Singapore is a small island country. With a population size of over 5.5 million people it is a very crowded city, second only to Monaco as the world's most densely populated country.
However, unlike many other densely populated countries, Singapore - with more than 50% of its area covered by greenery and with over 50 major parks and 4 nature reserves - is an enchanting garden city.
Large self-contained residential towns have mushroomed all over the island, around the clean and modern city centre.
The centre of the city is located in the south — consisting roughly of the Orchard Road shopping area, the Riverside, the new Marina Bay area and also the skyscraper-filled Shenton way financial district known, in acronym-loving Singapore, as the CBD (Central Business District).
- Riverside (Civic District) — Singapore's colonial core, with museums, statues and theatres, not to mention restaurants, bars and clubs.
- Orchard Road — Miles and miles of shopping malls.
- Marina Bay — The newest feature of Singapore, dominated by the Marina Bay Sands integrated resort (hotel, casino, shopping mall, convention centre and museum) and the Marina Barrage. The newly opened Gardens by the Bay situated next to Marina Bay Sands integrated resort is a large public garden which house two huge cooled conservatories – the Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest as well as a cluster of gigantic Super Trees.
- Bugis and Kampong Glam — Bugis and Kampong Glam are Singapore's old Malay district, now largely taken over by shopping.
- Chinatown — The area originally designated for Chinese settlement by Raffles, now a Chinese heritage area popular with tourists. Singapore's largest (arguably only) gay enclave is here too.
- Little India — A piece of India to the north of the city core.
- Balestier, Newton, Novena and Toa Payoh — Budget accommodations and Burmese temples within striking distance of the centre.
- North — The northern part of the island, also known as Woodlands, forms Singapore's residential and industrial hinterlands. Singapore Zoo is located here.
- West — The western part of the island form Singapore's residential areas with Star Vista.
- Jurong— Home to Nanyang Technological University and the last housing frontier before the industrial area. Attractions include Singapore Bird Park, Singapore Science Centre and Singapore Discovery Centre.
- North East — Home to many residential towns with a heart of Serangoon NEX, Hougang Mall and Compass Point.
- Tampines — A residential town located in the heartlands, in the far east of the island close to Changi Airport.
- East Coast — The largely residential eastern part of the island contains Changi Airport, miles and miles of beach and many famous eateries. Also covers Geylang Serai, the true home of Singapore's Malays.
- Sentosa — A separate island once a military fort developed into a resort, Sentosa is the closest that Singapore gets to Disneyland, now with a dash of gambling and Universal Studios thrown in.
- North West — the aspiring north west that goes into the undeveloped jungles, and the military training areas (Ama Keng, Lim Chu Kang, cemeteries, Kranji Camp and SAFTI).