20 Places to Visit in Singapore for Free

Places to Visit in Singapore for Free Feature Image

Home to amazing alfresco restaurants, fabulous brunch spots, and swanky rooftop bars, Singapore has a reputation as one of the most expensive cities in Southeast Asia. In general, the Southeast Asia region is quite cheap compared to other regions, like North Asia (where Korea and Japan are located at).

Mostly, budget travellers are attracted to Thailand due to its low cost of living and many would skip Singapore without a second thought.

But worry not! If you have spent all your money to cater for your shopping and food addiction, let us show you the other side of the city with this list of places to visit in Singapore–all for free! Just sit back, ready your google maps, and enjoy what this tiny red dot has to offer without spending a single penny.

20 Places to Visit in Singapore for Free

Botanical Gardens

Straight in at number 1 spot of this rundown of best free places to visit in Singapore is the charming Singapore Botanic Gardens. This place forms an impressive 74-hectare Garden that houses more than 10, 000 types of plants and trees (according to the National Parks Board) with green public space complete with a family and lake activities, and walking trails.
 
On 4 July 2015, Singapore Botanic Gardens became the first UNESCO World Heritage Site of the country and it is the first and only botanic garden on the record at the moment.
 
Some of the free things to see and do in Singapore Botanic Gardens include Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden, Exhibitions, Bonsai Garden, Ginger Garden, Library Botany and Horticulture, Singapore Heritage Museum & CDL Green Gallery, Swan Lake, wedding photoshoots (Singapore Botanic Gardens is a famous photoshoot spot).
 

Operating hours

5 am to 12 am daily

Address

1 Cluny Road, Singapore 259569

How to get there

Take Botanic Gardens MRT Station (CC19/DT9) at Circle Line & Downtown Line

Head to the Buddah Tooth Relic Temple

MacRitchie Trail

When it comes to the best free places to visit in Singapore, MacRitchie Reservoir is a great place that does not only offers a close encounter with nature but also provides the tranquillity that you don’t usually find in the city.

Don’t miss the MacRitchie Treetop walk–a 250m long and 25m high suspension bridge where you can enjoy breathtaking views of the forest. If you’re fascinated to go to TreeTop Walk but are not eager to do the entire trek, the best way is to begin from the entrance of Venus Drive and then walk 2.5 km to the TreeTop Walk.

Besides MacRitchie, you can also check out and see the city at the Southern Ridges Hiking trail–known as the highest pedestrian bridge and best walking trail in Singapore that offers excellent panoramic views of the harbour and the city. The Southern Ridges span from Marang Trail, Mt. Faber, Kent Ridge Park, Telok Blangah, and Hort Park.

Operating hours

Closed on Mondays, except on Public Holidays. Open on Tuesday- Friday: 9 am-5 pm; Sunday & Public Holidays: 8:30 am- 5 pm (Last admission 4:45 pm sharp)

Address

MacRitchie Reservoir Park, Singapore 298717

How to get there

Take Marymount MRT Station (CC16) at Circle Line

Relax at the Gardens by the Bay

Bukit Timah Reserve

Adding up to our green theme, another tropical and wild green space that is definitely one of the best free places to go in Singapore is Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. Not far from the MacRitchie Trail, Bukit Timah, unfortunately, is less popular with fewer crowds which is probably because it is not well connected on public transport.

Then again, a vast swath of natural rainforest is being preserved by this nature reserve and it offers plenty of walking trails as well! Expect to encounter monkeys here along with lots of insects and birds, so don’t bring food with you in your bag unless you want to lure them towards you.

However, if you’re interested to see more wildlife species, you can also visit Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve which is home to loads of riverine species including mudskippers, water monitors, and the ferocious estuarine crocodile. And if you want to immerse yourself in a relaxing spot, you could head out to Sembawang Hot Spring Park. While its source of spring water is still unknown today, it is also believed to have healing properties.

