Singapore is known for its high cost of living, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a good time without breaking the bank. In this blog post, we’ll explore a variety of free activities for Singaporeans and residents to enjoy. From natural wonders to cultural experiences and vibrant festivals, there’s something for everyone. So, let’s dive in and discover the wealth of free things to do in Singapore!
Discover Singapore’s Natural Beauty
1. Gardens by the Bay
When it comes to breathtaking green spaces, Gardens by the Bay takes the cake. While the conservatories have an entrance fee, you can explore the mesmerising outdoor gardens for free. Wander through the Supertree Grove, marvelling at the futuristic tree-like structures that come alive with a spectacular light show every evening. Don’t forget to visit Dragonfly Lake, a serene spot perfect for quiet contemplation amidst nature’s beauty.
2. MacRitchie Reservoir
For nature enthusiasts and fitness enthusiasts alike, MacRitchie Reservoir offers an idyllic escape. Lace up your sneakers and embark on a scenic hike along the nature trails, enveloped by lush greenery and the melodious sounds of birds. Don’t miss the opportunity to walk across the Treetop Walk, a suspended bridge that provides a bird’s-eye view of the reservoir and the surrounding forest. Who knows, you might even spot a monkey or two swinging from the trees!
3. The Southern Ridges
Take a leisurely stroll along the Southern Ridges, a picturesque trail that connects several parks and provides breathtaking panoramic views of Singapore’s skyline and nature. Marvel at the architectural marvel that is Henderson Waves, the highest pedestrian bridge in Singapore. As you meander through this urban oasis, be prepared to encounter hidden gems and unexpected serenity. If you’re up for it, extend your walk to Mount Faber Park, a nearby attraction that offers sweeping vistas of the city.
4. Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve
Venture to the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, a haven for nature lovers and birdwatchers. This wetland sanctuary is home to a diverse array of flora and fauna, including migratory birds. Explore the boardwalks that wind through mangroves, mudflats, and ponds, offering a glimpse into Singapore’s rich biodiversity. Observe the birds in their natural habitat and soak in the tranquility of this remarkable nature reserve.
5. Kranji Marshes
Discover the hidden gem of Kranji Marshes, a freshwater marshland teeming with wildlife. Explore the walking trails and observation hides that provide close encounters with a variety of birds and insects. Immerse yourself in the lush greenery and serenity of this nature reserve, far away from the bustling city. Capture the beauty of the marshes and cherish the peaceful moments spent in this natural paradise.
6. Bukit Timah Nature Reserve
Escape the urban jungle and delve into the tropical rainforest at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. Embark on a trek up Bukit Timah Hill, the highest natural point in Singapore, and relish the sense of accomplishment as you reach the summit. Marvel at the diverse plant and animal species that call this reserve home. Breathe in the fresh air and let the sights and sounds of nature rejuvenate your spirit.
7. Hindhede Quarry
Uncover a hidden gem at Hindhede Quarry, nestled within Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. This former granite quarry has been transformed into a picturesque spot with a tranquil lake surrounded by towering cliffs. Take a leisurely stroll along the trails that encircle the quarry, or find a peaceful spot to have a picnic amidst the serene surroundings. Immerse yourself in the tranquility of this unique location and appreciate the beauty that nature has to offer.
8. Coney Island
For a nature adventure like no other, head to Coney Island in Punggol. This rustic island paradise offers a respite from the urban landscape, with lush greenery, tranquil beaches, and abundant wildlife. Explore the network of trails that wind through the island, keeping an eye out for resident birds, butterflies, and even wild boars. Enjoy a leisurely bike ride along the designated cycling paths, or simply take a peaceful stroll along the sandy shores.
9. St John’s Island
Escape the city and embark on a short boat ride to St John’s Island, a tranquil island getaway. Explore the St John’s Island Trail, a scenic path that winds through the island’s lush vegetation, revealing stunning coastal views and hidden coves. Breathe in the fresh sea air, listen to the soothing sounds of nature, and encounter interesting flora and fauna along the way. You may even spot some resident peacocks flaunting their vibrant feathers. Enjoy a picnic by the beach or simply unwind in the serene surroundings of this island paradise.
10. Lazarus Island
Continue your island adventure by hopping over to Lazarus Island, located just a short walk away from St John’s Island. This picturesque island boasts pristine sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters, making it an ideal spot for a day of relaxation and fun. Take a leisurely stroll along the shoreline, feel the soft sand between your toes, and enjoy a refreshing swim in the inviting sea. With its unspoiled beauty and tranquil atmosphere, Lazarus Island offers an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.
