Choosing the best things to do in Singapore was no easy task. This is a city bursting to the seams with impressive attractions, exciting activities, and plenty of day trips for all the family. Almost everyone will have seen an image of the city’s symbol, the Merlion, and this makes our list alongside the nearby Marina Bay Sands and Singapore Flyer – both of which offer breathtaking views across the iconic Singapore skyline.

    This tiny island state is also a land of contrasts; Chinatown and Little India, both gastronomic and shopping hubs in their own right, represent the incredible ethnic diversity of the country. For nightlife, we’ve got you covered too. Sip on a Singapore Sling at the lavish Raffles Hotel, or head to Clarke Quay for some of the city’s most picturesque eating and drinking spots. Discover all of these, and more, in our list of Singapore's best things to do.

    What are the best things to do in Singapore?


    Marina Bay

    Singapore's famed Marina Bay is the place to go to see the city's most spectacular things to do. With the fast development of this cosmopolitan city-state, the whole Marina Bay area has undergone a transformation of epic proportions.

    The S$5.5 billion Marina Bay Sands complex is the focal point of the bay, and many of the great things to do and see in the area revolve around this epic building and resort, such as the Science Museum, Casino and various shopping, dining and nightlife options. Arrive at Marina Bay around 8pm to catch the spectacular light show, which illuminates the water as well as several iconic landmarks you've probably seen on postcards.


    Gardens by the Bay is a huge, colorful, futuristic park in the bay area of Singapore; and has won countless architecture awards. The famous Supertree structures offer an impressive skywalk over the gardens, over-sized seashell-shaped greenhouses recreate chilly mountain climates and there are hundreds of trees and plants to discover, making this destination great fun for both kids and adults.

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    Location: 18 Marina Gardens Dr, Singapore 018953

    Open: Daily from 5 am to 2 am

    Phone: +65 6420 6848



    Sentosa is a purpose-built island off the southern tip of Singapore which was built with leisure and relaxation in mind. A collection of beaches, theme parks, golf, shopping, dining and more are all available on this strip of reclaimed land that can be reached by road or cable car.

    Authentic it’s not, but if you want to add a bit of fun to your Singapore trip then Sentosa is the place to do it. You can choose to stay in Sentosa, but even if you’re not based on the island, you can easily access all the attractions via MRT in 15 minutes from downtown Singapore.



    Universal Studios Singapore was the first amusement park of its kind to open in Southeast Asia. The park has more than 20 attractions in themed zones including the Lost World, Ancient Egypt, New York, Hollywood, Madagascar and Far Far Away.

    Regarding the rides, 2 are water themed and 5 are thrilling roller coasters. Families with small children can also make the most of the various live shows, kids’ roller coaster and a merry-go-round too. Located on Sentosa, it's easy to get to Universal Studios by MRT subway.

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    Location: 8 Sentosa Gateway, Singapore 098269

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 7 pm (open until 10 pm on Friday and Saturday)

    Phone: +65 6577 8888


    Singapore Chinatown

    Exploring Chinatown is one of the best things to do in Singapore, no matter how many times you’ve visited the city. It’s great for shopping – many swear you’ll find the cheapest souvenirs here – you’ll see all kind of important attractions and find plenty of authentic Chinese food.

    There are countless restaurants and hawker food vendors to choose from. Learn more about its history from the Chinatown Heritage Center on Pagoda Street. Its main focus is on the Chinese immigrants who lived a hard life and were the main group of people who founded Singapore. Other attractions include Thian Hock Keng Temple, the oldest temple in Singapore, Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, Eu Yan Sang Chinese Medical Hall and Maxwell Road Food Center.


    Orchard Road

    One of the city's most iconic streets, Orchard Road is the epicenter of shopping in Singapore and is similar to London’s Oxford Street or Hong Kong’s Nathan Road. Flanked on both sides by local and international department stores, tiny boutiques, offices, spas, beauty salons, hotels, entertainment spots, restaurants, and cafes, you could spend a whole day trawling the main thoroughfare.

