Explore Singapore like a local with our 5 tips on the places to go, the food to try and phrases to use when chatting to Singaporeans. Today, the National Day of Singapore 2017, marks the 52nd anniversary of the country’s independence from Malaysia, so what better time to discover more about Singapore’s multicultural heritage.
- Grab a coffee to go
Singaporeans love their coffee, or ‘kopi’; in fact it’s practically the national drink of Singapore. Made with high-caffeine robusta beans, kopi is full of flavour and is almost always freshly roasted. The beans are roasted in butter (or sometimes lard) and sugar to give them their distinct flavour, then served up with condensed or evaporated milk. Take out kopi is served in a little plastic bag and you can customise your coffee to have it just the way you like it:
Singapore is home to plenty of artisanal coffee houses and baristas too, where coffee lovers can order their flat whites, cold brews, espressos and kopi.
- Go shopping
Singaporeans love to shop, and you’ll be spoilt for choice when you arrive there. Try the China Square Central Flea Market for vintage items, antiques and books; the Bugis Street Market for budget buys and souvenirs; the Tekka Centre for an authentic view of shopping in Singapore (as well as food stalls); or the Chinatown Street Market for cheap restaurants, fashion and antiques.
- Try some street food
Singaporeans also love their food. Street food, or ‘Hawker food’, is a national treasure and there are so many different stalls to choose from as well as dishes to try. A general rule of thumb is that if the queue is long then you know it’s going to be good!
- Learn some Singlish
Singlish is a selection of colloquial words and phrases made up of the different languages that collectively form Singapore’s multicultural background.
- Take in some culture
Singapore’s diverse melting pot of different cultures mean lots of events and festivals to see. Starting with Singapore National Day every year on the 9th August, marking the anniversary of the country’s independence from Malaysia in 1965, you can also look forward to the Chinese New Year celebrations and Thaipusam, a Hindu festival that takes place in January/February.