11. Labrador Nature Reserve
Immerse yourself in history and nature at Labrador Nature Reserve, a hidden gem on the southern coast of Singapore. Explore the lush trails that wind through the reserve, offering panoramic views of the sea and the city skyline. Discover remnants of World War II, such as the Labrador Battery and the Fort Pasir Panjang, which serve as reminders of Singapore’s past. Marvel at the rich biodiversity as you encounter unique flora and fauna along the way.
12. Punggol Waterway Park
Escape to the northeastern part of Singapore and experience the beauty of Punggol Waterway Park. This scenic park features a meandering waterway, lush greenery, and a variety of recreational facilities. Take a leisurely stroll or rent a bicycle to explore the park’s extensive network of paths and bridges. Enjoy picturesque views of the waterway and its vibrant flora, or find a spot to sit and admire the tranquility.
13. Pulau Ubin
For a nostalgic and rustic experience, venture to Pulau Ubin, an island located off the northeastern coast of Singapore. Step back in time as you explore the island’s untouched landscapes and traditional village atmosphere. Rent a bicycle and pedal your way through quaint kampongs (villages), lush forests, and scenic trails. Discover the Chek Jawa Wetlands, a rich ecosystem that offers a glimpse into Singapore’s natural heritage. Keep an eye out for wildlife such as monitor lizards, wild boars, and various bird species. Immerse yourself in the island’s tranquility and soak in the slower pace of life.
Immerse in Singapore’s Culture and Heritage
1. Museums and Galleries
Step into the world of art, history, and culture without spending a dime at Singapore’s renowned museums and galleries. Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents (PRs) enjoy free admission.
- Asian Civilisations Museum: Explore the diverse cultures of Asia through its extensive collection of artifacts.
- National Museum of Singapore: Unveil Singapore’s history and heritage through interactive exhibits and engaging displays.
- The Peranakan Museum: Discover the unique Peranakan culture and heritage of the Straits Chinese.
- Children’s Museum Singapore: Engage your little ones in a world of interactive learning and play.
- Indian Heritage Centre: Delve into the rich history and contributions of the Indian community in Singapore.
- Malay Heritage Centre (currently closed for revamp works): Learn about the Malay heritage, customs, and traditions through captivating exhibits.
- Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall: Step into the life and legacy of Dr. Sun Yat Sen, a key figure in Chinese history.
- Reflections at Bukit Chandu: Commemorate the heroic struggles of the Malay Regiment during World War II.
- Changi Chapel and Museum: Gain insights into Singapore’s wartime history and the experiences of prisoners of war.
- National Gallery Singapore: Immerse yourself in the world of art with a collection spanning from Singaporean to international works.
- Former Ford Factory: Visit the site where the British surrendered to the Japanese during World War II and learn about the war’s impact on Singapore.
- Singapore Art Museum: Appreciate contemporary art from Singapore and around the world through thought-provoking exhibitions.
- Singapore Discovery Centre: Engage in interactive exhibits that showcase Singapore’s journey, innovations, and national defence.
2. Cultural Neighbourhoods
Uncover the cultural tapestry of Singapore by venturing into its vibrant neighbourhoods.
- Chinatown: Explore the bustling streets, colourful shophouses, and aromatic food stalls. Visit various temples and soak in the rich heritage of this dynamic district.
- Little India: Immerse yourself in vivid colours, fragrant spices, and intricate temples. Stroll through its streets, sample delicious Indian treats, and experience the bustling markets.
- Kampong Glam: Discover the blend of Malay-Arab culture along Arab Street. Admire the beautiful Sultan Mosque and explore charming alleys with trendy boutiques and hip cafes.
- Joo Chiat/Katong: Immerse yourself in the Peranakan charm of Joo Chiat/Katong. Admire the beautifully preserved shophouses, savour Peranakan cuisine, and soak in the unique heritage of this neighbourhood.
- Tiong Bahru: Step into the nostalgia of Tiong Bahru, known for its art deco architecture and hipster vibe. Explore the quaint cafes, independent bookstores, and vibrant street art that define this trendy neighbourhood.
- Balestier: Known for its rich history and iconic landmarks, Balestier offers a glimpse into Singapore’s past. Visit the historic Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall and indulge in local culinary delights, particularly the famous Tau Sar Piah (bean paste pastry) and Bak Kut Teh (pork rib soup).
