After living in Singapore for 6-months, we’ve come to know the city (and country) pretty well. It’s one of my favourite places to visit in Asia. This is all mainly due to the epic things to do in Singapore. It’s one of those cities that can appeal to everyone.
Now, you might be thinking that Singapore is a tiny country, but don’t let its size put you off! There’s a whole heap of incredible things to do in Singapore. With a mind-boggling array of; beautiful temples, historical sites and is a melting pot for Indonesian Bangladesh, Indian and northern Asian foods. It’s a foodies dream city.
Best of all, you can even find some beautiful beaches and warm tropical waters that you would never even think would exist in Singapore. Or, at least I didn’t before we moved there.
With that in mind, I wanted to share some of my favourite and best things to do in Singapore on your trip. Some are small little spots, some are the big-hitting attractions. Whatever the case, there’s hopefully a good few that will catch your eye.
Take a look at some of the best things to do in Singapore, below. 🇸🇬
1.)Visit the Singapore Botanic Gardens
One place I visited again and again while in Singapore was the Botanic Gardens. Founded in 1859, it has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2015.
Now, when visiting, make sure not to miss out on the orchid garden. It has a spectacular array of species from around the world that you won’t want to miss.
Oh yeah, and keep an eye out for the friendly resident terrapins. Though, don’t pop your fingers close – they can get snappy!
Exploring the gardens takes around 2-3 hours, making it the perfect afternoon activity. Personally, I prefer early morning or a late afternoon when sun rays are a little less extreme. The heat and humidity in Singapore can be intense.
Afterwards, pop over to Colony (at the Ritz Carlton) for the best brunch around.
2.) Find the Sri Mariamman Temple
Just a few minutes stroll from China Town, the Sri Mariamman Temple is the oldest Hindu temple in all of Singapore.
Now, this is still one of my favourite temples and things to do in Singapore. Take a wander around the grounds, learn more about its history and explore the surrounding neighbourhoods for lunch.
As I mentioned, China Town is so close and one of the best places to grab some street food on the go.
3.) Stroll across Kusu Island
Kusu Island is situated about 6 km or so from the ‘mainland’ and one of the best things to do in Singapore on a lazy weekend.
Now, being home to the Da Bogong Temple and some beautiful marble tortoises (alongside some real ones too), it’s a great place to unwind from city life whilst visiting Singapore.
Apparently, (in both Malay and Chinese folklore) Kusu Island was formed by a tortoise in the Singaporean straight that saw two sailors in distress and quickly turned itself into a small island to save them, or so I was told in the temple.
Whether you believe the folklore not, Kusu Ireland is a perfect way to spend 4 to 5 hours enjoying the tranquillity, temples and nature this island has to offer.
When I visited I paired this with a visit to St John Island, which took a total of 6-8 hours. We took the boat over, so make sure you check the times (here) before planning your trip.
4.) Explore St John’s Island/Pulau Sakijang Bendera
Remember to check the daily ferry from the city itself and pack your swimming outfits, food, SPF cream and drinks. There are no shops on this Island and with the Singaporean humidity and sunshine, it can be intense.
My top tip is to go here for the late afternoon and enjoy a refreshing bay after visiting some of the temples on cool Kusu Island.
After heading back to the city, pop into My Awesome Cafe (Telok Ayer Street), for a quaint little eatery that’s got some of the best chilli in the city.
5.) Find the Singapore Buddhist Lodge and Temple
Roughly a 15-minute stroll from the river itself, this lodge and temple are one of the best things to do in Singapore if you’re looking for some of the more hidden religious sites.
Take a stroll around the grounds, see Buddha and embrace the gorgeous history of this spot.
Afterwards, pop over to Bitters & Love (Telok Ayer Street) for some pre-dinner cocktails. It’s such a great spot.
6.) Gorge on Chilli Crab
Food is a big part of travel, for me at least, and I always love to try some of the local dishes that people rave about.
Now, one dish that Singapore is famous for its chilli crab. It’s one of the best things to do in Singapore if you wanna gorge!
Consisting of a whole crab which can be shared between a small group, it’s a great dinner to have with friends.
Usually, prices of Chilli Crab vary from place to place. With prices usually fluctuating depending on the weight and the time of the day.
If you are looking for a great treat, why not head to “Jumbo” Chilli Crab Restaurant in Clarke Quay for an evening meal. It’s quite a bit more in cost to the hawker stalls or China Town for food but totally worth it for a treat.
