You know about the main Singapore tourist attractions, like the much-talked-about Gardens by the Bay and Mustafa Centre (and don’t worry, we’ve mentioned those here, too), but what about the lesser-known places of interest in Singapore? Here are 20 shopping districts, cultural neighbourhoods, hawker centres, museums, and happening Singaporean tourist spots that will satisfy the people who travel for their eyes, their stomachs, the culture, or a mix of all of these.
Marina Bay Sands
Marina Bay Sands is a hotel that makes Singapore a famous tourist destination worldwide. It’s not only famous for its largest infinity pool and panorama view from the rooftop bar, but it’s also popular as a shopping mall with lots of high-luxury brands and casino properties. Surrounding also have many touristy areas such as Gardens by the Bay (GBTB), Merlion Park, Singapore Flyer, etc, so it gives easier access to enjoy as a tourist. If this is your first time in Singapore, staying in Marina Bay Sands is a must!
Closest MRT: Bayfront
Gardens by the Bay
GBTB is an iconic attraction in Singapore with almost 400,000 plants planted in 101 hectares of space. A must in terms of places of interest to visit in Singapore, the futuristic design is not just a decoration. The structure of GBTB is environmentally friendly, cooling the environment although it does not have an air-conditioner. Every night, there is a light show called “Garden Rhapsody”, where the supertrees outside start lighting up with lovely music from 7:45pm to 8:45pm.
Ticket price: SGD28 for an adult, SGD15 for a child
Closest MRT: Bayfront
The ArtScience Museum is a museum full of science technology and arts. It’s a museum that exercises the use of big data, robotics, physics, etc. that both adults and children can enjoy. “FUTURE WORLD” is especially an exhibition that is popular where they use projection mapping to show innovative arts and to provide a playground for children.
Ticket price: SGD50 for an adult, SGD38 for a student, 2-12 yrs old, 65 yrs old and above, Full-time National Servicemen (NSF) and Professionals with Disabilities (PWD)
Closest MRT: Bayfront
This is one of the mandatory places to go in Singapore if you’re telling people that you visited! There’s a mythical story that the king who found Singapore saw a lion with a mermaid leg (“mer-lion”). When they named the land, they named it after this merlion, which is ‘Singapura’ in Malay.
Surrounding Merlion Park are some bars and restaurants where patrons can enjoy the Singapore River view with the merlion in the background, making it a highly attractive Singapore tourist attraction. It also has luxury hotels such as The Fullerton Hotel and Mandarin Hotel around.
Closest MRT: Raffles Place
Sentosa is a resort island that has all attractions that will excite you! You can lie down on Siloso Beach to enjoy the sunset or play volleyball. If not, you can visit attractions such as S.E.A Aquarium, USS, or Adventure Cove Waterpark for a thrilling experience. If you want to be more adventurous, you can experience the Skyline Luge or even try a bungee jump. In the nighttime, they also have a few free shows to watch and a 24-hour casino.
Closest MRT: Harbour Front
If you love animals, here’s the zoo you should visit! There are 315 species of animals living on 26 hectares. The animal includes exotic species such as white tiger, Aldabra giant tortoise, free-ranging orangutan, etc. The location is close to Night Safari and River Safari, so a full-day itinerary could look like going to either Singapore Zoo or River Safari in the morning and the afternoon, then Night Safari at nighttime.
Ticket price: SGD48 for an adult, SGD33 for a child (3 ~ 12 yrs old)
Closest MRT: Khatib (There’s a shuttle bus to the zoo)
Night Safari is the world’s first nighttime wildlife park. It houses 2,500 animals with 130 species, including the Malayan tiger and pug. As it operates in the nighttime, you get to watch nocturnal animals moving around. You can either walk around the park by yourself or take a tram to enjoy it!
Ticket price: SGD55 for an adult, SGD38 for 3-12 yrs old, SGD20 for 60 yrs old and above
Closest MRT: Khatib (Have a shuttle bus to the safari)
Ubin Island is one of the lesser known islands that tourists in Singapore can visit for hiking and cycling. With a quick 10-minute ride on the ferry, you can enjoy the greenery that is uncommon to see in Singapore. You get to see wild animals such as monkeys and boars if you’re lucky. There’s also a trail where you can look at planes in a close-up, as the small island is close to airports!
Ticket price: SGD6
Closest MRT: Tanah Merah
National Gallery Singapore
National Gallery Singapore is a museum with a wide variety of Asian modern arts. In addition to some permanent local collections, there’s also a temporary exhibition that operates for a while. In past, artists such as Yayoi Kusama or Wu Guanzhong. The place is also known as the former City Hall and Supreme Court, and you’ll see the traces of this history in its building outlook and also from a prison inside.
Ticket price: SGD20 for an adult, SGD15 for those 7-12 yrs old, and 60 yrs old and above
Closest MRT: City Hall
Jewel Changi Airport
Jewel Changi Airport doubles as a shopping mall that you can walk around in after the early check-in! The mall is located inside the airport with 300 shops inside. You can check-in up to 3 hours before your flight to shop. The most iconic feature is the “HSBC Rain Vortex”, the artificial waterfall surrounded by 2,000 trees. It also has a light show every night with magnificent music.
