26 Fun Things to do in Singapore
Discover 26 fun things to do in Singapore. Singapore is an island country in South East Asia. It is very close to Malaysia and was part of Malaysia in the past.
I enjoyed Singapore more than I expected. Although it is more expensive than most other parts of Asia, there was lots to see and do and plenty of good food. A big bonus is that nearly everyone can speak English.
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Fun Things to do in Singapore
1. Lurut Rd Swap Meet
Cost: Free (unless you buy stuff)
The first thing on my list of things to do in Singapore is a simple swap meet.
On the corner of Lurut Rd and Arab is a kind of swap meet. Seems to be mainly just a way for the sellers to past time in their retirement selling what looks like stolen stuff mixed with random junk. Good for a look although it did get me sidetracked from finding my accommodation from the airport.
2. Little India
Cost: Free (unless you buy stuff)
After checking in I went for a walk around the general area, with the purpose of finding Little India for a feed.
It wasn’t hard to find and the Pongol Festival was on so I saw a few painted cows.
3. Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple
On the corner of Belilios and Serangoon is the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple. It was kind of surreal with the singing and a cool experience since I’ve never been to an Indian temple before. Can’t wait until I go explore India.
4. Victoria Street
Cost: Free (unless you buy stuff)
Take a walk up Victoria Street for all your shopping needs. Not really my thing but I understand how lots of people would love it.
5. Bugis Street Markets
Cost: Free (unless you buy stuff)
This is more my scene as far as shopping goes. Bustling and full of tourist stuff, as well as my favorite… snacks.
6. Kent Ridge Park
Kent Ridge park was nice and if you’re lucky you can spot monkeys and monitor lizards there.
My highlight was the canopy walk. I had forgotten how nice it is to stare into the jungle.
Getting to Kent Ridge Park
From the B88 Hostel take the metro from Bugis to Paya Lebar (towards Pasir Ris).
Swap trains at Paya Lebar to the Circle Line heading towards Harbour Front. Get off at Kent Ridge. The journey took about an hour.
Take exit B and turn left. Turn left (East) on Science Park Drive for about 10 minutes until you hit the park on your right.
Look at monkey sign, then the map. Follow the red route (or whatever)
7. World War 2 Interpretative Center
Cost: I don’t know.
I didn’t go in but so I can’t comment on how good it is. If you like WW2 history I imagine you will enjoy it.
8. Toy Museum
The toy museum was pretty good. It has 5 floors of different toys, mostly TV and cartoon characters.
One section was a bit of a time machine to back when the word Nigger was used very loosely in the United States. They wouldn’t get away with toys like those these days (and nor should they.. racist bastards!)
Getting to the Toy Museum
Take Circle Line 8 towards Dhoby Ghaut and get off at the Esplanade stop. Take exit F towards the Raffles Hotel. From Kent Park this took about 50 minutes.
Go NW on Bras Basah and then right on North Bridge Rd and then Right on Seah St.
9. Eat Singaporean Food
Cost: I don’t know… how much do you eat?
You can check out all the food I tried in the Amazing Foods of Singapore post.
10. Check Out the Esplanade
Cost: Free, unless you buy stuff
There’s a lot going on at the Esplanade, and I was there during the arts festival. There was live acoustics at the concourse and they had a full calendar of free stuff.
Getting to the Esplanade
As you walk out of the Toy Museum (#8 of the fun things to do in Singapore), turn left (on Seah). Turn right on Stamford. Go past the war memorial, left on Beach Road, right on Esplanade Drive, through the underpass which seems to be just a general hangout with people dancing, praying, singing, sleeping playing badminton etc, and then take exit D to the Esplanade.
11. River Cruise
I’m not sure how I felt about this. There was some good information but not sure if it was worth the $25SGD. The cruise goes for about 45 minutes and you can get off and back on once.
Getting to the River Cruise
To get to the River Cruise from the Esplanade, cross the bridge to the lion (Merlion to be precise) statue that is spitting water.
Unless you really have a hankering for coconut ice-cream, bypass it and get an ice-cream sandwich from on top of the bridge. It is basically a block of ice-cream sandwiched between 2 wafers and comes in 10 or so flavors including blueberry, mango, chocolate, mint, mocha, durian, red bean etc.
12. Clarke Quay
Cost: Depends on what you buy
Clarke Quay is an upscale area that is pretty nice to walk around. Lots of higher end restaurants and alcohol, although some of the menus I saw were still pretty cheap e.g. $15SGP for a slice of pizza and a beer.
