Photo: There is nowhere quite like Singapore.

Things to see and do

Use the quick links below to jump to a particular section of our sights and activities coverage for Downtown Singapore.


Guide to Singapore museum discounts

There’s no denying that Singapore is an expensive city, which is why I try to regularly write posts with the potential to save Travelfishers some money. I’ve recently covered budget places to stay like Singapore’s cheapest hostels and family rooms under S$120, and now I turn my focus to the city’s diverse and world-class museums. With a little planning, you can save 50% on regular ... Read more about Guide to Singapore museum discounts .

National Museum of Singapore
93 Stamford Rd
T: 6332 3659

The National Museum of Singapore is housed in a beautiful 1887-built building (the former Raffles library and museum) and offers an array of galleries celebrating Singapore’s history and culture. Singapore is home to oodles of museums, but thanks to informative displays, a range of exhibitions and a lovely gift shop and choice of restaurants, this is one to include on your essentials ... Read more about National Museum of Singapore .

Asian Civilisations Museum
1 Empress Place
T: 6332 7798

Singapore is awash in museums, so it can be difficult to determine just which ones are really worth your time if you’re here on a quick trip. Among them all there is one museum a step above the rest: the Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM) near Boat Quay in the heart of central ... Read more about Asian Civilisations Museum .

ArtScience Museum
10 Bayfront Avenue
T: 6688 8826

A part of the Marina Bay Sands organisation, Singapore's ArtScience Museum seeks to explore the relationship between the seemingly contrary realms of art and science. Designed by Moshie Safdie, the unmissable design resembles two hands held palms upwards with the fingers jutting towards the sky. Each fingertip has a skylight which is used to illuminate the interior. Within the museum there are ... Read more about ArtScience Museum .

Singapore Science Centre & Snow City
15 Science Centre Rd
T: 6425 2500

The permanent exhibits are suitable for all ages and, with recent subjects like Crime Scene Investigation and nanotechnology, the special exhibitions appeal to the nerds-at-heart. The Science Centre is also where you'll find an Omni-Theatre showing the latest IMAX documentaries and Snow City, the only place in Singapore you need to wear a parka. Admission to the Science Centre is S$9 for ... Read more about Singapore Science Centre & Snow City .

Live Turtle & Tortoise Museum at the Chinese and Japanese Gardens
1 Chinese Garden Road, Singapore
T: 6268 5363

Singapore’s Live Turtle and Tortoise Museum holds the Guinness World Record for the world’s largest collection of these long-living shelled creatures. Drop by this quirky attraction to see them sunbathing in the gardens and feed them ... Read more about Live Turtle & Tortoise Museum at the Chinese and Japanese Gardens .

The Changi Museum & Chapel
1000 Upper Changi Road North
T: 6214 2451

Singapore's infamous Changi POW Prison was demolished long ago, but this museum and replica of the prison chapel serve as a reminder of the suffering during World War II and the Japanese occupation. The u-shaped museum may be small but it does an outstanding job taking visitors through the effect World War II had on Singapore, While many museums tend to focus on the British and other allied ... Read more about The Changi Museum & Chapel .

Chinatown Heritage Centre
48 Pagoda St
T: 6221 9556

The exhibits start with the dangerous journey across the South China Sea then describe life in the then-British colony with furniture, clothing and tools from the time. No topic is off-limits and a whole gallery is dedicated to former social vices like prostitution and opium addiction. The attached Chinatown Heritage Restaurant serves classics like chicken rice and chilli crab and the ... Read more about Chinatown Heritage Centre .

URA Singapore City Gallery
URA Building, 45 Maxwell Rd
T: 6321 8321

If you’re curious how a backwater trading post blossoms into a high-tech metropolis of more than 5 million people, you can get some insights at the URA Gallery. With so many people in so little space, every detail of Singapore’s growth needs to be carefully planned and the URA (Urban Redevelopment Authority) are the people who do ... Read more about URA Singapore City Gallery .

NUS Museum
50 Kent Ridge Cres
T: 6516 8817

Singapore's largest university has a diverse collection of more than 7,000 pieces of Asian art and artefacts. The Chinese, Indian and Southeast Asian collections can be seen at the main campus in a traditional museum set-up with informative signs, but the Straits Chinese antiques are housed in the Baba House, a restored Peranakan mansion in the Tanjong Pagar conservation district, which is ... Read more about NUS Museum .

The Istana
Orchard Rd

The Istana (palace in Malay) is the official residence of Singapore’s president, located at the very end of Singapore’s bustling Orchard Road behind a large white gate flanked by sentries. The building was completed in 1869 and originally served to house the governors in the British colonial ... Read more about The Istana .

Peranakan Museum
39 Armenian St
T: 6332 7591

Learn more about Singapore's unique Peranakan community — the new culture that was created when early traders from China and India married local Malay women — at this downtown museum. This museum is far more comprehensive than similar ones in Malaysia and the 10 galleries cover every topic from their fusion of religions to elaborate wedding costumes to traditional Peranakan recipes ... Read more about Peranakan Museum .

Malay Heritage Centre
85 Sultan Gate, Singapore
T: 6391 0450

Get a crash course in the kebaya, keris and everything else Malay at the Malay Heritage Centre in Singapore’s historic Kampong Glam neighbourhood. This museum was totally overhauled a few years ago and is bigger and better than ever ... Read more about Malay Heritage Centre .

