Things to Do in Singapore
A complete Guide to Singapore for tourists. Get the inside scoop on the top 10 must visit attractions, hidden gems, hip enclaves, cultural experiences and happening nightlife to visit while in Singapore. This guide was created to give tourists the best experience possible and focuses in particular on attractions.
While the iconic Marina Bay Sands and Universal Studios Singapore are testament to how advanced Singapore has become, don't forget to also immerse yourself in Singapore's rich multi-cultural society and history. Language, customs and food from the best of the East and a smattering of the West have been amalgamated over hundreds of years into something unmistakably Singapore.
Remember to also check out reviews of these places by clicking on their links for a broader perspective, all of which are written by savvy Singaporean locals. And if you've enjoyed it be sure to read our other Guide to Food, Guide to Shopping and Guide to Hotels articles. You can also view our Top 50 Singapore Attractions sorted by aggregated scores.
Top 10 Things To Do in Singapore
A quick overview of the top 10 things to do in Singapore and a map displaying their locations.
A Guide to Singapore Attractions
Singapore's best known and biggest tourist attraction is called Sentosa, an island located just 10 mins south of Singapore city. It was developed specifically as a holiday attraction for tourist and locals, offering a quick getaway from the bustling city. It has become even more developed in recent years with the building of Universal Studios, Resort World Sentosa Hotels Casino and Marine Life Park.
If you would like to explore Sentosa thoroughly, you would need at least 2 days. One day for the RWS attractions like Universal Studios Singapore and the other for all the other Sentosa attractions.
MUST DO 1 : Visit the world class Universal Studios Singapore
RWS Attractions: The Universal Studios Singapore (USS) is the star attraction of Sentosa and the only Universal Studios theme park that will be opened in South East Asia for the next 30 years. The latest Sesame Street Spaghetti Space Chase is an indoor dark ride just opened in 1st March 2013. This along with Transformers - The Ride and 18 other rides were created especially for the Singapore park. Because of its relative newness, this is the first stop for many.
MUST DO 2: Take your family up on an adrenaline adventure
Picture Credit: Sentosa
Other Sentosa Attractions: A favourite is the fun for all ages Skyline Luge which consists of a thrilling skylift ride followed by a downhill unmechanised kart race. Its something the whole family can enjoy, just make sure you slow down at the finish line to get a family picture together! The most happening beach on Sentosa is Siloso Beach, it brims with recreational activities and is lined with trendy bistros and beach clubs. Other popular attractions at Beach Station are Wave House, iFly Singapore and Megazip Adventure Park. All these attractions are easily accessed by taking the Sentosa monorail to Beach Station
MUST DO 3: Revel in the best view of the City
Apart from Sentosa, one of the other popular areas in Singapore with attractions clustered together is the Marina Bay Sands Belt. Marina Bay Sands (MBS) currently holds the title of hottest entertainment destination in mainland Singapore - offering luxurious entertainment, shopping, dining and accommodation options. Enjoy authentic local favourites at food court Rasapura Masters or indulge in haute cuisine from Michelin starred Celebrity Chefs. Located here is the only other Casino, MBS Shoppes, the breathtaking Marina Bay Skypark and gorgeous Gardens by the Bay.
Towering 200 meters in the sky is MBS Skypark, the crowning glory of MBS. Hotel guests can swim in the 150-metre infinity-edged pool while visitors can take in breathtaking panoramic views of the city at the public observation desk.
The heart of the skypark is the thumping restaurant/lounge KU DÉ TA – a swanky restaurant/lounge that attracts a sophisticated clientèle that loves to party in style. Its the perfect place to mingle with the glamorous and beautiful while sipping on cocktails reveling in the view of the city.
MUST DO 4: Check out the gorgeous city gardens
Less than 5 minutes away from MBS is the newly opened Gardens by the Bay – a horticultural attraction that spans 101 hectares. It features two massive cooled conservatories housing rare flora from around the world.
A short walk or boat ride away will be the Esplanade Belt - Singapore Flyer, Esplanade, Merlion Park. From here, its a short trip to the Singapore River and Clarke Quay, the main area of nightlife in Singapore.
MUST DO 5: Get up close with the animals
Finally, in the North of Singapore - About a 40 min taxi ride from the city are Singapore's world renowned wildlife parks. All three are located at the same address! The Night Safari is the world's first wildlife night park and it offers a unique fence-less experience that lets you get unbelievably up close with the animals.
Our world famous Singapore Zoo allows you to feed White Rhinoceroses, ride elephants and is the only place in the world where you can have breakfast with Orang Utans. The newly opened River Safari offers moments with majestic manatees, endangered pandas and aquatic life from seven of the world’s most iconic rivers.
They are many other smaller attractions on our island like the charming and historical Botanical Gardens but these 4 mentioned above are the major attraction areas to visit. Here are some popular attractions sorted by most reviews.
Popular Attractions: (View All)
Art, Culture & History
The most popular ethnic enclaves in Singapore are Chinatown, Little India and Arab Street. Breathe in the vibrant culture on our very streets today and not in the stale air of museums!
