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36 Fantabulastic And Free Things To Do In Singapore

profileKenneth Fong

Think that Singapore is boring and expensive?

Well…

You just gotta know where to look.

Whether you’re a bored local with a long weekend (or any weekend for the matter) coming up, or it’s your first time visiting Singapore, here’s a list of free things to do in Singapore that should help you rediscover or explore this island we call home.

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has put a dampener on many free activities which were closed temporarily. We will update this list from time to time when some of them reopen.

Information accurate as of 2 November 2020.


TL;DR: Free Things To Do In Singapore

Click to be teleported!


Health Events And Activities

The government is all about encouraging Singaporeans to lead an active and healthy lifestyle. And that means that there’re plenty of (free) activities to look forward to if you’d like to keep fit.

1. Decathalon’s Free Workout Classes

Source: Decathlon

Decathalon has regular initiatives where anyone can join free instructor-led group workouts like:

  • Dancerise
  • HIIT
  • Skating
  • Yoga
  • Zumba

and many more.

These workouts happen throughout the day (morning and evenings mostly, both during weekdays and weekends) and are held at the Decathalon Singapore Lab Outdoor Area.

Check which Decathalon free workout classes are on their event calendar here.

2. Do Yoga With Yoga Nikam

Source: Nikam Guruji Yoga Kutir

Yoga Nikam is a group of volunteers who teach Hatha Yoga for free. The classes are focused on imparting the basic skill you would need to practise yoga on your own, so you know that it’s legit.

Registration is on-the-spot and you need to be there at least an hour in advance to secure your place in class. The classes are usually held in their centres which can be found all over Singapore.

Have a look at the calendar here.

3. Experience Sports Fit-Sessions

Where else would you get a workout in beside the Singapore Sports Hub?

There are free fitness sessions held throughout the day which include activities like boot camps, Taji classes, yoga sessions and dance classes as part of the Experience Sports initiative.

Sessions are conducted daily and you will need to register for your slot in advance via the ELXR® App.

Address: 2 Stadium Walk Singapore 397691

Nearest MRT: Stadium (CC6); Kallang (EW10)


Galleries And Museums

If you want a place where there’s free air-con AND where you can learn something at the same time, there are plenty of galleries and museums which you can visit for free if you’re a Singapore citizen or Permanent Resident.

And if you’re a tourist who’s just visiting, all you have to do is pay a nominal fee – which goes towards conservation and maintenance of the exhibits – in order to enter.

Not exactly free lah for foreigners… but close.

Best Free Museums in Singapore and Free Galleries in Singapore

4. Asian Civilisations Museum

Source: The Straits Times

The Asian Civilisations Museum explores the rich artistic heritage of Asia, and pays particular attention to the ancestral cultures of Singaporeans.

The museum is free for Singaporeans and PRs, so bring along your NRIC for verification.

Address: 1 Empress Place, 179555

Nearest MRT: City Hall (EW13/NS25)

5. Changi Chapel And Museum

Source: Visit Singapore

Dedicated to those who lived and died in the Changi area of Singapore during World War II. The museum is an educational institution which documents significant events of the Japanese Occupation while the chapel functions as a place of closure for the many families of Prisoners-of-War (POWs).

Note: both the museum and chapel are currently undergoing renovation and will only re-open in late 2020.

Address: 1000 Upper Changi Road North, 507707

Nearest MRT: Tanah Merah (EW4)

6. Civil Defence Heritage Gallery

Source: First Stop Singapore

The Civil Defence Heritage Gallery is housed in the Central Fire Station – the oldest existing fire station in Singapore – and showcases the history of firefighting as well as the developments of civil defence in Singapore from the 19th century till today.

Audio guides are available for walk-in visitors, while a one-hour guided gallery tour is only available to guests who make an appointment prior to visiting.

Address: 62 Hill Street, 179367

Nearest MRT: City Hall (EW13/NS25)

7. Indian Heritage Centre

Source: Indian Heritage Building

Located just a couple of steps from Tekka Market in Little India, the Indian Heritage Centre traces the history of the Indian and South Asian communities in the Southeast Asian region.

Be on the lookout for special exhibits and galleries during the month of Deepavali.

Free admission for all Citizens and Permanent Residents.

