Top 10 Free Activities in Singapore for the Budget Traveler

Prianka Ghosh

Singapore is famous for being one of the most expensive cities in the world, and is often avoided by budget travellers on the Southeast Asia loop. Contrary to this reputation, there are loads of free activities on offer that give you a full Singapore experience (without breaking the bank).

1. Stroll around Singapore Botanic Gardens

Park, Botanical Garden

The 82-hectare Singapore Botanic Gardens was first founded over 150 years ago. One of its entrances, the Tanglin Gate, is conveniently located near the Orchard Road shopping belt, and it’s also served by the Circle and Downtown MRT lines. The gardens are home to over 10,000 species of flora and became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2015. Keep an eye out for the three-foot monitor lizards that sometimes bolt across the paths.

Relax at one of Sentosa’s beaches

Skip the long queues at VivoCity for the Sentosa Express tram and save some pennies by walking across the Sentosa Boardwalk. Recently renovated, this 10-minute stroll along the water is picturesque, with the cranes of the port in the distance. If you’re not keen to strike out on foot (or it’s raining!), there are also travelators to whisk you along the boardwalk. Bring a beach mat and a picnic and relax on one of Sentosa’s three beaches. For Instagram gold, head to Palawan Beach, where a rope bridge connects to another small island designated the “Southernmost Point of Continental Asia.”

Palawan Beach and the bridge on Sentosa Island, Singapore.

3. Learn about Chinese mythology at Haw Par Villa

Amusement Park

Haw Par Villa Theme Park, Singapore.
© Jit Lim / Alamy Stock Photo
Set up by the Haw Par brothers of Tiger Balm fame in the 1930s as a way to teach the public about the morality values of Chinese mythology, this is another unbelievable location. The park is full of life-sized statues and dioramas depicting various stories from Chinese lore. Although the park has started to show its age in recent years, the depiction of the “Ten Courts of Hell” is worth the visit alone.

Watch sunset at Marina Bay Sands Boardwalk

Singapore is famous for its stunning skyline and you shouldn’t miss that just because you’re on a budget. The Marina Bay Sands Boardwalk gives you an unimpeded view of the Central Business District skyline. Try to visit around 6pm, so you can people watch and then see the sun go down. At 8pm and 9:30pm daily, there is an impressive water and light show that tells a story through images projected on a screen made of water.

The laser show at the Marina Bay Sands, Singapore.

4. Trek the entire Changi Point Coastal Walk

Hiking Trail, Park

Changi Point Coastal Walk
© alantankenghoe / Flickr
It’s a bit of a trek to get to this out-of-the way location, but the Changi Point Coastal Walk benefits from that by being very quiet. The entire stretch is just a few kilometers along the water. Cross the small footbridge over to Changi Park where you can enjoy planes flying very low overhead as they come in for a landing at Changi Airport.

Brave the MacRitchie Treetop Walk

The TreeTop Walk at MacRitchie Reservoir is a free-standing suspension bridge spanning the 250 meters from Bukit Peirce to Bukit Kalan, the two highest points in MacRitchie Park. Not an activity for those afraid of heights, as the bridge towers 25 meters above the forest floor.

The TreeTop Walk, MacRitchie Reservoir Park in Singapore.

5. Have a Scavenger Hunt at Mustafa Centre

Shop, Shopping Mall

Mustafa Centre Shopping Mall in Little India, Singapore.
© Jason Knott / Alamy Stock Photo
The size of a five-story city block and open 24 hours, the rumor is that you can buy literally anything at Mustafa Centre. Get lost among its tower shelves and see what the most bizarre things you can find are.

6. Get sporty at East Coast Park

Park, Natural Feature

East Coast Park takes the trophy for being Singapore’s largest park, covering nearly two square kilometres of reclaimed waterfront land. The best way to explore the 15-kilometre coastline perimeter of East Coast Park is on wheels, thanks to the dedicated cycle and skating lane. On weekends you’ll see people using all kinds of transportation to get around the park, from bicycles and scooters to Rollerblades and even quadricycles carrying entire families. There are several bicycle rental shops along the park, usually located near car parks or eateries. East Coast Park also offers barbecue pit rentals, which you can book in advance through the National Parks website.

7. See the city from The Southern Ridges

Hiking Trail, Park

Tree top forest walk in the Southern Ridges trail, Singapore.
© Keitma / Shutterstock
The Southern Ridges are a great way to see the city on foot from above. This easy hike takes you on a 10-kilometer trail from Mount Faber past the Henderson Waves and ends at Kent Ridge Park. Be sure to carry water and extra sunscreen, as there aren’t many places to refuel along the trail. The trail is accessible just a few minutes from the Harbourfront MRT station.
landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

Edit article