Mint Museum of Toys
26 Seah St
T: 6339 0660

When you were a kid, how did you treat your toys? Did you tear into a new toy and play until it broke, or were you the type who kept your favourites in mint condition with the original box? The Founder of the Mint Museum, Singaporean Chang Yang Fa, was definitely the latter and his collection of more than 50,000 toys has been turned into one of the city’s best niche ... Read more about Mint Museum of Toys .

Red Dot Design Museum
28 Maxwell Rd
T: 6327 8027

A museum showcasing luggage, iPod stereos, and thermal underwear? The Red Dot Design Museum’s collection may seem oddly mundane, but if you’re familiar with the award of the same name it makes a lot more ... Read more about Red Dot Design Museum .

Civil Defence Heritage Gallery
62 Hill Street
T: 6332 2996

Singapore’s Civil Defence Heritage Gallery is a lot more fun than the name suggests, with antique fire engines and the opportunity to stick your arm into a hazmat (hazardous material) suit. It’s the perfect place to take aspiring firefighters and admission is ... Read more about Civil Defence Heritage Gallery .

Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall
12 Tai Gin Road, Singapore
T: 6256 7377

Dr Sun Yat Sen, the revolutionary who helped to overthrow the last imperial dynasty of China and is regarded as the founding father of the modern People’s Republic of China, spent time in Singapore working for the revolutionary cause. The villa he stayed at is now a memorial hall set opposite a park named after him that opened at the end of ... Read more about Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall .

Reflections at Bukit Chandu
31-K Pepys Rd
T: 6375 2510

Tucked away on a peaceful hill off Singapore’s Pasir Panjang is a stately restored colonial bungalow housing World War II exhibit titled Reflections at Bukit ... Read more about Reflections at Bukit Chandu .

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Buddha Tooth Relic Temple
288 South Bridge Rd

The multi-tiered Buddha Tooth Relic Temple is one of Singapore's most important religious sites and is a must-see on any walk around Chinatown. But there's more to it than the impressive exterior; head inside to experience the chanting monks, museum of Buddhist art and peaceful rooftop ... Read more about Buddha Tooth Relic Temple .

Thian Hock Keng Temple
158 Telok Ayer St

One of the oldest standing temples in Singapore, Thian Hock Keng is an important Hokkien temple honouring Ma Zu Po, the Chinese goddess of the sea who is believed to protect seafarers and ... Read more about Thian Hock Keng Temple .

Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple
178 Waterloo St

Visit Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple to see the role that religion plays in the daily lives of Singapore’s Chinese ... Read more about Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple .

Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya Temple
366 Race Course Rd

If this temple reminds you of Bangkok you're not imagining things — it was founded by a Thai monk. The monk, Vutthisara, arrived in Singapore in 1927 and built a small shack housing a Buddha image on Racecourse Road. The shack quickly grew in popularity and after funds were garnered from local philanthropists Aw Boon How and Aw Boon Par, the present day temple was built. The highlight of the ... Read more about Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya Temple .

Wak Hai Cheng Bio Temple (Yueh Hai Ching Temple)
30B Phillip St

Surrounded by bankers’ skyscrapers, this Taoist temple dating back to 1850 is a well preserved relic in the middle of Singapore’s central business district down behind Boat ... Read more about Wak Hai Cheng Bio Temple (Yueh Hai Ching Temple) .

Leong San Temple
371 Race Course Rd

Despite its location in Little India, Leong San is a Chinese Taoist temple. It was established in 1913 by a monk who travelled to Singapore with little more than a statue of the Goddess of Mercy Kuan Im. Chuan Wu heralded from Fujian province in China and upon arriving in Singapore in 1913 he set about setting up a centre for serving the sick with what was initially just a gaggle of huts. ... Read more about Leong San Temple .

Sri Mariamman Temple
244 South Bridge Rd

Sri Mariamman is the oldest Hindu temple in Singapore — its roots can be traced back to 1827 when it was the only Hindu temple in the city and its priests had the authority to officiate over Hindu ... Read more about Sri Mariamman Temple .

Sri Krishnan Temple
152 Waterloo St

Slip off your shoes if you want to enter this South Indian testament to Singapore’s religious harmony, set near a turn on the pedestrian section of Waterloo St in downtown ... Read more about Sri Krishnan Temple .

Chettiar Temple
15 Tank Rd

The temple's origins date back to 1859 and it is dedicated to Lord Murugan, the six-faced patron god of India's Tamil Nadu state. Every year around January or February the temple acts as the end point for the dramatic Thaipusam festival, a procession of people who pierce their bodies and carry spiked metal cages to show their devotion to Lord Murugan. On most days the temple is less bloody and it ... Read more about Chettiar Temple .

Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple
141 Serangoon Rd

In many religions women are considered to be the gentler sex. To see why this definitely isn’t the case in Hinduism, visit the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple in Singapore’s Little India neighbourhood, which is dedicated the fierce goddess ... Read more about Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple .

Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple
397 Serangoon Rd

This Hindu temple in the heart of Little India dates back to 1855 but had a much humbler appearance before the five-tier Gorupam roof was added in the 1960s. If you look carefully at the carvings you'll see many representations of Vishnu, the preserver of the universe and god the temple is dedicated to, plus his female consort Lakshmi and eagle sidekick Garuda. This temple is the starting ... Read more about Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple .

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Art galleries or venues

Singapore Art Museum
71 Bras Basah Rd
T: 6589 9580

Considering that Singapore is not known for its creativity and free-thinking, the avant-garde paintings, photography and sculptures by local artists at the Singapore Art Museum may surprise you. Set on Bras Basah Road, the building was originally the home of the St Joseph's Institution -- a missionary school that was founded by the French in 1852. It grew over the years and remained as a ... Read more about Singapore Art Museum .

