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Awesome Places in Singapore You Can Visit for Free

Awesome Places in Singapore You Can Visit for Free

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I think it’s safe to say that Singapore is the most expensive country to live in Southeast Asia.

In general, the Southeast Asia region is pretty cheap compared to other regions, such as North Asia (where Japan and Korea are located at). Budget travellers are mostly attracted to Thailand because of its low living cost. Many would skip Singapore in a heartbeat.

As someone who have lived in the tiny red dot for over a decade, let me tell you the truth that you deserve to know: It is possible to travel Singapore on a budget. To convince you, I’ve come up with a list of awesome places you SHOULD and COULD visit for free.

Should, because these places are so gorgeous you’ll thank God that you have made the right decision to come. Could, because the transportation system in the country is so extensive, it’ll cost you not more than $3 transport fare from wherever you are to these places.

PS: If you’re looking for more information about exploring Singapore, I have a pretty big library of articles about traveling in Singapore.

1. Supertree Grove, Gardens by the Bay

Awesome Places in Singapore You Can Visit for Free - SuperTree Grove at Gardens by the Bay
Supertree Grove at Gardens by the Bay (Photo credit: 123RF)

These humongous Supertrees are nothing like your typical trees. These trees are 50-meter high, provide shelter for plants from all over the world, don’t require soil, harvest solar energy and make you feel like you’re not on Earth.

I’d highly recommend you visit the trees twice. Once during daytime for that Insta-worthy shot. Once more at night for the Garden Rhapsody Show, which is displayed daily at 7.45pm and 8.45pm (be there early, the show is only 15 mins long and it’s a little tricky to find the way).

Have extras to splurge? Visit the magnificent Flower Dome and Cloud Forest conservatories.

Supertree Grove, Gardens by the Bay
Opening Hours: 5am to 2am daily
Nearest MRT: Bayfront MRT Station (CE1/DT16) – Circle Line & Downtown Line
Address: 8 Marina Gardens Drive Singapore 018953

2. Merlion Park

Places in Singapore You Can Visit for Free - Merlion
Merlion (Photo credit: 123RF)

I bet you’ve seen Merlion everywhere on the internet when you research for things to do in Singapore, am I rite? Well, that’s because the Merlion is Singapore’s icon that you MUST visit. “Singa” means lion, thus the head of Merlion is a lion’s head. Merlion has a body of a fish, which symbolises Singapore’s beginning as a fishing village.

Merlion Park is always open, so you can visit it anytime any day. But let me warn ya: it’s freaking crowded on weekends during the day. I recommend that you go there early in the morning so you can have a photo without anyone in the background. Near the big Merlion, there’s also a small Merlion, go look for the cutie-pie!

Have extras to splurge? Ride the Singapore River Cruise to admire the beautiful skyline of Marina Bay and colourful shophouses of Clarke Quay & Boat Quay (boarding point at Clarke Quay).

Merlion Park
Opening Hours: 24/7 daily
Nearest MRT: Raffles Place MRT Station (EW14/NS26) – East West Line & North South Line
Address: 1 Fullerton Road, Singapore 049213

3. Singapore Botanic Gardens

Places in Singapore You Can Visit for Free - botanic gardens
Singapore Botanic Gardens (Photo credit: 123RF)

On 4 July 2015, Singapore Botanic Gardens became Singapore’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site.  It is also the first and only tropical botanic garden on the list at the moment. This charming 74-hectare Garden houses more than 10,000 types of plants and the region’s most significant collection of palms, orchids, cycads and gingers, according to National Parks Board.

Start your journey from Bukit Timah Gate near the Botanic Gardens MRT and end your journey at Tanglin Gate, from which you can walk to the largest shopping road of Orchard Road. Explore the garden leisurely at your own pace or join the free guided tour, held every Saturdays by the volunteers.

Free things to do and see in SBG: Exhibitions, Jacob Ballas Children’s garden, Ginger Garden, Bonsai Garden, SBG Heritage Museum & CDL Green Gallery, Library of Botany and Horticulture, Swan Lake, wedding photoshoots (SBG is a popular photoshoot location).

Have extras to splurge? Visit National Orchid Garden (admission SGD 5, opens daily from 8.30am to 7.00pm) where you can find over 1000 species and 2000 hybrids of orchid.