Address: 5 Campbell Lane, 209924

Nearest MRT: Jalan Besar (DT22)

8. Katong Antique House

Source: TimeOut

Part shop and part museum, the Katong Antique House is the perfect place to experience life in a Peranakan family home.

The private gallery offers tours – be sure to make an appointment (6345 8544) before visiting – to curious members of the public who would like to learn more about the unique cultural practices of the Peranakan Chinese.

FYI: located not too far away from here, are the Pastel Shophouses at Koon Seng Road

Address: 208 East Coast Road, 428907

Nearest MRT: Eunos (EW7)

9. Malay Heritage Centre

Source: Visit Singapore

Istana Kampong Gelam (Malay for ‘Gelam Village Palace’) was once the residence to the Sultanate of Singapore over 170 years ago. Today, it is home to the Malay Heritage Centre and bears testimony to Singapore’s historical links to the Malay world.

The centre has exhibits, programmes and activities, for visitors to learn more about the Malay community in Singapore – past, present, and future.

Free admission for all Citizens and Permanent Residents.

Address: 85 Sultan Gate, 198501

Nearest MRT: Bugis (DT14)

10. National Museum Of Singapore

Source: Visit Singapore

The National Museum of Singapore is the nation’s oldest museum. This 19th-century architectural landmark hosts innovative activities and events all year round so check often to find out what’s new.

Entry is free for Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents so remember to bring along your NRIC!

Address: 93 Stamford Road, 178897

Nearest MRT: Bencoolen (DT21)

11. Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall

Source: Visit Singapore

Gazetted as a national monument in October 1994, Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall is a museum that traces Dr. Sun’s revolutionary activities in Southeast Asia, and sheds light on lesser-known details of Singapore and Nanyang’s involvement in the 1911 Revolution.

This is definitely one for the history buffs.

Free admission for all Citizens and Permanent Residents.

Address: 12 Tai Gin Road, 327874

Nearest MRT: Toa Payoh (NS19)

12. Gillman Barracks

Source: Gillman Barracks
Gillman Barracks is home to more than 10 art galleries curating works from international and Southeast Asian artists.
Keep a lookout for interesting events such as the Art After Dark where your senses can get a treat!
Admission is free.
Address: 9 Lock Road, Singapore 108937
Nearest MRT: Labrador Park (CC27)

Live Music And Shows

If you fancy a spot of live music or a performance, there’re plenty of places to catch those for free too.

Side note: we seem to have a fascination with light shows that involve water.

13. Beautiful Sunday @ Esplanade Concert Hall

Source: Esplanade

Beautiful Sunday is a series of free concerts by homegrown music groups and performances that are held once a month on a Sunday.

Tickets are given on a first-come, first-served basis at the Esplanade Concert Hall on the day of the performance. FYI: you’ll be assigned seats so you won’t need to rush in to chope seats for your friends.

Check here for upcoming performances.

Address: 1 Esplanade Dr, 038981

MRT: City Hall (EW13/NS25)

14. Esplanade Outdoor Theatre

Source: Esplanade

The people behind Esplanade (Theatres on the Bay) believe that the arts is for everyone, which is why the outdoor stage hosts a diverse range of daily performances from music to dance and theatre.

Click here to find out what performances are on.

Address: 1 Esplanade Dr, 038981

Nearest MRT: Esplanade (CC3)

15. Garden Rhapsody Light Show @ Gardens By The Bay

Source: Gardens By The Bay

Garden Rhapsody is the signature light and sound show of the Gardens By The Bay, and it happens right in the Supertree Grove.

For the best view, you’ll want to be as close to the Supertrees as possible.

But, due to COVID-19, the usual two 15-minute light and sound shows have been replaced with soothing background music and soft lighting amidst the magnificent Supertrees; happening from 7pm to 10pm daily.

Address: 18 Marina Gardens Drive, 018953

Nearest MRT: Bayfront (CE1/DT16)


Neighbourhoods

To see Singapore like the locals, check out these intimate neighbourhoods!

16. Chinatown

Source: The Occasional Traveller

This bustling, historic district is where you can find beautifully restored colonial building as well as cultural landmarks like the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Sri Mariamman Temple.

