Free Things To Do In Singapore
According to The Economist, Singapore is world champion when it comes to most expensive cities to live in. Things have become more expensive in Singapore, but we still need to eat and make merry. So we decided to come up with a list of 50 best things you can do in Singapore for F R E E!
But before we go into our list, here’s sharing the biggest freebie of them all. For those of you who have friends or family overseas (that means all of you!), join STB’s contest and invite them to Singapore. There will be 25 global winners for this contest and STB will pay for their return airfare, accommodation and fulfil that dream experience as submitted in their invite.You could invite that childhood penpal you always wanted to meet or someone that you met while studying overseas or on holiday. You now have the chance to share with them your slice of Singapore. That’s exactly what happened to Prague Film school buddies Daphne and Sindri in this video below!
So go on and tell us an interesting story. Watching your friend eat Chilli Crab next to you could very soon be a reality. All you have to do is to submit a photo depicting the experience you’d like to share with them. The Singapore invites contest ends 6th December so hurry up and join now!
Oh and here are 50 Things anyone can do for free in Singapore. Whoever said there was no such a thing as a free lunch needs to read more of our articles.
1. See WILD dolphins at the Sisters Islands Marine Park
The warm water here is blue. You heard me, blue. Not murky like what we’re used to seeing at East Coast Park. That makes this place perfect for snorkeling especially since it is teeming with biodiversity. Some of Singapore’s richest coral reefs reside here.
Besides snorkelling and swimming in clean waters, visitors can picnic under shady palm trees or even apply for a camp permit here! Additionally, NParks has designed Sisters Islands to be a marine park as of July 2014, which means there will be free guided tours here. Do not miss this out as dolphins(!!!) have been sighted here!
Getting Here: Check out the photojournal from when we visited Sisters Islands earlier this year here.
2. Visit the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple
The exterior of this temple projects sheer majestic elegance inspired by the Tang dynasty. It’s still a place of worship, so you’ll be in for a cultural experience as you get to see devotees chanting in the large hall on the ground level. The head monks pay no attention to you as they lead their procession. It’s almost as if you’ve put on an invisibility cloak and sneaked inside their secret world.
Buddha’s Tooth Temple draws Buddhist devotees from all over the world because it houses an alleged tooth from Siddharta Gautama, the founder of Buddhism, located at the top level. Simple vegetarian fare is served for free here too, although donations are welcomed.
Address: 288 South Bridge Rd, Singapore 058840
Getting Here: You can walk here from either Chinatown MRT or Tanjong Pagar MRT and it is just opposite Maxwell Market.
You can read TSL reviews on the Buddha’s Tooth Relic Temple and Museum here.
3. Go Hiking at Mount Faber
Be rewarded with gorgeous views of the flora, fauna, and cityscape as you start trekking upwards from the foot of Mount Faber. Bits and pieces of Singapore and her history come to life at the stretch of copper-tooled murals beneath the summit’s platform. Trudge on a little more and brace yourself for a breathtaking bird’s eye view of Singapore’s skyline at the peak! Mental note to self: Stop procrastinating and start some intense leg work already.
Getting Here: If you’re coming by car, it’s recommended to park along Mount Faber Loop. From there, you can take scenic walk up to Faber Peak Singapore. For directions by foot, head on to the official website.
Read TSL reviews about Mount Faber Park here.
4. Free Movies Under the Stars and Clouds
Movie Mob gives you the best old-school outdoor movie experience you can dream of. The drive-in concept and picnic events are popular among those in the community.
Screenings take place at different locations all across Singapore. Plus, you get to vote for the movie you want to watch! I say this beats having to shell out about $12 for a weekend movie ticket at the cinema.
Follow their Facebook page for updates.
5. Go Biking at Bukit Timah Mountain Bike Trail
Get your adrenaline pumping as you mountain-bike your way through 6km of fun and thrills. The Bukit Timah Mountain Bike Trail has recently undergone restoration works so it is now much safer for bikers to embark on their adventure. With vigorous climbs and downhill slopes, this trail is perfect for the more experienced bikers.
Getting Here: The 2 preferred starting points are at the Visitor Centre Carpark at Hindhede Road, and at the Dairy Farm Car Park.
Find out more here.
6. Step Back in Time at 4-Digit Post Code Kampong Lorong Buangkok
Be awestruck as thoughts like ‘how do they survive here?’, ‘OMG, does rainwater get into their homes?’ and ‘here got wifi anot?’ dance around your head once you set foot in Kampong Lorong Buangkok. This is the kind of space that young Singaporeans have never seen.
