The Best Things to Do in Singapore
Collected by Heidi Sarna , AFAR Local Expert
At just 278 square miles, Singapore (aka Lion City) is tiny, but you’ll never run out of fun things to do. From the Singapore Zoo and its nocturnal animals to the spectacular Singapore Botanic Gardens and Gardens by the Bay, nature is always on show. But it's well worth heading inside to the temples, churches, mosques, and museums to learn about the country's diverse history.
18 Marina Gardens Dr, Singapore 018953
With its domed greenhouses of epic proportions dotted across some 100 hectares (250 acres), the sustainable Gardens by the Bay are educational and fun. The Cloud Forest is a misty, 42-meter-high (138-foot-high) “mountain” that...
E Coast Park Service Rd, Singapore 449876
East Coast Park is a wonderful stretch of seafront greenery containing plenty of trails where runners, walkers, cyclists, and in-line skaters can frolic in nature. There are shops where you can rent bikes and Rollerblades (just follow signs in the...
39 Armenian St, Singapore 179941
The Peranakan Museum houses an excellent collection of antiques, textiles, and artifacts over three floors in a beautiful heritage building that in and of itself is something to behold—it was constructed in 1912 as the Tao Nan School...
80 Mandai Lake Rd, Singapore 729826
Singapore Zoo has been recognized as a leader in creating naturalistic habitats since its opening in 1973, using concealed moats to separate animals from visitors and incorporating a local reservoir into the landscaping. There are dozens of themed...
Tanglin Rd, Singapore
Singapore may not have bicycle lanes on its roads, but the country does have a wonderful and growing network of bike-friendly asphalt paths along its many canals and rivers that are sometimes joined up with pathways in parks and along old rail...
41 Dunlop St, Abdul Gaffoor Mosque, Singapore 209369
This frilly, century-old mosque, with its interesting mix of Victorian and Arabian architecture, is straight out of a Disney fairy tale. Its Corinthian columns, Doric pilasters, cinquefoil arches, and painted-glass cupolas will mesmerize you. When...
158 Telok Ayer St, Singapore 068613
Built between 1839 and 1842, Thian Hock Keng Temple is the oldest Hok-lo temple in Singapore. Constructed on the site of an earlier primitive shrine created by Chinese sailors grateful to have survived the journey to Singapore (and needing...
Ridley Park, Singapore
In Singapore, black and whites refer to the colonial-era bungalows of that color combination built here by the British for married officers and civil servants. The oldest date back to the 1890s and the newest to the 1940s. About 500 or so survive...
Junction of Kampong Bahru Road and, Telok Blangah Rd, Singapore 099448
Singapore’s a pretty flat place. There used to be more hills, but some were flattened partly to help fill in the country’s expanding coastline, as Singapore has always pursued an aggressive land-reclamation push (it’s almost 25 percent bigger than...
781 Mountbatten Rd, Singapore 437779
Named after Louis Mountbatten, Britain’s supreme allied commander in Southeast Asia, Mountbatten Road was originally known as Grove Road. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries it became a popular place for the wealthy to build country...
Bussorah St, Singapore
The Sultan Mosque, sometimes considered Singapore’s national mosque, is set at the end of Bussorah Mall in Kampong Glam, angled toward Mecca. It’s topped with a pair of huge golden domes and twin eight-story minarets that can be seen...
347 Serangoon Rd, Singapore
Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple is a popular landmark in Little India, where much of Singapore’s sizable Tamil Hindu community works and worships. Originally a simple building on a plot of land, the temple became something entirely different in...
1 Cluny Rd, Singapore 259569
So spectacular is the 82-hectare (200-acre) Singapore Botanic Gardens that it isthe rare horticultural spot to have earned UNESCO World Heritage site status. Established in1859, it’sresponsible for Singapore’s nickname as the Garden City and...
11 St Andrew's Rd, Singapore 178959
The striking neo-Gothic St. Andrew’s Cathedral, just behind the Padang on a generous plot of land, was built by convict labor from India, with the first service held in 1861. It was the second incarnation of this Anglican church (the first was...
60 Hill St, Singapore 179366
At one time the Armenian community was very influential in Singapore, working as lawyers, merchants, and entrepreneurs. To serve the community, the Armenian Church—officially called the Armenian Apostolic Church of St. Gregory the Illuminator—was...
351 Upper Bukit Timah Rd, Singapore 588192
War-history buffs will appreciate the permanent exhibition at Singapore’s Old Ford Factory, opened in 2017 to mark the 75th anniversary of the fall of Singapore, at Singapore’s Old Ford Factory, where the British surrendered to the Japanese forces...
Labrador Villa Rd, Singapore 119187
Hidden away at the end of small byway off Telok Blangah Road, Labrador Nature Reserve (also known as Labrador Park) is a quiet hillock where you can find the remains of Fort Pasir Panjang. It was one of about a dozen coastal artillery forts built...
MacRitchie Reservoir, Singapore
The MacRitchie Reservoir is one of four reservoirs in the heart of Singapore at the Central Catchment Nature Reserve, where the surrounding forests are protected as national parks to ensure the quality of the water. Though unfortunately not...
10 Bayfront Ave, Singapore 018956
If money is no object, staying near the Marina in Singapore is a great choice. On one side you have the bizarrely mesmerizing Marina Bay Sands development, which includes a hotel, casino (note that the Chinese take their gambling very seriously),...
1G Cantonment Rd, Singapore 085301
The Pinnacle is a posh apartment building in Singapore’s hip Duxton Hill neighborhood, known for its Skybridge. Soaring 50 stories above the city, it offers views that are arguably the best in Singapore. The bridge is open to both apartment...
262 Pasir Panjang Rd, Singapore 118628
Haw Par Villa, a theme park containing more than 1,000 statues and 150 giant dioramas that highlight Chinese myths and legends, might be the best-value entertainment in Singapore. (It’s free!) Built in 1937 by the creators of Tiger Balm (the...
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