Singapore may be on top of the World’s Most Expensive Cities list but that doesn’t mean everything in the city has a high price tag. Travelling in Singapore can be done on a budget and luckily, the Lion City has a generous number of free attractions that you can fit easily in your itinerary. Here is a list of the best free things to do in Singapore:
Free Things to Do in Singapore during the Day
Meet the Famous Merlion
Half lion and half fish, Singapore’s most iconic statue, the Merlion, is must-see for all tourists. The mythical Merlion is located at the waterfront at Merlion Park (in Marina Bay). The Merlion is a Singapore national icon, which represents its humble beginnings as a fishing village (body of a fish) and its original name in Malay, Singapura, which means “lion city” (head of a lion).
Another awesome Merlion statue which stands 37m tall is the Sentosa Merlion, located at Resorts World Sentosa.
Walk around the Outdoor Gardens of Gardens by the Bay
5:00am to 2:00am Daily
One of Singapore’s premier attractions is Gardens by the Bay. Located in the heart of the city, Gardens by the Bay spans 101 hectares and is home to a spectacular array of plants and flowers. Apart from the conservatories (Cloud Forest Dome and Flower Dome) and the OCBC Skyway, which connects the SuperTrees, the rest of the gardens in Gardens by the Bay can be visited for free. Take advantage of the early opening hours to beat the crowds.
Take a Stroll around Marina Bay
If you don’t have the budget to go up to the Marina Bay Sands SkyPark or ride the Singapore Flyer, an alternative is to walk along Marina Bay. Depending on how much you want to cover, this walk will take you along some of Singapore’s iconic attractions such as the Marina Bay Sands Hotel, ArtScience Museum, Helix Bridge, Singapore Flyer, Esplanade and Merlion.
Make a Wish at the Fountain of Wealth
9:00am to 10:00pm Daily
8:00pm, 8:30pm and 9:00pm
Touch Water Sessions
9:00am to 12:00nn, 2:00pm to 6:00pm, 7:00pm to 7:50pm, 9:30 to 10:00pm
The Fountain of Wealth, located at one of Singapore’s largest shopping malls (Suntec City), is recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest fountain in the world. It is said that if you walk around this outdoor fountain, you will receive good luck!
Explore the Jurong Lake Gardens
Japanese Garden – 5:30am to 11:00pm Daily
Chinese Garden – 5:30am to 7:00pm Daily
Located in western Singapore are two stunning themed gardens, the Chinese Garden and Japanese Garden. If you love photography, you will love the magnificent display of imperial architecture with many picturesque pavilions and pagodas.
Visit the Singapore Botanic Gardens
5:00am to 12:00 midnight Daily
Singapore Botanic Gardens is over 150 years old and features stunning landscape design and horticultural attractions. You can easily spend a whole day exploring its different displays of flowers and plants. The best part — they have so many orchid varieties!
Other national parks worth visiting include Labrador Park and Fort Canning Park.
Hike to the Treetop Bridge at Macritchie Reservoir
Weekdays 9:00am to 5:00pm
Weekends 8:30am to 5:00pm
Closed on Mondays
One of Singapore’s best spots to get close to nature is Macritchie Reservoir. This is definitely my favourite among the free things to do in Singapore. The trail, which can easily be done in half a day, takes you to the famous treetop bridge, a steel bridge with outstanding views. Running/walking shoes are recommended.
Discover the Henderson Waves (Southern Ridges)
Another interesting hike in Singapore is the Southern Ridges, which takes you along a trail of walkways and platforms where the city meets the jungle. While most of the trail is interesting, the best part of Southern Ridges is the Henderson Waves, the highest pedestrian bridge in Singapore which as you may have guessed is shaped like a series of waves. The bridge is illuminated from 7:00pm to 7:00am daily.
Unwind at the Beaches of Sentosa
In Sentosa (apart from the ticket via tram or Sentosa Boardwalk), there are many attractions to fill your day without spending heaps of money (assuming you’re outside the Casino and Universal Studios). The best place to do it is at the beaches of Sentosa. Feast your eyes on some of Singapore’s best beaches — Palawan Beach, Tanjong Beach and Siloso Beach. From sun-bathing to a picnic to playing sports at the beach, these man-made beaches are as good as the “real” deal. Also, the Southernmost Point of Continental Asia is located in a tiny islet in Palawan Beach. Cross the small hanging bridge to reach the two viewpoints. The views here are amazing.
READ MORE: The Best Beaches in Singapore
Discover Chinese Mythology at Haw Par Villa
Opening Hours: 9:00am to 6:00pm Daily
Looking for an eye-catching museum? Prepare to be amazed at the impressive collection of art and statues depicting Chinese folklore and mythology in Haw Par Villa. From the gruesome depictions at the 10 Courts of Hell to strange looking figures at the different pavilions, there is a lot going on in this old theme park.
