This energetic district just south of the river mouth was the site of Singapore’s 19th-century transformation into an international business and trade centre. Today, the old ship warehouses have given way to the gleaming banking buildings of the Singapore skyline. But look closer, and you’ll discover life on a smaller scale, with street food markets and temples that hark back to the city’s early days.

Soaring skyscrapers and bay-side boulevards with pockets of preserved history

Things to do


The Central Business District (or CBD) is home to the buildings that give the Singapore skyline its neck-craning height. Capture the perfect sunset panorama from the marina – and see the skyscrapers in dramatic silhouette. Despite its ultra-modern feel, the CBD is also where you’ll find Singapore’s oldest Taoist temple: the peaceful Yueh Hai Ching Temple on Philip Street.


You needn’t go all the way to Orchard Road for a retail fix. In nearby Marina Bay you’ll find luxury malls such as the Shoppes, which even has an indoor canal complete with gondolas. Or you could hone your haggling skills in the China Town street markets.


Although it has its fair share of fine dining restaurants, CBD also offers plenty of chances to follow the local lead and indulge in street food. Visit popular Hawker Centres such as Lau Pa Sat, its countless food carts filling the air with tantalising scents. This is said to be one of the best places in the city to try authentic, freshly-prepared satay. 

Step into a different world – the CBD makes a good boutique city break base for exploring Singapore’s diverse neighbourhoods, including neighbouring China Town.

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