National Design Centre
111 Middle Road, Singapore

Singapore’s National Design Centre (NDC), run by the government’s DesignSingapore Council, opened in March 2014. This focal point for all things design in Singapore is a space where designers and businesses exhibit their products, exchange ideas and even work. The NDC is aptly located in the Bugis and Bras Basah area, near heritage landmarks and Lasalle College of the Arts, yet close enough ... Read more about National Design Centre .

The Substation
45 Armenian St
T: 6337 7535

Going strong since 1990, the Substation is Singapore's one and only alternative arts venue. This is the place to catch local rock bands, quirky plays, independent film festivals and contemporary art exhibits. A full schedule is available online or just drop in to see what's going on — it has a very welcoming vibe. Admission is always affordable and many events are free. The ... Read more about The Substation .

Singapore Kindness Gallery
140 Hill Street, #01-09 MICA Building
T: 6837 9610

When waiting to take the subway in Singapore you can’t help notice the public service ads reminding commuters to let people exit the train before pushing on and to give up their seat to the disabled or elderly. These reminders to be kind to your fellow man aren’t the work of a church or charity; they’re part of the government-funded Kindness Movement. If you’d like to see more of their ... Read more about Singapore Kindness Gallery .

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St Andrew's Cathedral
11 St Andrew's Rd

Even if religious sights are usually the last thing on your itinerary, you'll definitely notice St Andrew's Cathedral beside City Hall SMRT, with its steeple so high it just about contributes to the ... Read more about St Andrew's Cathedral .

Armenian Church
60 Hill St

Singapore's oldest church, the small, white Armenian Church was built way back when in 1835, making it not just the oldest church in Singapore but one of the city's oldest still standing buildings. At the time of the construction, Singapore was home to just 12 Armenians, but with funds raised from Armenian communities in India and Java -- along with European and Chinese residents of Singapore ... Read more about Armenian Church .

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Sultan Mosque (Masjid Sultan)
3 Muscat St

The original mosque was part of the Sultan's palace complex, hence the name, but the current building with its iconic golden dome was built in 1924 by noted colonial architecture firm Swan and Maclaren. Sultan Mosque is Singapore's largest mosque and the prayer hall nears its capacity of 5,000 during Friday afternoon prayers. Guided tours for non-Muslims are available outside of prayer ... Read more about Sultan Mosque (Masjid Sultan) .

Hajjah Fatimah Mosque
4001 Beach Rd

Though it has the typical onion-shaped dome and prayer hall, it also has a very distinctive minaret near the Imam's quarters. Also notable is that the mosque was named for a wealthy Malay businesswoman who donated her money and land for the mosque. Visitors are welcome outside of prayer times as long as they're properly dressed — no shorts, or low-cut tops. There's delicious Halal food ... Read more about Hajjah Fatimah Mosque .

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Merlion Park
1 Fullerton

Half-lion, half-fish, the Merlion is the trademarked mascot of Singapore. No, this absurd creature isn’t from a local myth or children’s story; it was dreamed up by the Singapore Tourism Board in 1964 to use as their logo. The fish body represents Singapore’s long history as a port and the lion head is a reference to the city’s name – Singa Pura (Lion City). In spite of the extreme ... Read more about Merlion Park .

Marina Sands Skypark

When I moved to Singapore in 2007 the Marina Sands Hotel was just a hole in the ground. But, by the miracle that is the speed of construction here, this 55-storey luxury hotel opened for business in June last year. Though this mega-structure currently takes the title of the most expensive hotel in the world (by total construction cost, not room rates), it’s not the hotel that tourists are ... Read more about Marina Sands Skypark .

The Pinnacle @ Duxton Skybridge
1G Cantonnment Road, Singapore

While exploring Singapore’s Chinatown neighbourhood it’s impossible not to notice the massive Pinnacle @ Duxton looming in the distance. This is the world’s tallest public housing building and its 50th storey observation skybridge is open to the public. With an entry cost of just S$5, you can think of it as a poor man’s Marina Bay ... Read more about The Pinnacle @ Duxton Skybridge .

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Public parks and zoos

Singapore Zoo
80 Mandai Lake Rd
T: 6269 3411

Lush gardens and enclosures that use natural barriers instead of bars make the Singapore Zoo one of the most beautiful and modern in the ... Read more about Singapore Zoo .

Singapore's best public parks

Singapore isn’t called “the garden city” for nothing – you’ll find a shady green refuge in nearly every neighbourhood. Here’s a rundown of our favourite public parks offering everything from open-air concerts to cycling along the ... Read more about Singapore's best public parks .

Singapore Night Safari
80 Mandai Lake Rd
T: 6269 3411

Ever been to the zoo when the lions weren't napping? See them in a different light is the motto of this zoo spin-off and it's true. Many animals normally dozing through the daytime heat are awake and active come the evening. The simulated moonlight lets you get a good look and a few blurry photos of big cats, hyenas and deer and you can get a little too close for comfort with bats and flying ... Read more about Singapore Night Safari .

Singapore Botanic Gardens & National Orchid Garden
1 Cluny Rd
T: 6471 7138

If you’re looking for respite from the glitz and rush of Singapore, the Botanic Gardens offer a variety of enticing green gardens and spaces to explore or simply retreat to with a good book. And with an MRT station open right by its entrance since 2011, it’s easier to reach than ... Read more about Singapore Botanic Gardens & National Orchid Garden .

