Wishing and hoping for the weekend? We are! Apart from the end of all madness during the work week, we can say for sure are excited about the weekend plans or rather, the lack of plans thereof we have made for the weekends.

Zouk, Clarke Quay, and town (millennials, we all know what town means), just to a name a few hot spots we frequent in Singapore. There, that pretty much exhausts the list of things to do we have readily at hand whenever someone asks us out. We’ll even make the bold statement of saying the age-long question of ‘what to do later ah?’ tops ‘what to eat later?’ as one of the toughest question known to a Singaporean.

Contrary to our belief and for the benefit of the readers of this list, here’s a tantalizing list of what to do in Singapore that goes beyond of the Singapore Zoo, Marina Bay Sands and the theme park to help you plan your next weekend or even weekday schedule! Go and do something different this weekend.

Table of Contents

Exciting Things To Do To Enjoy Singapore to the Maximum

If you’re all about that outdoor living, the first few things to do on this list are for the adventurers out there.

  1. Be an Early Bird and Take a Walk @ The Treetop Walk

macritchie treetop walk
Image Credit: travel oriented | Flickr

We all love our sleep-ins on the weekends, but you know what they say about early birds and worms. We’re no birds but it’s definitely nice to have a switch-up every now and then and admire this architectural marvel in a nature reserve! We’re sure you’re no stranger to this particular bridge structure from the endless Instagram photos taken from our peers. Why not get on with this trail for yourself if you haven’t already?

The trails prior are for the amateur hikers and fitness gurus alike, one can choose between the 3.2km route or the 4.8km one, both equally forgiving for a Sunday morning workout.

  • Address: 601 Island Club Rd, 578775
  • Opening Hours: 9am – 5pm (closed on Mondays)
  1. Visit Coney Island Park

coney island signboard
Image Credit: Npark Singapore

In Singapore’s very own offshore island merely connected via the very much Instagrammed Sunrise bridge, you can do your own island hopping in our little red dot too!

You might be thinking, ‘aiya just another one of those barren islands with nothing to do.’ But boy, are you wrong! From lalang fields to the abandoned Haw Par Beach Villa that looks like something out of a horror film, Coney Island’s got it all. Nature seekers fret not, as you can expect from a nature reserve, this island has one of the more scenic forests you can find in all of Singapore.

coney island forest
Image Credit: Jnzl’s Photos | Flickr

The mode of transport we recommend to travel around the island would definitely be with bicycles! So get on with bike rentals right before crossing over to the bridge or even with the widespread of bike sharing services, going around is an ease. Just make sure you park your shared bikes responsibly. Be mindful that toilets are scarce on the island itself, so please remember to take care of your ‘businesses’ at the Punggol settlement area before entering the island. Do take note the island park closes at 7pm so plan your day around the island mindfully.

  1.  Pulau Ubin, Another Offshore Island

pulau ubin
Image Credit: Jirka Matousek | Flickr

You don’t need to go to the Singapore Botanic garden to enjoy nature. Arrive at Pulau Ubin and it’s almost as though you just travelled back in time – first, there aren’t any ATMs on the island and all transactions are done via cash, so please make the necessary arrangements at Changi village before moving over to the island!

primitive taxi service
Image Credit: velo_city | Flickr

It’s like a trip back to the 60s, with the infrastructure of the island alongside with the kampung vibes. For a day of sunshine, beach, and strolls, Pulau Ubin is a great alternative. Find out more about the island their website.

  • How To Get There: Ferry from Changi Point Ferry Terminal
  • Ferry price: S$3/person and an additional of S$2/bicycle
  1. Trek Along The Southern Ridges of Singapore

henderson waves
Image Credit: Kenneth Pinto | Flickr

The much sought-after Henderson Waves, another manmade marvel of Singapore. We need no introduction to probably the most aesthetically appealing bridge we have here. Did you know the Henderson Waves is part of a 10km trek known as the Southern Ridges?

A 3-5 hour trek inclusive of crossing The Singing Forest, a forest designed to attract a variety of birds, thus the name. Apart from the extensive variety of wildlife, you’ll cross path with along this trek, there’s a whole list of things to do along this trail. Check them out here.

  1.  Explore a Marsh @ Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

sungei buloh
Image Credit: lohasteru | Flickr

Be amazed by the marsh-creatures you’d normally only see on television. A wetland and mangrove, one can expect to see mud crabs, strikingly beautiful birds and if you’re lucky enough – perhaps even a crocodile!

crocodile in sungei buloh
Image Credit: budak | Flickr

This is a photo heaven for photographers, with the vibrant colours of the mangrove and ever interesting subjects of the natural, this is the perfect place to get your photo game on! Find out more here.

  1.  Be at the Top (Almost) of Singapore @ Mount Faber

bench at mount faber
Image Credit: Charmaine Chiu | Flickr

Best accessed if you have a mean of transport up this spiralling hill, we promise you the view is worth it especially when night falls. Towering over the southern region of Singapore, you’ll have a view of Sentosa island, the heartlands of the south and the night lights of the cable cars peppering the night sky. It’s also a satisfying view if you ever decide to do an evening jog up the hill.

mount faber
Image Credit: Tony Lin | Flickr

It also has a bistro at the top of the hill if you’re fancy like that, not to mention the benches at the very top of the hill doubles up as a romantic end to a date. An alternative view of Singapore, forget the mundane trips to Vivocity, take a trip to Mount Faber instead!

For more places to unwind over a weekend in Singapore check here.

