Fun things to do this weekend
If you’re looking for fun things to do in Singapore this weekend or need some ideas for the school holidays, here’s a big list! The Expat Living team has had years of playing tour guide to friends and family, so we know where to go for a great day out! We’ve included fun activities to do with kids, free activities (like walks and picnics) and top places to visit in Singapore for all ages. For couples, there are also heaps of cool things to do in Singapore at night – with or without kids. And don’t forget to watch our short video on things to do in Singapore this weekend at the end of the article. Here we go!
Cool activities with kids
Speed thrills for all ages
The Skyline Luge on Sentosa is definitely one of the top places to visit in Singapore for a fun outing with the kids – and a safe yet fun way of introducing track racing to children at the same time. This outdoor activity involves a wheeled cart moving purely with the pull of gravity. Hop into the Luge at the top of Mount Imbiah, then ride your way down to Siloso Beach. It’s a great thing to do in Singapore for all ages and experience levels, though notet that some age and height restrictions apply to ride alone.
Riders have full control over the speed of their descent as they navigate on purpose-built tracks. There are four tracks – Dragon Trail, Jungle Trail, Kupu Kupu Trail and Expedition Trail. Each has specially designed features including hairpin corners, downhill slopes and tunnels to add to the fun. Luge ride packages also include a Skyride that transports you to the top of the tracks. This fun chairlift provides a sweeping view of the Singapore skyline and the South China Sea as well as the flora and fauna of Sentosa.
Special online offer!
There’s an exclusive online offer available on the Skyline Luge website: 5 Luge Rides and 5 Skyrides with a free digital photo for only $39! Plus, from 10 April to 26 May enjoy a free Juicies Ice Lolly with the purchase of 3 Rides Night Luge Combo.
Pursue your passion for art
Young budding artists can unleash their imagination at Little Artists Artrageous camps! These workshops in Siglap and Marine Parade are offered throughout the year. So kids aged four to 17 can try a range of creative and fun activities in Singapore with the guidance of passionate art educators from around the world.
Choose from the full- or half-day programmes across two or four days and dabble in several fine arts styles including painting, sketching and sculpting. Once they discover what they love, your child can delve into the theoretical, practical, creative and fun world of art.
In addition to the Artrageous camp, there are many options suited to artistic endeavours. These include Big Canvas, Cartoon Fun Illustration, Clay Sculpture, and Fashion design camps, along with newly created Manga Anime Drawing, Illustration on Wood and Storyboarding classes.
For more serious artists preparing for SOTA, DSA, art college or university, the Portfolio Workshop helps to strengthen their technical conceptual and creative learning. The next Artrageous camps will run from 13 March to 14 April. Visit the website for information and bookings.
Experience a thrilling indoor adventure centre
Adventure HQ offers a whole range of activities in Singapore for thrill-seekers keen to experience the outdoors, indoors! Think adrenaline-fuelled climbing, caving and exploring. Spanning four storeys, it has something to suit everyone’s level of adventure.
Practice balancing on the bouldering wall or level up through eight different climbing lanes. Test your agility and strength on the Ninja Course and take on the Adventure Trail to traverse tunnels, nets and obstacles. You can also descend into the realistic artificial cave and navigate a 165-metre labyrinth of dark tunnels!
Those that are brave enough can ride Singapore’s longest indoor slide, which is a stomach dropping four-and-half-storeys high! Plus, take to the skies and try hang-gliding with the first indoor aerial coaster experience in Singapore called the Roll Glider. There are plenty more cool things to do in Singapore at Adventure HQ’s multi-installation indoor adventure centre.
Enjoy a virtual reality escape room adventure
Escape Singapore and step into the metaverse at Virtual Room! You might be in Chinatown when you walk into the venue, but after putting on the high-quality VR headset, you’ll be fully immersed in a totally new and realistic world. The game blends an escape room concept with a 3D experience, to create a mind-blowing group adventure and challenge.
