Truth be told, I didn’t consider Singapore as one of the most exciting places to visit when I just starting my adventures abroad. The more I traveled to more places in Asia, I started to appreciate Singapore as a worthwhile destination, especially for people who are traveling abroad for the first time. It is so easy to get around the city and there are so many tourist spots that many types of travelers, of all ages, can enjoy.

To date, this country has become my most visited country in Southeast Asia thanks to frequent promo fares & direct flights from major airports in the Philippines. The best places & things to do in Singapore are attractions that showcase the city’s rich multi-cultural heritage, innovative modernity, and drive to harmonize nature with its dense urban landscape.

If you’re on your way to this bustling city-state, I hope this these tips will help you make the most out of travel experience.

1. Merlion Park

Merlion Park and the Central Business District Skyline, in Singapore. Photo by Marcos Detourist.

Why go — The Merlion Park is the perfect spot to start your Singapore adventure. The famous half-fish half-lion statue is not only the nation’s most prominent icon, its location also provides a stunning 360-degree view of the soaring skyline and World-famous structures surrounding Marina Bay.

Plan a trip

How to go — From Raffles Place MRT Station on the East West Line (EW14) & North South Line (NS26), walk towards the United Overseas Bank (UOB) Tower. Once you reach the Singapore River, turn right and follow the riverside footpath to Merlion Park. The walk is around 500 meters. If you want to take a shortcut, go inside Fullerton Hotel and follow the underground link to One Fullerton. You should see the Merlion Park on your left after you exit at the Marina Bay side.

Admission/entrance fee is free.

Singapore tours & discounts.

Hotels & hostels near Merlion Park.

2. Civic District

Raffles Hotel at the Civic District, in Singapore. Photo by Marcos Detourist.

Why go — A short walk from Merlion Park takes visitors to the Civic District. This area is filled with imposing historical landmarks and buildings that trace its roots from the British-colonial era, World War II, to the early stages of modern Singapore’s independence.

Plan a trip

How to go — Ride the MTR to City Hall Station on the East West Line (EW13) & North South Line (NS25). This station is located beside St. Andrew’s Cathedral, near many museums and attractions in the Civic District. You can also start your walking tour from Merlion Park. Cross one the historic Singapore River bridges to get to the Civic District.

Admission/entrance fee is free if you just walk around the Civic District. Selected Museums & galleries charge varying fees to get inside. Here’s a list of entrance fees — Asian Civilisations Museum — SGD 8 per adult; National Museum of Singapore — SGD10 per adult; National Gallery of Singapore — SGD20 per adult; National Museum of Singapore — SGD10 per adult; Singapore Art Museum — SGD10 per adult.

Singapore museum tours & discounts.

Hotels & hostels in Civic District.

3. Gardens by the Bay

Monks at the cloud dome, in Gardens By The Bay, Singapore. Photo by Marcos Detourist.

Why go — A surreal man-made marvel that truly makes the city stand out from the rest of the World. The Gardens by the Bay was built to transform Singapore from a “Garden City” to a “City in a Garden.” The main attractions here are the 25 towering man-made Supertrees and two equally extraordinary biodomes.

Plan a trip

How to go — From Bayfront MRT Station on the Circle Line (CE1/CC34) & Downtown (DT16), follow the signs and exit at the Gardens by the Bay.

Admission/entrance fee is free if you just want to walk around the outdoor gardens. The conservatories & OCBC Skyway charge varying rates on admission. Entrance fees — Two Conservatories (Cloud Forest Dome & Flower Dome) — SGD28 per adult; OCBC Skyway — SGD8 per adult.

25% OFF Singapore Gardens by the Bay Flower Dome + Cloud Forest Admission Ticket.

Included in iVenture Flexi Attractions Pass, iVenture Ultimate Attractions Pass & Funvee Open Top 2 & 3 Day Pass — Save money, time & enjoy cashless convenience when visiting multiple attractions in Singapore.

Hotels & hostels near Gardens by the Bay.

4. Singapore River & Clarke Quay

Statues of children playing by the river with a view of heritage buildings and bridges along the Singapore River at the Civic District in Singapore. Photo by Marcos Detourist.

Why go — The Singapore River meanders between the Civic District and the Central Business District. A relaxed riverside walk or guided boat cruise offers a contrasting view of modern skyscrapers on one side and quaint heritage buildings on the other. After sundown, a happening nightlife scene comes alive at Clark Quay and Boat Quay.

