Skip to content

Singapore: 10 Best Free Things To Do.

DSC05083

Let’s face it. Compared to its neighbors, Singapore can be a tad expensive! If you’re on a budget trip, take my list of free stuff, free activities, free places to visit, and free things to do in Singapore, and keep your pockets happy. 

As I packed my bags for Singapore in the end of February, I was swamped with shopping lists, mostly from my mom. “What else can you do in Singapore?” she asked. As someone who can’t bear to spend more than a few minutes in a store, I felt perplexed. I suddenly wondered what I did over weekends in Singapore, while I studied and worked there for almost half a dozen years, because I certainly didn’t shop (and didn’t have the money to, either). If you ask me, some of the best experiences on the island nation are in fact, free:

1. Hike along The Southern Ridges

For many people, Mount Faber is only a gateway to the island of Sentosa. But it is here that one of the best walks in Singapore begins; 9 kms through the gently sloping hills of Mount Faber Park, Telok Blangah Hill Park and Kent Ridge Park, in the midst of lush greenery and mini forests. Panoramic views of the city skyline, the South China Sea, and the islands beyond, are gentle reminders that you’re still in Singapore. If you’re short on time or stamina, do only the first leg of the hike, along the stunning Henderson Waves bridge; its spiral architecture alone is worth a visit.

henderson waves, henderson wave, henderson waves bridge, southern ridges singapore

Henderson Waves Bridge alone The Southern Ridges hike. Photo by Schristia.

2. Fly a kite at Marina Barrage

A reservoir built to control floods, Marina Barrage is one of my favorite places in Singapore. Its still waters are surrounded by beautifully landscaped parks – one of the rare places in Singapore where you find families picnicking and flying (fancy) kites! It’s a reminder of the good old kite-flying days in India. On a clear evening, you can catch a spectacular sunset against the backdrop of the Singapore Flyer, Marina Bay Sands, and dozens of oddly-shaped kites whirling in the sky.

Marina Barrage Singapore, free activities with kids singapore

Marina Barrage. Brian Flanagan.

3. Marvel at Gardens by the Bay

The latest and most distinct addition to the Singapore skyline, Gardens by the Bay is no normal garden. Its claim to fame are the Supertrees, which as the name suggests are giant, albiet artificial trees, capable of using solar energy to light themselves at night, and harvesting rain water to irrigate the surrounded flora and fauna! Walk along the spiral Skyway suspended between two Supertrees, and reflect on just how ingenius this is, while being awed by the splendor of Marina Bay Sands right across.

Gardens by the bay Singapore, Singapore supertrees

The Skyway at Gardens by the Bay, up close with the Supertrees.

4. Stroll along Chinatown.

I never cared much for Chinatown while I lived in Singapore, but on my recent trip, I was completely taken by the quaint architecture along Keok Siak Street. Traditional shophouses with colorful walls and tiny windows line the street, while in the background, modern buildings stand tall – a charming blend of the old and the new. Along these shophouses have popped up chic bars, cafes and boutique stores, including a password-protected bar without so much as a name! Bribe me and I’ll tell you how to get in ;)

old chinatown Singapore, chinatown attractions Singapore, Singapore photo gallery

The quaint shophouses of Chinatown.

5. Spend after hours at Labrador Park.

Easily one of Singapore’s best-kept secrets, Labrador Park is located near Pasir Panjang, and is ideal for escaping the hustle bustle of the city. You have to pay for entry to the the World War II fort and relics it houses, but unless you’re a history buff, you’re better off visiting after hours when the fort is shut and the rare visitors have left. At sundown, sit along one of the many rocky edges and hear the waves crash against the cliff, with not another soul in sight.

Labrador park Singapore, national parks Singapore, free things to do in Singapore

Labrador Park. Photo by DChai21.

6. Have a beach day at Sentosa.

Probably the most obvious, but if you love the sun, sand and sea, head on over to the manmade island of Sentosa, and lay your beach mat at Siloso beach, swim in the gentle waves, and get a tan. You’re in the tropics, after all!