If you’re looking for a photo op, here’s a couple of street art to look out for:

  • Cantonese Opera: Junction of Temple Street and South Bridge Road
  • Bullock Cart: 28 Temple Street (side wall next to the alley)
  • Mid-Autumn Festival: 83 Pagoda Street (back alley behind Lucky Chinatown)
  • Letter Writer: Chinatown Complex @ 335 Smith Street
  • Home In Chinatown: Junction of Smith Street and 266 South Bridge Road

Nearest MRT: Chinatown (NE4)

17. Joo Chiat

Source: thewanderblogger.com

This heritage-rich neighbourhood is steeped in Peranakan history and is famous for its colourful shophouses that are adorned with floral or geometrical tiles.

If you’re looking for a good photo op, be sure to check out:

  • Rumah Bebe @ 113 East Coast Road
  • Terrace Houses @ 150 East Coast Road
  • Pastel Shophouses @ Koon Seng Road
  • The Red House at Katong @ 63 East Coast Road (tip: try a scoop of botanical-flavoured gelatos at Birds of Paradise Gelato Boutique located next to The Red House)

Nearest MRT: Eunos (EW7)

18. Kampong Glam (Arab Street & Haji Lane)

Source: Visit Singapore

This Malay enclave is Singapore’s oldest urban quarter and is the perfect place to while an afternoon away as you explore the Persian carpet shops, jewellers, and antique shops on Arab Street.

If you fancy more contemporary surroundings, you can always window shop in the eclectic boutiques and multi-label stores that line colourful Haji Lane.

Nearest MRT: Bugis (EW12/DT14)

19. Little India

Source: Visit Singapore

If you only know Little India as the place for authentic Indian food and mad bargains at Mustafa Centre, do yourself a favour and take this one hour Little India Heritage Trail to reacquaint yourself with the history of this 200-year-old enclave.

Note: while most of the religious institutions on the trail are open to the public, be sure to observe any instructions with regard to appropriate behaviour and dressing as a sign of respect!

Nearest MRT: Little India (NE17/DT12)

20. Tiong Bahru

Source: @jay_cmxii | Instagram

Home to hipster cafes, vinyl shops, and indie boutiques – all housed in pre-war shophouses – Tiong Bahru is a favourite haunt of local artists and creatives.

Keep an eye out for murals that give you a glimpse of a Singapore of yesteryear.

Here’s where you can find them all:

  • Giant Goldfish: Tiong Bahru Post Office @ Block 28 Tiong Bahru Road
  • Family Of Goats: Tiong Bahru Market @ Block 30 Seng Poh Road
  • Birds: Block 71 Seng Poh Road
  • Tiong Bahru Pasar & The Fortune Teller: Block 73 Eng Watt Street
  • Home: Block 74 Tiong Poh Road

Nearest MRT: Tiong Bahru (EW17)

21. Toa Payoh

Source: The Straits Times

The first town designed and developed entirely by the Housing & Development Board (HDB), Toa Payoh is the ‘granddaddy’ of all public housing towns in Singapore. It’s the first town to employ the Neighbourhood Police Post System; saw the first co-op supermarket (NTUC Welcome, better known today as NTUC Fairprice); and even the first MRT station to be built.

Oh and if you don’t know what’s the big fuss over the Dragon Playground, spend an afternoon on the Toa Payoh Heritage Trail to find out more about this estate of many firsts.

Nearest MRT: Toa Payoh (NS19)


Outdoor Activities

Ideal for those who would like to soak in the sun, or just want to do something different.

22. Have a Picnic @ Singapore Botanic Gardens

Source: Time Out
Being the oldest garden in Singapore, the Singapore Botanic Gardens is easily one of Singaporean’s favourite spots to visit.
Immerse yourself in the luscious greenery in the various themed gardens and learn about the various botanical species.
If you’re planning to spend the whole day here, you should also pack your favourite snacks for an evening picnic at the Palm Valley.
Address: 1 Cluny Road, Singapore 259569
Nearest MRT: Botanic Gardens (CC19/DT9)

23. Feed A Goat @ Hay Dairies Goat Farm

Source: Hay Dairies Goat Farm

In case you didn’t know, there ARE farms in Singapore.

And one of the best ones to visit is Hay Dairies Goat Farm – pretty self-explanatory as to what you’ll be seeing there.

For groups of less than 10, you can enjoy a free and easy tour of the premise and also feed the goats (alfalfa hay is on sale there and costs $5 per packet). If you’re thirsty, there’s goat’s milk on sale too.

