By George Mirabelli-Montan
Travelling friend at Travel Nation
Posts (31) See Georges profile
Singapore is a popular stopover on many round the world flight itineraries and offers a huge array of things to see and do.
Many of the city’s attractions are completely free, from beaches to concerts, you just have to know where to find them – so here are some of Travel Nation’s favourite free things to do in Singapore…
One of the most luxurious and expensive hotels in Singapore, Raffles may not be the first place that springs to mind when looking for free things to do in Singapore. However, you don’t need to be staying here to have a look around this grandiose hotel and take a peak into Singapore’s colourful, colonial past.
Raffles was built in 1887 and quickly established a reputation for luxurious decadence, and remains to this day one of the best known hotels anywhere in the world. Check out the grand lobby and enjoy the peace of the inner courtyard, surrounded by tropical plants. On the second floor, you’ll find the Raffles Museum, with its pictures and memorabilia of the hotel and city in bygone days. The museum is open daily from 10am–7pm.
The hotel’s famous Long Bar is the home of the original Singapore Sling, although sampling one will set you back SGD20 (£10). If you do visit this iconic Singapore landmark, smart attire is recommended.
Close to the city centre, Marina Bay is an ultra modern, 24/7 destination for shopping and entertainment. The Marina Bay Sands is a vast and luxurious hotel, apartment, shopping and casino complex. Not the place you might expect to find one of Singapore’s best free attractions.
The Water and Light Show, known as ‘Wonder Full’, features a dazzling array of water fountains, lights, images and fire, set against the backdrop of the soaring city skyline. The show lasts for 13 mesmerising minutes and is set to a soundtrack of rousing classical music. This spectacular event happens every night at 8pm and 9.30pm, with an additional showing at 11pm on Friday and Saturday nights.
Singapore is renowned for its rich ethnic diversity, where over the years various nationalities have carved out their own distinctive neighbourhoods. To take a stroll through Little India is free, of course, and is an intense experience for all the senses. It’s so authentic that it’s often described as offering the real India experience without the hassle!
The atmosphere in Little India is best described as controlled chaos. It’s an intoxicating mix of loud Hindi music, fragrant spices, delicious food and brilliant colours. Shops and stalls jostle for space, full of bright saris, sparkling bangles and Hindi sculptures and posters.
Make sure you check out the famous Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya Temple, also known as The Temple of Lights, which features a 15m sitting Buddha and 2 rather fierce looking tiger statues guarding the entrance.
If you want a break from the sultry city, head to Sentosa Island, Singapore’s favourite beach destination. Taking the monorail will cost the equivalent of just £3 return and once you’re there, there’s plenty to do for free.
If you just want to flake out in the sun, or take a dip in the warm sea, there are three golden sandy beaches on the southern shores of the island, Palawan, Siloso and Tanjong. If you fancy something a little more active, follow the 1.8km Nature Trail that takes you along a boardwalk through lush rainforest. Look out for long tailed macaques, geckos and more than 20 species of birds.
Theatres on the Bay is an outdoor concert complex in downtown Singapore, located at the Esplanade on Marina Bay. Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night, you can enjoy free outdoor concerts right on the harbour.
The music is eclectic to say the least – it might be blues, punk, rock, RnB or even Chinese opera! The concerts showcase local talent – check out what’s on when here.
Here are some of our favourite Singapore freebies - recommend any others in the comments below!
“I like the Singapore River area - its full of second hand, antique shops and flea markets, it makes a nice alternative shopping experience to the busy commercial Orchard Road area. I’d also say a visit to China Town is a must – the bustling market and street food vendors are a sight and taste that should not be missed.”
“You have to visit Little India and the Tekka Centre – it’s a great way to spend an interesting few hours. The Tekka Centre has north and south Indian, Chinese and Malay food, as well as shopping and the market. Jump off at the Little India MRT station. Also – don’t forget to taste some chicken feet!”
“For something a little different, try sunbathing on the manmade beaches of Sentosa Island.”
“Not technically ‘free’ but Singapore has surprisingly cheap and tasty street food. Another tip for budget travellers - you can take an overnight train up to Kuala Lumpur really easily”.
If you’re interested in a Singapore trip or holiday, we can tailor-make something to suit your style and budget – ask us for advice! Call us today or request a quote by email.
at Travel Nation
After finishing her Geography degree, George settled into a digital marketing role and never managed to take a gap year. That didn’t stop her pooling every available week of annual leave to visit the USA, Brazil, Mexico, Vietnam, Australia and Venezuela. She joined Travel Nation in 2011 as Digital Marketing Manager and has since added Japan, Malaysia, Thailand and Cambodia to her visited spots. When George isn't at work you can find her walking her dog and thinking up new ways to use her Travel Nation travel fund to visit any destination accessible from SFO where her American in-laws are based (Hawaii, anyone?)