- Geylang Serai: Immerse yourself in the vibrant Malay-Muslim culture of Geylang Serai. Explore the bustling Geylang Serai Market, which comes alive during festive seasons like Hari Raya (Eid al-Fitr). Indulge in Malay cuisine, shop for traditional goods, and admire the beautiful architecture of the Malay Village.
- Holland Village: Experience a blend of expat and local culture in Holland Village. This lively neighbourhood is filled with trendy bars, restaurants, and boutique shops. Enjoy a night out with friends or take a leisurely stroll along the bustling streets.
3. Historical Sites
Delve into Singapore’s rich history by visiting its historical sites.
- Merlion Park: Marvel at the iconic Merlion statue, a mythical creature with the head of a lion and the body of a fish. This symbol of Singapore is located near Marina Bay and offers a picturesque backdrop of the city skyline.
- Fort Canning Park: Explore the lush greenery of Fort Canning Park, which holds significant historical and archaeological value. Discover ancient artifacts, visit the Battle Box, and learn about the park’s role in Singapore’s colonial past.
- Bukit Brown Cemetery: Step into a tranquil oasis at Bukit Brown Cemetery, one of Singapore’s oldest Chinese cemeteries. As you wander through the lush landscape, you’ll encounter ornate tombs and gravestones, reflecting the city’s early Chinese immigrant history.
- Haw Par Villa: Step into a world of mythology and folklore at Haw Par Villa. This unique park features intricate sculptures and dioramas that depict Chinese legends and moral tales. Wander through the gardens and be captivated by the vibrant displays.
- Gillman Barracks: Immerse yourself in Singapore’s contemporary art scene at Gillman Barracks. This former military barracks has been transformed into an art precinct, housing galleries, studios, and art institutions. Explore the diverse range of exhibitions and engage with contemporary art in a unique setting.
Unwind and Relax
1. Beaches and Coastal Areas
Singapore may be a bustling city, but it also boasts pristine beaches and coastal areas where you can unwind and soak up the sun. Two popular destinations for beach lovers are Changi Beach Park and East Coast Park.
Changi Beach Park, located in the eastern part of the city, offers a tranquil beachfront setting. Visitors can enjoy leisurely strolls along the sandy shores, rent bicycles to explore the coastline, and have delightful beachside picnics with friends. The park provides a serene escape from the city’s hustle and bustle, allowing visitors to relax and enjoy the beautiful coastal scenery.
East Coast Park, on the other hand, is a sprawling beachfront park that offers a wide range of recreational activities. Along with its sandy beaches, it features facilities for activities such as cycling, rollerblading, and barbecuing. Visitors can take a leisurely bike ride along the coast, have a refreshing swim in the sea, or simply unwind and enjoy the sun on the beach. The park also offers a variety of dining options, making it a great place to gather with friends or family for a beachside picnic or a seafood feast.
2. Parks and Gardens
Escape the urban hustle and find tranquility in Singapore’s parks and gardens. The Singapore Botanic Gardens, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, offers a delightful respite from the city. Roam through the lush greenery, take a leisurely stroll around the Symphony Lake, or simply find a peaceful spot to relax amidst nature’s embrace. While the National Orchid Garden has a small entrance fee, the rest of the gardens are free for all to enjoy.
For another serene retreat, visit Pasir Ris Park. This hidden gem on the eastern side of Singapore boasts sprawling green spaces, playgrounds for the little ones, and even a charming mangrove boardwalk. Bring along a picnic basket, breathe in the fresh air, and let the worries of the day drift away in this oasis of calm.
Urban Experiences and Events
Jewel Changi Airport
Even if you’re not catching a flight, a visit to Jewel Changi Airport is a must. Marvel at the stunning architecture and the centrepiece of Jewel—the world’s largest indoor waterfall, the Rain Vortex. Immerse yourself in the lush greenery of the Shiseido Forest Valley, and stroll through the vibrant indoor gardens.
Stroll along the picturesque Singapore River and explore the vibrant atmosphere of Clarke Quay. Admire the colourful facades of the restored shop houses, and soak in the lively ambience.
Experience the charm of historic Boat Quay, another delightful riverside destination. Walk along the promenade, lined with quaint shophouses and bustling eateries. Immerse yourself in the rich heritage of Singapore’s trading past, and enjoy the scenic views of the river and the iconic skyline.
