11 Things to Do In Singapore: The Top Attractions

by Akane - Japan Local Guide

Singapore is a popular destination in Southeast Asia and below are 11 of the best things to do in Singapore. For people who don’t have any idea of what Singapore is like, it's a small country at the very tip of the Malay Peninsula. Because it is so small, you can see a lot of the must see sightseeing spots in two or three days if you are quick and efficient. It’s a modern city with skyscrapers, a great public transportation system, and best of all English is understood everywhere. The locals do have a bit of an accent, so much so that their English is sometimes called “Singlish”, a pun on the words Singapore and English. But you’ll get used to it after a while. Located in a tropics, the weather is always hot and humid with a sudden downpour in the late afternoons on most days, so don't forget to pack a folding umbrella in your bag and wear shoes or sandals that don’t matter if they get wet. After the rain clouds dissipate, it becomes a bit cooler and much more comfortable at night.


11 Top Attractions  in Singapore

11 Things to Do In Singapore: The Top Attractions

Below are 11 of the must see sightseeing spots and things to do in Singapore. Some of these places are good for spending a whole day by yourselves but some of the others can be visited all together in one day if you wanted to. To make your day of sightseeing an efficient one, tours with a guide are recommended. Guides and tours  for Singapore can be found on this website, Triplelights. The guides are all local guides so they will know their city intimately. Transportation in Singapore is not difficult if you use the public transportation system or taxis.  If you’re especially interested in the food in Singapore or the off the beaten track type of places, you should definitely request a tour to some of the local guides and see what they suggest. They’ll be able to take you to the places that are not really on the guide books or on the itinerary of mainstream sightseeing tours.


1. Marina Bay Sands

11 Things to Do In Singapore: The Top Attractions

When people think of Singapore, a lot of people think of this luxurious hotel. It has an unique exterior which looks like three skyscrapers holding up a boat. The outdoor pool on the roof is the “boat” part of the hotel. The panoramic view from the pool is, as you can imagine, amazing. When you’re in the pool, it looks like there is no rim and water seems to be slopping over the edge of the building. It’s the place to take a picture for your Instagram account, but as it has become one of the main attractions of Singapore, and it becomes really crowded, so try to go late at night or early in the morning. You can only enjoy the pool if you’re staying at the hotel, but if you’re not, there’s a bar next to the pool which anyone can visit to see the view. Marina Bay Sands also has a shopping area with boutiques and a casino on the ground and underground floors. This is also another attraction that people who aren’t staying at the hotel can also enjoy.


Address: 10 Bayfront Avenue, Singapore

Official website: http://www.marinabaysands.com/ 


2. Merlion

11 Things to Do In Singapore: The Top Attractions

Everyone has probably seen a picture of the merlion once on Singapore brochures or websites. It’s the official mascot of Singapore. It has the head of a lion and the body of a fish. The reason for this is because the fish body represents the fishing town which is Singapore’s origin. The lion head represents Singapore’s original name, “Singapura”, which means lion city. In the picture’s this statue is depicted to look very big, but actually it’s not that big and has a height of 8.6 meters. The statue is spouting water from its mouth, and a fun thing to do is to take popular photo shots where you use perspective to make it seem like you are the one with water coming out of your mouth, or ones where it looks like the water is landing on your head or in your hand, etc. You can play around with different ideas and have fun taking amusing pictures to show the folks back home.


Address: One Fullerton, Singapore

3. Gardens by the Bay

11 Things to Do In Singapore: The Top Attractions

Gardens by the Bay is located near the a Marina Bay Sands hotel. It is famous for its “supertree” towers that are designed as artificial trees that provide shade during the day and are illuminated at night. They are between 25 to 50 meters tall and there is a aerial walkway that you can experience, which is located at an awe inspiring 22 meters above the ground. There’s also an observation deck at the top of the tallest tower which is about as tall as a 16 story building. Other than this outdoor attraction, there are also two indoor conservatories where you can see flowers and plants from 5 different continents. One of these conservatories, the “Flower Dome” was designated as the world’s largest glass greenhouse in 2015. There’s a lot more to see on the spacious grounds and you could spend a whole day roaming these gardens. It’s definitely one of the must see spots in Singapore. It takes a lot of walking to see all of the grounds so use the shuttle bus to get around.


Address: 18 Marina Gardens Drive, Singapore

Official website: http://www.gardensbythebay.com.sg/en.html

4. Singapore Zoo

11 Things to Do In Singapore: The Top Attractions

Singapore Zoo opened in 1973. It is home to over 2,800 animals of a little over 300 species. Of these animals, a surprising 16% are threatened species. The zoo is full of open exhibits where you can see animals in habitats that mimic their natural environments. There are exhibits for example where you can try feeding the giraffes which makes for an amazing photo opportunity. There’s also an outdoor breakfast buffet where you can eat your breakfast in the company of some orangutans. And you get to take your picture with them too. Make sure to make a reservation if you want to eat breakfast here. The grounds are pretty big and you’ll be doing a lot of walking but it’s a fun experience for the whole family.


