Singapore is one of the world’s most popular cities to visit. With a low crime rate, it was voted the safest City in the World in 2018, so naturally it’s a place where tourists want to spend time. Whilst there are many things to do in Singapore, sightseeing like a local will give you a better appreciation.
From Street Art to the Singapore Grand Prix this guide is for everyone whether you are on a budget, or happy to let the money fly. We discovered a different side to this sprawling metropolis, so let Feet Do Travel show you Singapore with a twist; 21 unusual things to do in Singapore.
As a Street Art lover, I did not expect to find such a wealth of talent in the streets of Singapore. Wandering around the streets, you will learn so much about its rich history and culture but the best part is its totally free!
To discover what street art can be found, check out our post Singapore Street Art and for more budget options, 20 free things to do in Singapore.
Cost: Museum entrance $15, self-guided walking tours are free
Although modern day Singapore is only 52 years old, it has a very rich history and a fascinating story to tell. How did this small fishing village develop into one of the world’s leading business Cities? You can either take a guided tour, or make up your own. Seek out the bronze statues along Clarke Quay, follow the Little India Heritage Trails, or visit the National Museum of Singapore.
Cost: $48 for 150 minutes
Fancy yourself as a budding Sherlock Holmes? Transport yourself back in time to 1940’s Shanghai in an interactive role playing game and find Red Rose’s killer, a fictional 1942 cabaret singer. You and up to 6 friends can dress in period style costumes and choose from a detective, reporter or boss of a nightclub.
Despite it’s 2.2km length, the boardwalk offers wonderful views through sections of jungle and beaches. Changi Airport is close so if you want that insta-worthy photo of low flying jumbo jets coming in to land, head to Changi Beach. OK so it’s not Mahu beach in the Caribbean, but it’s still pretty cool.
5. Visit the sights on a Segway or E-Scooter – Go Green
Cost: $39.90 for 1 hour
Most people catch the MRT and/or walk the City sights, but a fun-filled way is to take a Segway tour. They are super easy to use and because you are in charge, you can set your own pace riding as fast or as slow as you like. Now when I say “fast”, their top speed is 12.5 miles/20.1 kmh so you certainly won’t be entering the Singapore Grand Prix in this vehicle. Alternatively, the same company hire E-Scooters.
Cost: From $398
For followers of Formula 1, the Singapore Grand Prix is the only night race in the F1 series. Held mid-September, if you are a car enthusiast or enjoy world class live events then combine a visit with this annual race.
I visited Melbourne for the first stage of the Grand Prix, and watching an iconic event in a different country makes it more memorable, especially such a high-class event as Formula 1. The roar of the high performance cars whizzing past you will make the hairs on your neck stand up, and there are large screens showing the race for all to see. Included in the entrance ticket is a magnificent view of the Singapore Skyline at night, famous live acts and fireworks, plus there are plenty of eateries. Definitely a bucket list tick off.
Cost: From $58++ (early bird details apply)
If Germany is a little too far to travel for a stein of beer, Singapore has its own Oktoberfest. For a truly authentic festival, included in the entrance ticket is free-flow beer by famous Bavarian brewery Paulaner, entertainment from Munich, and a 500ml stein. There are various other places in Singapore to experience the German beer festival, but Oktoberfest Asia is the largest and is held in a full air-conditioned marquee at Tan Quee Lan Street. Prost!
Cost: $38 for 30 minutes
Did someone push in front of you today, or are your kids driving you crazy? If you’re having a bad day or disagreed with the referee and want to kick the TV set, take a trip to the Fragment Room. You are given 30 minutes of rage time in a private room containing a box of various items for you to hulk-smash; plates, wine glasses, cases and a TV set! Overalls, goggles and various smashing implements are all provided for your pleasure.
9. Dead Sea Flotation Experience – Palm Avenue Float Club
Website: www.palmavefloatclub.com/ www.palmavenuefloatclub.com
Cost: From $90 for 60 minute session
If Hulk-smash isn’t your thing, how about flotation therapy to get your zen on? Developed in the 1950’s to experiment with consciousness, at Palm Avenue Float Club you lay in a single bed sized pod in utter silence and darkness, floating as if you were in the Dead Sea. Deprived of light, sound and gravity your mind enters a meditative state which is helped by the water being warmed to your exact skin temperature.
This form of therapy is used by artists who feel it inspires creativity, but it helps stress and anxiety-related conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder. The 600g of Epsom salts make you positively buoyant, which is said to be good for muscle recovery (you may need this after visiting the rage room), and provides pain relief for inflammatory conditions like fibromyalgia or osteoarthritis.
Cost: $60 for a 60 minute session
Maybe a salt-filled pod isn’t for you, however if you seek a salt spa experience with a twist, visit the salt therapy spa at Breathya. Halotherapy dates back to the mid-1800s when miners working in European and Russian salt mines appeared to be in good health (according to the Salt Therapy Association). The salt rooms mimic natural salt caves, and rooms are coated with Himalayan rock salt crystals which clear clogged sinuses, improve sleep, improve your skin as well as general well-being.
