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Top 18 Best Things to Do in Singapore

Bucket List: Tourist Attractions and Best Things to do in Singapore

If you are traveling in South-East Asia on a budget, you might be tempted to skip Singapore altogether. Singapore is relatively expensive, at least when compared to other South-East Asian cities. But some of Singapore’s tourist attractions are free, and the city’s different ethnic quarters are great places for independent walking tours.

While it is fun to travel worldwide and experience different cultures, it can become very expensive. This is one of the major reasons travelers would like to know if there are any activities in the countries they are going to that they can do for free.

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Singapore Marina Bay Photo credit: Leonid Yaitskiy / Foter / CC BY-SA

This can be especially helpful for a country like Singapore, where living costs are prohibitive. So, whether you are in the country with friends, family, or significant other, there are activities in Singapore you can do without ever bringing out your wallet.

Hiking at Mount Faber

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View from Mount Faber Park Photo credit: acroamatic / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

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Explore one of the best walking trails in Singapore, the Southern Ridges Trail, a course that spans Mount Faber, Kent Ridge, Telok Blangah, and Hort Parks. Be rewarded with spectacular views of lush forests and canopied walks, as well as a bird’s eye view of the Singapore skyline from the peak of Mount Faber. Take pleasure in crossing the Henderson Waves, the country’s highest pedestrian bridge.

Watch a Free Movie Outdoors

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Free Outdoor Movie in Singapore Photo credit: chooyutshing / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

Forget about paying $12 for a movie in Singapore. Check out Movie Mob’s schedule of free movie screenings, which takes place in different outdoor venues all over the city. Pack up a picnic basket and a blanket to sit on and relax, enjoy the movie.

Get an Amazing View of Singapore

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View from the Top of ION Orchard Photo credit: williamcho / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

If you didn’t know that one of the newest malls to spring up along Orchard Road offers something free, then it’s a good thing you got here. On the 56th story of the ION Orchard, you’ll find a hidden gem–an observation deck with an almost 360-degree view of Singapore. No need to pay for an upgraded Ferris wheel ride on this one.

Go High at the MacRitchie Treetop Walk

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MacRitchie Reservoir Photo credit: Eustaquio Santimano / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

Surprisingly, there is a lot more greenery for such a small country like Singapore than one would’ve thought. Take, for example, the MacRitchie Reservoir Park, where you’ll find the impressive 8-km Treetop Walk. The nature trail takes you 250 meters up on a suspension bridge where you can admire the lush vegetation from above.

Watch Free Concerts at the Esplanade

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Free Concerts at the Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, Singapore Photo credit: Chris Devers / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

If you love music and would like to explore the local music scene without lifting a single bill from your wallet, then go to Esplanade. Here, you’ll find regular performances from recitals, dance, theater, and vocals. Just make sure to visit Esplanade’s website for the schedules.

Explore the Singapore Botanic Gardens

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Singapore Botanic Gardens Photo credit: edwin.11 / Foter / CC BY

Aside from enjoying the myriad variety of flora and attractions at Singapore Botanic Gardens, you can relax and sit down on the grass for a picnic. There’s plenty of space for the kids to run around while you read a good book. You can also relish free concerts from the Singapore Symphony Orchestra.

Try the Rainforest Walk through the small but lush tropical rainforest, or check out the exotic plants in the Ginger Garden. T’ai chi is practiced on the lawns in the mornings, and as you make your way around the park, you can feed birds by the ponds or enjoy a picnic on the lawn. The extensive gardens are through Tanglin Gate, Burkill Gate, Nassim Gate, Cluny Park Gate, or Bukit Timah side.

Go to Gardens By The Bay

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Gardens by Bay Singapore

One of Singapore’s latest attractions, Gardens by the Bay, welcomes visitors to its selection of trees, flowers, unique plants, and spectacular waterfront views. While some of the attractions here have entrance fees (the conservatories and the treetop walkway), it is free to wander the outdoor gardens. Time your visit at night, around 7:45 and 8:45 pm, to catch the spectacular lights and sound show.

Go on a Scary Tour of Bukit Brown

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Bukit Brown Cemetery Photo credit: whitecat sg / Foter / CC BY-NC

Bukit Brown Cemetery is spooky as it is historic. It was once the largest Chinese cemetery in the country until it was abandoned and some of the graves exhumed. Some famous people buried here include Chew Joo Chiat and Gan Eng Seng.