Getting to Clarke Quay
Clark Quay was a stop on the river cruise, and you can easily walk there from the Esplanade.
Alternatively, catch the MRT to Clarke Key station on the NE Line. Exit C by stairs of E if you need an escalator.
Bus 2 and 12 also go there.
13. Marina Sands Casino
Cost: Possibly your soul.
The actual casino didn’t interest me much, nor did the upper class shopping center surrounding it. But there is a pretty good food court and some other good attractions around it.
Getting to the Marina Sands Casino
Walk there from the Esplanade, or the closest MRT is either Esplanade or Marina Bay.
14. Art and Science Museum
Cost: $25SGD depending on what you see.
An awesome concept combining Art and Science.
At the time I was there, it was a Leonardo Da Vinci exhibition, who happens to be one of the few non-fictional characters I look up to. I spent a good amount of time in here. It was heavily air-conditioned… I got cold in a T-shirt.
After you see the exhibition check out the 5th floor. It tells you about the Museum and has some local art/science stuff. You have to either buy a ticket to an exhibition or the Singapore Eye to see the Art Science museum on the 5th floor.
Getting to the Art Science Museum
From the Sands Shopping Complex/Casino (#13), just follow the signs.
15. Singapore Flyer
Singapore’s bigger version of the London Eye. I didn’t do it, but it’s a major attraction none the less.
Getting to the Singapore Eye
Buy tickets from the Art/Science museum ticket sales.
16. Gardens by the Bay
The Gardens by the bay greatly exceeded my expectations!
The park is huge, and come nightfall there is a light/sound show with the ‘crazy trees’.
It reminded me of the Crazy House in Vietnam, but in a large naturist sense.
Also has 2 conservatories open till 2100 (last ticket sales at 2030). The park itself is free and open from 0500 – 0200.
Getting to the Gardens by the Bay
There are a few ways to get there, just follow the signs from the Sands shopping complex (#13).
I recommend going from the top level of the shopping complex.
Closest MRT is Marina Bay.
17. Pulau Ubin
Cost: Bumboat is $5SGD return, bike hire optional from $5SGD
Pulau Ubin is an island just off the mainland. Pulau is the Malay word for island.
Bike hire is from $5SGD but the more expensive ones are 8. They have signs saying from $2 but I asked and they said 5 was the lowest. Maybe further up the road they do them for 2. No helmet so ride carefully. Back breaks are on the right and don’t expect gears to work on the cheap ones.
There’s a few things to look at on the island:
- Chek Jawa Wetlands. I saw monkeys and pigs on the way. be careful of the monkeys because they steal. Also, don’t get too close to them because they’re territorial.
- Mangrove and coastal boardwalks. They are both loops which is good.
- Camping. There’s several campsites about, and even a beach resort.
- Sensory Trail. A trail with ‘fun facts’ about the plants and stuff along the way.
I spent about 2 and a half hours on Pulau Ubin in total. It’s well planned because everything is in loops. It’s good.
Getting to Pulau Ubin
Catch MRT East West line towards Pasir Ris. Get off at Tanah Merah.
Go to bus station one i.e. when you come down the escalator from the MRT station, turn right.
Catch bus #2 to the Changi Village bus terminal. The journey takes about 30mins.
Turn left off the bus, through the carpark to the ferry terminal, or, walk through the food stalls to get some grub and then follow the signs to the ferry.
Boat costs $2.50SGD one way and takes about 10 minutes.
18. Joo Chiat
Cost: Free to stroll around
Joo Chiat is an area to the east of the city, which is nice for a look around.
Get Laksa from 328 Katong Laksa. It’s famous for it.
Koon Seng Road is between Joo Chiat and Still Rds. It’s a good looking set of houses.
Getting to Joo Chat
From bus stop 2 at Tanah Merah take bus #12 to Roxy Square stop which puts you across the road from the Laksa place.
Bus 12 also leaves from Bugis, I think around Burger King.
Cost: Depends on what your after.
Geylang is kind of known as the ‘seedy’ part of Singapore, which is probably why I am attracted to it. I don’t consider myself seedy, but I definitely feel more comfortable in seedy places that posh ones.
Lots of good food there.
20. MacRitchie Reservoir
MacRitchie Reservoir was much more than I anticipated with walking/running trails and some other things to do. I could easily have spent 4 or more hours there but I had lot of stuff I wanted to do that day so I decided just to do the treetop walk.
Unfortunately the treetop walk is 5km from the entrance making it a 10km round trip. For me that’s at least a 2 hour walk… probably closer to 3.
