Things you can do if you think Singapore is boring

"Singapore is boring" is a phrase people like to say about Singapore.

I used to think that way but after being an urban sketcher, someone who sketches on location, I've found out there's so much to see, do and discover about Singapore. So in this post I'll share with you the places you can go, and the activities you can do, arranged by whether or not you need to spend money ($ means you need to spend a bit, $$ means you need to spend a bit more).

Singapore is boring only because it's easier to type "Singapore is boring" than to actually go find fun things to do.

Take up urban sketching (free)

Urban Sketchers is a community group with members that sketch on location. There are urban sketchers group in many cities around the country. In Singapore, there's Urban Sketchers Singapore. These people are actually just group of friends who hang out, visit places in Singapore, and draw on location. Anyone can join the group regardless of background, and I've part of the USK SG group since 2009. This is the best way to discover Singapore to the fullest extent.

You know that heightened sense of awareness when you go on a holiday overseas? You get that when you're sketching on location because it helps you see your surroundings with "new eyes".

Take up photography (free)

Just use your phone's camera.

Write down a list of places you've not been to in Singapore, then go there, look for interesting scenes, photograph them. If you think Singapore scenes are mundane, then challenge yourself through photography to see how you can make the scenes look less mundane. Go to the library and borrow photography books to see what makes a good photo.

There are plenty of street photographers in Singapore capturing beautiful scenes everyday. Look at their Instagram or social media pages. Get inspired. Check out Yafiq Yusman, Yik Keat, Mindy Tan, Kevin Siyuan and Singapore Tourism Board

Take on a heritage trail (free)

National Heritage Board has, at the time of this article, created 57 heritage trails across Singapore.

These self guided trails have location markers on the ground that explain the history of Singapore. There's more to shopping centres and HDB flats in Singapore.

Travel on the Park Connector Network (free)

Singapore has a large network of park connectors. Some park connectors go across several towns. Best way to travel the park connector is with a bicycle. If you don't have a bicycle, you can rent from bike sharing company SG Bike, or if you don't know how to ride a bicycle, just walk.

The Coast-to-Coast Trail is a 36km trail from Coney Island Park to Jurong Lake Gardens. This lady and her friends took 12 hours to cover the trail.

There's also the Round Island Route which is 150km.

Those routes may be too long and epic for most people, so just go on the shorter park connectors instead. You can find out where they are from the maps on NParks website.

Going on the park connector is an relaxing way to chill out, and check out Singapore. Best time to go is early morning and after 5pm, because you know, hot.

My favourite walks are at East Coast Park, Sports Hub, Gardens by the Bay East, Marina Barrage, Marina Bay, Esplanade. All these are connected. Cycling from Tampines to East Coast to Marina Barrage takes 2 hours.

Visit the parks and nature reserves (free)

There are many parks and nature reserves in Singapore. The whole list is on NParks website.

The ones I recommend are:

  • Bukit Timah Nature Reserve
  • East Coast Park
  • Esplanade Park
  • Gardens by the Bay
  • Central Catchment Nature Reserve
  • MacRitichie Reservoir Park (this is the one with the TreeTop Walk)
  • Changi Beach Park
  • Coney Island Park
  • Bukit Batok Park
  • Pulau Ubin and Chek Jawa
  • Punggol Waterway Park
  • Singapore Botanic Gardens
  • Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park
  • All the reservoir parks

And here's a list of parks for family with kids.

Go cycling (free/$$)

Cycling is another great way to explore Singapore, and it's also good exercise too. With bicycle, you can go to so many places. And cycling is a fun activity with friends and family. I cycle with my wife and kids every week.

If you don't know how to cycle, go learn.

If you don't have a bicycle, I recommend renting one first, such as from SG Bike which offers pretty good rates (better than bicycle rental shops at East Coast).

After renting a bicycle and finding out that you actually like riding bicycles, go buy a bicycle. I recommend foldable bicycles so that you can fold them and bring them onto buses and trains. Get ones that are 10kg or lighter. I'm using a Travelo from Bike Actually. You can also find foldable bicycles at Mighty Velo. No I'm not sponsored by these two companies.

Go learn skateboarding ($$)

This is also a convenient way to travel, short distances, around Singapore. I use my skateboard in the city area to get to places. When you can afford to travel more, on bicycles or skateboards, you get to see more.

Skateboarding is more dangerous than cycling though.

Go fly a kite at Marina Barrage ($)

This is another fun activity with friends and family. There's a shop at Marina Barrage that sells kites. And after flying, walk over to Satay by the Bay for dinner.

You will be surprised at just how crowded the rooftop of Marina Barrage is.

Take a ferry out to St John and Kusu Island ($)

You can book the ferry tickets online and it's quite a popular weekend activity.

