There’s no doubt that the world has fallen in love with Crazy Rich Asians, but if you’re anything like us, this hit romcom will have left you feeling just as enamoured with its spectacular setting. From hotels to hawker centres, the film features some of Singapore’s most iconic landmarks. The good news? You don’t need to be crazy rich to experience these places for yourself.
Built in 1887 during British colonial rule in Singapore, this famed hotel oozes old-world charm. But don’t worry if, unlike Crazy Rich Asians’ Nick and Rachel, you can’t afford to stay here (who can?): many of Raffles’ elegant spaces are open to the public for free, including its courtyards, tea rooms and arcade of shops. Head to the Empire cafe, Raffles Courtyard or Seah Street Deli, where the dress code is casual and the cheapest items on the menu are just SG$9 (HK$50).
Nearest MRT (subway) stations: Esplanade, City Hall
The setting for Nick and Rachel’s first meal together in Singapore, Newton Food Centre is one of the little red dot’s best-loved eateries, and perfectly showcases its diverse culinary heritage.
Seafood lovers will especially find themselves at home here; popular dishes include chilli crab, sambal stingray and fried prawn mee. Best of all, Singapore’s hawker centres offer super budget-friendly dining. You can sample multiple dishes, fill yourself to bursting, wash it all down with a glass of sugar cane, and still probably spend no more than SG$20.
Nearest MRT stations: Newton
Really, it’s no wonder this street makes a cameo in Crazy Rich Asians; its aesthetic could not be more on-point. Close to Singapore’s central banking hub, but exuding the character and charm of local neighbourhoods, Bukit Pasoh Road is home to rows of colourful and lovingly preserved 1920s shophouses, most of which are now hipster-style eateries. You don’t have to fork out for a meal, of course; the beautiful architecture alone makes this area worth a visit.
Nearest MRT station: Outram Park
This beautiful 19th-century church provides the backdrop for a truly sumptuous wedding in the movie. In real life, the complex serves as a shopping and entertainment hub with plenty of restaurants and cafes, giving visitors the rare opportunity to experience a national monument from the inside. Be sure to bring a camera and have fun recreating your favourite scenes.
Nearest MRT stations: Bras Basah, City Hall, Esplanade
There was no way anyone was going to make a film about Singaporean high society without featuring the city state’s most iconic – and most expensive – building. Dominating the skyline, the Marina Bay Sands hotel really is too impressive to not warrant a visit. The rooms are eye-wateringly pricey – but the views come at just a tiny fraction of that cost. Head up to the observation deck for SG$23 and look out at the picturesque Gardens by the Bay. Or, for absolutely no cost, head to the Bayfront promenade to enjoy the nightly Spectra light and water show.
Nearest MRT station: Bayfront
Proudly overlooking Marina Bay in downtown Singapore is the city’s official mascot, the Merlion. The mythical half-fish, half-lion pays tribute to Singapore’s origins as a fishing village, and its Malay name Singapura, which means “Lion City”. Despite appearing on mugs, T-shirts, notebooks – and now, the big screen – the Merlion remains humble enough to pose for photo ops with visitors, so be sure to go grab yours.
Nearest MRT station: Raffles Place