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Singapore is popular as being one of the most expensive nations in the world. While the entrance fee to major attractions in Singapore is a tad bit expensive, very few know that some of the best experiences in the island nation are free of cost. Hence, we decided to come up with a list of the 11 best FREE things to do in Singapore.
1. Explore the futuristic green spaces at Gardens by the Bay
Gardens by the Bay is a nature park that is built with an aim to raise the quality of life by enhancing greenery and flora in the city. The main attraction at the Gardens by the Bay is the tree-like structures that dominate the spaces in the garden (also called Supertrees). They are home to unique ferns and exotic orchids.
Though the entry to the Gardens by the Bay is free of cost, you must not miss out on walking on the elevated platform, also known as OCBC Skywalk, at a nominal charge. Also, do not skip the evening light and sound show of the Supertrees.
2. Hit the beaches of Sentosa Island
Sentosa Island is located off the southern coast of the mainland of Singapore. The island is famous for a stretch of beaches that extend for more than 2 kilometres. The Tanjong Beach, Siloso Beach, and Palawan Beach are the main beaches where you can take a dip in the water or just chill out under the shade of coconut trees.
The beaches at Sentosa Island are relatively quiet with calm waters. They are great for families with a lifeguard watching over everyone. Toilets and showers are clean and free of cost.
3. Shop for cheap but pretty souvenirs at China Town
If you are a shopaholic or love to collect souvenirs whenever you visit a new place, then China Town is a paradise for you. There are tonnes of stores selling a great variety of merchandise from clothing to jewellery to pretty souvenirs at cheaper rates. If you buy in bulk, they just slash the price further.
We bought Merlion fridge magnets, multi-purpose pouches, and jewellery in excess as a gift for our family and friends from China Town, Singapore.
And after you are tired of shopping, you can hop into the many Chinese restaurants for an authentic Chinese meal. You can also opt to spend some time in the quirky street-side cafes and sip on some refreshing drinks.
4. Discover the greenery on a new level by hiking to the MacRitchie Treetop walk
From all of the MacRitchie reservoir’s trails, the treetop walk trail offers the best views. The walk through the 250-metre suspension bridge across the rainforest canopy is adventurous and exciting in the remoteness of the jungle.
The entire Treetop hike is along the 7-kilometre Venus loop. The hike is relatively easy on the difficulty level. You could easily spot monitor lizards, dragonflies, monkeys, and otters while walking on the trail. The wooden boardwalk leads to the bridge, where you are surrounded by trees, greenery, and the sweet sounds of birds. It will take you about 2.5-3 hours to complete the entire loop.
5. Marvel at the skyline from the Mt. Faber Park
Hiking up to Mount Faber was one of the best things we did on our trip to Singapore. From Mount Faber, you can get commanding views of Singapore and Sentosa island. This is another best place to view the sunset from.
If you opt to hike to the park, you will come across various other attractions like the Henderson Waves bridge, the Bell of Happiness, and Baby Merlion. While the views towards the sea are amazing, do not miss out to soak up the picturesque view on the opposite side (i.e. the city side). It is said that on a clear day, you can look out as far as Indonesia’s Riau Islands.
6. Picnic at the UNESCO recognised Botanic Gardens
Singapore Botanic Gardens is the first and only tropical botanic garden on UNESCO’s World Heritage list. The garden stretches for about 2.5 kilometres between its northern and southern ends. It houses more than 10,000 species of unique flora and some resident swans, monitors lizards, squirrels and chickens.
The entry to Singapore Botanic Gardens is free and you can explore the various attractions at different zones of the garden. You can either pick up the free map brochure at the entrance of the garden or download the map in your cell phone.
7. Get yourself clicked at the Fort Canning Spiral staircase
The spiral staircase at Fort Canning Park is the new Instagram hotspot for tourists as well as Singaporeans. The underground crossing at Fort Canning Park will take you to the end of a tunnel with a circular chimney-like structure. If you look up, this is surrounded by golden yellow leaves with a bright blue sky in the backdrop.
Well, this place is one of the most photographed places in Singapore.
The spiral staircase is also a famous spot among Singaporeans for shooting pre-wedding pictures. Once you ascend the staircase, it will lead you up to the beautiful Fort Canning Park.
8. Visit the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple
The Buddha Tooth Relic temple in China Town, Singapore is dedicated to the Maitreya Buddha or The Future Buddha. The temple is famous as it apparently houses the tooth of Buddha. The temple is multi-storied and designed in typical Chinese architecture. The temple is strikingly colorful from the inside with red and gold colors as predominant colors.
The temple houses comprehensive exhibits on Buddhist art and history. The hypnotic rhythmic chanting and the ringing bells are deeply satisfying and provide instant peace and relief. The Buddha Tooth Relic temple is however quite a touristy place. But since it’s free, why not give it a visit!
9. Watch the sunset from Marina Bay Sands Boardwalk
There are a lot of free activities that you can indulge at the Marina Bay area. You can catch the wonderful evening fountain light and laser show, enjoy the sight of high-rise buildings, chill out at the breezy waterfront, snap a photo with Merlion, walk in the bustling restaurant to enjoy meals or drinks, or opt to walk on the boardwalk.
The Marina Bay Sands boardwalk offers an incredible view of the Singapore skyline filled with skyscrapers. It is also an excellent place to see the sunset and watch the sky changing colors from blue to orange to grey.
10. Stroll in the colorful streets at the Haji Lane
If you are a fan of colorful buildings with tasteful graffiti, quirky street-side bars and restaurants, and unique boutique stores; then Haji lane is definitely a place for you. If you are into photography, you cannot skip visiting this place.
Strolling in the Haji Lane feels similar to walking in an altogether different world. You can shop for antique trinkets from the boutique stores surrounding the colorful streets. Just adjacent to Haji Lane is the Arab street where you could enjoy delicious the Middle East and Malay cuisines.
11. Chill out at the East Coast Park
The East Coast Park is definitely Singapore’s most popular stretch of beach. Here, you can take a long walk, jog, or just chill out in one of the gardens at the seashore. At any time of the day, you can see people bicycling, skateboarding, or doing yoga.
While enjoying the ocean bridge, you could marvel over the big ships sailing far-off in the sea or the airplanes landing or taking off from the nearby airport. East Coast Park is one the best free attractions in Singapore where you could have a fun family picnic.
With this list of free things to do in Singapore, you could easily plan a budgeted trip to the country. What is your favourite free thing to do in Singapore? Let us know in the comments section below.
Unlike Singapore, which is an island nation, India is a vast country with plenty of free things to do and places to visit. Read about some of the free things to do in India at our blog at Fairytale Studios. Some of our favourite free things to do in India are visiting Jog Falls and exploring Divar Island.
Meet the Guest Author: Pooja
I am a lively ball of energy who found 6 years of corporate life writing patents for multinational giants too…. well not enough lively. Today I continue to write, but instead of patents, it is about my travel experiences. I strive to see numerous fairytales in every nook and corner of India and wish to document places beyond the usual sought-after destinations in my blog Fairytale Studios. I hope to inspire my readers to leap out of their comfort zones, to realize they have wings, to let go of chains holding them back and travel before life slips away.