Free Things to Do in Singapore: Where to Go for a Fun Day Out
Do you have a free day in your hands with nothing to do and not much of a budget? We just may have the solution for you. You may not realise it, but Singapore has loads of free activities and things to do. Take your pick from nature trips, a trip down memory lane or maybe an art fix and explore all there is to do in and around the city. Whatever your fancy, our guide to a fun day out in Singapore will surely thrill you.
For movie and music lovers
Do you want to take your date out for a movie or a concert, but don’t have the budget for it? These activities may be the solution to your problems.
MovieMob was organized to provide free movie screenings at selected locations in the city. Originally, the concept was based on a drive-in movie, but eventually, it evolved into outdoor movie screenings where people can watch under the stars. Screenings are held on a weekend, fortnightly and in different locations in Singapore. Those who want to catch a movie can check MovieMob’s Facebook page for schedules.
Registration is not required, so you can just show up with a picnic mat, an FM radio and whatever else you need for your movie date. You don’t even have to bring a car.
- Location: Various locations. Check MovieMob’s Facebook page for the next screening.
- Opening hours: Check MovieMob’s Facebook page for details.
2. Catch free performances and more at The Esplanade
The Esplanade, Singapore’s premier arts and performance venue, comes alive every night. And it’s not just about the ticketed shows and events, but also free performances of poetry, musical and dance. Head to the central concourse area where you can catch these events every night of the week. For the young and young at heart, there are also art workshops that you and your kids will enjoy. Check out the Esplanade’s website for a detailed schedule of free events.
- Location: Central Concourse Area, The Esplanade, 1 Esplanade Dr, Singapore 038981
- Opening hours: 8 am to 2 am daily
Get that art and culture fix
Did you know that citizens and permanent residents of Singapore can go to any of the museums under the National Heritage Board for free? This move aims to promote a better appreciation of the country’s history and heritage for Singaporeans. It’s also a big plus when Singaporeans want to bring their foreign friends around.
The NHB has six national museums and four heritage centres under it, as well as three specialised museums so Singaporeans can enjoy free access to the regular exhibitions.
3. Asian Civilisations Museum
The Asian Civilisations Museum near the Singapore River showcases the diverse and rich heritage of Asia especially seen through the ancestral heritage of Singaporeans. Because of Singapore’s role as a major trading port in Asia, the country has witnessed various historical events and connections among Asian civilizations and countries. You can spend a whole day here with your family on Saturdays when they have a special programme for families. Their website offers comprehensive information to help you plan your visit.
- Location: 1 Empress Pl, Singapore 179555
- Opening Hours: Mondays to Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, 10am to 7pm; Fridays, 10am to 9pm
4. National Gallery Singapore
National Gallery Singapore houses the largest public collection of modern art in Singapore and in Southeast Asia, in two locations – City Hall and the former Supreme Court – within the CBD. The buildings themselves are architectural works of art which not only have history but is also equipped with state-of-the-art facilities as a visual arts museum. Check the gallery’s website for more information about their exhibitions and programmes. Part of the exhibitions are free.
- Location: 1 St Andrew’s Rd, Singapore 178957
- Opening Hours: Mondays to Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, 10am to 7pm; Fridays, 10am to 9pm
5. National Museum of Singapore
From modern art, go back in time at one of the oldest museums in the nation. The National Museum dates back to 1887, back when it was still the Raffles Museum and Library. Today, it houses exhibitions about the history of Singapore, as well as modern exhibitions that make use of digital technology. They also have special programmes for families and kids. Their website has more detailed information about what’s on.
Aside from the big three, you can spend more time at the Indian Heritage Center, Malay Heritage Center and the Sun Yat Sen Memorial Center.
- Location: 93 Stamford Road, Singapore 178897
- Opening Hours: Mondays to Fridays, weekends, 10am to 7pm
Take a trip down memory lane
Behind all the skyscrapers and busy CBD life, Singapore holds a more traditional side. Head to the locations below to discover more about Singapore’s vast history and heritage. You won’t regret it!
6. Kampong Lorong Buangkok
Believe it or not, before it’s skyscrapers and modern buildings, Singapore was filled with fishing villages called kampongs, which is the Malay word for village. Kampong Lorong Buangkok is the very last of these fishing villages, and it still stands to this day. Walking down the alleys of Lorong Buangkok transports you to the Singapore that was, where you will see houses made of wood and zinc roofs. The village is open to visitors during weekdays from 9am to 5pm and be sure to say hi to the locals who still live there. It is located at Gerald Drive, off Yiu Chu Kang Road.
- Location: Geral Drive, Singapore
- Opening Hours: Mondays to Fridays, 9am to 5pm, closed on weekends
7. Bukit Brown Cemetery
The Bukit Brown cemetery is no longer in use, but it still remains as the resting place of some of Singapore’s pioneers. Guided tours are available on weekends and public holidays, from 9am to 12nn, as well as 4 to 6.30pm and nightwalks (for the brave-hearted). All Things Bukit Brown is a comprehensive site that provides information about the place, and a link to register for the guided tours.