Wondering how a session might unfold? The game is played in teams of two to four, with each player inside their own room, joining the rest of their group in a range of thrilling virtual worlds such as Ancient Egypt and The Moon. Throughout the 40-to-50-minute experience, players talk to each other, walk around, bend, throw objects and collaborate to solve the mission.
Whether it’s a birthday party, team-building activity or hens or stag night, everyone aged eight and above can play. Set in a realm you’ve never experienced before, Virtual Room’s adrenaline-filled game is a great option for something fun to do with a group of friends.
Test your shooting skills
TactSim’s airsoft games are one of the most unique things to do in Singapore. If you’ve never played before, airsoft is a competitive shooting sport where teams engage in skirmishes or scenario games against each other. You can find other similar shooting games such as paintball and laser tag in Singapore, but airsoft is currently only available at TactSim. In addition, TactSim is the first player versus player (PVP) airsoft arena in Singapore.
So how does it work? Participants use airsoft replicas launching 6mm plastic pellets at safe velocities and declare when they have been hit. The airsoft projectiles will only leave a mark like a tiny mosquito bite if you are hit from a close proximity. So the real test is about how well you can work as a team, communicate and play honestly.
Unlike other shooting game centres, the airsoft arena at TactSim features advanced moving wall panels to add plenty of variety each season. They’ve also designed their arena to maximise the gameplay experience for all levels of enthusiasts. That’s what makes this such a fun thing to do in Singapore with friends. From competitive shooting and scenario games to casual challenges, there’s a place and style for every class of airsoft player.
Learn a trampoline trick or two
Take the school holidays to the next level with a trip to BOUNCE. Your kids will have a blast tackling obstacle courses and learning new jump tricks on the trampolines. This is a fun indoor thing to do in Singapore, and the friendly Freestyle hosts will help your children stay safe.
Little ones can climb, run and bound around a variety of trampoline zones – and if you’ve got some brave older kids, the X Park obstacle course will test their Ninja Warrior-like skills. From beginners to advanced trampoliners, there are also some great curated programmes, including coaching for all skill levels at the Flight Academy, and, for fun things to do in Singapore over the holidays, programmes like the Tramp Camp for little ones.
Got a birthday coming up? Book a party for the ultimate active way to celebrate with friends! The BOUNCE Freestyle Party includes a dedicated party host for an awesome two hours of non-stop excitement, with loads of fun activities for kids.
Get some high ropes thrills!
Forest Adventure at Bedok Reservoir Park is one of the best places to visit in Singapore for some fun outdoor activities for kids. The family-friendly treetop obstacle course has three courses catering to different ages and heights. You’ll also find options allowing tweens and teens greater independence to navigate most of the course on their own.
Adrenaline junkies will love tacking the Grand Course’s 44 different obstacles and Tarzan swing. Not to mention the exhilarating 300-metre zip-line that takes riders flying over the reservoir!
With a total of 69 crossings featuring wobbly bridges, nets, balancing beams and a leap of faith, as well as six exhilarating wind-in-your-face zip-lines across three separate age-appropriate rope courses, this is a unique thing to do in Singapore and an unforgettable and thrilling experience for parents and kids alike!
Free roam in a new world
Zero Latency is a virtual reality experience offering six different gaming activities to do in Singapore. It’s designed for up to eight players, with teams working together to face different challenges in a variety of thrilling worlds.
Unlike other VR gaming centres, Zero Latency offers free roam capabilities and motion tracking, allowing you and your friends to play completely untethered. Don’t worry – the venue has plenty of space to explore fantastic worlds. The controllers are also custom made and realistically weighted so you can experience full immersion.
Missions include competing in a post-apocalyptic 1980s retro game show to face hordes of the undead, fending off waves of zombies and wreaking havoc on robotic enemies. Join the last remnants of humanity travelling the universe to battle for a new world – or, for younger kids, enjoy the chance to walk among flying whales – to progress through a puzzling landscape full of twists and turns in a game for all ages.
