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13 Best Things To Do in Singapore

There is nowhere in the world like Singapore, it is truly an uber-modern ultra-efficient 21st-century city in the middle of South East Asia.

It is a city where your eye gazes upwards to the sleek skyline and the world’s most eye-catching skyscrapers, but it is also home to heritage neighborhoods and oozes with historical charm.

Singapore may be known as a business city, but there are also many incredible things to do in the city. This Singapore travel guide will guide you through the iconic landmarks, diverse street food, and must-see attractions that make Singapore an extraordinary destination for every traveler.

Things to do in Singapore

1. Experience the best of Gardens by the Bay

Gardens by the Bay is one of the most well-known attractions in Singapore. This futuristic and incredible man-made nature park embodies Singapore’s ambition to become a City in a Garden.

You can spend an entire afternoon strolling in this outdoor museum marvelling at the giant Trees and seeing one of the world’s largest indoor waterfalls.

Cloud Forest

Adventure yourself in this unique lush forest to discover many unusual exotic species and ecosystems surviving only in montane could forest habitats like Carnivorous plants. Spiraling toward the top, you will enjoy a great view of the Marina Bay Sands and the mist of the 35 meters high waterfall.

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  • Opening Hours:  every day from 9 am -9 pm
  • Ticket price for Cloud Forest + Flower Dome: S$53 ($39)

Flower Dome

Enter the world’s largest greenhouse glass, home to a collection of flowers and plants from the five continents. From its Mediterranean garden, spiky cacti, or dry Savannah, you will stroll around nine themed gardens that vary depending on the blooming season.

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  • Opening Hours:  every day from 9 am -9 pm
  • Ticket price for Cloud Forest + Flower Dome: S$53 ($39)

To avoid crowds, we recommend to visit very early, especially after Public Holiday like Chinese New Year.

SuperTree Observatory & Garden Rhapsody Show

Erected in the middle of the park, the 18 Super Trees are tree-like vertical and sustainable structures combining nature, technology, and innovation.

If you are not afraid of heights, you can walk on the 128-long OCBC walkway 22 meters above the ground or visit the Observatory for great scenic city views.

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Otherwise, it is free to wander around the Trees on the ground. Do not miss the magic Garden Rhapsody sound and light show happening twice a day at 7:45 pm and 8:45 pm.

  • SuperTree Observatory Opening Hours: Every day 9 am – 9 pm
  • Ticket price: S$14 ($10)

Floral Fantasy

Step into 1,500 square meters of magical gardens and parade among beautiful floral arrangements and colorful suspended bouquets with vibrant scents.

  • Opening Hours: Mon – Fri: 10 am-7 pm / Sat – Sun: 10 am – 8 pm
  • Ticket price: S$20 ($15)

2. Marvel at downtown’s architecture & history

Although Singapore is one of the world’s most modern cities, the architecture in the city illustrates many historical influences and styles. The city is a blend of 19th-century colonial buildings and futuristic skyscrapers.

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Contemporary urban planning in Singapore focuses on sustainability, with many vegetative landscapes incorporated into high-rise towers.

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Singapore’s city centre is walkable – follow the below itinerary to discover Singapore’s landmarks.

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Other must-see futuristic buildings:

  • The Hive – 52 Nanyang Ave, Singapore 639816
  • The Park Collection Pickering- 3 Upper Pickering St, Singapore 058289
  • Parkview Square – 600 North Bridge Rd, Parkview Square, Singapore 188778
  • The Interlace – 80 Depot Rd, #01-02 The Interlace, Singapore 109684
  • Pinnacle @Duxton – SG, Cantonment Rd, #1G, Singapore 085301

3. Eat like a local in the best Hawker Centres

One of Singapore’s best activities is to taste authentic, incredible, and cheap street food.
Singapore’s food is a melting pot of aromas and flavors from Chinese, Indian, Malaysian, and Indonesian cultures.

