While there’s little doubt Singapore could fill its grandstands with diehard race fans, the reality of this unique grand prix is that many of the visitors this weekend are coming as much to sample the city as they are to observe the overtaking. We’re not the best people to judge, as there’s plenty to keep us occupied on the Marina Bay Street Circuit – but for those with a little more time on their hands, there’s no shortage of places to go and sights to see in the Lion City.
While we’re hoping F1 is the premier night-time attraction in town this weekend, there’s just about enough time after qualifying to visit Singapore Zoo, and experience one of its famous ‘Night Safari’ tours. That might be a little tight for time on race day (it closes at midnight) but, if you’re hungry after the chequered flag and fancy sampling some fabulous street food, that’s just when Singapore’s famous Hawker Centres are just getting started.
Part of the allure of the Singapore Grand Prix has always been the spectacular aerial views of the circuit under lights. It’s even better seen live, which makes the giant Singapore Flyer ferris wheel, or the Marina Bay Sands hotel (and it’s distinctive boat-themed Skypark and rooftop pool) a must visit. If that isn’t sufficiently intense, then the GX-5 Extreme Swing and Trampoline Bungy on Clarke Quay may be more your thing. Or, for those who prefer their entertainment rather more sedate or closer to the ground, Orchard Road is one of South East Asia’s premier shopping destinations, and the Gardens by the Bay nature park features the illuminated Supertree Grove of vertical gardens.
After all of that, you may want to pop into Raffles for a Singapore Sling. Sadly, the hotel is undergoing renovation and the famous Long Bar is currently closed – but the hotel has a pop-up Long Bar operating on the site, for anyone who doesn’t want to leave without trying the iconic cocktail.