Singapore is my home country and when I can’t travel, I try to spend more time exploring this little country of mine. If you are visiting Singapore soon, welcome! You’re probably looking for some tips on things to do in Singapore, so here are some to get you started, or see all my Singapore posts.
Besides the articles on this blog, I have a whole bunch of Singapore related articles over on The Culture Trip and various other publications marked by [brackets] in this article.
You can get most of the touristy recommendations from Visit Singapore – what you’ll see here are less common things to do do that you might not find in a typical Singapore tour.
Places of Interest in Singapore
Wondering where to go in Singapore? I’ve explored some of the more interesting experiences and less touristy spots to check out around the island.
- Small quirky museums to visit in Singapore – niche museums that offer more personalised experiences
- A Peranakan Tea Experience at The Intan is a more in-depth look at one of these museum experiences, which is really someone’s shophouse with lots and lots of Peranakan (the mixed culture of Straits Chinese and Malay) artifacts. If you are into Peranakan Culture, why not Live like a Peranakan in Singapore as well[Accor Hotels]
- Haw Par Villa – I associate this park more with my childhood, and it’s definitely a lot more derelict these days, but it’s still home to some pretty bizarre Confucianist statues and the infamous 10 gates of hell, so if you want to see something weird in Singapore, this is a good place to go
- Shuang Long Shan – this isn’t much of an attraction, more a strange curiousity to find a cemetery right in the middle of a housing estate in Clementi, surrounded by tall HDB buildings
- Kranji Countryside – located in the far northwestern part of Singapore, this place is not the easiest to get to but hides some gems like one of the top nature reserves in Singapore and some of Singapore’s last farms
- Street Art in Singapore – one doesn’t think of Singapore as a place for graffiti and street art, but we have some pretty cool artworks in the ethnic enclaves worth checking out:
- Kampong Glam – this Malay/Arab heritage quarter is home to the statuesque Sultan Mosque, traditional cloth shops, and indie hipster retail, set amidst some lovely shophouses
- Little India – the Indian heritage area honestly doesn’t feel like Singapore some days, it’s great for a look at the local Indian culture and food
- Bugis-Bras Basah – lots of museums and cultural landmarks in this area
- Chinatown – the Chinese enclave has added a bunch of ethnic murals to its collection of religious and heritage architecture in recent years
- Sleeping overnight at the SEA Aquarium – the aquarium at Resorts World Singapore is quite a popular tourist attraction, but sleeping over at night in front of the giant tank was quite the experience
- Hidden gems in Singapore as recommended by a local – is what it says it is, a sponsored post I wrote for Expedia looking at some of the less common things to do in Singapore
- 15 Non Touristy Things to do in Singapore [Culture Trip] – I’m pretty proud of this guide on things to do in Singapore that still let you get an interesting look at the country while avoiding the tourist crowds
- Historic places in Singapore [AccorHotels] – A little bit about what makes some of these tourist hotspots historically significant
- Scuba Diving in Pulau Hantu – Singapore’s waters aren’t the prettiest, but you can explore offshore islands and the underwater world right here in Singapore
- 5 places in Singapore that don’t live up to the hype [Culture Trip] – I’m not saying that you shouldn’t visit these places, but don’t raise your expectations up too high!
Food in Singapore
If there is only one thing you do in Singapore, make it to eat as much as you possibly can, whether you are a foodie or not.
- 5 Foods in Singapore under $5 – cheap and good options if you are a traveller on a budget looking for the local meal experience
- Cafes to check out in Singapore – my readers recommend some of the best cafes to check out in Singapore
- The best cooking classes in Singapore [Culture Trip] – Learn how to prepare Singaporean style dishes so you can take the taste of Singapore home with you. I tried out one of these cooking classes with Rosaline from Grandmothers’ Recipes via Traveling Spoon, a site that specialises in local food experiences.
- The 10 best hawker centres in Singapore [Culture Trip] – I always like bringing visiting friends to eat at the hawker centre to introduce them to the variety of local food for cheap, and these are some recommended spots I’d take them to
Festivals in Singapore
- Chinese New Year in Singapore – this happens in January or February every year and is the only 2-day public holiday we have. As the majority of Singaporeans are Chinese and things tend to shut down on the first day, here’s what to expect if you are in Singapore during this period. Chinatown is also the most festive and crowded during this time.
Ways to explore Singapore
Everyone has different styles of travel, here are some of my suggestions on routes to take to see Singapore in a different light.
- Journey to the west by MRT – it’s not as 100% reliable as it used to be, but when it works, our metro/subway system is the best way to get around Singapore. This is an article I wrote for Turkish Airlines Skylife about the sights you can see when you take the MRT from Changi Airport in the East all the way to the West
- Sightseeing Singapore through the Haze – when Singapore get hit by the forest fires from Indonesia, here are some suggestions for indoor things you can do
- The Dawson and Alexandra Heritage Trail in Queenstown – this trail is not as common but lets you trace some interesting buildings in Singapore, including the first HDB blocks
- 16 things to do in Singapore if you don’t like shopping [Culture Trip] – For those who rather escape the crowds of the Great Singapore Sale, there’s still plenty to do in Singapore
- The Layover guide to Singapore [Accor Hotels] – what to see if you only have a few hours to explore Singapore on your own
- The 10 Best Backpacker Activities in Singapore [Culture Trip] – Indie travellers on a budget, this is a useful list to let you explore Singapore cheaply without a tour guide
- The Ultimate Backpacking Guide to Singapore [Culture Trip] –For the indie budget travellers out there, here’s how you can backpack in Singapore
- Survival Guide: Top 10 tips to travelling in Singapore [Culture Trip] – First time travelling to Singapore? Some essential things to note
Uniquely Singaporean Culture
What does it mean to be Singaporean, and how true are some of the stereotypes and things you’ve been told about Singapore? Some views from a local’s perspective.
- The worst possible advice to give someone travelling to Singapore
- 7 Singaporean things we take for granted when we are overseas
- How to piss off a Singaporean
- A reflective birthday – thinking about Lee Kuan Yew and Singapore
- My heart is at home, my heart is in Singapore
- 5 things you didn’t know about Singapore
- 11 incredible things you didn’t know about Singapore [Culture Trip]
- A guide to Singapore’s languages [Culture Trip]
- 13 ways to get arrested in Singapore [Culture Trip]
- How did Singapore get its name? [Culture Trip]
- 21 essential Singlish phrases you’ll need in Singapore [Culture Trip]
Where to stay in Singapore
I’ve checked out some of the hotels in Singapore and reviewed them here.
- Crowne Plaza Changi Airport Hotel – Located at Changi Airport Terminal 3
- Village Hotel Changi – Located near Changi Village
- Village Hotel Katong – Located in the Peranakan quarter
- Hilltop Hangout @ Mt Emily – quirky location on a hilltop
- Quincy Hotel – Free drinks from the fridge and snacks from the lounge all day long
- Rendezvous Singapore – very convenient to all the major museums and tourist attractions
- Yotel Singapore – Fabulous location for shopaholics on Orchard Road
- Amoy Hotel – One of the hotel’s entrance is in an actual temple