Singapore is a special city and one our absolute favorites to explore in Southeast Asia! No matter how many times we visit it feels like there are unlimited activities, fun things to do in Singapore, and new places to discover. This once sleepy fishing village has turned into a leader in the global market, and now draws in millions of tourists a year with its unique attractions. Here’s our full guide for what to do in Singapore and more helpful tips for your first trip.
23 Unique & Fun Things to do in Singapore
1. Explore the Changi Airport
The Airport? Yep that’s right! The best things to do in Singapore include when you’re just passing through on a layover, and don’t stop when you leave. We actually took a nonstop flight from New York to Singapore which you can read all about here!
Changi’s unique design destroys every ugly notion you may have had about airports in the past. This might be the one place where you wont mind heading to fly out early! While your waiting for your flight you can:
- Visit one of the many gardens including one with over 1,000 Butterflies.
- Catch a flick in a giant movie theater
- Shop at the Central Galleria
- Take a ride on the worlds tallest airport slide
- Swim in the rooftop Balinese themed pool where you can watch planes take off and land.
- Visit the largest indoor waterfall in the world (even on a layover!)
- Enjoy the dozens of lounges! If you’re not flying first you can still buy a day pass and enjoy the airport club!
2. Experience the Night Safari
One of the most popular things to do in Singapore is Night Safari! This is actually the first nocturnal zoo in the world. Not only will you be amazed by the range of animals as you try and spot them through the forest, but the area itself is unbelievable!
The Singapore Zoo was designed to have an open space concept. This means instead of cages and glass there are only river-like moats separating you from the animals. Taking a ride on the Night Safari truly gives you an authentic jungle experience.
3. Jump on a Singapore Harbor Boat Tour
Singapore is a thriving city that owes much of its success to its position right on the water. It’s key location in the center of Southeast Asia and inspiring national work ethic have turned it into the 2nd busiest port in the world!
Everyday you can see boats jetting around the harbor and up the Singapore River. So what better way to get a feel for the city then get out on the water? Singapore harbor cruises are extremely informative on the history and you will get some incredible views of the skyline.
4. Explore Gardens by the Bay
Singapore has been nicknamed a “City within a Garden” and you won’t truly see why until you witness one of its main attractions. Just behind the Marina Bay Sands hotel is the sprawling Garden’s by the Bay. However, this isn’t your average nature display!
The first thing you’ll see at Gardens by the Bay is its 18 massive Supertrees. In addition to being made up of over 158,000 plants, the vertical gardens generate solar energy, collect rainwater, and act as natural air venting ducts for the rest of the park.
They’re even connected by a canopy park called the OCBC Skyway with spectacular views of the city. This magical place combines artistry with nature, and has cemented Singapore as the botanical capital of the world.
It can take close to a full day to explore the different sections of Gardens by the Bay so make sure to leave plenty of time! It’s so big that other sections of it will be featured on our what to do in Singapore list.
5. Ride the Singapore Flyer
Not many ferris wheels can compete with the Singapore Flyer. Since its construction in 2008, it has quickly become the iconic image that represents both economic and social strides the city has made.
At it’s height, you’ll be soaring 540 feet above Singapore for some unreal views of the city! This popular tourist attraction is the 3rd largest ferris wheel in the world, so it’s definitely worth checking out.
6. Eat at All the Hawker Centres
Singapore has become a diverse hub for all of Asia, and the Hawker Centres represent each and every culture through its foods. Japenese, Indian, Korean, Vietnamese, Thai, Chinese, and every other Asian food imaginable can be found at these massive local food courts.
If you go to Singapore without eating at all the bestHawker Centers you will be missing out on one of the most authentic experiences the city has to offer… And want to know the best part?
The food is all very affordable! Singapore is known as an expensive city, but at the Hawker Centre you’re in street food paradise! There are also some super popular food tours you can do like the Chinatown Hawker tour, fun cooking class, and even a private street food tour!
7. Stay at Marina Bay Sands
This ultra-plush resort is not only an amazing place to stay, but one of the most fun things to do in Singapore! If you can afford the rooms at Marina Bay Sands then by all means book away.
We highly doubt you’ll regret your decision once your swimming in the world’s largest rooftop infinity pool. It sits a casual 57 floors above Singapore and is connected by a replica cruise ship!
Unfortunately, this section is only available to hotel guests. However, for those who would rather spend their money elsewhere, there is much more to see at Marina Bay Sands.