Read about our journalist’s full experience at Kampung Lorong Buangkok when we visited the area earlier this year here.
Getting Here: The Kampong is located near Gerald Drive off Yio Chu Kang Road.
7. Explore the first ever HDB town at Toa Payoh Heritage Trail
Toa Payoh is a town worth exploring for its super rich history – it’s the first town developed by the HDB! Did you know the 1973 South East Asian Peninsular Games was hosted in Toa Payoh Sports Complex?
Being a 90s kid, I’m serious when I tell you how much I miss those soft sand in playgrounds. Well, I grew up playing in that sort of playgrounds, not having my eyes glued to iPads! Head down here to reminisce happy childhood memories.
This dragon playground is ironically the last standing one in Singapore despite Toa Payoh touting many firsts.
Download the Toa Payoh Heritage Trail Brochure.
8. Volunteer Some Time with Furry Little Ones
Spread some love to the furry friends at S.P.C.A. or Animal Lovers League! These organizations could do with more hands and love. Do take note that this is no easy task as it requires a whole lot of commitment, hard work, love, and passion for caring for animals.
As an animal lover, this cause is close to my heart because it pains me whenever I hear about cases of helpless or abandoned animals. These furry little ones have feelings just like us, but they don’t always have the support they need.
If you’d like to spend some spare time volunteering, you can check out the links here and here.
9. See Singapore at incredible heights to the 55th level of ION Orchard
No, you don’t have to sneak illegally at the top of Swissôtel for this picture like this famous roof topper. There’s a much safer way to get an amazing view of Singapore.
If you’ve been to ION Orchard a gazillion times but have never headed to its 56th storey, you need to check it out now. Surprise your next date the next time you’re here with this hidden gem in the middle of town!
Getting Here: You can get to the observatory from ION Orchard next to Orchard MRT. Get to ION Art Gallery on Level 4, then take the lift from there to Level 55.
10. Host A Couchsurfer
If you ever wondered what it’s like being the owner of a hostel, this is your chance to experience all the cultural exchanges that are going to happen in the comfort of your own home. Basically, you create a website on Couchsurfing, then do your homework and make sure your couchsurfers are trustworthy before you welcome them into your home with an open mind. You then provide the couchsurfers with a couch or spare mattress to sleep on.
If you’re not that adventurous, Couchsurfing gives you the option of hosting couchsurfers just for a drink or a meal – still allowing you to meet people from all over the world without the risk of inviting them into your home.
Read about our writer Cherie’s couchsurfing experience here, where she spent just $200 on accommodation over 2 months travelling across Europe.
Address: Your home.
Disclaimer: This is meant for the more adventurous and curious ones out there.
11. Explore Singapore at Pulau Ubin’s first ever #instawalk!
MND runs #instawalks regularly and they are completely free to take part in. As the #instawalk name implies, this is a casual walk filled with instagram moments! The goal? To showcase the beauty and nature of Singapore on Instagram. The team from TheSmartLocal will be helping to organise the first ever #Instawalk at Pulau Ubin (pictured above) and it will be completely free to join!
If you’ve never been to Pulau Ubin before, now’s a great time to discover the lovely island that time left behind. Transport, guides and refreshments will be provided and joining in the fun will be three popular influencers.
Update: Registration is now over. Look out for our recap soon!
12. Get Soaked at Sembawang Hot Spring
Tucked away in the northern tip of Singapore of Sembawang Air Base, this natural hot spring evokes a rustic element for those who come for its water. The waters here are believed to have healing properties, so it is a common sight to see visitors collecting pails of hot spring water to soak in.
This is a far cry from the luxurious hot springs you visit when you travel overseas but why complain when you don’t need to fork out a single cent?
Tip: To get the whole jacuzzi-esque experience, you could lie on the ground and wait for the water to shoot out onto your back.
Getting Here: We visited Sembawang Hot Springs earlier this year so read about our experience here.
13. Stroll Down Changi Point Boardwalk
Stroll along the Changi coastline and bask in the glorious sunset as you whip out your camera to capture the moment at the westernmost portion of the boardwalk. While you’re at it, admire the vast open sea and towering old trees there.
TSL member xine has this to say about Changi Boardwalk:
Changi Beach is one of my favourite beaches, simply because like East Coast Park, this beach also holds many memories for me. I’ve been coming here for years, witnessing it’s transformation from a scarcely developed land forgotten by NParks, to the well-developed park attraction it is today, complete with the 2.2km Changi Boardwalk across the river.
