The Best Things to Do in Singapore

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As a Malaysian, Singapore is like the glitzy, glamorous sister that went to a European boarding school and comes back every year for Christmas. There are so many things about Singapore that feel familiar to a Malaysian, but also at the same time, foreign. No matter how many times I visit Singapore, there is always something new to do or a new spot to discover.

Whether you’re travelling solo, as a couple, or as a family with young kids, Singapore offers something for everyone. With an impeccable MRT system, blend of West meets East culture, and English as it’s common day-to-day communication language, Singapore is highly navigable for foreigners.

If you’re planning to visit Singapore soon and it’s your first time, then this post is for you. I’ve created this guide to share with you some of the best things to do and spots to visit in Singapore, illustrated with snaps I’ve taken whilst I was there! Here are the best things to do and experiences to have in Singapore!

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Take a Dreamy Stroll Through @GardensbytheBay

This is the number one attraction in Singapore, as listed on Tripadvisor, and boy, it did not disappoint.

We came here on a Saturday evening and the place was packed with buses and buses of tourists, but it did not detract away from how wonderful our experience here was.

Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay houses over 1.5 million species of flora, spread out over different areas and parks, all of whom are equally lovely and idyllic. Some of its highlights include the beautiful waterfall cascade at the Cloud Forest, the stunning display of lights at the Supertree Grove and OCBC Skyway, and the refreshing cool stroll within the massive Flower Dome.

Singapore to do / Gardens by the Bay

Where: 18 Marina Gardens Dr, Singapore 018953.
Hours: Outdoor attractions operate between 5AM-2AM everyday. As for the attractions inside, the different hours are listed here.
Price: Depending on the amount of parks you want to visit. Here’s a complete and updated tickets pricing list.
Mimi’s tip: Look to spend at least 4 hours for the entire park. Visit during the evening to catch the light display at the Supertree Grove that lights up at sunset.

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Go Back to the Future @ArtScience Museum

You have probably seen pictures of the exhibitions all over Instagram—colourful light projections of flowers in bloom, an interactive light projection of a cascading waterfall, streams of LED lights shinning like crystals.

The Singapore ArtScience Museum debuted as the world’s first Arts and Science museum on 17 February 2011. When I first saw the building from my hotel’s balcony, I thought it looked like a cross between a spaceship and a flower. Apparently, the structure was derived from a blooming lotus flower, referred to as “The Welcoming Hand of Singapore.”

Aside from the amazing architecture, Singapore’s ArtScience Museum features exhibitions with Science, Space and Art as its main themes. For a up-to-date list of all the programs, workshops and exhibitions, take a look here.

Where: 6 Bayfront Ave, Singapore 018974.
Hours: 10AM—7PM
Price: Depends on the number of exhibitions you wish to visit. We purchased the all-access pass for S$37. For more info on the ticket prices, visit here.
Mimi’s tip: I recommend spending at least 3 hours for all the exhibitions and to take pictures. Reserve an early slot on the weekdays if you could to avoid crowds.

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Dive into Singapore’s Chinese Heritage at @Chinatown

Nestled within the skyscrapers and high-rise buildings is a whole new side to Singapore—its historical heritage, Chinatown.

Singapore to do / Chinatown
Source: @theculturetrip

In sharp contrast to the concrete and glass, tones of white, red and gold is sprinkled throughout Singapore’s Chinatown. There are many experiences that visitors can enjoy at this lovely neighbourhood. Take a spiritual journey at the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and the Sri Mariamman Temple. Enjoy local Chinese cuisines at the Chinatown Street Market at Smith Street. Discover Singapore’s Peranakan heritage at the NUS Baba House at Neil Road.

Where: Downtown Singapore.
Hours: Most shops open between 9-10AM.
Mimi’s tip: Visiting the whole neighbourhood should take around 2-3 hours. Watch out for murals on the side walls of some buildings!

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Explore the Melting Pot of Cultures @KampongGlam & Hunt for Bargains @BugisStreet

Speaking of cultures, Kampong Glam offers plenty. This Muslim-Malay neighbourhood is a delightful melting pot of ethnicities, religions and cultures.

Get your Instagram OOTD shot at Haji Lane with its colourful wall graffiti art murals. Marvel at Islamic architecture at Sultan Mosque and Hajjah Fatimah Mosque. For the best halal food in town, look no further than the eateries at Arab Street. If you’re curious about the history of the Malay community in Singapore, head on over to the Malay Heritage Centre.

Looking for a great travel souvenir that won’t cost you big bucks? Bugis Street makes that possible. Located right next to Kampong Glam, this bargain shopping area offers a lot of affordable souvenir items, daily goods, and clothing items that come with a wallet-friendly price tag. Just be careful of your bags and wallets while you’re here.

Where: Bugis Street and Kampong Glam.
Hours: Most shops open between 9-10AM.
Mimi’s tip: When you’re shopping at Bugis Street, make sure you negotiate for a good price if you’re hunting for a great bargain!

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Shop for Luxury Goods at The Shoppes @MarinaBaySands

Or at least go window shopping.

The Shoppes is located right by Marina Bay Sands and it’s Singapore’s largest luxury shopping complex. You can expect to find fashion power houses such as Chanel, Miu Miu, Gucci, and also some emerging fashion labels.

