There are many wonderful reasons to visit Singapore. While you can definitely find some expensive things to do, the great news is that you can also find many free things to do. Whether you are nine or 99 years old, there are fun things to do in each area of this island nation.
Part of the reason why Singapore has such a diverse amount of activities is that each ethnic group that makes up the region has brought their own fun things to do with them. Whether you love doing things outside or are looking for fun family activities, you will find many opportunities in this island nation. There are also many free attractions you will want to see.
Free Things To Do Outdoors
While it may be easy to believe that Singapore is one solid mass of people as the island nation has a population of 5,791,901, there are many outdoor adventures waiting for you. Here are eight that you may find interesting.
Swim with a Dolphin at Sisters’ Island Marine Park
Put on your scuba gear and head to Sisters’ Island Marine Park where you can swim with dolphins. The best time to try to get to swim with a dolphin here is from mid-July to early September. Scuba diving in the water’s off Sisters’ Island Marine Park also offers gives you the opportunity to more than 250 species of hard coral including Neptune’s Cup Sponge that was thought to be extinct for more than 100 years before it was discovered here in 2011. Divers can choose to follow dive trails allowing them to see the vast biodiversity of this region. During low tide, guests can also go on a guided walk.
Learn more about swimming with the dolphins and other activities at Sisters’ Marine Park by visiting this website.
Go on a Free Guided Tour of Kampong Glam and Bugis
With Indie Singapore, you can go on a free walking tour of Kampong Glam and Bugis. During the three hour walk, you will see graffiti-covered streets and also be treated to a visit to the royal garden. Kampong Glam was given to immigrants in 1822 by Sir Stamford Raffles. Wander by carpet shops selling rugs from Persia, small fashion boutiques, and high-end bars and cafe. End your tour with a visit to the garden at Istana. Consider extending your visit as the garden makes a great place to watch the changing of the guard at the Istana that normally occurs on the first Sunday of each month. You will delight as you hear the stories of the English-speaking tour guides on these tours occurring on Wednesdays. This is a great way to see parts of this island nation that most tourists miss.
In order to learn more about taking a Kampong Glam and Bugis walking tour, visit their website.
See The Changing of the Guard at Istana
Since December 3, 1959, a changing of the guard ceremony occurs at Istana on the first Sunday of each month except during July and August. Watch as the old guards are replaced with new ones during this ceremony occurring about 5:45 PM. Hear military bands perform and watch the military rifle precision team perform. The ceremony that is based on the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace in England can best be viewed from the Istana garden.
In order to learn more about the changing of the guard at Istana, visit this web page.
Go Birdwatching at Mount Faber
Mount Faber is a wonderful place to start a birdwatching expedition. Within Mount Faber Park and along the Southern Ridges Trail that starts in the park, more than 43 species of birds have been spotted. The best time to go is early in the morning as it is easier to spot the birds when they are singing their songs to each other. You will definitely want to bring along a camera and your binoculars, although you will be surprised how close some of the birds will let you get to them. Chances are that you will see pin-striped tit babblers, Javan mynas, Orioles and Oriental dollar-birds.
In order to learn more about birdwatching in Mount Faber Park, see this web page.
Bike Ride Along the Bukit Timah Mountain Bike Trail
The Bukit Timah Mountain Bike Trail is a fascinating four-mile trail. Riders can start at the Dairy Farm Nature Park or at the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve carpark. Along the ride, you will find lung-busting long uphill climbs, expansive cross-country runs and thrilling downhills with tree roots. Man-made obstacles like the rock garden will challenge even the most experienced rider. Making this ride more challenging, part of it also runs along a ledge where it is easy to fall off if you find yourself getting into trouble. Black and blue signs along the trail help to inform you about upcoming obstacles.
In order to learn more about the bike riding on Bukit Timah Mountain Bike Trail, view this web page.
Soak in the Water at Sembawang Hot Springs
While you will not have a luxurious experience like you will at some overseas hot springs, you can have a great time at Sembawang Hot Springs without spending any money. Over the course of time, many have believed that soaking in this hot spring that is the only one in Singapore will heal many types of ailments. You can collect the water from pipes using a bucket and soak in it to see if you notice any difference. The hot springs is located within Sembawang Air Base is only open from 7AM to 7PM. It is also a great place to meet many elderly Singaporeans who will share why they believe in the healing properties of this water.
In order to learn more about Sembawang Hot Springs, visit this web page.