Go Hotel Hopping to View Art

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The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore

Aside from enjoying the beautiful architecture of popular hotels in Singapore, did you know that you can also view art inside them? Hotel’s like Pan Pacific, sharing a public place with Marina Bay Sands, exhibit rotating artworks. Go over to The Ritz-Carlton Millennia to take a free 30-minute iPod tour of its collection of blown glass and art installations, as well as some Warhols near the ballroom.

Try Camping at East Coast Park

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East Coast Park Singapore by User:Sengkang – Own work. Licensed under Copyrighted free use via Wikimedia Commons

Singapore is not a beach destination, but you can still enjoy one at East Coast Park. It’s free to swim, camp, and use the BBQ pits, but you have to apply for a permit to camp beforehand at axs.com.sg.

Admire St. Andrews Cathedral and Armenian Church

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St Andrew’s Cathedral Photo credit: Nigel’s Europe & beyond / Foter / CC BY-SA

You don’t have to be religious to enjoy the architectural marvel that is the St. Andrews Cathedral and Armenian Church. These historic churches are long-standing must-visits in Singapore, as well as a place to escape the heat and find some peace and quiet.

Visit the Sri Mariamman Temple

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Sri Mariamman Temple Photo credit: john.gillespie / Foter / CC BY-SA

This temple located in Singapore’s Chinatown is the oldest Hindu temple. Its colorful entrance tower, decorated with mythical creatures, gods, and goddesses, is tough to miss. You can even go inside to see the shrines.

Enjoy the View From a Roof Garden

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View from the Esplanade Roof Garden Photo credit: williamcho / Foter / CC BY-SA

It’s a good bet that you wouldn’t know about these two hidden spots in Singapore where you can view spectacular city scenes or read a good book. The Esplanade actually has a roof terrace where you can see views of Marina Bay. Then there’s Orchard Central’s rooftop garden which is open 24/7.

Shoot, Stroll, Cycle, Relax

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Punggol Waterway Park Photo credit: Steel Wool / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

Where can you do all this, you ask? At Punggol Waterway Park, of course! Here, you can spend the day doing all the things you can’t do in the middle of the city, like flying a kite, cycling, rollerblade, and even fishing. Take pictures of the beautiful scenery as well.

Explore Changi Airport

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Changi Airport Singapore

There’s still fun and freebies to enjoy even if you’re on your way home. Schedule a few more hours before your flight to explore Changi Airport. Here you can get the kids to do color etchings of famous Singapore scenes, get a foot massage, tap into free Wi-Fi, and even walk through a butterfly garden. Indeed, a perfect way to end your grand vacation in the city.

Explore Chinatown

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Singapore Chinatown

Singapore’s Chinatown is a former Chinese living quarter restored and developed into a popular tourist destination with lots of street markets, good shopping, great Chinese food, and stores that sell Chinese medical products and offer treatments in traditional Chinese medicine. The new Buddha Tooth Relic Temple stands on the edges of Chinatown and is a shiny and modern Buddhist temple; the colorful Sri Mariamman Hindu Temple is an entirely different experience. The nearest MRT station is Chinatown.

Singapore Little India

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Sri Veeramakalimman Temple in Little India Singapore

Singapore’s Little India is another fascinating area for a walking tour. Explore the Indian markets, browse through piles of saris, silks, jewelry, and incense sticks, buy some Indian spices, and stop for a cup of sweet, milky Indian tea. The nearest MRT station is Little India.

Clarke Quay and Boat Quay

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Clarke Quay Singapore

Around Clarke Quay and Boat Quay, along the Singapore River, former warehouses have been converted into modern buildings that contain shops and boutiques, restaurants, cafés, and bars. This historical Quay area is interesting to walk around, and even if you are not going to shop, browsing in the small stores can be fun.

Our Top Hotel Picks for Singapore

Singapore Travel and Tour Packages

If you’re traveling on a budget, the best thing about Singapore is that the street food is very affordable, safe to eat, and delicious. Try one of the hawker centers and food courts found everywhere in the city for a cheap meal.

The MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) is Singapore’s fast and efficient metro system and an easy way to move between different parts of the city. MRT tickets are affordable, especially if you buy the Ez-link smart card valid on MRT trains and buses.

Check out our complete list of recommended Hotels in Singapore via Agoda, or you may also see available Airbnb properties in the city.

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