Virtual reality games at Zero Latency last for 30 to 40 minutes. Enough time to test your survival and problem-solving skills while immersed in an unparalleled experience with friends by your side!
Try this new spin on a game of golf
Grab your friends and take a swing at the Clubhouse SG golf bar! One of the more unique things to do in Singapore’s CBD, the bar and cafe includes a plethora of stunning golf courses from around the world to choose from. Using one of the three state-of-the-art GC Hawk simulators, you can play a round (or several) of golf and earn a well-deserved tipple from the fully-stocked bar, and a yummy signature pizza.
Find yourself on famous golfing greens including St Andrew’s Old Course, Abu Dhabi and Pebble Beach – all while still in Capital Tower! And don’t worry if you’re not a golfer, there are several carnival-style games, such as Putt Skee, Darts and Bowling for more fun activities in Singapore.
Located on Sentosa, this is one of the world’s largest aquariums. It’s home to more than 100,000 marine animals, representing 1,000 species across 45 habitats, making it easily one of the top places to visit in Singapore, whether you’re a tourist, a new arrival or an ‘old hand’!
There are all kinds of fun activities for kids here, including up-close animal encounters, immersive learning journeys as well as interactive programmes as they discover a vast array of aquatic life.
Family activities in Singapore
Skate the time away
Unleash your inner roller disco diva at Hi Roller indoor skating rink in Pasir Ris. Offering both inline and roller skates, the rink is home to certified instructors who can provide lessons for all ages. Fancy something a bit cooler? Singapore is home to a handful of ice-skating rinks, including family-friendly Kallang Ice World with fun activities for kids. Suitable for beginners or those looking to improve their skating skills, the rink at Kallang also has a handy gallery if you just fancy enjoying a hot drink and watching the skating action.
hirollersingapore.com | leisurepark.com.sg/ice-skating
Give kayak fishing a shot
Kayak fishing is a great outdoor thing to do in Singapore on the weekend. It combines the fun of paddling a kayak with the thrill and skill of trying to catch fish. Kayak Fishing Fever offers three itineraries, covering different distances; there’s The Playground with fun activities for kids (2-4 kilometres), Big Boat Small Boat (3-5 kilometres) and also Island Hopper (7-10 kilometres). Fish caught during the tours are returned to the sea as part of the company’s catch-and-release practice.
8850 8501 | fever.sg
Have a splashing good time!
Get your swimmers at the ready and book a ticket to Singapore’s first floating aqua park, HydroDash, one of the top places to visit in Singapore for anyone with an adventurous spirit! Located at Palawan Beach on Sentosa, the floating obstacle course will get you, your friends and your family sliding, jumping and bouncing across inflatables. Put your balance skills to the test on the wiggle bridge; or show off your sliding prowess and monkey bar technique! This aqua playground is one of the top places to visit in Singapore for some weekend fun.
Take the Sentosa beach shuttle to Palawan Beach for more fun activities for kids, or the closest parking is Sentosa Beach Car Park.
What to do in Singapore this weekend?
Soak up sun on Lazarus Island
For one of the best things to do in Singapore that involves sand and sea, jump on the ferry from Marina South Pier to Lazarus Island, next to St John’s island. A morning visit is your best bet; the powdery stretch of sand is usually empty, save for a few other day-trippers. Pack along some food and drinks for a sandy picnic, and enjoy splashing in turquoise waters. Although there’s zero infrastructure here, internet access is still decent (for folks who’d like to upload envy-invoking shots onto Insta…).