One unique attraction of Changi Park is the opportunity to see planes roaring right over your head on their way to the airport. For those who haven’t seen this spectacle before, it’s gonna be an eye opener.
In recent years, Changi Beach have become a destination for many Malay families to enjoy short camping trips, especially on the eve of weekends and public holidays. Although I do miss the peace and quiet of previous years, watching how so many different people enjoy themselves is sort of fun sometimes.
Tip: Download the Changi Point Walking Map (PDF) here.
Read more about TSL reviews about Changi Boardwalk.
14. A Free Market, Not Flea Market
I never knew such a thing existed in Singapore. At the Singapore Really Really Free Market, every single item is up for grabs. That means you can safely leave your wallets at home and extinguish any tiny bit of insecurity dancing around in your heart. There’s a real kampung spirit here, with the spirit of giving evidently in the air.
How often do you get to acquire items legally at zero cost? However, nobody likes a free-loader and paying the kindness forward is encouraged. So bring your wares and set up your flea ‘booth’! There was also a kendo workshop going on the last time my colleague went, so you might even pick up a skill or two there.
Stay updated through their Facebook page.
15. Visit Xiao Guilin
You might find this venue familiar if you watched wuxia flicks on Channel 8 when MediaCorp was still known as TCS. Our heroes and heroines soared through the skies with Xiao Guilin as the backdrop while they battled their foes. Xiao Guilin is the nickname of Bukit Batok Town Park, given for its likeness to the scenery in Guilin, China. A huge granite rock sitting in a lake is the main attraction, and there are two dome-shaped shelters that offer a panoramic view of the place.
Besides snapping pictures with this as your backdrop and posting on Facebook that you’re on a secret getaway to China, you get to take in all the greenery and fresh air. You can even join some senior citizens as they have their morning exercises there! And if one park isn’t enough, Bukit Batok Nature Park is a mere 20 minute walk away.
Also read – 20 signs you grew up as a Westsider in Singapore.
Address: Bukit Batok East Avenue 5, Singapore 043359.
Read more TSL reviews about Xiao Guilin here.
16. The MacRitchie Treetop Walk
Whoever said there’s no lush greenery in Singapore has never been to MacRitchie. This is literally greenery on a whole new level. Take the chance to check out the community of animals and plants at the canopy level, something that wouldn’t have been possible if it weren’t for this suspension bridge.
Note that the Tree Top Walk is only accessible from MacRitchie Reservoir Park via MacRitchie Nature Trail or from Venus Drive.
Tip: Avoid during stormy, rainy days.
Read more TSL Macritchie Treetop Walk reviews.
17. Watch Free Concerts at the Esplanade
The Esplanade is the place to go to catch free concerts. These are typically held in the indoor concourse area or the outdoor theatre. A myriad of performances spanning dance, theatre, vocals, recitals and music are all showcased.
TSL member shelbypinkheart has good memories about the Esplanade:
I’ve been to Esplanade a couple of times, and it never fails to surprise me every single time. There are always new things up for display that intrigues your imagination and inspires you. For those who are passionate for the arts, this place is definitely where you should visit to get some inspiration for your next artwork, music composition or dance choreography. I especially like to visit the rooftop to take a short break from my hectic lifestyle. With the amazing view of the architecture in Singapore, I often can’t help but take tons of pictures though I’m not a tourist.
Being a music enthusiast, I believe the Esplanade library has proven itself to be a useful avenue for me to collect information regarding music, as well as borrow music scores that I have difficulty finding elsewhere. I was also pleasantly surprised yesterday when I visited the library because there was a violin performance going on which I did not know about. I definitely enjoyed the performance and I hope more such events will be put up!
For more details about which acts will be playing, check this link out.
18. Feed the animals at Farmart
You can visit and feed the animals at Farmart for free and get up close with their farm animals such as goats, rabbits and tortoises. Although you’ll have to purchase the animal feed at a small cost, entrance to Farmart is free.
Here’s what TSL member wangkh has to say about Farmart:
When I first brought my children to this place, they asked me, “Are we in Malaysia?”. This place is so different from the normal places that our children go to that when they arrive, they will think they are out of Singapore.
The interesting place to visit is the small farm where they kept some animals. Children can buy food for the animals and try feeding the animals. There are goats, rabbits and frogs. Also, there is a prawn fishing pond. The otah from the coffee shop is also very good. The shops surrounding the car park are also worth visiting, you may find some different and cheap stuff there.
