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17 free things to do alone in Singapore

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Singapore is the world’s most expensive city for the last five years. And as a solo traveller, this is not good news. It means I can only stay for a few days and see everything quickly. 

But luckily, the majority of tourist attractions are close to each other and visitors can efficiently see the best Singapore attractions in 2 days

Some of these attractions are completely free! And you can do all of these activities on your own. Take a look at my top free things to do in Singapore alone.

Before you visit Singapore

Before you visit Singapore, take a look at my Singapore solo travel guide. I included recommendations for must-see attractions and ideas on where to stay and where to eat in Singapore. 

Travelling solo in Asia? Check out my solo travel guide to Hong Kong

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17 Free things to do in Singapore alone

You can easily visit each of these attractions with Singapore Mass Rapid Transit (MRT). It is easy to use and the most economical way to get around Singapore. 

If you are relying on public transit during your time in Singapore, get a rechargeable smartcard called EZ-link. You pay at a discounted rate instead of full fare.

If you are only in Singapore for 1, 2 or 3 days, get a Singapore Tourist Pass for unlimited public transportation. 

The HSBC Rain Vortex is surrounded by the Shiseido Forest Valley at the Jewel at Changi Airport.
The HSBC Rain Vortex is surrounded by the Shiseido Forest Valley at the Jewel at Changi Airport.

1. See the world’s tallest indoor waterfall at the Jewel at Changi Airport

Address: Airport Boulevard, T1 Arrival Cres, Singapore Changi Airport, Singapore

Hours of Operation: 9:00 am – 11:30 pm

Closest MRT Station: Changi Airport (CG2)

When you arrive at Changi airport, aka the best airport in the world, check out the HSBC Rain Vortex, the world’s tallest indoor waterfall in the heart of the Forest Valley at the Jewel. The 40-meter high waterfall starts from the glass and steel roof and water cascade down to the B2 level. 

If you are at the Jewel in the evening, make sure to catch the light-and-sound show, which is from 7:30 pm to 11: 30 pm. 

Also, find the walking trails in the Shiseido Forest Valley, a 4-storey indoor garden around the perimeter of the Jewel.

And if you are there before April 2020, you can witness teamLab’s colourful lights in the Shiseido Forest Valley. As people pass by, the light around the tree changes colour. 

The Merlion is Singapore's most famous landmark.
The Merlion is Singapore’s most famous landmark.

2. Visit Singapore’s most famous icon, the Merlion

Address: Merlion Park, south end of Esplanade Bridge

Hours of Operation: 24 hours

Closest MRT Station: Raffles Place (EW14/NS26)

The Merlion is the official mascot of Singapore. The half-lion and half-fish statue got its name from its past. “Mer” represents the sea, where it represents Singapore’s origin as a fishing village. And the lion represents Singapore’s original name, Singapura, which means “lion city.”

The statue fountain overlooks Marina Bay in Merlion Park. You can’t miss it! There is a bridge built into the bay where you can take photos of the Merlion from many different vantage points. 

No matter what type of art you are into, you will find something you like at The Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay.
No matter what type of art you are into, you will find something you like at The Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay.

3. Watch a free performance or concert at the Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay 

Address: 1 Esplanade Dr, Singapore

Hours of Operation: 8:30 am – 6:00 pm 

Closest MRT Station: City Hall (EW13/NS25)

The Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay is a national performing arts centre hosting a diverse range of performing arts, including dance, music, and theatre. Moreover, they believe in making different types of arts accessible to everyone. That’s why there is always something interesting going on at the Esplanade. 

The free performances are at the Outdoor Theatre, and the free monthly concert series is in the Esplanade Concert Hall. Check the free programmes under festivals and series calendar for the latest free performances. 

The rainbow facade is the perfect backdrop for the perfect Instagram photo.
The rainbow facade is the perfect backdrop for the perfect Instagram photo.

