Traveling in Singapore can allow you to see a truly unique place. Singapore is a thriving global business city, as well as a beautiful and exotic tourist hotspot and a travel hub, so there are lots of reasons to visit. Whether you are taking a luxury vacation to enjoy Singapore’s legendary hospitality and world class shopping, are visiting on business, or are just taking a quick stop here on your way to another destination, it is well worth seeing as much of the country as you can.
One part of Singapore you won’t want to miss is the financial district. While (unless you are visiting on business) the prospect of seeing financial houses, brokers and banks may not sound all that enthralling, it is really the sheer scale of the architecture here that will impress you, and you can have a chance to get some of the best views in Singapore if you travel to the top of a skyscraper!
The History of the Singapore Central Business District
Often referred to just as the ‘CBD’, the financial district of Singapore is located to the South of the mouth of Singapore River, and is an area that has a short, but varied history. Originally, it was uninhabitable swamp land, but back in the 1820’s a project to reclaim the land made it possible to build there, and Commercial Square was quickly formed, an area that was already key to business in Singapore, although back then transportation and shipping were the focus, rather than finance and technology.
Commercial Square later became a popular retail centre, although in the 1960’s Orchard Road became the main shopping district, as it still is today. It was around this time that Commercial Square was reinvented as the business hub, and now it is impossible to miss due to the abundance of incredible skyscrapers!
Raffles Place, along with its adjoining roads Cecil Street, Shenton Way and Robinson Road, is an unforgettable sight thanks to its towering architecture. You can really get a feel for Singapore as the modern, business-centric city it has become by taking in some of the imposing buildings, which are home to every important financial services business, bank and forex broker in Singapore.
If you are visiting on business, you may have the opportunity to see some of these state of the art luxury business premises from the inside, and take in the breath taking views, but if not, make your way to One Raffles Place where you can pay a visit to the 1-Altitude bar which is on the rooftop! From here you get to see one of the best city views in the world, as well as getting a nice contrast to what it feels like being at the bottom of that canyon of skyscrapers!
Exploring the financial district can be a great way to spend a part of your day, and a nice adjunct to taking a relaxing walk along the river to see the Boat Quay, or to visit the Colonial District, which makes a stark contrast to the modern and shiny CBD.
You’ll find plenty of good places to eat and drink around the CBD during the day, with many of them catering largely to the professionals who work in the area, so feeling somewhat less touristy than in other places while still offering luxury and high quality. If you are travelling for work and are likely to be spending a lot of time in the CBD, you may also find that it makes good sense to stay in one of the hotels in the area.
The Singapore CBD is impressive, and really gives a sense of the kind of world leading, modern city Singapore has become in a relatively short space of time. Make sure you get a chance to see it on your trip!