So, you splashed out on some dream digs for your Singapore vacay and now the activity fund is looking a little tight. Luckily, from lush natural landscapes to culture-rich neighbourhoods, there’s plenty of budget-friendly fun to be had if you know where to look. Stow your wallet for the chilli crab and rooftop cocktails, and bookmark these free things to do in Singapore.
Explore The City’s Natural Beauty
With over 400 parks and four nature reserves to explore, Singapore has well and truly earned its stripes as the Garden City. Our top ways to experience the great outdoors include a visit to the Singapore Botanic Gardens—a UNESCO heritage site near Singapore’s shopping belt—the Southern Ridges, and MacRitchie Nature Trail & Reservoir—all with zero admission fee.
Take a pit stop at Henderson Waves (a 274m-long wave-like bridge) along the Southern Ridges trail for picturesque views of Singapore’s urban landscape. And don’t miss the MacRitchie Reservoir’s treetop walk, with aerial views of the rainforest’s sprawling canopy from a 250m suspension bridge.
Delve Into Chinese Mythology
It’s an easy trip down to Haw Par Villa, a sprawling cultural theme park that houses over a thousand statues from Chinese literature and folklore. Visitors can wander through these unique and colourful dioramas, snapping plenty of memorable pics along the way.
Entry to the park is free, but you can also chuck on a visit to Hell’s Museum (located within the park) for S$18—clap your eyes on the famed 10 Courts of Hell and delve deep into death and the afterlife.
Hit Up Little India
Little India’s bustling streets, colourful murals and wallet-friendly (but delicious) food are a dream for the cash-strapped traveller. Keep your eyes peeled for the distinctly colourful House of Tan Teng Niah, believed to be the last surviving traditional Chinese Villa in existence.
Or, pay a visit to Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple, one of Singapore’s oldest Hindu temples. If you’re keen to shop, check out Mustafa Centre, a 6-storey shopping centre open 24 hours, selling all sorts of affordably-priced items.
Catch A Light And Water Show
It wouldn’t be a trip to Singapore without a stop at Gardens by the Bay. When the sun goes down you can catch Garden Rhapsody—a free musical display that brings the park’s iconic 50m supertrees to life at 7.45pm and 8.45pm. Just around the corner, Marina Bay Sands offers up Spectra, an epic 15-minute light and water show on the Marina Bay waterfront—easily one of the best free things to do in Singapore.
Expect colourful visual projections, fountain jets and plenty of lasers—displayed Sunday to Thursday at 8pm and 9pm, and Fridays and Saturdays at 9pm and 10pm. If you’re over at Sentosa, wander along to Magical Shores at Siloso Beach from 7.30pm to 9.30pm for a multi-sensory light and sound experience, or head across to the Sentosa Musical Fountain at 4pm, 5pm or 6pm to relive the iconic display that’s been kicking around since the eighties.
Immerse Yourself In Free Performances
If you’re in the Marina Bay precinct, stroll over to Esplanade—Theatres on the Bay for a free performance every night at the Esplanade Concourse, and every weekend at the DBS Foundation Outdoor Theatre. Expect dance, music and theatre from local artists that’ll leave you in awe.
Stroll Through Chinatown
Packed with must-see cultural hot spots like the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, Masjid Jamae (Chulia), and Sri Mariamman Temple, Chinatown is an epic feast for the senses. Take in all three sites along South Bridge Road, then head off to explore the maze of hawker centres and wet markets.
For a crash course on Singapore’s growth and urban planning, check out the Singapore City Gallery at the Urban Redevelopment Authority Building—admission for this one’s completely free.
Head Back In Time At Kampong Lorong Buangkok
If you’re feeling adventurous, head to the Northeastern part of Singapore at Kampong Lorong Buangkok to explore the last remaining kampong (village) on Singapore’s mainland. Built in 1956 to the size of six football fields, over 40 families lived there at its peak.
Today, 25 households still call the kampong home, which sticks out between tall apartment blocks and modern daily life. If you’re keen to travel back in time to see more of Singapore’s kampongs, hop on a boat for S$6 at Changi Ferry Terminal to Pulau Ubin.
Kick Back By The Beach
When you can generally expect sunny skies year-round, there’s no better way to spend an arvo than a picnic by the beach or kicking back on the sand with a good read. Head to Siloso and Tanjong for beach clubs and water sports, or escape to the Southern Islands for a quieter day by the seaside.
Spot The Dinosaurs At Changi Jurassic Mile
Just a stone’s throw away from Changi Airport you’ll find Singapore’s best-kept secret. Cycle, skate, jog or walk along the Park Connector to scope the city’s largest outdoor display of life-sized dinosaurs, just keep your camera ready to snap the giant T-Rex chomping down on the Park Connector’s fence. Refuel at the nearby Hub and Spoke Café at Changi Airport, or cycle towards East Coast Park for a refreshing cup of sugarcane at East Coast Lagoon Food Village.
These budget-friendly tips for an unforgettable trip are just the beginning—head along to Visit Singapore to discover more free things to do and make the most out of your holiday plans.
Editor's note: This article is sponsored by Singapore Tourism and proudly endorsed by The Urban List. To find out more about who we work with and why read our editorial policy here.