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What to see and do in Singapore
Are you wondering what to do when visiting Singapore? Check out our list of things to do in this amazing city and start building your itinerary today.
Why should Singapore be your next travel destination? Its simple! Delicious food, superb shopping and fabulous sightseeing. There really is something for everyone!
Singapore is a city,
and a country.
Take the opportunity to find out what to see and do in Singapore.
Singapore History and Culture
Steeped in history, this bustling city was once famed for its seedy reputation but the days of it’s shady past are long gone.
Today Singapore is a diverse and harmonious nation and frequently described as a country where “East meets West”.
Enjoy the best shopping in Singapore
Shop ’til you Drop
It’s no secret that Singaporeans love to shop but if you’re visiting mid-year, you will find yourself amidst an island-wide ‘Great Singapore Sale‘. It’s the perfect opportunity to shop until you drop.
Many hotels are linked together by huge underground shopping malls so you could end up miles from where you started!
If you are looking for luxury brands, stylish labels or trendy fashion icons, Orchard Road is the place to go. World-famous for it’s shopping, Orchard Road will do some serious damage to your credit card!
Chinatown is one of Singapore’s most interesting precincts. It’s full of fragrant cuisine, vibrant colours and is a hive of activity.
The Street Markets capture the essence of Chinatown. Keep your eyes open for beautiful antiques, tailored suits, modern oriental home-wares and super-cheap T shirts.
Remember to haggle with a smile if you want the best price.
The Old Arab quarter of Kampong Glam is predominantly influenced by Malay and Islamic cultures. Popular tourist attractions such as the golden-domed Sultan Mosque and Haji Lane can be found in Arab Street.
If you’re looking for rattan mats and baskets, traditional oils and perfumes, embroidered silks, sarongs, Arab Street is the place to go.
Little India is one of Singapore’s most vibrant precincts to explore the mix of Hindu and Chinese temples, mosques and churches.
Shop for traditional saris, glass bead bracelets, carved furniture, religious art and beautiful Indian wall hangings. The 24-hour shopping mall Mustafa Centre offers everything from electronics to groceries.
Enjoy Singapore’s Parks and Gardens
Take an early morning walk on Cannon Hill Fort
Canning Hill Fort was originally known as Bukit Larangan, which means ‘Forbidden Hill’ in Malay and today, is often used for concerts.
Many of the ancient artifacts of Fort Canning Hill’s 700-year history can be seen as you wander through the extensive lawns. The Fort Gate remains as the remnants of a fortress built in the 19th Century.
Today the Fort has been transformed into The Battlebox Museum. An underground British command centre during WWII, the Battlebox museum now portrays re-enactment scenes of the war. Available by guided tours.
Explore the Gardens by the Bay
The Gardens by the Bay is the newest addition to Singapore’s green space.
Wander through the futuristic botanical garden to view Supertrees and Biodomes or take a Garden Cruiser tram for a guided tour. Explore the Cooled Conservatories, Vertical Gardens or the Cloud Forest.
Time your visit for the evening light show. If you want a birds-eye view of the evening show, take a vantage point up on the Skydeck at the nearby Marina Bay Sands Hotel.
Singapore Botanic Gardens
Singapore Botanic Gardens are UNESCO world heritage listed. These botanical gardens are a favourite park for jogging, picnics or just lazing about. Lunch at one of the restaurants and cafes in the gardens or chill out and enjoy the sunshine.
The National Orchid Garden boasts the world’s largest orchid display, with over 60,000 plants and orchids.
Take the kids to the Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden where they can play and learn all about plant life.
Singapore’s Zoos and Theme Parks
The zoo is for big kids too! One of the world’s best zoos, Singapore Zoo features natural habitats to keep the animals apart. Using innovative animal enclosures and surrounds such as moats, rocky outcrops and thick bushy hedges most of the animals roam free in their natural habitats.
One of the zoo highlights is to have breakfast with the Orangutans!
The Night Safari
The Night Safari is a unique tour of the nocturnal animals and not to be missed. Singapore Zoo offers this wonderfully eerie experience to wander through the tropical jungle to see the nocturnal animals close up.
See rare animals such as the endangered Asian elephant, Malayan tapir and Malayan tiger. Make sure you put this adventure tour on your list!
