In one of the world’s most expensive cities, you can still enjoy these top 7 attractions in Singapore for free!
Starting with the wonderful…
1. Spectra Light and Water Show
By far, the free Spectra Light and Water Show is a must-see on your visit to Singapore. Children will also love this striking 15-minute extravaganza accompanied by dramatic music.
Stake your piece of the boardwalk at Event Plaza on Marina Bay early before the show starts at 8 pm, as this fabulous show is a hugely popular gathering every night for both locals and tourists.
2. Gardens by The Bay
You can easily spend a couple of hours or half a day strolling through the expansive exotic Gardens by The Bay for free.
Dotted with unique captivating sculptures…
…and spanning multi-themed gardens over 100 established hectares in Singapore’s Central region, did you know that the Gardens by the Bay is built on reclaimed land? It’s hard to imagine and the gardens are so established that it’s surprising to learn this area only opened in 2007.
The wide-ranging gardens also include three waterfront gardens to explore: Bay South Garden, Bay East Garden, and Bay Central Garden. Favoured by locals and tourists, it’s not uncommon to see people enjoying a picnic in the alluring gardens.
3. Impressive Supertree Grove
A favourite when in Singapore, the colossal Supertree Grove is stunning for a romantic stroll, especially when the trees come alive with colourful illumination at night.
The enormous 25-50m-tall vertical gardens resembling sci-fi trees tower over the extensive Gardens by The Bay and are a pleasure to explore. Eleven of the eighteen supertrees are powered by green energy.
The super vertical gardens are a bold new method of growing and displaying many varieties of plants. These magnificent structures will even impress non-plant lovers.
Although the observatory, skywalk, and conservatories are not free, the supertree garden is free.
4. Wander around Marina Bay Sands
Iconic Marina Bay Sands definitely warrants attention and the fact that wandering around outside and inside of this futuristic architecture is free and is a definite bonus.
The three 55-storey towers containing luxury suites with personal butler services and extravagant hotel rooms are best viewed from outside (unless of course, you have loads of cash to burn).
5. Admire Singapore’s City Hall, Supreme Court, and National Gallery
In Singapore’s Civic District, the transition of the old City Hall to connect as the National Gallery to the Supreme Court proved a complex task for global designers. From around 110 design entries, French designer Studio Milou’s concept of juxtaposing the old and new won Singapore’s vote.
It’s only a short walk from Marina Bay until you bump into French designer Studio Milou’s creation of connecting the historical former Supreme Court with the City Hall to create the National Gallery space.
Unionising old with new while preserving and modernising Singapore’s historical monuments, Milou’s desire was to “juxtapose the old and new”. The majestic “filigree metallic and glass veil” connects both historic buildings while immersing the interior with soft natural lighting.
Although free to wander through the three structures and the ground floor of the National Gallery, actual exhibitions are paid entry.
6. Fort Canning Hill
For the history buffs out there, a visit to Fort Canning Hill (previously Government Hill) will delight and you can easily spend half a day seeking out the numerous fascinating sights.
Not only are the surrounding parklands enjoyable and peaceful, but exploring the hill includes authentic cannons facing out to sea, and imposing stone Gothic gates.
At 48 metres high, the hill is Singapore’s highest elevation and with nearly two-thirds of the main island less than 15 metres above sea level, it’s an easy ascent to Fort Canning Hill. You can also find a Christian Cemetary dating back to 1822 on the grounds.
Used in a military role in 1861, there is also a small replica of the original Fort Canning Hill lighthouse. The original was one of Singapore’s most prominent landmarks for ships entering the harbour and visible up to 30 kilometres away.
…and at one point, Raffles had one of his homes on the hill. Albeit the original timber home was replaced by today’s stone house.
7. Enjoyable Riverwalks
For a small island country of just under 6 million people (2023 figure), diamond-shaped Singapore Island only 137 kilometres from the Equator, certainly offers many lovely riverwalks along the Singapore River.
Compressed between soaring skyscrapers and sweltering temperatures, roaming along the river takes in beautiful colonial buildings, historic bridges, intriguing sculptures dotted along the way, and glimpses of traditional boats. Many busy bars, restaurants, and cafes flank both sides of the Singapore River.
Although Singapore is not a cheap destination, there are always free attractions on offer so as not to strain your wallet. Walking everywhere is also a great way to keep costs down. Try several of the cheap eat areas in my Singapore Sequel post to make your cash last longer, but better still, try non-touristy delicious and authentic cuisines. Especially delve into bustling chaotic Chinatown and Little India, which are the rawer and more curious areas of Singapore.
Where to from Singapore?
After discovering more of Singapore’s free attractions over 4 days (a few more in my Returning to Singapore), the next destination is Osaka, Japan.
With 7 weeks to spare in Japan before heading to Scandinavia, unearthing Japan is going to be a blast, especially because travel is across March and April, which hopefully means cheery blossoms galore! Check this first post about landing in Japan.
Note: All photos by Nilla’s Photography unless otherwise mentioned. No part of this post was composed with the help of ChatGPT or AI.