Operating hours

Monday to Sunday: 7 am to 6 pm

Address

177 Hindhede Dr, Singapore 589333

How to get there

Alight from Beauty World MRT station and walk northbound along Upper Bukit Timah Road.

Take a Stroll at the East Coast Park

Fort Canning Park

Located right at the heart of the island and once a military base during World War II, Fort Canning Park is a treasured place among the best free tourist attractions in Singapore. The park has played a significant role in the history of Singapore.

Visitors can take a stroll through the green space and learn about the colonial history of the place. Fort Canning also offers a wealth of activities, including an exhibition schedule and extensive concert. Indeed a must-see for history fans who prefer the great outdoors to a museum.

Operating hours

24/7 daily

Address

River Valley Rd, Singapore 179037

How to get there

Take Fort Canning MRT station and Bras Basah MRT station

Free Places to Visit in Singapore

East Coast Park

Wondering where to go in Singapore for free? Why not visit East Coast Park (ECP)! ECP is a great place where you can do tons of free things that you won’t find on many recommendation lists.

These are activities such as cycling, jogging, fishing, dog walking, sunrise watching, having a picnic, aeroplane watching, people watching and swimming (not encouraged though). With a sandy, white beach, as well as water sports, cafes, skate park, and captivating sunset views, this is another one for the whole family.

If you have extra time to splurge, East Coast Park offers more free things to do for you to choose such as camping (you need to ask for permission in advance and bring your own tent), barbecuing (you need to book the pit in advance), sailing, kayaking, stand up paddling, surfing, and dining (both local and international food).

Looking for a bizarre theme park? Visit Haw Par Villa at 262 Pasir Panjang Road (within easy reach via Haw Par Villa). The place is known for its depiction of the Ten Courts of Hell (e.g. dioramas and grim statues).

Operating hours

24/7 daily

Address

E Coast Park Service Rd, Singapore 449880

How to get there

None, follow directions on Google Maps but visitors can take Bus Stop 92251 (Bus 401)

Take Pictures at the Botanic Gardens

Koon Seng Road

Built and maintained in the classic Peranakan architecture that is typical to Malaysia and Singapore, Koon Seng Road has some of the best examples and a short stroll down here with your camera is certainly one of the fun free things to do in Singapore.

The culturally rich Katong and Joo Chiat areas are a jewel to explore and their highlights include the iconic and colourful shophouses which are bursting with character. Step onto the five-foot way for a closer glimpse at the oriental flourishes and intricate motifs.

Operating hours

Preferred time 7 am- 7 pm (Tuesday-Sunday). Closed on Monday.

Address

42 Koon Seng Road, Singapore 426980

How to get there

Take Eunos MRT (EW7) or walk 3 mins from Bus Stop 33 B82141

Tourists on a Budget can Enjoy These Places

Emerald Hill

Aside from the beautiful Peranakan style houses of the Singapore free attractions, another great place may be considered a more convenient location for you–Emerald Hill. Established by the acting Postmaster General William Cuppage in 1837, Emerald Hill used to be a fruit orchard and nutmeg before being brought over by businessmen Seah Eng and Seah Boon Kang in 1900.

From there, small pieces of the land were sold to new owners who went on to built shophouses and terrace houses we still see today. Now, this place is more popular and certainly more frequented by the Instagram crowd, but that doesn’t diminish the fact that it is one of the best places to visit in Singapore for free.

Operating hours

Monday-Thursday: 12 noon- 2 am; Friday-Saturday: 12 noon- 3 am; Sunday: 5 pm- 2 am

Address

5 Emerald Hill Rd Singapore 229289

How to get there

Closest MRT are Orchard and Somerset MRT stations

Kick-Off Your Stay at the Jewel Changi Airport

Raffles Hotel

If it’s historical sights you are after in this city, then you’d be hotly pursued to discover a more impressive icon than Raffles Hotel. Named after Singapore’s founder, Sir Stamford Raffles, the hotel was developed by the Sarkies Brothers who are responsible for other grand hotels in the country during the colonial era.