7.) China Town
China Town is one of the bustling little neighbourhoods to enjoy. It’s easily one of the best things to do in Singapore for its renowned for its delicious street food.
Oh, and don’t forget the markets and stalls which line the streets. Here, you can try one of the “smelliest fruits in the world”, Durian Fruit. Trust me when I say it’ll make your eyes water!
Read more: A foody exploration of China Town, here
8.) Swim in the highest infinity pool in the world
For a little luxury, pop over to the Marina Bay Sands Hotel which houses one of the tallest infinity pools in the world.
Although pricier than some of the other hotels in the city, the pool alone makes it one of the best things to do in Singapore.
If you decide to not stay at Marina Bay Sands, you can still see the pools (and view of the city) by accessing some of the roof-top bars at the top of the hotel. It’s a great place for an evening drink overlooking the city!
Just be aware, alcoholic drinks can be pricier than most other Asian cities, so consider that when you’re budgeting.
9.) Sip on a Singapore Sling
If you are looking to try the famous Singapore Sling Cocktail, head to the Raffles, Long Bar – where the cocktail was officially created. Now, the cocktail itself is a little pricey… I think it was around $30USD, but its worth a visit and a delicious drink.
The bar itself is beautifully preserved and you still toss your nut shells directly on the floor people did in the early twentieth century. It’s one of the best things to do in Singapore and a renowned cocktail sot in the city.
Also, if you’re looking for some prestigious hotel rooms, make sure to check out the Raffles Hotel itself. It’s gorgeous.
10.) Wander through Gardens By the Bay
The city is well-known for their love of nature, with Gardens by the Bay being one of the best things to do in Singapore when in the downtown area.
Make sure to wander around Supertree Grove, too. It’s a collection of 50-metre high (man-made) trees that mimic nature. Super Each tree acts as irrigation tools and even function as the cooling systems for some of the domes present in the gardens.
It’ll take a short 30-minutes to walk around the suspended walkway and it’s totally worth it.
Oh, and don’t forget to visit Cloud Mountain. It’s a temperature-controlled dome that, in my opinion, one of the best things to do in Singapore if you love nature.
As you head up 40 metres of the mountain, you will see some of the very best collections of flowers and plants that have been created for us to enjoy.
Use the external walkways to walk around and down the mountain, while being cooled by the tropical climate and waterfalls.
11.) See Merlion and the light show
Head over to the harbourfront area of Singapore (about a 25-minute walk from Clark Quay) and see Singapore’s mascot, Merlion.
Situated on the north side of the harbour, it is a mere 10-minute walk from Marina Bay Sands if you’re already in the area. Oh, and don’t forget, in the evening you can even watch the famous light show that overlooks the harbour.
The lights start at around 8 pm and 9.30 pm on a Sunday-Thursday. That being said, if you’re a night owl, there is an 11 pm show on Friday and Saturday nights, too. It really is one of the best things to do in Singapore after a long day exploring.
12.) Walk the Sothern Ridges
If you’re fancying a little stroll, take a walk across the tree-tops of Singapore’s most mountainous area, the Southern Ridges. It really is one of the best things to do in Singapore that’ll make you feel like you’ve left city life far behind.
At almost 10 kilometres, it can be a hefty walk in the hot and humid days. That being said, I headed here first thing in the morning and managed to truly enjoy the skywalk without becoming uncomfortable in the heat of mid-day.
The whole walk takes around two hours.
For a tasty bite to eat after your trail, head over to Aromas of India (Race Course Road) for one of the best Indian resturants in the city. It isn’t fancy but the food it totally yummy.
13.) Party on the roof of a Skyscraper
Now, for one of the best things to do in Singapore for nightlife, head straight over to 1-Altitude for an open air club with live djs.
Taking up about three floors in total, this club and gastro-eatery is the perfect place to enjoy an evening of cocktails while towering almost 300 metres in the air.
It’s a really fun way to spend the evening and watch the city at sunset.
14.) Explore the Mac Ritchie Trail
Perched slightly of the city, the Mac Ritchie Trail is one of the best things to do in Singapore for both locals and visitors. Now, to explore the whole Mac Ritchie Nature Trail, it’ll take you about 3-6 hours.
You can easily take a cab from the centre of Singapore and it’s really easy to call one (or use an app) to get picked up too.
Just don’ forget, take good shoes, plenty of water and enjoy these tropical forests. You might even spot some of the resident monkeys.