11. Try a sauna with a difference – Cryo Fit
Cost: $225 for 3 minutes
Aches and pains? Don’t want to sit in an ice bath for 10 minutes? Want to blow the budget and spend 3 minutes half-naked in a cryosauna chilled with liquid nitrogen to -150c? If you have $225 to burn, join the likes of Daniel Craig, Hugh Jackman, Usain Bolt and Cristiana Ronaldo and head to Cryo Fit. Stand in the chamber for three minutes and when exiting, the oxygeneated and enriched blood is said to stimulate tissue repair and muscle regeneration. The subsequent endorphin rush boosts your energy, triggering your metabolism to burn between 400-800 calories in the next couple of hours.
Cost: From $24 for a 60 minute session
For children and child-like adults, Bounce indoor trampoline park takes the seriousness out of life, and you will leave without a care in the world. Release the inner child in you; remember bouncy castles at summer fetes and friends’ birthday parties? Be a ninja-warrior and fly off walls, bouncing your way to a fun-filled day. If you want to do an aerobic workout, they run Bounce-Fit sessions.
13. Sip a Singapore Sling – Raffles Hotel
Cost: $32 per glass
Make mine a Singapore Sling dahhhling. This famous gin-based cocktail was created around 1915 by a bartender working at the Long Bar in Raffles Hotel. Initially it was called a Gin Sling, however this was already the name for a North American Drink – I don’t know about you but I actually prefer the name Singapore Sling! The Long Bar, Raffles Hotel is still open to visitors wishing to sip on this iconic cocktail. A trip here is more about the experience than the drink itself.
Address: Hawker Stand - #02-126, Level 2, 335 Smith Street; Restaurant: 78 Smith Street
You don’t always have to pay a high price tag for a Michelin Starred meal, in Singapore there are two hawker stands awarded this prestigious accolade.
The first place awarded a Michelin Star is Hawker Chan, formerly known as Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle located in Chinatown, but I won’t lie to you it was the worst meal we had in Singapore. For an above par version, visit the restaurant of the same name, or try Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodles which is the second hawker stand to receive a Michelin star.
1 Magazine Road, Central Mall, #01-01 Singapore 059567
MRT: Chinatown or Clarke Quay
Visiting this Friend’s themed Café is a must for any fan of the US hit comedy show. Sit in the iconic orange sofa and order a full Italian Joey Tribbiani Americano, lightly roasted Rachel Green Latte, signature cocktail Phoebe’s Smelly Cat or Ross’ Banana Split.
Episodes of Friends are played on a big screen, and at the famous clapping point in the tune, all staff join in. I won’t lie, I really enjoyed it here but I am a fan of the show. Ps the coffee is served in absolutely massive cups.
Cost: Adult $76, Child (Age 4-12) $56, Express Tickets recommended to skip the queue
Yes there is a Universal Studios in Singapore, who knew? Obviously not as big as its stateside namesake, but South East Asia’s only theme park has 7 themed zones featuring 28 rides which include the world's tallest duelling roller coasters Battlestar Galactica: HUMAN vs. CYLON™. Get up close and personal with characters from Minions and Madagascar, watch live entertainment shows and of course, look out for live street entertainment as you wander around the park.
If you are here for dinner, Curate is a Michelin starred restaurant, but do note that smart elegant attire is required.
NB: They have “Dolphin Island” which I would not recommend due to animal welfare issues. If you care about animals and marine life, please do not visit this attraction at Universal Studios.
Cost: $195 for 2.5 hour trip
An alternative dinner option is a cruise with Sunset Sail City Lights on the Royal Albatross. Departing from Resorts World Sentosa, this ship is one of only 150 tall ships in the world, has 4 high masts and 22 sails. Sit down, relax with a sumptuous cocktail, and enjoy a 3-course meal sailing around Singapore’s calm waters. Perfect end to the day if you ask me, and a wonderful way to celebrate any special occasion.
Cost: $75 for half a day
Kayak around a mangrove tunnel, Link Lagoon or Sonneratia flooded forest with Kayakasia. Pick one of 6 half day trails suitable for anyone, even if you don’t have kayaking experience, they will provide a brief lesson and there are guides to help you along the way.
Cost: Land ZOVB: $50 per person for 2 roll-downs; Water ZOVB: $120 per ball per hour
Ever wondered what a hamster feels like rolling around in a ball? Maybe you’ve always wanted to walk on water, a ZOVB experience will reveal all. Choose from Land ZOVB, Water ZOVB or Bloop; a giant bubble suit which you climb into then play a game of football/soccer! This isn’t just for little kids, but adult-kids get plenty of laughs; Sy did land Zorbing and giggled like a child for both roll-downs.