While Raffles Hotel opened in 1887, its layout continued to evolve, with hotel suites, wings, and other facilities added over the years. With something of a legendary reputation in these here segments, even a sneaky peek from the outside of this luxurious colonial masterpiece is worth it. Thus, Raffles Hotel is truly one of the best places in Singapore for free from beyond the gates!

Operating hours

24/7 daily

Address

1 Beach Road, 189673 Singapore

How to get there

Located in the centre of the business and civic district, Raffles Hotel is just a two-minute ride from the MRT station of the bustling Orchard Road shopping belt and walking distance to Singapore International Convention & Exhibition Centre.

Free Things You Can do When You Visit Singapore

Sultan Mosque

Most people come to the region’s Arab district Kampong Glam and Little India to eat, shop, and drink in Haji Lane but it’s also an appealing neighbourhood to wander around in the early morning before the crowds arrive. Originally built in 1825, the Sultan Mosque is the oldest and largest mosque in Singapore.

Just down the road from Little India is Arab street, where you can roam past all the charming carpet shops and delicious Middle Eastern Restaurants. As one of the best places to go in Singapore for free, visitors are allowed to enter the mosque. But before you plan your visit, remember to check for timings. Clearly, this is one of the most elevating free things to do in Singapore.

Operating hours

Monday-Thursday; Saturday & Sunday: 10 am- 12 noon, 2-4 pm; Friday- 2:30-4 pm

Address

715 North Bridge Rd, Singapore 198684

How to get there

From Bugis MRT Station on the Downtown Line (DT14) and East-West Line (EW12), exit at North Bridge road walks 2 blocks, northwards to Arab Street.

See Singapore on a Budget

China Town

Still, figuring out what to do in Singapore for free? Since we’ve touched on Arab Street and Little India, now it’s time to head to Chinatown. Sitting on the edge of the Central Business District, Chinatown is busier than any other diverse places in the city.

That said, you can bolt from the hustle and bustle at Ann Siang Hill and the neighbouring streets which are all packed with lovely shops and cafes. Within the vicinity is the historic street art site called the Thian Hock Keng Mural which is also worth checking out.

Don’t miss the iconic and beautiful temples in Chinatown too: the Sri Mariamman Temple (Hindu Temple) and the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple (Buddhist temple). Plus, since the place is located right in the core of the city, there are loads of transport choices for getting to and from Chinatown. Thus, heading there from just about anywhere in the city couldn’t be easier!

Operating hours

Monday to Friday: 10 am-6 pm; Closed on Saturday & Sunday

Address

Chinatown, Pagoda Street, Trengganu Street, Sago Street, Smith Street, Singapore 050005

How to get there

Board the train on East-West Green Line to Tuas Link Station. Get off at Outram Park Station after 12 stops.

Singapore Tour on a Budget

NUS Museum

The National Museum of Singapore is one of the free places in Singapore that is totally worth checking out not just because it is free. The NUS Museum features Chinese ceramics, historical artefacts, sculptures, and paintings.

Spend time witnessing the impressive sculptures of Singapore’s foremost modern artist, the Ng Eng Teng collection and browsing the exhaustive Lee Kong Chian Collection. Be amazed by the three gigantic and real sauropod dinosaurs that take centre stage at the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum. Learn about Southeast Asia’s biologically diverse ecosystem through their interactive displays and 2,000 specimens.

Operating hours

Tuesday- Saturday: 10 am to 6 pm; Monday: School & faculty visits by appointment only

Address

50 Kent Ridge Crescent National University of Singapore, Singapore 119279

How to get there

Alight at Clementi MRT station then take bus 96, 183 or 188; or

Alight at Kent Ridge MRT station then take bus D2.

Free Places to Visit in Singapore

Gillman Barracks

Appreciating art is certainly one of the best things to do in Singapore for free. Singapore’s greatest and latest contemporary art space, former colonial army base Gillman Barracks houses 11 galleries fixed in verdant grounds.