Jurong Bird Park
2 Jurong Hill
T: 6265 0022

Rounding out the trio of animal-themed attractions is Jurong Bird Park. It ranks as the world's second largest bird park in terms of size, but comes out on top for their number of feathered species (600) which range from the beautiful (birds of paradise) to the downright bizarre (cassowaries). All of the birds are in free-fly aviaries so have plenty of room to stretch their wings. If you ... Read more about Jurong Bird Park .

Gardens by the Bay
18 Marina Gardens Drive
T: 6420 6848

The newest addition to Singapore’s urban skyline is the spectacular Gardens by the Bay, perhaps best described as the city state’s version of New York’s Central Park. Located right in the heart of town, with its intriguing structures visible from the nearby highways, it’s worth making an effort to ... Read more about Gardens by the Bay .

The Jane Goodall Institute of Singapore Monkey Walks
Departing from Bukit Timah Visitor's Centre
T: 6466 3328

The Bukit Timah Nature Reserve is the largest rainforest left in Singapore and is a refuge for more than 500 species of animals. To educate the public about one of the park’s most commonly-sighted but peskiest creatures – the long-tailed macaque – the Jane Goodall Institute of Singapore leads a free “Monkey Walk” once a ... Read more about The Jane Goodall Institute of Singapore Monkey Walks .

Fort Canning Park

Fort Canning, once a sought after vantage point over Singapore and rumoured to be the resting place of the spirits of ancient Malay kings, sits close to the centre of Singapore city, easy walking distance from the Quays to the south and Orchard Road to the north. It makes for a very worthwhile excursion for those weary of shopping malls and ... Read more about Fort Canning Park .

Marina Barrage
8 Marina Gardens Drive
T: 6514 5959

As they walk around Marina Bay, few people probably realise they’re actually walking around the largest fresh water catchment in Singapore. Marina Bay is one of 15 fresh water catchments spread across the city state and encompasses more than 10,000 hectares — or roughly one-sixth the size of ... Read more about Marina Barrage .

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve
301 Neo Tiew Cres
T: 6794 1401

Sungei Buloh is a 160-hectare mangrove swamp along Singapore’s northern coast. The area was doomed for redevelopment with condos boasting Johor Bahru views, but local birdwatchers objected, pointing out the swamp is visited by hundreds of migratory species, some quite rare. Today, Sungei Buloh Nature Reserve survives as one of Singapore’s last wild places and has been designated an “ASEAN ... Read more about Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve .

Labrador Nature Reserve
Closest SMRT Labrador Park

Singapore has many public parks, but if you want to picnic by the seaside, walk through dense jungle and learn about World War II history there's only one that fits the bill: the Labrador Nature ... Read more about Labrador Nature Reserve .

Tampines Eco Green

Tampines Eco Green is a 36.5 hectare park in Singapore’s east boasting grasslands, freshwater wetlands and secondary rainforest — right in the midst of a high-rise, high-density township. This might be the only place in Singapore where you can stand right beside a swamp, yet see a public housing dweller on her balcony and an above-ground MRT train whizzing by just metres ... Read more about Tampines Eco Green .

Punggol Waterway Park
Along Sentul Crescent Road

Punggol is a new town in the northeast heartland of Singapore; most newlyweds applying for their first new public housing apartments will end up living here. It may not be near to Singapore’s shopping or business districts, and it may still be peppered with large patches of undeveloped land and swamps, but it’s where many future Singaporeans will grow up — and where travellers should head ... Read more about Punggol Waterway Park .

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General activities

Fun free things to do in Singapore

It’s no secret that Singapore is the most expensive city in Southeast Asia to be a tourist. But even if you’re down to your last Sing-dollar, it’s possible to sightsee without spending a cent. Here are some suggestions for fun and completely free things to do in ... Read more about Fun free things to do in Singapore .

Singapore's best attractions for families

With its squeaky-clean streets and English-speaking population, Singapore is a hassle-free destination for a family holiday. It’s also home to some world-class attractions that kids will go crazy for. In fact, there are so many family-friendly attractions in Singapore I’m breaking this post into two parts. This one will cover the Botanic Gardens, Singapore Zoo and Science Centre & Snow ... Read more about Singapore's best attractions for families .

Family-friendly activities at Marina Bay Sands

With its exclusive casino and luxury shopping Marina Bay Sands has become the playground for Singapore’s rich and famous, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be enjoyed by the average person. Within this ultra-modern shopping mall you’ll even find activities that kids will enjoy. Here are some ... Read more about Family-friendly activities at Marina Bay Sands .

Singapore Flyer
30 Raffles Ave
T: 6333 3311

At 165 metres high — 30 metres higher than the London Eye — the Singapore Flyer is the world's tallest observation wheel. One rotation takes about 40 minutes which is plenty of time to soak up the view of downtown Singapore and beyond; on a clear day you can see all the way to Indonesia. Each capsule is air-conditioned and can contain 28 people. If you don't like to share come just ... Read more about Singapore Flyer .

Rainy day suggestions for Singapore

If you’re in Singapore right now you’ve probably become well acquainted with your umbrella, with November through January the rainiest months of the year. Don’t let the gloomy weather stop you from enjoying the city – there are plenty of indoor attractions for these rainy ... Read more about Rainy day suggestions for Singapore .

Where to photograph the Singapore skyline

With gleaming skyscrapers, colonial hotels, the world’s tallest ferris wheel, and a Merlion, there’s no mistaking the Singapore skyline for anywhere else in the world. If you’re hoping to get some panoramic photos of this dazzling city-state, these viewpoints are where you’ll want to ... Read more about Where to photograph the Singapore skyline .

