By: Azlinda Said
If you have guests coming for a visit soon and are in need of a slew of cool things to do with them, look no further than our guide here. We have 25 awesome ideas for activities around (and off) the island. Have fun!
1 Catch the sunset and party the night away
What’s a visit to Singapore without experiencing its vibrant night scene? So be sure to bring your guests to 1-Altitude for a night of unforgettable fun! Standing at nearly 300 metres above sea level, this al fresco bar (touted as the world’s highest) gives new meaning to the term living on the edge. It houses a bar, a restaurant and a dance club all under one roof, so you and your guests don’t have to club hop in search of good food, drinks and music.
Here’s how you can plan the evening. Start by watching the sunset on the rooftop (1-Altitude Gallery and Bar at level 63) as you sip on glasses of bubbly. To soak in the stunning view, the bar’s daily Sundown Affair from six to eight pm is ideal for a 360-degree view of the city as it morphs into a twinkling nightscape.
Then, head down to the 62nd floor for a gourmet, artisanal feast at Stellar. The award-winning restaurant – renowned for its modern gastronomic cuisine – recently launched its Constellations Gastronomic menu, where diners go on a unique tasting journey of six, seven or eight-courses, featuring the unforgettable ‘dessert art’ created right at their table.
Once your tummies are sated, make your way to Altimate at level 61 where you can boogey the rest of the night away. This exclusive nightspot boasts luxe interiors and never-seen-before state-of-the-art technology, so you’ll be in for both an audio and visual sensory feast. Or if you prefer to party outdoors, then head back to the rooftop for the most extensive line-up of live bands and international DJs to keep revellers going into the night.
You can expect a different party experience each night at 1-Altitude, with special promotions and themed evenings, making it the most thrilling nightspot in the sky. The gallery and bar has won accolades at the Singapore Experience Awards for Best Night Spot (2012) and Best Customer Experience (2013) – placing 1-Altitude literally at the top of the world
1 Raffles Place, 6438 0410
2 See wild dolphins at the Sisters’ Islands Marine Park
Boasting some of Singapore’s richest coral reefs, this is the perfect place to snorkel. You can even set up camp under the shady palm trees – just make sure to apply for a valid permit. If you’re lucky, you may even catch sight of a dolphin or three.
3 Watch concerts…. for free!
Head down to the Esplanade for this. There is always some performance to catch there, be it at the indoor concourse area or the outdoor theatre. From dance to theatre, recitals and music, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
1 Esplanade Drive, 6828 8377
4 Feed farm animals
Who says there aren’t any animal farms left in Singapore? Over at Farmart Centre, you can get up close and personal with various creatures like goats, rabbits and tortoises. You can even feed and pet them – just make sure to be gentle.
67 Sungei Tengah Road, 6767 0070
5 Watch the clouds go by at ION Sky
Did you know that you can get a sweeping, 360-degree view of the Lion City from ION Orchard? Just take the lift to the shopping mall’s observatory on the 55 floor (and 218 metres into the clouds) and see the stunning cityscape via state-of-the-art telescopes. You will even get a glimpse of what Orchard Road used to look like when it was filled with fruit orchards and nutmeg plantations years ago.
Ion Orchard, 2 Orchard Turn, Level 56
6 Get lost among Singapore’s national flowers
Nestled within the Singapore Botanic Gardens is the National Orchid Garden, home to over a thousand orchid varieties and more than two thousand hybrids (including Dendrobium Margaret Thatcher – a tribute to the former British Prime Minister). One thing’s for sure – you’ll leave the three hectares of carefully landscaped slopes smelling like… well, orchids.
1 Cluny Rd, 6471 7361
7 Be wowed by Gardens By The Bay
Want to see more than just orchids? Then head down to this mega-sized horticulture haven. Man-made on reclaimed land, Gardens by the Bay gives visitors fantastic waterfront views and a massive selection of unique plants, trees and flowers. Don’t forget to check out the monstrous Supertrees – vertical gardens that light up (on environmentally-friendly solar power) when dusk falls. Is that cool or what?
18 Marina Gardens Drive, 6420 6848
8 Sign up for a walking tour
Go for a guided stroll by Singapore Footprints to uncover the nation’s hidden gems and popular attractions, along with their history and unique tales. Lasting two and a half hours, the walk takes place every weekend – all you need to do is turn up at the meeting points (Raffles Place MRT Exit B or Chinatown Visitor Centre) and join in the fun! Choose from two tours – one highlights hidden treasure troves in the historic Bras Basah & Bugis neighbourhoods, the other explores Chinatown.
9 Trek around Little India
If your guests are game for more cultural fun, bring them on a heritage trail around Serangoon Road. Fill your tummies with authentic Indian fare at Tekka Centre (go for the thosai – fermented crepe made from rice batter and black lentils – and teh tarik, or pulled milk tea), while breathing in the strong scents of jasmine and herbs and spices. Walk past monumental structures like the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple before popping into quaint mom-and-pop stores to buy some Indian sweet treats or even gold jewellery.
10 Eat dinner on the world’s largest observation wheel
At 42 storeys, the Singapore Flyer holds a mammoth spot in the city skyline. In the daytime, it gives visitors jaw-dropping views of the harbour and downtown Singapore. At night, the lights from the surrounding towers and the evening rush on the expressway below brings a whole new world to visitors, especially if they choose to dine in the capsule.
