Top 31 Things to Do in Singapore Including FREE activities!

Top 31 Things to Do in Singapore Including FREE activities!

Singapore is a small place, there’s little (pun intended!) doubt about it. However, in this country we lovingly call The Little Red Dot, there are definitely no lack of things to see, do and eat! From snazzy malls to kitschy theme parks, here are 31 things to fill up your day(s) with.

1. The airport is your playground at Jewel Changi Airport

jewel changi

Image credit: Bennv3771

Recently opened in April 2019, Jewel Changi Airport is one of the newest attractions in Singapore. Marvel at the impressive HSBC Rain Vortex, the world’s largest indoor waterfall, and treat yourself to a spectacular light show in the evening that happens hourly, starting from 7.30pm! 

Walk through the 14,000m2 Canopy Walk on the top floor of the dome-shaped structure and traipse on the bouncy sky nets, and be treated to the aerial view of the attraction. With over 280 shopping and dining outlets, you will definitely be spoilt for choice at Jewel Changi Airport!

Also read more about Changi Airport’s latest attractions, Canopy Park and Changi Experience Studio!

2. Have fun with technology at Funan Mall

funan mall

Image credit: CapitaLand Malls

From a rooftop edible garden to an indoor bike path, Funan Mall is your one-stop futuristic mall that is not like any other! 

Drop by at local label Love Bonito’s shop and snap some of your Insta-worthy pictures on their Augmented Reality (AR) runway or immerse yourself in the realm of Virtual Reality (VR) by enjoying a gaming and cinematic experience in Golden Village’s VR pods. Featuring many novel and interesting retail concepts, Funan also leverages on digital innovations, such as a cryptocurrency e-payment system at the KOPItech food court, to bring to you a never-like-before shopping and entertainment experience. With so many exciting things to do, Funan Mall should definitely be on your to-visit-list especially if you’re a tech junkie. 

3. Live the high life at Marina Bay Sands

marina bay sands

Image credit: Someformofhuman

marina bay sands

Image credit: Silas Khua

Enjoy the stunning panoramic view of the city skyline from the world’s largest and highest infinity pool – 57 levels above the ground – at the Marina Bay Sands hotel. Thereafter, treat yourself to some high-end luxury shopping at The Shoppes, where you will find some exclusive collections from top brands such as Louis Vuitton and Gucci. If you are feeling lucky (and rich), you might want to also make a visit to the Marina Bay Sands Casino!

4. Rough it up with nature at Pulau Ubin

pulau ubin

Image credit: Cmglee

Accessible only by a bumboat ride from mainland Singapore, Pulau Ubin is one of the last few places in Singapore where you can still see a kampung (‘village’ in Malay). Enjoy the rustic charm of this island sanctuary and explore the abandoned quarries either on foot or on bike. 

Pulau Ubin is the perfect place for nature lovers looking to get a respite from the bustling and hectic city life. If you are lucky, you might also encounter wild boars! 

5. Take a walk along the boardwalk and bask in the quiet calm of Coney Island

coney island

Image credit: Jnzl’s Photos

Also known as Pulau Serangoon, Coney Island is an island located off Punggol, in the North Eastern region of Singapore. While the lone Coney cow that once inhabited the island has passed on (RIP), there are many other amazing sights to behold on this beautiful and serene Island.

Follow the trails and walk through lalang fields, or just stop by a bird shelter to do some bird-watching. You might even stumble upon the dilapidated and mysterious Haw Par Beach Villa buildings that were left behind by the Haw Par brothers, who rose to fame decades ago with the medicated elixir that is Tiger Balm.

6. Experience hell in Haw Par Villa without dying

Haw Par Villa

Image credit: Tony Hisgett

Located along Pasir Panjang Road, Haw Par Villa houses over 1000 statues and 150 giant dioramas relating to various Chinese mythology, folklore, legends and history. Walk through the infamous “10 Courts of Hell” and relive scenes from famous Chinese literature such as the Journey To The West and Madame White Snake. While promising to be both interesting and educational (and definitely kitschy), Haw Par Villa may be slightly intimidating for the faint-hearted. Nonetheless, you should not miss out on this chance to learn more about the different iconic Chinese folklore and figures in Singapore!

