Singapore has been one of the most fascinating countries that I have visited. It is a mind-blowing blend of cultures and a marvel of economic achievement. My first trip to Singapore was short and I’m planning to back soon. There are a ton of touristy things to do in Singapore which you already must be aware of. But of course, there are some things that you must do when visiting Singapore, for that allows you to witness the elements of the country in its true essence.
In this article, I’ve listed down 9 such things to do in Singapore – your guide to explore Singapore at its very best – with all the lesser-known trails and secrets. If you are someone who likes to explore a place on a deeper level, through its way of life, culture, art, and similar things, beyond the touristy things, then this article is for you. Scroll below to know all about the Off-Beat Things To Do in Singapore!
1. Go for a Cultural Walk
Singapore is known for its rich cultural diversity, where you see people from many religions and ethnicity. This also makes it a very culturally rich place – where you could explore the way of life, and faith of every religion, immerse into the many festivities, making you explore and wander through the beauty of not just the place, but people as well.
A perfect way to make sure that you get to see all sides of the many cultures in Singapore is by signing up for a Cultural Tour. You can sign up for a ‘Unity in Diversity’ tour from Visit Singapore Official Site here, through which you will get to understand the cultural realm and history of Singapore.
2. Make the most of the nightlife!
Singapore is lit during the night time, and believe me, you wouldn’t have a dull moment there. The nightlife of Singapore is a unique experience in itself – from bar hopping to late-night food walks and well-lit structures, there is so much you will have to do in very little time!
In order to do so, make sure you visit the beautifully lit Gardens by the Bay, which is a man-made garden. Even though admission to some structures are not complementary, you can nevertheless roam around the Supertree Grove and enjoy this beautiful sight. It is open from 5 AM till 2 AM, making it a perfect late-night experience, where you could make the most of this place under the stars. Alternatively, you can also visit here around 7:45 PM or 8:45 PM, which is when the popular light and sound show takes place. You can also purchase your tickets for the Gardens by the Bay at this link.
Apart from this, there are many other activities that you can delve into to make the most of the nightlife in Singapore like – you can go for fun karaoke nights at K.Star Karaoke, which is open till 3 AM, go for a late-night food walk, go for Cosmic Bowling in the glow-in-the-dark alleys, for a very cool experience!
You definitely must visit the many bars which Singapore is known for. However, if you are someone who likes to stick around in one bar for the night, then put Level Up Bar is your list right away – for it is a bar which has an arcade gaming centre, a perfect place for those who want to mix their drinks and gaming fun.
For those who love animals and want to explore the wildlife, then Night Safari is an experience that you cannot afford to miss. Night Safari is the world’s first nocturnal wildlife park, which is the home for 900 animals.
Also read: 10 Best Boutique hotels in Singapore
3. Immerse into these Ecotourism experiences!
If you are a nature lover, Singapore has many experiences in store for you in order to feel close to nature. You should visit the Sungei Buloh Wetlands Reserve, is one of the unadulterated reserves where you will spot many migratory birds.
If you are looking for some alone time, then you can spend some time at Tampines Eco Green Park, a very tranquil area where no cars or bicycles are allowed, and the stretch is also without any street lights, giving you a perfect feeling of being surrounded by massive trees.
Another must-visit place is Singapore Botanic Gardens which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is open till midnight and you can spot many flora and fauna in the region.
Even though Island Hopping is something that is on the list of many tourists, I suggest you stick to Pulau Ubin, which is situated on the north-west of Singapore and apart from the rustic element of the place, you will get to learn about its rich biodiversity.
Also read: A brief travel guide for Thailand
4. Eat, Drink and Repeat!
One thing without which your trip to Singapore would be incomplete is eating the many dishes which the country offers. Since Singapore is a place that celebrates its diverse cultures, with it also comes the many cuisines you find in the country.
Where to Eat:
Singapore is really a paradise for food lovers where you would find the best restaurants, amazing hawker centers, and beautiful cafes.
– Restaurants: Restaurants are where you can step in for a fine-dining experience, along with some great concepts. Some of the restaurants you must visit are – CUT by the world-famous restaurateur – Wolfgang Puck, Catalunya, was another restaurant famous for a beautiful setting and views to accompany your Spanish feast, however, it was closed down from its old location. Although it was supposed to open a new venue, I’m not sure, if they ever did. Fratini La Trattoria has some Italian delicacies and Majestic Restaurant offers some delicate gastronomy with European and Asian Flavours. The best way to pick a restaurant in Singapore is first by choosing the cuisine you want to try, and then pick the best one out of the many options.