    Shopping malls along Orchard are stocked with practically everything under the sun. Plus, there is always some kind of fair or activity taking place in the malls and shopping centres so there are probably more things to do Orchard than anywhere else in Singapore. 

    Location: Orchard Road, Singapore


    Clarke Quay

    This delightful riverside development is packed full of bustling bars and restaurants, boutique shops and pumping nightclubs, attracting a steady stream of tourists alongside Singapore’s party animals.

    Clarke Quay’s location takes full advantage of the picturesque body of water that emerges from the city’s main river, with alfresco-style dining to be had in an endless number of eateries set around the water’s edge. Head under the futuristic, jelly-like roof and you’ll find some great shopping options as well as a plentiful supply of bars, making this a real bar-hoppers’ heaven.


    Treetop walk at MacRitchie Reservoir

    The treetop walk at MacRitchie Reservoir is a big project and a pioneer of its genre in Singapore. Standing 25 meters high and at 250 meters long, the wooden walkway bridge gives you the opportunity to see Singapore in a different way: without one tall building in sight – just a fantastic panoramic view of the forest with its many interesting animals. It takes at least 3 hours to fully enjoy the treetop walk at a distance of around 7 km.  

    Location: 601 Island Club Rd, Singapore 578775

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 5 pm (open from 8.30 am pm weekends)

    Phone: +65 1800 471 7300


    photo by Mokkie (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    This luxurious colonial-style hotel has a long history dating back to 1887 and has become one of the most important landmarks in Singapore. Its famous guests include Elizabeth Taylor, Queen Elizabeth II and the late King of Pop, Michael Jackson.

    The Raffles Hotel features 103 suites and 18 distinctive restaurants and bars as well as an arcade with over 40 boutiques and stores (think Louis Vuitton and Tiffany & Co.) Many come for the Raffles Bar experience and you can be sure to enjoy the best Singapore Sling in town. After all, it was actually invented here, and they’ve had almost 100 years of experience at making them.

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    Location: 1 Beach Rd, Singapore 189673

    Phone: +65 6337 1886


    The Singapore Flyer is one of the world’s largest observation wheels. A one-of-a-kind experience and built over a 3-story terminal building, the Flyer is 150 meters in diameter, 165 meters high, and travels at 0.21m per second (it is some 30 meters taller than the famous London Eye!).

    With breathtaking panoramic views that are so radically different during the day and at night, it’s hard to choose the best time to take a ride. Passengers will get to see such city sights as the Singapore River, Raffles Place, Marina Bay, Empress Place and the Padang.

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    Location: 30 Raffles Ave, Singapore 039803

    Open: Daily from 8.30 am to 10.30 pm


    Lau Pa Sat

    Built in 1894, Lau Pa Sat, once a wet market, is now a popular and atmospheric hawker center. This historic building was built with Victorian filigree cast-iron and is located in the heart of Singapore's business area. At lunchtime, it’s full of office workers, whereas, by night, the street is closed and the many food stalls serve plenty of local favorite dishes.

    Also known as Telok Ayer Market, standout dishes at Lau Pa Sat include sticks of tasty satay chicken with peanut dipping sauce and grilled stingray, covered in a spicy sambal sauce.  

    Location: 18 Raffles Quay, Singapore 048582

    Open: 24 hours a day


    Marina Bay Sands Casino

    The Marina Bay Sands casino resort is the second casino in Singapore. You can try your hand at 700 games tables and over 2,500 gaming machines, spread out over 4 palatial levels.

    Costing $5.5 billion to build and featuring an area of 15,000sqm, the actual casino area comprises less than 3% of the integrated resort’s gross floor area. Other facilities include more than 50 restaurants, lots of shopping and meeting-and-convention facilities. Entry is free for foreigners.

    Location: 4 Bayfront Ave, Singapore 018973

    Open: 24 hours a day

    Phone: +65 6688 8868


    G-Max Reverse Bungy

    • Adventure

    The most adrenaline-inducing thing to do in Singapore has got to be the G-Max Reverse Bungy, Singapore’s first ever bungy. Get launched skywards at 200 km per hour to a height of 60 meters and bounce for approximately 5 minutes.

