Singapore and free are not two words you hear together often. It’s no secret Singapore is an expensive place to visit but what few people realise is there are so many things to do in Singapore for free that you shouldn’t put off your visit for a minute longer.
From temples to light shows, breakfast until bedtime you CAN visit Singapore on a budget and fill your day with free (or very cheap) things to do.
Better yet, in our guide we will share money-saving tips & our favourite resources for booking those unmissable attractions at bargain prices. With so many free things to do in Singapore you’ll be regretting not booking your flight sooner!
FREE THINGS TO IN SINGAPORE
1. Enjoy the World’s Greatest Airport – Changi Airport
One of the best free things to do in Singapore will greet you as soon as you step foot off the plane – Changi Airport. There’s a swimming pool with jacuzzi, free cinema, massages and a butterfly & cactus garden.
Not forgetting the literal “jewel” in the Changi crown: the world’s tallest indoor waterfall. The 40-metre tall Rain Vortex is part of the new Jewel Changi Airport, the SG$1.3 billion nature-themed mall and lifestyle complex.
All these activities are waiting for you at arrivals and are the reason Changi Airport is one of the best free places to visit in Singapore. If you like it that much, you can even stay for a day (or 4) these guys did.
2. Learn The Secrets of Singapore at Singapore City Gallery
Location: 45 Maxwell Rd, The URA Centre, Singapore 069118, Singapore
Opening Hours: Monday–Saturday from 9am to 5pm (closed on Sundays)
If you’re looking for free places to visit in Singapore One of the best places to start is the Singapore City Gallery. Showcasing over 40 interactive exhibits spread over 3 floors, it is one of the best things to do in Chinatown as it shares the entire Singapore story from conception to the contemporary city we know today.
Highlights include an exquisitely detailed 3D model and the interactive “how this city works” exhibit which shares how Singapore optimises land and resources for a sustainable future.
Best of all, admission doesn’t cost a penny! It is one of the best things to do in Singapore for free as it provides the perfect background into the past, present and future of this incredible place.
3. Visit Buddha Tooth Relic Temple
Location: 288 South Bridge Rd, Singapore 058840
Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday 9:00am – 5:oopm (may differ during religious events, festivals etc.)
There are so many free things to do in Chinatown, Singapore but to us, simply wandering the streets there is entertaining enough. If you can make it passed the durian stench and persuasive Hawker stall owners there are some highlights to be explored.
One of the most famous being, Buddha Tooth Relic Temple which is both a temple and museum within the heart of Chinatown. It is believed the temple is named after the relic of Buddha was found in a collapsed Myanmar pagoda in 1980.
The temple was then built to house the relic and opened in 2002. It is now on display to the public on the 4th floor of the temple. It is free to enter and walk around though please be a responsible tourist and dress appropriately, not forgetting to always seek permission before photographing inside the temple.
4. Admire The Colourful Hindu Temples of Singapore
Location of Sri Mariamman Temple: 244 South Bridge Rd, Singapore 058793
Location of Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple: 141 Serangoon Rd, Singapore 218042
From one temple to the next, this time an entirely different style. Mere metres from Buddha Tooth Relic Temple you will find Sri Mariamman temple – the oldest Hindu temple in Singapore.
There is also a very similar temple called Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple, which is one of the most popular things to do in Little India as its equally as beautiful. Again, these religious sites are free to enter but please be respectful, remove shoes and dress appropriately.
5. Window Shop at The Famous Shoppes, Marina Bay Sands
Location: Marina Bay Sands, 2 Bayfront Ave, Singapore 018956
We did mention we walked everywhere in Singapore and the main reason this was possible was thanks to the miles and miles of refreshing air-con provided by the underground malls.
If you’re searching for things to do in Singapore for free (particularly if it’s raining) the Rain Oculus at the Shoppes is spectacular to see. It is an eco-friendly 22 metre wide installation which is essentially a rainwater filled bowl. There is an hourly phenomenon where 22,000 litres per minute cascade from the bowl – creating an impressive show.
A final fun attraction at the Shoppes (although it’s not a free thing to do in Singapore) it’s not every day you get the chance to ride a canal boat through a shopping centre! For the fee of SG$10.00 per person, you can even take a Sampan ride through the Shoppes mall thanks to the rainwater fuelled indoor canal.
6. Capture The City Reflections & Spectra Light Show
Location: Marina Bay Sands, 2 Bayfront Ave, Singapore 018956
One of the best free things to do in Singapore is admire the skyline as the sun sets over the bay. As night falls, the transformation is spectacular as the towering skyscrapers reflect on the water. Instead of the expensive rooftop bars, grab a beer or two from trusty 7-Eleven and admire the view (drinking alcohol in public is legal in Singapore before 10pm.)
