The Cliché list with a Twist

You have landed in the Lion City, Singapore, but now what? Do you just unpack, attend classes and follow a routine without anything exciting? Well, you can but not when in Singapore. The country has a lot to offer; especially if you’re here only for a few months, get the traveler, blogger, and photographer in you waking up. Though it’s a young and small country, Singapore has an array of items that you would want to tick off your bucket list. If you’re the researcher types, you must have seen what all to visit in Singapore already. If you’re the one who visits places after reading reviews, you would have done that already as well. I’m not just going to give you descriptions of all the must-visit places. This article is, rather, about those same spots but with a welcoming twist. I’m going to tell you how to visit the cliché list like a local and make the most of your time. Warning: There are some hidden tips that will up your game for the ‘gram. So, what are you thinking? Just continue reading and find out what is in store for today

The iconic Marina Bay Sands (MBS)

So, what do you need to know about it? It’s not just a tall building with a ship on top of the three towers. It’s a hotel and yes, you can actually plan a staycay here (staycay is a holiday in the country you’re residing in). There’s a club (Cé la Vi), a few restaurants with stunning views and of course, the infinity pool. You get free access to the infinity pool if you are a guest in the hotel. But never mind, if you’re a sucker for views, this is a MUST go. I would suggest going in the evening, enjoying the sunset, have dinner followed by a few drinks at the bar, and let the night sink in with the killer city views. However, there’s a ticket for approx. 20$ in case you want to go on top. If you want to avoid paying this fee, wait for the guestlists created by various groups on Facebook and RSVP yourself and get to the club without paying a penny.
Apart from all of the above, there’s a mall attached to the MBS, The Shoppes. It’s THE HUB for all the high-end brands. Pay a visit if you are looking to go luxury shopping and empty your pockets a little.   

ART & SCIENCE MUSEUM

Important: Get your cameras out! This is some serious stuff.

Built right beside The Shoppes, the Art & Science museum, where quite literally Art meets Science, is a delight for art lovers. It’s the world’s first ever Art Science museum. The architecture of the museum is in itself astounding. It’s a lotus-inspired building, though it resembles a hand more and is correctly referred to as ‘The Welcoming Hand of Singapore’. Even if you have visited the museum in the past, it won’t fail to impress you one more time and go gaga over it again with new exhibitions and shows every now and then. Awaken the kid in you by coloring your favorite picture and seeing it come to life on the Sketch Town section. Not just that, you can also slide down a small interactive, digital art screen. End your experience by getting the most touristy photo shot at the ‘Space’ with the Crystal universe surrounding you.

GARDENS BY THE BAY

As the name suggests, these are the beautiful gardens by the Marina Bay. So, is it just some regular garden? Well, it’s a 101-hectare garden, so, NOPE! The first thing you want to cover is definitely the Flower Dome. With some beautiful flowers and also the changing floral display, the flower dome is a treat for the nature lover in you. Also, this is a damn good spot for nature photography. Moving on, the next on your visit list should be the Cloud forest, a sure spot for the indoor waterfall shot of yours. Walk around inside the dome as you uncover the mysterious world amongst the mist. I would strongly suggest you all to not miss the art sculptures in the Gardens because I was stupid enough to not cover those in my initial visit. If you want some breathtaking views (duh, not as amazing as the ones from MBS) then do climb up the OCBC skywalk. There’s a separate ticket for it, but it’s a wonderful experience just to walk on such a height and gaze at the beautiful skyline. 

 

THE SINGAPORE FLYER (The Eye) 

It’s as though all the attractions in Singapore offer spectacular views. Well well, how can the flyer be any less. When you’re on top, you really feel like you’re on TOP of Singapore. It’s a full view of Singapore in an air-conditioned capsule. Fancy a proposal? Imagine dining with your loved ones in the giant wheel at a height. Yes! you can book one of the capsules for a special and private dinner. 

