view of the beautiful sunset!
Address: Raffles Marina, 10 Tuas West Drive, Singapore 638404
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday - 7:00am to 12:00am
How to get there: Take the East-West Line, exit at Tuas Link MRT Station (Exit B), walk along Tuas West Drive and cut through Raffles Marina until you see the pier.
Looksee Looksee: Pastel shades and quiet corners
For the not-so outdoorsy ones, don’t worry. You can get plenty of Insta-worthy shots without burning in our tropical heat too. Looksee Looksee, for instance, is a quaint little reading room cum tea salon seated along Beach Road — a popular area peppered with hipster cafes and independent fashion boutiques. Decked in a pretty pastel scheme, this is a place to find creative inspiration while immersing in collections that reflect the city’s local creative scene through locally sourced furniture, designs and knick-knacks.
Encompassing a mix of minimal design with modern textures like wood and terrazzo, every piece of furniture here looks picture-perfect. Settle against its feature wall or get comfy in its living room-inspired space, this small but cosy book café is well, one for the books. When you’re done, head back out and explore Arab Street, where you’ll find a slew of hidden boutiques selling trinkets, clothes and even furniture!
Address: 267 Beach Road, Level 1, Singapore 199545
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday - 10:00am to 6:00pm, Saturday - 1:00pm to 5:00pm, closed on Sundays and PH
How to get there: Take the East-West Line or Downtown Line, exit at Bugis MRT Station (Exit B) and walk along Beach Road for about 7 minutes. You’ll find the café on your left.
LASALLE College of the Arts: Modern reflections and edgy lines
Bugis is one of the top shopping spots for tourists and locals alike, with Bugis Junction, Bugis+ and Bugis Street (or some would know it as Bugis Village) forming a trio of fashion deals and dining options. But as you stroll down the streets, you’ll find it to also be a place of art, largely because that’s where three of the nation’s largest arts schools reside.
And while different schools have different niches, LASALLE College of the Arts boasts a modern façade that reflects the ever-evolving creative landscape – which means plenty of photo opportunities for both students and the public!
Don’t be fooled by its boxy exterior. From the outside, the college may look like just another black and white building, but step inside and you’ll find yourself intrigued by its abstract glass architecture — an intentional feature in contrast to its straight-lined external façade. While you’re snapping away, feel free to visit ongoing exhibitions in the school’s in-house galleries and see what our budding artists are up to!
Address: 1 McNally Street, Singapore 187940
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday - 9:00am to 6:00pm, closed on Saturday and Sunday
(Public spaces like the college’s ground-level foyer is open 24 hours daily)
How to get there: Take the Downtown Line and exit at Rocher MRT Station (Exit A), the school is located right beside.
Victoria Theatre & Concert Hall: Classical curves and minimal walls
If you’re one for culture, Victoria Theatre & Concert Hall is also a stunning heritage building and national monument that’s worth a visit. In contrast with LASALLE, Victoria Theatre & Concert Hall is the epitome of neo-classical architecture — white-washed walls with an iconic clock tower that overlooks the city.
One of Singapore’s oldest performing arts venue, take a stroll around the hallways lined with strong pillars or circle the building and pause for photos with its grand façade. Fun fact: The stoic statue that stands before the Concert Hall is that of Sir Stamford Raffles — the man who founded Singapore. It’s said that the statue survived World War II unscathed, although it was briefly moved to the National Museum. If you can’t get enough of its grandeur, head to Sinfonia Ristorante for a fine dining experience amidst the elegant décor, impressive high ceiling and Corinthian columns too.
Address: 9 Empress Place, Singapore 179556
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday - 10:00am to 9:00pm
How to get there: Take the East-West Line or North-South Line, exit at Raffles Place MRT Station (Exit B), walk for about 7 minutes towards the Singapore River and cross it.
Parkview Square: Gotham-esque façade and dark-luxe vibes
Last but not least, you won’t want to miss this premium art deco style office building. Located at the heart of downtown Singapore, Parkview Square — also affectionately known as the Gotham Building for its resemblance to Gotham City (of Batman) — it is said to be one of the most expensive buildings built in town.
While the building may look a little intimidating, the staff generally welcome you to snap shots with its intricately decorated walls. Dark hues and gold accents, the tower is definitely one for the archi-photographers. And when you’re done shooting, don’t miss out on a tipple at ATLAS Bar, named ‘Best Bar’ in Asia and the 8th best in the world in 2019.
Address: 600 North Bridge Road, Singapore 188778
Opening Hours (of ATLAS Bar in the lobby): Monday to Thursday - 10:00am to 1:00am, Friday - 10:00am to 2:00am, Saturday - 12:00pm to 2:00am, closed on Sunday
How to get there: Take the East-West Line or Downtown Line, exit at Bugis MRT Station (Exit B) and walk towards North Bridge Road for about 3 minutes.
That’s all we have for our avid Instagrammers. Snap a shot at any of these places, slap on a filter and you’ll be ready to wow your followers with these hidden gems. If you’d like to share these secret spots, remember to tag your locations and hashtag their names. Otherwise, let’s keep these underrated spots a secret between us, shall we?
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