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The Best Free Things to Do in Singapore

Best Free Things to Do in Singapore

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.

Merlion Park - Best Free Things to Do in Singapore

Walk around the Outdoor Gardens of Gardens by the Bay

Opening Hours:
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.

READ MORE: Gardens by the Bay, Singapore: The Coolest Gardens in the World?

Gardens by the Bay - Best Free Things to Do in Singapore

Gardens by the Bay - Best Free Things to Do in Singapore

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 MuseumHelix Bridge, Singapore Flyer, Esplanade and Merlion.

Marina Bay - Best Free Things to Do in Singapore

Make a Wish at the Fountain of Wealth

Opening Hours:
9:00am to 10:00pm Daily
Show Times:
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!

Fountain of Wealth - Best Free Things to Do in Singapore

Explore the Jurong Lake Gardens

Opening Hours:
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.

Jurong Lake Gardens - Japanese Garden - Best Free Things to Do in Singapore

Visit the Singapore Botanic Gardens

Opening Hours:
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.

Botanic Gardens - Best Free Things to Do in Singapore

Hike to the Treetop Bridge at Macritchie Reservoir

Opening Hours:
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.

READ MORE: The Best Walks in Singapore: From the Forest to the City

Macritchie Reservoir Tree Top Walk - Best Free Things to Do in Singapore

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.

Henderson Waves - Best Free Things to Do in Singapore

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

Palawan Beach in Sentosa - Best Free Things to Do 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.

READ MORE: Is the Haw Par Villa the Weirdest Tourist Attraction in the World?

Haw Par Villa - Best Free Things to Do in Singapore

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.

READ MORE: Photographing Singapore’s Historic Shophouses

Shop houses in Little India - Best Free Things to Do in Singapore

Kampong Glam - Best Free Things to Do in Singapore

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.

Colonial Architecture in Singapore - Best Free Things to Do in Singapore

Victoria Theater - Best Free Things to Do in Singapore

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.

East Coast Park - Best Free Things to Do in Singapore

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.

Emerald Hill at Orchard, Singapore - Best Free Things to Do in Singapore

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.

READ MORE: The Quays to the City: Exploring Downtown Singapore

Boat Quay at Night - Best Free Things to Do in Singapore

Marina Bay - Best Free Things to Do in Singapore

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

Show Times:
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!

Garden Rhapsody at Gardens by the Bay - Best Free Things to Do in SIngapore

Mid Autumn Festival at Gardens by the Bay - Best Free Things to do in Singapore

Watch Wonder Full: Light and Water Show at Marina Bay

Show Times:
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.

Marina Bay Sands Light Show - Best Free Things to Do in Singapore

Watch the Crane Dance at Waterfront Sentosa

Show Times:
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.

READ MORE: Ladies Nights in Singapore: Free Drinks, Cheap Deals and 1-for-1s

Clarke Quay Ladies Night - Best Free Things to Do in Singapore

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.

Singapore Night Festival - Best Free Things to Do in Singapore

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.

RELATED POST: Things to Do in Singapore: The Ultimate, Best, Most Awesome Guide

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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About the author

Gia Kristel Algie

Currently based in New Zealand, Gia grew up in Manila, lived in Singapore for three years and travelled the world for nearly two years. From watching sunsets to hiking mountains, she loves the outdoors. She enjoys living in big cities but takes pleasure staying in quaint, small towns. An aspiring photographer and budding writer, she is the voice behind Mismatched Passports, a travel blog dedicated to the journey around the world with her husband, Jon.


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