If you’re planning a trip to Singapore and don’t want to read the usual list of ‘things to do’, like Raffles, Marina Bay Sands and the Night Safari, then this is the must-do list for you! All of the usual touristy things are great, but you’ve probably heard about it all before, so let’s take a look at 28 other great things to do in Singapore.
But first, watch our Singapore for first-timers video!
1. Visit Bollywood Veggies
To see a completely different side of Singapore, head out to Bollywood Veggies in the Kranji Countryside. Take a guided farm tour or take part in activities like art with nature, plant the paddy, scarecrow challenge or a potting session. Afterwards, have a delicious lunch at the Poison Ivy Bistro, great for vegetarians and vegans. Visit Bollywood Veggies here.
2. Take a walk along the East Coast Parkway
Wait for the sun to go down a little and for the heat to subside, then head out to the East Coast Parkway for a relaxing stroll, bike ride or rollerblade followed by a delicious dinner at the East Coast Lagoon Food Centre. Find out about the East Coast Parkway here.
3. See soldiers in action
In Singapore National Service is mandatory for men once they reach the age of 18. They serve a 2 year period as full-time National Serviceman, either in the Singapore Armed Forces, Singapore Police Force or Singapore Civil Defense Force. If you drive out to Kranji, you’ll most likely catch a glimpse of soldiers in action. Read about National Service here.
4. Go prawn fishing
Head out to Fish@BigSplash for a spot of prawn fishing! Prawning rods and bait are provided, all you have to do is throw in a line and master the art of hooking a prawn. After you’ve caught your prawns, you can use the on-site grills to cook up your fresh catch! Visit Fish@BigSpash here.
5. Eat curry
Little India houses some of the best Indian restaurants on the island. The Banana Leaf Apolo serves authentic and absolutely delicious Southern Indian food, including a spectacular fish head curry and mango-prawn curry. For vegetarians, check out Komala Villas for exceptional Northern Indian food. My favourite is the Masala Dosai. Visit The Banana Leaf Apolo here and Visit Komala Villas here.
6. Eat seafood
Indulge in a fresh seafood feast at Seafood International Market and Restaurant. Based on the East Coast Parkway, this great restaurant’s motto is “If it swims, we have it.” Choose from fresh live seafood or order from the set of la carte menus. The famous Lankan Crab in a homemade signature Thai curry sauce is a must-do food experience. Visit Seafood International Market and Restaurant here.
7. Eat dumplings
Dim Sum is no joke in Singapore, head directly to 126 Eating House in Geylang for a great experience. This rough and ready locals haunt isn’t known for its decor, it’s known for serving dang good dim sum and affordable prices. The fried prawn roll, fried carrot cake, signature tofu stick and custard buns are all must-try dishes. Geylang is the red-light district in Singapore, but don’t worry too much because it is still Singapore. Visit 126 Eating House here.
8. Eat crab
Sit down to a delicious fresh crab and an icy cold Tiger beer at the Happy Crab in Geylang. Delicious fresh crabs are served with a selection of home-made chilli sauces and mayonnaise or you can eat it as-is. Prepare to get covered in crab juice! Visit Happy Crab here.
9. Lilli Putt
Visit Lilli Putt at the East Coast Parkway for a fun way to while away an hour or two and beat the heat. Each of the 18 holes is themed around one of Singapore’s attractions or districts, like the Singapore Zoo, Suntec City and Sentosa Island. Visit Lilli Putt here.
Watch our ‘Exploring Singapore’s Heartlands’ video
10. Drink customised cocktails
Hidden behind an inconspicuous restaurant, Bitter and Love serve up some of Singapore’s best cocktails and you can partake in a very cool evening of ‘mixology’. Choose your base (i.e. vodka, gin, rum) then tell them how you like it (i.e. sweet, savoury, bitter, spicy, fruity, sour) and one of the talented bar staff will whip you up your very own personalised cocktail, presented in a beautiful and unique way. It’s a must-do bar experience. Visit Bitters and Love here.
11. Eat a Singaporean breakfast
Head to a local hawker centre and try a traditional Singaporean breakfast of kaya toast, chwee kueh and coffee. Your coffee choices don’t extend to the likes of half-strength nonfat macchiato, oh no, you’ll get your rocket fuel coffee and you’ll love it! Breakfast at a hawker centre is delicious and cheap – perfect. Find out about kaya toast, chwee kueh and Singaporean coffee here.
12. Drink coffee with the hipsters
If a piccolo latte is more your thing, Tiong Bahru has a host of hipster coffee shops worth visiting for their chilled out atmosphere and super-cool decor. The perfect spot to chill out for a few hours and get your caffeine fix. Find out about Tiong Bahru coffee shops here.
13. Eat with the locals
Get away from the throng of expensive restaurants in the city and visit a very authentic hawker centre like Fengshan Hawker Centre at Bedok. Chow down on local delights like Char Kway Teow, fried carrot cake, fried parsnip cake, fried oyster cake and, if you’re feeling daring, pigs intestines. Wash it all down with an icy cold sugarcane juice. Find out about the Fengshan Hawker Centre here.
