Planning a trip to the Garden City and looking for the best things to do in Singapore? This brilliant destination is filled with activities and attractions that’ll have you planning your next holiday before you’ve even left.
Disclosure: This trip was hosted by Visit Singapore, however, all views and opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links whereby I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you. This helps with the costs of running my website so I can keep my content free for you. Thanks as always for your support! See my disclosure policy here.
With a perfect balance between historic and culturally rich districts and innovative, futuristic sites, this city has it all. It’s home to some of the best museums in the world, an exciting island, and some of the best cuisines.
So without further ado, let’s discover the best of Singapore’s things to do.
What to Do in Singapore | Unmissable Things to Do
Below are the most exciting activities in Singapore for an unforgettable holiday.
Visit the Cultural Quarters
Singapore is home to various cultural groups from Southeast Asia, many of which have their own distinct quarters. Visiting the areas below is a top activity to do in Singapore.
Situated on South Bridge Road, Chinatown is the largest and one the oldest historic districts in Singapore, featuring seven sub-districts. This residential enclave is located in the city centre, in the Outram district, and has plenty to see and do.
Head to the Chinatown Heritage Centre to learn about this spectacular area’s history before visiting the Chinatown Street Market. Here, you can sample dim sum, barbeque treats, and many more street foods while enjoying the colourful beauty all around.
You should also visit the Sri Mariamman Temple on South Bridge Road and the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum.
Singapore’s Little India is a vibrant district filled with spicy aromas and some of the most beautiful temples.
Be sure to stop at the largest wet market in Singapore, Tekka Market, built in 1982. Another top attraction in Little India is the Temple of 1,000 Lights or the Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya Temple. This is one of the largest and most visited temples. It features a 15-metre-tall Buddha Statue that’s almost as tall as the temple itself.
The Leong San See Buddhist temple and intricately decorated Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple are also not to be missed.
This Muslim and Arab quarter is situated at the mouth of the Rochor River and was initially a fishing village.
The area’s name was derived from the Malay word for village, “Kampung,” and a regional eucalyptus tree, the “Gelam.” So “Kampong Glam” roughly translates to “Village of Gelam Trees.”
Visit the elaborate Sultan Mosque before strolling through the adjacent Arab Street. Here you’ll find middle eastern cuisines, stunning fabrics and silks, and Arab craft goods. Head to nearby Haji Lane for even more shopping and to see some exciting street art.
Enjoy Nightlife at Clarke Quay
The Clarke Quay was once a bustling trade area. Boats would sail upstream to this quay to store goods in its large warehouses.
Today, the warehouses have been given new life by being repainted and repurposed. Clarke Quay today is a hotspot for entertainment, restaurants, and an unforgettable nightlife scene.
Visit this spot during the day for shopping and lunch. Or plan a sunset visit to see the quay light up as the sun sets.
One of the best ways to enjoy views of the quay and the city is with a bumboat river cruise. These boats operate all along the Singapore River and offer an affordable way to see the top attractions.
Here are some tips for saving money on your trip:
Spend a Day at Sentosa Island
There are so many fun things to do on Sentosa Island that one day might not be enough. Often referred to as the State of Fun, this island is less than a kilometre off the southern coast of Singapore. It’s home to some of the most exciting amusement parks, making it an excellent destination for family fun.
For an exciting start to your visit, travel to the island with a Singapore Cable Car. Once on the island, head to Skyline Luge to drive racing carts along various tracks. Or visit the Adventure Cove Waterpark for a splashing good time.
The S.E.A. Aquarium is home to over 100,000 marine creatures spread across over 40 habitats. Here, you and the kiddos can see sharks, greet dolphins, and take part in interactive learning experiences.
There’s also a climbing park, Universal Studios, and much more to explore. Be sure to end your thrilling day with a scenic walk along the Fort Siloso Skywalk for unforgettable views.