  1. Singapore’s Very Own Natural Hot Spring @ Sembawang

sembawang hot spring notice
Image Credit: Jnzl’s Photos | Flickr

Yes, you read it right, your parents probably brought you there when you were much younger. This booming hot spring sprung back up in the early 2000s, attracting more than a thousand visitors on just one weekend. A popular spot amongst gamblers, who believed to bathe themselves in the water from the hot spring for good luck before a major draw or horse race, it has now evolved into a place frequented by the masses.

hotspring sembawang
Image Credit: Jnzl’s Photos | Flickr

Spoiler alert: do not expect a huge pool of bubbling and steaming body of water. For safety reasons, the actual body of water has been locked up by walls of bricks. Fret not, you can still have access to the spring water with neighbouring taps. Bring along pails for a chance at cooking homemade onsen egg!

  1. Hiking up Bukit Timah Hill

summit stone
Image Credit: Reuben Schade | Flickr

Well hidden within Bukit Timah Nature Reserve is the famous Bukit Timah Hill. This family-friendly hiking spot brings you through the flora and fauna of the reserve and a sidewalk of mundane looking greenery – they’re anything but mundane as the first known species of the Malayan plants were discovered on the hill.

Standing at 163m, this hike shouldn’t be much of a hassle for the masses! There’s also a network of other trails surrounding the hill, check them out here.

  1. Sisters Islands: Where The Sea is Actually Blue

sisters' islands
Image Credit: NParks

This is probably the most untouched and hidden gem offshore of Singapore! It is our nation’s very own version of the Great Barrier Reef, except it’s not that great in size but with over 250 species of coral being populated around this island, this place is pretty darn amazing.

If you’re lucky enough, you may even spot wild dolphins! Never would I have expected to see them out in the wild just a stone throw from our shore, but there it is. Video of sighting here.

Just south of Lazarus island, this place is just as accessible as the other offshore places as mentioned earlier.

How To Get There:

  • While there is no scheduled ferry going the island at the moment, you can contact the ferry company for a charter service.
  1. The Private Beach You Never Had: Lazarus Island

lazarus island
Image Credit: Budak | Flickr

Speaking of Lazarus island, the clear waters and white sandy beach make it look like you’re in the Bahamas. No, really a quick search on Instagram for Lazarus island and you’ll be shocked that this place is part of Singapore. With picturesque backdrops at literally every corner of the island paired with Mr. sun, it almost feels like you’re on a private island. Take note that the ferry timing to and fro the island is scheduled and Islanders will have to leave by the last ferry. Check out ferry timings here.

How To Get There:

  • 30 minutes ferry ride from Marina South Pier to St. John Island
  • Two way trip of S$18/adult and S$12/children aged 1 – 12 years old
  • 15 minutes walk from St. John Island to Lazarus Island
  1. Can’t Sleep? Midnight Shop @ Mustafa Shopping Centre

Mustafa shopping mall
Image Credit: Aapo Haapanen | Flickr

Mustafa in Little India: arguably the only shopping mall that sells virtually everything, or, well, whatever you would need in the middle of the night or during Chinese New Year. Mustafa is a unique 24/7 mall in Singapore, not only is the operating hours convenient but just the sheer amount of goods the mall carries is mindblowing. Plus, it’s always an experience to be shopping for groceries late at night.

  • Address: 145 Syed Alwi Road
  1. Pig Out at These Dim Sum Places – Even Late at Night!

Swee choon and 126 dim sum
Image Credit: Joa Teng & phuongkim1981 | Flickr

Right across the street from Mustafa Shopping Centre is Swee Choon, one of the few places dishing up Chinese – mostly Hong Kong – dim sum. A common brand often brought up amongst the night owls, both establishments are often packed even during the wee hours. With limited supper options, these dim sum places should definitely have a spot on your route-to-true-blue-Singaporean bucket list.

Details for Swee Choon Tim Sum Restaurant:

  • Address: 191 Jln Besar, Singapore 208882
  • Operating Hours:
Wednesday 11AM–2:30PM, 6PM–6AM
Thursday 11AM–2:30PM, 6PM–6AM
Friday 11AM–2:30PM, 6PM–6AM
Saturday 11AM–2:30PM, 6PM–6AM
Sunday 10AM–3PM, 6PM–6AM
Monday 11AM–2:30PM, 6PM–6AM
Tuesday Closed

Details for 126 Dim Sum:

  • Address: 126 Sims Avenue, Singapore 387449
  • Operating Hours:
Wednesday Open 24 hours
Thursday Open 24 hours
Friday Open 24 hours
Saturday Open 24 hours
Sunday Open 24 hours
Monday Open 24 hours
Tuesday Open 24 hours
  1. Watch an Old Film @ The Projector

cinema billboard
Image Credit: theprojectsg | Instagram

Ever wished you could watch a film made in the 80s, say, the original Blade Runner while it was still current? Well as much as we’d like to turn back time – we can’t. But The Projector revives the historic Golden Theatres, giving it a breath of life without removing the very essence of movie-going in the olden days.

old school movie seats
Image Credit: theprojectsg | Instagram

Situated on the 5th floor of Golden Mile Tower, much of the logistics from the original theatre has been preserved, like the rustic theatre seats! Iconic films such as The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Forest Gump are some of the titles they’ve revived in the past months. Though they’re all about the old-school, the space also acts as an outlet for local filmmakers to screen their works. Refer to their website for future screening schedules.