Board a ferry at Marina South Pier, 31 Marina Coastal Drive
Explore Sembawang’s hot spring park
Relax at Singapore’s only natural hot spring park in Sembawang, one of the best places to visit for nature lovers. With a cascading pool and flora walk, visitors can explore the rustic environment that’s reminiscent of old kampongs. Soak your feet in the footbath pool, explore the education zone or even cook an egg in the hot spring water at the designated egg cooking station. If you are searching for relaxing things to do in Singapore, look no further than Sembawang. It’s located off Gambas Avenue; for getting there and other information, visit the NParks website.
More fun things to do this weekend
Ride the wake
Singapore Wake Park is the country’s only cable-ski park built in a lagoon at Singapore East Coast Park. It ensures a safe environment for both beginners and experienced riders looking for an adrenaline fix and unique things to do in Singapore. Promising all levels of fun and challenges, the park features three cable-systems catering for experienced, intermediate and novice riders.
Snow in Singapore
Yes, you can experience snow in the tropics – at Snow City! Aside from fun activities for kids like tubing and snow play, you can also try skiing and snowboarding in this winter wonderland. Lessons for all abilities can be taken privately or in a group. So why not add this to your list of cool things to do in Singapore with friends. More good news: you won’t need to lug along your winter wear as jackets, pants and gloves are provided. So, suit up and take to the slopes!
Best places to visit in Singapore
Singapore Zoo and River Wonders
Animal enthusiasts shouldn’t miss Singapore’s award-winning zoo. This is one of the top places to visit in Singapore, as it’s home to over 300 different species. There’s heaps to see in each zone, too – from baboons in the Great Rift Valley of Ethiopia to Komodo dragons in the Reptile Garden – as well as lively animal shows. Head to the Kidzworld area for fun activities for kids. It has a water playground, obstacle course, farmyard animals and more. And, if their little legs get tired of walking, tour the zoo by guided tram!
While you’re here, the River Wonders next door is worth a visit too – it’s definitely one of the fun things to do with visitors to Singapore. The park houses over 6,000 animals that live in or along the world’s most famous rivers. Highlights include Giant Pandas and a cruise along an Amazon-like river.
… And stay on for the Night Safari! Stirring to life after dusk, the Night Safari is another one of the best places to visit here, offering an elusive look at beasts and critters that are soundly snoozing during regular zoo hours. While visitors are free to trek through the dimly lit park on foot, the guided tram is a wildly popular option for its unique insight into the nocturnal habits of the animals; you might even spot some friendly ones roaming freely as you trundle past. Mammals seen along the trails include spotted ‘laughing’ hyenas and also Malayan tapirs.
80 Mandai Lake Road | mandai.com
Explore one of Singapore’s parks
We’re spoilt for choice here for beautiful walks and hikes – and yes, they can be challenging too! If you’re looking for free things to do in Singapore, head out into nature and see why Singapore has earned the title of ‘Garden City’. Take the Southern Ridges trail that weaves through the treetops of Mount Faber all the way to Labrador Nature Reserve; the latter is one of the top places to visit in Singapore for its mix of coastal views and military history. Or head to MacRitchie Reservoir, which, aside from being a great place for a jog, has five scenic hiking trails through the forest, ranging from 3km to 11km. Then there’s the Botanic Gardens (pictured, below); this must-see place to visit is a national treasure and also a top picnic spot. (See our picnic round-up for more!)
If you’re after things to do in Singapore this weekend that have a slightly wilder streak, try the Sungei Buloh Wetlands. Get acquainted here with Singapore’s unique wildlife or visit the recently opened extension that boasts a coastal boardwalk and a mid-canopy walk.
Check out our in-depth list of hikes and walks in Singapore here. For more information on specific parks, you can also visit the NParks website.
Stroll through Gardens by the Bay
The gigantic waterfront garden has a cool, futuristic feel and plenty of exotic plants, making it a wonderful spot for a leisurely walk. Must-see things include the Flower Dome, which focuses on Mediterranean flora, and the Cloud Forest, a misty tropical wonderland with a roaring indoor waterfall. (Until the opening of Jewel at Changi, it was the tallest in the world.)
