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Unusual things to do in Singapore

Updated: Aug 30, 2022

Exotic yet easy to navigate, Singapore is the long-standing star of stopovers to Australia and New Zealand. Home to a glut of glamorous shopping malls, rooftop cocktail bars and gourmet restaurants, it’s sophisticated, super-clean and blessed with plenty of sunshine. Even the airport is a well-signposted and straightforward joy, so it’s no wonder that Singapore continues to hold the top spot.

1. Sidecar city tour

Looking for a city tour with a bit of extra oomph? Try whisking around the sights in a vintage Vespa sidecar. Sitting in your classic sidecar, you’ll speed through backstreets and suburbs to discover the secret parts of Singapore that many tourists fail to reach. On the way, you’ll stop to watch local craftsman in action and learn about the ground-level history of Singapore from your guide. It’s a great way to experience the city.

2. Visit the Cat Cafe

If gulping down a macchiato printed with your own mug isn’t whimsical enough, head for one of Singapore’s Cat Cafés. There are several cafes across Singapore devoted to our feline friends, so if you’re a crazy cat person, take a break from sightseeing and grab yourself a cuppa with a kitty curled up in your lap. It’s a purr-fect respite from pounding the pavements.

3. Walk around one of the world’s largest greenhouses

There’s more to the Gardens by the Bay than glitzy bars and laser shows. If you’re a green-fingered traveller that loves to grow things, the Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest will knock your socks off. Set foot inside the Flower Dome and you’ll find a blooming wonderland of flowers from all corners of the world. It’s somewhere to easily whisk away a few hours.

The cool and misty Cloud Forest is home to the world’s tallest indoor waterfall, as well as a cascading jumble of vines, ferns, orchids and bromeliads. Here, you can descend from the Cloud Walk to the Treetop Walk, surrounded by a sensational tangle of tropical plants. Even if you’re a notorious houseplant assassin, these greenhouses will get you excited.

4. Drift around in a floating donut

For evening nibbles with added novelty, book a sunset trip on a floating donut. These ring-shaped boats are perfect for drinking prosecco and waffling down canapés as the sunset illuminates the Singapore skyline. You won’t float far, but bobbing around between the quays as evening falls is an experience in its own right. If you prefer a daytime donut, book for brunch instead. There are all kinds of options available.

5. Banish your hunger at a hawker centre

It’s no secret that Singapore boasts a surplus of luxury hotels that house a series of top-notch restaurants. However, if you’re looking for soul food in Singapore, you need to head to a hawker centre, flanked with dozens of street food stalls. This is where the real magic happens. A riot of sights, sounds and smells, it’s impossible to replicate the atmosphere of a hawker centre in a restaurant. Go and see for yourselves.

Nervous about street food? There’s absolutely no need to worry in Singapore. Nowadays, the government regulates the standards of every street stall in every hawker centre and each individual trader is awarded a hygiene rating. Here, you can try all kinds of authentic and interesting dishes with wild abandon, safe in the knowledge that your stomach will be just fine.

6. Cook up a Local Singaporean cuisine

Can’t get enough of Singaporean cuisine? Try joining a local cooking class so that you can recreate the classics when you get home. There are all kinds of cooking classes available, where you can learn to whip up everything from heirloom Peranakan dishes to local street food favourites and modern vegetarian variations. After a few hours in the kitchen, you can tuck into Hainanese chicken rice and hot chilli crab, all made by your own fair hand.

7. Asian Civilisation Museum

Take a stroll through the history of Singapore and South East Asia at large in the Asian Civilisation Museum. It’s a must-see for lovers of world culture. Spanning 3 floors with over 1,300 artefacts, the museum is jam-packed with fascinating exhibits and free guided tours are held twice daily. On top of that, the museum is located a stone’s throw from the legendary Raffles Hotel, so go for the culture and stay for the mandatory Singapore Sling. Culture AND cocktails? It’s the ultimate combo.

8. Southern Ridges Trail

Need a retreat from the pace of the city? Escape into the Great Outdoors and follow the scenic Southern Ridges Trail through 10km of leafy green space. It’s a brilliant place to get your breath back after being squeezed between skyscrapers for several days. Here, you can wander along the elevated bridges between the hills of Singapore, looking down upon gardens and parks as you walk. On the way, you’ll cross Henderson Bridge, a space-age wave structure that forms Singapore’s highest pedestrian bridge.

8. Wander around Kampong Glam

Besides having a brilliant name, Kampong Glam is an eclectic enclave with bags of character. Endowed with a more urban, edgy glamour than the Gardens by the Bay, this young and artsy area is a great place to people-watch and pick up souvenirs. Home to Arab Street and Haji Lane, both flanked with boutique shops and plush textiles, it’s packed with colour and life.


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