Been there, done that? Think again because there’s more to Singapore than meets the eye.
Sure, you might’ve been here before, but there’s definitely lots more you haven’t seen and done in the city. Second-time visitors, bookmark this list and check off the activities one by one to be sure you experience all that Singapore has to offer, from the well-known to the (relatively) unknown.
1. Try island hopping
Visit one of Singapore’s newest attractions, Coney Island. Situated off the northeastern coast of Singapore, this 45-hectare island is accessible on foot from Punggol Point Park and is great for cycling and bird-watching. Other islands worth visiting include Lazarus Island and Pulau Seringat, which are both linked and part of Singapore's Southern Islands. Hop onto a ferry at Marina South Pier and drop off at St John's Island, where unspoilt beaches await.
2. Shop for homegrown labels (and get the best deals)
Photo by Darren Soh
Check out Singapore’s local talent and international indie labels at fashion stores like In Good Company at ION Orchard, MAX.TAN and SABRINAGOH at Capitol Piazza. Otherwise, head to Sects Shop by Depression and Superspace at Orchard Gateway for everyday wear, edgy pieces, trendy outfits, and more. If you’re looking for great deals, there’s sportswear Mecca Queensway Shopping Centre and for outlet shopping, head to IMM Jurong for brands like Nine West and Billabong.
4. Check out the café scene
Photo by Afur Wong
Singapore’s café scene is booming and it shows no signs of slowing down. Go café hopping and pop by joints like Chye Seng Huat Hardware, Symmetry, and Maison Ikkoku for amazing coffee and mouth-watering food. You don’t have to stop there; there are even more options in the Bugis and Lavender area, including tea specialists Hyde and Co., Melbourne-inspired coffee house The Hangar, and French-influenced patisserie Antoinette.
5. Visit a farm (or two)
Singapore may be known to many as an urban jungle, but don’t be surprised to find several farms in the outskirts of the city. Bollywood Veggies, Lian Wah Hang Quail Farm, and Jurong Frog Farm are interesting places of interest if you’re interested in a farm visit, but if you want to take things up a notch and stay on one, there’s D’Kranji Farm Resort – a laid-back retreat located in the Lim Chu Kang area featuring spacious villas, spa services, and activities like prawn fishing.
6. Tour the newly-opened National Gallery Singapore
Photo by National Gallery Singapore
After an entire decade, the National Gallery Singapore opened its doors in November 2015. Here lies the planet's largest public display of modern Southeast Asian art, which is housed within two of the nation's most iconic national monuments – the former Supreme Court and City Hall. Marvel at more than 8,000 artworks spanning 10 galleries and take in the stunning, picture-perfect spaces of the museum, such as the Supreme Court foyer and the Padang Atrium.
7. Embrace the great outdoors
Photo by Danny Santos
Singapore is home to a number of beautiful green destinations and outdoor attractions. You could cycle along East Coast Park (and hang out at the beach after), hike MacRitchie Reservoir and conquer the 250 metre long suspension bridge known as the HSBC Tree Top Walk, visit the mangroves of Mandai, or take a stroll along Punggol Waterway Park.
8. Go on a heritage trail
Learn about Singapore's rich history with heritage trails like the one around Queenstown and the World War II trails by Changi Museum. The former features free guided tours around the Dawson and Alexandra neighbourhoods in Queenstown, which take place every last Saturday of the month (register here), while the latter highlights motorcoach-facilitated guided trails that revisit some of the country's most iconic WWII sites around the Changi area.
9. Explore Singapore’s wet markets
Discover the spots where locals shop for fresh produce, frozen meats, spices, dried foods, and more at wet markets in neighbourhoods like Tiong Bahru (Tiong Bahru Wet Market), Chinatown (Chinatown Complex), and Little India (Tekka Centre). The best bit? You could venture out and explore the heartlands in these areas to see what the locals are really up to.
10. Stay active
Get active while you're in town. How about visiting an indoor trampoline park? Bounce away at AMPED. Or try your hand at rock climbing at Kallang Wave Mall (don't worry, it's indoors so you won't get roasted). You could also ride the waves and learn to surf at Wave House Sentosa. There's also the Escape Room fad to get into if you fancy working on puzzles in a limited amount of time – your mind will certainly appreciate the mental workout!
With so much to see and do, surely you’ll be seeing a different side of Singapore, even as a return visitor.