  • Address: 6001 Beach Road, #05-00, Golden Mile Tower, Singapore 199589
  • Operating Hours: Closed on Mondays
  1. Visit a Museum for Free as a Singaporean

national gallery singapore
Image Credit: Dickson Phua | Flickr

While we’re on the topic of being all artsy fartsy, you don’t actually have to pay money to visit any of the museums less the art science museum in Singapore, as long as you’re a citizen here that is. National Gallery Singapore, National Museum of Singapore, the Science Museum next to Marina Bay Sands and Singapore Arts Museum are some you could visit for absolutely free. No matter if you’re an appreciator of the fine arts, it’s something different.

Interested in finding more historical places to see in Singapore? You will find them here.

Details for National Gallery Singapore:

  • Address: 1 St Andrew’s Rd, Singapore 178957
  • Operating Hours:
Wednesday 10AM–7PM
Thursday 10AM–7PM
Friday 10AM–9PM
Saturday 10AM–7PM
Sunday 10AM–7PM
Monday 10AM–7PM
Tuesday 10AM–7PM
  1. Go For a Photowalk Around Singapore

photowalk group
Image Credit: meetup.com

Though small, Singapore has plenty of photogenic spots. I mean, how many times have you seen someone turn a yellow painted carpark into a photo-perfect backdrop? Well to get more out of your photos and an opportunity to explore this little red dot through the lens of others, join a photo walk! Perhaps even make a few other like-minded friends. A website like this makes the process of joining such a group easier!

Find out more about all the free things you can do in Singapore here.

  1. Thrift Shopping

thrift shopping
Image Credit: salvation army

While not getting cashback with Shopback for your online purchases, thrift shopping is always an interesting alternative. More often than not you’ll be able to spot a gem or two within the stockpile at a fraction of the original price. Salvation Army has a spread of family thrift stores across Singapore, notably, the Praisehaven mega family outlet, do check the stores out!

And, besides thrift shops, Singapore also has plenty of flea markets where you can shop local and indie brands.

Details for Praisehaven mega family outlet:

  • Address: 500 Upper Bukit Timah Road Singapore 678106
  • Operating Hours:
Wednesday 10AM–6PM
Thursday 10AM–6PM
Friday 10AM–9PM
Saturday 10AM–9PM
Sunday Closed
Monday 10AM–6PM
Tuesday 10AM–6PM
  1. Be All Artsy Fartsy @ These Festivals 

singapore night festival
Image Credit: digital_shutterbug | Flickr

Art in Singapore has come a long way; with a handful of art festivals propping up annually to bolster the arts, culture and heritage scene, there is something for everyone. Held yearly in the 3rd quarter of the year, the Singapore Night Festival takes place along the Bras Basah – Bugis stretch, taking on the various Victorian architectures around the district as hubs of the festival.

national museum night festival
Image Credit: Jnzl’s Photos | Flickr

The operating hours of surrounding galleries and museums are also extended during the festival. The National Museum of Singapore would always be the centrepiece of the past years’ renditions as they featured light projection displays on the facade of the building, drawing many curious crowds every year.

  • Address: Along Bras Basah – Bugis Stretch and Area around Singapore Management University
  • When: TBC, Singapore Night Festival’s website for more details.
  1. Visit Singapore’s Only Apple Flagship Store (And Sign Up For Free Classes)

singapore applestore
Image Credit: maduarte | Flickr

Surprisingly, a good number of Singaporeans have yet stepped foot in this grandiose of a building. No matter you’re an Apple user or not, the sheer size and experience in customer service in the store are stunningly applaudable.

portrait classes apple singapore
Image Credit: Apple Singapore

Not known to most, you can actually sign up for free classes on Apple Singapore’s website. Classes and seminars ranging from a portrait photography guide to editing your videos on your beloved Macbooks, if you want to get more out of your Apple devices, perhaps you should keep a tab on the classes available!

  • Address: 270 Orchard Rd, Singapore 238857
  • Operating Hours:
Thursday 10AM–10PM
Friday 10AM–10PM
Saturday 10AM–10PM
Sunday 10AM–10PM
Monday 10AM–10PM
Tuesday 10AM–10PM
Wednesday 10AM–10PM
  1. Try Renting a Date, an Advisor, or Really Just a Huge Crowd

rent a buddy
Image Credit: Pally.asia

If you have the list of things to do but are missing the right company, then this service is for you. Every now and then something unorthodox pops up and while the idea of renting a significant other for a special occasion isn’t something completely obscure, ‘PallyBud’ takes the meaning of rent-a-friend to a whole new level.

This Singapore service claims to find the perfect partner and place to carry out whichever of their 11 services available in Singapore. ‘Get a Crowd’ is also a thing.

  1. Breakfast at an Old-School Bakery, Chin Mee Chin Confectionery

chin mee chin confectionary
Image Credit: Jnzl’s Photos | Flickr

As one of the few remaining old-school bakeries in Singapore, Chin Mee Chin serves up the ever familiar Singaporean breakfast combo: kaya toast + soft-boiled egg combo. Alongside with the usuals, they’re also a popular spot for the homemade cakes and coffee.

soft boiled eggs
Image Credit: Soon Koon | Flickr

The ceiling fan and porcelain coffee plate accentuate an old-world charm, coupled with the aroma of kopi brewing permeating the space, it’s definitely worth going to the east for!

