The modern city-state of Singapore has a rich mix of architecture and a melting pot of cultures. The best way to get to the land where skyscrapers are surrounded by greenery and tropical gardens is by road.

Here are the best roads to drive in Singapore.

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Marina Bay Street Circuit night drive 

The best route for motorsport fans

The Downtown Core has a 3- mile loop.

It's no wonder that the number one driver in Singapore is a Formula One racer. The Marina Bay Street Circuit, also known as Singapore Street Circuit, is the site of the sport's first-ever night race in 2008, and it's one of the few places that fans can drive around during the year. The best time to drive the track is at night.

The road runs parallel to the Marina Promenade and goes north under the Benjamin Sheares Bridge before heading back down Republic Boulevard. The road goes around a long, sweeping right-hand bend, which leads to the Raffles Boulevard.

The circuit goes through the Downtown Core, which is Singapore's historical heartland, before turning left onto Nicoll Highway and then right onto the road that leads to the war memorial. Just a short way down, it's another left turn onto St Andrew's Road and down past Singapore's National Gallery and Recreation Club before turning left onto the highway.

Once on the highway, it's up to speed as the track goes back towards Raffles Avenue. The track weaves its way around the waterfront before meeting up with the start-finish line in the city center.

Driving at night brings a whole new look to Singapore's central waterfront and the sparkling lights of its towers and main attractions glisten as you fly by.

Exterior of Hay Dairies, a goat farm in Singapore
Stop at Hay Dairies, Singapore's only goat farm, during your countryside drive on the Kranji loop © Ria de Jong / Lonely Planet

The Kranji loop

The best route for a countryside drive 

The Jalan Bahar and PIE junction is 11 miles away.

It's best known for its wetlands, farms and nature reserves, but there's more to Singapore than that.

The Singapore Turf Club is the only horse-racing club in the city state. You can head north on Kranji Road. The route weaves in and out of industrial districts until the buildings thin out and give way to a narrow strip of road called Kranji Way. The road goes through the open countryside past the dam, with tropical vegetation on both sides of the road.

The route allows for a break from the hustle and bustle of the city and stops at a few of the farms. The only goat farm in Singapore is Hay Dairies, which has around 800 mixed breed goats.

The route goes by a golf course and a nature reserve after you get back on your feet. The marshes are a great place to jump out of the car and stretch your legs before hiking.

Once past the marshes, the road widens as it heads south to connect with the PIE and KJE highways, which leads to the intersection with the Turf Club.

Young woman walking in orchid house at Singapore Botanic Gardens
Take a break from the city at the Singapore Botanic Gardens © Getty Images

Botanic Gardens loop

The best route for an inner-city breather

The National Orchid Garden is 3 miles away.

The perimeter road around Singapore Botanic Gardens is a great place to take a break from the city. The tropical garden, located on the edge of the shopping district, was awarded world heritage site status in 2004.

It's not possible to drive into the gardens, but it's possible to slow down and channel some of the zen the garden is famed for by taking the Tyersall Road.

The gardens on the east and west side of Bukit Timah Road can be seen thanks to the link between the main roads of Bukit Timah Road and Tyersall Road. Offering a welcome reprieve from the dense traffic outside of the gardens, start off driving north on Cluny Road, taking in the sights before turning left onto Bukit Timah Road and joining Tyersall Road.

The 182-acre botanic gardens are a must visit. Some of the most beautiful and well-kept tropical vegetation in the world can be found in Singapore. There is a rare patch of dense rainforest at the site, which is teeming with over 300 species of plants.

If you have a bit more time on your hands, you can take a detour on the west side of the gardens and go up the winding roads that lead up into the residential areas. Fans of modern architecture will love the modern villas that overlook the gardens.

Overhead cable cars at Mount Faber in Singapore
Cable cars going to Mount Faber, which offers panoramic city views and can also be reached by motor vehicle © Getty Images

Mount Faber Park

The best route for seeing the city from up high 

The peak of the road is 2.5 miles.

Mount Faber is the best place to view the city from a height, and the road leading to it is the closest you can get to a mountain pass. The peak is a popular tourist spot that offers a panoramic view of the central business district and the coast.

Take the exit from Mount Faber Road. As you get closer to the top, the road narrows to a single lane as you climb up the mountain. The road is a popular route for people who want to escape the city center.

The peak of the road is reached after a mile or so. The road goes down the hillside to join the busy West Coast Highway.

There are many lookouts along the route that give the perfect opportunity to take a picture of the view.

Mount Pleasant Road 

The best road for history and architecture buffs 

The Singapore Polo club is on the PIE highway.

Mount Pleasant Road is a good place to see Singapore's colonial architecture and traditional black-and-white bungalows.

The Singapore Polo Club, founded in 1886, is where Mount Pleasant Road begins to climb slowly as the surrounding buildings are replaced by dense vegetation. Behind the walls and security, it is possible to see the colonial-era architecture and bungalows of Mount Pleasant.

An exit from the Senior Police Officers Mess leads to a lane that leads to a building that used to be a police mess.

The road drops back down as more gates and driveway reveal hidden houses or architectural interests. The road leads onto an intersection that is part of the busy PIE highway.

The article was last updated about 15 hours ago.