7. Visit some of the local farms and hop on some of the free farm tours at Kranji Countryside

hay dairies

Image credit: Hay Dairies Goat Farm

There are many farms in the Kranji Countryside that are open to the public for farm tours, where visitors can buy some fresh locally-farmed produce back home. Explore the Bollywood Veggies farm and dine at their in-house restaurant, Poison Ivy, where you will get to taste and enjoy their very own farmed produce. 

Then, head to the Hay Dairies Goat Farm to learn more about goat’s milk – from teats to bottle. It is highly recommended that you also get yourself a refreshing bottle of fresh goat milk to taste – it’s not as funky as you’d expect. 

8. Explore Sentosa, the gateway to exciting themed-attractions and sunny beaches

sentosa

Start your journey by taking a ride on the cable car from Faber Peak into Sentosa. If you are an adrenaline junkie, you can choose to race your friends on the Skyline Luge and even jump off the AJ Hackett Bungy tower, from 50 metres above the ground. 

A popular destination with both tourists and locals, Sentosa also boasts of three pristine white beaches: Palawan beach, Siloso beach and Tanjong beach. The island of Sentosa also became home to the popular theme park, Universal Studios Singapore, back in 2008! Do you still need any other reasons to convince you to visit Sentosa at least once?

9. Be inspired at the Singapore Arts Museum

Singapore Arts Museum

Image credit: Allie Caulfield

Ever since its opening in 1996, the Singapore Arts Museum (SAM) has built an impressive collection of contemporary art pieces by artists from Southeast Asia. While the main museum sites are currently closed for renovation works, there are other ongoing mobile museum sites around Singapore and temporary exhibitions at the Singapore Botanic Gardens and the Asian Civilization Museum. So be sure to check them out if you have the time!

10. Uncover the important historical connections between Asia and the rest of the world at the Asian Civilisations Museum

Asian Civilisations Museum

Image credit: Terence Ong

Dedicated to preserving the rich and diverse artistic heritage of Asia, the Asian Civilisations Museum is home to some of the most interesting exhibits that will give you a glimpse into the different ancestral cultures of early Singaporeans. Learn about the early history of Asia as you go back in time to explore over 5000 years of civilisation, from over 2000 artefacts from different parts of Asia. You might even end up spending a day at the Asian Civilisations Museum without realising it!

11. Take a stroll through Singapore’s history in the National Museum

National Museum

Image credit: edwin11

The National Museum has various exhibits, each focusing on an aspect of Singapore’s history. From significant stories such as the origins of the Labour Movement, to quirky anecdotes of the history of food packaging in Singapore, National Museum has it covered. Always wanted to know the hidden stories of Singapore? Here’s your answer.

12. Marvel at modern art at the National Gallery

National Gallery

Image credit: smuconlaw

Housed in a beautifully restored monument, the National Gallery upholds Singapore’s heritage while incorporating global and contemporary elements into it. With frequent collaborations with international museums, and new exhibitions abound in National Gallery at every turn.

13. Get to know the Peranakan culture in Singapore with its very own Peranakan Museum

Peranakan Museum

Image credit: tolomea

Peranakan refers to an ethnic group descended from Chinese settlers who came to the Malay archipelago between the 15th and 17th centuries. With a grand collection of Peranakan items, the Peranakan Museum is the best place to learn about this uniquely Southeast Asian culture.

14. Chow down local delights (and the world’s cheapest Michelin-starred meal) at one of Singapore’s many hawker centres

maxwell hawker

Image credit: decade_null

A plate of soya chicken rice from Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle costs just $3-4 a plate! Located at Chinatown Complex Market and Food Centre, where it is also home to many stalls serving up food such as Mala hot pot to Nasi Briyani, you can definitely have your fill here without breaking the bank. 

The Old Airport Road Food Centre located Old Airport Road can claim fame to be noodle central with its hokkien mee, char kway teow, lor mee and ban mian stalls that see perpetual queues. 

Maxwell Food Centre doesn’t pale in comparison with its equally strong picks of chicken rice, popiah, dim sum, as well as finger food like goreng pisang.

