Singapore has something for just about everyone. Rich history and culture? Check. Gorgeous coastal scenery? Check. A food scene that many consider the best in the world? Check!
Sometimes referred to as Instant Asia because it provides the perfect introduction to the continent, Singapore is a melting pot of different cultural influences that combine to make something truly unique. In other words, it's a fantastic place to visit on your next vacation.
What it isn't, though, is cheap.
Often ranked as one of the most expensive places to live in the world, Singapore isn't cheap to visit either. Enjoying the city's major attractions can soon burn a hole in even the fattest budget, and that's to say nothing of what you'll spend enjoying all the incredible food here.
But if you look around, you can find some great free things to do in Singapore that can augment your itinerary and help you see more of the city without spending more money. Drop off your bags at a Bounce luggage storage in Singapore and try some of these free things to do. Not only will they help your dollars stretch further, but they will also help give you a deeper and richer experience of this fascinating city-state.
Singapore Botanic Gardens
The Singapore Botanic Gardens are an oasis in the heart of the city. Stretching over 64 hectares, this UNESCO World Heritage site features an extensive collection of both native and foreign plant species as well as a variety of landscapes, from rainforests to ginger gardens.
There is also a lake at the Singapore Botanic Gardens where you can go for a paddle boat ride, and if you time your visit right, you can catch a free concert at the open-air bandstand.
The botanical garden is open from 5 am to midnight every day, making it the perfect place for an early morning jog or an evening stroll.
Admission is free, although there is a small charge for the boat rides. Singapore Botanic Gardens are the perfect place to take a break from the hectic city and recharge your batteries among nature. And even though this is one of the top Singapore attractions for tourists, it won't cost you a thing.
Fort Canning Park
Fort Canning Park is one of the most historic sites in Singapore. Once the site of a Malay kampung, it was transformed into a British fort in the 19th century and played an important role in World War II.
Nowadays, it's a popular spot for picnics, concerts, and festivals, and there are plenty of things to see and do here. Check out the Spice Garden, learn about Singapore's punk rock scene at the Substation, or take in views of the city from atop Fort Canning Hill.
If you're interested in Singapore's history, this is one place you won't want to miss. Best of all, admission is free!
Singapore is home to some truly incredible museums. But if you want to visit them without spending a fortune, you'll need to do a little bit of planning.
National museums operated by the National Heritage Board, including the National Museum of Singapore, the Asian Civilisations Museum, The Singapore Art Museum, and the National Gallery Singapore ordinarily charge some fairly steep admission fees. But on certain days of the year, the National Museums are completely free to visit. If you're lucky enough to be in the city on those days, these are some of the best free things you could possibly do in Singapore.
Free museum days include New Year's Day, Chinese New Year, Singapore's National Day in August, Deepavali in November, and Christmas Day. Perhaps unsurprisingly, you can expect these astonishing museums to be more crowded on those days. But it's still worth a visit to see some of the most incredible museums in the country.
In addition to the free museum days, there are some museums that offer free entry year-round. For instance, the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple is always totally free to visit, and the incredible architecture of this temple makes it well worth seeing when you visit Singapore. Additionally, the Red Dot Design Museum and the Air Force Museum are both free all year round.
Marina Bay Sands Light Show
The Marina Bay Sands near the Central Business District is one of the most iconic buildings in Singapore. And while you might not be able to afford a stay in this opulent hotel, you can still enjoy its incredible light show for free.
Every night at 8 pm, the building's exterior is illuminated with a spectacular display of lights and music. One of Asia's largest light shows, it lasts for about 10 minutes, and it's an unforgettable experience. It's also one of the best things to do in Singapore with kids.
Whether you're staying in Singapore on a budget or just looking for some free things to do, the Marina Bay Sands Light Show is definitely worth checking out.
If you're looking for something a little bit different, Haji Lane is the place to go. This narrow street is located in the heart of Singapore's Arab Quarter, and it's lined with colorful murals and hip cafes.
Haji Lane is the perfect place to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city and relax with a cup of coffee or some delicious street food. And best of all, it won't cost you a thing to explore this unique corner of Singapore.
Gardens by the Bay
Gardens by the Bay is one of the most popular attractions in Singapore, and it's easy to see why. This massive park is home to two huge domes, the Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest, which are both filled with exotic plants and flowers.
In addition to the gardens, there are also plenty of places to eat, drink, and shop. And if you want to get a birds-eye view of the park, you can take a ride on the Singapore Flyer.
