Marina Bay Sands hotel is one of the top 5 attractions in Singapore
Marina Bay Sands hotel … stunning views from the SkyPark observation deck

By LINDA JAMES | Updated June 17, 2023 | PLAN

Without a doubt, the top 5 attractions in Singapore are the iconic things to do: Gardens by the Bay, Marina Bay Sands, the Singapore Flyer, the hawker centres (Maxwell, Newton or Chinatown Complex) and Jewel shopping centre at Changi Airport.

Of course, everyone’s priorities are different. If you want to make your family holiday amazing for your kids, you probably wouldn’t be very popular if you didn’t manage to squeeze in a trip to Singapore Zoo and/or Universal Studios/Sentosa Island.

Top 5 free things to do

  1. Walking all of the areas of this fabulous city is free – and it’s my number one favourite thing to do in Singapore!
  2. The Supertree Grove at Gardens by the Bay, one of the must-see sights in Singapore, along with the Garden Rhapsody light and sound show and Far East Children’s Garden.
  3. Follow the Marina Bay Art Trail and get to enjoy the work of many world-famous artists and sculptors.
  4. Walk the Marang Trail up to the top of Mt Faber. Check out the views and head over to admire the Henderson Waves Bridge.
  5. Take a selfie with the Merlion in Merlion Park.

Top 5 things to visit for couples

  1. Sunset cocktails at C’est La Vie or Lavo at Marina Bay Sands hotel
  2. Dine Sky High on the Singapore Cable Car or the Singapore Flyer
  3. Picnic in the Botanic Gardens
  4. Check out the street art in Haji/Baji Lanes, stay for happy hour and watch the lights turn on

Top 5 things to do for solo travellers

  1. Stay at lyf (pronounced “life”) Funan. This co-living apartment hotel is right in the centre of many of Singapore’s top attractions and has shared spaces such as a community kitchen where they run fun activities.
  2. Gardens by the Bay is a must-see for every traveller. There are many different things to do and see and many of them are free.
  3. Go to Haji/Baji Lanes and checkout the street art and the art galleries and stay for happy hour – it’s a great way to meet new people
  4. Do a free walking tour. Some were cancelled during the Covid lockdowns but there’s one in Chinatown that’s just started up again. This will also give you an opportunity to visit some of the amazing temples.
  5. Take some selfies at Tan Teng Niah’s house in Little India or the Katong shophouses in Joo Chiat.
Tan Teng Niah's house Little India
Tan Teng Niah’s house … popular for Instagram photos

Top 5 things to visit for families

  1. Get your thrills and spills at Sentosa Island. Visit Universal Studios, Adventure Water Park or the free beaches.
  2. Visit 3 zoos in one day – Singapore Zoo/Night Safari/River Wonders are all in the same area and one of the top 5 places to visit in Singapore. The kids will sleep well!
  3. There’s so much to see at Gardens by the Bay including a lot of free activities such as Far East Organisation Children’s Garden, which has a stack of interactive play stations and a water park (don’t forget swimwear).
  4. The ArtScience Museum was practically designed with families in mind! There are so many cool exhibits including the very Instagrammable teamLab digital art exhibition. 
  5. Take a family photo at the Merlion as well as some of the famous fish-lion spouting water into the mouths of your children!
teamLab exhibition ArtScience Museum Singapore
Instagrammable moments … the teamLab exhibition at the ArtScience Museum

Top 5 things to visit for history buffs

  1. The Battle Box, 9m below Fort Canning Hill, was the headquarters for the British during World War II. You can do a tour of the underground rooms, see a host of artefacts and then explore on your own.
  2. Kranji War Memorial honours those who died in the line of duty during World War II. Next door is the military cemetery, where past presidents are buried.
  3. The Civilian War Memorial features four 65m-high pillars (often referred to as chopsticks), symbolic of the four main communities in Singapore – Chinese, Indian, Malay and Eurasian.
  4. National Museum of Singapore is the place to go to immerse yourself in the history of this amazing island state. There are interactive exhibits, video montages and guided tours.
  5. Fort Siloso on Sentosa Island was one of three forts built to protect Singapore from sea invasion. It contains an impressive collection of war memorabilia.

Top 5 things to visit for gardeners

  1. Gardens by the Bay could keep avid gardeners engrossed for days with over 1 million plants from 19,000 species. There’s even a host of very rare plants to see.
  2. Singapore’s Botanic Gardens also poses the same dilemma – so much to see and do but, if you’re short on time, make the Orchid Garden one of the must-see sights in Singapore.
  3. Follow one or more of the trails through the 9 historical gardens at Fort Canning Park. There are trail guides to help you plan your trip through history and even an app you can download.
  4. Take a cable car to the top of Mount Faber, which is part of the Southern Ridges, and then stop at the many lookout points to get great views of the island state.
  5. The 90ha Jurong Lake Gardens is a garden of gardens, including the Lakeside Garden, Chinese and Japanese Gardens, and Garden Promenade. Some of the areas are still being redeveloped but there’s a lot to see.
Orchids Singapore Botanic Gardens
Singapore’s Botanic Gardens … the orchids are a “must-see”

Top 5 things to visit for shoppers

  1. Orchard Rd is “the” place for high-end brands, emerging designers and budget-friendly options.
  2. Bugis is great for budget shopping particularly clothing and accessories but you’ll also find a lot of cheap souvenirs here as well. With more than 600 shops, you’re bound to find what you want. Some retailers are happy to bargain but shop around before you buy to make sure you get the best deal.
  3. Funan Mall has long been known as the place to go for IT gear, however, its latest incarnation has seen a focus on more “lifestyle” options so there’s a wider variety of retailers such as fashion and fitness gear.
  4. If you’ve never been, you should definitely visit the Mustafa Centre just to see it. It’s hard to imagine you couldn’t find something. It’s packed with jewellery, gold and silver, consumer electronics, perfumes, make-up, household items and even furniture.
  5. Chinatown Street Market is packed with stalls that sell all sorts of themed gifts and keepsakes as well as souvenirs at bargain prices. You’ll find Chinese chopsticks, fans and lacquer ware as well as silk clothing and tableware. 

Top 5 things to visit if you have mobility challenges

  1. The Singapore Flyer has lifts, ramps and handicapped toilets as well as a parking lot especially for those with mobility challenges.
  2. Marina Bay Sands is completely accessible with lifts or wheelchair ramps. It has 15 wheelchair accessible rooms and 56 elderly-friendly rooms. The ArtScience Museum is wheelchair-friendly and has automated doors, lifts and 1.2m corridors. The Shoppes provide wheelchairs to visitors free of charge.
  3. Gardens by Bay has a free shuttle for people in wheelchairs, which are also available for rent at the Visitor Service Centre, Information Counter and Floral Fantasy from 9am-8pm daily.
  4. Singapore Zoo offers free wheelchairs for visitors with limited mobility or you can rent electric scooters for $S20 for the first three hours and $S5 every hour after that.
  5. The National Museum of Singapore provides wheelchairs free of charge for visitors with limited mobility. The building itself is wheelchair-accessible.


There are so many things to do that it’s hard to pick the top 5 attractions in Singapore. Gardens by the Bay, the Singapore Flyer, the zoos and the Merlion are definitely must see sights in Singapore but there are beautiful parks, interesting historical sites and fantastic shopping! You’ll never have a dull moment unless you want one!

Want more of Singapore?

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Link to where to eat and drink in Singapore
Link to Singapore area guides