The Swingin’ South
There’s no denying that the South is the most exciting part of Singapore – 1000 malls along Orchard Road, countless nightclubs/bars/pubs, museums galore and two Integrated Resorts.
If you’re tired of the usual hangouts, we bring you more fun things you can do in the south:
1. Get Nostalgic at the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station
Visiting Tanjong Pagar Railway Station is always nostalgic if you’ve travelled to Malaysia by train when it was still in operation. Architecture buffs will love the Art Deco style and even the most casual of Instagrammers can take a cool picture on the railway tracks. The station and railways will be developed in the next few years – we’re excited to see what changes there’ll be!
Address: 30 Keppel Road, 089059
Opening Hours: Open to visitors during public holidays only
2. Discover Trends at the Red Dot Design Museum
Quirky and funky or sleek and modern – the Red Dot Design Museum is at the forefront of creativity. It houses winners of the Red Dot Design: Product Design Awards. The museum showcases entries by designers who envision future technology. Futuristic bicycle designs, cars, and even lightbulbs are on display here.
It’s a perfect place to go with anyone and everyone who appreciates functional, yet artistic pieces. Recent exhibits include futuristic mini-windmills and stylish air lamps. Red Dot Design Museum also hosts a monthly event, MAAD (Market of Artists and Designers), a flea market for the creative community. Check it out for funky designs and ideas you won’t get anywhere else!
Address: Ground Floor, 28 Maxwell Road, Red Dot Traffic Building. Singapore 069120
Opening Hours: Weekdays 11am – 6pm, weekends 11am – 8pm
Admission fee: $8 for adults, $4 for students, children and seniors
3. Take a trip to Haw Par Villa
I’ve been here twice, and I’m still not sure whether it’s an enjoyable or somewhat horrifying experience. It’s fascinatingly creepy. The painted sculptures are vivid and explicitly depict scenes from Chinese sagas or tortures in hell. BUT there are some truly disturbing visages, like a crab with woman’s head or painted figurines smiling while burning in hot lava.
10/10 would visit again.
Address: 262 Pasir Panjang Road, 118628
Opening Hours: 9am – 7pm daily
Admission Fee: Free
4. Hike along the Southern Ridges
Bukit Timah Hill may be closed for now, but you can still hike around the Southern Ridges. It’s an extensive trail from Kent Ridge Park to Vivocity, passing through Hort Park, Henderson Waves and Mount Faber.
The walk is scenic – the Forest Walk brings you above the treetops, Hort Park is full of horticultural delights, but it’s strenuous enough for the avid hiker.
5. Unleash your inner child at VivoCity
How many shopping centres have an open-air playground AND a rooftop water feature? Leave your kids to play with water in the playground on level 2, then head up to the skypark to splash around in the shallow pools. Fun for the whole family.
Address: 1 Harbourfront Walk, Singapore 098585
Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm daily
6. Take a cruise from the Marina Bay Cruise Centre
Fancy a short holiday? Most of us think of flying off to Bangkok for a weekend or relaxing on one of Bali’s many beaches, but a cruise is hassle-free and perfect for lazy holidaymakers. Prices start from $90 for a one-night trip, but longer trips to Penang, Langkawi or Hong Kong are more fun. You can check out our recent review of Princess Cruises to find out more about the experience.
Address: Marina Bay Cruise Centre, 61 Marina Coastal Drive, 018947.
7. Travel via Cable Car
If you don’t want to travel to Sentosa on foot, by car or by monorail, you might want to fly over the water on a cable car. It’s a cheesy, touristy thing to do, but if you’re planning a hotel stay in Sentosa, this is one way to make your staycation feel like a real holiday. Plus they have D.C. superhero themed cabins! Source
Getting there: Alight at Harbourfront MRT and take Exit B (Harbourfront Centre). Follow directional signs leading to Singapore Cable Car station at Harbourfront Tower II.
Opening Hours: 8.45am – 10pm daily
Admission Fee: $29 for adults, $18 for children
8. Explore Tiong Bahru
Source Starting with Tiong Bahru Bakery.
Everyone’s favourite hangout, Tiong Bahru, is home to a cluster of cafes, eclectic bookshops and carefully curated lifestyle shops. Craving an artisanal cup of coffee or tea? Check out Open Door Policy, 40 Hands Coffee, and PoTeaTo.Source
Treasure hunters looking for unique home decor or clothing items can pop by Nana & Bird or Strangelets. And of course, you can always discover new books at BooksActually or relive your childhood memories in Woods in the Books.
