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Gardens by the Bay, Singapore | © celebrityabc / Flickr
Gardens by the Bay, Singapore | © celebrityabc / Flickr

The Best Things to See and Do in Singapore

Picture of Prianka Ghosh
Updated: 19 June 2017

Singapore is a great place to visit or live because there are many exciting things that you can do regardless of whether you’re a tourist or a local. Knowing that it can be daunting when deciding what to do, Culture Trip has compiled a list of the best things to see and do while you’re in the Lion City.

Gardens by the Bay

Arguably one of Singapore’s most recognisable landmarks, the landscape of Gardens by the Bay would fit right in as the set for an alien home planet. Its most striking feature is its Supertree Grove, with 18 vertical gardens, the tallest of which rises nearly 20 storeys! The best time to visit the Supertrees is at night. Admission to Gardens by the Bay is free, and the park is open daily from 5 am to 2 am.

Gardens by the Bay, 18 Marina Gardens Dr, Singapore, +65 6420 6848

Pulau Ubin

Pulau Ubin is a small island in the northeast of Singapore. Devoid of skyscrapers and cars, this island is a reminder of what Singapore was like just a few decades ago. It is home to one of Singapore’s last traditional villages, and inhabitants there live a simple life supported by fishing and agriculture. To get the most out of your visit to Pulau Ubin, rent a bike to fully explore the island, and look out for the German Girl Shrine and other tokens of Singapore lore. To get to Pulau Ubin, grab a ferry from the Changi Point Ferry Terminal.

Pulau Ubin, Singapore

The Singapore Zoo

First opened in 1973, the Singapore Zoo spans nearly 70 acres and is home to over 300 species of animals. It is often praised for its design, opting for an ‘open’ captivity model so that animals feel less restricted by the enclosures. To help visitors get around the grounds of the zoo, they provide a variety of methods of transportation, including trams and boats. For something a bit more unique, you can visit the zoo after dark when it opens for the Night Safari and get a glimpse into how many animals behave at night.

Singapore Zoo, 80 Mandai Lake Rd, Singapore, +65 6269 3411

Head to Singapore’s cultural neighbourhoods

Some of Singapore’s richest heritage lies in its trifecta of cultural neighbourhoods: Chinatown, Little India and Arab Street. Follow one of the National Heritage Board’s self-guided walks around Little India to take in its religious diversity, or queue up for a plate of Michelin star-winning chicken rice. Over in Arab Street, get your fix of Mediterranean food, and then spend an evening enjoying some shisha and people-watching.

Abdul Gafoor Mosque, 2016 - Image courtesy of National Heritage Board

Abdul Gafoor Mosque, 2016 | Courtesy of National Heritage Board

Eat local

The best way to truly appreciate a country’s culture is by eating the local cuisine. In Singapore, with influences from all around the region, there is certainly no shortage of local eats! Tuck into some local favourites such as chilli crab, laksa, chicken rice and more, or sample the Malay, Tamil and Chinese cuisine that is also prevalent all over the city. For the best places to eat local food, go where the locals go and head to a hawker centre where you can get a meal for under $10!

Visit a museum

Visiting a museum is a perfect activity for when Singapore’s weather is too hot or rainy for outdoor activities. Singapore has a range of world-class museums that cater to a variety of interests. See how the worlds of art and technology collide at the ArtScience Museum, or learn about the history of Singapore at the Singapore Museum’s history gallery. There are even museums dedicated to vintage toys and collectable stamps!

Singapore National Museum Crows are Chased and the Chasing Crows are Destined to be Chased as well, Transcending Space (Credit to teamLab)

Singapore National Museum, Crows are Chased and the Chasing Crows are Destined to be Chased as well, Transcending Space (Credit to teamLab)