Singapore is a delightful place to visit in Southeast Asia. Small as it is, it has so many things to offer wandering souls. Here, you can explore multiple cultures in the middle of a bustling, ultramodern city.
However, many travellers tend to be too intimidated to roam the country, thinking it would cost them a lot. The truth is, there are so many cheap yet beautiful places to visit in Singapore. One just has to look beyond the usual tourist spots.
If you are looking for more places to add to your Singapore itinerary without blowing up your expenses, there’s no need to look further. Below is a list of places in Singapore you can enjoy for free.
1. ION Orchard
We’re not kidding. ION Orchard, one of Singapore’s biggest and fanciest shopping malls, has a few places you can enjoy for free.
ION Art, ION Orchard’s art gallery, showcases modern and contemporary art from Asian artists and designers. Besides the multimedia and digital art you’d expect to see in modern art museums, the place also features thought-provoking art installations and sculptures.
At ION Orchard’s 55th and 56th floors, there is also ION Sky. It is a free-for-all observation deck that gives you an amazing view of the city’s skyline.
2. Buddha Tooth Relic Temple
Time-travel to Tang dynasty China at Buddha Tooth Relic Temple. This striking piece of architecture is considered sacred as it is said to house a tooth from Buddhism’s founder, Siddharta Gautama.
The 156-year old temple is still an active place of worship for Buddhists in Singapore, so expect to see monks and devotees chanting their prayers in the hall. Certainly a warm place to visit, they even serve guests a simple vegetarian meal for free.
And if you’re not too crazy about vegetarian food, just remember: according to Thrillist, eating more fruits and vegetables can make you feel significantly happier. So, a visit at Buddha Tooth Relic Temple can make you feel better not just spiritually, but also physically.
3. Sri Mariamman Temple
Located in Chinatown, Sri Mariamman Temple is the oldest Hindu temple in Singapore. Having existed for almost 200 years, the place represents Hinduism’s rich history in the country and remains a place of prayer for devotees.
Colourful and 6 storeys high, this elegant architecture can be spotted even from afar. Up close, you’ll also appreciate the intricate statues and shrines it holds for various Hindu deities and mythical creatures.
Just remember to show up in appropriate attire when visiting temples, although there are often sarongs you can borrow at temple entrances, just in case you forget.
4. Haw Par Villa
Source: Visit Singapore
Formerly known as Tiger Balm Garden, Haw Par Villa is the last of its kind in the world. This 8.5-hectare cultural park built in 1937 is packed with art that tells of Asian culture, history, philosophy, and religion.
To be specific, Singapore’s biggest outdoor gallery has eclectic statues and dioramas that pay tribute to Chinese mythology and legends as well as the Chinese belief system Confucianism.
One of the main attractions in the place is the 10 Courts of Hell, which tells a lesson about the punishments mortals are said to receive depending on their earthly sins as per Indian Buddhism.
5. Jurong Lake Gardens
Occupying 90 hectares, Jurong Lake Gardens is Singapore’s garden of gardens. The huge space holds the Garden Promenade, Lakeside Garden, Chinese Garden and Japanese Garden.
Each garden can transport you into a whole new space. For instance, the Chinese Garden has the trademark imperial Chinese architectural style, complete with stone lions, stone bridges, and pagodas. Next to it, the Japanese Garden looks straight from a Japanese landscape painting.
We actually recommend this spot when you need to unwind. When staying in a busy city, it’s important to find places where you can breathe fresh air freely from time to time.
Spending time in parks like this one can even improve respiratory health and reduce the risk of lung diseases, say the experts at Livingstone Health. So, visiting sites like these can be good for your body too!
6. Mount Faber Park
Source: Visit Singapore
Mount Faber Park is the best place for a leg day in Singapore. It offers an avenue for exercise in a refreshing space you’ll surely find pleasing to the eyes.
Your efforts will not only reward you with healthier joints and muscles. Here, you also get to enjoy the area’s flora and fauna.
There are also murals that tell a story of Singapore’s rich history. Push for the peak and you’ll even get a spectacular view of the city’s skyline.
Just make sure you wear the right footwear. A lot of sightseers get in trouble in this spot because they forget about that, according to the experts at Rheumatologist Singapore – who often find themselves ministering to the sore tourists afterwards. Don’t be one of those!
Anyway, you don’t really need too much money to see more of the world, as you can see. This is as long as you set aside materialism and look at travelling as a way to gain experience and insight. These places in Singapore prove that the country can be enjoyed even with a small budget.
With a bit of research, resourcefulness, and willingness to go off the beaten path, you can explore more places and begin to see things in a different light.
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