15. Get up close and personal with the animal kingdom at the Singapore Zoo

singapore zoo

Image credit: Drew

With the largest captive colony of orang utans under its roof, the Singapore Zoo entices you to visit with its rainforest concept. Marvel at the glorious flora and fauna, and even get a chance to interact with the animals during the wildlife tours, feeding sessions and more.

16. Ascend to the highest point in Orchard Road to catch an incredible glimpse of Singapore’s city skyline at ION Sky

ion sky

Image credit: joanet

This modern indoor observation deck offers panoramic views of the metropolis, complete with telescopes and fun facts. What better way to enjoy Singapore than to do so right in the heart of the city itself, on the highest vantage point?

17. Shop and take IG-worthy photos at Haji Lane

haji lane

Image credit: travelourplanet

Beyond the quirky cafes and bars, Haji Lane is filled with indie shophouses and murals at every corner, lending a colourful aesthetic to the streets. Here you’ll be able to find everything you need — a new outfit, a new bag, or some souvenirs to bring home with you. Alternatively, you could just snap a picture with the myriad of murals on the walls.

18. Transport yourself into traditional Peranakan culture in Katong

katong

Image credit: Basile Morin

If the colourful buildings don’t draw you to it, the shops in this hood certainly will. Beyond just admiring the Peranakan shophouses from afar, you can chill at one of the many cool cafes or indulge in some rib-sticking Nyonya goodies.

19. Learn more about Buddhism at the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple

Buddha Tooth Relic Temple

With many religious relics including Buddha’s left canine tooth, this temple is not only a place of worship, but also a place of wonder. The temple, modelled after Tang Dynasty architecture, showcases its namesake on the temple grounds.

20. Be awed by Sultan Mosque’s grandeur

sultan mosque

Image credit: erwin soo

Named after Sultan Hussain Shah, the 18th Sultan of Johor, the Sultan Mosque leaves visitors in awe with its golden domes. This national monument is perhaps one of Singapore’s most iconic religious buildings, dedicated to the Muslim community. Did you know that North Bridge Road had to bend around the mosque during the reconstruction, as it extended beyond Arab Street?

21. Visit Singapore’s oldest Hindu temple, the Sri Mariamman Temple

Sri Mariamman Temple

Image credit: Jenny Huey 

Located in the heart of Chinatown lies the Sri Mariamman Temple, which remains as Singapore’s oldest Hindu temple till date. It is best known for its colourful and intricately carved 6-tiered tower over the temple gates. In fact, the oldest parts of the temple has existed since 1843!

Today, the 3-storey temple has expanded and is well-equipped with amenities to serve the Hindu community in Singapore. Fun fact: the design of this temple is modelled after the Dravidian architecture, which is similar to Cambodia’s famous Angkor Wat.

22. Dine at Michelin-starred restaurants

jaan

Image credit: Brad Murano

JAAN

Located at the top of Swissôtel The Stamford, JAAN is a one-Michelin-star restaurant that boasts a panoramic view of Singapore’s cityscape. This 40-seater restaurant serves contemporary British cuisine by Chef de Cuisine Kirk Westaway. 

Some of the iconic dishes include the Potato Soup with Black Truffle Bouillon and Fish and Chips.

Odette

Nestled within National Gallery Singapore, Odette is an upscale 2-Michelin-star French restaurant. To top it off, Odette has also made it to the list of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, an achievement coveted by many.

23. Unwind at one of Singapore’s award-winning bars

singapore sling

Image credit: VasenkaPhotography

Besides its thriving nightlife, Singapore is also home to one of the world’s best bars. Take a night off to unwind and chill at one of these award-winning bars. 

Native

Native creates cocktails with ingredients and products sourced from the region. It is the passion project of award-winning bartender Vijay Mudaliar. Over here, you can expect to find Singaporean DJs and musicians showcasing their talents at the bar. It’s probably one of the best places to catch a glimpse of Singapore’s music scene. 