And because we all love food, check here for all the favourite dishes Singaporeans can have for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

  • Address: 204 East Coast Road Singapore
  • Operating Hours:
Thursday 8:30AM–4PM
Friday 8:30AM–4PM
Saturday 8:30AM–4PM
Sunday 8:30AM–4PM
Monday Closed
Tuesday 8:30AM–4PM
Wednesday 8:30AM–4PM
  1. And Then There’s Another Kind of Festival… ZoukOut and Ultra Music Festival

Image Credit: YuJin Lim | Flickr

Don’t know about you, but when someone mentions the word ‘festival’, art and culture isn’t the first thing that pops into our head. Instead, this buzz word reminds us of the wooziness of having a little too much to drink and heart throbbing music through the night.

ultra music festival
Image Credit: Ines Hegedus-Garcia | Flickr

Singapore being home to one of the top nightclubs in the world, it is no surprise that we host Asia’s biggest beach parties or ehem festivals. Namely ZoukOut and Ultra Music Festival, there’s no better way to spend your summer and end of year breaks!

ZoukOut & Ultra Music Festival Singapore

  • ZoukOut Date: TBC
  • Ultra Music Festival Singapore Date: 15-16 June 2018
  1. Visit These ‘Pay it Forward’ Establishments

Image Credit: Razlan | Flickr

‘Pay as You Wish’ establishments are hard to come by, especially when customers are left with deciding how much they think the service is worth. And that’s why Annalakshmi, a branded Indian restaurant that dishes vegetarian cuisines is an amusing and humbling experience to dine at. The restaurant operates solely with the help of volunteers and customers are not required to pay for the food, but highly encouraged to ‘pay what they feel’.

looksee looksee tea parlor
Image Credit: Looksee Looksee

A similar concept as the previously mentioned, Looksee Looksee is a tea parlour that has reading materials readily available and each session is accompanied by serving(s) of tea. Similarly, payment here is gratuity basis, so you know what to do!

Annalakskhmi Restaurant:

  • Address: 104 Amoy Street, Singapore 069924
  • Operating Hours:
Thursday 11AM–3PM
Friday 11AM–3PM
Saturday 11AM–3PM
Sunday Closed
Monday 11AM–3PM
Tuesday 11AM–3PM
Wednesday 11AM–3PM

Looksee Looksee

  • Address: 267 Beach Rd, Singapore 199545
  • Operating Hours:
Thursday 11AM–5PM
Friday 11AM–5PM
Saturday Closed
Sunday Closed
Monday 11AM–5PM
Tuesday 11AM–5PM
Wednesday 11AM–5PM
  1. Universal Studios Singapore (USS)

universal studios singapore
Image Credit: Sarah Ackerman | Flickr

Are you really Singaporean if you haven’t visited the country’s only amusement park? Undeniably one of the world’s biggest theme park franchise, the Universal Studios Singapore sent Singaporeans into a state of frenzy when the park opened about 7 years ago. Having since attracted millions of visitors, it has trademarked itself in the South-East Asian Region being the ‘only one of its kind’ even till date. Staged in our very homeland, what are you waiting for if you haven’t been to the park already!

  • Address: 8 Sentosa Gateway, Singapore 098269
  • Operating Hours:
Friday 10AM–6PM
Saturday 10AM–6PM
Sunday 10AM–6PM
Monday 10AM–6PM
Tuesday 10AM–6PM
Wednesday 10AM–6PM
Thursday 10AM–6PM
  1. Wild Wild Wet’s Good Ol’ Days

free fall
Image Credit: Wild Wild Wet

A splashing good time is always appreciated in this sweltering Singapore heat. The most recently opened water park, Adventure Cove has been overshadowing the glory of the first and original water park in Singapore. As of late, Wild Wild Wet has been decked out with new attractions such as The Free Fall, an almost vertical plunge at a speed of 15 meters per second.

If you are looking for more fun things to do with the kids, you are going to love these activities.

  • Address: 1 Pasir Ris Close, Singapore 519599
  • Operating Hours:
Friday 1–7PM
Saturday 10AM–7PM
Sunday 10AM–7PM
Monday 1–7PM
Tuesday 1–7PM
Wednesday 1–7PM
Thursday 1–7PM
  1. Where Art Meets Science @ ArtScience Museum

artscience museum
Image Credit: Neil Howard | Flickr

The iconic palm-shaped structure that seats outside the Marina Bay Sands houses some of the most magnificent exhibitions; a melting pot of science, technology, and knowledge. You can imagine something that has such an outstanding appearance is slowly making its imprint as one of the landmarks of Singapore.

art science museum
Image Credit: brett john | Flickr

The Future World segment of the museum is undoubtedly the most featured exhibit one; featuring a narrative of themes aligned with the ‘future’, ending off the journey at the bedazzling display of lights that we’re all too familiar with across all social media platforms.

  • Address: 6 Bayfront Ave, Singapore 018974
  • Operating Hours:
Friday 10AM–7PM
Saturday 10AM–7PM
Sunday 10AM–7PM
Monday 10AM–7PM
Tuesday 10AM–7PM
Wednesday 10AM–7PM
Thursday 10AM–7PM
  1. Explore A Different Heritage @ Kampong Glam

sultan mosque
Image Credit: Stuart McDonald | Flickr

The heart of the Muslim community in Singapore, it is almost as though you’ve transcended through space and time into an Arabic cultural fiesta. Pebbled walkways and stalls with traditional Arabic costume are aplenty along the route to Sultan Mosque. Just across from Kampong Glam is Aliwal Street, well situated with a selection of cafes and wall art, definitely a hidden gem even for seasoned locals.

  1. Put your Dancing Shoes on, Join a Dance Class!

o school dance class
Image Credit: O School

This one speaks for itself. There are only so few expressions to describe someone who knows how to dance, cool, ‘wow’, and damn. It is also a great workout without really feeling you’re working out, well for now. Next time you’re in the club, neither would you need alcohol nor the safety in numbers to pull off the hokey-pokey, the music is all you need to make that body pop!