Sentosa photos, Sentosa island photos

A day out at Siloso Beach, Sentosa. Photo by Dwi Rahmaputra.

7. Stay (for) Wonder Full.

At night, on every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the Singapore skyline dances with colors for 13 minutes! As expected from Singapore, this water and light show is a spectacle, telling a story with state-of-the-art lasers. Grab a seat along the Singapore River, with an unblocked view of Marina Bay Sands, and spend 13 minutes in awe.

Marina Bay Sands photos, Marina Bay Sands gallery, Singapore free activities

Marina Bay Sands during Wonder Full. Photo by Kain Kalju.

8. Listen to live music at the Esplanade.

The famous durian-shaped icon of Singapore always has something ‘free’ to offer, including art exhibitions, live concerts and theatrical performances. Make your way down for a night of live music by the riverside, under the open sky. You could be listening to Asian pop one night, and international music from the 90s on another.

Esplanade photos, Esplanade pictures, what to do in singapore for free

Esplanade by the Singapore River. Photo by Jakub Michankow.

9. Skateboard at Scape Skate Park.

You might say that this is where all the punks in Singapore hang out! Complete with graffiti, ramps and rails, young boys and girls with spiky hairdos hang out at the Scape Skate Park along Orchard Road, practicing stunts on skates and skateboards. Even if you’re not into either, it’s fun to watch the “cool teenagers” do their thing. The neighboring Youth Park often transforms into a free and happening venue for night concerts and fringe events.

Singapore skate park, Singapore youth park, Scape Singapore, skate parks in Singapore

Scape Skate Park. Photo by Yeowatzup.

10. Fly planes at Clarke Quay.

Every Saturday night, owners of LED, electronically-controlled planes (something like those electric battery cars that kids love) gather in a corner of Clarke Quay to fly their planes togethers. Okay, you might have to own one to fly it, but sometimes the owners are friendly enough to let you fly theirs. It’s fascinating to watch anyway, especially after a few beers! Stroll along Clarke Quay to chance upon this spot, and while the night away watching the lights dance around you.

clarke quay photos, clark quey, Singapore free places to visit

Clarke Quay at night. Photo by Edwin Lee.

***

Join The Shooting Star on Facebook and Twitter for more stories from around the world.

***

What are your favorite free things to do in Singapore?

***

Also read:

10 Must-Try Vegetarian Food Places in Singapore

5 Weekend Getaways from Singapore to Pamper You.

***

PS: I hit publish by mistake, while halfway through writing this post. So if you subscribe to my blog by email, you probably received a hap-hazard, abruptly ending post, as though I ran out of time while writing an answer for an exam paper! My sincere apologies for that.

*** ***

About these ads
24 Comments Post a comment
  1. With 8,9 and 10 vanished from the post, I knew it was an accidental publish. Had to drop by to read it in full. Overall a brilliant article. I agree with you on the price quotient of Singapore, but it’s equally fulfilling for someone on a budget.Having done 4,5,7 and 8 in those lists, I had missed Gardens on the bay during my last visit.The other ones also got added to my list now. Thanks again

    March 13, 2013
    • I felt so terrible, could only utter a big “NO” but couldn’t undo the sent emails. On the bright side though, I’m hoping more people will come to my blog now ;)

      Glad you have newfound reasons to revisit!

      March 13, 2013
  2. Amazingly written! :)
    Through this post you are remarking that, ‘ beauty lies in the eyes of beholder’. :)

    March 15, 2013
  3. Shiv, Superb List!

    I live in between southern ridges and labrador park. Apartment overlooks both of these across the two windows. I have done all of these :) Yaaayyy! The perks of having a student life, I guess.

    Adding on –

    1. Gaze at stars (a rarity in Singapore) from School of ADM, NTU. Before you ask me on what is so awesome. Check this out – http://goo.gl/gVgc5

    2. Visit Pungool/Sembawang beach. Less visited, very pretty!

    3. There are SO many nature trails in Singapore to explore! Even more lovely if you have a camera in hand.

    4. Visit Raffles Hotel. It is free for public to go in and roam around, and has a museum for history buffs. The architecture is british, and hence very majestic!