SENTOSA

There are a lot of things you want to be doing in Sentosa. If I start listing everything, the list would just get too long. So, I’m giving you the must see and do attractions. Start your Sentosa trip by taking the cable car from Vivo city/Mt. Faber and enjoy the sea views on your way to Sentosa. Once you’re there, cover all the indoor attractions so you can escape the sun for a bit. These include Madame Tussauds, S.E.A. aquarium, the 37m Merlion (you can even go up till the mouth of the Merlion), Skyline Luge and Skyride. Once you’re into the evening, start with the Mega adventure where you can do Bungee jumping and take the Zipline (most of the ride is covered with long trees and so it restricts views and it is also not the biggest one but I would still recommend it because I’m such a zipline fan). If you’re a Segway enthusiast, do make sure to get on one of those. Following this, get some dinner and as the sun sets, make your way to the Crane dance. It’s a spectacle of illusion and light-play that has a show every day at 8 pm for free.

UNIVERSAL STUDIOS SINGAPORE (USS)

This deserves one day of your trip; but if you’re lucky with the lines, then maybe half a day. The tickets might seem a little high priced if you’re on a budget. So do check out other websites where they sell tickets at a lower price. Quickly diving into what to do in USS, I would suggest you get done with the roller coasters in the beginning so you can eat as much as you want later and not worry about being nauseous. Also, watch out for the Jurassic Park ride which might seem pretty childish but hold your breath for the surprise in the end. Continue your day at USS with shows and hold on for the fireworks. Needless to say, shop a little so you can take back a few souvenirs home. Just make sure there’s no forecast for rain on the day you go so you can enjoy without any worry.

GARDENS

Singapore Botanic gardens- One of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Botanic gardens is located just a few minutes from the shopping paradise Orchard Road. This could be the perfect picnic spot with some fun games. They say dress to impress, I’d rather say dress for the ‘gram when in the Gardens. With beautiful arches, orchid gardens, the Botanical garden is a treat for photographers and nature lovers. Don’t forget to check out for free concerts hosted by the ‘Singapore Symphony Orchestra’.

Chinese and Japanese gardens- Two separate gardens united by a bridge, the Bridge of Double Beauty. In the Chinese garden, you can find the most unusual museum, the Live Turtle and Tortoise Museum. On the other hand, the Japanese garden is talked about for its aesthetic architecture. If you want to make the most of these gardens, go during the Chinese New Year or other festivities when these gardens are lit (quite literally) and have programs scheduled.

This deserves one day of your trip; but if you’re lucky with the lines, then maybe half a day. The tickets might seem a little high priced if you’re on a budget. So do check out other websites where they sell tickets at a lower price. Quickly diving into what to do in USS, I would suggest you get done with the roller coasters in the beginning so you can eat as much as you want later and not worry about being nauseous. Also, watch out for the Jurassic Park ride which might seem pretty childish but hold your breath for the surprise in the end. Continue your day at USS with shows and hold on for the fireworks. Needless to say, shop a little so you can take back a few souvenirs home. Just make sure there’s no forecast for rain on the day you go so you can enjoy without any worry.

THE SHOPPING PARADE

Definitely, hands down, the Orchard Road is the first thing to pop up in my mind. House to a lot of brands ranging from luxury to budget, chic to casual, Orchard has everything. Especially during the festive season, needless to say, this road turns into paradise with fairy light streets and lit up stores. Is that all? Nope! It’s also a street full of cute cafes and restaurants for a romantic dinner. Don’t miss out and do give this street a visit. 

If you’re looking to shop indoors though, check out Vivocity, Plaza Singapura, Suntec City and the brand new Funan Mall which host all the brands you would like under one roof. Keep an eye on the sale period and also the local brands.

But that’s not all. I’m sure you have all heard of Outlet Malls. Yes, the place where you get branded goods at a lower price. Singapore has its very own outlet mall, the IMM. If you’re looking to buy some luxury goods, I would recommend you go here, else, it’s not for you. 

That was all for the Cliché list. But guys, bookmark us so you can make the most out of our blogs because what’s next is something I’m sure you’ll enjoy and want to read too.  

 

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Ten Picturesque spots in and around Paris

Paris is surely famous for all the right reasons. Also this digital era of Instagram and Pinterest makes it much more well known for the picturesque locations that it possesses. Paris is filled with scenic beauties, natural heritage, blessed with art, and adorned with greatest human made masterpieces which are hard to miss. 