Plan a trip

How to go — Take the train to Clarke Quay MRT Station on the North East Line (NE5). You can find the Clarke Quay complex and Singapore River right around the corner.

Hotels & hostels near Clarke Quay.

5. Sentosa Island

Overlooking Palawan Beach in Sentosa, Singapore. Photo by Marcos Detourist.

Why go — Dubbed as Asia’s Playground, Sentosa Island is home to Singapore’s best beaches, resorts, and a good variety interesting spots to visit and fun things to do including Resorts World Sentosa, The Wings of Time show, Sentosa Merlion, iFly Singapore, Wave House Sentosa, S.E.A. Aquarium, and three beaches.

Plan a trip

How to go — The best way to get to Sentosa is by riding the cable car from Harbourfront Centre. Go to HarbourFront MRT Station on the North East Line (NE1) or Circle Line (CC29), take Exit B to Harbourfront Centre and follow the signs leading to Singapore Cable Car station at Harbourfront Tower II. You can also take Exit E to VivoCity and go to Level 3 to board the Sentosa Express monorail. The cheapest way is to cross the Sentosa Boardwalk from VivoCity to Resorts World Sentosa.

Admission/entrance fee is SGD4 if you take the Sentosa Express. Admission is free if you get the Singapore Cable Car pass. The entrance fee is SGD1 if you take the Sentosa Boardwalk.

4% OFF Singapore Sentosa FUN Pass — Save money when visiting multiple attractions in Sentosa. Includes up to 19 attractions.

Sentosa discounts & packages.

Sentosa hotels & resorts.

See also

6. Universal Studios Singapore

Far Far Away Castle at Universal Studios Singapore in Sentosa Island. Photo by Marcos Detourist.

Why go — Universal Studios Singapore is a good reason on its own to visit the country, especially if you’re traveling with family or friends. This thrilling world of movie magic is the first (and only) theme park of its kind to open in Southeast Asia. It features over 20 attractions, most of which are original or specially adapted for the park.

Plan a trip

How to go — You can find it in Resorts World Sentosa. From HarbourFront MRT Station on the North East Line (NE1) or Circle Line (CC29), take Exit E to VivoCity and go to Level 3 to board the Sentosa Express monorail. Drop off at the Waterfront Station, the first stop. Walk straight until you see Chili’s Restaurant on your right. Turn right and head towards the Universal Studios Globe. The best way to get to Universal Studios Singapore, is by riding the cable car. Scroll up to read more tips on how to get to Sentosa Island.

Admission/entrance fee at Universal Studios Singapore is SGD74 per adult.

18% OFF Universal Studios Singapore Admission Ticket.

Included in iVenture USS + Flexi Attractions Pass & iVenture Ultimate Attractions Pass.

Hotels & resorts near Universal Studios Singapore.

7. Singapore Zoo

Elephant Show at Singapore Zoo, Singapore. Photo by Marcos Detourist.

Why go — Visiting the Singapore Zoo is an educational and fun way to see a wide array of animals from different continents around the globe. It’s an impressive attraction on its own but if that’s not enough, you can also experience the Night Safari, River Safari, and Jurong Bird Park located nearby.

Plan a trip

How to go — From Ang Mo Kio MRT Station on the North South Line (NS16), walk to Ang Mo Kio Hub (mall) and ride Bus #138. The bus ride alone takes 30 to 45 minutes to Singapore Zoo. If you want to save time, take the train to Kranji MRT Station on the North South Line (NS7), and ride a taxi (SGD7 or more depending if it’s peak hours).

Admission/entrance fee on Singapore Zoo tickets is SGD33 per adult. If you want to visit the other parks, consider getting a ParkHopper ticket.

29% OFF Singapore Zoo Admission Ticket.

Included in iVenture Flexi Attractions Pass, iVenture Ultimate Attractions Pass & Funvee Open Top 2 & 3 Day Pass.

Singapore Zoo discounts & packages.

Hotels & hostels near Singapore Zoo.

8. Helix Bridge

Singapore’s Helix Bridge under the sunset twilight in Singapore. Photo by Marcos Detourist.

Why go — Resembling the structure of a DNA molecule, this uniquely designed bridge is awe-inspiring. The postcard-worthy view of the Singapore Skyline and Marina bay from the bridge’s platforms is especially beautiful under the sunset twilight.

