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.

How to go, expenses & where to stay nearby — Make sure to click the “Show more” buttons below to see the travel tips.

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.

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Admission fee — It’s a public park! No admission/entrance fee.

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2. Colonial 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 Colonial District, also known as 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.

How to go, expenses & where to stay nearby

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.

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Admission fee — 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.

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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.

How to go, expenses & where to stay nearby

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

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Admission fee — 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.

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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.

How to go, expenses & where to stay nearby

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.

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Admission fee — No admission/entrance fees.

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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, a wide 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.

How to go, expenses & where to stay nearby

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.

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

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

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.

How to go, expenses & where to stay nearby

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.

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

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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.

How to go, expenses & where to stay nearby

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).

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

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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.

How to go, expenses & where to stay nearby

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.

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Admission fee — No admission / entrance fees.

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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.

How to go, expenses & where to stay nearby

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).

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Admission fee — 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.

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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.

How to go, expenses & where to stay nearby

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.

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

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11. Esplanade Theatres by the Bay

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

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 for 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.

How to go, expenses & where to stay nearby

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.

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Admission fee — No admission/entrance fees.

12. ION Sky & Orchard Road

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

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.

How to go, expenses & where to stay nearby

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.

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Admission fee — Admission/entrance fee to ION Sky is free.

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13. Chinatown

Chinatown District in Singapore. Photo by Marcos Detourist.

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

How to go, expenses & where to stay nearby

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.

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Admission fee — 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.

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14. Kampong Glam & Arab Street

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

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 an excellent place to sample Malaysian, Indonesian, and Arabic food.

How to go, expenses & where to stay nearby

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.

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Admission fee — 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.

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15. Little India

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

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.

How to go, expenses & where to stay nearby

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.

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

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16. Lau Pa Sat Hawker Centre

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

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.

How to go, expenses & where to stay nearby

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).

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Admission fee — No admission/entrance fees.

Note: Destinations featured above are not listed by rank.

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Before you go

Singapore hotels & hostels

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

Rucksack Inn @ Lavender Street

Budget backpacker | Near Farrer Park MRT

Adler Luxury Hostel

Budget flashpacker | Near Chinatown MRT

Chic Capsules

Budget flashpacker | Near Chinatown MRT

Fragrance Hotel – Riverside

Budget | Near Clarke Quay MRT

Holiday Inn Clarke Quay

Mid-range | Near Clarke Quay MRT

PARKROYAL On Pickering

Splurge | Near Chinatown & Clarke Quay MRT

Raffles Singapore

Splurge | Near City Hall & Esplanade MRT

Marina Bay Sands

Splurge | Near Bayfront MRT

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Save money and time by pre-booking your Singapore tours, attraction tickets & packages online. Enjoy discounts, save time from queuing at the ticket booths, and avoid the hassles of bringing & exchanging cash.

More importantly, you can show the E-Tickets you booked as proof of your visit as a tourist to immigration officers.

Don’t stop here

See more Singapore blog tips & travel guides:

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