Hello Civic District
The elegant Civic District by the Singapore River is the birthplace of modern Singapore. This is where Sir Stamford Raffles – he of Raffles Hotel fame – arrived in 1819 and set about implementing his urban planning strategy for the island. The area is jam-packed with historically important places, including the birthplace of the Singapore Sam cocktail and the National Museum. Not too far away are the newer, more kitschy designs of Esplanades – Theaters on the Bay and the Singapore Flyer.
The Civic District’s newest addition is the National Gallery, which was once Singapore's City Hall and Supreme Court. This has the world’s biggest collection of Southeast Asian art. Don’t miss the innovative sculptures, such as the giant chili pepper Pedas Pedas by Singapore artist Kumari Nahappan. The Arts House in the old Parliament House is great for contemporary art, while Peranakan Museum celebrates Singapore’s early Chinese-Malay community. Take a boat ride for a sense of place, or head west to Orchard Road’s malls and the Botanic Gardens.