One of the best things to do in Singapore at night is walk from the 280m-long Helix bridge which connects pedestrians between the Marina Centre, waterfront area and Marina Bay Sands to the Shoppes.
From in front of the Shoppes, secure your viewing spot for the world-famous Spectra light show which is one of the best things to do in Singapore for free. Spectra is a light & laser extravaganza like no other, reflecting across the water.
The shows are Sunday to Thursday at 8pm and 9pm and Friday and Saturday at 8pm, 9pm and 11pm
7. Visit Parkview Museum & Admire the World’s Largest Gin Collection
Location:600 North Bridge Rd, Parkview Square, Singapore 188778
The minute you step inside the Atlas Bar you will be blown away. Home to the world’s largest gin collection, the décor here is insane – like stepping into the set of Great Gatsby. Your next thought will most definitely be this surely cannot be a free thing to do in Singapore?
Correct, drinking gin is sadly not free but if you head for the elaborate, marble clad elevator the museum above the Atlas Bar known as Parkview Museum is a small art gallery which is completely free.
As we were visiting Singapore on a budget, we opted for a pot of tea at Atlas Bar instead of Gin but it allowed us to sit for an hour or two admiring the epic surroundings without breaking the bank. To be honest, you can easily visit Atlas Bar without buying a refreshment if you visit early in the day (we visited around 11am) before heading up to the museum.
8. Watch a Free Theatre Show at Esplanade – Theatres on The Bay
Location: 1 Esplanade Dr, Singapore 038981
We love going to the theatre but unfortunately our backpacking budget does not. We even managed to score bargain Opera House tickets whilst visiting Sydney on a budget but thankfully, bargain theatre tickets in Singapore were even easier to find!
This is because 70% of the programme at Theatres on the Bay is entirely free. This means nearly every single night of the week there are free musical performances, dance shows or art exhibitions which you can attend without spending a penny. No wonder it’s one of the best free places to visit in Singapore!
Since its launch 16 years ago there has been over 41,000 shows from jazz concerts to African dance shows – the programme is constantly changing so you’ll find a show to suit everyone, all set against the stunning backdrop of the Bay.
9. Photograph the Street Art on Haji Lane
Location: Haji Ln, Singapore 189204
From the funky Middle Eastern cafes to the mural covered walls, Haji Lane is a hipster magnet that is an ideal place to spend an afternoon and one of our favourite free places to visit in Singapore.
You could spend hours photographing the street art, browsing the boutiques or treat yourself to a selfie coffee (although at SG$8.00 each, they’re not technically a free thing to do in Singapore but still a firm fave.)
10. Visit Sultan Mosque in Kampong Gelam
Location: 3 Muscat St, Singapore 198833
Adjacent to Haji Lane you will find Arab street and the vibrant Muslim quarter known as Kampong Gelam. Here you can visit Masjid Sultan also known as Sultan Mosque which is located on Muscat Street and North Bridge Road, but its unmissable dome can be seen from anywhere in the neighbourhood.
If you’re looking free places to visit in Singapore, visitors are welcome to enter Sultan Mosque from Saturday to Thursday between 10:00am to 12:00pm & 2:00pm to 4:00pm, or on Fridays from 2:30pm to 4:00pm free of charge.
Following your visit, you can also learn more about the history of the Singapore Muslim quarter at the Malay Heritage Centre, which is again free to enter, though there is sometimes a SG$6.00 fee for certain exhibitions.
11. Explore the Vibrant Neighbourhood of Little India
If you walk from Kampong Glam for 10 minutes over the Rochor River, you will come to one of the most vibrant neighbourhoods in Singapore – Little India.
There are so many things to do in Little India from getting lost in the ginormous Mustafa centre, chatting with friendly locals, visiting the Insta-famous House of Tan Teng Niah to photographing the elaborate temples. All of which are completely free!
However, after saving all that money with the free things to do in Singapore, you MUST visit the vegetarian restaurant Komala Vilas – you will dine like kings for less than SG$10.00. We highly recommend the Gobi Manchurian and Paneer Manchurian. Both were around SG$7.00 and hands down, the BEST curry we have ever had – 30 countries (and a lot of curry later) we’ve yet to find one which can beat it!
If you’re searching for free places to visit in Singapore, Little India is a feast for the senses and one of the best places to spend an afternoon or if I could get my own way, I’d dine there for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Escape the urban chaos for some colour and culture, within minutes you’ll question if you’re even still in Singapore!