Operation Dagger

Situated in the corner of Ann Siang Hill, Operation Dagger will bring you a mix of low-key electronic and hip-hop music that creates the perfect ambience for a chill out night with your friends. You can look forward to exploring unique concoctions of house-made drinks and special fermented creations. 

Do try the omakase cocktail options when you’re there, specially picked by the bartender. Most importantly, go with an open mind to sample new drinks!

24. Go wild at some of Singapore’s most thrilling theme parks

rollercoaster

Image credit: Jeremy Thompson

Amongst the wide array of family-friendly attractions in Singapore, visiting a theme park is one of the best ways to spend a day out with your family. Whether you’re looking to take on a thrilling roller coaster or have a good splashing time, there is surely something for you. 

Universal Studios Singapore

Universal Studios Singapore

Image credit: William Cho

Universal Studios Singapore is the first Hollywood movie theme park in Southeast Asia, featuring movie-themed zones like Madagascar, Shrek, and Transformers. Take on a challenge by going on the Battlestar Galactica, the world’s tallest pair of duelling roller coasters. 

Besides these thrilling rides, there are also kid-friendly rides in the Far Far Away zone. Over here, you can find junior roller coaster rides, a 4D adventure, and animated shows. 

KidZania Singapore

KidZania Singapore

Image credit: KidZania Mumbai

At KidZania, the little ones get to learn about various professions by role-playing. Let your children’s dreams come to life where they get to live out their dream jobs like being a pilot, chef, and many more. However, do take note that most activities are recommended for children four years old and up. 

Wild Wild Wet

Wild Wild Wet

With more than 15 water activities for children and the young at heart, Wild Wild Wet is perfect for a splashing good time with your whole family. Reopened in 2012 after undergoing renovations, Wild Wild Wet has now expanded to over twice its original size with new rides. 

Do go on the Ular Lah when you’re there, which is a family-friendly super flume ride that all you adrenaline junkies will love! 

25. Have a roaring good time at the Tiger Beer Brewery

Tiger Beer Brewery

Image credit: yosoynuts

Explore where Singapore’s iconic Tiger beer is manufactured on this exciting Tiger Brewery Tour where you’ll get to discover the interesting history of Tiger beer. On this tour, you’ll get to see how the beer is being made step-by-step, packaged, and then get to have a taste of their beer. Do stop by the Tiger Tavern and guzzle down this golden pilsner that cannot be made any fresher. 

26. Explore the verdant corners of Singapore

botanic gardens

Image credit: Hekege

The Lion City is not just all about its cityscapes and tall buildings. Here are a few parks in Singapore where you can reconnect with nature, spot wildlife in their natural habitats, and have a cosy family picnic! 

Singapore Botanic Gardens

botanic gardens

Image credit: Calvin Teo

Known as one of the oldest parks in Singapore, the Singapore Botanic Gardens is home to more than 10,000 species of plants. It is also one of the premier orchid research and breeding centres. When you’re there, you can also look out for a variety of jungle creatures such as monitor lizards. 

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

Image credit: Zairon

Besides being the oldest and largest forest reserve in Singapore, Bukit Timah Nature Reserve also boasts 40 per cent of the nation’s flora and fauna. There are also rock climbing activities, mountain biking, and hiking trails for all skill levels. So for all the outdoor adventure enthusiasts, this is for you! 

The Chinese and Japanese Gardens

Japanese Gardens

Image credit: Erwin Soo

Built on the two islands on Jurong Lake, The Chinese and Japanese Gardens may not be as popular as Gardens by the Bay or Jewel Changi Airport these days, but it remains as an iconic and Instagram-worthy site of the West in Singapore. 

The 13.5-hectare garden was developed in the 1970s to attract visitors to Jurong while retaining nature within what used to be a highly industrial area. Stroll through the various parts of the garden, and if you’re lucky enough, you might even be able to spot kingfishers! 

27. Shop for bargains at Bugis Village

Bugis Village

Image credit: alex.ch

Calling out all you shopaholics! Bugis Village is the one place you need to go to when you’re in Singapore. Bugis Village is conveniently located right opposite Bugis MRT Station. 