Explore Singapore’s Old Shop houses
While it’s easy to see Singapore’s modern façade, there is more going on for this city than its impressive city skyline. Scattered in different sections of Singapore are its historic districts. Here you can see historic shop houses with awe-inspiring architecture — a mixture of different styles from different influences. Here are the best places to see Singapore’s impressive shop houses: Kampong Glam, Tanjong Pagar, Chinatown, Emerald Hill, Little India and Katong.
Explore Colonial Architecture in Singapore
Do you want to search for more historical sites in Singapore? Look out for the well-preserved buildings at the center of Singapore. Start at the fabulous Fullerton Hotel and walk along the colonial buildings such as the Old Parliament House, Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall and National Gallery. Make your way to Saint Andrew’s Cathedral and Chijmes then finish off at the famous Raffles Hotel.
Take a Stroll at East Coast Park
Whether you’re a local or a tourist, a trip to East Coast Park is always fun. Enjoy a picnic or watch the sunset here. If you have time, East Coast Park is a great spot for a stroll or a bike ride.
Other park areas in the East include Pasir Ris Park, Tampines Eco Green and Bedok Reservoir.
Explore Singapore’s Shopping District
Even if you’re not out to shop, Orchard Road is a nice place to visit. Start at Dhoby Ghaut and walk all the way to Somerset and Orchard. Along the way, you don’t only see fascinating architecture but also some interesting Singapore sights like Fort Canning Park, Istana Park and Emerald Hill. Shell out a dollar to try the local $1 SGD ice cream.
Catch a Free Singapore Tour from the Changi Airport
If you are a transit passenger at Changi airport and have at least 6 hours to spare until your next flight, you may be eligible to take part in the Free Singapore Tour by Changi Airport.
Free Things to Do in Singapore at Night
Walk along the Quays of Singapore
Did you know that it’s absolutely safe to explore Singapore at night? Even if you’re not out for a drink, the fascinating quays of Singapore are surely worth a visit. If you don’t end up taking a river cruise (which will set you back $25 SGD), a great alternative is to walk along Marina Bay and the stretch of the Singapore River including Boat Quay, Clark Quay and Roberston Quay. You will be amazed by the lights that brighten up the buildings and bridges here at night.
Walk along the Sentosa Boardwalk
If you’re in Vivo City (a huge shopping mall), a great way to cap the day is hang around at the Sentosa Boardwalk. There are fancy restaurants around here or you could find a spot to watch the day go by. On weekends and public holidays, they host bazaars here too.
If you choose to go to Sentosa via the Sentosa Boardwalk, the fee is $2 SGD, which is cheaper than taking the tram. You get a free work out too.
Marvel at the Garden Rhapsody at Gardens by the Bay
7:45pm, 8:45pm Daily
Prepare to be taken to another world as the SuperTrees of Gardens by the Bay dazzle with an incredible light and sound exhibition.
If you visit during Mid-Autumn Festival (usually around September), Gardens by the Bay is decorated up with colourful lanterns!
Watch Wonder Full: Light and Water Show at Marina Bay
Sunday to Thursday 8:00pm, 9:30pm
Friday and Saturday 8:00pm, 9:30pm
Shows last for 15 minutes
If you think Marina Bay Sands is awesome in the day, watch it come to life with the rest of the Singapore skyline at night with electric lights and laser effects during the light and water show, Wonder Full. If you loved the Symphony of Lights in Hong Kong, you’ll find this show amusing.
Watch the Crane Dance at Waterfront Sentosa
Every night 8:00pm
Love cinematronics? Crane Dance is a unique light and water show at Sentosa which illustrates the courtship and love story between a pair of giant mechanical cranes. Come early to reserve a seat.
Catch a Free Show at the Esplanade, Theaters on the Bay
If you’re looking to explore art, pop culture or music, the Esplanade is the place to go. Esplanade offers free shows featuring different performances at their different theaters every now and then. Check the Esplanade website for more details.
Enjoy a Free Drink (or more) during Ladies Night
If you’re a female traveller, you’re in luck. Singapore has great deals for women during ladies night (which is usually on Wednesdays). The best one is at Cé La Vi in Marina Bay Sands (the views here are amazing). During Ladies Night, women skip cover charge and get a free drink! They do observe a dress code so keep that in mind.
Join the Celebrations in the Singapore Night Festival
During two weekends in August, different museums in Singapore are dressed up with lights and their surrounding districts (Bras Basah and Bugis) are filled with an array of free art and musical performances. Check out the Singapore Night Festival website for more details.
Experience iLight Marina Bay, a Sustainable Light Art Festival
This light art festival usually runs from March 3 to 26 and illuminates the whole Marina Bay waterfront in a splash of coloured lights. How often do you see the Merlion in neon colours? Check out iLight Marina Bay’s website for more details.
Where to Stay in Singapore
Luxury – Marina Bay Sands
Mid-Range – Hotel Yan
Boutique – Hotel 1929
Budget – Fragrance – Hotel Riverside
Map of the Best Free Things to Do in Singapore
Have you been to Singapore? Do you have anything to add to our list of best free things to do in Singapore? Let us know.
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