Be sure to be there between 9 to 10:30am to catch the goat milking session!

Pro tip: Take the Kranji Countryside Express from Kranji MRT station, which brings you all the way into the farm.

The schedule for the express can be found here.

Address: 3 Lim Chu Kang Lane 4, 718859

Nearest MRT: Kranji (NS7)

24. Challenge the TreeTop Walk @ MacRitchie Nature Reserve

Source: National Parks Board
Challenge yourself to one of MacRitchie Nature Reserve’s many hiking trails and see if you can make it to the TreeTop Walk — a 250m free-standing suspension bridge that puts you within the canopy of the forest.
Remember to start your hike early as the TreeTop Walk closes at 5pm!
If you’re feeling less adventurous, take a relaxing stroll down along the boardwalk to get away from the busy city life.
Pro-tip: Try not to carry any plastic bags with you as the monkeys usually take them as a potential food source… that means that they’ll attack you!
Address: Off Lornie Road
Nearest MRT: Caldecott (CC17)

25. Go Kite Flying @ Marina Barrage

Source: PUB

Marina Barrage is more than just a damn important dam (see what I did there?) which helps in flood control.

The water it holds also makes it Singapore’s 15th reservoir.

It has also become a popular spot for family and friends to gather for a whole day of fun.
The Green Roof at Marina Barrage is perfect for picnics and kite flying, and there’s always the Water Playground for your kids to go wild!
Feeling appreciative while you’re there? Drop by the Sustainable Singapore Gallery and learn about creating a sustainable Singapore.
Address: 8 Marina Gardens Dr, Singapore 018951
Nearest MRT: Marina Bay (NS27/CE2/TE20)

26. Guided Nature Walks by NParks

Source: Straits Times

If you’re a nature enthusiast, NParks has a whole calendar of events and workshops which include:

  • Biodiversity Guided Walk @ Jurong Lake Gardens
  • Bird Watching @ Southern Ridges
  • Connecting Plants and People Exhibition
  • Ecolife @ Coney Island Park
  • Edibles & Allotment Garden Tour at Jurong Lake Gardens

and many more!

Remember to register early, dress appropriately on the day, and keep in mind where the meeting point is!

27. Hiking @ Mount Faber Park

Source: NParks

Starting from the foot of Mount Faber on Telok Blangah Road and take the scenic walk up to Faber Peak. If you time your hike right, you’ll be rewarded with a stunning view of Singapore’s cityscape against the glow of the sunrise (or sunset).

Wear comfortable shoes and drag an unwilling friend along for maximum fun.

Address: Junction of Kampong Bahru Road and Telok Blangah Road, Singapore 099448

Nearest MRT: HarbourFront (CC29/NE1)

28. Catch the Sunset from Henderson Waves @ Southern Ridges

Source: First Stop Singapore
Don’t be scared off by the idea of a 10km trail connecting Mount Faber and Hort Park amongst many others, there are several entry points so it’s definitely possible to start or end in between!
But if you’re feeling up to it, the trail starts at Mount Faber and you can choose to end at Labrador Nature and Coastal Walk, or at Kent Ridge Park.
Just make sure to check out Henderson Waves, especially during sunset as you observe the beautiful sky and the bridge lighting up.
Address: Southern Singapore
Nearest MRT: Harbourfront (NE1/CC29)

29. See Farm Animals @ The Animal Resort

Source: TripAdvisor

If I had to describe what The Animal Resort is… I’d likened it to a kampong zoo.

You’ll find farm animals like chickens, ducks, and geese roaming freely. Plus an assortment of fishes, exotic birds, guinea pigs, rabbits, and a retired racehorse – which you can pet and feed.

All of this makes for a pretty interesting experience, especially if the closest you’ve ever come to a chicken is when it’s served deep-fried on a plate.

Address: 81 Seletar West Farmway 5, 798061

Nearest MRT: Sengkang (NE16)

30. ‘Shop’ (Or Give Your Stuff Away) @ The Singapore Really Really Free Market

Source: Singapore Really Really Free Market | Facebook

The Singapore Really Really Free Market is a temporary market where everything is free.

Yep. Not kidding.

It’s a market that is based on building a community to share resources, with the ultimate goal of reducing consumption and waste of resources.

