Singapore is such a great country full of culture, entertainment, scenery and industry. Even though the country is small and just has the once city, it is packed with interesting things to do. The nice thing is that several of these things are free and who doesn’t love free? We went there for a weekend and didn’t even get to see half of the fascinating things there. If I were to go back, these are the things I’d make sure to see and a few I’d visit again.
*All prices are in Singapore Dollars and for one adult only. Prices for children and seniors can be found on the individual websites for each attraction.
Location: 244 South Bridge Rd, Singapore 058793
Hours: Sunrise to Sunset
Description: Build in 1827, Sri Mariamman is Singapore’s oldest Hindu temple and it has been designation a National Monument. Several festivals and celebrations are held here each year.
Kranji War Memorial
Location: 9 Woodlands Road, Singapore 738656
Hours: 8:00am-6:30pm daily
Description: This war memorial was built in 1946 in honor of the service members from the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Sri Lanka, India, Malaysia, the Netherlands and New Zealand who died defending Singapore and Malaysia against the invading Japanese forces during World War II. Every year there is a memorial service held here on the Sunday closest to Remembrance Day (November 11th) to honor the fallen heroes.
Location: 288 S Bridge Rd, Singapore 058840
Hours: 7:00am-7:00pm Daily
Description: This Buddhist temple has the distinct honor of housing a tooth relic from the Buddha that was found when a stupa collapsed in Myanmar. You will also find the Eminent Sangha Museum and a theater that holds cultural performances, talks and film screenings in the temple complex.
Location: Bayfront Avenue, Marina Bay, Singapore 018956
Hours: Always open
Description: The Helix Bridge is a pedestrian walkway that connects the Marina Center with Marina South in the Marina Bay area. The bridge is made up of fritted-glass and perforated steel mesh canopies and has four viewing platforms that provide stunning views of the Singapore skyline and events taking place within Marina Bay.
Location: 10 Bayfront Avenue, Singapore 018956
Price: Varies, S$23 for the SkyPark Deck
SkyPark Hours: Monday to Thursday: 9:30am to 10:00pm Friday to Sunday: 9:30am and 11:00pm
Description: The Marina Bay Sands is an upscale resort casino that boasts restaurants, a mall, ice skating rink, canal with sampan rides, casino, movie theater, convention center, swimming pools, night clubs, observatory, and the world’s largest Louis Vitton store. Oh, and it also has the world’s longest elevated infinity pool on the roof and an awesome view of Singapore from the SkyPark deck.
Location: 18 Marina Gardens Dr, Singapore 018953
Price: Outdoor Gardens – Free, Conservatories – S$28, Skyway – S$5
Hours: Outdoor Gardens – 5:00am-2:00am, Conservatories – 9:00am-9:00pm, Skyway – 9:00am-9:00pm (the Skyway will close if lightening is predicted)
Description: Gardens by the Bay is a 250-acre landscaped garden full of themed gardens, flower market, event center, scenic walkways, conservatories and the elevated Skyway. The neat thing about the skyway is that it is built on vertical gardens. The vertical gardens were still relatively new when we were there, but they are going to be amazing when they finish growing in. In the evenings you can enjoy a light and music show called the OCBC Garden Rhapsody.
Location: 30 Raffles Ave, Singapore 039803
Hours: 8:30am-10:30pm Last ride begins at 10:00pm
Description: This 541 ft rotating observatory took two and a half years to build. It has 28 air-conditioned capsules that can hold 28 people each. When it was completed in 2008 it was the tallest Ferris Wheel until the High Roller opened in Last Vegas in 2014. The ride is one turn around the wheel and lasts about 30 minutes. You’ll enjoy fantastic views of Singapore and the ocean. There are also themed experiences, such as two different cocktail flights, a champagne flight and a butlered dining flight (1 hour). The themed experiences are at specific times only and require advance booking.
Singapore Botanic Gardens
Location: 1 Cluny Rd, Singapore 259569
Price: FREE except for the Orchid Garden – S$5
Hours: Main Grounds – 5:00am-12:00am, Orchid Garden – 8:30am-7:00pm, Healing Garden – 5:00am-7:30am (closed Mondays), Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden (3-12 yrs old) – 8:00am-7:00pm (closed Mondays)
Description: Founded in 1859 by the an agri-horticultural society, the Singapore Botanic Gardens are 156 years old and are one of three gardens to be named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The National Orchid Garden is the main attraction of the site and contains an estimated 1,200 species and 2,000 hybrids of orchids. This garden is at the forefront of orchid studies and is a pioneer in the cultivation of hybrids. Along with award-winning orchids, this garden contains over 10,000 of plants and flowers spread over the 183 acre site.
Jurong Bird Park
Location: 2 Jurong Hill, Singapore 628925
Description: This award winning 50-acre botanic garden and bird park was first opened in 1971. It is currently the world’s largest bird park in terms of number of birds and second largest both in number of bird species and land area. Jurong Bird Park contains 5,000 birds of 400 species with 29 of those being threatened species. There is a wide variety of themed exhibits as well as five bird shows (three different shows, two shown twice) and an assortment of feeding times during the day.
Location: New Bridge Road
Description: Just like in any city, Chinatown is a must-see. This Chinatown is much different than your typical Chinatown, though. Mixed in with the Chinese shops and souvenir stalls are Hindu temples, mosques, boutique hotels, European cafes, pubs, karaoke lounges and a variety of bridal salons. It really is a neat place to visit. There are fun things to see, plenty of things to buy and enough variety to keep you entertained for hours.