Ever wondered where you get to see all these beautiful images online when travelers come to visit Paris and your favorite influencer makes you drool over your screens with their aesthetic selection of locations for getting hands down one of the best pictures in the City of Love!

 

 

1.Trocadéro at sunrise:

Enjoy stunning views of the Eiffel Tower from the Trocadéro, an expansive complex of museums, sculptures, gardens and fountains. Anchoring the space is the striking Palais de Chaillot, which houses museums dedicated to maritime history, architecture and anthropology. 

In front of the Palais de Chaillot are the magnificent Trocadéro Gardens. Built for the 1937 World’s Fair in Paris, the gardens align perfectly with the base of the Eiffel Tower.

Today this beautiful space plays a role in popular seasonal events throughout the year, including a fireworks show each Bastille Day and an annual Christmas Market with an ice skating rink. Complete with beautiful fountains and an array of sculptures, the postcard-worthy views of the Eiffel Tower from Trocadéro Gardens are simply not to be missed.

2. Parc des Buttes Chaumont

The Buttes-Chaumont Park, in the north-east of Paris, is one of the biggest and original green spaces in Paris, measuring 25 hectares. Its construction on quarries explains its impressive steepness and change in levels and heights. Visitors can appreciate stunning views of the city from this hilly setting, especially in the Montmartre district. The layout gives it a particular charm: caves and waterfalls, a suspended bridge, and a high viewpoint. It is brightened up with exotic, indigenous trees and numerous birds (seagulls, moorhens, and mallard ducks) share the area and enjoy the artificial lake. Entertainment for children also takes place in the park and there are break areas where you can get something to eat.

3. Colonnes de Buren

The Colonnes de Buren are officially known as Deux PlateauxIn 1986, the Ministry of Culture commissioned the sculptor Daniel Buren with their creation to adorn the Cour d’Honneur of the Palais-Royal. Deux Plateaux (literally 2 levels) originates in the basement of the courtyard in order to symbolize the link between street-level and underground Paris, both so rich in history.This was a way somehow to link past, present and future.

The 260 striped Colonnes de Buren are made of white Carrara marble from Italy and black marble from the French Pyrénées.These columns are truncated and of different heights, but they all have 8.7 cm wide stripes.

Controversial artwork

The Colonnes de Buren are placed in lines and turn the 3000m² Cour d’Honneur into a huge chessboard! No need to say that they were highly controversial at first, and still are! Many detractors argue that their ugliness ruined the beauty of the Palais-Royal. Indeed, the building is a listed Historical Monument. The columns were therefore installed ‘in a hurry’ and their inauguration skipped!

Ten years later only, water leaks and seepage in the basement, contributed to their degradation and they were falling apart. In 2007 Daniel Buren bitterly complained of the state of ‘extreme disrepair’ in which his columns were.

4.Musée de l’Orangerie

 Home to numerous impressionist and post-impressionist painters over the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, the Orangerie museum can be found in the ‘jardin des Tuileries’, right next to the place de la Concorde. It displays the famous masterpieces of Paul Cézanne, Henri Matisse, Armedeo Modigliani, as well as Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and many other artists of this period.

From Orangery to Museum

The name is not deceiving, the beautiful ‘musee de l’Orangerie’ is installed in an old orangery, built in 1852 to shelter the acidic citrus fruits from the ‘jardin des Tuileries’ in winter. Like all orangeries, the stone building was built in length, and was constructed in glass on the side of the Seine (to the south) and in bricks on the garden side (to the north) in order to conserve as much heat as possible. Its rather classic and simple decoration fits in perfectly with the area that surrounds it.

Converted throughout the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th into a warehouse, military accommodation, and then a site for diverse demonstrations (sports, musical, and even patriotic), the former orangery finally fell into the hands of the administration des Beaux-arts in 1921. This organisation had big plans for the orangery since they wanted to use it to hold a part of the ‘musee du Luxembourg’ which is now the National Museum of Modern Art.

5. Paris Pantheon

The Panthéon was the first major monument in Paris. It was built before the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower, and was the first building that offered a panoramic view over France’s capital. It is located in the Latin Quarter, very close to the Jardin du Luxembourg.