Fee: Adult SGD37 / Child (age 3 - 12) SGD25 / Senior (age 60 and above) SGD17

Address: 80 Mandai Lake Road, Singapore

Official website: www.wrs.com.sg/en/singapore-zoo


5. Singapore Botanic Gardens

11 Things to Do In Singapore: The Top Attractions

Singapore Botanic Gardens have been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2015. It is one of three botanic gardens in the world on the World Heritage list and the only tropical one. The gardens are made up of 4 general areas; the “Tanglin” area, the Central area, the “Bukit Timah” area, and the “Tyersall-Gallop” area. It’s located only about 5 minutes by car from the center of the city, it’s also easily accessible by subway. You just need to get off at the Botanic Gardens station on either the Circle Line or the Downtown Line. 


Address: 1 Cluny Road, Singapore

Hours: 5 am to midnight 

Fee: free of charge

Official website: www.nparks.gov.sg/sbg


6. Orchard Road

11 Things to Do In Singapore: The Top Attractions

Orchard Road is located in downtown Singapore. It’s a 2.2 km shopping street boasting a surprising 22 malls and 6 department stores. If shopping is your thing, then this is definately one of the best things to do in Singapore. You could spend all day here shopping for souvenirs, clothes, shoes, etc. People who don’t have an affinity for shopping may get bored after spending an hour here but for people who love shopping, this is heaven. There are 3 major subway stations that you can use to access this area. They are Orchard, Somerset, and Dhoby Ghaut stations. There also numerous buses that will get you here and there are taxi stands available at entrances of shopping malls and hotels. There are many restaurants, cafes, and bars located here so you’ll be able to find something to eat here as well.


Official website: http://www.orchardroad.org/


7. Raffles Hotel Singapore

11 Things to Do In Singapore: The Top Attractions


This historic hotel is really amazing to look at, and one of the must see things to see in Singapore. It’s the oldest hotel in Singapore and has a rich history. Opened in 1887, the beautiful white exterior and the 19th century architecture is worth a visit even if you’re not lucky enough to be staying there. The hotel is designated as a National Monument of Singapore and the “Long Bar” located in this hotel is where the cocktail “Singapore Sling” was born. Celebrities like Michael Jackson, Charlie Chaplin, and Elizabeth Taylor have also enjoyed their stay at this luxurious hotel.


Address: 1 Beach Road, Singapore

Official website: www.raffles.com/singapore


8. Sentosa Island

11 Things to Do In Singapore: The Top Attractions

Sentosa Island is the resort-like area of Singapore, and if you want fun things to do in Singapore, this is the place. Singapore is not especially known for its beaches, but if you do want to take a dip, this is the place to go. The island is also full of fun stuff to do. There’s a water park, an aquarium, a theme park, and all kinds of activities for the whole family. Universal Studios Singapore is also located on this island. And best of all it’s only 15 minutes away from central Singapore, so you can even visit the island as a day trip. There are many ways to get onto the island; on foot or by bicycle on the Sentosa Boardwalk, by public transportation like the bus, train, or cable car, and by taxi or car. There is an entry fee to get on to the island and it differs according to how you get onto the island. The cheapest way is to walk or cycle across the Sentosa Boardwalk from Vivocity. The usual entry fee of 1 Singapore dollar is waived until 31 Dec. 2020, so until then it’s free!


Official website: www.sentosa.com.sg/en 


9. Universal Studios Singapore

11 Things to Do In Singapore: The Top Attractions

Another family friendly fun thing to do in Singapore is to visit the theme park, Universal Studios Singapore, which is located on the aforementioned Sentosa Island. It’s the first Universal Studios located in South East Asia. Filled with lots of fun attractions and shows, it’s a great place to spend some quality time with your children.


One Day Ticket: Adult (age 13 and above) SGD81 / Child (age 4 - 12) SGD61/Senior (age 60 and above) SGD43

Address: 8 Sentosa Gateway, Singapore

Official website: https://www.rwsentosa.com/en/attractions/universal-studios-singapore/explore


10. Chinatown

11 Things to Do In Singapore: The Top Attractions

Three quarters of Singapore’s population is made up of people of Chinese ethnicity. The Chinatown area is where the immigrants from China originally settled in this former British colony. You can enjoy eating Asian food at the hawker centers (open air food courts in South east Asia). The most popular food to try is Hainanese chicken rice. Popular local dishes also include Bak Kut Teh, Satay, Laksa, and Chilli Crab. You should also try visit the Chinatown Complex which is a building full of food stalls and stalls selling sundries. The colorful terraced houses of the Peranakan culture (a mix of Malay and Chinese) are also beautiful to look at and are great places to take pictures. You’ll find not only Buddhist temples in Chinatown, but even a Hindu temple as the area was home to people of all kinds of religions.


 Official website: www.chinatown.sg


11. Night Safari Singapore


This Night Safari is divided into 7 geographic zones with about 1,000 animals, and is another great thing to experiene while you're in the city. You can traverse these zones by foot or on the tram. You can watch the nocturnal animals that usually are sluggish or sleeping in a regular daytime zoo come alive at night. This nighttime zoo is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Singapore. It is adjacent to the Singapore Zoo and like it’s next door neighbor, it uses natural barriers emulating the animals’ original habitats instead of cages.


Fee: Adult SGD51 / Child SGD 

Address: 80 Mandai Lake Road, Singapore

Official website: www.wrs.com.sg/en/night-safari


Recommended Blogs:

10 Best Places to Visit in Singapore: All You Need to Know

Hiring a Tour Guide In Singapore: The Pros and Cons


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