From the beautiful promenade to its world class shopping and casino, Marina Bay Sands has something for everyone. Also, be sure to enjoy the Skypark Observation Deck for a view you’ll never forget!
8. Plan a Day at Sentosa Island
Sometimes referred to as the Disney World of Singapore, Sentosa Island is one of Asia’s premier theme parks. Complete with a Universal Studios, mega zip line adventure park, two golf courses, 14 hotels, and the biggest Merlion around, it’s easy to see why this place attracts over 20 million people a year!
Surprisingly, Sentosa also includes places to swim like Siloso Beach if the waterpark isn’t your style. We can attest, it definitely lives up to its nickname as “Asia’s Favorite Playground.”
9. Take a Photo at Merlion Park
Speaking of the Merlion… You can’t go to Singapore without paying your respects! With the head of a lion and the body of a fish, this supreme creature has become the official mascot of the city.
There are five Merlion locations around Singapore, but the most famous statue is right on the harbor facing the Marina Bay Sands hotel. Don’t leave without snapping a picture with this mythical creature!
10. Visit Little India
Singapore has a plethora of amazing and diverse neighborhoods to enjoy. As soon as you enter Little India, the colors, sights, and smells will surely amaze you!
While strolling around you can see some incredible street art, markets, and the Sri Mariamman Temple, which is one of Singapore’s oldest religious buildings. Little India also holds one of our favorite Hawker food courts called Tekka Centre.
11. Check Out Chinatown
We’ve been to several Chinatowns around the world, but Singapore has one of them most impressive! With its location not far from the Central Business District, you can easily walk through this unique neighborhood.
One of the best things to do in Singapore is hit the Chinatown Complex Food Centre and try some amazing local dishes.
Singapore is very influenced by Chinese culture and this is one of the oldest neighborhoods. Its great food, historic architecture, and location also make it the perfect place to stay on your first visit.
12. Drink a Singapore Sling at Raffles Hotel
Have you ever had a Singapore Sling? Cocktail lovers and history buffs can unite here when looking for what to do in Singapore! The price tag may scare some travelers off, but just know that it’s all about the experience.
Walking into the Long Bar at the 19th century Raffles Hotel is like a trip back in time. The drink was actually invented by Hainanese bartender in 1915 as a fruity drink for women.
It was not yet socially acceptable for females to drink during this time in Singapore. Yet, when the Singapore Sling was introduced it spread like wildfire!
These days the world-renowned drink is popular as ever and getting one at the original bar is one of the most fun things to do in Singapore.
13. Hang Out on Haji Lane
Another great neighborhood to explore in Singapore is the Arabic Quarter. Also known as Kampong Glam, this historic area was once a stopover for Muslims on their pilgrimage to Mecca. These days you can still visit the beautiful Bussuroah Street and Sultan’s Mosque. However, there is one more exciting street to not miss!
Haji Lane is filled with colorful murals, hip cafes, and plenty of great food options. Hanging out on the slender street is known as one of the top things to do in Singapore, and we can’t argue with that!
14. Find the Singapore Street Art
You’ve heard us mention the beautiful street art around Singapore and we really need to reiterate it. Specifically in Little India, the Arabic Quarter, and Chinatown you’ll find amazing murals painted by local artists.
This is relatively new phenomenon to the city and it’s added some flare to an already good place. So in between all the wild architecture and greenery, make sure to keep your eyes open for the fantastic murals.
15. One of Our Favorites! The Cloud Forest & Flower Dome
One of the most popular attractions at Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay is the incredible cloud forest. This living rainforest not only has its very own microclimate and dozens of exotic gardens, but it also holds a giant indoor waterfall!
When you first walk in you can stand under the massive 35 meter waterfall and look up to the hanging gardens above you. After that, take a quick ride to the top of the canopy park where you can see it from above.
Also, don’t forget about the daily mistings that take place every 2 hours to water the plants.
Right next door to the Cloud Forest is the giant Flower Dome. Here you can find more of the most beautiful flowers and plants from the around the world. Can you believe all of this is inside Gardens by the Bay?
16. Do a City Walk
If you couldn’t tell already, Singapore has some of the most unique and innovative architecture in the world. The Marina Bay Sands Resort alone would blow most people away, and you’ll see plenty more as you carve your way through the city streets.
The designs are modern but perfectly encapsulate the city’s storied past and diverse culture. With all the plant life and futuristic attributes it sometimes feels like you’re in a different world!
17. Visit the Singapore Botanic Gardens
Ready to explore Singapore’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site? Founded in 1859, the Botanic Gardens have been instrumental in transforming the city into what you see today.