Want to get closer to the space-age Supertrees? This is definitely one of the top places to visit in Singapore at night, as the Skyway trail after dusk allows for a surreal 22-metre high stroll amidst the glowing structures. If you have kids to keep amused, toddle off to the huge Children’s Garden. There are sprawling tree houses, a water play area and a free toddler zone, with fun activities for kids.
18 Marina Gardens Drive | gardensbythebay.com.sg
Discover the backstreets of Chinatown
With its busy alleys and shophouses, Chinatown is ripe with Chinese heritage, making it another of the top places to visit in Singapore. It’s a great place to load up on souvenirs too! There are plenty of things to do with visitors here – duck into shops for antique wares, Chinese tea leaves, traditional remedies, clothing and more, before stopping by the hawker stalls and eateries along Smith Street for a local meal. (Better to go in the evening when it’s a lot cooler!) Prominent places of worship in the area include the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Sri Mariamman Temple. Aside from historical sights, Chinatown is teeming with cool bars and restaurants to try. In particular, check out Ann Siang Hill and Club Street for some of the best spots.
Wander around Little India
The cultural enclave of Little India has lots of interesting lanes to explore. Savour Indian desserts from the famous Moghul Sweet Shop in Little India Arcade, visit temples or find out your fortune from a street-side parrot astrologer. Ladies will also love Little India for beautiful saris, cheap eyebrow threading and intricate henna tattoos. If it’s a unique late-night experience you’re after, try shopping at Mustafa Centre. If you’re after any kind of knick-knack, this 24-hour shopping mall is definitely among the top places to visit in Singapore.
Get up to your ears in art at the National Gallery
The National Gallery is home to the biggest public collection of Singaporean and Southeast Asian art in the world. There’s a whopping 8,000 artworks on display! If that sounds daunting for a family visit, visit the Kids & Families section of the website for ideas on fun activities for kids. The Gallery opened in 2015; it occupies the former City Hall and Supreme Court heritage buildings, making it the largest visual arts venue in Singapore and the region – matching the likes of Musée d’Orsay (France) and the Tate Modern (UK) in size. If you’re more “foodie” than “arty”, check out the plethora of restaurants and bars at the venue. These include modern French at Odette, and spectacular skyline views from Aura Sky Lounge & Bar.
1 St Andrew’s Road | nationalgallery.sg
Head up to Dempsey Hill
The former nutmeg plantation turned army barracks and now lifestyle enclave is a hugely popular haunt both day and night, and commonly regarded as one of the top places to visit in Singapore. There are tons of places to eat and drink, for any taste and budget; plenty of shops, too – particularly if you’re on the lookout for antiques of carpets! Grab a coffee from one of the many cafés and explore the area on foot. Not only will you find bars, restaurants, shops and art, but hairdressers, a spa, a women’s fitness studio and even a luxury pet hotel.
Find a list of Dempsey Hill tenants here.
Chill out at Kampong Glam
A short walk from Bugis MRT, the Kampong Glam district has rows and rows of vibrant shophouses hiding quaint cafes, trendy boutiques, laid-back bars, Middle Eastern restaurants and more. For a more traditional taste of Malay culture, one of the top places to see in Singapore is the stately Masjid Sultan Mosque, with its striking gold domes. You can also browse the old fabric and trinket shops nearby.
Boat across to Pulau Ubin
For just a few bucks, you can catch a 10-minute bum-boat from Changi Village to one of Singapore’s biggest offshore islands. Pulau Ubin is among the top places to visit in Singapore because it’s like taking a step back in time. Local villagers still live on the island; they offer an insight into what life was like before Singapore became a busy city. For around $10, you can hire bikes near the ferry point on the other side and cruise around the rural island for a good few hours. There are also some harder mountain bike trails, if that’s your thing. Keep an eye out for monkeys and wild boars; and don’t forget to head to the Chek Jawa wetlands trail.