12. Buy Everything (or nothing) at Bugis Street Market
Location: 3 New Bugis Street, Singapore 188867
When searching for free things to do in Singapore, we get shopping isn’t technically free BUT Bugis Street Market is so overwhelmingly huge that chances are you’ll either a) not spend a penny because it’s so big and busy or b) buy absolutely everything because it’s so cheap. Consider it a test of willpower.
We managed to escape with our budget unscathed although with over 800 shops selling everything from sunglasses to sliders it wasn’t an easy task. If you survive the crowds with minimum purchases, treat yourself to a tasty bite to eat at the neighbouring hawker centre where nearly all meals are SG$4.00 or less. Who said cheap things to do in Singapore are hard to find?
13. Walk the Famous Henderson Waves
Location of Henderson Waves Bridge: Henderson Rd, Singapore 159557
Location of Bukit Timah Nature Reserve: Hindhede Dr, Singapore 589318
Singapore is often referred to as the “Garden City” which is excellent news if you’re backpacking Singapore as tadaaa Gardens are FREE. Although there are several dotted throughout the city one of the most popular places to visit in Singapore for free is Mount Faber Park.
Not only will you be rewarded with epic views across the city from the hill but you can walk across the famous Henderson Waves pedestrian bridge. At 36 metres high, it is the tallest pedestrian bridge in Singapore, connecting the hilltops of Mount Faber Park and Telok Blangah Hill Park.
If you truly want to escape the chaos of city life and immerse yourself in nature, head to Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. Although its only 12km from downtown you’ll feel world’s away as the towering skyscrapers are replaced with rich rainforest. With its wealth of flora and fauna and home to Singapore’s tallest hill an afternoon here is one of the most relaxing places to visit in Singapore for free.
14. Be Mesmerised by Garden Rhapsody – The Lightshow At Gardens by The Bay
Location: 18 Marina Gardens Dr, Singapore 018953
Set in the “super tree grove” in the gardens of Marina Bay Sands Hotel, expect 15 minutes of lights, lasers and loud music as The Garden Rhapsody is hands down, one of the best places to visit in Singapore for free.
We arrived bang on 8:45pm as the music was starting and had no issues finding a space – thanks to the 50 metre high trees and over 50 speakers hidden around the park you can hear and see the show regardless of where you sit.
There are two shows each night (at 7:45pm & 8:45pm) although the Gardens by the Bay are free to wander round from 5am until 2am.
15. Visit the Weirdly Wonderful Haw Par Villa – The Tiger Balm Garden
Location:262 Pasir Panjang Rd, Singapore 118628
We have saved this hidden gem for last as it’s one of the weirdest (yet most wonderful) places to visit in Singapore for free. The 8.5 hectare park is described as an “Asian Culture Park” – but in reality, it is a huge outdoor art gallery showcasing a unique collection of weird and wonderful creatures from goats to pandas, giant lobsters to a striking “crab lady.”
Built in 1937, this majestic mayhem of art meets legends meets religion is thanks to the work of Aw Boon Haw the genius behind Tiger Balm. The park is rarely mentioned in the usual Singapore Tourist guide but is one of the most unique free things to do in Singapore.
Open daily from 9am to 10pm, Haw Par Villa is easily reachable by public transport (around 35 minutes from downtown Singapore) with the MRT station just 1 minute walk from the entrance.
CHEAP THINGS TO DO IN SINGAPORE
Although there are many free things to do in Singapore, there are a few unmissable attractions which you will have to purchase tickets for. The good news is, we like to keep it cheap and being Scottish, bargain hunting is in our blood. Below we will share the popular Singapore attractions that we visited and how to save as much money as possible when purchasing tickets.
We will also share our favourite resources for cheap things to do in Singapore to make those expensive entry fees a little more backpacker budget friendly.
Party on a Wednesday
Partying is by no means one of the cheap things to do in Singapore but if you’re female, partying on a Wednesday is. This is because on Wednesday nights it’s Ladies Night in Singapore.
Not only does this mean free entry to most night clubs throughout the city on a Wednesday but also free drinks and 2 for 1 offers. One of the best places to go in Singapore at night (or on a Wednesday) is Clarke Quay. A riverside neighbourhood in Singapore crammed with bars, restaurants and two of the city’s biggest nightclubs.
Visit the Island of Sentosa – by Cable Car!