30 Raffles Ave, 6333 3311
11 Let fish nibble on your feet
There are several fish spas in Singapore which provide this service, where you dunk your feet into a tank so that tiny fishes can aggressively graze on them to clean off any dead skin. Afterwards, your feet (and legs) are shinier and a lot more smooth.
12 Go on a museum rampage
Forget cafe hopping, go museum-hopping instead! Take your pick from the National Museum, Asian Civilisations Museum, Peranakan Museum, and lots more. Your guests will enjoy learning something new at each spot.
13 Swim 52 storeys in the air
At 150 metres long, the infinity pool at Marina Bay Sands is the world’s largest outdoor pool at an extreme height. Perched on the iconic three-tower, 52-storey complex, it overlooks the city and makes you feel like you’re at the edge of heaven with a drink in your hand. Marina Bay Sands also houses a casino, so why not get your guests to try their hands at the slot machines too?
14 Visit Gillman Barracks
The former colonial barracks is now an art hub, and often hosts cool contemporary art shows. After spending an afternoon gazing at the intriguing artworks here, retreat to one of their hip restaurants for a hearty dinner.
9 Lock Road
15 Zip down to Sentosa beach
MegaZip is touted to be one of the most extreme zip wires in Asia. It runs 450 metres from a tree hilltop to a tiny islet of sand just off the beach below. It may look daunting at first, standing at the top, but once you’ve taken off and the adrenalin kicks in, you’ll wish that you’d taken longer to reach the finish line.
Imbiah Hill Road, Sentosa Island, 6884 5602
16 Explore Haji Lane
This hipster area is full of cafes and stores showcasing independent local designs. It’s also a great place to take photos. Come night time, the atmosphere gets livelier as shops close and restaurants open, filling the street with tables and entertainment. Haji Lane borders the Arab enclave Kampong Glam, so you can explore that area too later in the night.
17 Go on a river cruise
Jump onto one of Singapore’s iconic bumboats for a 40-minute cruise down river. Catch glimpses of awesome dining and entertainment spots along Boat Quay, Clarke Quay and Robertson Quay. Best to take the cruise after sunset – the night view is mind blowing!
Singapore River Cruise, 1 North Bridge Rd, 6336 6111
18 Visit “mini” China
Over in western Singapore lies Bukit Batok Town Park, otherwise know as “xiao Guilin” (Mandarin for little Guilin). Why the nickname? Because it resembles the scenery in Guilin, China. A huge granite rock sitting in a lake is the main attraction, while two dome-shaped shelters offer a panoramic view of the place. Who needs to hop onto a jet plane to get to China when you already have a (man-made) piece of it right here?
Bukit Batok East Ave 5
19 Go on a Night Safari adventure
Take a walk on the wild side and watch exotic animals hunt for food in the dark. You can either trek through the dimly-lit park on foot or board the guided tram. Either way, you may spot some friendly creatures like the Malayan tapirs roaming freely as you trundle past. Oh, and if you’re brave enough, you can even get a new fashion accessory – a python wrapped around you.
80 Mandai Lake Road, 6269 3411
20 Eat crabs
Visitors cannot leave Singapore without trying its famous chilli crab dish, which comes swimming in sweet and spicy sauce. You can also order a side of deep-fried buns to dip into the gooey sauce. Eating this can be super messy, so load up on the napkins, and leave your best outfit at the hotel.
21 Skydive – indoors!
If the thought of jumping off a plane and freefalling at over 12 thousand feet scares you silly, then iFly Singapore is the best place to experience the same thrill with none of the dangers. This indoor skydiving complex is the world’s first and largest wind tunnel, and suitable for both kids and height-averse adults. Each “skydive” will be supervised by experts so you’ll have nothing to worry about.
43 Siloso Beach Walk, #01-01, Sentosa Island, 6571 000
22 Venture into durian territory
The spiky, pungent ‘King of Fruits’ is a love-it-or-hate-it kind of fruits – for foreigners, at least. But it’s definitely something you have to bite on at least once, just for kicks. You’ll find a wide selection of the thorny delight at Geylang, which is famous for its durian stalls. So go on, we dare you!
204 Geylang Road
23 Shop till you drop – late at night
Grocery shopping at four in the morning – why not? Not only can you beat the crowds, but it’s a different kind of experience when you go bargain hunting under the stars (sort of). Get your shopping fix at Mustafa Centre – Singapore’s only 24-hour shopping mall – located in Little India. From fresh produce to electronic gadgets, jewellery and fashion apparel, this place has everything and more. But take note, the items are so cheap that you’ll be tempted to buy EVERYTHING!
145 Syed Alwi Rd
24 Be part of an illusion
Ever wondered what it’s like to balance on a circus elephant’s trunk? Find out at the Trick Eye Museum – it’s filled with interactive 2D and 3D scenes that make for fun, outrageous illusions. Just pose in the right spots (pointed out with markers) and you could be flying on a broomstick or doing a ballerina split. Your guests will have tons of photos to baffle friends and family with back home.
26 Sentosa Gateway, Resorts World Sentosa, 6795 2370
25 Mingle with cats
Cat cafes are all the rage in Singapore now. Taking after the ones in Tokyo, these places let you cosy up to cuddly kitties as you sip on a drink or nibble on some bites. If you’re lucky, some of these furballs may even crawl onto your lap for a nap. Awwwww……