Go Stargazing on Pulau Hantu
While you may have to rent a workboat to take you to Pulau Hantu, there are no lights on this island making it a beautiful place to go stargazing. You will need a permit from the government to camp on the island overnight. These permits can be hard to get, so be sure to apply early. The name of this island literally translates “ghost island” from the Mayan language. Legend records that two warriors were fighting when the Jinns who lived at the bottom of the sea saw what was happening and grew very angry. They summoned both warriors to the bottom of the sea where they died in a duel. Their bodies were resurrected as islets.
In order to learn more about Pulau Hantu, visit this web page.
Go Fishing at Yishun Dam
Located very near the last remaining fishing village in Singapore, Yishun Dam is a wonderful spot to go fishing. Bring along some prawn to use as bait. Baracuda and seabass are often caught at this location. Consider using a 10-pound fishing line. Enjoy the camaraderie of the other anglers, and you will often find that they will share their food with you. Do not forget your cooler filled with ice if you plan on bringing the fish back to be eaten later.
In order to learn more about Yishun Dam, visit this web page.
Stroll Through the Singapore Botanic Gardens
The Singapore Botanic Gardens is the only garden listed as a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural (UNESCO) World Heritage location. More than 10,000 flower species are spread across this park’s 82 acres including more than 3,000 species of orchids. See beautiful waterfalls in the ginger garden containing several hundred species of ginger. Their bandshell is frequently home to concerts by the Singapore Symphony Orchestra and Singapore Chinese Orchestra. The park is also home to several sculptures including one of Frédéric Chopin.
In order to learn more about the Singapore Botanic Gardens, see this website.
Fly a Kite at Marina Barrage
The large grassy areas at Marina Barrage is a great place to fly a kite. It is also a great place to have a picnic or you can also boat in the water that was created when building this reservoir that increased the island nation’s water storage by at least 33%. It can also be fascinating to watch them open and close the 15 gates to control the water level that keeps water in the reservoir at a constant level regardless of rainfall.
In order to learn more about Marina Barrage, see this website.
Free Things To Do As A Family
Singapore is a great place to live or visit if you have a family. There are many free things to do, so each member of your family is sure to find something that interests them. Check out these eight free things to do in Singapore as a family to find something unique to do on your next visit to Singapore.
Visit the Changi Airport
While the youngest members of your family may go crazy at seeing the planes landing and taking off at Changi Airport, there are many wonderful free activities to do there. The airport has two theaters with one being located in Terminal 2 and one in Terminal 3. The one in Terminal 3 is a great place to check out movies curated by the staff that has been released in the last six months. Meanwhile, the Butterfly Garden is home to more than 1,000 butterflies. The airport also offers free tours of the city.
In order to learn more about the Changi Airport, visit their website.
Shop at the Really Really Free Market
At least once a month, the Really Really Free Market sets up at a location around Singapore. At these markets, you are encouraged to bring things you no longer need or take things home that you need. The goal of the program is to recycle so that not as much ends up in Singapore’s landfills. If you have a special skill, then you are encouraged to share those skills too. Often there are free haircuts, free poetry writing and free Many of the markets are held in conjunction with special events like Earth Day or at popular attractions around the city.
In order to learn more about the Really Really Free Market, see their Facebook page.
Take a TreeTop Walk At MacRitchie Reservoir
If you ever wondered what trees looked like from their tops, then walk along the TreeTop Walk. As you and your family stroll along the suspension bridge at the same height as the tree’s canopies, you will see a variety of animals and birds living there. You may even see monkeys playing in the trees. Make sure to bring along your camera to capture wonderful photos. If it is hot, then bring along the water as the total distance walked will be about 2.7 miles. The walk connects to others within the area allowing you to extend your trek if desired.
In order to learn more about the TreeTop Walk, see this web page.
Play in a Rooftop Water Park at 112 Katong
The rooftop water park at 112 Katong Playground is the perfect place for little ones to cool off on hot days. Foam padding on the roof makes sure everyone’s feet stay comfortable as the water spurts out of pipes at various angles. Your children will love running through the water tunnel and playing under the balls that spurt water. Nearby on the rooftop, children will find Conga drums to play and metal pipes where they can hear their voices echoing.
In order to learn more about 112 Katong Playground, check out this web page.
Get Wet at Gardens by the Bay’s Far East Organization Children’s Garden
The Far East Organization Children’s Garden at Gardens by the Bay is a great place to play in the water. Water splashes out of orchid-shaped structures in rhythm to the music that is playing. The area is divided into five different zones based on age, so every child can find activities designed just for them. The nearby amphitheater often hosts free programs that parents may enjoy attending while their children are playing. This park is open each day except Mondays.
