Singapore is a small country, and it’s certainly not boring. It just means that you have to look harder. More often than not, it’s about entertaining yourself in the place you live in. If you prefer not to spend too much money to travel across another continent, Discover SG’s got you covered.
1. Go hiking at The Southern Ridges
Ditch your pumps and Birkenstock, and opt for a pair of sensible footwear to have a stab at hiking down The Southern Ridges. At 10km long, it’s the hot new favourite place for history aficionados, nature lovers and selfie buffs.
2. Volunteer at SPCA
SPCA is always on the lookout for helpers and dog walkers to advocate their animal welfare cause. If you’re an animal lover, consider volunteering at the shelter to make a pup’s day. You’re going to go home with a sense of accomplishment.
3. Marvel at the flowers in Singapore Botanic Gardens
Here’s something you probably haven’t heard of: picnics are back in fashion. They’re so popular that there are companies here selling packed baskets! If your money is a wee tight, treat it as a DIY project. Set a time, pick a shady spot and I guarantee you’ll have butt-loads of fun.
4. Window-shop at Haji Lane
There’s something about Haji Lane. The quirky knick-knacks, the timeless fashion apparels, the aesthetically pleasing little shops. It’s a must-visit for every Singaporean (and tourist). Get a sneak peek at the charming town and its must-visit stores here.
5. Make googly eyes at the fishes at Qian Hu Fish Farm
If you don’t know who Kenny Yap is, I, well, let’s leave it at that. Qian Hu, famous for its Dragon fishes, has been around the block since the late nineties. The fish farm may not be as glitzy as Orchard Road, but it still has its own rustic charm.
6. Watch a free movie outdoors
A free outdoors drive-in movie screening? It certainly beats shivering uncontrollably in the cinema. Movie Mob was launched in 2009 and seven years later, it’s still going strong. Join their mailing list to get the first deets.
7. See Singapore in a whole new different way at the Tiger Sky Tower
We’ve oohed and ahhed while we were in the Singapore Flyer capsule, but how many of us have actually experienced the Tiger Sky Tower? Not many of us, I’d presume. It’s not too late to have a go. Tickets cost S$18 for adults and S$10 for children.
8. Forget hipster cafes, dine at hawker centres instead
Estimated cost: >S$4.50
Ice-cream waffles? Nah, I’ll take unconventional local cuisine any day. Here are some recommendations to get you started on your foodie trip:
- Seletar Nam Hoe’s Bak Kut Teh at the Hainanese Village Food Centre
- Guang Liang Cooked Food’s Kway Chap at Bedok Reservoir Road Market & Food Centre
- Soup Kambing Haji M. Abdul Razak’s Mutton Soup at Upper Boon Keng Road Market and Food Centre
9. Test your endurance at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve
Get away from the hustle and bustle, and escape to Singapore’s first ASEAN Heritage Park to rewind. The rich biodiversity is something to behold. I wouldn’t be surprised if you stop to smell the flowers. Oh yeah, that Komodo dragon that’s staring at you like food? Don’t worry, it won’t kill you. It’s a water monitor lizard.
10. Get your reading fix at the library
Free admission (duh)
Say whatever you want about Stephenie Meyer (Twilight series), but you’ve got to admit it, she’s made reading cool again. If you’re looking for quality me-time, get on the bus and head to the library. Design fanatics can’t go wrong with Library@Orchard or Jurong Regional Library, and YA (young adult fiction) buffs should not miss Queenstown Public Library for its impressive collection.
11. Admire the greenery at Gardens by the Bay
You don’t have to spend a bomb at Gardens by the Bay. You can enjoy free admission for most of the sights. Take The World of Plants, Dragonfly and Kingfishers Lakes, Heritage Gardens and Sun Pavilion for instance. They’re enough to keep you entertained.
12. Rub shoulders with animals at Farmart Centre
If you appreciate casual dining and low-maintenance relaxation, look no further than Farmart Centre. You can have a prawning contest with your mates or feed the farm animals. Price: free, unless you end up going home with a puppy.
13. Attempt the humongous climbing structure at Woodlands Waterfront Park
Any children — or adult — will want to try this out. If playgrounds aren’t your cup of tea, grab your bikes, skateboards or fishing rods. What’s interesting about Woodlands Waterfront Park is that there’s a restaurant located at the jetty. Who knew?
14. Turn back the hands of time at Creative Art Corner (or Timezone)
Create art with a cotton swab and toothpick! An activity like this will hit you with the nostalgia bomb. If you can’t stand art, grab your pals and head down to the arcade (price varies). It’s much more satisfying than being cooped up alone in home playing Call Of Duty on your Xbox 360.
15. Dance with coconuts at Bollywood Veggies
Well, I don’t know if there are coconuts at the farm, but the name ‘Bollywood’ certainly brings the fruit to mind. The lush greenery is a marvel and reminds us to take a step back from our fast-paced, urban lifestyle. Entrance fee costs S$2. Admission is free for kids under 12 and seniors over 60.
16. Skate at Alexandra Canal Linear Park
Alexandra Canal Linear Park is like a pearl oyster. At first glance, there’s not much to look at. Look further and you’d feel like you’ve been had. If you spend ample time at the park, you’d see that there’s a rope playground and a scaled-down skate park for skateboarding enthusiasts.
17. Feed the animals at The Animal Resort
The Animal Resort is another lesser-known place in Singapore. Think of it as a mini zoo. You get to feed the animals, see what it’s like for a pet to get a haircut, and witness a dog training ground.
18. Sneak into The Library & have a drink
Not much is known about The Library, except that it’s as secretive as hosting an underground supper club. What makes the bar so intriguing is that it’s by appointment only and guarded by a secret pass code. One writer at Popspoken recommends the Wonky Donkey ($17).
19. Get over your fear of heights at the Treetop Walk
To any acrophobic, attempting the Treetop Walk is as frightening as walking down the Yuntaishan glass walkway. Think carefully before you embark on this exhilarating mission. Get a friend you trust to come along with you and whatever you do, don’t look down!
20. Or better yet, go Sparta! with Running Man
Cost: varies, depends on your resourcefulness
Here are some ideas to get you started. You could play dodgeball at the basketball field. You could create your own name tag from scratch. Notice the acupuncture stones you often see at your HDB block? Use it. Skip on it. Run on it. Just make sure it’s not occupied by some elderly.
Please, only proceed if you don’t mind getting weird looks.
With these 20 wildly fun activities to do in Singapore for the cheap, we hope you’ll never complain of being bored! Adventure belongs to those to seek it. So go forth and have an adventure!
Note: Price does not include parking fees and transport fares.
Featured image credit: Gardens by the Bay YouTube screen grab