Singapore on a Budget - Top Free Attractions

11 January 2014
Read Time: 1.7 mins

Singapore is renowned as a paradise for shoppers and food-lovers, luring thousands of visitors each year keen to explore the city’s top boutiques and restaurants. However, Singapore also offers a huge array of free attractions for young and old alike. From beautiful parks and gardens to stunning tropical beaches, scenic walks, and fascinating museums and historical sites, Singapore offers plenty to entertain visitors on any budget. Here’s our pick of the top free attractions to check out.

 Singapore's Marina Bay

Singapore Botanic Gardens
This leafy oasis in the heart of the city is home to hundreds of species of plants, including lush tracts of virgin rainforest and the stunning National Orchid Garden. The Botanic Gardens are open from daily from 5am until midnight, but the best time to visit is the early morning, when the gardens are cool and quiet.

Fort Canning Park
Perched on a hill overlooking the city centre, Fort Canning Park is one of Singapore’s most significant landmarks and a must-see for history buffs. The site features relics of the ancient Malay empire and numerous military buildings dating from World War II.  The park’s extensive lawns are often used for outdoor concerts and events, and make the ideal location for a picnic lunch.

Chinatown
A stroll through the bustling, colourful streets of Chinatown is a must for any visitor to Singapore. The smorgasbord of sights, sounds and smells is sure to delight – from street food vendors hawking their wares, and traditional Chinese medicine shops lined with herbs, to the dazzling colours and decorative carvings of Sri Mariamman Temple, Singapore’s oldest Hindu temple.

Marina Bay
While Marina Bay has become the main tourism centre in Singapore, with a vast array of restaurants, shops and entertainment venues, there are still plenty of attractions here that don’t cost a thing. Take a stroll along the waterfront promenade in the evening to experience the glittering city lights, and check out the soaring triple towers of the Marina Bay Sands Resort, one of the most recognisable buildings in Singapore. The young and young-at-heart will love Gardens By The Bay, a magical modern park where you can walk beneath the Supertrees – amazing vertical gardens up to 16 stories high.

National Museum of Singapore
While there is a fee of S$10 to view the museum’s permanent collection, entry to the wonderful Living Galleries is free between 6pm and 8pm daily. The Living Galleries focus on film, photography, fashion, and food, with highlights including locally produced films, traditional costumes from the 1930s, and a fantastic exhibit tracing the origins of Singaporean hawker foods such as laksa and nasi lemak.

Southern Ridges Trail
If you feel like stretching your legs, don’t miss the Southern Ridges Trail. This 10-kilometre walk meanders through the lush greenery of the Mt Faber, Kent Ridge, Telok Blangah, and Hort parks. The Southern Ridges Trail also crosses the Henderson Waves, a 36-metre high pedestrian bridge offering spectacular views down to the ocean.

Madeleine Lipson

Madeleine has traveled extensively through Europe, Asia and the Caribbean. You might find her climbing a volcano, wandering through an art gallery, sailing across the Atlantic Ocean, or lazing under a palm tree with a good book.