Brave the fabled oddities in Haw Par Villa
One of the most unique places in the actual world (or so we think), Haw Par Villa has over 1,000 statues, not to mention the 150 dioramas, that dramatise Chinese legends and folklore. Have a laugh as you witness characters like Fu Lu Shou, Confucius and the Laughing Buddha doing some very odd things indeed! Ten Courts of Hell, Journey into the West and numerous other exhibits aim to take you on an experience through ancient times, complete with blood, gore and, erm, human crabs. The level of weird here is so famous amongst locals that it’s even inspired a homegrown music video. Haw Par Villa is free to visit.
262 Pasir Panjang Road | hawparvilla.sg
Tour Changi Chapel & Museum
For a poignant look back at Singapore’s wartime past, visit Changi Chapel & Museum. The museum reopened in May 2021 after a major revamp in 2018. Check out a never-before-seen 400-page diary, a dinner menu and a toothbrush fashioned from scratch. These artefacts shed light on personal stories of POWs and civilians interned here during the Japanese Occupation. Follow nhb.gov.sg/changichapelmuseum for news and updates.
1000 Upper Changi Road North | Open daily from 9.30am-5pm (free)
Step into the past at Kampong Buangkok
Believe it or not, Singapore still has one surviving kampong (traditional village) amid the high-rise apartments. Home to less than 30 families, the cluster of zinc-roofed houses near Hougang has stood since 1956. It feels like a portal to the past! It’s common to see cats, dogs and chickens roaming about, as well as more exotic wildlife in the surrounding foliage. If you want to delve deep into kampong life, take a tour with Let’s Go Tour. Your guide will take you into the Kampong houses and really help you explore Singapore’s past.
5 Lorong Buangkok | letsgotoursingapore.com
Visit the National Museum of Singapore
The National Museum of Singapore is Singapore’s biggest museum, regularly featuring exhibitions of the island’s historical and cultural artefacts. Keep tabs on their website for their latest interactive workshops, outdoor movie screenings and fun activities for kids.
93 Stamford Road | Open daily from 10am-6pm (free for citizens and PRs, from $10 for others)
Cycle through Punggol Waterway Park
With its cycling and jogging paths along calm waters, Punggol Waterway Park is lovely for an afternoon jaunt. Bring along your bicycle or skates, or rent them from stalls along the stretch. You’ll breeze past a peaceful backdrop of nature as you ride. Bird-watchers have plenty to keep an eye out for too, such as rose-ringed parakeets and collared kingfishers. Also, kids can have fun running amok in the watery playground.
Sentul Crescent Road
Catch music and art at the Esplanade
The Esplanade’s intimate Outdoor Theatre often plays host to live music gigs spanning all kinds of genres; whether it’s jazz or pop rock, this is a decent chill-out spot by the bay. Look out for scheduled shows on their website. If your guests prefer visual candy, stop by Jendela (Visual Arts Space) at Level 2 for ever-changing exhibits, often spotlighting local artists.
1 Esplanade Drive; open daily from 11am-9pm
Visit the junkyard for knick-knacks
If shabby chic is your thing, you’ll love the junk shops that sit behind the Turf Club in Bukit Timah. They are piled – and we mean piled – high with everything and anything you might want in a home. Whether you’re looking for dining chairs, tables, desks, mirrors or storage, these shops have everything by the dozen and for insane prices. Simply dig (on your hands and knees through cobwebs sometimes!) through the pieces to find the item you love. Then take a photo and show it to the staff. They’ll come up with a price – and you can haggle a little too. On our last visit, we saw a huge vintage carousel, a life-size statue of Jesus and a wooden hot tub.
2 Turf Club Road
Try a durian!
This is one of the more adventurous things to do with visitors! The spiky, pungent ‘King of Fruits’ usually gets lots of extreme reactions and flak from foreigners. Whether you end up loving it or swearing off another bite completely, you have to try it once! Geylang is famous for durian stalls. For a wide selection, try Ah Hung Company. The latest updates can be found at durianhomies.sg.