Comprised of many small shops selling a wide array of clothes, souvenirs, bags, and more, there is surely something for everyone. If you’re buying a few pieces or more, put your haggling skills to the test for the best prices!  

28. Discover some of the hippest hang-outs

haji lane

More than the touristy Marina Bay Sands or Gardens by the Bay, there is so much you can explore in some of the hippest areas in Singapore. Head out to these neighbourhoods just right outside the city centre to discover another side of Singapore! 

Tiong Bahru

tiong bahru

Image credit: Fritz Park

One of Singapore’s oldest estates – the Tiong Bahru neighbourhood is home to many hipster cafes, indie boutiques, and iconic wall murals. With so much to explore in the area, we can see why it is a favourite haunt of many local artists and culture lovers. 

Some of the local favourites are BooksActually to hunt for a good read, or pop by Forty Hands for some good ol’ big breakfast and your coffee fix. 

Joo Chiat Road

joo chiat

Image credit: Juliana Chong

Situated in the East of Singapore, Joo Chiat Road is known for emerging as one of the first few heritage towns. In fact, most locals identify the area to be synonymous with the Peranakan culture since the early days. Today, Joo Chiat Road is a cultural blend of established heritage shophouses and trendy shops and eateries. 

29. Meander down Singapore’s river and admire the city skyline in a River Taxi

river taxi

One of the best ways to tour around the iconic landmarks of the Singapore River would be to hop on one of the River Taxis! There are many landmarks that are easily accessible by road, but the river taxi cruise experience completes the experience. 

During the cruise, there will be a running commentary to share with you more about the stories behind the landmarks you pass by. The River Taxi is the perfect opportunity for you to see Singapore from a fresh perspective.

30. Bask yourself in nature’s glory at the Lee Kong Chian National History Museum 

Lee Kong Chian National History Museum 

Image credit: Jack at Wikipedia 

Have an immersive experience at the Lee Kong Chian National History Museum by discovering the wide variety of different life forms on Earth across 15 zones. Each zone represents the major branches of the Tree of Life, focusing on Southeast Asian flora and fauna. 

Over here, you get to see what sauropod dinosaurs looked like, and travel back in time to the early days of Earth’s creations. Making a trip down to the museum is definitely a great activity for both kids and adults to learn more about various natural specimens together.   

31. Visit the “last Kampong” in Singapore before it’s too late

buangkok

Image credit: grps

It’s hard to believe it, but before Singapore morphed into the sleek city that it is today, it was what was described as a “sleepy fishing village”. Today, these villages (Kampong in the Malay language) have all but been demolished to give way to modern housing estates, save for one – Kampong Lorong Buangkok. Located in the northeast, this village is almost like a museum in its own right, thanks to its houses with zinc roofs, which dates as far back as the ’50s, flanked by overgrown greenery. It’s currently in danger of suffering the same fate as the other Kampongs in mainland Singapore, so do make a beeline for it before it’s gone.

And there you go – 31 things to do in ol’ Singapore! Do you have any suggestions for us?

Also read: Here’s What to Expect at Lakeside Gardens, Singapore’s Newest National Park

About Authors

Jean Wong
Jean Wong

For someone who's a homebody, Jean sure loves stepping out of her house to travel. When she's not busy exploring quaint towns, she can be found with her nose in a book, sipping on her daily dose of bubble tea.

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Daniel Lim
Daniel Lim

Daniel recently returned from his Exchange Programme in the United States, where he got to embark on his first ever solo travels around a few countries in North America and Europe. You can sometimes find him at the airport watching planes take off, marvelling at them as they roll down the runway and lift off into the skies; reminiscent of his very own travel experiences. He thoroughly enjoyed himself in his most recent travels, and hopes that you too, will be able to find your own unique travel experiences as you write your very own story.

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Cheryl Tan
Cheryl Tan

The best memories are created through spontaneous adventures, hence Cheryl is always on-the-go to try new things and see where it takes her from there. On stay-home days, she enjoys reading lifestyle articles on topics such as skincare and travel itineraries with a hot cup of tea. Otherwise, she likes to visit museums, dance, and spend time with family and friends.

CLICK TO SEE MORE ARTICLES BY Cheryl Tan



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