From delicious local food and hand-painted murals to rich cultural hotspots, here are 9 unforgettable things to do in Singapore.
From feasting on your favourite hawker dishes at the Lau Pa Sat hawker centre or strolling along the Lion City’s original indie neighbourhood Haji Lane to living it up at the city’s most iconic luxury hotel, the Marina Bay Sands, it’s fair to say that Singapore has everything to offer – and more. Read on for our 24-hour guide on things to do in Singapore.
Eat Breakfast with the Locals: Lau Pa Sat (Telok Ayer Market)
An architectural gem, this local favourite is situated in one of Southeast Asia’s oldest Victorian design structures. Famed for its satay and seafood, the Lau Pa Sat hawker centre is a pocket of culture and history perfectly nestled in the heart of the city’s downtown financial district. Serving up everything from satisfyingly warm congee (rice porridge) topped with an assortment of shredded meats to traditional ‘century eggs’ (egg preserved in clay, ash, salt, quicklime and rice hulls) and spring onions, Lau Pa Sat truly is a foodie’s paradise. In the evenings, head to the outdoor area to party like a regular as you experience their famous (and lively!) Satay Street. Looking for more breakfast variety? Our guide to Singapore’s best local breakfasts has you covered.
Insider’s Tip: Our favourite stalls include Thunder Tea Rice at stall 31 (more commonly known as lei cha fan), Pig’s Organ Soup & Kway Chap at stall 7 (for the daring), and Satay Club at stalls 7 and 8.
Address: 18 Raffles Quay, Singapore 048582
Open From: 24 hours
Price: Dishes usually start from SGD 4.50 upwards
Stroll Down Haji Lane, Singapore’s OG Indie Neighbourhood
Known for its brightly decorated storefronts, beautiful hand-painted murals, and cool, independent boutiques, bars, cafes, and restaurants, Haji Lane’s explosion of colour alone merits one or two spots on your camera roll, at the very least. For those of you who love all-things-quirky and indie, as well as one-of-a-kind fashion and lifestyle decor items, look no further than this narrow shoppers’ lane that’s always full to the brim with trendy, youthful, affordable brands. We’ve rounded up a special guide to all of Haji Lane’s hip eateries, indie boutiques and buzzing bars.
Insider’s Tip: Beat the Singapore heat by visiting Moosh Softserve, a hole-in-the-wall ice cream spot serving up smooth, creamy and velvety delights in all kinds of flavours.
Address: 21A Haji Lane, Singapore 189214
Open From: Most stores open daily from 11am to 8pm
Price: Free admission
Grab a Tasty Brunch: Common Man Coffee Roasters
Common Man Coffee Roasters is a funkily decorated cafe made popular by its all-day brunch-style menu that’s guaranteed to get you up in the morning. Known for its near-unbeatable coffee, this local favourite serves up everything from croissant Croque Monsieur and Marmite mushrooms on avocado toast to their famed Common Man Fluffy Pancakes and delicious house-baked beans with confit chorizo.
Insider’s Tip: Reservations can only be made from Monday to Friday for groups of 5 or more. Given this spot’s enduring popularity, you can expect to queue for your breakfast.
Address: 22 Martin Road 01-00, Singapore 239058
Open From: Mon-Fri: 7:30am-5pm; Sat-Sun: 7:30am-6pm (last order 5:30pm)
Price: Customers usually spend above SGD 30 at this venue
Laze Around (or Get a Tan): Palawan Beach
On Singapore’s popular resort island, Sentosa, lies Palawan Beach, a family-friendly crescent-shaped beach featuring fine white sand, palm trees and a few lively beach bars. Conveniently accessible via the city’s easy-to-use public transport, one of the highlights here is the suspension bridge which links beach-goers to the southernmost point of continental Asia whilst providing some truly spectacular views along the way.
Insider’s Tip: Be sure to check out Animal Encounters, a free 15-minute show where guests have the opportunity to interact with cheekily energetic monkeys, amazing reptiles, colourful parrots and impressive birds of prey at the Palawan Amphitheatre.
Address: Palawan Beach, Sentosa Island, Singapore
Open From: Mon-Sun: 9am-10pm
Price: Free admission
Enjoy a Bowl of Laksa: Famous Sungei Road Trishaw Laksa
No trip to Singapore would be complete without savouring a nice, warm bowl of the nation’s go-to dish, laksa, a spicy noodle soup popular in the Peranakan cuisine of Southeast Asia. And where better to whet your appetite than at three-time Michelin Bib Gourmand awardee, Famous Sungei Road Trishaw Laksa? Rich in both flavour and heritage, the broth here is known to be both lighter and healthier than others around town, without compromising on taste. Be sure to try their renowned Fruit Juice Mee Siam, which is priced at the super affordable SGD 3, SGD 4 and SGD 6. And, if you can’t get enough of these delicious noodles, we’ve put together a guide to the 6 best laksa noodle places in Singapore.
Insider’s Tip: Queues here are especially long, particularly during lunchtime. To avoid disappointment, try and arrive before noon.
Address: 531A Upper Cross Street #2-66 Hong Lim Complex | Hong Lim Market & Food Ctr, Singapore 051531
Open From: Tue-Sun: 11:30am-4pm
Price: Laksa bowls range from SGD 3 to 8, depending on your choice of toppings
Visit Singapore’s Futuristic Nature Park: Gardens by the Bay
Home to more than 15,000 square metres of tropical plants, Gardens by the Bay blends architecturally stunning, sleekly sculptured structures with lush greenery, creating a utopian-esque mini-city that celebrates nature’s wonders. While there is a combined total of 18 gardens and attractions open to the public, there are 3 must-visit ones: the Flower Dome, a floral paradise which also happens to be the world’s largest greenhouse; the Cloud Forest, a mysterious realm veiled in mist that features the world’s tallest indoor waterfall at 30 metres; and the OCBC Skyway, a 128-meter long footbridge elevated 22 meters off the ground, boasting panoramic views of both the Gardens and the Marina Bay skyline.
Insider’s Tip: Gardens by the Bay holds a free 15-minute light show called Garden Rhapsody at Supertree Grove daily at 7:45pm and 8:45pm.
Address: 18 Marina Gardens Drive, Singapore 018953
Open From: Mon-Sun: 9am-9pm
Price: Ticketing prices vary for different gardens (check their website for more details)
Live Big at Marina Bay Sands: CÉ LA VI Restaurant and Skybar
Cheers to the high life at CÉ LA VI, a rooftop restaurant, bar, sky deck and club lounge all in one. With mesmerising views of both the Indian Ocean and the city’s picturesque skyline, this fancy dining spot cooks up modern Asian dishes for both lunch and dinner alongside signature cocktails. Featuring menu items such as Mandarin Duck Curry, Pork Belly Dan Dan Noodles, and Boneless Korean Fried Chicken Wings, this upscale club lounge is the perfect vantage point to watch the evening laser show, performed every night at 8pm and 9:30pm.
Insider’s Tip: Complimentary admission is given to Sands Rewards members, hotel guests and visitors with reservations, so book ahead of time if you don’t qualify for the former two requirements so as to avoid admission fees.
Address: Level 57, Marina Bay Sands Tower 3, Singapore 018971
Open From: Mon-Sun: 12pm-3pm, 6pm-11pm (Skybar: 12pm-late)
Price: Mains range from SGD 50 to 90
Get Tipsy: The Old Man Singapore
Landing a spot on the 2019 list of World’s Best 50 Bars, The Old Man Singapore is the sister venue to the original in Hong Kong that was ranked first on Asia’s 50 Best Bars of 2019 and is a speakeasy-style bar inspired by all things Ernest Hemingway. This playfully chic venue features wood-accented, brown-checkered floors as well as shades of bright green in its velvety bar stools and wall decor. Sitting by their iconic T-shaped bar, customers are encouraged to mingle with others as they are entertained by the friendly staff that treat everyone as if they were regulars. Serving up uniquely creative drinks like Islands in the Stream, with clarified pink grapefruit and salted gin, and Little Wax Puppy, a beeswax-infused whisky mixed with eucalyptus honey and bitters, this venue retains its charm and exquisite service even on hectically busy nights. Down to have a fun night out? We’ve put together a handy list of Singapore’s best bars.
Insider’s Tip: The Old Man Singapore doesn’t have signage indicating the entrance to their venue, so keep your eyes peeled for the pineapple lamp above the door.
Address: 55 Keong Saik Rd., #01-04, Singapore
Open From: Mon-Sat: 5pm-12am
Price: Drinks start from SGD 17 upwards
Explore the 7-Time World’s Best Airport: Jewel Changi Airport
Directly connected to Terminal 1 of Singapore Changi Airport is Jewel, an SGD 1.7 billion 10-storey retail, dining and entertainment complex that glimmers with more than 9,600 pieces of glass as its roof. This nature-meets-retail-meets-gastronomy venue houses the world’s tallest indoor waterfall at 40 meters (the HSBC Rain Vortex) and a 5-storey indoor garden showcasing plants from all corners of the world (the Shiseido Forest Valley). This architectural wonder is ideal to visit at night and a must-see on any layover.
Insider’s Tip: Discover this wondrous world where nature meets retail through one of their 2.5-hour guided walking tours.
Address: Jewel Changi Airport, 78 Airport Boulevard, Singapore 819666
Open From: 24 hours
Price: Free admission for the Shiseido Forest Valley and the HSBC Rain Vortex (separate admission fees for other attractions, including the Canopy Bridge, Canopy Park, Manulife Sky Nets and Hedge Maze)