The man-made resort island of Sentosa features some epic attractions such as Universal Studios, Madame Tussauds, Adventure Cove water park, S.E.A. Aquarium (which is home to the world’s largest oceanarium,) a casino and SO MUCH MORE. It is guaranteed to be a highlight of your Singapore itinerary.
You might be thinking Sentosa doesn’t deserve to be on this list of cheap things to do in Singapore BUT there are so many deals on the attractions at Sentosa and us being the bargain lovers that we are, are gonna share the best places to book.
One of the best things about the island (and a cheap thing to do in Singapore for an unforgettable experience) is the cable car ride to Sentosa. Although it usually costs SG$35.00 – you can purchase a cable car ticket for only SG$24.50 from Get Your Guide, Rakuten Travel Experiences or Klook and be treated to a spectacular view, elevated 69 metres high!
If you’re a tad terrified of heights (like us) or the cable car ride is out of your budget, you can also take the Sentosa Express monorail for only SG$4.00 across to the island.
Stroll along the OCBC Skyway
We did mention the Garden Rhapsody was one of the best places to visit in Singapore for free, and when you go to watch the show you’ll notice the suspended bridge which links the super trees.
This 128m long aerial walkway is known as the OCBC Skyway and is open to the public. Not only does it provide unique views of the city but also the opportunity to view the famous super trees up close.
Best of all at only SG$8.00 per person, making it one of our favourite cheap things to do in Singapore.
As a tip, go around 7:30pm that way you can watch the Garden Rhapsody from up in the trees instead of down in the crowds – one of the most epic things to do in Singapore at night!
Visit the Cloud Forest & Flower Dome at Gardens By The Bay
In a city famed for its culinary treats and rooftop cocktails, we didn’t expect gardening and greenhouses to be top of our bucket list. However, no Singapore itinerary would be complete without a visit to the Gardens by the Bay conservatories – The Cloud Forest & Flower Dome.
The Cloud Forest is exactly that – a lush indoor mountain surrounded by manmade clouds and the world’s second tallest indoor waterfall (the first is now in Changi airport.) It is other worldly (and a tad terrifying) to wander the suspended “cloud walk” high above the plants and people.
Following an adrenaline fuelled visit to the Cloud Forest, relax in the company of world-famous floristry at the Flower Dome – the world’s largest greenhouse. Displayed over 9 gardens and a crazy 1.2 hectares, it is one of the best cheap things to do in Singapore.
Marina Bay Sands Skypark Observation Deck
At SG$300.00 – SG$500++ per night, staying at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel is definitely not one of the cheap things to do in Singapore. However, the epic rooftop views are not just reserved for hotel guests (although the world-famous infinity pool is.)
Instead, the public can purchase a ticket to the Marina Bay Sands Skypark observation deck. Offering panoramic views of the city including the insane Super tree grove below and towering skyline across the bay.
Although many blogs will suggest the sneaky tip of pretending you’re going to the rooftop bar in order to access the Skypark for free – we do not recommend it. Singapore is notorious for fining tourists and locals alike (you can even receive a fine for not flushing a public toilet!) so don’t chance not paying an entry ticket.
Visit the World’s First ArtScience Museum
If searching for cheap things to do in Singapore, spend an entire day surrounding by interactive exhibits and world-leading technology at the ArtScience Museum. It’s the first of its kind – combining the realm of art with science in one contemporary lotus-shaped building, that is an iconic addition to the Marina Bay Sands complex.
The digital gurus, TeamLab are behind the permanent exhibition Future World which has flourished in popularity thanks to Instagram but also because in terms of exhibits it’s the best we’ve ever been to and worth every penny.
There was also an epic, futuristic exhibit on the top floor where visitors were given handheld virtual reality devices that changed the interiors of the museum whilst educating us on the rainforest and sustainability.
Tickets are SG$19.00 if you by directly however and to be honest, we had so much fun that we were more than happy to pay this as we spent hours here drawing, building, watching and learning. Not to mention that we’d taken advantage of the many free things to do in Singapore so didn’t mind paying for these world famous attractions.
Even if you don’t fancy buying a ticket – the building itself is a work of art. It’s lotus flower design helps harvest and store rainwater which is then used in the museum’s restrooms. It is an incredible place to admire both inside and out.
We hope this guide has enlightened your knowledge of places to visit in Singapore for free and that our bargain hunting skills have earned you some money off the unmissable attractions which have admission fees. Let us know in the comments if you’re visiting Singapore on a budget or have in the past – have we missed your favourite activity off our list? Is there a money saving hack or two that we could add? Either way, we hope this guide convinces you that it’s possible to visit this epic city without being Singa-poor by the end of your stay!