Ice skating, fake and real in Singapore

Ice skating certainly isn’t the first activity that springs to mind when thinking of how to fill your days in Singapore, but the city actually has two skating ... Read more about Ice skating, fake and real in Singapore .

Henna tattoos in Singapore's Little India

You’ve got the sari and the gold jewellery, now all you need to complete the look is a henna tattoo. Read on to learn what to expect of this traditional form of temporary tattooing and where to find a henna artist in Singapore’s Little India ... Read more about Henna tattoos in Singapore's Little India .

Where to go for a swim in Singapore

After the cleanliness and crazy prices, what friends who’ve visited me in Singapore commented most about was the heat. Though the temperature is similar to Bangkok or Bali, Singapore feels hotter. Maybe it’s the relentless humidity or the extreme difference between the icily air-conditioned indoors and sweltering outdoors, but you’ll sweat through your shirt in less time that it takes to ... Read more about Where to go for a swim in Singapore .

Singapore Sports Hub and Kallang Wave
6 Stadium Walk, Singapore
T: 6653 8900

After six years of construction and at a cost of S$1.3 billion, the Singapore Sports Hub finally opened its doors in June. The 35-hectare complex is filled with athletic venues, public spaces and a sports-themed mall — Kallang ... Read more about Singapore Sports Hub and Kallang Wave .

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DBS Arts Centre
20 Merbau Rd
T: 6733 8166

This 380-seat theatre in Robertson Quay is the home of the Singapore Repertory Theatre and their children's branch The Little Company. The SRT is one of Asia's leading English-language theatre companies and their productions are known for attracting celebrity cast members. When not in use by the SRT, the theatre is rented to visiting performers and hosts the occasional comedy night. The ... Read more about DBS Arts Centre .

Esplanade Theatres on the Bay
1 Esplanade Drive
T: 6828 8377

The Esplanade is a home for all artists from the Singapore Symphony Orchestra to the break-dancers who hang out in the basement. Its state-of-the-art concert hall and theatre attract world-class acts while smaller venues host a steady stream of plays, concerts, dance recitals and art installations. There is something going on at the Esplanade every hour of every day and admission is often ... Read more about Esplanade Theatres on the Bay .

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Hiking, walking tours and itineraries

Walking tours of Singapore

While Singapore is easy enough to explore on your own, you can learn a lot more about the city by exploring with a knowledgeable guide. Here’s a rundown of various walking tours of Singapore covering everything from historical sites to nature reserves to ... Read more about Walking tours of Singapore .

Original Singapore Walks
T: 6325 1631

If you’re thinking of joining a guided walking tour of Singapore you can’t go wrong with Original Singapore Walks. Their guides speak perfect English and have in-depth knowledge of Singapore’s cultures and history – including the city-state’s dark ... Read more about Original Singapore Walks .

Betel Box Food Walks
200 Joo Chiat Road, Singapore
T: 6247 7340

With a promise of tasting around 40 various dishes of Singaporean food, how could I not go on the Betel Box weekly food walking tour of Joo Chiat when I was staying with them last week? Aside from eating, the tour promised to tell visitors all about how Singaporeans live, play and pay, so quite a bit of the tour was culture ... Read more about Betel Box Food Walks .

Itineraries: Singapore for World War II buffs

Singapore may be a long way from Europe, but this little island played a pivotal role in World War II. Whether you’re a war buff or just want to learn more about this chapter of history, here’s an itinerary that will take you to Singapore’s most important WW2 sites and memorials. Note that these sites are spread across Singapore — you’ll need to start early and take a few taxis to see ... Read more about Itineraries: Singapore for World War II buffs .

Public sculpture on Singapore's Orchard Road
Orchard Road

It’s pretty easy to take cheap shots at Singapore and its near manic shopping scene. It’s not just the quantity of department stores and high-end outlets that can grate, but the sheer volume of shoppers can overwhelm too. I realise some Singaporeans do have a job, but on most visits I’m struck by how it seems that the job is ... Read more about Public sculpture on Singapore's Orchard Road .

A one day walking tour of Chinatown

With its bustling markets, fascinating architecture and mouthwatering food, Singapore’s Chinatown is not to be missed. It’s possible to rush through this walking tour of Chinatown in a few hours, but we’d advise setting aside most of the day so that you can take it at an easy pace. A lot of walking and sightseeing is involved, but we’ve added in eating too just to keep everything all ... Read more about A one day walking tour of Chinatown .

A quick Little India walking tour

With its beautiful temples, exotic markets and delicious food, Singapore’s Little India neighbourhood is not to be missed. Even if you only have a couple hours to spare you can still see the highlights of this ethnic enclave. This quick walking tour takes about two hours, including time for some shopping and a cup of masala tea, or you could rush through it in one ... Read more about A quick Little India walking tour .

A walk along Singapore's Emerald Hill

Emerald Hill is one of the most colourful streets in Singapore and makes an easy detour from the shopping belt of Orchard Road. Come for the beautiful Peranakan architecture, a bit of antiquing, or maybe a drink at one of the trendy ... Read more about A walk along Singapore's Emerald Hill .

Eurasian Singapore

Eurasians are among the ethnic groups in Singapore that make up that cryptic official “others” category of the local population. Travellers typically know little about them, but the Eurasian Association in Singapore, founded in 1919, is the perfect place to learn ... Read more about Eurasian Singapore .

Singapore's Armenian heritage

Armenia’s difficult physical conditions saw enterprising merchants move abroad from the 19th century, many landing in Asia, including a few in Singapore. The community here numbered merely around 100 families at its peak, but the people left a a disproportionate imprint on Singaporean culture and heritage. Here are a few of the contributions the Armenian diaspora ... Read more about Singapore's Armenian heritage .