Location: 80 Mandai Lake Rd, Singapore 729826
Description: The Night Safari is an award-winning zoo that opened in 1994 and is the world’s first nocturnal zoo. It covers 86 acres and houses over 2,500 animals representing over 130 species, of which 38% are threatened species. The zoo is divided into seven geographical zones of open-air exhibits that can be visited via walking paths or tram. Along with the wide variety of animals, there are cultural performances such as tribal dances, blowpipe demonstrations and fire eating displays
Location: 80 Mandai Lake Rd, Singapore 729826
Description: This 69-acre zoo first opened in 1973 and contains 315 different species of which 16% are threatened. The zoo display animals in naturalistic, ‘open’ exhibits with hidden barriers, moats, and glass between the animals and visitors. Along with numerous other awards and distinctions, Singapore Zoo houses the largest captive colony of orangutans in the world.
Location: 80 Siloso Road, Sentosa, Singapore 098969
Description: This mostly underground oceanarium is home to more than 2,500 marine animals of 250 species from different regions of the world. Visitors can ride on a travelator that carries them through 272ft of glass tunnels where they will view coral reefs, stingrays, moray eels, turtles, sharks and many other marine animals. Interactive exhibits include a touch pool, a stingray feeding pool, an anti-gravity fish feeding tank and a shark feeding pool. Additional experiences that can be purchased on top of the admission ticket include Fish Reflexology, where two species of fish gently nibble away at the dead skin on visitors’ feet (seriously, this is so much fun!), Dive with Sharks (S$130) and Swim with Dolphins (S$190).
Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery
Location: 88 Bright Hill Rd, Singapore 574117
Price: FREE (donations are appreciated)
Hours: All 4 gates open at 6:00am with closing times varying from 7:00pm-10:00pm. Most of the buildings have hours of 8:00am-4:00pm except for the Hall of Great Compassion – 7:00am-5:00pm.
Description: This Buddhist monastery was established in 1920 and still holds the title of the largest monastery in Singapore. The grounds cover 246 acres and contain stupas, prayer halls, bell towers, drum towers, a crematorium and a columbarium which houses over 200,000 niches. An outdoor statue of Avalokitesvara, the bodhisattva who embodies the compassion of all Buddhas, stands between the Dharma Hall and the Pagoda of 10,000 Buddhas, which is pretty fascinating. As is customary with Buddist temples, there is a Bodhi Tree on the grounds which had its sapling brought from the sacred Bodhi tree at Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka, which was itself brought as a sapling from the sacred Bodhi Tree of Bodh Gaya, India, where the Buddha was said to have attained enlightenment. The main feature of the monastery is a 42-foot tall Buddha statue, one of the largest in Asia.
NOTE: This is a functioning place of worship. Shoulders and knees must be covered and no shoes are allowed in the buildings. Behavior needs to be quiet and respectful.
Telok Ayer Market
Location: 18 Raffles Quay, Singapore 048582
Hours: 24 hours
Description: Built in 1825, Telok Ayer Market, also known as Lau Pa Sat (Old Market) has seen a variety of tenants. What used to be a bustling marketplace, then a hawker center and then a festival market is now mostly a conglomeration of eateries with a handful of miscellany such as a Cheers Store, a shoe repair shop, a tailor and a laundry store. This is the place to go if you want to try local cuisine at a cheap price and you want lots of options.
Tiger Sky Tower
Location: 41 Imbiah Road, Sentosa Island, Singapore 099707
Description: At a height of 360 feet, Tiger Sky Tower is the tallest observation tower in Singapore. This attraction is different from other observation towers in that it starts at ground level. The large disc-shaped air-conditioned cabin is fitted with glass windows all round and revolves slowly as it ascends the tower up to 299 feet. From the top one can view the entirety of Singapore’s skyline and a panoramic view of the island. On a clear day, one may even be able to see at part of Johor Bahru and Indonesia.
Location: 3.5 miles off the southern coast of Singapore
Hours: Ferry departures vary by day
Description: This island is a popular destination for day trips (overnight now allowed). There are lagoons, hiking trails, pristine beaches, a wishing well, a tortoise sanctuary a Chinese temple and three shrines to Malays saints.
Location: 39 Armenian St, Singapore 179941
Description: This museum boasts the distinction of housing the world’s most distinctive and comprehensive Peranakan museum collection of artifacts and wares. What are Peranakan? Peranakan are the descendants of Chinese immigrants who came to British Malaya (now Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore) between the 15th and 17th centuries. The museum houses ten permanent galleries showcasing the main themes of Peranakan life during that time period along with interactive and hands-on exhibits.
Universal Studios Singapore
Location: 8 Sentosa Gateway, Singapore 098269
Description: The name pretty much tells what this place is about. Universal Studios Singapore is a movie-themed adventure park where you can ride roller coasters, float down water rides, see shows, hang out with your favorite movie characters and eat a variety of foods geared towards the seven different themed sections of the park.
Location: .25 miles off the southern coast of Singapore
Description: This island resort boasts a plethora of activities to keep you busy. On this island you’ll find a 2 km (1.2 mi) long sheltered beach, Fort Siloso, two golf courses, MegaZip Adventure Park, Butterfly Park & Insect Kingdom, Madame Tussauds Singapore, iFly Singapore, a 23-foot Merlion, 14 hotels, and the Resorts World Sentosa, featuring the theme park Universal Studios Singapore. There is plenty of nature walks, as well, since 70% of the island is covered by secondary rainforest, the habitat of monitor lizards, monkeys, peacocks, parrots as well as other native fauna and flora.
As you can see, Singapore has so much to offer visitors. I’ve been to several of these places and absolutely loved each of them. What about you? Have you been to any of these? If you haven’t, do you want to?