Singapore Botanic Gardens
Opening Hours: 5am to 12am daily
Nearest MRT: Botanic Gardens MRT Station (CC19/DT9) – Circle Line & Downtown Line
Address: 1 Cluny Road, Singapore 259569

4. Buddha Tooth Relic Temple

Places in Singapore You Can Visit for Free - Buddha Tooth Relic Temple in Chinatown
Buddha Tooth Relic Temple (Photo credit: 123RF)
25 Beautiful Places in Singapore - Trevallog

The astounding Buddha Tooth Relic Temple (BTRT) is home to the Sacred Buddha Tooth Relic as well as other Sacred Buddha Relics. Both Buddha devotees and non-devotees will be able to learn about history of Buddhism and Buddha’s teachings by visiting the Museum and various Halls.

Expect to spend at least 1 to 2 hours in this grand building of 4 storeys with roof and a basement. I highly recommend that you dine at the Vegetarian Dining Hall at basement. The food is really delicious and pretty affordable (about $5 per meal).

When visiting the museum and halls, there are several etiquettes to be observed:
1. Do wear appropriate attire to show respect. For example: no shorts, no mini skirts, no bare shoulder/back. There are sarongs you can borrow at the entrance of the temple.
2. Don’t eat non-vegetarian food inside the temple.
3. Don’t bring pets inside the Temple.

Have extra space in your tummy? Eat the Michelin-starred Liao Fan HK Soya Sauce Chicken Rice at Chinatown Food Complex (#02-126) located just behind the temple.

Buddha Tooth Relic Temple
Opening Hours: 9am to 6pm daily (Museum and stupa Chamber); 7am to 7pm daily (other areas)
Nearest MRT: Chinatown MRT Station (CE1/DT16) – Circle Line & Downtown Line; Telok Ayer (DT18) – Downtown Line
Address: 288 South Bridge Road, Singapore 058840

5. Sri Mariamman Temple

Awesome Places in Singapore You Can Visit for Free - Sri Mariamman Temple at Chinatown
Sri Mariamman Temple at Chinatown (Photo Credit: Jorge Cancela)

From BTRT, walk for about 170m to Sri Mariamman Temple, the oldest Hindu temple in Singapore, built in 1827. In the past, it was the only authorised temple to solemnise Hindu marriages. The entrance of Sri Mariamman Temple consists of a six-tier grand tower decorated with sculptures of deities, mythological beasts and other beings.

If you’re visiting the temple, please take note the following dos and don’ts:

  • Don’t show bare shoulder, bare back. You can borrow cover-ups from the temple.
  • Do wear pants that cover your knees. You can borrow sarong from the temple.
  • Don’t wear tight clothes.
  • Don’t wear footwear inside the temple.

Sri Mariamman Temple
Opening Hours: 5.30am to noon; 6pm to 9pm daily
Nearest MRT: Chinatown MRT Station (CE1/DT16) – Circle Line & Downtown Line; Telok Ayer (DT18) – Downtown Line
Address: 244 South Bridge Road, Singapore 058793

6. Sentosa

Awesome Places in Singapore You Can Visit for Free - Sentosa Palawan Beach

Where should you go if you’re craving for Sun, Sand, Sea and Zest? Sentosa, obviously. I remembered when I came to Singapore for the first time as a tourist nearly 20 years ago, Sentosa was a place of fun for the little girl in me. The truth is, Sentosa is still a fun island for me.

This island has everything from Universal Studios Singapore, Adventure Cove water theme park, casino, cable car, zipline, bungee jump, beaches, the ultrarich cluster at Sentosa Cove, etc. There’s just too many things to do and see in Sentosa.

Admission to the island is free if you walk across the boardwalk. You can also take bus 123 from Orchard (you just need to pay the bus fare), bus RWS8 from VivoCity (bus ticket is $1), Sentosa Express from VivoCity Level 3 (train ticket is $4), cable car from Harbourfront Tower (walk-in ticket is $35, online ticket is $24.5).

Not all of the attractions are free. If you’re really on a tight budget, you can do the following for free:

  • Take insta-worthy photo at Universal Studios infamous Globe
  • Visit the casino at RWS (tourists can enter for free even if you’re not playing, but not locals)
  • Sunbathe at one of the many beaches, such as Siloso, Palawan, Tanjung Rhu
  • Visit Fort Siloso (WWII museum) and walk the scenic Fort Siloso Skywalk among the treetop
  • Watch Lake of Dreams show at 11pm daily at RWS Festive Walk
  • Enjoy interactive light and sound show at Siloso Beach’s Magical Shore between 7.30pm to 10pm daily
  • Explore Sentosa’s nature trails
  • See the yacht of the rich and famous at Sentosa Cove
  • Run or cycle around the island

Opening Hours: 24/7 daily but most attractions are only open during the day
Nearest MRT: Harbourfront MRT Station (NE1/CC29) – North East Line & Circle Line

7. MacRitchie Reservoir

Places in Singapore You Can Visit for Free - TreeTop Walk MacRitchie
TreeTop Walk at MacRitchie Reservoir

Trail lovers, you’re gonna love this one as much as I do. MacRitchie Reservoir has a special place in my heart because I used to run the 10km loop trail weekly when I trained for my marathons. There’s tranquillity at the trail and reservoir that you don’t find often in the city. Even if you’re not a runner, MacRitchie is a great place for a walk in the forest, a kayak and a close encounter with the nature.

