Top 7 free things to do in Singapore

by Jan

Singapore is a great place for a family holiday with kids.  It is a very clean, safe city and nearly everyone speaks English.  It may be more expensive than some other Asian countries, but there are plenty of free things to do in Singapore.

In this travel guide, we will show you our top things to do in Singapore, that won’t cost a penny!  We’ll help you plan your time, whilst watching your budget.

Singapore is a fantastic place to visit and it really doesn’t have to cost a lot.  Furthermore, there is a great system of public transport, as well as many taxis making it even easier to visit the many free things to do in Singapore.

If you want to visit Singapore on a budget, this is the perfect guide for you.  We visited Singapore with the children at the start of our jungle adventure in Borneo.

If you want the full itinerary of how we spent our 4 days in Singapore, have a look at this post:-  Singapore 4-day itinerary:  how to spend 4 days in Singapore

Supertree Grove at Gardens by the Bay

One of the very best things to do in Singapore is a visit to Gardens by the Bay.

Gardens by the Bay is a must-see visit in Singapore and is a great attraction for any age group.  It is a nature park spanning over 100 hectares of reclaimed land next to the Marina Bay, showing off over 1.5 million different plants and trees.

Gardens by the Bay has three waterfront gardens and many more attractions including the Cloud Forest, sculptures, a children’s play park and splash pool and of course its famous futuristic trees, Supertree Grove.

Gardens by the Bay, Singapore
Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, Signapore

The Supertree Grove is free to get in the evenings.  At night, the 18 supertrees (25-50 metres tall) come alive with a display of light and sounds for The Garden Rhapsody Show.  The show takes place at 7.45 and 8.45pm and is truly amazing.  It really is one of the top free things to do in Singapore.

Fortunately we were in  Singapore during the practice for the Singapore Heritage Day celebrations, so took advantage of a free firework display too.

Now, if you are looking for budget food in Singapore, head to the nearby Satay by the Bay.   This Hawkers’ market  offers a fantastic choice of outdoor food options.

Watching fireworks from Gardens by Bay, Singapore
Gardens by the Bay at night, Singapore

Singapore's China Town

Another great place to visit for travellers on a budget is Singapore’s Chinatown.  It has a fantastic atmosphere and is a great place to wander around at no cost. 

As well as the Chinese restaurants, you can discover the beautifully restored colonial buildings and enjoy the bright lights and colours. 

Lanterns at China Town, Singapore

Alternatively, you can visit the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum, which tells the stories of thousands of years of culture.

Legend says that the temple is home to the actual left canine tooth relic of Buddha! The temple is open until 7pm and admission is free.  Remember to wear respectful clothing.

You could also try the shops and stalls in the Chinatown Street Market.  Here, they sell everything from technology to local Singapore handicrafts.

If you’re hungry head to the Hawkers’ market to try some cheap, traditional food with local people.

Walking through China Town, Singapore
Eating Duck at China Town Hawkers' market, Singapore

The Singapore Botanic Gardens

The Singapore Botanic Gardens was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2015 and is the only tropical botanic garden on the list.

Amazingly, the botanic gardens have free admission and are open until midnight.  You’ll find plenty of different gardens to explore and a wide variety of botanical plants to see.  The children enjoyed spotting unusual plants, such as banana trees and wandering through the Rain Forest.

As well as plants, you can enjoy the wildlife.  We spotted chipmunks and lizards.

Bird amongst flowers, Botanic Gardens, Singapore
Rainforest Walk, Botanic Gardens, Singapore

Kids will also love Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden.  Spread over an area of 4 hectares, this children’s garden has four different zones.  Here children can play, have fun and learn about plants at the same time.  It has nature play areas with swings and zip wires, tree houses, a farm, a forest, and a suspension bridge.

Now, the best time to visit the Botanical Gardens is in the morning when it is cooler.  However, you will find plenty of sheltered areas and an ice-cream vendor.

The Jewel at Changi Airport

Suprisingly, one of the very best free things to do in Singapore is a visit to The Jewel at Changi Airport.