Jurong Bird Park
One of the most spectacular bird habitats, Jurong Bird Park has a collection of over 5,000 birds in spectacular flight aviaries. Wander through the Waterfall Aviary, before heading into the world’s largest walk-in flight aviary which is over nine stories high.
Jurong Bird Park features many species of colourful and rare birds. Its a great day out for families with a love of nature and there is an opportunity to Lunch with Parrots.
Haw Par Villa
The oldest Singaporean theme park is Haw Par Villa but it is ‘not your traditional theme park’. Embark on a tour of the world’s only eclectic Chinese mythological park of its kind.
Be warned ... Haw Par Villa is not for the feint hearted!
Visit Sentosa Island
Enjoy some tropical island fun by heading to Sentosa Island for the day. Head over to Sentosa Island on the cable-car and take the monorail around the island as you explore the various attractions.
Thrill-seekers will enjoy Sentosa Island’s theme parks such as Universal Studios Singapore and Wild Wild Wet. Visit Underwater World and Adventure Cove Waterpark before taking the ferry back to the main island.
Want more? Book a room for a night or two and continue the fun.
What else is there to do in Singapore?
Visit the Sri Mariamman Temple
Chinatown is home to the oldest Hindu temple in Singapore. Dating back to 1827, Sri Mariamman Temple was built by the Nagapatnam and Cuddalore immigrants from Southern India.
Covered with ornate and elaborate sculptures of deities and mythological figures, the temple is dedicated to the goddess Mariamman. She is known for her power to cure illness and disease and has been visited by generations of Hindu worshipers.
Stroll down Clarke Quay
Clarke Quay is the nightlife destination in Singapore and well-known for its bars and restaurants.
Stroll along the riverbanks or take a traditional bumboat to learn the stories of Singapore’s Boat Quay and Clarke Quay. Take in the stunning views over the Marina Bay area as you take in the beautiful sunset.
Take a Guided Walking Tour
Walking tours have become one of our favourite ways to get to know a city. Singapore has many tours on offer so choose one that captures your interests. Learning from the locals will often add a little more depth to your visit.
- Take a walking tour through the historical Supreme Court and City Hall buildings, hosted by the National Gallery.
- Explore each of the precincts – Chinatown, Little India, Clarke Quay, Changi Village and the East Coast.
The Aussie Mob experience:
The Chinatown Brothel Tour was great fun with the guide, a Singaporean national, walking us on a tour through the red light district of ‘old’ Singapore sharing the hidden secrets of Chinatown and it’s seedy history.
This was definitely one of the most interesting tours I’ve ever done!
Take High-Tea at Raffles
Raffles Hotel in Singapore is a much loved Singaporean institution and an important part of the nation’s cultural heritage.
Few visitors to Singapore can resist visiting the city’s most famous heritage hotel. Be welcomed by the smartly-dressed Sikh doormen and enjoy a cocktail in Raffles’ legendary Long Bar.
Raffles has played host to the rich and famous over time: including Charlie Chaplin, Elizabeth Taylor and Karl Lagerfield and Ernest Hemingway. One can’t visit Singapore and not go to Raffles for ‘High Tea’ or at least a Singapore Sling!
Click here to find out how to stay at Raffles Singapore.
The Aussie Mob experience:
Dressed in full tourist rig, complete with sunhats and cameras, we wandered into the lobby of this majestic ‘plantation style’ hotel.
A smartly dressed doormen approached us quietly informing Trevor in a monotone statement, raising his eyebrow ever so slightly; “Sir must be dressed in long trousers to enter the lobby at Raffles”.
We headed back outside, stifling our laughter.
We got the message, loud and clear! Sir, wasn’t being served ‘High Tea’ today!
Catch a sunset from Marina Bay
Start your walk from the iconic Marina Bay Sands hotel, walk along the Marina, crossing the Helix Bridge. Enjoy the spectacular views of the Singapore skyline as you head towards the famous Merlion statue (half-fish, half-lion).
The best time to go on this walk is during the evening Marina Bay Sands’ sound and light show.
Ride the Singapore Flyer
The second-largest observation wheel in the world, the Singapore Flyer is a stunning part of the Lion City’s impressive skyline.