Eat at the Hawker Markets
Singapore is brimming with bustling hawker markets offering some of the best authentic treats at affordable prices.
Lau Pa Sat offers everything from classic international favourites like pizza to local meals like satay and seafood barbeque. You’ll be spoilt for choice without having to worry about hefty prices. Many stalls prefer cash, so bring a few notes or coins along.
The recently renovated Tiong Bahru Market features a variety of stalls and indoor and outdoor seating. Be sure to try the Hong Heng Fried Sotong Prawn Mee or Hainanese curry rice for a filling delight. This local favourite market attracts long queues around midday, so try to visit around 10–11 am before the lunchtime rush. And veggies, don’t miss out on the blue pea flower, it’s super tasty!
The Tekka Centre in Little India has much more than just food. This makes it a great option if you’re looking to do some souvenir shopping on the side. You’ll love the variety of Indian food, with everything from dosa, various curries, fresh naan, and lassi on offer.
Check out my ‘What to Eat in Singapore – The Vegetarian Edition’ TikTok:
Visit Raffles Hotel for a Singapore Sling
Built in 1887, this hotel features colonial architecture and has boutique shops and a spa. It’s a great place to stay if you’re looking for luxury accommodation. But the main reason you may want to visit this spot is for its iconic drink at the Long Bar.
The Singapore Sling is a refreshing drink with gin and cherry liqueur and is often considered Singapore’s most famous drink. It was first created in 1915 by bartender Ngiam Tong Boon, who used pineapple and lime juice, Bénédictine, and curaçao.
In the early 1900s, women were frowned upon for drinking alcohol. But the pink, feminine-looking drink looked like juice, making it seem like a socially acceptable drink for women at the time.
Explore Joo Chiat
Joo Chiat is a vibrant neighbourhood known for its rich heritage and Peranakan cuisine, especially the spicy Katong Laksa. It’s the first heritage town in Singapore and one of the main areas where you’ll find the Peranakan people. This is a community of descendants of Straits-born Indian and Chinese immigrants who married indigenous people in the 15th century.
You’ll also be mesmerised by the rainbow of colourful shophouses along Koon Seng Road. These two- and three-story buildings are beautifully decorated in floral Peranakan motifs and geometric tiles. They look like something out of a fairytale and make for the perfect Instagram-worthy shot.
To learn more about Peranakan heritage, visit the Katong Antique House to see a perfectly preserved example of a Peranakan household. The Eurasian Heritage Gallery will reveal even more about this region’s heritage.
The Straits Enclave is another spot that provides insight into the history of this neighbourhood’s people. You’ll get to see antiques and heirlooms of the Peranakans and have a chance to learn traditional games and crafts.
Enjoy the Views and a Drink at a Rooftop Bar
What better way to unwind after a long day of exploring the city than with sunset views and a drink? Luckily, Singapore has some excellent places to relax at.
One of the most popular spots is the Cé La Vi Skybar, situated at the top of the Marina Bay Sands. This bar offers unmatched views of the city, along with Asian-inspired tapas and excellent cocktails.
Mr Stork, situated on level 39 of Andaz Hotel, offers al fresco dining with 360-degree rooftop views of the city. What makes this bar unique is that it features ten teepee huts among lush greenery. So you can enjoy your drink and views with a bit of privacy.
Enjoy Jewel Changi Airport
Yes, it may be a bit odd to recommend visiting an airport as a top activity in Singapore. But this is not your average airport. Jewel Changi is an architectural marvel beautified with plants and a striking, seven-story-high indoor waterfall, the Rain Vortex.
Opened in 2019, this ten-story, 135,700 square-metre airport has over 300 stores and restaurants. It also has attractions like the 5-story garden, Shiseido Forest Valley, and Canopy Park on the top floor. This park features the Canopy Bridge, Sky Nets, Discovery Slides, and two mazes.
With all its exciting activities on offer, this airport might just make you excited to check in early for your flight.