4. Take an Instagram photo at the Old Hill Street Police Station

Address: 140 Hill St, Singapore

Hours of Operation: 24 hours

Closest MRT Station: Clarke Quay Station (NE5) or Fort Canning Station (DT20)

There are many Instagram-worthy spots all over Singapore, including Gardens by the Bay, the Jewel, Tan Teng Niah at Little India, ArtScience Museum, and many more. 

But the most famous and the unique spot is the Old Hill Street Police Station. It used to house over a thousand police officers and their families when it was first constructed in 1934. Today, the historic building is used as government office space. 

Most people may not know about the history and the evolution of this building. Still, people recognize the building right away because of the iconic windows with different colours of the rainbow. It is all over Instagram!

5. Visit one of the city parks like Fort Canning Park

Address: River Valley Rd, Singapore

Hours of Operation: 24 hours

Closest MRT Station: Fort Canning (DT20) or Bras Basah (CC2) 

There are a few city parks in Singapore that are worth visiting. And one of them is Fort Canning Park

While the park was part of many important historical milestones in Singapore, it serves as a green space for visitors today. The park has a reservoir, nine historical gardens, and many walking trails that will take you to every corner of the park. And there is even a hotel there! 

One of the most exciting spots in Fort Canning Park is the Tree Tunnel (pictured above). The underground tunnel ends at the spiral staircase where it has an opening above. Many locals and foreigners wait in the long queue to take the perfect Instagram photo! 

If you only want to see the Tree Tunnel, take the MRT and exit at Bras Basah Station

Window shop at one of the shopping centres like ION Orchard Mall.
Window shop at one of the shopping centres like ION Orchard Mall.

6. Window shop on Orchard Road 

Address: Orchard Road (between Orange Grove Rd and Killiney Rd)

Hours of Operation: 10:00 am – 10:00 pm 

Closest MRT Station: Orchard (NS22)

Orchard Road is home to the best shops in Singapore. From boutique stores to international high-end retailers, whatever your heart desires, you can find it on Orchard Road. Check out ION Orchard Mall, Takashimaya Department Store and Paragon Shopping Centre

As a minimalist traveller, I don’t buy much and tend to window shop more than actual shopping. But it is still an enjoyable activity! 

A view of the double-helix pedestrian bridge, the Helix Bridge.
A view of the double-helix pedestrian bridge, the Helix Bridge.

7. Admire the modern contemporary architecture of Singapore including the Helix Bridge

Address: Marina Bay

Hours of Operation: 24 hours

Closest MRT Station: Bayfront (CE1/DT16)

One of the best places to go alone in Singapore is Marina Bay. The area is full of modern architecture and unique contemporary buildings. 

My favourite modern architecture is the Helix Bridge, a pedestrian bridge that resembles the double-helix strands. Take a look at the bridge during the day and at night. 

Also, check out the ArtScience Museum, a building that looks like a lotus, Marina Bay Sands, a luxury hotel with a distinctive silhouette, and the Gardens by the Bay, where you will find modern architecture like the Cloud Forest, Flower Dome and Supertree Grove. 

Find a good spot in the Supertree Grove to watch the free light and music show
Find a good spot in the Supertree Grove to watch the free light and music show

8. Watch the light and music show at Supertree Grove

Address: 18 Marina Gardens Dr, Singapore

Hours of Operation: 5:00 am – 2:00 am

Closest MRT Station: Bayfront (CE1/DT16)

At the Supertree Grove at the Gardens by the Bay, there are giant trees from 25 and 50-meters tall. And if you are not afraid of heights, walk the OCBC Skyway (require entrance fee) and take in the panoramic view from the Supertree Observatory

During the evening, check out Garden Rhapsody, a signature light and music show at the Supertree Grove. The shows are at 7:45 pm and 8:45 pm every evening. It is one of the best things to do at night in Singapore but go early so you can grab a good spot to watch the free show. 

Solo travellers can see the best view of Singapore from Marina Barrage
Bring a picnic basket and enjoy the view from Marina Barrage.

9. Have a picnic on the roof level of Marina Barrage 

Address: 8 Marina Gardens Dr, Singapore

Hours of Operation: 24 hours

Closest MRT Station: Bayfront (CE1/DT16)

One of my favourite places in Singapore is the Marina Barrage. It is Singapore’s 15th water reservoir and the first one in the city. Not only does it bring in a new source of water supply, but the reservoir also has many water activities like kayaking and dragon boating.

