Singapore is one of the wealthiest cities in the world, but traveling there doesn’t have to break your bank. This might come as a surprise even if you’ve personally traveled to Singapore, where it’s easy to spend hundreds (or even thousands!) of Singapore dollars every day.
On the contrary, whether you walk through ethnic neighborhoods, explore beautiful nature or enjoy stunning street art, free activities in Singapore are surprisingly abundant. (Which is good, considering how much you probably spent on flights!)
My Favorite Free Things to Do in Singapore
Relax at the Singapore Botanic Gardens
Located just a stone’s throw from the Orchard Road shopping area, Singapore Botanic Gardens is one of the most satisfying free things to do in Singapore. Featuring trees, flowers and other flora native to Singapore, the garden is a lush oasis in the heart of the city. For a small fee, you can visit the Singapore Orchid Garden, which features dozens of species of colorful orchids.
Relax at the Marina Bay
Although Marina Bay Sands itself is one of the most expensive hotels in Singapore (to say nothing of how much money you can gamble away in the casino of the same name), the picturesque Marina Bay area doesn’t cost a penny to visit. Stroll along the waterfront to enjoy a view of the Singapore skyline reflected in the water, or appreciate the grandeur of the “supertrees” from nearby Gardens by the Bay (which is lovely, but is definitely not among the free things to do in Singapore, even though it’s worth every penny you spend to get in!).
Marvel at the Murals of Tiong Bahru
At its surface, Tiong Bahru sounds no different than any other suburb in Singapore. Dig a little deeper, however, and you’ll find that it’s the picture of history and art—quite literally, in the case of the murals of Yip Yew Chong. This stunning street art depicts everyday life in the suburbs, showing off old markets, loving families and historical decor of yesteryear. It’s definitely one of the most worthwhile free things to do in Singapore, as far as I’m concerned.
Look in On Culture in Chinatown and Little India
Singapore might seem like all skyscrapers and no culture, but when you dig a little deeper you’ll see how wrong this is. One of my favorite free things to do in Singapore is stroll through the colorful alleyways of Chinatown, which evoke a trip to somewhere much more traditionally exotic than Singapore (to say nothing of the delicious aromas emanating from them!). Little India, meanwhile, is a place you should take even great care to visit if you’re coming to Singapore in October and November, which is when the Hindu festival Deepavali takes place.
Take a Break Along Arab Street
In addition to the communities of Chinatown and Little India, Singapore is also home to a population of Arab Muslims, who live along the aptly-named Arab Street near the Bugis MRT station. Whether you visit the stunning Sultan Mosque or simply walk along the colorful building facades, exploring Arab Street is one of the top free things to do in Singapore. Don’t mind spending a few SGD? Sit down for a meal of zesty Murtabak at the famous Singapore Zam Zam eatery.
Visit Sisters’ Islands Marine Park
When most people think of beaches in Singapore, they think of Sentosa, a maritime paradise just south of the city—but one defined by expensive luxury resorts. An alternative (and more natural) option is to visit Sisters’ Islands, where guided tours are absolutely free. While it’s true that some activities here require you to pay a fee (namely, if you actually want to swim in the water), Sisters’ Islands certainly qualifies as one of the top free things to do in Singapore, on the whole.
The Bottom Line
When you think of Singapore, you think of impressive skylines, crowded streets, upscale fine dining and exuberant night life—in other words expensive! Fortunately, your visit to Singapore can be surprisingly cheap. In fact, all you really need to have fun in Singapore is an offline maps app and a Singapore VPN to keep you safe while you surf public Wi-Fi at the airport, cafes or even your hotel room. All things considered, a trip to Singapore doesn’t need to break the bank. Well, except for the flight—you’ve probably figured that out already, however.