- Location: 36C Lor Halwa, Singapore 298637
- Opening Hours: 24/7, Guided tours every weekend, from 9 am to 12nn, 4 to 6:30pm and nighttime
8. Katong Antique House
Katong Antique House on East Coast Road showcases Peranakan artefacts and antiques, and if you are lucky enough to meet the owner, Peter Wee during your visit, you can learn a thing or two about the history of Straits-born Chinese in Singapore. Mr. Wee is a proud descendant of Baba Peranakan and the Katong Antique House also doubles as a shop for antique lovers.
- Location: 208 East Coast Rd, Singapore 428907
- Opening hours: Daily, 11am to 4.30pm
Take a walk on the wild side
The most fun always happens outside. If your thing is to get out and about to explore and find some adventure in Singapore, then the spots below will interest you.
9. Chek Jawa Nature Park, Pulau Ubin
If you are a nature lover, exploring the Chek Jawa Nature Park in the island of Pulau Ubin. The island can be reached via bumboats from Changi Point Ferry Terminal, for $3 per person per way. Once on the island, you can follow the Chek Jawa trail which lets you explore and appreciate the rich biodiversity found here. There is also a 1km boardwalk that takes you through the coastal areas and mangrove areas, and a lookout tower that allows you to see the treetops. Bumboats operate from 6am to 7pm only, daily.
- Location: Chek Jawa Trail, Pulau Ubin, Singapore
- Opening Hours: Daily, 8:30am to 6pm
10. MacRitchie Park Treetop Walk
MacRitchie Park Treetop Walk is found inside the Central Catchment Nature Reserve along Island Club Road and is operated by the National Parks of Singapore. Open from 9am to 5pm, this suspension bridge which can be as high as 25 meters, gives visitors a bird’s eye view of the surrounding forest ecosystem. It is usually the highlight of the hiking trail around MacRitchie Park, which is about 7 to 10km.
- Location: Island Club Road, Singapore
- Opening Hours: Daily, 9am to 5pm
11. Sentosa Boardwalk
If you don’t want to venture too far off from the city centre, check out the Sentosa Boardwalk which connects VivoCity to Sentosa Island. It is by far the easiest and cheapest way to get to the island – with no long queues and waiting. The boardwalk is not like a normal boardwalk you find along the coast. It’s very modern design allows for many people to walk along at very different paces. Most of the walkway is also roofed so rain is not a problem. You will also find many restaurants and shops along the way, so even if you do not intend to spend some time in Sentosa, the walk will be enjoyable in itself. It is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- Location: Sentosa, Singapore 099081
- Opening Hours: 24/7, Daily
One of a kind experiences
Do you know your city well? Apart from the parks, islands, and museums, Singapore still has a few hidden gems and they are free, for real!
12. Singapore Really Really Free Market (SRRFM)
Shop for free – yes, this is not a joke. Singapore Really Really Free Market (SRRFM) is a flea market where everything is free. To find out when the next one is scheduled, check their Facebook page for announcements. Those who participate in the flea market can bring anything from old CDs, toys, books, clothes, and food. You can even avail of free services such as fortune telling or a haircut. Volunteers sort and help set up the market which usually runs for 4 hours. It is hosted by the Post-Museum.
- Location: Various locations. Check the SRRFM Facebook page for details.
- Opening Hours: Various. Check the SRRFM Facebook page for details.
13. Eat for free at the Buddhist Lodge
Eat for free at the Buddhist Lodge – yes, you read that right. The Buddhist Lodge, along with other temples, serves daily vegetarian meals for anyone, rich or poor. The lodge is particularly known for its generous buffet of six to eight dishes. It is open from 8.30am to 5.30pm and is located along Kim Yam Road. If you want to complete the cultural experience, head to the Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple along Waterloo Street for a free fortune telling session with divination sticks.
- Location: 17-19 Kim Yam Rd, 239329 (Buddhist Lodge), 178 Waterloo St, Singapore 187964 (Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple)
- Opening Hours: Daily, 8.30am-5.30pm (Buddhist Lodge), 6am-6pm (Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple)
14. Bras Basah Complex
Bookworms will surely rejoice with this next activity. You can browse through thousands of books in second-hand bookshops at the Bras Basah Complex on Bain Street. The complex is filled with different bookstores that carry vintage books, comics, magazines and art books and you are free to look around even if you don’t make a purchase. But book lovers who know what they are looking for will end up buying if they stumble upon one or two rare finds.
- Location: Bras Basah Complex, 231 Bain Street, Singapore 180231
- Opening Hours: 10am to 7pm, Daily
Fun does not mean breaking the bank
There you go – 14 free things to do in the Lion City that does not need such as a big budget. So, the next time you have a weekend off and would like to do something relaxing with friends and family, check out our guide to all things free in Singapore.
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