Singapore, even though it is often deemed as one of Asia’s most expensive tourist destination, is oozing with free thrills and attractions that would surely bring joy to backpackers and frugal travelers. From a spectacular light show to exciting nature trips, there are dozens of cool freebies in Singapore that can put you into a state of euphoria.
1. Get stuck in a world-class international airport
Fittingly nicknamed as the world’s best airport, the Singapore’s groundbreaking Changi Airport has a plethora of delightful offerings that you can take pleasure in for free. Not only does it offer free foot massages and gratis Wi-Fi access, but it also has an interactive art center as well as movie theaters with zero admission. Plus, it has a science museum, a steep indoor slide, and a flotilla of orchids, sunflowers, cacti and ferns with fluttering butterflies.
2. City tour from Changi
Got a long layover in Singapore? Then, take advantage of the free 2-hour city tour offered by the Changi Airport.
3. Watch Concerts
There are a few places in Singapore that occasionally hold free concerts, such as the Esplanade and Botanic Gardens.
4. Take the Walking Tours from Singapore Footprints
Thanks to the super friendly and charming volunteers of Singapore Footprints, tourists can get guided walking tours for free on the Singapore River and Bras Basah every weekend.
5. Snooze soundly in au gratis accommodation via Couch Surfing
If you’re not yet familiar with couch surfing, go check it out. It’s a world-wide organization of travelers out on the road and hosts who put travelers up in their homes at no charge.
6. Snap photos of Singapore’s cool street art
In Singapore, you don’t have to pay top dollar to catch sight of fabulous works of art and innovative masterpieces. Just take a stroll along Haji Lane, Scape, Youth Park or Kampong Glam, and you will find an abundance of awesome murals and kaleidoscopic graffiti walls.
7. Load up on information, maps, brochures and help at Singapore Visitor’s Centre
Pick up all sorts of beautiful, glossy, picture-filled brochures and hear about all the fun free stuff I get to do.
8. Browse Designer Boutiques on Orchard Road
Take a stroll along Orchard Road. Many people spend hours or entire days shopping there. In fact, beware of the weekends if you want to avoid massive crowds.
9. Visit the Singapore Art Museum on a Friday evening
Every Friday, from 6-9PM, the Singapore Art Museum opens its doors without any charge to all art lovers and tourists.
10. Feed your Inner Artsy
Can’t get enough of free art in Singapore? There is always a free beautiful piece of art on display in the Esplanade’s galleries as well as sculptures showcased at Sculpture Square. Likewise, you can drop by the Opera Gallery in ION Orchard, and catch sight of its splendid artworks.
11. Go on a Hunt to find the 8 Merlions in Singapore
Everyone knows of the Merlion Park at One Fullerton. But that’s not the only one! Go on a Merlion hunt and explore Singapore.
12. Wander around Little India
With its lovely little shops and fragrant scents of oils, flowers and spices, a visit to Little India is truly a blissful journey for your senses. Of course, it is also a colorful adventure that would give you a taste of the fascinating culture of India.
13. Take a scenic city walk
Central Singapore is packed with gorgeous city views. Wherever you turn you’ll be treated to magnificent architecture, skylines, interesting people from around the world, and lots of greenery. Walking anywhere around the city is a visual treat. Two scenic walks I particularly recommend are the following:
14. Picnic at Marina Barrage
The Marina Barrage has been a hot spot for those in search for a place to picnic and fly kites. The vast grassy area is able to accommodate many people, so no worries if you’re visiting on a public holiday or weekend.
15. Spend a Day at a Beach
If you suffer from urban overload during your visit, escape the city vibes by relaxing on sand, suntanning, and taking a dip in the sea.
16. Walk along the MacRitchie Treetop
Whoever said there’s no lush greenery in Singapore has never been to MacRitchie. This is literally greenery on a whole new level. Take the chance to check out the community of animals and plants at the canopy level, something that wouldn’t have been possible if it weren’t for this suspension bridge.
17. Visit Haw Par Villa
Haw Par Villa was established by the founders of Tiger Balm to impart traditional Chinese values to the community through statues and dioramas inspired by Chinese mythology, legends and Confucianism.
18. Make a Temple Tour
Scattered around the CBD you’ll find just about every kind of Asian place of worship as well as many churches. Take yourself on a temple walking tour around the area encompassing Little India, Kampong Glam, the Singapore River and China Town. You’ll find gorgeously designed, colored, and decorated temples of all faiths: Indian Hindu Temples, Indian Muslim Mosques, Malay Muslim Mosques, Chinese Buddhist Temples, Churches of various Christian denominations, and more. Visitors are welcome to enter most temples, free of charge, to look around and admire their beautiful houses of worship.
19. Visit Marina Bay City Gallery
This gallery displays a huge 3-D map/model of Marina Bay that has descriptions of the bay’s main points of interest and several fun interactive displays where visitors can learn the history of the area, how it’s being developed and fun things to do.
20. Witness the Marina Bay Water – Laser show
Every evening at 8 pm and 9:30 pm Marina Bay presents a phenomenal, state-of-the-art multimedia water front show that encompasses video, music, laser lights, blasting water and fireworks.
Friday and Saturday nights there’s a third show at 11 pm. Be sure to catch the show at least once while you’re in town. Although I personally found the theme pretty cheesy, the technical wizardry is quite spectacular.
21. Trace the Colonial Heritage of Singapore
If you’re a history buff who’s fascinated by the colonial heritage and history of Singapore, make sure to spend a couple of hours or more exploring the Civic District in the downtown area. Here, you can visit as well as snap photographs of magnificent colonial architectural gems, such as the Arts House, City Hall, Asian Civilizations Museum, and Raffles Hotel. Moreover, a stopover to any of these buildings will give you an opportunity to learn more about Singapore’s history.
22. Be Amazed by the Light Show at Gardens by the Bay
Drop by Gardens by the Bay at 7:30 in the evening, and treat yourself with a flashy and astounding show of lights and music.
23. Hang out at the East Coast Park
Spend your weekend in Singapore in a rather relaxing way by camping or hanging out with your travel buddies at the East Coast Park, which is a favorite weekend getaway for locals and expats.
24. Trek Mount Faber
If outdoor fun is your cup of tea, take a fun-filled trekking adventure to Mount Faber, and be rewarded by the gorgeous views of the city, as well as the fauna and flora of this hiking trail.
25. Experience the Meandering Southern Ridges
This 10 km trail leads from Mount Faber to NUS, going through Hort Park and Henderson Waves. The Southern Ridges offers panoramic views of both the natural and urban parts of Singapore. Suitable for most people without medical issues, the trail is not too arduous, and most parts of it are accessible to families with young kids.
Hope these tips help you stretch your budget, stay longer in wonderful Singapore, and help you enjoy my favorite city in the world.