23 Fun Things to do in Singapore on Your First Visit

23 Fun Things to do in Singapore on Your First Visit

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:

Fun Things to do in Singapore 

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.

The Night Safari is located just outside the city center. You can take the MRT train, a taxi, or book a Singapore Night Safari ticket which includes a transfer.

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.

Singapore Harbor Boat Tour

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.

Gardens by the Bay in Singapore: 8 Easy Tips for the Perfect Visit!

Amazing Things to Do in Singapore

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.

Things to do Singapore Flyer

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 tourfun cooking class, and even a private street food tour

Hawker Centers: MaxwellOld Airport RoadTekka CentreChinatown ComplexLau Pa SatLiao Fan Hawker Chan

Things to do in Singapore Hawker Centres

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!

10 Fun Marina Bay Sands Tips For Your Luxury Stay in Singapore

Things to do in Singapore Marina Bay Sands

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!

→ Merlion Park Singapore: 8 Best Things to Know For Your First Visit

Things to do in Singapore Merlion Park

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.

→ Tekka Centre: Amazing Food in the Heart of Little India Singapore

Things to Do in Singapore Little India

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.

→ Is Chinatown in Singapore Worth Visiting? 7 Things to Know First

Things to Do in Singapore Chinatown

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.

→ Is the Singapore Sling At Raffles Hotel Worth It? $38 Conundrum

Things to do in Singapore Singapore Sling

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!

→ Haji Lane Singapore: Why You’ll Love This Colorful Walking Street!

What to do in Singapore Haji Lane

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.

Singapore Things to Do Street Art

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?

Fun Things to do Singapore

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!

Epic 2 Day Singapore Itinerary (What You Absolutely Can’t Miss!)

Best Things to do in Singapore

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!

Singapore Botanic Gardens

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.

Gardens by the Bay Light Show: Is it Worth Seeing in Singapore?

Singapore Light Show Things to Do

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

Things to do in Singapore Temples

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.

National Gallery Singapore Things to do

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.

Singapore Things to do Happy Hour

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!

Singapore Helix Bridge

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.

Safe Travels,
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! 

IconicRaffles 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 VacationParkroyal 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 Things to Do

Singapore Travel Planning 

 Flights: We always find deals using Skyscanner and Kayak. That’s how we got flights from Athens to Singapore for $230 USD, and Singapore to Thailand for less than $50! 

 Accommodation: Compare competitive sites for hotels such as Booking.com and Agoda. Also, Hostelworld should be your go-to source if you’re traveling on a budget. 

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.

 Packing Lists: Here’s all the inspiration you need with our Amazon packing lists! Including electronics and camera gear, must-have medical items, and long flight essentials

Singapore Travel

*We receive a commission for purchases made through links in this post. This allows us to continue our travels and keep providing great content to our readers! Also, as an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.
Share:

4 Comments

  1. March 30, 2023 / 4:56 pm

    Hey there, love your blog!
    I really enjoyed reading your blog post about things to do in Singapore! The Night Safari sounds like a truly unique experience. Have you ever had the chance to attend it?
    Charlotte 🌿 http://www.arvorlife.com 🌊
    With you from ocean to mountain top ⛰️

    • Brigitte & Jake
      Author
      March 31, 2023 / 7:18 am

      Yes a couple of times! Singapore is so amazing (-:

        • Brigitte & Jake
          Author
          April 4, 2023 / 7:52 am

          Singapore is the best!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *