Despite what the locals say about Singapore not having a lot to offer in terms of sights and attractions, there is actually a lot that you can do aside from the obvious shop-till-you-drop experience. Of course, if you are like most first-time tourists, you probably are thinking of heading to the most famous spots, such as the Orchard Road or the Universal Studios first. There’s nothing wrong with that. But once you are done visiting them, you should spend the rest of your time in these lesser known spots.

Singapore Botanic Gardens

If you are an early morning person, you can start your tour of Singapore by paying the Botanic Gardens a visit, which opens at 5 in the morning. It is a wonderful refuge from all the modern and technology that the nation is known for. Here, you will find a virgin rainforest as well as the National Orchid Garden, which, by the way, boasts of more than 1,000 different species of orchids and no less than 2,000 hybrids. If you want some breakfast, stop by at theTanglin Gate so you can experience a traditional local early morning meal.

Chinatown Heritage Centre

Take a tour of the Chinatown Heritage Centre and you are sure to satisfy your culture-inclined cravings. The center boasts of late 19thcentury and early 20th century bedrooms and kitchens. Street scenes from the same time period have also been recreated and are on display here.

Ritz-Carlton Art Pieces

If you fancy seeing some of the best works of art that Singapore has in display, then the Ritz-Carlton Hotel should be included in your list of places to visit. It has a gigantic Frank Stella installation as well as a couple of Dale Chihuly crystal glass sculptures. Extremely impressive collections featuring some of the world’s best modern and contemporary art can be seen here, with many of them being created by big names such as Andy Warhol, David Hockney, Rainer Gross, and Robert Zakanitch. Best of all? It’s for free.

The Singapore Flyer

Take a 30-minute ride on the Singapore Flyer, one of the biggest observation wheels in the world. It is recommended though that you do this at dusk, as it is when the skyscrapers are gently illuminated. Once the half-hour ride is over, you may want to grab some dinner at the Seafood Paradise, home to some of Singapore’s best chili crabs.

Haji Lane

Haji Lane is highly recommended for those who are interested in fashion. This small lane is one of the Muslim quarter’s hidden gems. It is a haven for fashionistas, what with it being comparable to Paris’ Le Marais and even New York’s Meatpacking District. A great place to start your tour of Haji is at the Know It Nothing, where you will find tailored dress shirts from Garni, a Japanese brand. Pluck is another shop worth paying a visit while you are here. Salad is where you should head to next if you want to get a few stylish accessories for your own home. After all the shopping you have done, you probably will be hungry, and the Café le Caire is an ideal choice for some heavenly and authentic Middle Eastern meal.