Catch a Movie Under the Stars & 4 Other Things to Do in Town

Central Business District

1. Took a respite from the Central Business District in Singapore’s largest cathedral

Most would probably find the Central Business District synonymous with huge crowds marching rapidly from one destination to another. But yet right in the heart of the Central Business District sits St Andrew’s Cathedral, Singapore’s largest cathedral. Conveniently located beside City Hall MRT (take Exit B), its Neo-Gothic architecture is a treat to the eye among the skyscrapers in its vicinity. The cathedral is open to the public from Mondays to Saturdays 9am to 5pm, but the fences running along its perimeter seem to keep most out of the crowd which was fairly empty even on a Saturday afternoon. One can access to the cathedral through the main entrance hidden behind the cathedral’s Welcome Centre along North Bridge Road just outside Exit B or the side entrance at the junction of North Bridge Road and Coleman Street.

Although St Andrew’s Cathedral takes the title of the largest cathedral in Singapore, its huge grounds are largely unoccupied, with the cathedral situated in the middle and large fields spreading out on all four sides. Its interior, though quaint, pales in comparison to its pristine white façade and time would be much better spent appreciating the external architecture while lounging on the shaded benches scattered around the premise. People familiar with the crowds and hectic rush synonymous with the Central Business District will find the calm and quiet of this cathedral surreal.

Free tours are conducted by members of the cathedral daily from Mondays to Saturdays at 2 timeslots (10.30am – 12.00noon or 2.30pm – 4.00pm, except Wednesday mornings and Saturday afternoons). More information on the tours can be found here.

See reviews from around the world.

Address:
St Andrew’s Cathedral
11 St Andrew’s Road, Singapore 178959

Tel: 6337 6104
Opening hours: 9am to 5pm | Mon to Sat
Admission: Free

 

2. Had a brush with the law

To enter the Central Business District’s most serious sector, head down along North Bridge Road and take a left turn to Parliament Place which runs between the Supreme Court (look out for the building’s UFO inspired crown) and Parliament House. Unfortunately, both places are closed on weekends. If you’re visiting on a weekday, try popping in for a hearing at Supreme Court or a Sitting Day at the Parliament House. There are also tours available for both the Supreme Court and Parliament House. Take note of the dress code if you are visiting.

Explore the Supreme Court virtually here and here.

Address:
Supreme Court
1 Supreme Court Lane, Singapore 178879
Tel: 6336 0644

Parliament House
1 Parliament Place, Singapore 178880
Tel: 6332 6666

For something a little less serious, grab a bite at The Academy Bistro, located on the first storey of the Supreme Court (again, closed on weekends). Reviews here and here.

Address:
The Academy Bistro
Cuisine: Western 
1 Supreme Court Lane, GF Supreme Court, Singapore 178879
Tel: 6332 4365
Opening hours: 8.30am to 6pm | Mon to Thu | 8.30am to 10pm | Fri | Closed on Sat, Sun and public holidays

3. Dropped by the first Parliament House and oldest performing arts venue

Not all is sombre in the Central Business District. Hiding behind the current Parliament House is Singapore’s first Parliament House which has been refurbished into The Arts House since 2004. Aiming to develop and promote literary arts in Singapore, The Arts House hosts a wide array of free and paid events throughout the year. You can even catch a show at the Chamber where the original furnishings of the Old Parliament House (imported from London) have been retained.

Address:
The Arts House
1 Old Parliament Lane, Singapore 179429

Recently opened after a $158-million refurbishment, the Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall held an Open House on 19 and 20 July 14 with free performance and guided tours. There are currently no updates on upcoming events or tours but with this brochure, self-guided tour is easy enough!