  1. Dragon Boating

dragon boating
Image Credit: skyfish81 | Flickr

What better way to build friendship and team spirit than to go through the tough ship of rowing a boat together? Apart from the obvious good workout that you’ll get out of it, paddling with the many others on the boat in cadence brings about a sense of belonging and accomplishment when a race is completed. Dragon boating is for everyone! You do not have to have prior experience to be dragon boating, sessions are in place to cater to the pro and newbies alike. Check out Singapore Dragon Boat Association’s website to learn more about the schedule.

And along with dragon boat, Singapore offers many more water sports.

  1. The Forgotten Chinese Heritage: Haw Par Villa

haw par villa entrance
Image Credit: Cookiemunster | Flickr

Obscurity is an understatement for this chapter of the Chinese culture. And that is why it’s a must-visit if you haven’t already. we promise you that Haw Par Villa be anything but boring. Towering statues of Chinese deities and a trail of slightly degutting dioramas of Chinese mythology sounds like a fun-filled afternoon already.

haw par villa 10 courts of hell
Image Credit: Jirka Matousek | Flickr

Haw Par Villa, was named so because they were built by brothers Aw Haw Boon Haw and Aw Boon Har, who were also famed for creating the Tiger Balm. The theme park’s crowned attraction is the ’10 Courts of Hell’ where the figurines depict stages of hell for each sin committed as a mortal.

For more eerie and abandoned places in Singapore, check here.

  • Address: 262 Pasir Panjang Rd, Singapore 118628
  • Operating Hours:
Friday 9AM–7PM
Saturday 9AM–7PM
Sunday 9AM–7PM
Monday 9AM–7PM
Tuesday 9AM–7PM
Wednesday 9AM–7PM
Thursday 9AM–7PM
  1. Wine and Dine @ Dempsey Hill

dempsey hill long beach seafood
Image Credit: One More Bite Blog | Flickr

The previously British occupied Tanglin Barracks in the 1900s, Dempsey Hill has since preserved its Victorian-inspired architectures. For a more refined dining experience, it spaces out from the rest of the island as an atas sanctuary of food and ambience. From one of the oldest running seafood chain in Singapore to fashion landmarks like the Dover Street Market at Dempsey Road, it already sounds like a fruitful Sunday afternoon.

  1. Experience Higher Living in Singapore

super cars
Image Credit: Ultimate Drive | Facebook

You can now rent a supercar, a yacht or even one of those limousines that look like something out of a scene from Sex and The City. Driving a supercar is oftentimes the unthinkable to the greater lot of us, especially with the astronomical figures put to automobiles in Singapore. Though this isn’t about you owning one, it certainly lets you have a taste of the high RPMs you’d never experience in another. Or really if you’re looking for a real alternative and upscaled venue for your next birthday, yacht services are available too. Check out Ultimate Drive here a peek into the rich and extravagant.

  1. Watch a Play or Musical or Something Artsy

Theatre seats
Image Credit: Ádám Fedelin | Flickr

Art is for everyone. And with one of Singapore’s most iconic landmark being The Esplanade, how could you not watch a play or a performance in the finest theatre in the country. Screening not only the finest of productions but also light-hearted shows all around. Watching a show isn’t as unaffordable and all about the grandiose all the time, visit Esplanade’s website for a listing of upcoming shows!

  1. Gillman Barracks, the Lesser Known Art Scene in Singapore

gillman barracks entrance
Image Credit: Tomcensani | Flickr

Near the fringe of Singapore, Gillman Barracks is one of that insiders-only kind of a hideout. Housed with multiple coffee and brunch spots, coupled with art galleries that stay hidden to the clueless. Like the name of the place suggests, it is yet another military converted and preserved site, unveiling another layer to the history of the place. Art galleries in this compound are mostly available for walk-in viewing, yet another spot to show off to your friends for a different sort of hangout.

  • Address: 9 Lock Rd, Singapore 108937
  1. Stroll down Joo Chiat, The Heart of the Peranakan Community

peranakan joo chiat
Image Credit: Pink Mermaid | Flickr

The Peranakan culture is one of the few mysterious yet at the same time prominent influence in Singapore. The delicate Kueh Pie Tee is one fine example that spells everything we just described; a familiar snack that is known to many but yet the origin remains unclear. Like many other cultural influences in Singapore, there’s always a spot where the culture once flourished. Joo Chiat is the predominant neighbourhood the Peranakans once congregated.

joo chiat back street alley
Image Credit: Victor Goh | Flickr

In any case, this seemingly pastel-themed planned neighbourhood is also another great spot to amp up your Instagram game. One can also find great grub in this very place or the surrounding Katong which is famed in Singapore to have exceptional eats.

  1. Visit the Lesser-Known Beaches of Singapore: Changi and Punggol Beach


Punggol beach viewing deck
Image Credit: Jimmy Tan | Flickr

They may not hold up against the majestic South beach or anything close to that, but you could always visit the obscure fringe of corner beaches lesser-known to the public.

fish changi beach
Image Credit: Ria Tan | Flickr

Forget Sentosa’s beaches (though they’re pretty great for beach parties, drinks, and water activities), head down to Punggol Beach, or even Changi Beach for an alternative sea view and a chance at spotting fishes and wildlife that look like something out of Alien vs Predator. Or you know, crocodiles.