Top Singapore Attractions
Beyond all the activities to do in Singapore, here are a few top attractions you don’t want to miss.
Marina Bay Sands
One of Singapore’s must-see and most iconic structures is the Marina Bay Sands. This luxury hotel comprises three 55-story-high buildings connected by a ship perched on the top.
You can admire and photograph the building from afar or splurge on a night’s stay at the hotel. But the best way to experience it is by heading to the Marina Bay Sands SkyPark on the 57th level.
This SkyPark offers sweeping views of the city from its observation deck and various restaurants and bars. It also has a 150-metre-long infinity pool that is only accessible to hotel guests. The best time to visit is during the weekend at 8 pm to witness a free light and water show.
Tip: The hotel also hosts the ArtScience Museum, which is a mesmerising educational attraction to visit with the kids.
Henderson Waves Bridge
If you’re an architecture fan, you’ll adore walking along the Henderson Waves Bridge. Unveiled in 2008, the bridge is designed to mimic the curving shape of a wave. It stands 36 metres above ground, making it Singapore’s highest pedestrian bridge.
The 274-metre-long bridge has wooden floors and benches along the way, providing beautiful views of the forest and cityscape.
You can reach the bridge by stopping on Henderson Road below the bridge. Or you can take a 20-minute walk to the bridge from the cable car station on Faber Peak.
This bridge forms part of a series of bridges that connect the surrounding parks and hills. So you can explore the trail further if you’re looking to immerse yourself in nature.
CapitaSpring Sky Garden
You’ll feel on top of the world at this leafy oasis on the 51st level of the CapitaSpring building. This rooftop garden has two restaurants, Kaarla and Oumi, and provides dreamy views of the city and Marina Bay Sands.
The best part is that this garden is free to visit and open from Mondays to Fridays. So if you’re looking for fun stuff to do in Singapore that won’t break the bank, this is a great stop.
But the beauty doesn’t end there. On the 17th-20th floors of the CapitaSpring building, you’ll find the Green Oasis. This outdoor garden in the middle of the building features winding paths connecting the various levels and offering lovely views.
Gardens By the Bay
The innovative and futuristic-looking 101-hectare Gardens by the Bay conservatory is another of the most iconic sights in Singapore. The large park sits near Marina Bay and features creative indoor and outdoor plant displays and themed areas.
One of the most distinctive sights in the park are the Supertrees, which tower between 25 and 50 metres. These trees are actually vertical gardens with plants like ferns and epiphytes growing in them. You can walk among these supertrees on an aerial walkway to get an elevated view of this sight.
There’s also a nearly 35-meter indoor waterfall and the themed Flower Dome displaying international blooms. Beyond that, the Cloud Forest is made to imitate the tropical highlands. It features a walkway that guides you through the misty mountain.
Tip: Be sure to attend the Garden Rhapsody music and light show at night for an unforgettable time in nature.
See Singapore’s National Monument at Merlion Park
Singapore is known as the “Lion City”, and its 8.5-meter-tall Merlion Statue perfectly embodies that name. Overlooking Marina Bay, the fish-meets-lion statue sits in a small park, spraying water into the bay. The fish part of the body is meant to represent the maritime past of this city. While the lion is meant to represent its moniker.
It’s a quick sight to visit. But, with the spectacular bay and the Marina Bay Sands in the background, it provides the perfect photo opportunity.
Final Thoughts on the Best Things To Do Singapore Has to Offer
As you can tell, the Garden City is abuzz with more activities and sights than you can imagine. This photogenic destination offers countless family-friendly fun things to do and a diverse range of cuisines to sample.
Also, check out my ‘What Not To Do In Singapore’ TikTok for more handy info:
Looking for more exciting places to explore in Asia? Have a look at this guide to visiting Kerala with kids. If you’re hoping to explore someplace further west, consider this guide to the best places to visit in Abu Dhabi.
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