Singapore is one of the world's great cities - an archetypal melting pot of cultures, art and cuisines. It is the unofficial food capital of Asia, with sublime street stalls and an exciting range of restaurants serving the gamut of world cuisine. It is surprisingly green, too, fully worthy of its tag-line ‘Garden City of Asia’, with dozens of immaculate gardens and even a patch of virgin rainforest full of birds and monkeys.
Shopping, believe it or not, is no longer Singapore's raison d'être - though opportunities for restocking your wardrobe remain better than ever. Esplanade, the stunning waterside arts complex, is Singapore's answer to the Sydney Opera House, while the Singapore Flyer is a giant version of the London Eye.
Despite its obvious attractions, Singapore is still trying to throw off its reputation for being a little sterile. Perhaps it's the litter-free streets, the seamless transport system or the general sense of well-being. Certainly, it lacks the kind of scruffy charm associated with other east Asian cities. But on the flip side are some fantastical places to stay which really show off the creative side of Singapore; for futuristic fun Wanderlust and klapsons lead the way; for those passionate about design there’s the New Majestic, while The Scarlet and Naumi excel at sexy decadence. Even if it's just for a stopover - which, for most, it is - few visitors leave disappointed.