The Hawker Centres, Singaporean food courts, are spread over the city from the business districts to the local neighborhoods. If you want to know about Singapore’s best dishes and our pick of the Hawker centers, check out our food guide.

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4. Get lost in Little India

Singapore’s most colorful and vibrant district, Little India is our favorite place to visit. Previously home to cattle traders, brick kilns workers, and a large racecourse, this buzzing neighborhood has become a loved destination by locals and travelers.

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Start walking on the central Serangoon Road where Hindi temples and local eateries sit next to gold jewelry, fresh flowers, and souvenir shops where you can buy amazing silk scarfs, and stop along the way to:

  • Tekka Center: the largest market in Singapore. Head to the first floor to find aisles of Indian clothes and tailor shops. There is a popular hawker center with many traditional dishes along a big local market on the ground floor.
  • Tan Teng Niah: perfect photo stop, the colorful two-storey house built in 1900 is the last remaining Chinese villa in Little India.
  • Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple: one of the oldest Hindu temples with stunning architecture dedicated to the goddess Kali (the Gentle Mother and fierce Warrior).
  • Mustafa Center: the most incredible shopping centre where you can find anything from retail shopping to electronics. The best part is that it is open daily for 24 hours.
  • Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya Temple: the major Buddhist temple in Singapore. Called the Temple of 1,000 Lights, it is very colorful and has a large statue of Buddha.
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5. Walk around the artsy Kampong Glam

After visiting hectic Little India, head to Kampong Glam, the original Muslim quarter created for the Sultan of Johore. Today the historic buildings and traditional carpet shops blend with street arts, hipster coffee shops and trendy boutiques.

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As you stroll around the well-known Arab Street, you can’t miss the majestic Sultan Mosque with its massive golden dome and immense central prayer room. Take your best shot of the Mosque from Muscat Street, a lovely street home to many Middle Eastern restaurants and souvenir shops.

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Finally, Haji Lane is one of Singapore’s most beautiful streets. This narrow shabby lane is full of street art and vintage clothing stores.

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6. Explore Singapore’s best museums

One fact about Singapore – it rains almost every day. The good thing is that there are plenty of great museums to visit during the showers.

National Museum of Singapore

The National Museum of Singapore oldest and largest museum in a stunning 19th-century neoclassic building. The immersive exhibition is dedicated to Singaporean History, ancient and contemporary.

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  • Opening Hours: every day from 10 am to 7 pm, located near Fort Canning.
  • Ticket Price: Permanent Galleries – S$ 15 ($11) / All access ticket (including Special Exbhitions) – S$27 ($20)

National Gallery

The National Gallery houses the world’s biggest collection of Singapore and Southeast Asian art with 8000 pieces.

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  • Opening Hours: every day from 10 am to 7 pm, located near the city hall MRT station.
  • Ticket Price: General Admission – S$20 ($15) / All access ticket (including Special Exhibitions) – S$30 ($22.50)

7. Wander through Chinatown

The historic district of Chinatown was an ethnic enclave for Chinese immigrants in the 19th century. As for the rest of Singapore, Chinatown has seen a surge of trendy restaurants and fancy cocktail bars among its traditional Chinese medicine halls and old religious sites.

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  • Start your visit with a cultural landmark – The Buddha Tooth Relic Temple & Museum. Built in the heart of Chinatown, the temple has a stunning facade as impressive as its richly decorated interiors.
  • Steps away from the temple stands the Maxwell Hawker Center with its tens of food stands. Do not miss the famous Hainanese Chicken recommended by Anthony Bourdain.
  • Continue to Chinatown Street Market crammed with souvenir shops selling clothes, local crafts and antiques, or go to Smith Street for a Chinese delicacy like the durian fruit.
  • The impressive Sri Mariamman Temple, the city’s oldest Hindu Temple, is next to Pagoda Street recognisable with its beautiful shophouses. The street was famous between 1850 and 1880 for its opium-smoking den.
  • Finish your day between Ann Siang Hill and Club Street for a nice drink.
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Off the beaten track, the new hot spot restaurants in town are in Keong Saik Road, minutes away from Chinatown.