  • Changi Park Beach Address: Nicoll Dr, Singapore 498991
  • Punggol Beach Address: Directions
  1. More Than Just a Picnic Spot, Marina Barrage

yoga at marina barrage
Image Credit: Leon | ShopBack

The plain-vanilla thing to do when you’re at Marina Barrage is to lay a picnic out and perhaps let a kite or two glide through the wind. I mean, nothing wrong with all that but if that’s what we’re recommending then there’s no point to this list. How about something more unconventional like stretching it out with Yoga on the very field of the roof of Marina Barrage? Yoga with a breeze and view, it’s something different! Check out Funzing for updates on the next yoga class!

  1. 6 Trampoline Parks to Choose From

trampoline park
Image Credit: Howard County Library System | Flickr

A 30 minutes session of trampoline is enough to get your heart racing like no other, all the moves you never thought you could do? The trampoline park is the perfect place to muster the courage to make that backflip you’ve kept at the back of your head all these while. Check out all 6 trampoline parks and see which one is near you.

  1. Visit the World’s First Nocturnal Zoo, the Night Safari

night safari entrance
Image Credit: saeru | Flickr

The Night Safari is the world’s first nocturnal zoo. Home to more than 2,500 animals and 130 species, of which 38% are endangered species. A visit to this place at night feels almost illegal, as though you’re lingering about after hours with a chance of running into the roaming night creatures. Spice up your conventional zoo visits with a trip to The Night Safari instead! f you still prefer to see anials during the day, then try the River Safari or the Jurong Bird Park.

  1. Hawker Hop Around Singapore: Newton, Maxwell, Lau Pa Sat, Amoy, etc

alexandra hawker center
Image Credit: Tiberiu Ana | Flickr

Part of Singapore’s national identity is the sheer range and abundance of food one have access to at a dime. The cling-clangs of the wok from the carrot cake stall, and the permeating charred fragrance of the barbecued chicken wings from 5 stalls down. The beauty of a hawker center is endless. Truth be told, a great deal of the most delicious makan are found in hawker centres and with literally hawker centres peppered across the country, why not do a hawker hop (I coined it first) instead of the cliché cafe hop around this little red dot? Speaking of cafe hopping…

  1. Well If You’re into Cafe Hopping…

cafe in singpaore
Image Credit: Trixia | Flickr

Singaporean millennials seem to have a penchant for cafe hopping. If you’re guilty of it, you should be no stranger to the nooks and crannies of Tanjong Pagar. Or perhaps even a totally off grid corner of cafes that we haven’t heard of. In any case, cafe hopping is I guess, also a good alternative to a planned day out. We recommend Populus if you’re in Tanjong Pagar.

  • Address: 146 Neil Road, Singapore 088875
  • Operating Hours:
Tuesday 9AM–4PM
Wednesday 9AM–10:30PM
Thursday 9AM–10:30PM
Friday 9AM–10:30PM
Saturday 9:30AM–10:30PM
Sunday 9:30AM–7PM
Monday 9AM–7PM
  1. Bowling with a Twist

cosmic bowling
Image Credit: Joe Futrelle | Flickr

Neon skinned bowling balls that resemble gobstoppers candies and illuminated lanes – oh wait, illuminated everything. It feels like you’re on a trip to somewhere beyond our very dimension. It’s bowling we’re talking about. Check out Orchid Bowl’s website for the latest Cosmic Bowling schedules.

Discover more bowling alleys in Singapore here.

  1. Fishing and Prawning

fishing in singapore
Image Credit: Jopo Mercado | Flickr

Angling could be anyone’s ball game. Fishing might not be the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of a pastime, especially with Singapore’s strict policy on fishing illegally. Fret not, some spots frequented by seasoned anglers such as the Changi Beach Park and Yishun Dam are good places to start with, enjoy the view while you’re there!

  • Changi Beach Park Address: Nicoll Dr, Singapore 498991
  • Yishun Dam Address: Yishun Avenue 1, Singapore 769130
  1. Picnic Anywhere but Marina Barrage

Well if you’re into that jazz… I can see why the roof of Marina Barrage, Botanic Gardens would always be the few places that pop into mind when thinking of a place for some greenery. It is often said that you can’t walk more than a few meters without seeing a plant of some sort. That being said, a lot of these places were swept under the carpet despite it’s just as picturesque – or even far scenic views.

sengkang riverside park
Image Credit: Christopher Vu | Flickr
telok blangah hill park
Image Credit: steven sim | Flickr

What better way to usher in nature’s Magnifique than with a picnic? All due respect to the 2 places mentioned earlier but marvels like the Telok Blangah Hill Park and Sengkang Riverside Park are perfect spots that had been swept under the carpet for far too long. Almost palm tree plantation-like plain transcends the Sengkang Riverside Park into a place like no other in Singapore!

  • Sengkang Riverside Park Address: Anchorvale Street, Singapore 544834
  • Telok Blangah Hill Park Address: 10, Telok Blangah Green,  Singapore 109178
  1. An Evening Along Fullerton Road

fullerton road
Image Credit: digitalpimp. | Flickr

Just a turn from the touristy Merlion Park is a stretch of boardwalk right by the banks of the unseen side to the Singapore River. Facing straight on is the towering central business district’s buildings and it’s night lights. Indulge yourself in a gastronomical delight with literally a stretch of delectable options particularly Overeasy and Ps. Cafe, couple that with a million dollar view of the CBD and you might just have discovered the recipe for a perfect date night.