Everton Park
Cnr Neil and Cantonment Rds, Everton Park, Singapore

Everton Park is a cluster of six old public apartment blocks in the Outram area opposite The Pinnacle@Duxton boasting an array of old-style shops and restaurants with an increasing number of hipster joints opening right along side them. Come for a coffee and browse and see an example of how old and new Singapore ... Read more about Everton Park .

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Singapore's Hip Haji

When you think of Singapore and shopping, don't think of Orchard Road's swanky mainstream designers, repetitive chain stores and cookie-cutter coffee houses. Nestled between busy North Bridge and Ophir Roads instead you'll find Haji Lane, Singapore's fashionista haven, offering quirky boutiques, vintage and local fashion, unusual homewares, and offbeat little cafes and ... Read more about Singapore's Hip Haji .

The best malls not on Orchard Road

Maybe Singapore is a nation of shopaholics – or maybe Singaporeans and visitors here just love free air-conditioning – but the city-state has more than its fair share of shopping malls. Most can be found along Orchard Road, but there are mega-malls in every area of Singapore. Here are our top picks for malls not on Orchard ... Read more about The best malls not on Orchard Road .

What are some popular souvenirs in Singapore?

Finding a souvenir that sums up the Singapore experience can be a bit of a challenge because there aren’t many locally-made products (other than the hawker food you ate for lunch – burp!). Some may be quite cheesy, but these are the most popular souvenirs of ... Read more about What are some popular souvenirs in Singapore? .

Singapore's best independent bookstores

Singapore’s an ideal place to stock up on fresh English-language reading material. You will find bookstores in the shopping malls, but true bookworms will want to support these independent bookstores specialising in quirky reads and works by local ... Read more about Singapore's best independent bookstores .

Lucky Plaza
304 Orchard Road, Singapore

Situated right in the heart of the Orchard Road shopping district, Lucky Plaza is the unofficial hub for the Filipino diaspora in Singapore. From the exterior, Lucky Plaza looks dated, but step inside this mini-Manila and you’ll be surprised at some of the treasures you’ll find. While it doesn’t have the swank of Ngee Ann City or Ion, if you’re in downtown Orchard, stop by and check out ... Read more about Lucky Plaza .

How to avoid rip-offs at Sim Lim Square

Welcome to Singapore, where the streets are free of touts, prices are the same for everyone, and taxi drivers always use the meter! So is Singapore truly scam-free? I’d have to say the answer is almost, but not quite. Tourists do occasionally get ripped off and nine times out of ten it happens at Sim Lim Square, Singapore's largest IT mall, located between Little India and Bugis. According to ... Read more about How to avoid rip-offs at Sim Lim Square .

Tips for buying electronics in Singapore

For many tourists a visit to Singapore is an excuse to indulge in some serious retail therapy. After window shopping for luxury brands on Orchard Road and browsing cheap souvenirs at the Chinatown Street market, the next stop on the Singapore shopping spree is usually Sim Lim Square to check out the latest electronic ... Read more about Tips for buying electronics in Singapore .

Inside a traditional Chinese funeral shop
22 Smith Street

Singapore is often dismissed as being the most Westernised country in Asia, but the older generation has hung on to many customs including traditional Chinese funeral rites. While funerals are deeply personal affairs that visitors probably shouldn’t intrude upon, you can gain some insight by visiting a Chinese funeral supply ... Read more about Inside a traditional Chinese funeral shop .

24-hour shopping at Mustafa Centre
145 Syed Alwi Road
T: 6295 5855

Whether you’re shopping for a designer watch, durian cookies, football cleats or the latest smartphone you can find it in Singapore – and all under one roof at the 24-hour shopping mecca of Mustafa ... Read more about 24-hour shopping at Mustafa Centre .

Golden Mile Complex
5001 Beach Road

While Chinatown and Little India are so big they have their own MRT station, Singapore does have other, less obvious ethnic neighbourhoods. Migrant workers from nearby countries like Thailand, Burma, the Philippines, and Indonesia all have their own enclaves where they go for a taste of home on their weekly day off (that’s right, just ... Read more about Golden Mile Complex .

Peninsula Plaza
111 North Bridge Road, opposite City Hall MRT station

As the economic hub of Southeast Asia, people from across the region are drawn to Singapore to try to make a buck. These groups add to Singapore’s colourful cultural diversity and, as the communities grow, they establish their own restaurants, temples, and even shopping malls. Golden Mile Complex is the domain of the Thais, Lucky Plaza fills with Indonesian and Filipino domestic workers every ... Read more about Peninsula Plaza .

Buying duty free in Singapore city
25 Scotts Rd (a five-minute walk from Orchard MRT)
T: 6229 8100

Ever wish your flight would be delayed just so you could have more time to take advantage of the shopping at Changi Airport? If you can plan ahead a little, you can avoid that by shopping for duty-free goods anytime you like at DFS ... Read more about Buying duty free in Singapore city .

How tourists can get a sales tax refund in Singapore

If your Singapore itinerary includes a shopping spree on Orchard Road you’ll be happy to learn that the 7% GST included in prices can be refunded when you leave the ... Read more about How tourists can get a sales tax refund in Singapore .

Orchard Road Christmas Light Up
Orchard Rd

While there won't be snow glistening or sleigh bells ringing in sunny Singapore during Christmas, on the main shopping street of Orchard Road, retailers do their best to create an enchanting winter wonderland. This year, walk down two-kilometre long Orchard Road from Tanglin Mall to Orchard Central and take in the elegant show, “Christmas on a Great Street”, in hues of blue and ... Read more about Orchard Road Christmas Light Up .