The best thing about MacRitchie Reservoir that you don’t want to miss is the TreeTop Walk, a suspension bridge that’s 250m long and 25m high from which you can enjoy breath-taking view of the forest. If you’re only interested to go to TreeTop Walk but are not keen to do the entire trek, the best way is to start from Venus Drive entrance and then walk 2.5km to the TreeTop Walk. Don’t go there too late because the last admission is 4.45pm sharp, and they’re closed on Mondays except public holidays.

Along the trek, be mindful. You might encounter monkeys. They love to block the trail. Just stay calm, don’t provoke them, don’t carry plastic bags or any food with your hands.

Craving for more adventurous activities? Read this article about places to visit in Singapore for outdoor adventure lovers.

Are you a runner? You don’t want to miss this article about the best places to run in Singapore.

MacRitchie Reservoir
Reservoir Opening Hours: 24/7 daily but it gets dark after 7pm so avoid going to the trails in the evening
TreeTop Walk Opening Hours: 9am – 5pm (Tuesday – Friday); 8.30am – 5pm (Sunday & Public Holidays). Closed on Mondays, except on Public Holidays. Last admission 4.45p sharp
Nearest MRT: Marymount MRT Station (CC16) – Circle Line

8. Jurong Lake Gardens

Awesome Places in Singapore You Can Visit for Free - Chinese Garden
Chinese Garden (Photo Credit: Robert Glod)

Jurong Lake Gardens is a 90-hectare (i.e. really huge) garden located at the west of Singapore. It consists of several smaller gardens, including Lakeside Garden, Chinese Garden, Japanese Garden and Garden Promenade.

As you step into Chinese Garden, you can’t help but feel like you’re somewhere in China. The design is inspired by the northern China imperial architectural styles. The stone lions at the entrance, pagodas by the lake, the stone bridges, the courtyard.

Next to Chinese Garden is its sister Japanese Garden, whose landscape style is inspired by the Muromachi and Momoyama periods of Japanese history. Spend some time here and you’ll feel like you’re in one of Japan’s park.

At the time of writing (May 2020), Chinese Garden, Japanese Garden, northern part of Lakeside Garden are closed for construction. But there are plenty of interesting attractions at Jurong Lake Gardens. Refer to this map for information about what’s available.

Jurong Lake Gardens
Opening Hours: 5.30am to 11pm (Chinese Garden), 5.30am to 7pm (Japanese Garden)
Nearest MRT: Chinese Garden MRT Station (EW25) – East West Line
Address: 1 Chinese Garden Road, Singapore 619795
Note: Part of the garden is closed for construction. Visit here for overview information about Jurong Lake Gardens

9. Pulau Ubin

Chek Jawa Jetty
Beautiful jetty at Chek Jawa, Pulau Ubin

Pulau Ubin is a small rustic island located at the north east of Singapore. It is a popular place for locals during the weekend and public holidays. Without power grid, potable water and ATM machines, Pulau Ubin is probably the last village in Singapore.

It is also the best place for people who want to escape from the modern city of Singapore. Sometimes, you do get tired of the skyscrapers, don’t you?

There are plenty of things you can do at Pulau Ubin. My recommendations are cycling (or jogging if you can’t cycle like me), check out the beautiful jetty and mangrove forest at Chek Jawa, be mesmerized by various quarries, hike up the Puaka Hill, feast on seafood and sleep in a tent!

Getting to Pulau Ubin is a bit tricky for first-timers because the ferry terminal is quite far away from civilization. Before you go, read this complete guide for exploring Pulau Ubin.

Pulau Ubin
Opening Hours: 24/7 daily, but ferry operates approximately between 5.30am to 9pm depending on availability of boat owners.
Nearest MRT: None. You need to take bus to Changi Village to catch a boat to Pulau Ubin.

10. Jewel at Changi Airport

Jewel Changi Airport - Rain Vortex view from top
Rain Vortex at Jewel

This Rain Vortex at Jewel is one waterfall in Singapore that everyone SHOULD NOT miss. Like, ever. It is said that this is the tallest indoor waterfall in the world!