Note: Most shops are closed on Mondays!
9. Party in Sentosa
The new developments from RWS at Sentosa has turned Sentosa into an absolute must-visit for tourists and locals alike. But how many of you have actually experienced all the theme parks? We recently wrote a comprehensive guide to Adventure Cove Waterpark, the water theme park that Singapore has been needing for years.
Tip: Walk in to Sentosa via the Sentosa Boardwalk behind Vivocity to get in for free. Entrance via monorail at the top floor of Vivocity would otherwise cost $4.
10. Run/skate/cycle from Clarke Quay to Marina Bay
Clarke Quay is known for its nightlife, but early in the morning, before the partygoers wake from their hangovers, Clarke Quay is bustling with activity. The route along the Singapore River to Marina Bay is popular with runners, skaters and cyclists. Enjoy some fresh air and panoramic views of the waterfront.Source Marina Bay before sunrise.
Runners can join various running groups on weekends. Cyclists can join a cycling tour, or rent bicycles from Hello Bicycle or The Bicycle Hut. For rollerbladers, you can rent skates at $15 for 24h at Inlinex.
11. Drive a supercar along the F1 race track
Maybe you’ve always dreamt of being a racecar driver, or you love supercars but don’t want to buy one. For adrenaline junkies, there’s an F1 route right here in Singapore and a choice of a Ferrari F430 F1 Spider or a Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder to take on a spin. You can also race your friend to decide, once and for all, who is the better driver.
This isn’t cheap, but it’s an indulgence justifiable by the fact that the Singapore Grand Prix won’t be in Singapore forever!Source
Prices start at $298 for their Street Circuit Tour.
12. Learn something new at the ArtScience Museum
The ArtScience Museum plays host to a variety of world-famous exhibits, with each exhibit open for a limited time only. There’s always something new: recent exhibits include Da Vinci’s works, Annie Leibovitz’s photography, Warhol’s pop-art and a Harry Potter exhibition.Source Triangles can be pretty too!
Address: 6 Bayfront Ave, 018974
Opening Hours: 10am – 7pm daily
Admission Fee: Depends on the exhibit
13. Wander around the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest
Flower Dome features plants from all over the world, while Cloud Forest has a massive waterfall. I particularly enjoyed the baobabs and cacti in the Flower Dome, but Cloud Forest is much more impressive – the waterfall is multi-storeyed and there’s a canopy walk. Just don’t look down if you’re scared of heights. And if you don’t feel like paying for the conservatories, the rest of the gardens is free! Check out our guide to Gardens By The Bay here.
Address: 18 Marina Gardens Drive, 018953
Opening Hours: 9am – 9pm daily
Admission Fee: $12 for a single conservatory, $20 for both
14. Picnic at Marina Barrage
Marina Barrage is good for running around, flying kites and school trips, but BEST for picnics. If you have never had a picnic there, you should go. Today. Bring your friends, picnic mat, finger food and some good wine and watch the sun set over the Singapore skyline.
Address: 8 Marina Gardens Drive Singapore 018951
15. Watch the Wonder Full Water Show
You’ve had a good picnic at Marina Barrage or a nice dinner in Marina Bay Sands. To give your stomach time to digest your food, you can sit down on the boardwalk and watch a show. It’s like Songs of the Sea (the show in Sentosa), but free, with laser light effects, waterworks, fire and bubbles.
Location: Event Plaza at the Promenade
Showtimes: Sunday – Thursday 8:00pm, 9:30pm; Friday & Saturday 8:00pm, 9:30pm, 11:00pm
Duration: 15 minutes
16. Tour Marina Bay on a Segway
Look effortlessly cool touring Marina Bay on a Segway… okay maybe you’ll look a bit silly, but Segways are fun to ride and easy to learn. Guides will bring you around Marina Bay or Sentosa for a quick tour of the area from $50 per hour. Find out more about our experience here!
17. Take a ferry to offshore islands at Marina South Pier
Source Tropical paradise #1: Sisters’ Islands
For people who love taking the MRT to new places, don’t just stop at Marina South Pier. Marina South Pier is an MRT station that services a jetty from which you can take a ferry to our Southern Islands. But first, be sure to check out our Southern Islands guide. Alternatively, you could hire a private boat to take you to an island of your choice.
Address: 31 Marina Coastal Drive, 018988
18. Watch free performances at the Esplanade
If classical music isn’t your jam, Esplanade’s On the Waterfront series features free performances from talented musicians at the outdoor theatre.
