Singapore: A different perspective

Tired of the usual tourist hotspots in Singapore? While snapping shots at Marina Bay Sands or exploring Chinatown and Little India can be exciting for newcomers, if you’re seeking to steer clear of the tourist hustle and uncover Singapore’s hidden gems, dive into our curated collection of off-the-beaten-path experiences.

Here’s a list of non touristy things to check out:


Head to an offshore island

Did you know that Singapore isn’t just an island nation but an archipelago of over 63 islands? Ditch the tourist favourite Sentosa Island with its casino and theme park and head north instead. You can hop on a ferry to Pulau Ubin, famous as a home to one of Singapore’s last remaining village kampungs and the Chek Jawa wetland nature reserve park, or, if you would rather not take a boat, check out the rustic Coney Island, also known as Pulau Serangoon.

Pick up a paddle and kayak


The bumboat cruise along the Singapore River is a leisurely way to admire Singapore’s skyline from the water, but for those who like something more active, kayaking is a fun active way to explore Singapore’s shoreline. Have a more leisurely paddle at Macritchie Reservoir or Kallang Basin, or embark on more adventurous kayaking expeditions to explore Singapore’s offshore islands or its mangrove forests in the north with folks like Kayakasia and Adventures by Asian Detours.


Scuba dive an underwater trail

Singapore has some great scenic treks, but did you know that there is an underwater trail that you can scuba dive at the Sisters’ Island Marine Park? The trail has handy signposts filled with information about the surrounding reef ecosystem to help you identify what is around you. Another of Singapore’s offshore islands that local divers frequent is Pulau Hantu – Malay for ‘Ghost Island’ – but the only things haunting this spot are wildlife enthusiasts who return regularly to capture photos of the surprisingly diverse creatures hidden in the murky waters around the island.

Visit some farms

Take a break from the shopping malls and spend a leisurely day exploring Kranji Countryside and its many farms instead. Some of the farms are open for touring and sale of fresh produce; drink some fresh goat’s milk at Hay Dairies, learn about frog farming at Jurong Frog Farm or see how prized koi fish are raised at Hausmann Aquarium. Enjoy some farm-to-table fresh meals as well at Bollywood Veggies and GardenAsia Bistro.

Catch a local performance

Support the Singapore art scenes and catch a local performance. The easiest place to start browsing is on local ticket platform SISTIC where you can find most larger ticketed events listed, or check out Peatix, Eventbrite and The A List for more listings. Some popular Singapore cultural festivals to look out for include Singapore Art Week, M1 Fringe Festival and Dans Festival – these showcase a mix of local and international artists.


Eat at a local hawker centre


Eating cheap local street food should be a part of any Singaporean itinerary – it’s often considered the national past time. But rather than frequent popular tourist hawker centres like Lau Pa Sat and Newton, go check out other local favourites like Old Airport Road, ABC Brickworks and Changi Village instead. Do as the locals do and use local food websites like Hungrygowhere or Burpple to help you narrow down the best spots where Singaporeans really like to eat.

Jam to Singaporean beats


Singapore’s indie music scene is small but thriving, and a relaxing and fun way to get to know some local bands is to check out bars and cafes that feature live music. Timbre is a local F&B chain that has a daily rotation of Singaporean bands and musicians playing cover hits in the evenings. Some other nightspots that also feature local musos include Hood Bar and Cafe, Artistry Cafe and Blu Jaz




Embrace the weird and wonderful

Universal Studios Singapore may bring in the crowds these days with its roller coasters, but it will never be quite as weird and wonderful as Haw Par Villa. Once a popular tourist attraction and theme park, Haw Par Villa is a shadow of its former glory today but still just as bizarre. This park is filled with life-sized statues and dioramas featuring stories from Chinese legends and fables meant to impart good ethics and culture, including a moralistic but gory ‘Ten Courts of Hell,’ which depicts how different types of sinners are tortured in hell.


So, if you’re ready to veer off the beaten path and immerse yourself in the authentic charm of Singapore, these non-touristy gems await your exploration. Whether it’s discovering quaint neighborhoods, savoring local delicacies, or engaging in unique cultural experiences, there’s a whole world beyond the typical tourist attractions waiting to be explored. Venture out, embrace the local culture, and create memories that go beyond the confines of guidebooks and Instagram feeds. Singapore’s true essence is waiting to be discovered by those willing to stray from the tourist trail.

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