8. Go shopping on Orchard Street

Equal to Les Champs Elysées in Paris or Fifth Avenue in New York, Orchard Road is the iconic shopping destination in Singapore.

Today surrounded by luxury shopping malls, fine dining, and fancy hotels, it is hard to imagine that this unnamed road led to nutmeg plantations, pepper farms, and fruit orchards in the 1830s.

From TANG, the initial department store, to the glamorous futuristic ION Orchard, you will have a unique shopping experience on Orchard Road.

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Best food souvenirs to buy:

  • TGW Tea: luxury Singaporean tea
  • Kaya Jam – Ya Kun
  • Chips and snacks – The Golden Duck

9. Catch a glimpse of the Peranakan heritage in Katong-Joo Chiat

When traveling to Singapore, you will hear about the Peranakans, people of mixed Chinese and Malay or Indonesian heritage. The vibrant Katong and Joo Chiat area keeps this authentic culture alive.
Take a walk-through of Koo Seng Road to see the best-preserved pastel-colored Peranakan shophouses.

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Well-known for being a foodie paradise, Katong is the perfect area for a nice dinner.

  • 328 Katong Laksa: the most famous Laksa restaurant in Singapore.
  • Janggut Laksa @Roxy Square: head to the mall opposite for another Laksa recipe – less crowded
  • Zaffron Kitchen East Coast: Indian restaurant
  • Common Man Coffee Roasters Joo Chiat Rd: great brunch option with delicious coffee
  • Mr & Mrs Mohgan Super Crispy Roti Prata: famous local restaurant for breakfast
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10. Relax at the Botanical Gardens

After a day in the bustling downtown, the Botanic Gardens is the perfect green escape for nature lovers. The Gardens show an impressive collection of plants, tropical trees, art galleries and museums.

There are several walking trails to discover parts of the 82 hectares park such as the renowned National Orchid Garden or Swan Lake.

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The Gardens, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, are also popular with locals who come to jog, picnic, or simply relax.

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  • Opening Hours: every day from 5 am to 12 am
  • Ticket price: Free

11. Discover the immersive Future World Exhibition at the Art Science Museum

The lotus-shaped ArtScience Museum, also known as the “Welcoming Hand of Singapore”, stands out in the skyline.
The distinctive building is located near the Marina Bay Sands Mall and reflects the perfect combination of Art and Science.

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The Future World: Where Art Meets Science exhibition takes you through two interactive digital worlds: “City in A Garden” and “Exploring New Frontiers”, where Art, Science, and Technology collide.
The virtual displays are beautiful and very fun to watch!

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  • Opening Hours: every day 10 am – 7 pm (last entry at 6 pm)
  • Ticket Price Futur World exhibition: Adult Standard S$30 ($22.50)

12. Dine in a Michelin Star Restaurant

If you have tasted all the local street food in town, you might fancy having one standout night at one of the many Michelin-Stars restaurants in the city After tasting most of the local street food, you might want a special night / a standout meal in one of the many fine dining restaurants.
Singapore’s multiethnic heritage translates into an eclectic culinary scene fusing flavors from its history.

Whether you fancy a modern Peranakan experience, some French gastronomy paired with Japanese savours or traditional Cantonese dishes, you can pick from one of the 55 Michelin-Stars restaurants.

  • Burnt Ends
  • CandleNuts
  • Braci
  • Summer Pavillon
  • Essoura

13. Enjoy a fun night out

Singapore’s nightlife has grown over the years with many rooftop bars, craft beer bars, speakeasies, and fancy cocktail bars emerging in the city centre. There is no denying that going out in Singapore is expensive, so the best tip is to enjoy the daily Happy Hours deals from 5 pm to 8 pm roughly.