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Markets in SIngapore

Sungei Road Thieves’ Market is Singapore’s largest and oldest flea market; bursting with all kinds of retro bric-a-brac, it’s a top spot to unearth an unusual souvenir. But thanks to Singapore’s art and design scene blossoming in recent years, you can also pick up more on-trend stuff at other markets these days. Here’s the lowdown on where to ... Read more about Markets in SIngapore .

Sungei Road Thieves Market
Sungei Rd

Whoever said, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” has certainly shopped at the Thieves Market along Sungei Road in ... Read more about Sungei Road Thieves Market .

Tekka Centre Market
665 Buffalo Rd

Follow your nose into this bustling indoor market just off Serangoon Road. The ground floor is half wet market and half hawker centre, so you can feast on Indian food like rich curries, dosai and briyani rice, or buy the ingredients to make them yourself. The produce from Tekka Centre is known for being extremely fresh and extremely cheap, so this is the time to splurge on luscious Indian ... Read more about Tekka Centre Market .

Chinatown Street Market
Pagoda St to Sago St

Cheongsams, T-shirts, cameras, tea and dubious antiques: the sidestreets of Chinatown overflow with opportunities to spend your Sing-dollars -- generally with a poor value result. Many shops sell exactly the same goods and the quality is so-so, but the price is always right. Small souvenirs like magnets are 5 for $5 and you can get a real silk (as in, not real) robe for under $10. This is a ... Read more about Chinatown Street Market .

Chinatown complex
335 Smith Street

Some travellers dismiss Singapore as “Asia lite”: sanitised, commercialised and dull. Dispel such silly notions with a visit to the wet market at the Chinatown Complex where some of the produce is so fresh it’s still ... Read more about Chinatown complex .

28 Maxwell Rd (Red Dot Design Museum)
T: 6534 7209

Fold-out tables become displays for handmade jewellery and clothing, eco-friendly greeting cards and local zines. Most of the fashions are for women, but the free admission to the museum galleries is for everyone (usual price S$8). Just because the merchandise is hand-made doesn't mean it's cheap, and vendors are equipped to take credit cards. MAAD usually takes place the first weekend of the ... Read more about MAAD .

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Cooking classes

Cooking classes in Singapore

Why just eat chilli crab and chicken rice when you could be learning how to make them? For the souvenir that keeps on giving, enrol in one of these cooking classes to learn the art of making Singapore’s mouth-watering ... Read more about Cooking classes in Singapore .

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Boat trips

Boat tours of the Singapore River

Whether you’re on a tight schedule or just have aching feet, a cruise along the Singapore River is a great way to sit back and soak up Singapore’s sights. Regular boat tours last about 30 minutes and cruise past the city’s most iconic landmarks including the Merlion and Marina Bay ... Read more about Boat tours of the Singapore River .

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Drop-in yoga classes in Singapore

Perhaps due to its overworked population, Singapore is bursting at the seams with yoga studios. Most cater to residents with monthly membership packages, but some offer drop-in rates for travellers and other infrequent yogis. Here’s a ... Read more about Drop-in yoga classes in Singapore .

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Cinema in Singapore

In a climate like Singapore's, catching a new film release can be a great antidote to the sweat, and luckily the city state has dozens of cinemas to cater to the desire to cool down while munching ... Read more about Cinema in Singapore .

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Festivals and events

Singapore Grand Prix

Who says Grand Prix motor racing is only for the rich and famous? Not in Singapore, where you can catch the only F1 night race in the world and first street circuit in the region every September at the Marina Bay circuit. Here’s how to do it on the cheap – well, ... Read more about Singapore Grand Prix .

Thaipusam in Singapore

Anyone who says Singapore is boring has obviously never witnessed the gruesome-but-fascinating festival of Thaipusam. This year it happens on January 27. Here’s everything you need to ... Read more about Thaipusam in Singapore .

Deepavali celebrations in Little India

Just when you thought Little India couldn’t get any more colourful or chaotic, the biggest festival on the Hindu calendar pulls into town. This year Deepavali falls on October 26 but, like Christmas, half the fun is the weeks leading up to the big day. If you’re in Singapore this month you must come down to Little India to shop at the festive markets and see the Deepavali decorations lit up ... Read more about Deepavali celebrations in Little India .

Chinese New Year in Singapore

With nearly three out of every four Singaporeans being of Chinese heritage, it’s no surprise that Chinese New Year is the biggest festival of the year in the city state. It’s also the only multi-day public holiday in this high-stress society, and for many Singaporeans it’s the one time of year when they can forget about their jobs, turn off their smartphones, and spend some quality time ... Read more about Chinese New Year in Singapore .

Hungry Ghost Festival in Singapore

While many people in Singapore are fasting this month for Ramadan, the city’s ghosts are feasting! The seventh lunar month is the Hungry Ghost Festival in Singapore and this year it falls from July 31 to August 28. But Hungry Ghost month isn’t really a celebration – it’s a downright spooky ... Read more about Hungry Ghost Festival in Singapore .

Mid-Autumn Festival in Singapore

As Hungry Ghost Month draws to a close, Singapore shifts from feeding the spirits to feasting on Mid-Autumn Festival treats with family and friends. This fall festival is second only to Chinese New Year as the most colourful time of year to visit Chinatown and runs from August 30 to September ... Read more about Mid-Autumn Festival in Singapore .