Remember to bring mosquitoes patch when visiting, and dress casual.
Read more TSL Farmart reviews here.
19. Visit Haw Par Villa
Haw Par Villa was established by the founders of Tiger Balm to impart traditional Chinese values to the community through statues and dioramas inspired by Chinese mythology, legends and Confucianism.
One of the main features here is the 10 Courts of Hell that tries to imprint on your mind the nasty punishments one would have to deal with in hell, depending on the severity of sins committed. It is way past it’s heyday when a boat ride used to run through the 10 Courts, but the good news is that it’s now completely free to enter.
Address: 262 Pasir Panjang Road, Singapore 118628
Go here to read more TSL Har Par villa reviews.
20. Get Artsy in the Middle of Town!
I had no idea such a tranquil place could exist right in the heart of a shopping mall. The ION Art Gallery exhibits contemporary works from both local and international designer artists at this dedicated visual arts space.
The ION Art Gallery is on the 4th floor of ION Orchard.
You can find out more here.
21. Explore Singapore’s 24-Hour Walmart
If you’re suffering from insomnia or getting really bored at night, go for a walk at Mustafa Centre. What makes this a special place to visit is the fact that it’s open 24/7, so you can be sure that no security uncle is going to chase you out.
The range of products available here is insane and they’re cheaper than most other places. If you’ve seen Walmart on American shows and thought that Singapore doesn’t have anything to rival its size, it’s time to take a walk through Mustafa Centre.
Mustafa Centre is located near Little India MRT Station. You can explore the sights at Little India as you make your way here.
Address: 145 Syed Alwi Road, Singapore 207704.
Read more TSL Mustafa Centre reviews.
22. Experience The Meandering Southern Ridges
This 10 km trail leads from Mount Faber to NUS, going through Hort Park and Henderson Waves. The Southern Ridges offers panoramic views of both the natural and urban parts of Singapore. Suitable for most people without medical issues, the trail is not too arduous, and most parts of it are accessible to families with young kids.
Be sure to bring a camera, sunscreen, and extra water as the walk can get quite long.
Find out more about the Southern Ridges by reading our TSL reviews here.
23. Go walking with Singapore Footprints
Led by a group of walking enthusiasts from NTU, Singapore Footprints organises walking tours that take place every Saturday and Sunday. All you need to do is turn up at their meeting point and join in the fun! Leave no stone unturned as you uncover Singapore’s hidden gems and popular attractions, along with the stories and histories that come with it.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a tourist or a local. Those interested in knowing more about our roots will enjoy Singapore’s story being told over a 2 hour 30 minutes-long walking tour. No reservations are necessary – just show up at Raffles Place MRT Exit B at street level on Saturdays and Sundays, rain or shine.
They have two tours – the first highlights hidden treasure troves in the historic Bras Basah & Bugis precinct. The second explores the civic district and the scenic banks of the winding Singapore river.
More information can be found at their official site here.
24. Go on the Little India Heritage Trail
Start your little adventure at Tekka Centre with a stomach full of authentic thosai and teh tarik, Tekka Centre houses a food centre, wet market and every little nitty gritty thing you can think of!
Revel in the strong aromas of jasmine flowers, and an array of spices and herbs while you set your sights on the many quaint shops selling anything and everything from prayer items, flowers, Indian sweet treats to gold jewellery! Trail past monumental structures like the Tan Teng Niah House (a Chinese villa) and Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple as you journey along.
Tip: To make your trip in Little India more pleasant and accessible, download a self-guided walking tour iOS app called Waalkz here. Also bring along an electronic hand held fan to keep yourself cool.
25. Fish at Yishun Dam
Look how tranquil this place is! All the peace and quiet here ensure that the potential fishes you’re luring swim around your baits, not away from your them.
Yishun Dam can be quite a romantic spot at night, and was a key location in our of our Singapore love stories. If you want a quiet spot out with a special someone, this is the spot for you.
Getting Here: Yishun Dam is largely accessible only by car, and is situated along Yishun Avenue 1. Turn on your GPS if you aren’t familiar with the area!
26. Find Out How NEWater is Made
You do know that a portion of the water you’re drinking comes from you-know-where, right? Visit the NEWater Visitor Centre to find out how they clean up the gunk and make it safe for drinking! Bet you won’t feel so grossed out after this little trip. It’s a great education experience for families.