From here, tourists can head towards the river for a chance to leer at the controversial, striking, architectural style of the Esplanade–Theatres on the Bay, with the building believed to resemble two upturned durians. The Esplanade also hosts free outdoor music events and short films.

Operating hours

Tuesday-Saturday: 11 am-7 pm; Sunday 11 am-6 pm; Closed on Monday & Public Holidays

Address

9 Lock Road, Singapore 108937

How to get there

Nearest MRT Train Station: Labrador Park (Circle Line station CC27)

Gillian Barracks

Gardens By the Bay

You will have to fork out extra to enter the OCBC Skyway and the conservatories at the Singapore tourist spots’ free show stopping horticultural superpark Garden by the Bay, but it doesn’t cost a penny to roam through the iconic Supertree Grove. Swing by just before 7:45 pm or 8:45 pm daily to get an excellent vantage spot to witness Garden Rhapsody, the enchanting 15-minute light and sound show.

Capturing the essence of the city’s tropical Garden City image, Gardens by the Bay houses numerous bio-domes (entrance fees apply), themed gardens, and a remarkable Supertree Grove.

If you’re seeking picturesque views of the city’s skyline, Marina Barrage is the perfect place which is situated near Gardens by the Bay. The bright green roof of Marina Barrage is ideal for kite flying and family picnics.

Operating hours

Daily 5 am to 2 am

Address

18 Marina Gardens Drive Singapore 018953

How to get there

Alight at Bayfront MRT Station (CE1/DT16)  via the Downtown or Circle Line. Take Exit B and follow the underground linkway.

Free Things to Do in Singapore

The Jewel at Changi Airport

The Jewel Changi Airport, dubbed the best airport in the world, offers free stuff to do in Singapore but you don’t have to spend anything. Huge fans of mall crawls with truly love the bar and cafe hopping. From admiring Rain Vortex, the allest indoor waterfall in the world at Jewel Changi Airport to chilling at Vivo City’s sky park, retail therapy doesn’t have to cost a dime.

As one of the places that offers free things to do in Singapore, Jewel is not only howm to Rain Vortex, it also has the Forest Valley, a multi-storey garden with a fun Canopy at Level 5 along with hundreds of restaurants and retail stores.

Operating hours

24/7 daily, but stores and attractions have their own operating hours

Address

78 Airport Boulevard, Singapore 819666

How to get there

Take Changi Airport MRT Station (CG2) via East-West Line

Best Free Views in Singapore

Merlion Park

Sentosa Island is home to the best resorts, beaches, a broad variety of interesting destinations to visit and free things to do in Singapore including The Wings of Time Show, Resorts World Sentosa, Sentosa Merlion Park, and trekking along the Sentosa Boardwalk from VivoCity shopping mall via Sentosa Express.

Pose with the water-spouting critter, The Merlion–half-lion and half-fish–an icon of Singapore. “Singa” in Singapore means lion, therefore, the head of Merlion is a lion’s head while its body is a fish, symbolizing Singapore’s beginning as a fishing village. There are tons of Merlins dotted around the city, but the one you will always see in publicity photos is at Merlion Park.

There is not much else to see in Merlion Park, but if you prefer that classic Singapore selfie, you will want to drop by. To admire the colourful shophouses of Boat Quay & Clarke Quay and the beautiful skyline of Marina Bay, ride through the Singapore River Cruise.

Operating hours

24/7 daily

Address

1 Fullerton Road, Singapore 049213

How to get there

Take Raffles Place MRT Station (EW14/NS26) at East-West Line & North-South Line

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

Buddha Tooth Relic Temple

The striking Buddha Tooth Relic Temple (BTRT) is home to the Sacred Buddha Tooth Relic together with other Sacred Buddha Relics. Both non-devotees and Buddha devotees will be able to learn about Buddha’s teachings and the history of Buddhis, by visiting the Museum and various halls. However, when visiting the halls and museum, there are a few etiquettes to be observed:

  1. Do wear appropriate attire to show respect. For instance no mini skirts, no shorts, no bare back/shoulder. There are sarongs you can borrow at the entrance of the temple.
  2. Inside the temple, do not eat non-vegetarian food.
  3. Pets are not allowed.