Visit Chinatown (free)

You may think Chinatown is commercialised. Well, it is. But there are still interesting shops there if you actually go explore the shops along the five foot way. Just avoid the main pedestrian street that's lined with stalls selling souvenirs.

While you're there be sure to walk along South Bridge Road to see the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, Sri Mariamman Temple and Masjid Jamae (Chulia). Three places of worship for different religion on a single street.

Have your meal at Chinatown Complex, then go check out the People's Park Complex and Park Centre shopping malls. See how these malls are different from the newer heartland malls.

Visit Little India (free)

Little India is another huge place to visit.

Alight at Rochor MRT station, then walk towards Tekka Centre to have your meal. Check out the wet market at Tekka Centre. And take a break inside the Indian Heritage Centre (air-conditioned).

Go visit a museum (free/$)

If outdoor is not your thing, then go visit a museum.

Here's a list:

National museums (free/$)

  • 8Q SAM
  • Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM)
  • National Gallery Singapore
  • National Museum of Singapore
  • Peranakan Museum
  • Singapore Art Museum (SAM)

Other museums

  • Tools of Old Singapore Museum
  • ArtScience Museum (Marina Bay Sands)
  • Baba House (National University of Singapore)
  • The Battle Box
  • Fort Siloso (Sentosa)
  • Fuk Tak Chi Museum
  • Images of Singapore (Sentosa)
  • The Intan
  • JCU Museum of Video and Computer Games
  • Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (National University of Singapore)
  • Madame Tussauds Singapore (Sentosa)
  • Maritime Experiential Museum & Aquarium (Sentosa)
  • Mint Museum of Toys
  • Nei Xue Tang Museum
  • NUS Museum (National University of Singapore)
  • Parkview Museum
  • Red Dot Design Museum Singapore
  • The Republic of Singapore Navy Museum
  • Singapore Philatelic Museum (SPM)
  • Singapore Pinacoth√®que de Paris
  • Singapore Coins and Notes Museum (SCNM)
  • Sports Museum
  • The Gem Museum

Heritage institutions

  • Chinatown Heritage Centre
  • Chinese Heritage Centre
  • Civil Defence Heritage Gallery
  • Heritage Conservation Centre {HCC)
  • Indian Heritage Centre (IHC)
  • Malay Heritage Centre
  • National Archives of Singapore (NAS)
  • Police Heritage Centre
  • Reflections at Bukit Chandu (RBC)
  • Science Centre Singapore
  • Singapore City Gallery (URA)
  • Singapore Discovery Centre
  • Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall
  • Teochew Cultural Centre

Staycation ($$)

Personally I find staycation boring.

The only thing I like about staycation is I can just step out of the hotel and start exploring. You'll need to spend more money of course. I would rather spend the money to take taxi to and from home.

But if you have the budget, there are many good hotels in Singapore. I recommend staying in hotels near Chinatown, Bugis and the Civil District.

Going to touristy places ($$)

There's no lack of touristy places in Singapore.

  • Universal Studio
  • Singapore Zoo
  • Jurong Bird Park
  • River Safari
  • Night Safari
  • Cloud Forest and Flower Dome
  • ArtScience Museum
  • Jewel Changi Airport
  • Marina Bay Sands
  • SEA Aquarium at RWS
  • Madame Tussauds
  • Haw Par Villa

Check out the shops at Haji Lane (free/$)

There are many interesting shops, cafes and restaurants at Haji Lane, Arab Street and Baghdad Street.

Visit the animal, fish and vegetable farms in Choa Chu Kang West

Go open Google Maps and navigate to Jalan Lekar, Sungei Tengah Road, Choa Chu Kang Track.

Then look at all the farms you can visit there. There are farms for fish, goats, vegetables and more.

At Qian Hu Fish Farm you can see ornamental fish, go for fish massage or let your kids play with the fishes at the ponds.

Visit Bollywood Veggies ($)

Bollywood Veggies is kinda out of the way at 100 Neo Tiew Road at Lim Chu Kang. But it's definitely worth a visit because you'll get to see what a vegetable farm in Singapore look like. You can walk around the farm to get a sense of how farming is like. It's a great place for family too.

I didn't even know this place existed until a friend told me about it.

Rent a canoe at Kallang Basin ($)

You can rent a canoe from Singapore Sports Hub and check out Kallang Basin on water.

Learn rock climbing ($)

Climb Central provides rock climbing services and there are a few locations around Singapore.

Where else to find things to do

Search "Singapore" to see where others have been and what they are doing. You can get ideas there.

Another great place to find activities is from the contributed list on Reddit Singapore. The list is compiled by the community and is updated each month with activities arranged by date.

I'm always on a look out for interesting places to visit

Share with me lesser known places in Singapore that you think more people should explore.

If none of the places or activities interest you, maybe you're the one who's boring.



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