    The experience is not unlike being an astronaut in a rocket launch as you sit in an open-sided ‘capsule’. Also, for a few extra dollars, riders get a T-shirt and a DVD recording of themselves in action, taken by an onboard camera.

    Location: 3E River Valley Rd, Singapore 179024

    Open: Daily from 2 pm to midnight

    Phone: +65 6338 1766


    photo by Schristia (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified


    Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

    The Sungei Buloh Nature Park is a great place for bird-watching, being a regional layover for birds on their North-South migrations. An 87-hectare wetland reserve, the park is a little less than an hour’s ride by car from the center of town. The park gives you an idea of the mangrove swamps that once surrounded Singapore.

    Location: 301 Neo Tiew Cres, Singapore 718925

    Open: Daily from 7 am to 7 pm

    Phone: +65 6794 1401


    photo by Qingwu Zhou (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified


    Sunday brunch at the Fullerton

    Sunday's the day for Fullerton Hotel’s Town Restaurant's indulgent Champagne Brunch – one of the world’s best. The fantastically varied brunch comes with a selection of Japanese, Italian, Mediterranean and local cuisines, including fresh seafood with an unlimited flow of champagne, wines and juices. 

    The Fullerton Sunday brunch is available from midday to 3.30 pm (free-flow champagne until 3 pm).

    Location: 1 Fullerton Square, Singapore 049178

    Open: Brunch is served from 12 pm to 3.30 pm

    Phone: +65 6733 8388


    Cruises and boat rides

    Cruises take on many different shapes in Singapore. Options include getting up early to join a Morning Glory Cruise or spend an afternoon taking it easy with the High Tea Cruise or experience the romantic side of Singapore with a Dinner Cruise.

    One of the best ways to get to know Singapore is from the outside looking in; that's to say, a cruise. Leisurely, relaxing and memorable, cruising in the harbor is the ideal way to view the city-state.

    Singapore Night Safari is truly a unique attraction. It’s not only an interesting place worth a visit but a leading conservation and research center in Asia.

    As a zoo, it offers an unusual glimpse into the nocturnal animal kingdom, with more than 59 exhibits and 1,000 animals to be seen from around the world. These include Himalayan griffon vultures, greater one-horned rhinoceroses, wildebeests and gazelles. You can simply start with the ‘Creatures of the Night’ show for a good 20-minute overview of the animals to be seen here.

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    Location: 80 Mandai Lake Rd, Singapore 729826

    Open: Daily from 7.30 pm to midnight


    photo by Allie_Caulfield (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified


    Singapore Expo

    Convention and Exhibition Venue in Singapore

    Singapore Expo is the largest and most used MICE (meetings, incentives, conferencing and exhibitions) venue in Singapore, with over 100,000 sq m of floor space spread across 10 multipurpose, connectable halls. This also makes it one of the largest of its type in Asia.

    Whether you’re on a business trip, attending a seminar or just coming to grab a bargain at one of the many sales exhibitions at Singapore Expo, it’s extremely easy to find. The venue, while located outside of the city center, even has its own namesake MRT station near Changi Airport, as well as a 2,200-capacity onsite car park.

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    Location: 1 Expo Drive, #02-01, Singapore 486150, Singapore

    Phone: +65 (0) 6403 2160


    photo by Mezanur Rahman (CC BY 3.0) modified


    The Singapore Turf Club

    Horse Racing in Singapore

    The Singapore Turf Club is the only horseracing club in Singapore and is part of the Malayan Racing Association that also runs 3 other clubs across the border. The club dates back to 1842 and is based at the Singapore Racecourse in Kranji, opposite Kranji MRT Station in the east of the island.

    Race meetings run at the Singapore Turf Club on a regular basis, normally twice a week on the weekend. This means there are around 100 meetings per year, with everybody allowed access to the track to either spectate or place a few bets.

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    Location: 1 Turf Club Avenue, Singapore Racecourse Kranji, Singapore

    Open: Fridays from 6.20pm to 10.30pm, Saturday–Sunday from 1.20pm to 6pm

    Phone: +65 6879 1000

    Paul Smith | Compulsive Traveler

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