Closest MRT: Changi Airport
Singapore Botanic Gardens
Singapore Botanic Gardesn is the first UNESCO World Heritage-nominated place in Singapore. The place is green and clean and it’s a comfortable place to chill. Entering the botanic garden is free, but if you’re here to visit the National Orchid Garden, you’ll need to pay an admission fee. The orchid is a national flower, and you’ll get to see a wide range of bred orchid flowers.
Ticket price: SGD5 for an adult, SGD1 for a student and 60 yrs old and above, free for below 12 yrs old
Closest MRT: Botanic Garden
If you’re visiting Singapore, Clarke Quary is a must-go place for nightlife. Along the Singapore River, you’ll get to see all of the clubs, bars, and restaurants that offer drinks and food with various cuisines. There’s luminous lighting and a water fountain in the middle that will boost the atmosphere. There are also a few attractions to experience such as a bungee jump attraction and a boat that will go through the Singapore River. A short walk away, you’ll find quieter Singaporean hotspots for drinks or seafood.
Closest MRT: Clarke Quay
If you’re looking for places to go in Singapore where you can eat and shop handmade indie goods, the Kampong Glam district is famous for its Sultan Mosque and Arabic restaurants and murals. The area was originally for Malay and Arabs to gather in Singapore’s colonial era, thus the remaining culture and heritage. Haji Lane is a famous one-way road in Kampong Glam. It is a popular area for hippie & indie food and retail, so it has some colourful mural arts around as well. After the casual walks, locals and tourists can enjoy sips of drinks in the bars.
Closest MRT: Bugis
The oldest museum in Singapore, National Museum, was established in 1987. It has a main exhibition that explains the history of Singapore that walks vistors through from the time it was founded up to the steps Singaporeans are making as a modern society. It also has a few other art exhibitions and a mini store that sells Singapore-related goods, a good place to buy a souvenir.
Ticket price: SGD33 for an adult, SGD24 for 60 yrs old and above
Closest MRT: Bras Basah
Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve
Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve is Singapore’s first ASEAN Heritage Park which is 130 hectares in area. The biodiversity in this area is rich, and you’ll get to see tropical plants such as mangrove trees and sea hibiscus trees. The wetland reserve is also a place for birds to migrate, so you’ll see some locals holding cameras and binoculars for bird-watching. You may also encounter animals such as komodo dragons, alligators, or bats. It is not a touristy area, but it’s a must-go place to visit in Singapore if you’re a hiker or a nature lover.
Closest MRT: Kranji (need to take a bus)
A popular attraction in Singapore, Orchard Road is a shopping heaven that has many huge malls. You’ll get to see well-known casual brands to high fashion branded stores, ranging from clothes to appliances. The shopping road starts from around Orchard MRT to Somerset MRT, and it can take half a day to a whole day to shop around. Besides the shopping, there are several art objects established in different areas of Orchard Road. The Orchard Road also has a light-up display during Christmas, thus it can serve as a photogenic area.
Closest MRT: Orchard, Somerset
Old Airport Road Hawker Centre
Old Airport Road Hawker Centre is one of the most well-known and best hawker centres to try in Singapore. It’s also one of the largest hawker centres, with more than 165 stalls. They sell all of the local Singaporeans’ favorite dishes, such as char kway teow, seafood, or even a kaya toast. Although there are a wide variety of stalls, most stalls have high reviews among the locals and you will not draw a blank. It’s a recommended place to go in Singapore if you’re a foodie!
Closest MRT: Dakota
Raffles Hotel and Chijmes
Raffles Hotel is a colonial-style luxury hotel that has been there since the 18th century. It’s known as the hotel where Michael Jackson and Queen Elizabeth II stayed. It’s also famous for Long Bar, where they created Singapore Sling, the national cocktail of Singapore.
Just close to the Raffles Hotel, there’s a Chijmes, which was originally a school and a chapel in the 18th century. Now, it’s one of the most comfortable places in Singapore to have a drink and food.
Closest MRT: Raffles Place
One of the main attractions in Singapore, Singapore’s Chinatown is where the traditional and modern meet. As Chinatown was a residential area for Chinese immigrants in the past, you’ll see some temples such as the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, Thian Hock Keng Temple, or a traditional medicinal shop that has been running since the last century. At the same time, you’ll also see modern Chinese restaurants that the younger generation will also visit.
Closest MRT: Chinatown
A Singapore tourist spot that will please the shoppers and the foodies, Little India was a neighbourhood that once had a horserace track or a cattlemen living in it. As the roadside sellers were from India, the mosques and Hindu temples were set up for them in the old times. Now, Little India is a place where you can try all varities of Indian food and buy Indian goods. Arguably at the top of the list of most iconic places to sightsee in Singapore is Mustafa Centre, a 24-hour mall. The mall sells a variety of goods from children’s toys to food at a reasonable price, and it’s also a popular place for tourists to buy souvenirs.
Closest MRT: Little India
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Header image credits: Andrey Khrobostov via Canva