MUST DO 6: Witness historic Chinatown
The narrow streets of Chinatown are filled with ethnic picturesque shop houses radiating historical charm. It may be strange to see the Indian Sri Mariamman Temple right smack in the middle of Chinatown, but it is an ode to Singapore’s multi-racial society. The Buddah Tooth Relic Temple is a must visit cultural monument that gives you good insight into Buddhism culture.
Two extremely popular and authentic hawker centres in the vicinity are Amoy Street and Maxwell. A short walk away from the main Chinatown area is Ann Siang Hill, a tiny enclave set atop a little hill. The retro charm of colonial architecture is intertwined with the moneyed elegance of tenants. The recent sprouting of quirky cafes and drinking holes has transformed this part of Chinatown into hipster avenue.
MUST DO 7: Take in the sights and sounds of Little India
Singapore's Little India is our very own microcosm of their country filled with remarkable sights, sounds and smells. Visit Tekka centre and experience one of the last remaining wet markets in Singapore on the ground level. Level 2 sells colourful shawls and fabrics to compliment your wardrobe.
For under $5, commemorate your visit with a beautiful Henna Tattoo at Little India Arcade. If you have to venture into one of the little streets make it Campbell Lane. A 15 minute walk away from the main area is the sprawling Mustafa, a 24 hour bargain department store that meets every conceivable need. Just be weary of Little India on the weekends where rumbustious crowds can throng the streets.
MUST DO 8: Be charmed at Kampong Glam
Kampong Glam is an exotic district rich in Muslim history and culture a short walk away from Bugis Street Market. The quaint little shops juxtaposed against the grandiose Masjid Sultan (Sultan Mosque) in the background sets the scene for that perfect postcard shot.
Pick up pashminas and other fabrics or chill out smoking shishas along Arab Street which has become the in thing to do these days. The nearby Haji lane is a charming street of artfully peeled paint boutiques that oozes cool factor. Tenanted by local designers, it is a dream come true for fashionistas.
MUST DO 9: Be enlightened at the Asian Civilization Museum
Singapore has taken great care to preserve its culture in world-class depositories. For those keen to experience this away from the blistering heat head down to the Asian Civilization Museum, Singapore Art Museum or Singapore National Museum. If you only have time for one museum, make it the Asian Civilization Museum which showcases the diverse range of cultures that make up Singapore.
For those interested in Singapore's past head over to Fort Siloso on Sentosa, Fort Canning Park or even Kranji War Memorial to learn more about Singapore's part in World War 2.
Popular Culture & History: (View All)
Must do 10: Have a wild night out at Zouk
Picture Credit: Redbull
The king of the Singapore club scene. Party goers know no trip to Singapore is complete without some time spent spoiling their livers at Zouk / Velvet underground at Zion Road. Also popular are the clubs and bars located along One Fullerton where the Merlion park stands such as The Butter Factory. Timbre @ The Substation near City Hall is another nightlife venue popular for their live music.
And of course, there is Clarke Quay, the biggest nightlife area in Singapore. You can read up more in our comprehensive Singapore Nightlife Guide.
Popular Nightlife: (View All)
These are basically "mini attractions" catered to locals. They are less extravagant then their Tourist attracting counterparts, significantly cheaper, and usually much less accessible. Point in case would be the Jurong East Swimming Complex - a $1.10 USD water park for locals in the far west of Singapore.
There are also the cinemas, karaoke lounges, video game arcades and board game cafes that keep us entertained during the weekends when we're out having fun with friends. Family friendly Karaoke lounges have sprouted all over the island, as far as I know Singapore is one of the only countries that have that, in nearly every shopping mall so its unique in that sense.
Good clean fun with friends. Of course we have the usual other variety of seedy looking KTVs that partake in other activities but those are far from the shopping malls and not something that will be covered on this site.
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Sport and Recreation
East Coast park has a long cycling track for those interested in some sporting activity. They also have a newly built water skiing park where you can wakeboard and an extreme skating park for the very brave.
Other popular recreation areas are the Henderson waves, an architectural marvel and chill out spot for joggers and Mount Faber, an area you can go with loved ones for drinks / dinner and nice view of Singapore up from above.
Popular Sport and Recreation: (View All)
Most of the tours in Singapore revolve around the Singapore river. You can take a "bumboat" which is an old wooden boat once used for trade, invoking memories of Singapore's past. As the Singapore river is right smack in the central business district, along the way you can view many attractions as well as experience a nice view of the city with the cooling sea breeze blowing in your face. Dukw tours has an interesting hybrid with their vehicle being able to go both in the water and on the road.
Other tours bring you around Singapore's culture and ethnic quarters. I would advise however to experience this yourself on foot as Singapore is small and easy to get around and that will give you a lot more flexibility.
Popular Tours: (View All)
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Lastly, here are some of our latest featured articles which we personally went down to review. You can find comprehensive write-ups with photos and videos of some of the hottest attractions in Singapore.