So if you’ve got stuff to give (anything from books to toys to food) or skills to share (poetry writing, haircutting, and etc.) all you have to do is announce your participation on their Facebook wall and turn up.

And if you’d like to see what’s available or just want to experience what the community is like, check their Facebook page to find out where and when the next market will be held!


Places Of Interest

There’re plenty of places of interest to visit in Singapore. But I’ll list those that aren’t so common, are interesting, or have been forgotten over the years.

31. Haw Par Villa

Source: @pandagrxph | Instagram

This bizarre theme park is famed for its gruesome depictions of the Ten Courts of Hell from Chinese folklore – if you were a kid who grew up in the 90s, chances are, your parents brought you here for a lesson in traditional Chinese morality.

If that’s not your kind of thing, there’re plenty of dioramas within the park which depict various scenes from Chinese legends like Journey To The West, and the Eight Immortals.

While the park is free to visit, there’s a Journey To Hell Twilight Tour that runs every Friday night from 6:30pm to 8:30pm (excluding Public Holidays).

Tickets cost $20 for adults, $10 for children (7 to 12 years old), and $15 for students. Highly recommended for those curious about death and the afterlife. And a great way to experience Haw Par Villa after dark.

Address: 262 Pasir Panjang Rd, 118628

Nearest MRT: Haw Par Villa (CC25)

32. Kampong Lorong Buangkok

Source: Delfina Utomo | Honeycombers

Affectionately known as “The Last Kampong in Singapore”, this zinc-roofed village in Buangkok is slated to make way for a major road and two schools in the future.

But before that happens, the 1.22ha plot of land is a rare glimpse into Singapore’s past that stands in stark contrast amidst the surrounding HDB flats.

Address: Kampong Lorong Buangkok

Nearest MRT: Buangkok (NE15)

33. Go Late Night Shopping At Mustafa Centre

Source: The Finder Singapore

Need something to do when it’s 2am? Why not go late night shopping at Mustafa Centre?

It’s a hypermarket that has everything from gold jewellery to electronics to household essentials like toothpaste.

Even if you don’t buy anything, it’s still a nice place to hand out in the middle of the night since it’s open 24 hours a day.

Address: 145 Syed Alwi Road, 207704

Nearest MRT: Farrer Park (NE8)

34. Search For The Merlion(s) Of Singapore

You probably know that there are two Merlions at the Merlion Park near One Fullerton:

  • an 8.6m tall one overlooking Marina Bay, and
  • a smaller 2m tall one facing away from its larger sibling

But did you know that there are a total of six STB-approved Merlions located all over Singapore?

Go on a hunt to find the other four:

  • a 3m tall polymarble statue at the taxi drop-off point of Tourism Court
  • a 3m tall polymarble statue at the highest point of Mount Faber, Faber Point
  • a pair of statues stand guard at the car park entrance of Blocks 216 to 220 at Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1, opposite Bishan Park

FYI: there used to a 37m tall Merlion at Imbiah Station on Sentosa Island, but that has been demolished to make way for a themed linkway between the north and south shores of Sentosa.

Source: The Straits Times

35. Enjoy a Foot Soak @ Sembawang Hot Spring Park

Source: AsiaOne

The ghetto Sembawang Hot Spring has recently been transformed into a new park while retaining its hot spring water collection point amongst new features.

Experience an amazing foot soak at the Foot Bath with hot spring water cooled to 40°C while it flows down the four-tiered pools!

Address: Along Gambas Avenue

Nearest MRT: Yishun (NS13)

36. Visit Sir Stamford Raffles And His Twin

Source: Lucian | Flickr

Everybody knows the polymarble statue of Sir Stamford Raffles which is located at the historic Raffles Landing Site, along the Singapore River.

But did you know that the statue is actually a copy of the original dark bronze statue which was first unveiled on Jubilee Day on 27 June 1887?

Yep, the older, original statue is located a short walk away, in front of Victoria Memorial Hall at Empress Place.

Address: North Bank, Singapore 179555

Nearest MRT: Raffles Place (EW14/NS26)


Know any other unique, fun, AND free things to do in Singapore? Let us know in the comments below!

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About Kenneth Fong
I threw all of my money into the longkang once... because I wanted to see my cash flow.
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