Located at Changi Airport, entrance to Jewel is absolutely free, regardless whether you’re flying or not.

And, no, Jewel is not only the home to Rain Vortex. It also has a multi-storey garden called Forest Valley, hundreds of retail stores and restaurants, as well as the fun Canopy Park at Level 5.

Have extra to splurge? Spend a day at Canopy Park and bring back fun memories that make you want to return again.

Want to explore Changi Airport? Here are 50+ things to do in Changi Airport.

Jewel Changi Airport
Opening Hours: 24/7 daily, but attractions and stores have their own operating hours
Nearest MRT: Changi Airport MRT Station (CG2) – East West Line
Address: 78 Airport Boulevard, Singapore 819666

11. Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

Main bridge, Migratory Bird Trail, Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Kranji Countryside, Singapore
Main bridge at Migratory Bird Trail

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve is well known for its rich biodiversity, including various bird species (such as herons, kingfishers and sunbird) as well as other native inhabitants such as mudskippers, crabs, shellfish, water snakes, birds, spiders, monitor lizards and otters.

My favorite part has to be meeting giant monitor lizards. I felt scared and excited at the same time. Read about what I saw during my visit to Sungei Buloh.

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve
Opening Hours: 7 am to 7 pm daily (entering or remaining in the nature reserve after 7pm is not allowed)
Nearest MRT: Kranji MRT Station (NS7) – North South Line. From Kranji, take Kranji Express Shuttle Bus (take note of the timetable).
Visitor Centre (nearer to Migratory Bird Trail): 301 Neo Tiew Crescent Singapore 718925;
Wetland Centre (nearer to Forest Trail and Mid-Canopy Walk): 60 Kranji Way, #01-00 Singapore 739453

12. Southern Ridges

Running at Henderson Wave - Southern Ridges Singapore
Henderson Waves (Photo: Stephen)
Running at Forest Canopy - Southern Ridges Singapore
Forest Walk (Photo: Mark)

The Southern Ridges is a series of trails that start from Marang Trail near Harbourfront MRT Station. The first route ends at Kent Ridge Park (total length 5.2km) while the second route ends at Labrador Nature Reserve (total length 4.5km).

These trails are extremely scenic, you’ll likely fall in love on your first visit. My favorite iconic landmarks are Faber Peak, Henderson Waves and Faber Walk.

Southern Ridges
Opening Hours: 24/7 daily, but certain paths are not lighted at night, so avoid going there at night
Nearest MRT: Harbourfront MRT Station (NE1/CC29) – North East Line & Circle Line
More info: Map and official site

13. Punggol Waterway Park

Running at Punggol Waterway Park, Singapore
View from Sunset Bridge at Punggol Waterway Park

Punggol Waterway Park is a beautiful park along the waterway in the heart of residential areas in Punggol. It is a popular place for locals to jog, cycle, skate or to just watch sunset. And it’s not under tourists’ radar yet, so it’s completely off-the-beaten-touristy-path.

I used to run here a lot when I stayed in Sengkang in the past, and I could never get tired of this park. It is one of my favorite places to run in Singapore. My other favorite running places are here.

Have extra space in your tummy? There are two shopping malls: Punggol Waterway Point and Oasis Terrace. If you hate malls and don’t mind to wander a bit further off the trail, I recommend going to Punggol Settlement or Tebing Lane.

Punggol Waterway Park
Opening Hours: 24/7 daily
Nearest MRT: Punggol MRT Station (NE17) – North East Line

14. East Coast Park

Sunrise at East Coast Park, Singapore
Sunrise at East Coast Park

East Coast Park (ECP) is a place where you can do so many things! Things you can do for free are jogging, cycling, rollerblading, dog walking, fishing, having a picnic, sunrise watching, people watching, airplane watching, and swimming (not encouraged though).

Have extra to splurge? There are plenty of things to do for you to choose, such as barbecuing (you need to book the pit in advance), camping (you need to apply permit in advance and bring your own tent), kayaking, sailing, surfing, stand up paddling, dining (both local and international food).

The one thing they don’t have? MRT Station (well, not until 2023). Ugh! It’s not easy to get to ECP, so your best bet is following Google Maps’ instruction.

East Coast Park
Opening Hours: 24/7 daily
Nearest MRT: None, follow directions on Google Maps
Note: More info and booking of BBQ & Camping permit here.