Haji Lane and Arab Street
Step into the hip and trendy neighbourhood of Haji Lane and Arab Street, where colourful murals, eclectic boutiques, and vibrant cafes create a unique and artistic atmosphere. Stroll along the narrow alleyways adorned with street art and browse through the independent shops offering fashion-forward clothing, quirky accessories, and one-of-a-kind souvenirs.
Marina Bay Sands Light and Water Show
Be dazzled by the spectacular Light and Water Show at Marina Bay Sands. As the sun sets over the city, the waterfront comes alive with a mesmerising display of lights, music, and dancing water jets. Watch in awe as the iconic Marina Bay Sands hotel becomes a canvas for a captivating light show, synchronized to an enchanting soundtrack. The choreographed water jets add a magical touch, creating a breathtaking visual spectacle against the backdrop of the city skyline. Find a comfortable spot along the promenade and immerse yourself in this captivating sensory experience that showcases the grandeur and beauty of Marina Bay Sands.
Singapore Symphony Orchestra Concerts at Botanic Gardens
Experience the harmonious melodies of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra in the enchanting setting of the Botanic Gardens. Settle down on the lush green lawn, surrounded by nature’s beauty, as the orchestra fills the air with symphonic brilliance. From classical masterpieces to contemporary compositions, these outdoor concerts offer a unique blend of music and nature, creating a serene and uplifting atmosphere. Bring along a picnic basket, gather with friends and family, and let the melodies transport you to a world of musical enchantment.
i Light Singapore
Witness the city come alive with i Light Singapore, the shining star of Asia’s sustainable light festivals, nestled in the heart of Marina Bay. Marvel at the stunning light installations that transform the city’s landmarks and public spaces into dazzling works of art. Take a leisurely stroll along the illuminated pathways, admiring the creativity and innovation behind each artwork. This sustainable festival showcases the intersection of art, technology, and environmental consciousness, creating a captivating and immersive experience for visitors of all ages.
Singapore Night Festival
Immerse yourself in the vibrant energy of the Singapore Night Festival, a multi-disciplinary arts and cultural extravaganza that lights up the city after dark. From spectacular light installations to mesmerising performances, the festival transforms the Bras Basah-Bugis precinct into a hub of creativity and excitement. Explore the open-air installations, catch captivating performances by local and international artists, and witness the streets come alive with a carnival-like atmosphere. The Singapore Night Festival is a celebration of art, culture, and community, offering a unique and unforgettable nighttime experience.
Celebrate Singapore’s rich heritage and cultural diversity at the Singapore HeritageFest, a yearly festival that brings together various communities and showcases their unique traditions. Immerse yourself in the vibrant festivities, featuring cultural performances, traditional crafts, culinary delights, and interactive exhibits. Experience the sights, sounds, and tastes of Singapore’s diverse cultural tapestry as you wander through heritage precincts and participate in hands-on activities. From traditional music and dance performances to heritage trails and storytelling sessions, the Singapore HeritageFest offers a window into the nation’s history and cultural roots. Engage with the local community, learn about their traditions and customs, and gain a deeper appreciation for Singapore’s multicultural heritage.
Singapore is home to a thriving street art scene, and exploring the city’s vibrant murals is a fantastic way to immerse yourself in its creative culture. Take a stroll through areas like Katong, Little India, Chinatown and Kampong Glam, where you’ll find stunning works of art adorning the walls. From colourful abstract designs to intricate portraits, each mural tells a unique story. Spend an afternoon discovering these hidden gems, capturing Instagram-worthy photos, and appreciating the talent and expression of the artists behind the artwork.
Giving back to the community is a fulfilling and meaningful way to spend your time in Singapore. Numerous local organisations are constantly seeking volunteers for a wide range of initiatives. Whether it’s helping out at a shelter, participating in beach cleanups, or lending a hand at community events, there are plenty of opportunities to make a positive impact. Volunteering not only allows you to contribute to a good cause but also provides an avenue to meet like-minded individuals and forge new friendships along the way.
For book lovers and knowledge seekers, Singapore’s public libraries offer a haven of literature and learning. With an extensive collection of books, magazines, and digital resources, these libraries are a treasure trove of information and entertainment. Whether you want to dive into a captivating novel, conduct research for a personal project, or simply find a peaceful spot to study, the libraries provide a welcoming environment. Additionally, many libraries organize free workshops, author talks, and storytelling sessions, allowing you to engage with the literary community and expand your horizons.