Instead I just got some Mee Siam from the cafe which set me back $4.50SGP. Watch for monkeys stealing your food… probably best not to sit on the outer tables.
According to Wikitravel.org/en/Singapore the Treetop Walk is open from 9am till 5pm Tuesday to Sunday. Maybe there’s an entry fee also.
Getting to MacRitchie Reservoir
Get to Orchard MRT station on the NS line. Take exit A to Scotts Rd. Cross the road and then catch bus 162 to MacRitchie Reservoir bus stop (Lornie/Thompson Rd).
21. Bukit Timah Nature Reserve
I didn’t actually go in but I went past it on the bus. It seems like something I’d of enjoyed if I had a spare day.
Getting to Bukit Timah Nature Reserve
From the MacRitchie Reseviour go to the other side of the road and catch bus #52 until you get to the Opposite Bukit Timar Plaza stop.
22. Chinese and Japanese Gardens
Cost: Free. Optional $5SGD for live turtle museum.
This was something I nearly didn’t do, but I am really glad I did.
The Chinese Garden is open from 0600 – 2300 and the Japanese Garden is open from 0600 – 1900.
In the Chinese Garden you can visit the live turtle museum, which boasts as being the biggest collection of rare turtles (and tortoises I suppose) in the world. I didn’t go in.
Getting to Chinese and Japanese Gardens
From the MacRitchie Reseviour (#20) go to the other side of the road and catch bus #52 to Clementine Metro Station, then catch the MRT to the Chinese Gardens station.
A typical Chinatown. Lots to look at, buy, and eat. Best at night.
Get food and beer from the 2nd floor of the Chinatown Complex located next to the visitors center and the stage. Lots of choice and cheap. I got Bak Kut Teh with You Tiao which set me back $6SGD. Good selection of Chinese style deserts which you can try also.
Note: Food from the Chinatown Complex closes earlier than the food street, I’m gonna guess around 8 or 9 ish. Beer is still available until late. Food street is open till late… at least 11 (again, this is just a guess).
Getting to Chinatown
Get to Chinatown metro station on the NE or Downtown Line.
Come out of the station and walk towards the lanterns. Take a left where it says food street (there’s much more than food).
24. Sim Lim Square
If you need/want anything electronic related, Sim Lim tower or Sim Lim square is where to go.
Sim Lim tower seems to be more for electronic parts and specialized equipment such as 2-way radios, where as Sim Lim square is more for for computers and other consumer electronics.
Whatever you need done, shop around. I got 3 quotes to fix my laptop ranging from $30 to $50 SGP.
Getting to Sim Lim
Get to Bugis Street Station. From there go SW on Victoria St and then turn right onto Rochor Rd. Turn right on Jln Besar and then right onto Sungei Rd. You’ll see it.
25. Albert Mall
Cost: Depends what you buy.
Albert Mall is a pedestrian street with a couple of temples, fortune telling, massages, small stalls etc.
There is a good food court there.
Getting to Albert Court
Albert Court is opposite Bugis Street Markets (#5)
26. Get Pampered
Massages, facials, manicures, etc aren’t as cheap in Singapore as they are in other parts of Asia, but they are still cheaper than Australia, UK, or the US.
I got a pretty good Thai massage from a place called Healing Thai Massage. HealingThaiMassage.com.sg
Getting to Healing Thai Massage
Healing Thai Massage is at 39 Jln Besar. From Bugis St Station head southwest on Victoria then right on Rochor Rd and then right on Jln Besar.
Other Useful Information About Singapore
Here’s some other useful information about surviving travel in Singapore.
Getting Around Singapore
Buy a Tourist MRT card. It is available for 1, 2 or 3 days and is unlimited travel on trains and busses for those days except on special routes.
It starts when you first use it, and ends at midnight of your last day. Also, if you return the ticket you get $10SGP back.
You can only buy/return the ticket from a ticket office. I’m sure there are a few of them but definitely at Bugis, Chinatown and the airport.
When I first arrived I bought a 3 day pass from the airport (MRT station terminal 2) for $30SGP. I then paid cash for my ticket to my accommodation in Bugis so I wouldn’t ‘waste’ a day of fares.
The single fare ticket from the Airport to Bugis was $2.30 SGP
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Singapore is a small country but is very modern and there is a lot to do there. It is more expensive than the rest of South East Asia, but you can have a good time there without spending too much.
The public transport is excellent, cheap street food is in abundance, and there are a lot of cheap and free attractions.
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