Address:
Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall
11 Empress Place, Singapore 179558

4. (Wished I) pampered myself to an afternoon tea fit for a queen

After exiting the Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall, continue along Empress Place, go pass the Asian Civilisations Museum and cross the pedestrian Cavernagh Bridge. This would bring you to The Fullerton Hotel, situated close to some of the tallest buildings and landmarks in the Central Business District. Sprawled across the main lobby is The Courtyard, a restaurant which serves afternoon teas (Mon to Fri, 3pm to 6pm and Sat, Sun and public holidays, 2pm to 4pm and 4.30pm to 6pm) and chocolate buffets (Fri and Sat, 8pm to 11pm). The Courtyard tries to live up to its name with the high ceiling, tall plants and sky lights and to top it off, the air-conditioning will shield you from the unforgiving Singapore heat. I’ve yet to try the afternoon tea and buffet but you can find reviews here, here, here and here. True foodies might want to give this a miss as the ambience seems to be the highlight rather than the food.

After the sinful indulgence, you can walk off the food while enjoying the art pieces on display around the lobby and at The Fullerton Heritage Gallery.

From The Fullerton Hotel, you can visit The Fullerton Waterboat House which is now a location for fine dining. Then take the underpass over to One Fullerton where you can see our famed Merlion. One Fullerton now houses mostly restaurants and pubs but head towards Clifford Pier and you can see some interesting art installations.

Follow the wooden decked promenade which takes you through Clifford Pier, The Fullerton Bay Hotel as well as the Customs House. The historical architecture makes the area a treat for the eye but most of these places are converted to dining places (full listing here) so there’s not much exploration left to be done. But do not miss visiting The Fullerton Bay Hotel, whose grand entrance is matched by its equally gorgeous interiors. Like The Fullerton Hotel, The Fullerton Bay Hotel too has a huge restaurant in its lobby. The Landing Point also offers afternoon teas and chocolate buffets, and personally I would pick this over The Courtyard for the views of the Marina Bay precinct. Reviews here and here. If you’re not about to splurge on food, there are good spots near the main entrance with comfy sofas for a short break and some people watching.

Download The Fullerton Heritage Trail Map for a self guided walking trail around the Fullerton Heritage precinct. Guests of Fullerton Hotel and The Fullerton Bay Hotel can get complimentary guided tours.

Address:
The Fullerton Hotel
1 Fullerton Square, Singapore 049178

One Fullerton
1 Fullerton Road, Singapore 049213

The Fullerton Bay Hotel/ Clifford Pier
80 Collyer Quay, Singapore 049326

Customs House
70 Collyer Quay, Singapore 049323

5. Revelled in a movie against the backdrop of skyscrapers

Afterwards, cross over to Marina Bay Sands via Marina Boulevard. On the third Friday and Saturday of each month at 7.30pm, DBS screens free movies at the open space outside Marina Bay Sands (take the exit leading towards Marina Bay City Gallery). The screening dates for each month can be found here and you can vote to screen your favourite movies here. Bring along a mat and picnic food and enjoy the movie against the backdrop of the Central Business District.

Address:
The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands (exit leading towards Marina Bay City Gallery)
10 Bayfront Ave, Singapore 018956

Date timer: ~3 hours (excluding the movie)

Any of you have taken the tours at the Supreme Court or Parliament House? How was the experience?

* Images designed by Freepik

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About DownloadADate

Kia is a Singaporean who likes to make lists and plans. She sees her weekends as sacred pockets of time that should be used for more than just movies and food. She enjoys cuddling up with a book as much as exploring new places by foot in the insane Singapore humidity. Listening to her friends who lament that there’s “nothing to do in Singapore” and fly all over the world for holidays, Kia seeks to look for escapades closer to home. She found that even in such a tiny country, there are many places she hasn’t been, things she hasn’t tried, and old places are being revamped into new ones all the time. Soon, she saw the places around her like how tourists would see them, but better – fresh and yet familiar. Kia then sets out to plan itineraries for her weekend escapes and it became a habit she enjoyed. And now she wants to share them with you. After all, there are 52 weekends in year and only so many holidays you can take. What if you can turn your dates with family and friends into holidays every week? Check out her adventures at www.downloadadate.wordpress.com

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