Here’s what TSL member Denise Chia had to say about her experience:
I remember detesting NEWater just because of the fact that it is recycled water – I used to call it “bottled toilet water”. Thinking it was dirty and unsanitary, I used to refuse to drink NEWater. That all changed after a school visit to the NEWater Visitor Centre.
We were given a short tour inside the gallery and we were taught, in detail, about the various processes the water goes through before it is bottled for us to drink. Needless to say, I was very surprised about the advanced technology and I then realised that NEWater is actually clean and safe for us to drink.
After the visit, I actually felt proud that Singapore managed to come up with such a beautiful and advanced piece of technology to counter our water shortage problem. I strongly recommend every Singaporean to visit this place at least once, especially those who have misconceptions about NEWater.
You can read more TSL reviews about the NEWater Visitor Centre here.
27. Explore Chek Jawa
Situated at the far Eastern edge of Pulau Ubin, this is a a good option if you want a short getaway from busy city life that costs next to nothing. Pack lots of sunscreen, homemade sandwiches, and bottled water and you’re good to go!
Explore this pristine area teeming with biodiversity and embrace all the goodness of nature. Remember the cardinal rule: leave nothing but footprints, and take nothing but memories.
We spotted a Wild Boar in the way to Chek Jawa!
Tip: Visit during low tides, when you’ll have greater opportunity to see marine life.
Read more reviews about Chek Jawa here.
28. Explore the Tiong Bahru Precinct
Besides cafes, Tiong Bahru has much more to offer that’ll whet your curiosity about the area’s heritage. Stumble upon countless cafes and quaint shops in the most unexpected corner, or marvel at architectural wonders like the Art Deco buildings that have architecture that’s no longer being built. Be sure to check out popular independent book store Books Actually just around the corner at Yong Saik Street.
Read more Tiong Bahru reviews and download the Tiong Bahru walking map.
Getting Here: We recommend starting from Kim Tian Road which is within walking distance of Tiong Bahru MRT. After that you can head over to Yong Saik Street, Moh Guan Terrace, Seng Poh Road and finally Eng Hoon Street.
29. Learn All Things Peranakan at the Katong Antique House
If you’re Singaporean, you probably know someone Peranakan. Visit this gem in the east to learn more about their culture. The owner of Katong Antique House, Mr Peter Wee, is a fourth-generation Peranakan, and is always glad to share his knowledge with visitors.
Learn about the colourful stories that shaped the Singapore today as we know it. Be wowed by all the pretty, colourful, and intricate ornaments, costumes, crockery and furniture.
Address: 208 East Coast Road, Singapore 428907
Read more TSL Katong Antique House reviews.
30. Chill Out at the Singapore Botanic Gardens
What more can you ask for when you get to picnic and enjoy free concerts nestled in the trees and flowers? The Singapore Symphony Orchestra regularly holds free concerts here and you can check out the amazing selection of botanical and horticultural attractions that make the Botanical Gardens one of Singapore’s most enduring attractions.
The famous Tembusu tree, printed on your $5 note, can be found here too. Snap a selfie with the tree and tell your friends how cool and huge it is!
Read more about the Botantic Gardens here.
31. Picnic at the Esplanade Roof Garden
If you thought Singapore was beautiful during the day, you should see it at night. Feast your eyes on amazing night views in the city area where iconic architectural structures light up after sunset!
The Esplanade Roof Garden is one of those prime locations where you can enjoy a laid-back evening with a date. After a meal and strolling along the Singapore river, you can go to the roof to enjoy an unobstructed view of Marina Bay Sands, the Singapore River and One Fullerton.
This was just one of the locations featured in our guide to the most romantic places in Singapore.
Address: 8 Raffles Ave, Singapore 039802.
32. Relax at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve
Avid bird-watchers frequent this place as rare birds frequently flock here. Sungei Buloh Wetlands Reserve boasts an exceeding variety of bird species, and you get to encounter mangrove swamps and wildlife creatures here. Those who have lady luck guiding them can see crocodiles and otters!
TSL member Lee Si Min clearly enjoyed her time here:
I visited Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve with my family recently, and it was a trip well worth our time and effort. Even though the place is hard to find and get to, the serenity and sights offered by Sungei Buloh is a great break from our usual high-rise concrete buildings back in the city.
I like how the layout of the place is very neat and well-organised, with signboards adequately placed everywhere, so we didn’t have to spend a lot of effort to find our way around the place. Go early enough in the morning, and you will be able to see lots of different bird species upclose with their colourful feathers. The nature scenery offered by the towers and lookout points is stunning, with greenery as far as the human eye can see.