Plan a trip

How to go — From Bayfront MRT Station on the Circle Line (CE1/CC34), walk to The Shoppes (mall) exit. You should see the Helix Bridge as you head towards the ArtScience Museum. It is also an easy walk from the Esplanade building & Singapore Flyer.

No admission / entrance fees.

Hotels & hostels near Helix Bridge.

9. Marina Bay Sands

Marina Bay and Helix Bridge at night, in Singapore. Photo by Marcos Detourist.

Why go — The Skypark perched on the rooftop deck of the iconic Marina Bay Sands offers a breathtaking view of Singapore. Enjoy Asia’s largest light and water show in front of The Shoppes (mall). This 15-minute spectacle is run every night at 8pm & 9:30pm. Go to the other side of the bay, near Merlion Park, to see the lights with a full view of the Marina Bay Sands building.

Plan a trip

How to go — Ride the train to Bayfront MRT Station on the Circle Line (CE1/CC34). This station is connected to The Shoppes (mall) and Marina Bay Sands (hotel).

Admission/entrance fee is free if just walk around the mall and bayside area. A ticket/pass to the Sands SkyPark Obeservation Deck is SGD23 per adult. Entrance to Marina Bay Infinity Pool is available only to guests staying at the hotel.

46% OFF Singapore Marina Bay Sands Skypark Sightseeing Experience Admission Ticket.

Included in iVenture Ultimate Attractions Pass.

Marina Bay Sands discounts & packages.

Hotels & hostels near Marina Bay Sands.

10. Singapore Flyer

View of the skyline from the Singapore Flier, in Singapore. Photo by Marcos Detourist.

Why go — For a fun experience, the Singapore Flyer found across the bay also offers amazing overlooking views of Singapore.  This giant Ferris wheel once held the title as the world’s tallest at the time of its completion.

Plan a trip

How to go — From Promenade MRT Station on the Circle Line (CC4), head towards Exit A and follow the signs to the Singapore Flyer. It is also an easy walk from the Helix Bridge, Marina Bay Sands & Esplanade building.

Admission/entrance fee on Singapore Flyer tickets is SGD33 per adult.

Included in iVenture Flexi Attractions Pass & iVenture Ultimate Attractions Pass.

Hotels & hostels near Singapore Flyer.

11. Esplanade Theatres by the Bay

Esplanade Theatres by the Bay at night, in Singapore. Photo by Marcos Caratao.

Why go — The quirky durian-shaped Esplanade building is one of Singapore’s iconic structures. In addition to its beautiful design and as a venue of performing arts events, excellent food options can be found nearby. Makansutra Gluttons Bay, an outdoor hawker-type dining area, has delicious seafood and a good variety of local dishes.

Plan a trip

How to go — From Esplanade MRT Station on the Circle Line (CC3) or City Hall MRT Station, exit to Stamford Road and head towards Marina Bay. Lookout for the Esplanade building’s unique durian-inspired design. The walk takes around 5 minutes.

Hotels & hostels near Esplanade Theatres by the Bay.

12. ION Sky & Orchard Road

Orchard Road and ION Orchard Mall in Singapore. Photo by Marcos Caratao.

Why go — Orchard Road is home to Singapore’s biggest malls. This shopping street is lined with mall and stores that range from luxury to mainstream brands. If you’re in the area, don’t skip the breathtaking overlooking views from ION Sky found on the 56th floor of the ION Orchard Mall.

Plan a trip

How to go — Take the train to Orchard MRT Station on the North South Line (NS22). This station is linked to Ion Orchard (mall). Somerset MRT Station (NS22) or Dhoby Ghaut (NS24/CC1/NE6) are also found along Orchard Road.

Admission/entrance fee to ION Sky is free.

Hotels & hostels near Orchard Road.

13. Chinatown

Chinatown District in Singapore. Photo by Marcos Caratao.

Why go — Experience Singapore’s multi-cultural diversity by taking a walking and food tour of Chinatown. Visit a church, a mosque, Indian and Chinese temples all in one walk. Go on a food adventure and try dishes from Singapore’s different cultural influences at affordable hawker centers.

Plan a trip

How to go — Take the train to Chinatown MRT Station on the North East Line (NE4) and Downtown Line (DT19). Exit to Pagoda Street and start your walking tour of Chinatown.

Admission/entrance fee is free if you are just walking around the area. Museums and galleries may have admission fees if you want to get inside.

Hotels & hostels near Chinatown.

14. Kampong Glam & Arab Street

Masjid Sultan (mosque), at Muscat Street, in Kampong Glam, Singapore. Photo by Marcos Caratao.