– Hawker Centers: If you want to eat how the locals do it, then do it right by eating at hawker centers which are food courts type structures. It is where you’d find a vast variety of options – some of which are also Michelin Star dishes!
There are many hawker centres in Singapore – which are filled with people all evening along and also serve late till night. If you can’t pick which one to go to, you can also go for a local food tour to let the experts take care of your food decisions!
– Cafes: If you are someone who is more a cafe kind of a person, then you would be happy to know that in Singapore there are many cafes with unique concepts. There is a Harry Potter Themed Cafe, called 1094 Cafe, which aesthetically will definitely bring back your harry potter nostalgia! You must try their cocktails, especially the ‘Goblet of Fire’ which is their signature drink. Apart from this, visit the Corner House, a cafe nestled inside a beautiful heritage bungalow, which will take you back in time and The White Rabbit, which is themed around Alice in Wonderland.
What to Eat:
What to eat in Singapore is a tough call to make, especially because the place is a cultural pot, and there are endless options to choose from. Which is why I’ve compiled a list of dishes and drinks you must try when in Singapore:
Hainanese Chicken Rice, which is Singapore’s National Dish; Satay, which are sticks of meat served along with a spicy and sweet peanut sauce; Laksa, a bowl filled with sea-food items; and Pisang Goreng, which is a kind of a Banana Fritter.
– Desserts: Pandan Chiffon Cake, which is a very popular dessert item and Ice Kachang, which is loved by the locals and comes with a mountain of shaved ice with a sweet syrup dressing and other things like jelly, sweet corn, red beans hidden in the bottom.
5. Go Hiking to Puaka Hill!
If you are looking for something which keeps your adrenaline going, while you also explore nature at its very best, there is nothing than going for a hike! If you are the adventurous kind, you can sign up for a hiking tour in and around Singapore. Even though there are many hiking trails in Singapore and closely around the region, we suggest you explore the ones found in the wilderness, for an actual hiking experience.
The popular ones are Pulau Ubin, where you could visit the Chek Jawa wetlands. One of the toughest hikes which offer a breathtaking view is Puaka Hill, which even though is only 74 metres in distance, but is extremely challenging because of its rocky terrain.
6. Take a break for the breathtaking sunset!
When we travel, while we are so busy checking our To-Do list, we sometimes forget to pause and gaze at a beautiful sight right in front of us. Sunsets in Singapore are one such sight which is why it has to be in your ‘Things To Do’ list. You could either enjoy the same at a place while you enjoy your evening cocktails or begin your early dinner or at other spots where you could just stand in awe of the breathtaking sunset, merging into the sky.
Some of the best places to enjoy the sunset are – Ritz-Carlton Club Lounge, a cocktail bar which is on the 32nd floor, hence allowing you to enjoy panoramic sunset view, Meritus Club Lounge, Helix Bridge and Esplanade Rooftop.
7. Visit an Amusement Park
A day filled with lots of fun, and some amazing rides are what Singapore’s Theme Parks are all about. From amusement parks, water parks, and theme parks, Singapore is known for its amazing Theme Parks for a perfect blend of enjoyment and scare.
8. Shop at these Boutique Stores
Even though Malls and Street Shopping are ways to fulfill traditional Shopping sprees when traveling, but I’d suggest a different discourse – Shopping at Boutique stores, especially because Singapore has many such independent stores. Moreover, this is a better option rather than getting lost in the massive malls in Singapore.
For clothes, you could head to Mythology Store, which is one of the most popular boutique stores in Singapore. If you are an avid reader, you should stop by at Books Actually, a bookstore where you will find not only the best of books but also books which are published by them.
Apart from these, you should visit Niasse, a beautiful boutique store that started with an objective to remove design elitism, and this is where you would find small and cute items like t-shirts, souvenirs among their diverse range of 15,000 unique items.
9. Visit the many Art Galleries and Museums
One lesser-explored side of Singapore is its emerging Art scene which can be spotted in various nooks and corners – from colorful lanes, Art Jamming studios to conceptual cafes, the many galleries, you must explore this side of Singapore.
You should also visit some beautiful cafes which also serves as a gallery where they showcase the work of independent artists, like CAD (Coffee Art Design) Café and Artistry.