Bonus: conveniently located a stone throw away is the Starbucks store water boat house, also the 100th Starbucks outlet in Singapore. Do make sure to check that out!

  • Waterboat Starbucks Address: 3 Fullerton Road, #02-01/02/03, Fullerton Waterboat House, Singapore 049215
  • Operating Hours:
Thursday 8AM–11PM
Friday 8AM–12AM
Saturday 8AM–12AM
Sunday 8AM–11PM
Monday 8AM–11PM
Tuesday 8AM–11PM
Wednesday 8AM–11PM
  1. Explore Emerald Hill, the Back Alleys of Orchard Road

emerald hill singapore
Image Credit: Rob Hurson | Flickr

Ever wondered how the back streets of the glamorous Orchard Road look like? Columns of Shophouses that originated from the colonial period snake the very alley of Emerald Hill. Distinguished by bright colors and corridors of glazed tiles, much of it has been acquired by local bar establishments and quickly became hot spots for night crawlers. Come in the day and you might even spot dogwalkers and the buildings in their full glory.

guided tour emerald hill
Image Credit: ohopenhouse | Instagram

Coincidentally the guys from ohopenhouse are giving guided tours this coming March to give you an insight into what goes beyond the studded facade of this once nutmeg plantation. Check out the details of the tours here!

  • Dates of guided tours: 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18, 24, and 25 of March
  • How to get to Emerald Hill: across the street from orchard gateway towards Acid Bar, stretch uphill is the entrance to Emerald Hill.
  1. University Hop around Singapore!

utown nus
Image Credit: NUS residential | NUS

This may sound bizarre but there have been instances where tourists from abroad were spotted touring around the campuses of the various universities in Singapore. Well since they’ve already done it, what excuse do we have to not know our very own universities and just simply be in awe at how grandiose and equipped they are?

nus instagrammable places
Image Credit: NUS Residential | NUS

If you’re a millennial reading this, chances are you already know a friend schooling in one of these universities; an excuse to catch up, a chance at a cheap meal from the university’s canteens or really just a hunt for Instagrammable places, maybe it’s not that bizarre after all.

In photos: National University of Singapore (NUS)

  • Address: 21 Lower Kent Ridge Rd, Singapore 119077
  1. Bird’s Eye View of Singapore for Free

skyville @ dawson view
Image Credit: Youtube

Ever since ION Orchard started to impose a minimum spending of S$20 to gain entry to the much revered ION Sky, many have complained about the sudden implementation of the fee, so here’s a comparable alternative to also view Singapore from a bird’s eye view!

Spoiler alert: It’s free!

skyville @ dawson
Image Credit: Foursquare

As if the scenic view wasn’t enough already, to top it all off, literally, the 47th-floor roof is also decorated with pillars that resemble the marvellous greek columns. It is almost unbelievable that this monumental of a building is publicly-accessible and of a public housing building. Simply take the lift up to the 47th floor to reach this vantage point!

  • Address: 86 Dawson Rd, Singapore 141086
  1. Visit the Cluster of Megastores in Tampines

Ikea megastore
Image Credit: Ikea

Seeing all-things mega-sized is always a joy. Whether you visit with an agenda to purchase or not, it’s always a child-in-candy-store experience to be in each of these stores. Strategically located within 500m of each other, the 3 megastores: IKEA, Courts, and Giant as you can imagine, carry arrays of products that’d keep you fascinated for hours.

Then there’s IKEA for you to re-enact iconic scenes out of ‘500 Days of Summer’. And more often than not, let’s face it, we visit the IKEA megastores for the food more than what the store is actually intended for. You could easily spend a whole day around these 3 stores.

  • IKEA Tampines Megastore’s Address: 60 Tampines North Drive 2, Singapore 528764
  • Operating Hours:
Thursday 10AM–10PM
Friday 10AM–11PM
Saturday 10AM–11PM
Sunday 10AM–10PM
Monday 10AM–10PM
Tuesday 10AM–10PM
Wednesday 10AM–10PM
  1. Try the Best of Each Local Delicacy in Singapore: Chicken Rice

chicken rice singapore
Image Credit: yosoynuts | Flickr

Us Singaporeans have no excuse to not be in awe of the sea of delicacies we are so within reach of. But sometimes, under the cover of repetition and lack of choices, we forget how much of a culinary achievement an unassuming plate of chicken and rice represents. To freshen thing up, a trip around this little red dot to find out the top notch of plates of chicken rice (or hokkienmee if you prefer to roll that waycould just be the brand new outlook you needed.

Editor’s choice: personal favourite chicken rice would have to be from Boon Tong Kee.

  • Boon Tong Kee Balestier Road’s Address: 399, 401 & 403 Balestier Road, Singapore 329801
  • Operating Hours:
Thursday 11AM–4:45PM, 5:30PM–4:30AM
Friday 11AM–4:45PM, 5:30PM–4:30AM
Saturday 11AM–4:45PM, 5:30PM–4:30AM
Sunday 11AM–4:45PM, 5:30PM–3AM
Monday 11AM–4:45PM, 5:30PM–4:30AM
Tuesday 11AM–4:45PM, 5:30PM–4:30AM
Wednesday 11AM–4:45PM, 5:30PM–4:30AM
  1. Explore the Civic District of Singapore


mica building
Image Credit: Eugene Lim | Flickr

This curious building of coloured window panes always was a pleasant sight during a bus ride, but never would anyone expect the building to be Singapore’s first jail and also part of the civic district in Singapore.

civic district map of singapore
Image Credit: MCCY

The civic district is the central district of Singapore, and its also commonly known as the Civic and Cultural District. Home to many historic monumental buildings, it is also the heart of the art festivals unique to Singapore. Like the earlier mentioned Singapore Night Festival, and the most recent Light to Night Festival that happened right in front of the National Gallery Singapore.