Moreover, the building itself is a beautiful modern contemporary building drawing locals and tourists during the weekends. 

Bring some food and have a picnic on the roof level of Marina Barrage. It is one of the best spots to see the Singapore skyline

While you are in Singapore, visit different places of worship including Thian Hock Keng Temple.
While you are in Singapore, visit different places of worship, including Thian Hock Keng Temple.

10. Visit many places of worship including Thian Hock Keng Temple

Address: 158 Telok Ayer St, Singapore

Hours of Operation: 7:30 am – 5:30 pm

Closest MRT Station: Telok Ayer (DT18)

Singapore is a multicultural country where the city-state is made up of primarily Chinese, Malays and Indians. And because of the diversity, there are many churches, mosques, temples, synagogues all over the city. Visit each one of these places of worship and appreciate the different types of architecture. 

They are all free to visit. However, please remember to dress modestly (covering shoulders and knees) when you visit any of these places of worship. 

Check out Thian Hock Keng Temple, Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, St. Andrew’s Cathedral, Sri Mariamman Temple, and Sri Vadapathira Kaliamman Temple, and Masjid Sultan

A 3d architectural model of Singapore at the Singapore City Gallery.
A 3d architectural model of Singapore at the Singapore City Gallery.

11. Learn about the city at Singapore City Gallery

Address: 45 Maxwell Road, Singapore

Hours of Operation: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm (closed Sundays)

Closest MRT Station: Tanjong Pagar (EW15) 

Singapore City Gallery has three floors showing how Singapore evolved throughout the years. On the second floor, there is a 3d architectural model of the entire country. And there are interactive exhibitions where you can see how Singapore transformed from a small fishing village to a metropolis city. 

There are several murals on the outside of Chinatown Complex in Chinatown.
There are several murals on the outside of Chinatown Complex in Chinatown.

12. Look for street art at Chinatown, Haji Lane, Little India, and Tanjong Pagar

Address: Chinatown Complex, 335 Smith St, Chinatown, Singapore

Hours of Operation: 24 hours

Closest MRT Station: Chinatown (NE4)

One of the best free activities in Singapore is to find urban street art in the city. They are not concentrated in one part of the town only, nor is there a specific style to the street art. Each graffiti has a different style and different aesthetics. 

Wherever you go, keep an eye out for these colourful street murals. You might find some on the main road or in a small alley. And many of them are Instagram-worthy!

Besides the murals in Chinatown, look for other street art at Mohamed Ali Lane, Haji Lane, around Tanjong Pagar, and Little India

The current exhibit, Disturbing Narratives, at the Parkview Museum Singapore.
The current exhibit, Disturbing Narratives, at the Parkview Museum Singapore.

13. Free exhibitions at The Parkview Museum Singapore

Address: 600 North Bridge Rd, Level 3 Parkview Square, Singapore

Hours of Operation: 12:00 – 7:00 pm (closed Sundays)

Closest MRT Station: Bugis (EW12/DT14)

The Parkview Museum Singapore is a private museum displaying contemporary art. From solo shows to thematic exhibitions, the museum changes the exhibition from time to time to showcase the latest collection. 

The current exhibition, Disturbing Narratives, features artwork and installations around a darker theme. Various artworks, sculptures and prints are displayed in the 1,500 square meters museum space. 

Check the Parkview Museum website for the current exhibition. 

Colourful two-storey Peranakan houses on Koon Seng Road.
Colourful two-storey Peranakan houses on Koon Seng Road.

14. Look for colourful Pernanaken Houses on Koon Seng Road

Address: Koon Seng Road (between Joo Chiat Rd and Tembeling Rd)

Hours of Operation: 24 hours

Closest MRT Station: Paya Lebar (CC9)

One of the highlights of Singapore is learning about local culture, specifically, the Peranakan culture. Peranakan refers to people who were born locally in Singapore, and typically they are Chinese and Malay. 

