Your guide to Off-Track Activities at the 2016 Singapore Formula 1 Grand Prix on September 16-18.
Main image above kindly supplied by Singapore GP.
With all the action at the Marina Bay circuit happening in the late afternoon and night, there’s plenty of time to check out the sights of Singapore during the day. Not only is the city a shopper’s and foodies paradise, there are also beaches, theme parks and nature walks to be explored. If you still have energy after a night at the track, the nightlife is also pretty wild. There is absolutely no chance of getting bored in Singapore on Grand Prix weekend. The question is whether you have the stamina to make the most of all the city has to offer.
Shopping in Singapore
Whether you are after high end luxury or affordable, clothes or electronics, Singapore has a shopping center or district suited to your needs. Orchard Road is where some of the best shopping in central Singapore can be found, particularly for high end and designer clothing brands . The wide avenue is lined with a series of large shopping malls comprising literally thousands of shops. If you are on a budget or after something a little different, head to Chinatown or Little India. More info: CNN’s top 10 places to shop in Singapore / Singapore’s best budget shopping centers / Buying cheap electronics in Singapore
Little India & Chinatown
As well as being the place to go for the best Indian cuisine in Singapore, Little India is a vibrant, bohemian district of the city that’s also home to some of the city’s best-preserved colonial architecture and various temples, churches and mosques. The 24-hour Mustafa Centre is one of the city’s best budget shopping centres and the Tekka Centre, an excellent indoor produce market, is also worth seeing . Click here for more info.
Within walking distance of the Marina Bay circuit, Chinatown is a good base for Grand Prix weekend, particularly if you are on a budget (there are lots of hostels and cheaper hotels in the vicinity). There’s interesting architecture, excellent shopping centers (many with food courts), an outdoor market and lots of excellent Chinese restaurants, as you would expect. Click here to learn more about the cultural sights, shopping and nightlife of Singapore’s Chinatown.
If you’ve still got some energy after a night at the track, then Singapore’s nightlife is always buzzing. Clarke Quay, the premier nightlife destination in Singapore and is just a short stroll from the Padang (Zone 4) area of the circuit. It’s home to countless places where you can drink, dance and party, many of them offering alfresco dining by the river with the amazing backdrop of Singapore’s skyscrapers. Singapore’s other harbor-front areas – Boat Quay and Roberston Quay – are also worth a look.
If you like to gamble, or just want to check out Singapore’s newest architectural landmark, head to Marina Bay Sands. Not only a huge hotel and casino, Marina Bay is worth a visit at any time of the day, boasting an array of restaurants, a vast shopping centre and an incredible ‘skypark’ with that infinity pool. Entry to the pool area is for guests only, but you can get limited views for free (only on the non-city side) or you can pay $23 SGD to enter the oberservation deck.
If you want to mix with the F1 jetset (and can foot the bill), then there are some exclusive F1-themed parties held on Grand Prix weekend (Podium Lounge and Amber Lounge). You may even get to meet a driver or two. Nightclubs open late and can be found all over the city; there is always plenty of top-name DJs in town for the Grand Prix.
Beautiful people can also be found in some of the cool rooftop bars of the Marina Bay hotels and in the Financial District or you can head to Club Street in Chinatown for fashionable win and cocktail bars. We recommend 1-Altitude, the highest rooftop bar in the world atop the 282 meter One Raffles Place office building. It occupies the top three floors and as well as the outdoor bar, also includes a restaurant and sports bar. Make sure you reserve entry in advance on Grand Prix weekend.
Sentosa Island is one of Singapore’s leading tourist attractions, drawing around 5m visitors a year to its beaches and various attractions. As well as golf courses, shopping and 5-star hotels, Sentosa is also home to the Universal Studios Singapore theme park, part of the Resort World development. Other attractions on Sentosa Island include the Tiger Sky Tower, Underwater World & Dolphin Island, Butterfly Park & Nature Kingdom. Megazip Adventure Park and a wave pool.
The island is connected to the mainland via a causeway and can be reached from the city centre in just 20 minutes. The easiest way to get to Sentosa is to take the MRT – head to Harbourfron station, the terminus of both the Northeast and Circle lines. From there, you can either walk or take the scenic cable car. Learn more on the official Sentosa Island website here.
Other Things To Do in Singapore
- Visit the Botanic Gardens, a UNESCO world heritage site
- Get out of the city and go to Singapore Zoo
- Take a ride on the Singapore Flyer, pictured opposite, which is located within the circuit. Tickets cost from $32 SGD and the views are amazing!
- Check out Geylang, the city’s Red Light district, which is also great for dining
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