Admission to Gardens by the Bay is free, but there is a charge for some of the attractions within the park. However, even if you don't want to spend any money, there's still plenty to see and do here. Don't miss the futuristic Super Trees, huge structures that have become an icon of Gardens by the Bay and of the city itself.
If the entire Gardens by the Bay are a little too much for you, just focus on the Bay East Garden, which can be a more low-key substitute.
MacRitchie Reservoir Park
Nature lovers won't want to miss one of the best free things to do in Singapore. MacRitchie Reservoir Park offers some of the best hiking trails in Singapore, as well as opportunities to see some of the city's resident monkeys.
The park is a great place to escape the heat and humidity, and it's also one of the best places in the city for birdwatching.
If you want to explore more of Singapore's natural side, this park is the perfect place to start. Hiking trails here range from easy to challenging, so there's something for everyone.
Have a Beach Day
Singapore isn't usually thought of as a beach destination, but that doesn't mean it lacks incredible beaches. And spending some time on a beach can be a welcome addition to a Singapore trip, as well as being one of the best free things to do in the city.
One of the most popular beaches in Singapore is Siloso Beach, which is located on Sentosa Island. This man-made beach is perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and simply relaxing.
If you're looking for a more natural setting, Tanjong Beach is a great option. This secluded beach is located on the southern tip of Sentosa Island and it's definitely worth the extra effort to get there.
There's another great beach at East Coast Park, too. The beach here may be man-made, but it offers 15 km of coastline and is the largest park in the city. Therefore, if you want to spend some time swimming and relaxing, East Coast Park is a great place to do it.
Jewel Changi Airport
It might sound a little strange to consider the airport as a tourist destination. After all, in most cases, airports are a means to an end, a place where your vacation starts and ends but not necessarily a location you want to spend more time in.
But just as it is in so many other areas, Singapore is different. Jewel Changi Airport is not like any other transportation hub, and it's worth spending some time enjoying what has to offer on your way in or out of the country.
In addition to being one of the most beautiful airports in the world, Jewel Changi Airport is also home to a number of great free attractions. The Rain Vortex is the centerpiece, a stunning 40-meter tall waterfall that cascades down from the roof of the airport terminal and is illuminated with color at night.
The airport also has its own forest valley, complete with a walking trail, as well as the spectacular HSBC Rainforest Dome.
Best of all, Jewel Changi Airport is home to one of Singapore's best free attractions for kids: the Canopy Park. This indoor playground features a number of kid-friendly activities, including a trampoline park, mazes, and more.
Singapore Free Market
Singapore is sometimes held up as an example of the success of free-market economics. But don't worry; this isn't an economics lesson. The Singapore Really, Really Free Market is instead an experiment in sustainable community based on sharing resources.
As the name suggests, this is a free market where nothing costs anything. Anyone is free to bring things they no longer need to the market and give them away. At the same time, they can help themselves to what other people are offering.
What you find at the Free Market varies wildly from one day to the next. But it's worth visiting just to see this unique communal location to experience a different side of Singapore.
Music lovers rejoice! The Singapore Symphony Orchestra offers free shows that anyone can attend as part of their community outreach program. These free concerts are often held in parks and other locations around the city, so they're easy to get to.
The concerts typically feature a mix of Western classical music and traditional Chinese pieces, so there's something for everyone. Check the Singapore Symphony Orchestra website for upcoming concert dates and locations.
Singapore's Chinatown is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the city, and it's easy to see why. This vibrant neighborhood is home to a number of historic temples, as well as great restaurants and shops.
But even if you're not interested in doing any shopping or temple visiting, Chinatown is still worth exploring. The neighborhood is simply fascinating, and it's one of the best places to get a sense of Singapore's history and culture.
And best of all, many of the attractions in Chinatown are free. This includes the Chinatown Heritage Center, which tells the story of Singapore's early Chinese immigrants, as well as the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, which is home to a tooth of the Buddha himself.
Temple Street Night Market
If you're looking for a great place to shop in Singapore, you can't go wrong with the Temple Street Night Market. This popular market is open every night and offers a wide variety of goods, from clothes to souvenirs to electronics.
But even if you're not interested in shopping, the Temple Street Night Market is still worth checking out. The atmosphere is electric, and it's a great place to people-watch and sample some of the street food on offer.
No matter what you do, it's probably not going to be cheap to visit Singapore. But by giving some of these free things a place on your itinerary, you can save some money and enjoy some of the best things to do in Singapore at the same time. Drop off your bags at a Singapore luggage locker, and you'll be ready to enjoy this fascinating city on the cheap.