Operating hours

9 am to 6 pm daily (Museum and stupa Chamber); 7 am to 7 pm daily (other areas)

Address

288 South Bridge Road, Singapore 058840

How to get there

Take Chinatown MRT Station (CE1/DT16) via Circle Line & Downtown Line; or Telok Ayer (DT18) at Downtown Line

Enjoy a Treetop Walk at the Park

Jurong Lake Gardens

Situated at the west of Singapore, Jurong Lake Gardens, one of the Singapore attractions (free), is a vast 90-hectare garden that consists of several smaller gardens, including Chinese Garden, Lakeside Garden, Garden Promenade, and Japanese Garden.

As you step into Chinese garden, visitors can’t help but feel like they’re somewhere in China. Inspired by the northern China Imperial architectural styles, the design includes pagodas by the lake, stone lions at the entrance, the courtyard, and the stone bridges.

Next to the Chinese Garden is its sibling Japanese Garden, whose landscape design is inspired by the Momoyama and Muromachi periods of Japanese history which will also make you feel as if you’re in one of Japan’s park as you spend some time here.

Unfortunately, the northern part of Lakeside Garden is closed for construction. However, there are plenty of intriguing attractions at Jurong Lake Gardens.

Operating hours

5.30 am to 11 pm (Chinese Garden), 5.30 am to 7 pm (Japanese Garden)

Address

1 Chinese Garden Road, Singapore 619795

How to get there

Take Chinese Garden MRT Station (EW25) at East-West Line

Take Pictures at East Coast Park

Esplanade Visual Arts Display

Across four exhibitions nestled around Esplanade, discover the works of Singaporean artist Yeo Shih Yun, Ho Ho Ying, and Fiona Seow, alongside Mulyana, an Indonesian artist. These exhibitions are undergirded by the artists’ explorations of materiality and mediums, adopting distinctive approaches to artmaking, and intersecting transmedia exchanges.

The exhibitions delve into the complexities of subjective experiences and examine how human activity impacts and shapes environments and communities.

Operating hours

Monday-Friday: 11 am- 8:30 pm; Saturday, Sunday, & Public Holidays: 10 am- 8:30 pm

Address

1 Esplanade Dr, Singapore 038981

How to get there

Take City Hall MRT station (EW13/NS25)

Buddha Tooth Relic Temple Visit

Republic of Singapore Air Force Museum

The Air Force Museum is a physical embodiment of the heritage, history, and values of the Republic of Singapore Air Force. The museum also has come a long way since its inception at Changi Air Base on 1 September 1988. Today, it stands in a compound neighbouring Paya Lebar Air Base and creatively fuses original artefacts with interactive media. The Air Force Museum offers an engaging hands-on experience that breathes new life into the story of RSAF for all ages.

Operating hours

Tuesday-Sunday only: 8:30 am-5 pm

Address

400 Airport Rd, Paya Lebar Airbase, Singapore 534234

How to get there

Take bus 94 from outside Eunos MRT station.

Near the Bayfront MRT Station

Republic of Singapore Navy Museum

Take a trip down memory lane, as you witness weaponry and other equipment taken from now decommissioned warships. You may even see the main helm and gun from one of its first ships, RSS Panglima. Find out more about what makes the Republic of Singapore Navy an integrated and modern maritime fighting force–the arsenal that they pack and the naval platforms it possesses.

The visitors can get a glimpse of what it is like to be a commanding officer of a frigate or try their hands at taking out simulated enemy targets with the weapons that the Navy possesses, steer a submarine underwater, and navigate a ship through the busy Singapore Strait.

Operating hours

Monday-Friday: 9 am- 5 pm; Saturday: 9am- 3 pm

Address

112 Tanah Merah Coast Road, 498794

How to get there

From Expo MRT station, walk to Singapore Expo bus stop on Xilin Avenue and take bus 35 for 5 stops.

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