Why go — Kampong Glam is the heart of Singapore’s Malay community. This area is famous for the landmark Sultan Mosque, and Malay Heritage Centre. It’s also a good place to sample Malaysian, Indonesian, and Arabic food.

Plan a trip

How to go — From Bugis MRT Station on the East West Line (EW12) and Downtown Line (DT14), exit at North Bridge road walk 2 blocks, northwards to Arab Street.

Admission/entrance fee is free if you are just walking around the area. Museums and galleries may have admission fees if you want to get inside.

Hotels & hostels near Kampong Glam.

15. Little India

Mustafa Centre at night, in Little India, Singapore. Photo by Marcos Caratao.

Why go — Little India, as the name suggest, is the centre for the large Indian community in Singapore. This is one place that you can visit if you want to enjoy South and North Indian food. Mustafa Centre, a discount department store, is especially popular among Filipinos as a place to buy cheap imported items & pasalubong to bring back home.

Plan a trip

How to go — You can take the train to Farrer Park and Little India MRT stations on the North East Line (NE8 & NE7), which are located in the neighborhood of Little India. Take off at Farrer Park if you are going to Mustafa Centre.

Admission/entrance fee is free if you are just walking around the area.

Hotels & hostels near Little India.

See also

16. Lau Pa Sat Hawker Centre

Lau Pa Sat Hawker Centre, in Singapore. Photo by Marcos Caratao.

Why go — Head to Lau Pa Sat for a memorable Singaporean food experience. Eating at hawker centres, which can be found all over the city, is a great and cheap way to sample the multicultural cuisines in Singapore. Lau Pa Sat is quite special because it is housed in a stunning historic building.

Plan a trip

How to go — From Raffles Place MRT Station on the East West Line (EW14) and North South Line (NS26), take the exit along Robinsons Road and follow the street for one block. Lau Pa Sat Hawker Centre is also near Telok Ayer and Downtown MRT Stations on the Downtown Line (DT18 & DT17).

Admission/entrance fee is free.

Hotels & hostels near Lau Pa Sat.

Note: Destinations featured above are not listed by rank.

Did you find this list inspiring? Please share adventures by tagging #detourista on Facebook and Instagram @marcosdetourist.

Before you go

Singapore Multi-attractions pass

Visiting multiple attractions in Singapore? Save money, time & enjoy cashless convenience by pre-book these packages online:

iVenture Flexi Attractions Pass — Choose between 3 to 5 of Singapore’s top attractions for 5 days of sightseeing by simply swiping your iVenture Card. In addition, ‘skip the queue’ benefits are available at selected attractions. If you are planning to go to Universal Studios Singapore, choose the ‘3 Attractions Pass + USS Package’. Get the best value for money by including Singapore Hop On Hop Off Bus (SP HOHO) tours, S.E.A. Aquarium and Night Safari as these are the most expensive among the choices.

iVenture Ultimate Attractions Pass — Visit unlimited top attractions in Singapore for 2, 3 or 5 consecutive days. It includes more attractions than the ‘Flexi Pass’ & same ‘skip the queue’ benefits.

Funvee Open Top 2 & 3 Day Pass — Two or three day unlimited sightseeing bus pass. Hop on and off at your own pace and visit the city’s top attractions

Top Singapore hotels & hostels

Choose a place to stay within your budget from these pre-picked hotels and hostels in Singapore:

Cheap yet decent hostels & guesthouses for backpackers on a shoestring budget.

Adamson Lodge (Perak Road, Little India)

Adler Hostel (South Bridge Road, Chinatown)

Maple Lodge @ Chinatown (Pagoda Street, Chinatown)

Cheap yet decent bang-for-buck hotel for budget-conscious travelers.

Chic Capsule Otel (Mosque Street, Chinatown)

The Southbridge Hotel (South Bridge Road, Chinatown)

Fragrance Hotel – Riverside (Hong Kong Street, Clarke Quay). See also Fragrance Hotel – Bugis & Fragrance Hotel – Selegie.

Comfort and convenience at a bargain.

Parkroyal on Pickering (Upper Pickering Street, Marina Bay)

The Club (Ann Siang Road, Chinatown)

Splurge & enjoy the best.

Raffles Singapore (Beach Road, Civic District)

Marina Bay Sands (Bayfront Avenue, Marina Bay)

Pan Pacific Singapore (Raffles Boulevard, Marina Square)