Address: 1 Esplanade Drive, 038981
19. Rock out at Timbre
It’s going down, I’m yelling TIMBRE!
As proof that the south is the most happening, I present you evidence: Timbre@The Substation, Timbre@The Arts House and Timbre@Gillman are all in the south. When I was still a young teenager, I used to long for the days when I would be legal to attend all the live music performances, especially those by local bands.
Address: Timbre@The Substation – 45 Armenian Street, 179936; Timbre@The Art House – 1 Old Parliament Lane, The Arts House, #01-04, 179429; Timbre@Gillman – 9A Lock Road, 108937
20. Watch art-house films at The Projector
If you’re a self-professed film snob, or you’re tired of the usual run of mainstream flicks playing in theatres, try art-house films instead. You can stop complaining about how films shown at Cannes aren’t shown in Singapore. And you can finally see your favourite foreign language films in their original languages.
Check out their selection before going for your movie! You can check out our guide on how to get there and what to expect.
Address: #05-00, Golden Mile Tower, 6001 Beach Road, Singapore 199589
21. Fight at Evolve MMA
Yes, MMA can be rough and tough, but it’s also a very good form of exercise. Burn those calories, build those muscles and train your agility – it trains and tones your whole body. You can learn martial arts recreationally, or try out for their competitive fighting team.
Address: Far East Square, 26 China Street, #01-01, 049568; Orchard Central, 181 Orchard Rd, #06-01, 238896; PoMo Mall, 1 Selegie Road, #03-11, 188306
22. Watch stand-up comedy and poetry slams
Open Mic nights can uncover diamonds in the rough, or be the scene of cringeworthy moments. If you’re an aspiring comedian or you need a laugh after a long day at work, join Comedy Masala on Tuesdays at The Vault and The Comedy Club on Wednesdays at Blu Jaz Cafe.
Watch slammers perform their poems at Blu Jaz Cafe on the last Thursday of every month.
23. Shop at Bugis Street
Forget Orchard and its overpriced clothes – Bugis Street is the place to get stuff cheaply. By ‘stuff’ I mean you can buy almost everything from clothes to bags to shoes to selfie sticks. Navigation around Bugis Street may be confusing for first-timers, but after a few visits, you’ll be zipping around the alleys like a pro.
Address: 3 New Bugis Street, 188868
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm daily
24. Get cheap stuff from flea markets
Source Club at Zouk and thrift there too.
If you’re looking for something cheaper than Bugis Street, the south has regular flea markets to satisfy the fashion scavenger in you. Fleas are mostly tables and suitcases piled high with blogshop items or pre-loved clothes. There’s no guarantee you’ll find something in your size, but digging up something special feels like you’ve found treasure.
Keep your eyes peeled for news of flea markets. The largest operator is For Flea Sake and China Square Central has a weekend flea market. Personally, I would recommend going for the outdoor fleas. The indoor ones can get too crowded.
25. Thrift at New2U
Source Budget Barbie approves.
For the penny-pinchers, thrifting is the most labour-intensive but cheapest way of shopping. New2U is known for its comparatively larger collection of pre-loved women’s clothes. It’s also beloved by students because students get half price on Tuesdays! Prices start as low as $1, but more importantly, proceeds go towards the Star Shelter, a safe temporary refuge for women and children facing domestic violence.
And if you a full list of thrift or inexpensive shopping, check out our guide to the cheapest shopping places in Singapore<.
Address: 96 Waterloo Street, 187967
Opening Hours: Monday – Friday, 10.30am – 2.30pm
26. Play at the Mint Museum of Toys
How can anyone not like toys? Whether you’re 5 or 50, looking at toys will instantly transport you back to your childhood. The Mint Museum owns an extensive collection of vintage toys that your parents and grandparents might remember playing with when they were young.Source Circa 1840s. Maybe your great great grandparents played with this.
Address: 26 Seah Street, 188382
Opening Hours: 9.30am – 6.30pm daily
Admission Fee: $15 for adults and $7.50 for children and senior citizens
27. Dig up old books at Bras Basah Complex
Bras Basah Complex has been around for years and it’s known as the go-to place for second-hand books, music and art supplies. Shops like The Youth Book Co. and Music Book Room are crammed full of books and music scores, with overflowing shelves and haphazard stacks along the narrow aisles. It’s a fun place to window shop or hunt down an old edition of a book. Source
Address: 231 Bain Street, 180231
28. Appreciate quirky art at sam at 8Q
Sam at 8Q is the younger, hipper cousin of the Singapore Art Museum. Exhibits can range from unique to unsettling, but they’re a refreshing alternative to classical art. If you love installations and interactive exhibits, SAM@8Q is the place for you!