And Peranakan culture can be seen in food, architecture, and everyday life. 

When you are in Singapore, you must visit some of the colourful Peranakan shophouses on Koon Seng Road in the Katong neighbourhood. The pre-war architecture has an ornate facade and detailed motifs. Moreover, these two-storey preserved shophouses are colourful and bright. 

There are other Peranakan houses in Singapore. Check out the residential homes on Emerald Hill Road near Orchard Road and commercial shophouses along East Coast Road

Palawan Beach at Sentosa Island
Palawan Beach at Sentosa Island

15. Spend the day exploring Sentosa 

Address: Sentosa, Singapore

Hours of Operation: 24 hours

Closest MRT Station: HarbourFront (CC29/NE1)

Sentosa is a small island in Singapore with many attractions, including themed parks, sandy beaches and resort hotels. You can spend the entire day at Sentosa and don’t have to pay a thing! 

Visit the beaches along the south part of the island, including Tanjong Beach and Palawan Beach. When the sun goes down, watch the light and sound show called Magical Shores at Siloso Beach

Also, visit Fort Siloso Skywalk, an 11-storey high walkway on the way to Fort Siloso, a well-preserved fort that was used for defence. 

There are other free activities at Sentosa. Check the website for the latest free activities at Sentosa

Haw Par Villa has many quirky, weird and colourful figurines throughout the park.
Haw Par Villa has many quirky, weird and colourful figurines throughout the park.

16. Visit the quirky Haw Par Villa

Address: 262 Pasir Panjang Rd, Singapore

Hours of Operation: 9:00 am – 10:00 pm 

Closest MRT Station: Haw Par Villa (CC25)

Formerly known as the Tiger Balm Garden, the eclectic park was a creation by Aw Boon Haw, one of the two brothers who developed Tiger Balm.

Opened in 1934, Haw Par Villa is a quirky outdoor park with 3-dimensional sculptures and figurines telling tales of Chinese folklore and mythology. The mission of this quirky park is to educate the young generation on essential life lessons and moral values. 

I’ve never seen anything like Haw Par Villa! Don’t believe me? See it for yourself! 

Spend a few hours wandering the Chinese and Japanese Gardens.
See pagodas and pavilions at the Chinese and Japanese Gardens.

17. Spend an afternoon at the Chinese and Japanese Gardens 

Address: Boon Lay Way, Singapore

Hours of Operation: 6:00 am – 10:00 pm

Closest MRT Station: Chinese Garden (EW25)

Spend a few hours strolling through one of the heritage sites in Singapore, the Chinese and Japanese Gardens, collectively known as Jurong Gardens

At the Chinese Garden, there is a 7-storey Cloud Piercing Pagoda, several pavilions, statues guarding the gates, a stone bridge and a tea house. The garden is modelled after the northern Chinese imperial architectural style and landscaping. 

Connected by Double Beauty Bridge, the neighbouring Japanese Garden is built on an artificial island where the design of the garden is taken from Japan. There are Japanese-styled pagodas, ponds, a stone garden and a Turtle & Tortoise Museum.

The gardens are especially popular during the lunar new year and Mid-Autumn Festival, where there are cultural performances. 

However, the Chinese and Japanese Gardens and the northern side of the Lakeside Garden are closed for redevelopment and will reopen at the end of 2021

But you can still explore the park and see Lakeside Garden in the meantime. Take the MRT and alight at Lakeside Station (EW26)

Get your tickets to some of the best Singapore attractions!

Which free activities are you going to see in Singapore?

Travelling solo in Singapore is a lot of fun and it doesn’t have to cost a lot. And you can see everything by following my 2 day Singapore itinerary I show you how to get around the city and eat cheap Michelin level food. 

I hope you like this post! All the activities I mentioned in this blog (unless indicated) are free! So get out there and see the city! 

For more travel planning resources, check out my Amazon picks:

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About Author

Hi, my name is Queenie, and I've been a solo traveller for 18+ years and currently based in Hong Kong. Follow me on my adventures through Instagram and my blog!

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