Are you planning a trip to Singapore and looking for unique experiences beyond the typical tourist attractions? Lucky for you, Singapore has plenty of hidden gems waiting to be discovered. There’s something for everyone, from exploring local neighbourhoods to dining at hawker centres. In this article, we’ll introduce you to non touristy things to do in Singapore that will give you a taste of the authentic local culture.
One of the best ways to experience Singapore like a local is to explore the various neighbourhoods. From the hipster Tiong Bahru to the colourful Haji Lane, each district has its charm and personality. You can find hidden cafes, street art, and unique shops that you won’t find in a tourist guidebook. Exploring the local neighbourhoods is a great way to immerse yourself in the local culture and discover the city’s hidden gems.
If you’re a nature lover, you’ll be pleased to know that Singapore has plenty of green spaces and wildlife. You can go hiking in the MacRitchie Reservoir, bird-watching at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, or visit the Singapore Botanic Gardens, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Singapore’s wildlife is diverse and unique, from monkeys and otters to the elusive pangolin. Nature and wildlife experiences in Singapore are perfect for those who want to escape the city’s hustle and bustle and connect with nature.
- Exploring local neighbourhoods is a great way to discover hidden gems in Singapore and relish the pleasures of non touristy things to do in Singapore.
- Singapore has plenty of green spaces and wildlife for nature lovers to explore.
- Dining at hawker centres is a must-try experience to taste authentic local cuisine.
Exploring the Local Neighbourhoods in Singapore
Singapore is a melting pot of different cultures, and each neighbourhood has its unique charm. You’ll enjoy the non-touristic things to do in Singapore. Exploring the local neighbourhoods is a great way to experience the authentic side of Singapore that most tourists miss out on. Here are some of the best settings to explore:
Chinatown is a vibrant neighbourhood that is steeped in history and culture. Traditional Chinese medicine shops, temples, and markets sell everything from souvenirs to exotic foods. The Chinatown Complex is a must-visit for foodies, with over 200 hawker stalls serving up some of the best local dishes in Singapore. Don’t forget to check out the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum, a stunning four-storey temple that houses a sacred relic of the Buddha.
Little India is a colourful and bustling neighbourhood home to a large Indian community. Here, you can find traditional Indian shops selling saris, spices and jewellery, and various Indian restaurants. Must-visit spots in Little India include the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple, a Hindu temple over 100 years old, and the Mustafa Centre, a 24-hour shopping mall selling everything from electronics to groceries.
Tiong Bahru is a hipster neighbourhood known for its art deco architecture and trendy cafes. Here, you can find some of the best coffee shops in Singapore and boutique stores selling unique gifts and souvenirs. Don’t miss the Tiong Bahru Market, a hawker centre that serves some of Singapore’s best local food.
Haji Lane is a narrow street in the Kampong Glam neighbourhood famous for its street art and murals. Boutique stores sell vintage clothing, handmade jewellery, and unique gifts. The road is also home to some of Singapore’s best cafes and bars, making it a great spot to hang out and soak up the local atmosphere.
Exploring the local neighbourhoods is a great way to experience the authentic side of Singapore. Each area has its unique charm, and there is something to discover around every corner. So put on your walking shoes and get ready to explore the real Little Red Dot with these non touristy things to do in Singapore!
Nature and Wildlife in Singapore
If you’re looking for a break from city life, Singapore offers plenty of nature and wildlife experiences. From mangroves to tree top walks, here are some of the best non-touristy things to do in Singapore’s nature and wildlife spots to explore.
Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and take a short boat ride to Pulau Ubin, a small island off the northeastern coast of Singapore. Here, you can rent a bike and explore the island’s rustic charm, which includes mangroves, forests, and wetlands. Keep an eye out for wildlife such as the elusive pangolin.
East Coast Park
For a more leisurely nature experience, head to East Coast Park, a popular local spot to cycle, jog, and picnic. Rent a bicycle, explore the park’s scenic coastline, or take a kayak to the nearby mangroves to spot wildlife such as otters.
If hiking is more your style, MacRitchie Reservoir is the perfect destination. The nature reserve boasts a variety of trails, including the famous TreeTop Walk, a suspension bridge that offers stunning views of the forest canopy. Keep an eye out for wildlife such as monkeys and birds.
Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park
For a more urban nature experience, head to Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park, which features a river that runs through it and is home to various birds. Stroll along the park’s many walking paths, bring a picnic, and relax by the river.
Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve
For a truly unique nature experience, visit the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, a mangrove forest home to various wildlife, including crocodiles. Take a guided tour to learn more about the reserve’s ecosystem, or explore on your own and see if you can spot some of the reserve’s resident otters.
Overall, Singapore has plenty of non-touristy nature and wildlife experiences to offer. Whether you’re looking to kayak through mangroves or hike through a forest, there’s something for everyone.
Dining at Hawker Centres in Singapore
If you’re looking for an authentic dining experience in Singapore, you can’t go wrong with visiting a hawker centre. These open-air food courts offer various delicious local dishes at affordable prices and are a favourite among locals. Here are some of the best hawker centres to check out:
Old Airport Road
Old Airport Road is one of Singapore’s oldest and most famous hawker centres. It’s home to over 150 food stalls, and you can find everything from traditional dishes like chicken rice and laksa to more exotic offerings like frog porridge and stingray. Some must-try stalls include Lao Fu Zi Fried Kway Teow, which serves up delicious char kway teow, and Hock Leng Satay Bee Hoon, known for its satay bee hoon.
Newton Hawker Centre is another popular spot for foodies. It’s located in the city’s heart and is open 24 hours a day to satisfy your cravings anytime or night. Some must-try dishes include barbecued stingray, oyster omelette, and Hokkien mee. Just be prepared to pay more than you would at other hawker centres, as Newton is known for being a bit touristy.
If you want a more laid-back atmosphere, head to Changi Village Hawker Centre. This hawker centre is located in eastern Singapore and is surrounded by lush greenery and the sea. It’s the perfect spot to enjoy a relaxing meal while enjoying the scenery. Some must-try dishes include nasi lemak, mee goreng, and fried carrot cake.
ABC Brickworks Hawker Centre is a hidden gem in the heart of Alexandra. It’s not as well-known as some of the other hawker centres on this list, but it’s worth a visit. Some must-try dishes here include the famous char siew from Fatty Cheong, the delicious prawn noodles from Jalan Sultan Prawn Mee, and the mouth-watering chicken rice from Tiong Bahru Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice.
You will have a fantastic dining experience regardless of which hawker centre you visit. So grab a table, order some delicious food, and enjoy the lively atmosphere of these local hotspots!
Extraordinary Museums in Singapore
If you’re looking for something different to do in Singapore, why not check out some of the city’s unique museums? Here are three museums that are worth a visit:
Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum
If you’re interested in nature and wildlife, you won’t be disappointed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum. Here, you’ll find an impressive collection of dinosaur skeletons, including a diplodocus and a stegosaurus. You’ll also see a sperm whale skeleton that washed up on Singapore’s shores in 2015. The museum is named after the late Lee Kong Chian, a philanthropist who donated generously to education and the arts.
Mint Museum of Toys
For something a bit more whimsical, head to the Mint Museum of Toys. This museum has a vast collection of vintage toys worldwide, including dolls, teddy bears, and tin robots. You’ll also find an impressive collection of superhero figurines and other comic book memorabilia. The museum is housed in a beautiful heritage building from 1912.
Musical Box Museum
You won’t want to miss the Musical Box Museum if you love music. Here, you’ll find an incredible collection of vintage music boxes, some dating back to the 19th century. You’ll also see other musical instruments, including a rare harp guitar. The museum is in a beautiful heritage building, once a colonial bungalow.
Whether you’re interested in nature, toys, or music, Singapore has a museum. These three museums are just a few unique and fascinating museums you can explore in the city.
Amusing Offbeat Attractions in Singapore
You’re in luck if you’re looking for unique and offbeat attractions in Singapore. From a bizarre theme park to a frog farm, plenty of unusual experiences exist. Here are three offbeat attractions and non touristy things to do in Singapore that you can add to your itinerary:
Haw Par Villa
Haw Par Villa is a theme park unlike any other. Built in the 1930s by the creators of Tiger Balm, the park is filled with over 1,000 statues and dioramas depicting scenes from Chinese mythology and folklore. One of the park’s most famous attractions is the Ten Courts of Hell, a graphic representation of the punishments that await sinners in the afterlife. While the park may not be for the faint of heart, it’s a unique experience you won’t forget.