Address: 8 Queen Street, 189555
Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday 10am – 7pm, Friday 10am – 9pm
Admission Fee: Free for Singaporeans
29. Go for a mid-morning stroll at the Botanic Gardens
The Botanic Gardens are to Singapore what Central Park is to New York – lush greenery within a city full of skyscrapers. It’s also been the ultimate free paktor place for years.
Address: 1 Cluny Road, 269569
30. Be on top of the world at ION Sky
We’ve covered this before, but it’s free and totally worth a visit. You have a great view from the 55th floor and did I mention that it’s free?
How to get there: Take the lift to the 55th floor from the ION Art Gallery on Level 4
31. Play games at Playnation
Playnation brings gaming to a new level – it compels you to leave your house and game with your friends. It’s not just console games/Xbox/Wii. My inner board-game-nerd is pleased with their offerings.Source Mario room? Yes please.
You might get thirsty or hungry after playing hours of Dance Central. Free flow drinks and popcorn are included in the gaming rates, but you can also order proper food from their menu. The ultimate lepak combo: playing and eating at the same time.
Address: 58 Prinsep Street, 188686; 2 Orchard Link #03-02, 237978
Opening Hours: Monday – Thursday and Sunday 2pm – 11pm, Friday and Saturday 2pm – 3am
32. Escape the room
Instead of clicking every pixel on your computer screen, you can now scour every inch of the room for clues and escape the room before your time is up. Judging by the rapidly increasing number of locked rooms in Singapore, escaping makes for a fun experience. I hear it’s best enjoyed as a group, so bring your most trustworthy friends along!
33. Trick at Somerset Skate Park
Bring skateboarding to the next level at Somerset Skate Park and learn the difference between ollies, kickflips and 360s. Or if you and a skateboard don’t get along, hang around on the sidelines and gawk at the pros.
Somerset Skate Park is located right outside Somerset MRT. You can follow the signs from the MRT station.
Address: 1 Somerset Road, 238162
34. Visit library@orchard
It’s the newest library in Singapore, which means new books! Library@orchard has an interesting concept, focussing on lifestyle, design and the applied arts. You can find books about typography, Victorian furniture, knitting patterns and green architecture, among others. The library’s decor reflects its concept – minimalist, modern and perfect for Instagram photos.
Address: 277 Orchard Road, #03-12 / #04-11 Orchard Gateway, 238858
Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday 11am – 9pm
35. Enjoy eating and art at the MAD Museum
It’s not just another art gallery. With an in-house bistro, you can indulge in both food and art under one roof. Contemporary pieces are all the rage and best of all, admission is free!As for the food, check out our review here.
Address: 10 Tanglin Road, #01-01/#02-01, 247908
Opening Hours: 11am – 8pm daily
Admission Fee: Free
36. Embrace urban life with Public Garden
Public Garden is for the urbanite – browse indie retailers at their monthly market, hobnob with like-minded individuals at their events or learn a new skill at the workshops. Their workshops are particularly noteworthy, focussing on DIY and upcycling and featuring courses like modern calligraphy, miniature cooking and concocting cocktails.Source
37. Explore a different side of photography at the Lomography Gallery Store
Lomography is far from the high-definition, perfectly-focused pictures taken by a normal camera or a DSLR. The photos are trippy – blurry, over-exposed and unusually saturated. The official gallery store in Chinatown is the only official retailer of lomography cameras in Singapore. Even if you’re not looking to buy a camera, you can drop by and take a look at their gallery for a different perspective of the world.Source
Address: 295 South Bridge Rd, 058838
38. Embrace the arts at the Arts House
History and art meet in one place – The Arts House at the Old Parliament. It’s not a museum, but more of a venue for all forms of art. From creative writing to piano performances to film, check out their website for current programmes.
It’s also home to Timbre – you can watch a screening of Emily of Emerald Hill and listen to some live music in the same place!
Address: 1 Old Parliament Lane, Singapore 179429
Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm daily
39. Go on a temple trail
The south is chock full of culture – you can take a temple/mosque/church trail and walk to all the significant sites for all the major religions on the same day. Source Buddha Tooth Relic Temple
Walk over to Masjid Sultan to end your tour.
Get off the couch and explore
This list is by no means exhaustive – there’s so much to do in the south and even more exciting attractions are coming to our shores everyday.
The next time you’re bored, go on an adventure! If you find anything interesting, tell us more in the comments below.