204 Geylang Road
Visit Gillman Barracks
Taking roost in former colonial barracks, this art hub’s cluster of galleries always has cool contemporary shows going on. If you are looking for new things to do in Singapore, start in this happening district. After spending an afternoon gazing at the intriguing artworks here, retreat to one of the hip neighbourhood restaurants for a hearty dinner.
9 Lock Road | gillmanbarracks.com
Chill at a cat café
Close the doors to the hectic life outside and find a relaxing spot in one of Singapore’s cat cafés, one of the best indoor things to do in Singapore. Pay a small entry fee to enjoy a drink, relax in a comfy chair and enjoy interacting with the felines. Niko no Niwa (pictured) has over ten adopted cats in its premises; the minimum age limit for visitors is seven years. The Cat Café also houses only re-homed or adopted strays.
Take the plunge at iFly
The indoor skydiving complex lets guests float and flip in a state-of-the-art wind tunnel. At 16.5 feet wide, it’s the largest in the world. Since this does away with the daunting task of leaping out of a plane, it’s perfect for folks who get a bit jittery about heights – and kids! Aimed at ages seven and above, each ‘flight’ is supervised by fully-qualified instructors; they’ll train you before ‘take off’ and also keep you on the right track during the dive.
43 Siloso Beach Walk, #01-01, Sentosa
Get your thrills at Universal Studios
Get your hands on a queue-jump pass for a few extra bucks, or head down on a weekday for the best experience at Universal Studios Singapore. It’s not as huge as the ones in the US; however, a day in this wacky theme park definitely makes for a fun day out – with or without kids. Expect rollercoasters, 3D experiences, water rides and movie-set towns and eateries.
Scratch your head at the Trick Eye Museum
Snap-happy tourists will love the Trick Eye Museum for its bevy of interactive 2D and 3D scenes that make for fun, outrageous illusions. Just be sure to pose in the right spots (pointed out with markers)! You could find yourself balancing on a circus elephant’s trunk or flying on a broomstick. It’s a hilarious, lighthearted way to spend a few hours; plus, you’ll leave with lots of photos to baffle friends and family with.
80 Siloso Road, Sentosa | 6592 0607
Visit a rooftop bar
With towering high-rise buildings at every turn, it’s no shock that Singapore is home to some of the best rooftop bars in the world. Not only are the views amazing, the drinks are top-notch too. Definitely one of the best things to do with friends in Singapore and visitors. Head here for our pick of the best bars to feel on top of the world.
More interesting things to do in Singapore with friends!
If you’ve got family, friends, overseas work colleagues or other guests coming to town and you’d love to show them some quirkier bits of Singapore, here’s a cracking list of things to do and see.
Let’s start with an obvious one! From international brands and neighbourhood malls to flea markets and bazaars, Singapore is a shopper’s paradise. Start on Orchard Road, of course, but don’t miss other retail centres such as Bugis Street and IMM. Orchard offers both high-end and wallet-friendly boutiques; Bugis is great for budget shopping (some stores will allow you to negotiate for a better deal); and IMM is the island’s biggest outlet mall, with an array of brand stores, such as Nine West, Club 21 and Nike, selling products at a lower or discounted price.
Eat at hawker centres
Food is crucial in Singaporean culture, and eating at a hawker centre – for the uninitiated, an area with a cluster of stalls that sells cheap food across a range of cuisines – is one good way to have your guests experience authentic local culture. Notable hawker centres include Maxwell Road, Old Airport Road, Lau Pa Sat, Tiong Bahru Market and Chomp Chomp in Serangoon Gardens.