Do remember to bring insect repellent and lots of water, there are a lot of insects and the weather can be scorching hot.
Read more Sungei Buloh reviews or check out more pictures at Jensen’s Sungei Buloh Wetland Photojournal.
Address: 301 Neo Tiew Crescent, Singapore 718925
Note: Entry is free on weekdays, but a charge of $1.00 for adults and $0.50 for children is applicable on weekends and public holidays.
33. Go on a Hunt to find the 8 Merlions in Singapore
Everyone knows of the Merlion Park at One Fullerton. But that’s not the only one! Go on a Merlion hunt and explore Singapore.
Two merlions are at One Fullerton. We call this the Mommy and Daughter Merlion. Daddy Merlion is at Sentosa and you can even climb up all the way to the top. Two smaller Merlions are at Mount Faber and the headquarters of the Singapore Tourism Board. Finally, the last three Merlions are heartlander Merlions. One is located at Woodlands (pictured above) and two are along Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1.
Read more TSL reviews about the main Merlion Park.
34. Visit Labrador Nature And Coastal Walk
Consisting of Alexandra Garden Trail, Berlayer Creek mangrove trail and Bukit Chermin Boardwalk, Labrador Nature and Coastal Walk is a 2.1km trail under the purview of NParks. Bring your friends to chill here and spot schools of fishes on Bukit Chermin Boardwalk, and look out for Giant Mudskippers (the largest mudskippers in the world) at Berlayer Creek!
Getting Here: You can get to Labrador Nature and Coastal Walk from Labrador Park MRT Station.
Learn more about Bukit Chermin Boardwalk here.
35. Embrace Artsy Vibes at The Arts House
This is perfect for those who love all things artsy. The Arts House presents an extensive range stretching across film, music, theatre, dance and more, so you’re bound to find something that’ll trigger that desire in you to rush down to this cozy place.
TSL user eny_sayuri had this to say about The Arts House:
I still remember my first visit to the Arts House as a child. It was to catch a recital by my music teacher, and having heard that the place was once a site for parliamentary meetings, my inquisitive mind just could not help conjuring up images of government officials deep in debate in this refurbished concert hall all throughout the recital. “Meetings must have been such a grand affair,” I’d thought, seeing the polished floors, large chandeliers and exquisitely designed pillars.
As I grew older, the Arts House soon became a regular haunt for my theatre loving friends and I, where we would sometimes drop by to catch some lesser-known foreign art films or treat ourselves to a whimsical play or two by budding local talents. Besides the building’s preserved architecture and somewhat Victorian feel, which lent a cosy ambience to the event venues, it was mainly the rich cultural diversity of events offered and their frequent showcase of local talent – a relatively rare find in many local contemporary arts spaces – that left its appeal on us and had us coming back for more. It was a pity, though, that with our tight budget as students, we often had to come to a compromise on the events we could go for, though we were always spoilt for choice.
All in all, the Arts House certainly provides a unique space for both art buffs and explorers alike to be acquainted with a lesser known side of the local arts scene, and to take a quick breather from the hustle-and-bustle of city life.
Click here to find out about upcoming events. Read more reviews here.
Address: 1 Old Parliament Lane, Singapore 179429.
36. Go on a Museum Rampage
Cafe-hopping? Pfft. Go museum-hopping instead!
If you didn’t know, Singaporeans and PRs get to visit 5 Museums in Singapore for free.
Take your pick from the National Museum, Asian Civilisations Museum, Peranakan Museum, Reflections at Bukit Chandu, and Our Museum @ Taman Jurong. We personally recommend the ACM and Peranakan museum as the must visits. It may be a good change to drag a shopaholic friend along so you can save some money and learn something new.
Visit the NHB website for more information.
37. Picnic at Marina Barrage
The Marina Barrage has been a hot spot for those in search for a place to picnic and fly kites. The vast grassy area is able to accommodate many people, so no worries if you’re visiting on a public holiday or weekend.
Big groups shouldn’t face any issues finding the perfect spot for all to sit and chill comfortably. Kids and adults will love this space equally as there’s something for everyone! You can fly kites or have a picnic here.
Read more Marina Barrage reviews.
Address: 8 Marina Gardens Dr, Singapore 018951.
38. Be Awed at Gardens By The Bay
This mega-sized horticulture haven is one of land-scarce Singapore’s latest attractions. Man-made on reclaimed land, Gardens by the Bay provides her visitors with fantastic waterfront views and a massive selection of unique plants, trees and flowers.