With the vast majority of the museums in Singapore free to enter for Singaporeans, doing a museum crawl around this district and simply appreciate the Victorian-inspired buildings could be your plans for the next couple of weeks! Get an insight on the lesser-known museum like the Singapore Philatelic Museum!

  • Singapore Philatelic Museum Address: 23-B Coleman Street, Singapore 179807
  • Operating Hours:
Friday 10AM–7PM
Saturday 10AM–7PM
Sunday 10AM–7PM
Monday 10AM–7PM
Tuesday 10AM–7PM
Wednesday 10AM–7PM
Thursday 10AM–7PM
  1. Be Wowed at the St. Andrew’s Cathedral

st andrew's cathedral
Image Credit: bvi4092 | Flickr

St. Andrew’s Cathedral is the biggest cathedral in Singapore. A site of worship for many, it is also an architectural landmark. You’ve probably spotted this wondrous of a church even from afar. Many photographers have also taken a liking for its gothic interior

st andrew cathedral singapore
Image Credit: Nigel Swales | Flickr

Its distinguished snow white exterior and sheer scale of the building’s towering spire is attention-grabbing enough for tourists and locals alike no matter their beliefs.

Address: 11 St Andrew’s Road, Singapore 178959

  1. Did You Know You Could Visit the Air Force Museum?

singapore air force museum
Image Credit: ngotoh | Flickr

The Republic of Singapore Air Force’s museum is unknown to most due to its location and well, the fact that you can actually visit a military establishment.

Though much of the air force is still largely left anonymous to the public (for a good reason), this museum gives a good representation of the force’s historical background and our country’s firepower as a force on the globe. Real models of fighter jets used in the past scatter the exhibition hangar, as well as with air defense weapons that were used to take down the former. Another to-do on the list I bet you didn’t know about!

  • Address: 400 Airport Road, Singapore 534234
  • Operating Hours:
Friday 8:30AM–5PM
Saturday 8:30AM–5PM
Sunday 8:30AM–5PM
Monday Closed
Tuesday 8:30AM–5PM
Wednesday 8:30AM–5PM
Thursday 8:30AM–5PM
  1. Staycation hotels

Sometimes all you need is a little perk-me-up the midst of everything else. This could come in the form of retail therapy, whatever you deem appropriate. Or really, just pamper yourself with a cosy hotel room.

lloyd's inn
Image Credit: TripAdvisor

With Agoda, your short weekend getaways are made even more affordable, plan your weekends ahead and save up to 75% of the original price! Check our travel deals page for all the offers on hotels to stay in Singapore.

  1. Gardens by the Bay and Its Flower and Tropical Domes

gardens by the bay
Image Credit: Bertrand DUPPERIN | Flickr

‘Giant stalks of mushrooms’, ‘Futuristic-alien-looking-thing’

Just some of the impressions formed when foreigners encountered these ‘supertrees’ in Gardens by the Bay’. No surprise that this instalment is part of this list; the vertical garden is like a maze and with every turn comes a different corner of the garden you never knew about. These colossal trees overlook the centre of the garden with suspended walkways circling the upper half of them.

This is a particularly good activity to do if you have friends over that are visiting Singapore for the first time. Impress them with a visit to the cooled conservatories to see the cool indoor waterfall, a walk on the OCBC Skyway by sunset so they can have a good view of the gardens and finish the visit with the light show at the supertree grove.

flower dome gardens by the bay
Image Credit: william | Flickr

Most of the gardens are free entry. The paid areas of the garden are the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest – which are regrettably also the lesser visited ones due to it being a payable attraction.

Despite that, prices are not at all unreasonable – and at only S$20 for Singaporeans, it certainly doesn’t break the bank to experience and educate yourself about the rare and endangered plant species, all within the airconditioned dome. These waterfront gardens are definitely an icon of the Lion City.

  • Address: 18 Marina Gardens Dr, Singapore 018953
  • Flower Dome and Cloud Forest Operating Hours:
Friday 9AM–9PM
Saturday 9AM–9PM
Sunday 9AM–9PM
Monday 9AM–9PM
Tuesday 9AM–9PM
Wednesday 9AM–9PM
Thursday 9AM–9PM
  1. Hunt for Photo-Scenic Places – They Are Everywhere

redhill mrt
Image Credit: Pinterest

Last but not least, this one’s for the Instagrammer who is always having trouble finding a ‘good’ backdrop. Truth be told, unorthodox yet oddly picturesque places like the Redhill MRT are EVERYWHERE, you just have to spot it. Who’d have expected an ordinary train station to have hues of pastel pink you’d see in – (Nah sorry, I can’t even think of a place in Singapore where you can find an entirety of pastel pink).

takashimaya carpark
Image Credit: Leon | ShopBack

Even Takashimaya’s carpark, the Botanical Garden and its orchid garden, the Sands Skypark or the Singapore Flyer, you get the point.

Let this be a reminder to open up our eager eyes when we’re out on the road, visit places that are off the road (not literally). Who knows, you might just run into something worth adding to this list.

Writing this list, we’ve concluded that we’re not boring people. We just needed an alternative angle to look at our seemingly tiny red dot. Perhaps the missing piece we’ve been searching for all this while is this list of 55 things in Singapore you never knew you could do. 😉

Discover more things to do in Singapore:

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