15. Marina Barrage

Awesome Places in Singapore You Can Visit for Free - Marina Barrage
Marina Barrage

Marina Barrage is actually a reservoir constructed to create water supply, prevent flood and to provide stable environment for water sports. However, it became so popular among locals and visitors that Marina Barrage is always lively on the weekends.

The most popular activities at Marina Barrage are picnic, kite-flying, photography, jogging and cycling. Because there are literally no skyscraper around Marina Barrage, the wind is pretty strong.

Marina Barrage is located near Gardens by the Bay, so if you’re heading to GBTB, make sure to visit Marina Barrage too. If you’re still on the fence about visiting this place, hear me out: The view of Singapore’s skyline is amazing! That’s why it’s also local’s favorite place to watch fireworks during special occasions, such as New Year’s Eve.

Marina Barrage
Opening Hours: Outdoor areas: 24/7; Green Roof 8am to 9pm daily (last entry at 8pm); The Sustainable Singapore Gallery: 9am to 6pm daily (closed Tuesdays)
Nearest MRT: Marina Bay MRT Station (NS27/CE2) – North South Line & East West Line
Address: 8 Marina Gardens Drive, Singapore 018951

16. Clarke Quay & Boat Quay (Singapore River)

Awesome Places in Singapore You Can Visit for Free - Boat Quay
Boat Quay (Photo credit: Aditya)
Awesome Places in Singapore You Can Visit for Free - Clarke Quay
Clarke Quay (Photo credit: John)

Clarke Quay and Boat Quay used to be Singapore’s port in the old days. Today, it is a bustling riverfront dotted with beautifully preserved shophouses and modern skyscrapers.

Besides being a busy financial district, Boat Quay is also where you can find Asian Civilisation Museum and the iconic Fullerton Hotel. At night, Boat Quay is home to lively pubs and expensive seafood.

Meanwhile, Clarke Quay is known for its nightlife, food heaven, adrenaline-pumping bungy and giant swing. I love eating chili crab (JUMBO restaurant), ramen (plenty of ramen shop in The Central) and bak kut teh (Song Fa) here at Clarke Quay.

You can walk from Boat Quay to Clarke Quay, and vice versa. If you’re low on budget, skip all those restaurant meals and head to Lau Pa Sat (near Raffles Place MRT) or Hong Lim Complex (near Chinatown MRT) for delicious and affordable local food.

Clarke Quay & Boat Quay
Opening Hours: Outdoor areas: 24/7
Nearest MRT: Clarke Quay: Clarke Quay Station MRT (NE5 – North East Line). Boat Quay: Raffles Place Station (EW14/NS26 – East West Line or North South Line).

17. Civic District

Are you a history and culture buff? If so, you have to visit Civic District, which is located between Raffles Place and Dhoby Ghaut.

Awesome Places in Singapore You Can Visit for Free - Civic District
Parliament House (Photo Credit: Steven Lasry)

Here’s a line-up of historical and cultural landmarks which you can visit for free:

  • Lim Bo Seng Memorial
  • The Cenotaph
  • Raffles Statue
  • Supreme Court
  • The Arts House
  • Victoria Theatre and Victoria Concert Hall
  • St Andrew’s Cathedral

Have extra to splurge? The following interesting places charge a nominal admission fee (they’re free for Singapore citizens and Permanent Residents, though):

  • Asian Civilisations Museum (SGD 8)
  • National Gallery Singapore (SGD 20)
  • National Museum of Singapore (SGD 15)

Currently closed for redevelopment: Singapore Art Museum, Peranakan Museum

It is possible to explore all of these landmarks on foot. Start early in the morning so that you have enough time to cover the above-mentioned places.

18. Free Concert by Singapore Symphony Orchestra

Awesome Places in Singapore You Can Visit for Free - Singapore Symphony Orchestra
Singapore Symphony Orchestra (Photo Credit: Singapore Symphony Orchestra)

This definitely falls under event rather than place but I don’t want you guys to miss out this incredible opportunity to attend free concerts from Singapore Symphony Orchestra, the country’s flagship orchestra that has been touching lives for decades since 1979.

The free concert is only available about once or twice a month. Pre-registration is often required. Here’s the schedule of the free concert.

A music lover and has extras to splurge? I urge you to support SSO by attending their affordable concerts.

Do you have other awesome free places to recommend in Singapore? Let me know in the comment!

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Ahmed Shamim

Tuesday 19th of May 2020

thanks for your information will try to visit after circuit bracker.


Wednesday 20th of May 2020

Yes, let's wait until it's safe to go out again. Take care.

Taman Kota

Monday 25th of November 2019

Hope can be there next year