You need to check out the monstrous Super Trees! They’re vertical gardens that light up when dusk falls. It’s just so cool that these lights thrive on environmentally-friendly solar power.
Getting Here: Gardens by the Bay is situated next to Bayfront MRT Station.
Note: There is free admission to Bay East Garden, Dragonfly & Kingfisher Lakes, Far East Organization Children’s Garden, World of Plants, Heritage Gardens, Sun Pavillion, and Supertree Grove. Click here for more details.
Read more reviews about Gardens by the Bay reviews.
39. Visit St. Andrew’s Cathedral
This dove-white architectural wonder sticks out like a sore thumb amidst high rise office buildings in the City Hall area. The St. Andrew’s Cathedral is the largest and oldest cathedral in Singapore. This place of worship is also popular as a spot for weddings and photo-taking sessions.
Getting Here: You can reach St. Andrew’s Cathedral by taking the MRT to City Hall. It is open from Monday to Saturday, 9am – 5pm.
Read more TSL reviews about St. Andrew’s Cathedral here.
40. Get Yourself Moving at Punggol Waterway Park
Here, you can admire the flora and fauna, stroll, jog, cycle, fly a kite, take photographs, or roller blade. If that’s not enough, you can even work out at the fitness corner or fish! The list never seems to end. There’s a Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen outlet nestled here if you fancy some fried chicken after a fun-filled day out in the sun.
TSL member farshafarshahas this to say:
I went here last week to enjoy my weekend to a fresh getaway. I wanted to be away from the hustling and bustling city lives and headed here for a fresh air. There are a few entrances to the park. I was from Tebing Lane itself where they have Popeyes, Haibin Prawning and Fishing, a futsal court and some seafood restaurants. It was indeed a very peaceful park to be at.
As soon as the sun sets and the evening comes, it was almost dark and this is one of the best parks that i have ever went to in Singapore. It is very dim and i like the atmosphere. The route towards either end of the parks might be quite a distance but it would be great for walking, cycling, jogging and even running. There are water coolers for you to drink up in case you can’t find any shop. It is an ideal place for family and friends to gather and catch things up.
Other than that, i really enjoy prawning there. It was a really good catch and the prawns are not that small either. For a price of 33 for three hours, it was indeed worth it. Perhaps after a long walk along the park, you could visit this prawning place and relax yourself.
Read more TSL reviews about Punggol Waterway Park.
41. Visit Sri Mariamman Temple
This temple in Chinatown helms the title of being the oldest Hindu temple in Singapore! It is almost impossible for you to miss this 6-storey elaborate, colourful entrance tower that is heavily decorated with gods, goddesses and mythical creatures. The most interesting thing is that devotees can pray from afar because of the tower’s visibility.
Visitors can head inside to check out the shrines and deities and to get this exotic experience first-hand!
Sri Mariamman Temple is located between Chinatown and Telok Ayer MRT stations, so you can take a 5 minute walk from either of them.
Read more about Sri Mariamman Temple here.
42. Get in Touch With the Arts at the Singapore Art Museum
Unlike the other museums under the National heritage board, the Singaporean Art museum is an independent entity. This monumental structure was once the home of St. Joseph’s Institution for a whopping 135 years. It houses a multitude of contemporary art forms, paintings, and sculptures.
Special museum events including workshops, outreach programmes and film screenings are often held to complement the huge collections amassed in the museum. This pristine place is extremely popular among photography enthusiasts too.
Singapore Art Museum is easily accessible via MRT, and is next to Bras Basah Station and is within walking distance of both Dhoby Ghaut and Bugis stations. Free admission for Singaporeans and PRs only.
Read more TSL Singapore Art Museum reviews.
43. Have a Free Meal and Learn About Buddhism
Regardless of race, language, religion, and social status, anyone can visit The Singapore Buddhist Lodge and Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery for free vegetarian fare. It is inherent in Buddhism to be giving, so most temples offer food to people who walk in, but these two locations are more picturesque than most and deserve a visit.
Remember to be respectful to the culture here and to leave a donation if you can.
Address: 1. Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery: 88 Bright Hill Road, Singapore 574117
2. The Singapore Buddhist Lodge: 17 Kim Yam Road, Singapore 239329
44. Vandalise The Walls At Somerset Skate Park
Unleash the latent graffiti and skateboarding artist in you. At Somerset Skate Park (beside Somerset MRT Station), it is legal to doodle or draw on the walls and ramps. There is absolutely phenomenal space for both budding and experienced graffiti artistes to express themselves. Whether you’re new at this or are secretly the legendary Banksy, there’s space for you here!