Ramadan in Singapore

Around 15 percent of Singapore’s citizens are Muslims, meaning the city-state, along with much of Southeast Asia, celebrates the month of Ramadan. This year the period runs July 10 to August 7; it’s a great time if you’re in Singapore to get a flavour of the Malay culture ... Read more about Ramadan in Singapore .

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Scuba diving at Pulau Hantu

No, I’m not about to reveal that Singapore is Southeast Asia’s most underrated dive destination, nor that it really compares with some of the best. Of the sixty-some islands that make up Singapore, only one called Pulau Hantu is frequented by local scuba divers and ... Read more about Scuba diving at Pulau Hantu .

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Day trips

No pic at the moment -- Sorry!

Once you've shopped your way down Orchard Road, slurped on char kway teow at a hawker centre, and spent more than the cost of your dorm bed on a Singapore Sling at ye olde Raffles Hotel, what more does Singapore have to offer? Well, it isn't known as the Garden City for nothing (and the Fine City, and the Lion City...), and visitors who venture beyond downtown will discover plenty of serene green ... Read more about Singapore: Escape the urban jungle .


Billed as “Asia’s favourite playground”, Sentosa attracts more than five million visitors and their dollars every year. Hotels, restaurants, bars and souvenir shops can be found across the island along with an array of attractions, including Universal Studios Amusement Park, Adventure Cove Waterpark and a sky-diving ... Read more about Sentosa .

Asia Pacific Brewery Tour
459 Jalan Ahmad Ibrahim, Singapore
T: 6860 3005

If you just can't get enough of Singapore's local suds, you can arrange a tour of Asia Pacific Breweries, home of Tiger Beer. Considering how expensive it is to drink in Singapore, S$18 is a bargain for a brewery tour and the chance to drink your fill of Tiger Beer at the “tasting session” that ... Read more about Asia Pacific Brewery Tour .

Haw Par Villa (AKA Tiger Balm Gardens)
262 Pasir Panjang Rd
T: 6872 2780

Despite what the glossy brochures tell you, Singapore isn’t all glitzy shopping centres and perfectly manicured gardens. See the darker, more dilapidated side of the city with a visit to the bizarre cultural theme park known as Haw Par ... Read more about Haw Par Villa (AKA Tiger Balm Gardens) .

Pulau Ubin

Any Singapore trivia buff should know that the city-state isn’t made up of just one island, but 63 small separate ones. In my ongoing series exploring the 62 lesser-known islands, I take a short bumboat ride to the east coast island of Pulau Ubin, one of the most rustic places left in ... Read more about Pulau Ubin .

Wildlife spotting on Pulau Ubin

Modern Singapore may be more of a concrete jungle than a real one, but a few spots remain where you spot a selection of the tropical wildlife that used to be abundant here – and I’m not talking about the ... Read more about Wildlife spotting on Pulau Ubin .

Pulau Semakau

Most of the 62 small islands considered part of Singapore are well off the tourist trail, but Pulau Semakau has a waiting list of eager visitors. Considering this island is used as Singapore’s landfill, why would anyone want to go ... Read more about Pulau Semakau .

St John's Island

Continuing my exploration of Singapore’s 62 lesser-known islands, I caught a ferry at the Marina South Pier for a 15-minute ride to St John’s Island. After sailing through the busy port and getting my closest look yet at the huge container ships that dock outside of Singapore, underdeveloped St John’s Island felt a world away from the ... Read more about St John's Island .

Kusu Island

little Kusu Island – that’s all of ... Read more about Kusu Island .

Senoko Fishery Port
31 Attap Valley Road, Singapore

Seafood aficionados love Singapore for its barbecue stingray, black pepper crab and cereal prawns — and with the city-state surrounded by water, the seafood here is as fresh as you can get. But where does your seafood come from, between the sea and your table? Enter Singapore’s fish ... Read more about Senoko Fishery Port .

A visit to the farms of Singapore's Kranji countryside

Although Singapore is so densely populated that the government has resorted to literally increasing the size of the island, the northwest corner of the country remains refreshingly rural. The few businesses operating here have banded together to promote the Kranji countryside as an “agri-tainment” destination where you can visit small farms selling organic veggies, goat milk, ornamental fish, ... Read more about A visit to the farms of Singapore's Kranji countryside .

Kampong Buangkok

When Singapore split from Malaysia in the early 1960s, the government implemented a number of policies to rapidly modernise the newly independent city-state. One of them was to move all the people from Malaysian-style kampong villages to the high-rise public housing apartments. Somehow, one of these traditional villages was spared from the bulldozer and survives in 2012. It’s called Buangkok, ... Read more about Kampong Buangkok .

Bollywood Veggies
100 Neo Tiew Road, Singapore
T: 6898 5001

We’re not quite sure how to describe Bollywood Veggies – a sustainable farm, a retreat from the city, an eco-learning experience or a bistro serving amazing organic food – regardless, it’s one of Singapore’s best kept ... Read more about Bollywood Veggies .

Seletar: A heritage tour
556 W Camp Rd
T: 6481 0017

A visit to Singapore’s Seletar area, home to a lush spread of trees, reservoir and charming houses, plus a still-in-use air base dating from when the British Royal Air Force (RAF) was stationed here, is like a step back to the British colonial ... Read more about Seletar: A heritage tour .

NEWater Visitor Centre
20 Koh Sek Lim Road, Singapore

Are you looking for a uniquely Singaporean experience? Skip the malls and the theme parks and visit the NEWater Vistor Centre for a guided tour of the most high-tech water treatment plant in the world – one capable of turning sewage into drinking ... Read more about NEWater Visitor Centre .

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