Raffles Place Singapore
Raffles Place is one of the most interesting places in Singapore. It has some of the tallest buildings and all the major banks of Singapore. Although, Raffles Place is a central business district, but it is located in the center of all major landmarks and tourist destinations of Singapore. To be more specific, Raffles place is the financial district of Singapore and is located at the bank of Singapore River. All Major banks are located within a 5 minutes walking distance from each other.
A mass rail transit (MRT) station is located right in the heart of Raffles Place in front of the green park. The green park hosts many sculptures and art exhibitions around and surrounding buildings with large LED Screens add to the ambience of the environment and the skyscrapers.
As soon as you come out of the MRT station at Raffles Place Singapore, you will see the place filled with formally dressed crowd. Most of them are bankers, traders, entrepreneurs and business development managers. Many of them sit or stand beside the park with coffees in their hands having discussions with their fellow colleagues. The corporate culture dominates the whole area.
History of Raffles Place Singapore
Raffles Place became the earliest commercial center soon after the layouts of the modern Singapore were laid in 1819. The place was assigned as a commercial square in 1822 by Sir Stamford Raffles. The area was a swampy place at the south western bank of Singapore River. A plan was created, and a hill was levelled. Around 300 workers were used to level the hill and the soil from the hill was used for the land filling. The holes, gaps and swamps were filled with the soil and many traders and businessmen opened their stores here.
Many Asians and European merchants created their offices and their residence on top of their offices. The area was renamed as Raffles Place in 1858 to honor Sir Stamford Raffles. The area quickly attracted many traders because the cargo could easily be loaded and unloaded directly from the boats to the warehouses. Between 1858 to 1864, more area was reclaimed to spread the business district.
Among the first banks to open in the Raffles Place was “The Chartered Mercantile bank of India, London and China” which became HSBC. Another bank opened was “The Chartered Bank of India, Australia and China” which became the Standard Chartered Bank. Asiatic Banking Corporation and Oriental Bank were also among the first banks to open in Raffles Place.
During World War II, Raffles Place was targeted by the Japanese airplanes and the business was adversely affected. The trading and development halted for some time, but the renovation and business started again and kept booming since then. Raffles Place is now dominated by many of the tallest buildings in Singapore mostly owned by the banks.
5 Awesome Attractions Near Raffles Place Singapore
Although, Raffles Place is a business district, but you will see many tourists in this area. There are two main categories of foreign visitors in this area. One who visit Singapore for business, as most of the banks and offices are located in this area. Others for tourism, as the place is in the center of many famous landmarks and attractions. You will see many photographers here, taking pictures of the skyscrapers. The area is very convenient, and also has malls, shops, fashion boutiques and restaurants.
One Raffles Place Mall
One Raffles Place was previously known as Overseas Union Bank (OUB) Center. This is one of the tallest buildings in Singapore. The building also has a mall which includes a grocery store inside. You will find some unique brands which target the corporate culture of the Raffles Place. There are other famous brands, restaurants and cafes inside.
The Fullerton Hotel Singapore
This is a five-star hotel located in Raffles Place near the bank of the Singapore River. This place was originally a general post office and was called as Fullerton Building. Many businessmen prefer to stay here because of the proximity of the hotel with the Raffles Place. The hotel is also famous because of a tiger, who entered in the building and had to be shot down. The hotel can be accessed directly or through an underpass which also connects Raffles Place to One Fullerton.
One Fullerton is one of the most prestigious address in Singapore. There is a corporate building which has many restaurants and cafes under it. The Singapore Merlion is also located here. As soon as you come up from the lovely carpeted underpass, and walk to the left, after passing beside a couple of restaurants, you will be able to see the Merlion. The best part are the views from the place. Located at the bank of the river, you can see full views of the nearby Marina Bay Sands which is a beautiful landmark of the country. The durian shaped Esplanade is also located very near to One Fullerton.
This beautiful structure is another wonderful landmark of Singapore. Located very near to One Fullerton. The walking distance to The Esplanade is shorter than the driving distance from Raffles Place. This is a durian shaped building in beautiful radiant white color. Esplanade is a theater and a concert hall, which is located at the bank of the river. The building is named after the Esplanade Park which is located next to it. The Esplanade has a concert hall with 1600 seats and a theater with 2000 seats.
Clarke Quay & Boat Quay
Clarke Quay and Boat Quay both are located very near to the Raffles Place. You can take the MRT which will take you to the wonderful entertainment places within minutes. You can walk to Boat Quay and have your lunch or dinner here and then cross the pedestrian bridge to reach Clark Quay. Read in detail about amazing attractions of Clarke and Boat Quay.
Read about More Amazing Attractions near Raffles Place and Things to do In Singapore.