Bonus: You get to “vandalise” in broad daylight and not get dragged away by the cops. This place is also popular amongst youth skateboarders.
Learn more about Somerset Skate Park here.
Directions: Take a train to Somerset MRT. The skate park is right next to it.
45. Get Schooled at the Museum… in a School
Located within the Kent Ridge campus at NUS, this museum showcases Asian art and culture. The perfect hideout for students who want to escape the mundane academic readings or tedious lab reports, or for those keen in learning more about the arts. Members of the public can visit for free too!
Directions: From Kent Ridge MRT station, board NUS internal shuttle bus D2 OR Take bus service number 96 from Clementi Bus Interchange. Alight opposite the University Cultural Centre and NUS Museum for both routes.
Read more TSL reviews about NUS Museum here.
46. Let Loose at Woodlands Waterfront Park
The coastal park here is friendly to people of all ages – it has a 400-meter long jetty – the longest jetty in Singapore – where people can fish and a multi-generational playground for the young and old. Besides these activities, you can picnic, fly kites and practice your photography!
You can read more about Woodlands Waterfront Park here.
47. Uncover Tales at Bukit Brown
For scaredy cats out there like me, venture to Bukit Brown in day time while the sun’s still hanging high in the sky. This place oozes so much history and heritage I can’t fathom why some of the graves were allowed to be exhumed.
This Chinese municipal cemetery houses tombs belonging to famous persons such as Gan Eng Seng and Chew Joo Chiat who’ve made their mark in Singapore’s history. It’s also home to other Chinese members of our society, rich and poor – making it the largest Chinese cemetery outside of China.
Although not my typical idea of fun, this place is a real eye-opener for those of us who think Singapore has a very short history.
Tip: Bring lots of insect repellent!
You can find out more about Bukit Brown by reading our photojournal here.
48. Visit Changi Chapel & Museum
Pay a visit to find out more about our ancestors and what they’d gone through for Singapore during the daunting World War 2 through letters, photographs, and drawings. All those sacrifices they made aren’t forgotten as their legacies are preserved. The Chapel was established as a tribute to those very courageous individuals who’d given their all in protecting Singapore and her people.
Address: 1000 Upper Changi Road North, Singapore 507707
You can read more TSL reviews about Changi Chapel here.
49. Unleash Your Inner Geek!
This is the only shop that makes the list and for good reason. Atom Comics is more than just a shop – it is a gathering place for people united in the love for comics. I included Atom Comics in the list because the owner, Bruce Doral Boudville, welcomes fellow comic lovers into his enclave for discussions about their favourite superhero or villain, whichever side you fall on. This might be a place of business, but it is the only place of business I have felt comfortable going into for a chat – just don’t mention Sabretooth to Bruce or you might find yourself stuck in there for days!
Strongly recommended for anyone with the slightest bit of interest in comics, as you’ll find a kindred spirit in Bruce with whom you’ll spend hours discussing your favourite characters here. You can find Atom Comics on the 4th floor of The Cathay, which is 5 minutes from Dhoby Ghaut MRT.
Read more about Atom Comics here.
Address: 2 Handy Road, #03-02, The Cathay, Singapore 229233
50. Travel To The Most Ulu Places in Singapore Worth Going To
These are definitely not places that come to mind when you think of somewhere to go. That’s what makes it so fun.
The Coastal Settlement is one such example, a hidden gem in the far east of Singapore. They have both alfresco and in-house seating, and their biggest appeal is its rustic charm. Think vespas, chandeliers, ice kachang machines, wooden frames, warm light and an eclectic mix of old furniture.
Who wouldn’t love to just sit and relax in the nostalgic atmosphere there?
Coastal Settlement’s Address: 200 Netheravon Road, Singapore 508529
If you’re looking for more ideas on ulu places to discover, you can check our guide to 14 ulu places to take a road trip to in Singapore.
Free Things To Do in Singapore
With this list of free things to do, you’ll never have to worry about not going out because “sure spend a lot of money.” There’s still plenty to enjoy on this little island we call home! And there’s no better time to invite a friend over to Singapore now because free return air tickets are always nice.
Perhaps you’re reuniting with a long-lost friend from abroad, or just want to show that tinder match in Brazil the insane chemistry you’ll share in person. Hey we’re not judging. But we will if you miss out on this crazy opportunity. So go on and invite a friend over and get them a free trip to Singapore now!