14. Lunch with a view
For a very special lunch with a fantastic view visit Kinki Restaurant at Collyer Quay. Kinki prepares amazing Japanese food, including delicious fresh sashimi, sushi and other treats that are just as good as any you’d find in Tokyo. Find out about Kinki here.
15. Sugarcane mojito
A very cool twist on two classics, the signature cocktails of Blackbird Bar and Bistro combines the Singaporean favourite of sugar cane juice with everyone’s favourite, fresh cocktail, the mojito. Absolutely delicious! Blackbird also serves delicious Australian and New Zealand themed food. Find out about Blackbird Bar and Bistro here.
Watch our ‘Singaporer Explorer: Part 1’ video!
16. Get a henna tattoo
Traditionally henna was used for Indian brides, with intricate designs being drawn for their wedding day. In Singapore, it has also become a fun way to experience the Indian culture. Henna artists can draw a beautiful design anywhere on your body quite quickly and, after it sets, will stay on for around two weeks. Read about henna here.
17. Buy lots of bangles
Shop up a storm in Little India and buy lots of beautiful coloured bangles as gifts for friends and family or as a treat for yourself. Indian women have a great sense of colour and the rows of beautifully bright bangles are an essential part of their outfits.
18. Eat Batter Fluffy Flaps
Eat WHAT? Yep, it’s a real thing, but it isn’t what you think it is. BFF sell delicious pancakes, so visit for the funny photo and stay for the great food and coffee. Equally as exciting is the ice cream store a few doors down, named ‘Fanny’. Oddly enough their slogan is “Taste the difference.” Find out about Batter Fluffy Flaps here.
19. Eat great Italian food
Visit Trattoria Pizzeria Cugini on Club Street for excellent Italian food. Start with a shared pizza, then try the absolutely fantastic ravioli and finish it all off with one of their yummy desserts and a cheeky limoncello. Find out about Trattoria Pizzeria Cugini here.
20. Have a gin and tonic ‘on tap’
After your Italian dinner, walk (or roll) around the corner to Oxwell & Co for a gin and tonic on tap. Yep, that’s right, this very cool bar has its house-made G & T on tap! Stop in for a drink or three and unwind in the cosy and cool interior. Find out about Oxwell & Co here.
Watch our ‘Singaporer Explorer: Part 2’ video!
21. Visit a wet market
Shop where the locals shop by visiting one of the local wet markets. The wet market can be a messy place, but that’s what’s so great about it. Mix it with the locals and stock up on fresh produce or walk around and take photographs. Find Singapore’s best-wet markets here.
22. Check out the Tiong Bahru Rooster
Created by artist Ernest Goh, these big birds form part of the Tiong Bahru Festival. Goh has also created some beautiful big goldfish too, all of which make for fantastic photographs and a fun bit of art-spotting. Find out about the Tiong Bahru Rooster here.
23. See art deco and post-war architecture
Tiong Bahru Estate was built in the 1930s and is home to some seriously cool architecture. It’s a great place to wander around and spot the pre and post-war buildings. Interestingly, the area was known as the place where the rich and powerful kept their mistresses. Find out about Tiong Bahru Estate here.
24. See Buddha’s tooth
Yep, you read that right, one of Buddha’s teeth is located in Chinatown at the cryptically named ‘Buddha Tooth Relic Temple’. The temple is beautiful, the only four-story temple in Singapore, and is adorned with gold. Find out about Buddha’s tooth here.
25. Watch a chess game
While you’re in Chinatown, stop for a moment to watch older men, respectfully referred to as Uncles, play chess and other games. It’s a photographers dream.
26. Visit Thian Hock Keng temple
Take a walk to Thian Hock Keng Temple, Singapore’s oldest and most important Hokkien temple. It is absolutely beautiful and has recently been renovated, so looks even more spectacular than usual. Find out about Thian Hock Keng temple here.
27. Eat ice kachang
If you’re really feeling the heat, stop into a hawker centre for ice kachang. This Malaysian dessert is probably very different to what you’re used to eating, it consists of shaved ice topped with things like corn, logans, condensed milk, coloured syrup, coconut milk, red beans and jellies. Find out about ice kachang here.
28. Reverse Bungy
Take a walk on the adventurous side and try the reverse Bungy or Bungy swing at Clarke Quay. I was pretty confident, but the moment you hit the top of the reverse swing and you’re suspended a looong away above the ground, held on by a seatbelt, everything changes. It is a lot of fun and well-priced. Find out about the G-MAX Reverse Bungy here.
These resources can also help you plan your trip to Singapore:
- What to pack for a trip to Singapore,
- How to find the best food in Singapore without the fuss
- Things to eat in Singapore: a must-do guide for travellers,
- How to find your way around Singapore,
- Where to stay in Singapore, and
- Oasia Hotel Singapore review.
Phoebe is a travel writer and photographer with a love for storytelling and making people laugh. Matt is a videographer and photographer with a passion for the great outdoors and big adventures. Together we inspire big adventures through our guides, videos, vlogs and photographs. Find out more about us here.