Here you will find the world’s largest orchid garden as well as other magical plants. It’s also walking distance from the next item on our Singapore things to do list!
18. Shop on Orchard Road
If you’d like to do some shopping in Singapore then look no further! In the city’s largest shopping district you’ll find endless retail stores, high-end designer clothes, and plenty of fine dining.
Highlights include TANGS which is Singapore’s oldest department store, the ION Art Gallery, and the Grand Whiskey Collection Museum.
19. Watch the Singapore Light Shows
When the sun goes down in Singapore the party’s not over! Singapore has several epic light shows to end your day with.
The most famous one is the Spectra which takes place every night in front of Marina Bay Sands. This spectacle lights up the entire waterfront area!
However, our all time favorite takes place in the Supertree Grove. Garden Rhapsody at Gardens By The Bay is set under the Supertrees.
Lay down flat on your back and stare up into the night sky as music plays along with the flashing lights. The light shows are a must when looking for what to do in Singapore at night.
20. Visit the Historic Temples
For a city with such a short history, Singapore sure does have a lot of it! Dotted around the neighborhoods you’ll see many historic temples for the Buddhist and Hindu population.
Specifically, in Little India and Chinatown, these religious sites are some of the oldest buildings still standing from the early years. You can even visit the newer Buddha Tooth Relic Temple & Museum for a fun switch up! Below are a few of our favorite temples to experience in Singapore.
- Thian Hock Keng Temple
- Vadapathira Kaliamman
- Sri Mariamman Temple
- Wat Ananda Metyarama
- Burmese Buddhist Temple
21. Take a Trip to the National Gallery Singapore
Housed inside city hall and the former supreme court is Southeast Asia’s largest modern art collection. If you plan to visit you can easily skip the line and book your ticket in advance.
The first time we visiting the National Gallery of Singapore we couldn’t believe it. We’ve been all over Europe and seen amazing art collections, but nothing so modern like this!
The visual art makes for a unique afternoon and is a great way to spend a rainy day if you have one. Also, make sure to check out the Art Science Museum which is inside Marina Bay Sands.
22. Happy Hour at Boat Quay
One of our favorite places to go out is near the colorful Boat Quay. This lively area on the Singapore river comes alive at night when young professionals get out of work.
Even though Singapore is one of the most expensive cities in Asia, you can still find some great happy hour deals! Be sure to try the Chili Crab as well if you have the chance for dinner.
23. Stroll Over the Helix Bridge
The last of our Singapore things to do actually has free admission! The Helix Bridge links Marina Centre with the south part of Marina Bay Sands.
It’s special design lights up at night and is a cool way to get between the different zones around the harbor. Feel free to walk over the bridge during the day, but we recommend going back at night to see the bright colors light up!
Have any questions about this article or want to share more unique and fun things to do in Singapore? Leave us a comment below! As we mentioned, we visit the city often and always find new activities on every trip. So we plan to add more and more Singapore things to do to this list.
Brigitte & Jake
Where in the world are we? Follow our daily adventures on Instagram @nothingfamiliar!
Where to Stay in Singapore
Luxury – Marina Bay Sands – We stayed at the Marina Bay Sands for Jake’s 30th birthday and it blew away our expectations. Aside from the luxury amenities, swimming in the rooftop infinity pool will be the highlight of your visit!
Iconic – Raffles Hotel – As one of the most historic hotels Southeast Asia, staying at the Raffles Hotel will be an experience like no other. Enjoy a Singapore Sling and take in the amazing architecture of this landmark built in 1887.
Fun Vacation– Parkroyal on Pickering– It doesn’t get much more green and lush then Parkroyal on Pickering! This fun vacation spot is literally one of the greenest hotels in the world. Plant life covers the entire property to make for a unique stay in Singapore.
Boutique – KēSa House – Located in Chinatown, this fantastic hotel was built in 1920’s. Enjoy the incredible setting in the heart of the city in a traditional building on Keong Saik Road.
Hostel – Hipstercity hostel – Fun hostel in downtown Singapore with both private and dorm rooms. Great place to meet other travelers to explore the city with.
PIN FOR LATER ↓
Singapore Travel Planning
Tours: Check out Get Your Guide for activities all over Singapore. You can book everything from a Singapore Highlights Bike Tour to a Gardens by the Bay E-Ticket, and even a private food tour with 10 tastings!
Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without being covered. We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years on the road and they are there when we need them.