The Panthéon was built between 1764 and 1790, firstly designed by Jacques Germain Soufflot and later by Jean Baptiste Rondelet. The Panthéon was created with the intention of combining the simplicity of the gothic architecture with the stateliness of the Greek architecture.

History

During the nineteenth century and depending on the political regime, the Panthéon was either used as a religious or as a patriotic building.

In the time of the Third Republic and coinciding with Victor Hugo’s funeral, the Panthéon’s necropolis was used to bury famous French citizens.

Visiting the Panthéon

The visit of this landmark can be divided into two. Firstly, the interior of the mausoleum, where visitors will be rendered speechless by its sheer size and decoration, and secondly the crypt, that contains the tombs of illustrious French citizens such as Voltaire, Rousseau, Victor Hugo, Marie Curie, Louis Braille, Jean Monnet and Alejandro Dumas.

6. Rue Cremieux

At one time this enchanting little cobbled street, hidden away in the 12th arrondissement, was a “secret place” few people knew about. These days, however, Rue Crémieux is an increasingly sought out haunt for fashion photographers, filmmakers, and people looking for something uniquely suited the color-saturated world of Instagram.

In many respects, this quaint throughway between Rue de Lyon and Rue de Bercy doesn’t really feel like Paris at all and is perhaps more reminiscent of Portobello Road in London’s Notting Hill, or Burano in Venice. 

Amid the colorful façades, trompes l’œil paintings, and shuttered windows, are window boxes and terracotta pots filled with lush plants that add to the feeling you have somehow escaped Paris for a moment. 

This is a residential street, albeit a very short one, but the homes are not large. In fact, on one side of the street, the building is little more than one room in depth.

7. Square Marcel Bleustein Blanchet

Once called Park Turlure after a former windmill on site, the square is terraced and provides some of the best (and perhaps most unique) views of the Sacré-Coeur. After all, fewer people wander around the back of the basilica, preferring to stop and photograph the ecclesiastical building face on.

But if you were to visit Montmartre, then remaining in the touristic spots would be your first mistake! The area has plenty of hidden gems to explore (not just the Sacré-Coeur and Place du Tertre) and its cobbled lanes are best explored on foot.

In the spring, Square Marcel-Bleustein-Blanchet is filled with blossoming wisteria, while in the summer months, the little park is the perfect place to enjoy a Parisian picnic, as well as a great place to stop and rest in the middle of a Montmartre walking tour.

Come the Autumnal season, the leaves turn golden hues and look magical against the backdrop of a sparkling Sacré-Coeur. So I guess, what I’m trying to say is that the Square is pretty photogenic all year ’round!

8. The Arc de Triomphe terrace

HISTORY OF THE MONUMENT

A unique viewpoint. From the top of the panoramic terrace, your eyes sweep over the whole of Paris.

 The revisited Antiquity. Architect Jean-François Chalgrin was inspired by the Roman Arch of Titus in a single arch, but went beyond it by exceptional dimensions (about 50 m high, 45 m long and 22 m wide) and abandoning columns. 

 A key place of major national events. Wanted by Napoleon in 1806, the Arc de Triomphe was inaugurated in 1836 by French king, Louis-Philippe, who dedicated it to the armies of the Revolution and the Empire. The Unknown Soldier was buried at the base of the arch in 1921. The flame of remembrance is rekindled every day at 18:30.

9. Butte Bergeyre

Perched on a little hill, 100m up, to the West of Buttes Chaumont, this micro-arrondissement in the 19e has all the charm of Parisian life without the people. If you’re looking for a place with peace and quiet, then this is it. All in all, there are only around 1200 residents, making this the kind of place that retains its village vibe in the heart of a modern metropolis

Named after Robert Bergeyre, a 19th-century French rugby player who died in 1914, the mount offers amazing views over the city AND one of the last remaining vineyards in the city of lights. It’s the perfect place to get a little bit lost on a lazy afternoon and forget that you’re in one of the busiest capital cities in the world.

10.Pont Alexandre III

The Pont Alexandre III is a deck arch bridge that spans the Seine in Paris. It connects the Champs-Élysées quarter with those of the Invalides and Eiffel Tower. The bridge is widely regarded as the most ornate, extravagant bridge in the city. It has been classified as a French monument historique since 1975.

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