At Big Sister's Island, Sisters' Island Marine Park, there is a 6m shallow and 15m deep underwater trail which can be easily followed. At Pulau Subar Laut, you are guided through various signposted areas pointing out marine biodiversity whilst providing education on conservation. Divers are surprised at the diversity which can be found in the murky waters – muck diving by name, muck diving by nature!
Pulau Hantu Malay for Ghost Island is a 30 minute boat journey away and is made up of two islands; Hantu Besar and Hantu Kecil. It is said that rich marine life can be found here. Orpheus Dive run daily trips every weekend.
Kusu Island is 5.6km from Singapore, and is home to one of the highest densities of anemones and anemonefishes known in the City.
Pulau Salu is located South of Jurong Island. The currents can be quite strong so only suitable for experienced divers, and is best visited on an organised trip with a dive group (speak to Orpheus Dive), unless you wish to charter your own boat. Divers can see coral formations sharks and barracudas.
Cost: $18 return
Singapore is actually an archipelago of 63 islands – fact of the day! Very few tourists know about the other islands making it one of the ultimate unique things to do in Singapore. You can easily island hop with Singapore Island Cruise Ferry to Kusu, Sisters or St John’s, and can combine it with a scuba dive if that’s your thing. If you have longer and want to walk around in nature, consider camping, fishing or take a picnic/BBQ to Kusu or St John’s for the night.
Have you tried any of these unusual things to do in Singapore? If you are visiting soon, what would be your favourite? Tell us in the comment section below.
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MRT: (Mass Rapid Transit) is fast, clean, cheap, reliable and the most efficient way of travelling around Singapore. It’s also quiet; no loud music, no chattering, most people wear headphones, nearly everyone is looking at their mobile/cell phone.
If you are here for a few days, it’s worth buying an EZ Link card at the station for $12. The card costs $5 which is pre-loaded with $7, however each fare is discounted from a single ticket so you will save money in the long run. Top up easily at any station when required. The average cost of a single ticket is $1.30-$2.50.
Taxi: Taxis from the airport are metered, fares costs around SG$20 - 35 depending on your destination, and what time of day you travel.
Grab: You can download the Grab App and use it to book taxis online, however they are not always cheaper than the City taxis. Grab was born in Singapore back in 2012, but is now used in eight South East Asian countries.
Getting around Singapore
MRT: As already mentioned above.
Bike share/bike hire: It’s easy to hire a bike which is done via an app, but you will need internet. Buy a data card (passport is needed to register), download the app, scan the QR code on the bike then cycle away. When you are finished, park up in any designated parking area. Cost is approx. $0.50 for 20 minutes.
Ofo - www.ofo.com/sg/en
Mobike - www.mobike.com/sg
O Bike - www.o.bike
Where to stay in Singapore
Free: If you want to stay for free in Singapore, check out Couchsurfing! There are a few people you can contact, and Couchsurfing is a fantastic way of getting to know Singapore like a local.
Budget: If Couchsurfing isn't for you and you are on a budget, we stayed in Hotel 81 Premiere Star in Geylang which is part of a chain. The nearest MRT is Aljunied.
Mid Range: Hotel Bencoolen, Fairmount Singapore, Swissotel Merchant Court
Blow the budget: Three luxury hotels overlook the river, Marina Bay Sands, Mandarin Oriental and The Fullerton Hotel.
Little India – Mustafa Foreign Exchange in the Mustafa Centre is large, the most famous and reliable.
Chinatown – People’s Park Complex, an old building in Singapore’s Chinatown
Orchard Road – The high-end shopping district of Singapore, Money exchangers at Lucky Plaza
- Singapore was voted the safest City in the world in 2018.
- Officially known as the Republic of Singapore, it is both a city and country.
- Singapore is a year round destination, with an average temperate of 27°C (81°F). Peak times are November - January, June and July.
- It is one of only three City-States in the world, the other two being The Vatican City and Monaco.
- There are 63 smaller islands around Singapore.
- The currency is Singapore dollar.
- Although English is widely spoken, there are four other languages, Malay, Mandarin, Tamil and unofficially Singlish, a creole which is a mixture of Singapore’s four official languages, and is something the Government wish to phase out.
- The name Singapore comes from the Malay words “Singa” for lion and “Pura” for City
- Singapore was once a British Colony. In 1819 Lieutenant General Sir Stamford Raffles came to the City State to establish a trading station which shaped modern day Singapore.
- Plug sockets are the same as UK – 3 pinned.
- Singapore in the Guinness World Records for many things, including the biggest game of pass the parcel, longest human domino chain, and the most number of people participating in a line dance (11,967).
- Singaporeans are polite people thanks to a Government backed campaign teaching ethics and mannerisms since 1970.
- The five stars in the national flag represent democracy, peace, progress, justice and equality. Red signifies brotherhood, white represents purity.
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