Singapore’s offshore islands are vastly different from the mainland, and each is unique. Pulau Ubin has wildlife galore, from wild boars to monkeys, and outdoor activities including cycling, hiking and kayaking – take a bum-boat from Changi Point Ferry Terminal. St. John’s Island, reached from Marina South Pier, offers bungalow chalets and bunks for short, rustic getaways, and outdoor activities such as fishing and swimming. (Rumours say it’s haunted at night!) Lazarus Island is within walking distance from St. John’s, and offers a beautiful, quiet beach.
Ride the cable car from Mount Faber to Sentosa
Sentosa should definitely be on your list of places to go, and we recommend that you ride the cable car from Mount Faber across to the island. The trip will treat you to stunning bird’s-eye views of the harbour, various neighbourhoods of Singapore, distant islands, and Sentosa itself.
Experience Singapore’s nightlife
Singapore’s nightlife scene is always changing and growing, but there are plenty of reliable areas for club and pub fun. These include, in particular, Clarke Quay, Holland Village and Orchard Road. And don’t miss a tipple on one of the rooftop bars; take in the stunning views of the city while you sip on your drink.
Visit Singapore’s ethnic neighbourhoods
Singapore’s multicultural mix comprises a wide range of ethnic groups. Of these, the Chinese, Malay and Indian groups are the largest, and you can discover much more about each of them, and their history, culture and religion, in Chinatown, Kampong Glam and Little India respectively. Visiting these areas is definitely among the top things to do in Singapore, whether you’re fresh off the boat or an ‘old hand’!
Explore the past at the Asian Civilisations Museum
One of the region’s pioneering museums, the ACM tells the stories of Asian civilisations throughout its collections. You’ll learn about the ancestral cultures of Singaporeans and the history behind the island’s current multi-ethnic society. Recommended for anyone and as one of the best things to do alone in Singapore.
Get cultural at the Peranakan Museum
The Peranakan Museum exposes visitors to different aspects of Peranakan culture in Singapore and Southeast Asia, from the origins, fashion and food, to collections of Peranakan artefacts, such as furniture and jewellery. The museum reopened in 2023 after a long period of renovation.
Gaze at art at the National Gallery Singapore
Singapore’s largest art gallery is housed in two iconic buildings that have played an important role in Singapore’s history – the former Supreme Court Building and City Hall. The gallery oversees the largest public collection of modern art in the country and Southeast Asia, comprising over 8,000 artworks.
Step back in time at the National Museum of Singapore
This is the nation’s oldest museum, and it focuses on exhibits related to the history of Singapore. A must-visit if you’re in any way interested in history.
Drop by Merlion Park
Granted, it’s a little cheesy, but Merlion Park is still worth a look – if only for that one iconic photo with the statue of Singapore’s quirky half-fish, half-lion emblem. You’ll also get great views of the Central Business District (CBD) and the bay, with excellent restaurants and bars just nearby.
Admire the Esplanade
Known for its unique architectural design – the spikes on the outside look a bit like those on a durian – the Esplanade is Singapore’s premier performing arts centre. Frequent shows are held in its impressive concert hall.
Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay
Ride the Singapore Flyer
This giant wheel offers stunning panoramic views of Singapore’s iconic landmarks (Marina Bay Sands, the CBD, Merlion Park and more), and even neighbouring Indonesian islands and the Straits of Johor across to Malaysia.
Be at one with nature
For a small island with a big population, Singapore has a plenty of green places for picnics, with highlights close to the centre including the Botanic Gardens and Fort Canning Park. These places are great for exploring and unwinding in – though you’ll definitely need some shade! Further afield, Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and MacRitchie Reservoir are both great for hiking, and Coney Island is an ideal cycling spot.
Singapore Botanic Gardens
Fort Canning Park
Bukit Timah Nature Reserve
MacRitchie Reservoir Park
Coney Island Park
Moving to Singapore? Find more helpful tips in our Living in Singapore section.
Finally, if you’re planning to live in Singapore or if you’re new to our sunny island, read the digital edition of our latest City Guide!