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  • Clarke Quay: Oche Riverside Point to play Darts (Happy Hour 2-4-1), LeVEL Up Arcade & Music, Zouk Nightclub,
  • Marina Bay: Cé La Vie rooftop for a drink at Sunset, Lava Bar
  • Boat Quay: many restaurants and bars
  • Chinatown: Club Street, Pekin Street, Nankin Street
  • Orchard Road: many restaurants and bars

Where to stay in Singapore

Singapore is one of the most expensive cities in the world so choosing where to stay depends on your budget mainly. We visited Sinapore twice in 2023 and stayed in different parts of town.

First, we stayed first at Village Hotel Katong in Joo Chiat – Katong area. This affordable hotel is located in a trendy neighborhood with many cafes, shops, and restaurants. You have to use the MRT or a quick grab ride to go Downtown.

We then spent one more night near Chinatown at The Clan Hotel Singapore – a newish 5-star with great prices. We loved the hotel and even more the location as you could walk to most places (quays, marina bay, civic district).

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Alternatively, the Marina Bay is known for its 5-star hotels (Marina Bay Sands Hotel, Fullerton Bay Hotel, Ritz-Carlton) and proximity to Singapore’s best attractions. Orchard Streets is perfect if you like shopping, going out to fancy restaurants. Little India is also a great option because it has a very nice atmosphere that is different from Downtown Singapore.

How to travel to Singapore

Changi International Airport, one of the busiest hubs in Asia, is located around 20km east of the city.
Home to 4 Terminals, a large shopping mall and a massive indoor park, the considered world’s best airport, is an attraction itself in Singapore.

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From the airport, you have several options to reach your hotel.

Changi airport taxis

20-30 minute ride to the city centre costing between S$20 ($15) and S$40 ($30). All fares are metered and an additional Airport Surcharge depending on the time of your ride.

Private Hire Car

20-30 minute ride to the city centre costing between S$20 ($15) and S$40 ($30). There is no Uber in Singapore, most people use Grab. Gojek, Tada Mobility or Ryde are other available ride sharing apps.

City Shuttle

Convenient shuttle service to most downtown hotels. Departs every hour from 7am-11pm and costs S$10.00 ($7.50) per adult or S$7.00 ($5.50) per child below 12 years of age. Click here to book your ride in advance.

MRT (Mass Rapid Transit)

Take a direct train to Tanah Merah MRT Station (EW4) or Expo MRT Station (CG1/DT35), before changing to another line going downtown. The journey takes approximately 1h and costs S$2.70 ($2).

Public Bus

Cheapest option at only S$2.50 ($1.90). However, the journey takes more than an hour due to the many stops on the way.

We recommend taking the City Shuttle or a Grab if travelling in a group.

Getting around

Singapore has a great and efficient transport system called MRT (railway network) that is easy to use and runs across the island. As you can imagine, the MRT is very clean and safe.
You can pay using contactless bank card or you can buy an EZ Link card that you will need to top up (from your phone or at the station). We also used the buses that are always on time.

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Alternatively, most people traveling to Singapore use Grab (there is no Uber in South East Asia) which is relatively cheap and convenient to go through the city. There is not too much traffic in Singapore and waiting time is always low.

We also walked a lot around the city to explore the different neighborhoods but bare in mind that it can be very hot and humid!

Best time to visit Singapore

Great destination for travel all year round with its hot, rainy, and humid climate.

  • The average temperature is between 25°C to 32°C
  • Humidity is between 70% to 80% with thunderstorms most days
  • April & May are the hottest months
  • November, December and January are the wettest months
  • June to August & Feb – High Season
  • We recommend avoiding travelling:
    • The week following Chinese New Year because many shops and restaurants are closed.
    • During the Singapore Grand Prix in September if you want to avoid expensive accommodation prices.

How many days do you need

Singapore is a small island with so many things to do (museums, shopping, hiking, discovering new cultures and tasting amazing food). You can easily spend a week visiting every neighborhood.

Singapore is also a great base to start a long South-East Asian trip as the airport is a massive hub for international flights. We recommend staying at least 3 full days to soak up the city’s amazing energy.

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