The city state of Singapore crams a huge number of sights, activities and excursions onto one compact and densely populated island. Expats will have no trouble filling day and night with flights of fancy that delight the senses and expand their cultural horizons.

Here are a selection of the best:

Orchard Road

The shopping hub of Singapore around the Orchard MRT station is home to over 20 shopping centres featuring a large number of high-end designer boutiques like Armani and Louis Vuitton as well as the globally ubiquitous brands of McDonalds, Burberry, Zara and T.G.I Friday’s.

Singapore Botanic Gardens

One of Singapore’s most famous tourist attractions due to the National Orchid Garden located within its large boundaries, the Botanic Gardens features more than 1,000 species and 2,000 hybrids of orchid. Also popular with joggers, tai-chi aficionados and dog walkers the gardens are open from 5am to midnight all year round. Entry is free.

Food Playground

The top ranked activity on TripAdvisor is just as suited to newly arrived expats as to tourists. This hands on cooking school will introduce you to the culinary heritage of Singapore in style, equipping you to handle the ingredients from your local supermarket like an expert and to order from a Singaporean menu like a pro.

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Chinatown Heritage Centre

Chinatown is located in the district of Outram and is traditionally home to a high concentration of ethnically Chinese Singaporeans. The Heritage Centre occupies a rather unassuming building amid a rich tapestry of architectural styles and features recreations of Chinese dwellings and street scenes from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. A fascinating trip into Singapore’s past.

Haji Lane

An off the beaten track haunt for followers of fashion, Haji Lane is home to a large number of trendy boutiques occupying what were until recently narrow rows of shop-houses. Whether you’re interested in exquisite tailoring or chic homeware, Haji Lane inevitably has just the thing.

Singapore Zoo

What’s special about Singapore Zoo is that many of the 2,800 animals are perfectly at home in their rainforest surroundings. The Orang Utans roam freely around the jungle setting and you can even join them for breakfast for around $30.

The Singapore Flyer

The world’s largest observation wheel in the world takes you to a height of 165m, or 18% higher than the London Eye. Unlike its London counterpart however there’s almost never a long line to get on and a $30 round trip ticket at sunset is the perfect start to a Singapore evening while you’re still finding your bearings.

One of Singapore’s stranger attractions, Lockdown will intrigue fans of the Krypton Factor, Crystal Maze or online Escape the Room-style flash games. Get locked in a room, either alone or with friends, and then try to escape by solving fiendishly difficult puzzles. A uniquely Singaporean alternative to bowling.

The Southern Ridges

A 10km stretch of green space offering panoramic views of the city, harbour and southern islands. It features the world’s highest pedestrian bridge, the Henderson Wave – named for its undulating appearance – which links Mount Faber Park to Telok Blangah Hill Park with a walking trail 36m off the ground.