    5. Visit Haw Par Villa – HP Villa, again a few stops from my place is a chinese themed park. It has loads of pretty figurines, buddha statues etc!

    March 15, 2013
  4. Exploring Chinatown was one of my highlights from Singapore! I am NOT a huge fan of the country, but there are hidden gems everywhere. I also loved Little India; the smells and colors were just fantastic. Great roundup of free things to do in an uber expensive place!

    June 19, 2013
  5. Ed #

    Just got back from Singapore, and although not free, the Sungei Buloh wetlands are a bargain at $1

    June 19, 2013
  6. Ashish #

    noted all of them for next trip… thanks :)

    June 21, 2013
  7. Jeya #

    Glad you had fun but how sad you didnt tour up to Malaysia. Honestly speaking, Singapore is overated. Go up to Penang and you will want to make a home there. Hoping to see an article about Malaysia soon. Thanks :-)

    August 5, 2013
  8. Praveen #

    Very nice collection.
    Guess we can also include “Relax And sunset view at ECP along with some cycling nd skate tryouts”
    Wht do u think :)

    August 11, 2013
  9. mira andawi #

    thanx much for the info.. b going there next week and i’m looking forward to go to these places n_n

    September 12, 2013
  10. Thank you for the info, I will definitely go to china town to explore it.
    http://www.globtr.blogspot.com

    November 21, 2013
  11. Hi,
    you have a nice collection of free things to do in Singapore.

    One place I can recommend that others missed usually missed out is taking a stroll in Haw Par Villa located at western end of Singapore.

    It’s an unique Theme Park that has like hundreds of statues on Chinese mythology and for the morbid ones – depicting the “18 levels of hell” that is quite well-known in our Chinese culture.

    Not for the faint-hearted but definitely something unique from the usual shopping and gardens. :)

    Thanks!

    November 21, 2013
  12. We know that bananas contain massive amounts of potassium and they are suffering with
    a daily weekly fast of juicing. Some juicer’s sell for over $400,
    which puts them out of your fruit or vegetable is worth a try.
    Until I’m contractually released I can’t promote it here on Ye’ Ol’ visit malaysia year 2014 Recipes Blog.

    Umm, what’s interesting is visit malaysia yeear 2014 that when you pick up sickness and disease?

    December 17, 2013
  13. Wow !!! Such a good things in Singapore which is left by me. Can anyone tell about veg food availability in Singapore.

    January 6, 2014
  14. It.There is a department onn Free andd Low cost Help whicdh can’t allow specific referrals, but which points
    you in the right direction. We have had other pets since Maggie and faced the same end-of-life decision years later with our
    two soringer spaniels.

    January 29, 2014
  15. I have been to Singapore last month, and all i can say is that i am very much impress and i can relate all the photos that you posted here because i have been to that places, spending one day in Marina Bay, the Super Tree,Marina Barrage and also went to Chinatown,Mustafa, and of course Sentosa.I have all the photos. An experienced of 3 days really worth it but planning to come back soon.

    July 7, 2014

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Ask Me Anything: March 2013 | The Shooting Star
  2. Boutique Hotels in Singapore Under US$ 150. | The Shooting Star
  3. 4 Time Zones, 2 Bucket List Items, 1 Month. | The Shooting Star
  4. Nerdy Tourist | Travel-Links #001
  5. Boutique Hotels in Singapore Under US$ 150. | The Shooting Star
  6. 2013: The World Through My Lens. | The Shooting Star
  7. Toronto: 7 Best Free Things to do. | The Shooting Star
  8. Travel Opportunity: Fly to Singapore for Rs 9,000-13,000 return | Rajiv Renganathan - Opportunist Traveler since 2004

I'd love to hear your thoughts and feedback.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 16,816 other followers

%d bloggers like this: