When most people think of Singapore, the first word that often comes to mind is “expensive.” While there’s little doubt that it’s one of the costliest cities in the world, visitors on any budget can take advantage of the city’s many free attractions and experiences. Start by choosing a budget-friendly hotel in Singapore near the places you want to see. Whether you prefer nature, history, culture, or architecture, check out these free things to do in Singapore.
Walk Through the Trees
After you settle into your hotel in Singapore, you’ll want to stretch your legs and explore your new environs by taking a walk in MacRitchie Reservoir Park. Famous for its TreeTop Walk, the park spans about 30 acres with several hiking trails of varying difficulty and dozens of bird species. There are also non-motorized boats for rent, if you prefer to take your tour by water. Most of the park is accessible by wheelchair and is easy to access by bus or car.
Snap a Selfie With a Merlion (or Two)
Though Singapore is home to at least seven statues of the famed half-lion, half-mermaid symbol, you’ll find the most popular and oft-photographed ones overlooking Marina Bay, in the aptly named Merlion Park. The larger of the two Merlions here stands almost 30 feet tall and weighs an impressive 77 tons. The smaller comes in at 6.5 feet tall and 3.3 tons. Don’t miss your chance to take creative photos with the water spouting from the mythical creatures’ mouths.
Add to Your “Bukit” List
Unless you get seriously scared by the idea of strolling through a cemetery, a trip to the Bukit Brown Cemetery is a must. Steeped in Singaporean history and culture, the cemetery hosts more Chinese graves than anywhere in the world outside of China. For many years, various redevelopment projects, such as a public housing town and a four-lane road to ease traffic congestion, have threatened the site. While you can, take a free tour on a self-guided wayfinder trail established by the Singapore Heritage Society. Visitors can explore 25 tombs, and the accompanying guide details the rich cultural history and natural treasures you’ll find here.
Marvel at Peranakan Architecture
Visitors to Baba House, a townhouse built in the late 19th century, delight at seeing the inner workings of a Chinese Peranakan home dating back to the 1920s. Peranakans were the descendants of Straits-born Chinese immigrants who settled or were born in the Malay Archipelago.
The impeccably maintained terrace house functions as a living museum of sorts, complete with ornate furniture, family portraits, and various household items belonging to the former inhabitants, the Wee family. The National University of Singapore now owns and operates this heritage house. While the tours are free for most visitors, you’ll need to book in advance, as the site is popular and groups are limited to 13 people.
Remember, just because you’re visiting one of the most expensive cities on Earth doesn’t mean you have to pay for every attraction. Don’t miss out on these free experiences when you visit Singapore.