Enjoying a movie under the stars is a delightful experience, and in Singapore, you can catch free movie screenings at various locations like ST3PS @ Changi Airport, One Punggol and Our Tampines Hub. These events bring people together to enjoy a cinematic experience without the cost. Grab some snacks, and settle in for an evening of entertainment, surrounded by the company of friends and fellow movie enthusiasts. Keep an eye out for upcoming screenings and immerse yourself in the magic of film.
The Esplanade, also known as the “Durian” due to its unique architectural design, is a hub of arts and culture in Singapore. It hosts a wide range of free events and performances, including music concerts, dance showcases, theater productions, and more. From local talents to renowned international artists, the Esplanade offers a platform to showcase a diverse array of art forms. Whether you’re a music lover, a theater enthusiast, or simply curious about the arts, attending these free events allows you to experience the richness and creativity of Singapore’s cultural landscape.
Staying active and maintaining a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be expensive. Singapore provides ample opportunities for free workout and sports activities. Many parks offer fitness corners with outdoor exercise equipment, jogging paths, and cycling tracks. Join community-led workout sessions, such as yoga or Zumba classes, organised by fitness enthusiasts or wellness organizations. You can also participate in community sports events like basketball or football matches. Whether you prefer a solo workout or enjoy the camaraderie of a group, there are plenty of options to suit every fitness level and interest.
Sembawang Hot Spring Park
For a unique and rejuvenating experience, visit Sembawang Hot Spring Park, Singapore’s first hot spring park. Nestled amidst nature, this park allows you to immerse your feet in the warm and therapeutic hot spring water. The park features cascading pools, foot baths, and dedicated areas for visitors to enjoy the natural healing properties of the water. Take a leisurely stroll along the park’s pathways, breathe in the fresh air, and let the soothing warmth of the hot spring water relax your muscles and rejuvenate your senses. Sembawang Hot Spring Park offers a tranquil escape from the bustling city, providing a unique opportunity to reconnect with nature and indulge in a therapeutic experience, all for free.
Located at the heart of Singapore’s cityscape, Marina Barrage offers a picturesque setting for outdoor activities. Take advantage of the wide-open green fields and enjoy a day of kite-flying with family and friends. Feel the exhilaration as your colourful kite dances in the sky, propelled by the gentle breeze. Alternatively, pack a picnic basket filled with delicious treats and lounge on the grass, soaking in the stunning panoramic views of the city skyline and Marina Bay. Marina Barrage is not just a recreational spot, but also an engineering marvel that provides water storage and flood control. Combining leisure and functionality, it offers a serene escape from the urban hustle and bustle.
Get involved in food rescue initiatives and contribute to reducing food waste in Singapore. Join community groups like FRSK that work towards redistributing excess food to those in need. Volunteer your time to collect surplus food from restaurants, cafes, and supermarkets, ensuring it reaches deserving individuals and families. By participating in food rescue efforts, you play a vital role in promoting sustainability and addressing the issue of food insecurity. It’s a rewarding experience that allows you to make a positive impact on both the environment and the lives of others.
Singapore Really Really Free Market
Singapore Really Really Free Market (SRRFM) is an incredible initiative where people come together to share resources and knowledge without any exchange of money. This vibrant community event provides a platform for individuals to give away items they no longer need or want, allowing others to find useful treasures completely free of charge. From clothes and books to household items and toys, the market offers a wide range of goods for everyone. SRRFM is not only a fantastic way to give and receive, but also a celebration of the spirit of generosity and community in Singapore.
Free Workshops & Classes
Whether you’re interested in coffee brewing, gardening, meditation, or personal development, you can find an array of informative and engaging workshops available at no charge. These workshops and classes that are listed on Eventbrite, are often led by passionate experts who generously share their knowledge and expertise with participants. From beginner-friendly sessions to advanced masterclasses, there is something for everyone. Attending these free workshops not only allows you to learn and acquire new skills but also provides an opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals and expand your network.
In a city where expenses seem to rise with each passing day, it’s refreshing to know that there are numerous free activities available for Singaporeans and residents to enjoy. Whether you’re exploring the natural beauty of Gardens by the Bay, immersing yourself in the cultural neighbourhoods of Chinatown and Little India, or simply relaxing at the beach or in the parks, there’s an abundance of affordable fun waiting to be discovered. So, go out and make the most of what Singapore has to offer, without worrying about your wallet. Remember, even though everything may seem expensive, there are still plenty of opportunities to have a fantastic time without spending too much money.