Singapore to do / Marina Bay Sands The Shoppes

This modern shopping hub also contains numerous international cafés, restaurants and a huge food court that I actually frequent quite often. Another quirky feature of this shopping mall is a stretch of man-made canal where you can get a gondola ride. Yup, that’s right. Although, it’s more Vegas than Venice.

Where: 2 Bayfront Ave, Singapore 018956.
Hours: 10:30AM-11PM.
Price: A lot.
Mimi’s tip: If your wallet is not up for the workout, have lunch at the food court. It’s huge and there are a lot of affordable options. The Shoppes is located right next to the ArtScience Museum so you can come over here for lunch after visiting the museum.

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Take a Promenade by the Marina Through @HelixBridge

Another architectural marvel that calls Singapore home. As the name suggests, the Double Helix Bridge, or simply the Helix Bridge, is modelled after the DNA structure.

This 280m structure links Marina South with Marina Centre, whilst taking pedestrians across the Marina Bay. Since this bridge is strictly for pedestrians only, visitors should take the advantage by strolling across the bridge whilst enjoying the view of the Marina in peace. If you’re staying at a hotel nearby, you can come here and join the other joggers for a nice morning jog.

Where: Linking between Marina Bay and Marina Centre, Singapore 038981, Singapore.
Hours: 24 hours.
Price: Free!
Mimi’s tip: For those of you looking to take a picture here, come by early in the morning to catch a great sunrise glow and to enjoy the marina in idyllic tranquility.

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Enjoy the best view of Singapore with a cocktail @CéLaVi

If you’ve watched ‘Crazy Rich Asian’, then you are most definitely familiar with this glitzy, glamorous rooftop bar featured in the end scene.

Cé La Vi has one of the most distinct architectural structure in Singapore. It resembles at submarine balanced on top of three poles. This rooftop bar not only offers one of the best views of Singapore, it’s one of the hottest spot for Singaporean nightlife.

I wouldn’t recommend grabbing a bite here, since there are definitely much better and more affordable places to eat in Singapore. However, if you’re looking for a trendy social spot, then Cé La Vi is the place for you.

Where: 1 Bayfront Avenue Marina Bay Sands, Tower 3, Singapore 018971.
Hours: Opens between 11AM-12PM and closes between 2-4AM, depending on the day.
Price: Drinks can be a bit pricey. A bottled beer costs around S$16 and a cocktail costs around S$23.
Mimi’s tip: Come slightly before dinner time to catch the sunset and find a good spot. You’ll also be able to watch the light displays from the Supertree Grove at Gardens by the Bay.

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Dine with the locals @TelokAyerMarket

Something you absolutely must do while you’re in Singapore, or South East Asia for that matter, is to dine outdoors at hawker stalls. If eating by the road side sounds too adventurous for you, start with an open-air food court like the Telok Ayer Market.

 Singapore to do / Telok Ayer Market

This food court is located within a historical colonial building that’s well over 120 years old. The Telok Ayer Market, or Lau Pa Sat, is open 24 hours and contains stalls that serve all sorts of culinary delights that reflect Singapore’s multi-cultural identity. There are some stalls that are more tourist trap than local fav and you should avoid them at all costs. For a list of the ten best stalls that locals love, check out this great guide.

Where: 18 Raffles Quay, Singapore 048582.
Hours: 24 hours, but most stalls operate between 10AM-10PM.
Price: Mostly affordable compared to food at restaurants. Remember to bring cash!
Mimi’s tip: Locate a table before browsing around for food. Try to avoid coming during weekend nights since this place will be packed and finding a table will be difficult. Also, a good indicator of a great stall to order from is a long queue of people.

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Bonus: Visit The Jewel at the World’s #1 Airport @ChangiAirport

As the winner of the world’s best airport, I expected a lot from Singapore’s Changi Airport. Since its debut in April 2019, I wanted to take a look at the 1.5 billion dollar Rain Vortex with my own eyes and verdict?

And boy, it’s as impressive as it sounds.

The Jewel is housed in its own building, across from Terminal 1. This building is open for public access so whether you’re waiting for your flight, or you’re just stopping by to visit, you can definitely spend a few hours here marvelling at the many attractions, entertainment and dining experiences that Changi Airport offers.

Some of these include:

  • The Jewel
  • Canopy Park and Bridge
  • Sky Nets
  • Hedge Maze & Mirror Maze
  • Luxury & high street shops
  • Fine dining, restaurants, bars and cafés
  • Many, many more!

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Grab your FREE Singapore travel checklist !

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Comments

  1. kat

    I love your “Current location” section. It only reminds me that the world is so huge and yet so small and accessible nowadays. I would love to visit Singapore one day…

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  2. Németh Katalin

    This post has opened my eyes to Singapore even more! The Jewel looks stunning and I am sure that the sound of the waterfall is equally gorgeous. I will visit it one day for sure! Thanks for the tip! 🙂

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  3. Heena

    Lovely pics. It seems there are many things to do in Singapore. Have seen Changi Airport and Ce La Vi in few movies scenes. Singapore is in my travel list. Thanks for sharing.
    Heena

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