Go on a Guided Hike at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve
The Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve offers free guided walks almost every Saturday morning through their mangrove forest. The best time to go is from September to March when thousands of birds use this nature reserve as a stopping point on their migration flights. This ASEAN park is open throughout the year making it a great spot to run off pent-up energy.
In order to learn more about Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, visit their website.
Make an Etching at Bukit Brown Cemetery
Visiting one of the few remaining cemeteries in Singapore is a great way to learn about this island nation’s history. Bring along sketching and headstone rubbing materials to make it fun for the entire family. This cemetery was established in 1922, and it was home to at least 40% of the burials in Singapore for people of Chinese heritage for the next decade. Use the free app to learn about the contributions of early pioneers buried at this location.
In order to learn more about Bukit Brown Cemetery, visit this website.
Go on a Merlion Scavenger Hunt
Created as a symbol for the city in 1964, there are seven official Merlions statues across the island nation. It comes as a surprise to many that this half-fish half-lion is not a figure adopted from mythology. You and your family can go on a Merlions scavenger hunt to find all eight of them. Consider starting your scavenger hunt at Merlion Park, which contains the oldest Merlion. The largest merlion is located at Sentosa. The skinniest one is located at the Tourism Court. The highest point on Mount Faber is home to the highest merlion by elevation. Can you find the rest of them?
In order to learn more about merlions in Singapore, see this article.
Free Attractions To See
While you can have a great time doing many free activities in Singapore, there are also plenty of free attractions to see. Consider going to these free attractions.
If you have seen a photo of the Singapore skyline at night you have probably seen the nations iconic statue, the mythical Merlion which has the head of a lion and the body of a fish. Day or night seeing the fountain shooting from the lions mouth is one of the top attractions to see in Singapore.
This monument in Esplanade Park pays tribute to the men and women from Singapore who gave their lives during World War I and World War II. While the front side bears their names, the back side bears the inscription, They died so we might live” in the four main languages spoken across Singapore.
In order to learn more about the Cenotaph, see this web page.
Lim Bo Seng Memorial
This monument in Esplanade Park pays tribute to Lim Bo Seng who is credited with the creation of a Malaysian intelligence network during World War II. The statue is one of the finest examples of Chinese National Style architecture in Singapore.
In order to learn more about the Lim Bo Seng Memorial, visit this web page.
NEWATER Visitor Centre
Learn how over 30% of the water used in Singapore is recycled by viewing this exhibits at their visitor’s center. By 2060, the Singapore government hopes to recycle at least 60% of the island nation’s water through five treatment facilities.
In order to learn more about the NEWATER Visitor Centre, visit this website.
The Arts House
Originally called the Parliament House, the Arts House building may be the oldest surviving colonial structure in Singapore. While you can visit the building for free, many venues and programs cost an additional fee.
In order to learn more about The Arts House, visit their website.
The Helix Bridge connects Marina Centre and the Bayfront area, and it is the longest pedestrian bridge in Singapore. The double-helix design was chosen to symbolize the circle of light while the lights are designed to symbolize each individual’s DNA.
In order to learn more about the Helix Bridge, visit this web page.
Haw Par Villa
Created by Aw Boon Haw and Aw Boon Par as a way to assist parents in teaching their children about right from wrong. The park contains more than 1,000 statues and many dioramas. It is best known for its series of 10 dioramas depicting the scenes that those practicing the Chinese faith believe that people must pass through before being admitted into heaven.
In order to learn more about Haw Par Villa, visit this web page.
Live Turtle & Tortoise Museum
Located within the free Chinese Gardens, the Live Turtle & Tortoise Museum offers guests the opportunity to see many rare species of turtles and tortoises from around the globe. The museum also offers a fascinating collection of furniture, chinaware and other collectibles made from turtle or tortoise parts.
In order to learn more about the Live Turtle & Tortoise Museum, visit their website.
A bonus museum to go and see is the National Museum of Singapore which is free for Singapore citizens and permanent residents. Even if you have to pay we think this is a great place to visit on a trip to Singapore.
Buddha Tooth Relic Temple
The Buddha Tooth Relic Temple in Singapore’s Chinatown was built in 2007, and it features The temple gets its name from the left canine tooth that is on display. The rooftop garden makes a great hideaway from Singapore’s hustle.
In order to learn more about the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, visit their website.
While Singapore has a reputation for being one of the most expensive cities to visit in the world, it is plain to see that there are many free things to do in the city. Pick your favorites to add to your itinerary after you book your travel adventure to Singapore.