Jurong Frog Farm
If you want hands-on animal experience, head to Jurong Frog Farm. Here, you can learn about the life cycle of frogs, feed them, and even catch your own. The farm also offers frog-themed dishes, such as frog porridge and frog legs, for adventurous people.
Escape the city and head to Bollywood Veggies, a countryside farm that grows various fruits and vegetables. Take a guided farm tour, sample some of the produce, and enjoy a meal at the on-site restaurant, Poison Ivy. The farm also hosts workshops on composting and beekeeping so that you can learn a thing or two while there.
Overall, Singapore has plenty of offbeat attractions for you to explore. Whether you’re interested in mythology, animals, or agriculture, there’s something for everyone.
Outdoor Exertions in Singapore
If you are an outdoor enthusiast, Singapore has a lot to offer. From kayaking to rock climbing, there is something for everyone. Here are some of the non-touristy things to do in Singapore at the outdoors.
Kayaking in Kallang Basin
The Kallang Basin is a great place to go kayaking. You can rent a kayak and explore the waterways at your own pace. The basin is surrounded by lush greenery, and you can enjoy the beautiful scenery as you paddle. You might spot some wildlife, such as otters or monitor lizards if you are lucky.
Biking in Park Connector Network
The Park Connector Network is a series of interconnected parks and green spaces that span the entire island. You can rent a bicycle and explore the network at your leisure. The network is well-maintained and offers a safe and enjoyable cycling experience. You can stop at various parks and attractions like the Singapore Botanic Gardens or the Marina Barrage.
Scuba Diving at Sisters’ Island Marine Park
If you are a certified scuba diver, the Sisters’ Island Marine Park is a must-visit destination. The park is home to various marine life, including colourful corals, tropical fish, and even sea turtles. You can book a diving tour and explore the underwater world with a guide. The park is well-preserved, and you can enjoy a unique and unforgettable diving experience.
Rock Climbing at Amped
Amped is an indoor rock climbing gym that offers a challenging and exciting experience for climbers of all levels. The gym has a variety of climbing walls, including bouldering walls and top rope walls. The friendly and knowledgeable staff can help you improve your climbing skills. If you are looking for a fun and unique workout, Amped is the perfect place.
Whether you are a seasoned outdoor enthusiast or a beginner, Singapore has something to offer. From kayaking to rock climbing, there are plenty of non-touristy outdoor activities. So why not get out there and explore the great outdoors and the non touristy things in Singapore?
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some hidden gems in Singapore that are off the beaten path?
Singapore has many hidden gems that are off the beaten path. For example, you can visit the Kranji Marshes, a nature reserve home to many species of birds and other wildlife. Another hidden gem is the Bukit Brown Cemetery, a historic cemetery home to many exciting tombs and graves.
What are some unique activities that locals enjoy doing in Singapore?
Locals in Singapore enjoy many unique activities that are not touristy. For example, you can visit a hawker centre and try local food, or visit a wet market and experience local culture. Another unique activity is to visit a traditional Chinese medicine shop and learn about traditional remedies.
Where are some lesser-known places to explore in Singapore?
Singapore has many lesser-known places to explore. For example, you can visit the Labrador Nature Reserve, a beautiful park with hiking trails and a scenic sea view. Another lesser-known place is the Haw Par Villa, a theme park with many interesting sculptures and exhibits.
What free or low-cost activities to do in Singapore that aren’t touristy?
Singapore has many free or low-cost activities that are not touristy. For example, you can visit the Singapore Botanic Gardens, a beautiful park with many different types of plants and flowers. Another free activity is to visit the National Museum of Singapore, which is a museum that showcases the history and culture of Singapore.
Can you recommend any private or secluded spots to visit in Singapore?
Singapore has some private or secluded spots that are worth visiting. For example, you can visit Coney Island Park, a nature reserve with many hiking trails and a beautiful beach. Another secluded spot is Pulau Ubin, a small island home to many exciting wildlife.
What are some rustic or natural places to visit in Singapore away from the crowds?
Singapore has many rustic or natural places to visit away from the crowds. For example, you can visit the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, a nature reserve home to many species of birds and other wildlife. Another natural place is the MacRitchie Reservoir, a beautiful park with hiking trails and a scenic view of the reservoir.
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