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The Traveller's Magazine
  •   3 min read

Singapore is a world-class city with so much to offers each and every one of our senses. It also has a reputation for coming with a pretty hefty price tag. Flights and hotels aside, you hardly need to spend a penny to really experience this city. Here’s how.

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City sights & museums

Singapore Botanic Gardens – When the weather is fine, this place is a must. It opens daily at 5:00am and closes at midnight. Explore the garden’s 183 acres of gardens and plants including the Ginger Garden with 250+ species of the spice. The Gardens is most famous for the National Orchid Garden although there is a small fee to enter that part of the park.

gardens

Singapore Art Museum – Singapore isn’t largely famous for its contemporary art on a global scale but that’s a real shame. Stop by the Singapore Art Museum to see the world’s largest collection of Southeast Asian contemporary art and you’ll see what you’ve been missing! There is only free entry on Fridays between 6:00pm and 9:00pm.

Haw Par Villa – This is probably one of the craziest places you can visit for free in Singapore. It’s a theme park based on Chinese mythology. There are 1,000+ statues and 150+ dioramas depicting legends and folkloric stories from China, some of which are considerably disturbing! The experience of walking through the park however is nothing but incredible, something to write home about.

Singapore’s neighbourhoods

Little India

Want to experience the magic of India? You haven’t to venture far if you’re already on holidays in Singapore. This dense area of streets and shops stocks a whole lot of India from food stalls, spice shops, flower stands and massage oil specialists to fabric markets. Start your tour of this Singapore neighbourhood along Serangoon Road and then wander the back alleys.

little-india

Chinatown

Singapore is an international as it comes and the city has a huge Chinese population who all seem to live in one area of town. Start your tour with a trip to the Chinatown Heritage Centre for a history lesson and then hit the streets! It’s all a bit chaotic so if it gets to be too much, head to Thian Hock Keng Temple for some peace and quiet.

Marina Bay

Since the opening of the Marina Bay Sands resort in 2010, this corner of town has quickly become the centre of Singapore tourism. With the financial district on one side and the historic centre on the other, Marina Bay is the happy middle. Walk along the waterfront promenade and don’t miss the electrifying 13-minute light and water show every night at 8:00pm and 9:30pm (plus 11:00pm on Fridays and Saturdays).

sands

Orchard Road

Singapore’s Orchard Road in Queenstown is the city’s answer to Las Vegas’ Rodeo Drive or Paris’ Champs-Elysées. It’s a great atmosphere with endless restaurants and eateries, designer shops and 300+ retailers. With neon lights and some great people-watching opportunities, this is one part of town you don’t want to miss. Window shopping is completely free, if you manage to keep your credit card safe and sound in your wallet.

Have you ever been to Singapore? Is it on your must-visit list?

Are you a cash-strapped traveller? Check out all guides on how to experience cities for free, from Berlin to Vancouver, down to Sydney and back again.

Imgs: Jimmy McIntyre, rmlowe, YL Tan, kamsky / Flickr cc.

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