The Jewel is Singapore’s new $1.7 billion nature-themed entertainment complex on the landside of Changi Airport.  Its top attraction is the world’s tallest indoor waterfall, the 40-metre high Rain Vortex.  This in itself is awesome and it really is worth leaving some time before your departure for a visit.

Leave some time for the light and sound show, which is  from 7:30 pm to 11:30 pm at hourly intervals.  The light on the waterfall makes it even more stunning.

If you enjoy nature, you’ll find several short walking trails amidst the 2,000 trees of the Forest Valley.

However, not all the family attractions at the airport are free.  The Jewel offers a wide choice of paid activities for children, including nets, mazes and canopy walks.  You will save money by purchasing these together in advance as a package.

Rain Vortex, The Jewel, Changi Airport, Singapore

For more information on The Jewel, read:-

The Jewel at Changi Airport, Singapore

The beach in Sentosa

Sentosa Island, Singapore

Sentosa is an island resort off the south coast of Singapore.  Known as the “State of Fun”, it does bear a close resemblance to Florida!  You can get to Sentosa by road or cable car and will find a free monorail once you arrive.

There are loads of fun activities to pay for at Sentosa.  It has a waterpark, Universal Studios, a zipline, Dolphin World, indoor skydiving and much, much more.

Palawan Beach, Sentosa Island, Singapore

However, if you want to spend a free day at Sentosa, head to Palawan Beach .  We took the free beach tram, getting off at Beach Station and spent a fun day playing on the beach.  The boys were very keen to catch some fish, but using only their hands were not very successful.

It is worth going early to get a lounger or some shade as it can get very hot.  Sentosa has good changing and shower facilities and plenty of places to get a drink or food.

An alternative free option at Sentosa is the scenic treetop walk to Fort Silso, which is 11 storeys above ground.  Or you could visit the Silso Point Fort, which protected Singapore’s defences for decades.

If you want free activities in the evening, watch the Crane Dance (a light, water and sound show) at 8pm (10 mins) or the Lake of Dreams laser show at 11pm.

Go wild at the Wild Wild Wet Waterpark

We came back to Singapore for one night after our jungle adventure in Borneo.  This time, we booked an overnight stay at the D’Resort in Downtown East (which is only about 10 mins from the airport) before flying back the airport.

We made our booking through and were given 4 free tickets for the Wild Wild Wet Waterpark, which is walking distance from the hotel.

Wild Wild Wet is an excellent waterpark, with a range of slides and rides for all ages.  There are high speed rides and free-fall slides (think trap door!).  It has a long lazy river and splash zones for little ones.  The only disappointment for us was the wave pool, which was more of a ripple than a giant wave!

The showers and changing facilities at Wild Wild Wet are superb and have payable lockers.  However, the place seemed very safe and we just left our bags by the lounger.  Loungers are free and most are in the shade.

Wild Wild Wet has several food kiosks, where you can buy food.  However, if you are on a budget, you could take your own picnic.

D'Resort, Downtown East, Singapore

For the full details of the itinerary for our trip to Singapore and Borneo, read our post:-

A family adventure in Borneo

Little India

Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple, Little India, Singapore

If you enjoy looking at temples, sampling cheap authentic street food or just taking in the fragrant smells of oils, spices and flowers, Little India will give you a great taste of Singapore’s Indian community.

Here you will find The Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple, which is one of Singapore’s oldest Hindu temples.

What are your favourite free things to do in Singapore?  We’d love to hear your comments below.

PIN FOR LATER: Top 7 free things to do in Singapore

Top 7 free things to do in Singapore

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Avatar for Jan
Radka 23rd November 2019 - 10:57 am

Hi Janet, amazing website! Can’t wait to visit Singapore again. Is there any chance you could share your travel itinerary including accommodation. It’d be a great help with our planning & budgeting. Also how far ahead have you booked your Singapore/Borneo trip? xx

Avatar for Jan
Jan 24th November 2019 - 9:26 am

Hi Radka, So glad you liked the blog. You can find our full itinerary in our blog Family adventure in Borneo. We started booking in the October the year before our amazing trip. You can find all our blogs on what we got up to under Destinations, Asia from the top menu, but feel free to ask any questions. Jan


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