Enjoy Singapore for Free

Singapore is among the world's most expensive cities, but you can still have fun in the country without having to spend a fortune. Here are some places you can visit in Singapore, at no cost at all.

1. Bugis Street

Not to be confused with Bugis Junction, Bugis Street is a unique shopping street that consist of some 800 street shops that sell souvenirs, accessories and food at affordable prices. With so many good deals, it's easy to lose yourself in a shopping spree.

If you decide to go shopping-celibate, just by being in Bugis Street is an experience by itself. Feast your eyes with interesting things like souvenirs, Korean-style clothings, fresh local snacks and drinks, even sex toys! While just across the street, a famous Kwan Im temple is crowded by believers who pray for good luck.

Tips: Bugis Street is always crowded. Come early in the morning to beat the crowd. If you're caught in the mob, pay attention to your belongings like wallet/purse, watch and mobile phone. Singapore may be known for its low crime, but better safe than sorry!

Official website: http://www.bugis-street.com/

2. National Library of Singapore

National Library of SIngapore (NLB) is more than a place to read and borrow books. It is also an architectural icon with its bioclimatic design techniques. It has won several awards for its environmental friendliness.

So if you're a fan of books, architecture, art, or culture, National Library of Singapore is worth a visit. Especially because it is located just across Bugis shopping street and a walk away from Raffles City Shopping Centre.

Tips: Drop by Bras Basah Complex right next to the Library for arts supplies and second-hand books!

3. Marina Bay Sands and Gardens by the Bay

Fully opened in 2011, Marina Bay Sands is an Integrated Resort that offers a casino, a hotel, a shopping mall and foodcourt, a skating rink, as well as a night club (Avalon) and Art Science Museum. If you are a foreigner (non-Singaporean and non-Permanent Resident), you can get into the casino for free, and enjoy complimentary drinks.

Connected with a bridge from the hotel is Gardens by the Bay, a 101-hectare park in the heart of Singapore. Not everything is free here, but the Garden is so big you can actually spend half a day immersing in the nature without having to spend a single dollar (well, except for food).

Tips: If you stay late around the area, don't miss the highlight event of MBS, the Lazer show. The 13-minutes laser and light show runs on a nightly basis, with 2-3 performances from 8 pm.

Just some 10-minute walk away is the Merlion park, where the country's symbol stands serenely facing Marina Bay sands to the east. You definitely have to drop by to take a few pictures with this symbol of Singapore.
Just some 10-minute walk away is the Merlion park, where the country's symbol stands serenely facing Marina Bay sands to the east. You definitely have to drop by to take a few pictures with this symbol of Singapore.

4. Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay

It is never a bore to come to this centre of the art in Singapore. All around the building, up to the MRT linkway, many artworks are exhibited free of charge. Not stopping at that, public can also enjoy many art performances for free almost everyday. When you visit Esplanade, be sure to grab the Esplanade Diary available near the front door in the 1st level, and the Information Centre at B1 to check on the schedule of performance in the Esplanade.

5. Changi Airport

You might think "What are we going to do in an airport?" Well, in Changi Airport, everything you can do in a mall and more. As one of the best airports in the world, Changi offers many free activities and facilities, especially when you are in transit. These facilities are including:


All over the airport:
1. Internet
The Internet is free, but you have to sign up first to get your own username and password.

2. Gardens
The whole airport is donned beautifully with mini gardens. The highlights are Sunflower Garden, Rooftop Garden, and Butterfly Garden.

3. Art stations
Try your hand at woodblock rubbing, in basement 2 of Terminal 3. Or drop by Asian Icon Interactive Art Station in level 2 of Terminal 2 for Asian culture porcelains.


Inside the terminal (after you checked in):
1. Charging stations for mobile phones.
Where: Around the boarding gates waiting areas.

2. Foot massage machines.
Where: Around the boarding gates waiting areas.

3. Singapore Sightseeing Tours.
Where: Passengers with transit time of longer than 5 hours can join the tour by signing up in Free Singapore Tours (FST) Registration Booths in level 2 of either Terminal 2 or 3. The tour starts at 9 am everyday.

4. Cinema
Where: Level 3 of both Terminal 2 and 3.


Other than this, you can also enjoy watching programmes on TVs that are available all over the airport. If all else fails, and you're still bored, you can always do the classic window shopping!

6. Sentosa

There are myriads of entertainment to be found in Sentosa, and some of them are free! Known for its beaches, of course everything that's outdoor in Sentosa can be enjoyed free of charge.

The Sentosa Boardwalk that connects VivoCity to Sentosa is the first garden-themed boardwalk in Southeast Asia which displays a fantastic feature of various tropical landscapes can be enjoyed without charges. Tips: spend sometime here during sunset. The view is spectacular!

Like Marina Bay Sands, Sentosa is also a house to a casino that foreigners can enter for free. Other than that, don't miss The Crane Dance, a show that tells about the magical love story between a pair of mechanical cranes and how their love for each other transforms them into real birds is absolutely free. The show with ground-breaking audio and visual technologies, and astounding light and water effects, can be enjoyed 9 pm Fridays to Mondays.

7. Farms

Even though Singapore is known more for her skyscraper buildings, the country is also a home to many farms. Most of them are open to public with no entrance fee.
Some of the more popular farms are:

Farmart
A perfect getaway from the bustling city life with unique buying and learning experience where you can select quality natural farm produce while immersing in the lushness of breathtaking beautiful, greenery with your families and friends.

Lian Wah Hang Quail Farm
Children will get to see all kinds of feathered friends here, from chickens and ducks to turkeys and quail - and full of life too, instead of their "usual" de-feathered states in supermarket bags.

Tips:
-Visitors are advised to avoid wearing shorts and slippers into the Staterooms.
-Entrance to the grounds is via the main gate at Orchard Road.
-Opening hours are usually from 8.30 am to 6.00 pm, but beat the crowds by coming there early.
-All proceeds of admissions and sales of merchandise to the Open House will go to the Community Chest.

8. Istana

The Istana is the official residence and office of the President of Singapore. Meaning "palace" in Malay, it is where the president receives and entertains state guests. The Istana is also the working office of the Prime Minister of Singapore.

Located along the busy Orchard Road, it is easy to reach. Every year, the 100-acres domain is opened to the public to celebrate special occasions.

The usual Opening Days are:

In February, to celebrate Chinese New Year
In May, to celebrate Labour Day
In July, to celebrate Hari Raya Puasa
End of July, to celebrate National Day
In October, to celebrate Deepavali

Admission is free for all Singaporeans and Permanent Residents. Other visitors are required to pay $1 per person. Visitors can enjoy a stroll or picnic in a serene natural setting. A wide variety of cultural performances awaits the guests on the grounds.

For another $2, visitors can view a special display of gifts presented to the President and the Prime Minister in the Staterooms. The fee also includes an information flyer and a guided tour around the Staterooms. Tour groups are filled quickly, if you don't want to wait, you are free to view the Staterooms without a tour group.

Click here for latest information about Istana Open House.

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