Over the last few years a cultural explosion has washed ashore in Singapore. The island city-state is the first Southeast Asian country and the fourth Asian territory to be rated by the Michelin Guide; its first edition launched in 2016. The National Gallery Singapore completed its restoration in 2015 after the government spent millions adjoining its two structures—part of the roughly $700 million per year that officials have allotted to infusing Singapore’s 276 square miles (the size of roughly half of Los Angeles) with artistic resources and creative spaces. Movements such as those attracted French-born chef Julien Royer to open his fine dining eatery, Odette, on the museum’s ground floor.
With Malaysia to the north and Sumatra to the west, Singapore sits just north of the equator. The year-round balmy island city-state went from third world to first in a single generation thanks to its first prime minister and founding father, Lee Kuan Yew. During his three decades of rule from 1959-1990, he emphasized engineering, technology and math, transforming both the economy and the public transportation system. The Lion City currently stands as one of the wealthiest countries in the world and is flush with cultural innovations, from food and beverage to fashion to sustainable living.
The architecture throughout the city varies immensely; from the two-story colonial era shophouses of Chinatown to the temples of Little India and central business district’s skyscrapers, below are our favorite places to eat, drink, sleep, ‘gram, shop and wander.