The Singapore Flyer takes you high above the city, offering sensational views over the city skyline. The views over Marina Bay and ships on the South China Sea are impressive.
Explore Marina Bay Sands
The eye-catching Marina Bay Sands is a destination in itself with plenty to see and do. when visiting Singapore.
Shop at the exclusive mall beneath the hotel or dine in one of the hotel’s many signature restaurants. Opt for a popular musical at the MasterCard Theatre or visit the unique exhibitions at the waterfront ArtScience Museum.
One of Singapore’s most popular attractions however, is the SkyPark Observation Deck which offers incredible views over the city. Don’t miss the free sound-and-light extravaganza overlooking the Gardens on the Bay!
Visit the Museums and Arts & Culture
The Arts Scene
Singapore has a rich art and theatre culture. Attend growing arts festivals like St Jerome’s Laneway Festival, Neon Lights and the ultra Music Festival for an amazing experience.
The National Museum of Singapore
The National Museum of Singapore brings Singapore’s rich history to life. Learn about Singapore’s early beginnings when ruled by Malay sultans. Follow the changes during the British colonial rule through to the Singapore we know today.
If you only visit one museum in Singapore, make it this one!
Experience Changi Museum and Memorial
World War II impacted on millions of people world-wide. The museum opened in 2001 and is both a sombre reminder, and an extraordinary tribute to the prisoners-of-war and civilians interned during the war.
Visiting Singapore over the ANZAC memorial day, we attended the ANZAC Day service at the War Memorial at Changi. Together thousands of Singaporeans, Australians, New Zealanders, war veterans and visitors gathered to pay their respects and share prayers.
As Australians, visiting Changi War Museum, the memorial service on ANZAC Day was an extremely moving experience for us both. We will do it again.
ANZAC Day is held on the 25th April each year. As the memorial day for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps there are usually 2 services: A dawn service and a 9 am service.
Dine at the Hawker Centres
Tip: Hawker centres tend to fill quickly, so secure your seat at a shared table by placing a small packet of tissues on it.
Singaporeans seriously love their food and love to eat out at hawker centres throughout the city.
Hawker Centres are a vibrant and quintessentially a ‘must do’ Singaporean experience.
Coming soon – Hawker Centres you must try when visiting Singapore!
5 Essentials to Pack for your visit to Singapore
- Great Camera and Lens – I love my Sony A6000 mirrorless camera, which was ideal for capturing my Singapore experience.
- Lonely Planet Guidebook – The Lonely Planet Singapore guide book is helpful for any trip to Singapore with lots of tips and useful information.
- Sandals – A good pair of sandals are vital in Singapore and I love my Tiva Sandals. Perfect for keeping my feet cool & well supported with all the walking that I did. I wore them all day, every day!
- British Power Adapters – Singapore uses the British format for its power outlets, so make sure you come prepared with an International Wall adapter.
- Light, Waterproof Jacket – Tropical downpours happen! Take a light waterproof jacket just in-case the tropical rains start. I love my North Face Venture 2. Perfect for Singapore!
Where to stay in Singapore
Nor for you? Click here for other accommodation styles for all tastes and budgets. You’ll be sure to find something to suit.
Getting to Singapore
Changi Airport in Singapore is consistently rated as one of the world’s best transit hubs. Most airlines fly into Changi Airport before heading to other Asian & International destinations.
Check your favourite airlines to see if they connect through Singapore.
How to get from Changi Airport to the City
Getting into Singapore from Changi Airport is easy. Take the free shuttle train to catch the MRT (Mass Rapid Transport) into the city centre, or take a taxi directly to your hotel.
Getting around Singapore
Like many cities in Asia, getting around Singapore is a breeze.
With one of the most efficient rail systems in the world, the MRT is within walking distance of most of the top tourist destinations making sightseeing in Singapore super-easy.
What to do in Singapore. Pin this for later.
Get the most out of your visit to Singapore
Singapore has always been one of my favourite cities! With an amazing mix of culture, friendly people and amazing food it’s a city that’s always bubbling with energy.
Have you ever been to Singapore? What did you enjoy most when in Singapore? I’d love to hear about your experience.