Singapore can be overwhelming for those in search for authentic travel experiences. This bustling island state is quite different from the rest of Asia. While some enjoy its tumultuous urban vibes, others get easily submerged by its complexity and choose to travel further to a more ‘easy-to-assimilate’ destination.
In this post we decided to list some budget-friendly activities that are culturally rich, memorable and commonly not associated with a metropolis of 5.6 million inhabitants. We referred to the experiences below as colorful and eclectic, but feel free to tag them however you want, as long as they offer those quality emotions often associated with the art of traveling.
# Gardens By The Bay
This massive garden stretches over 101 hectares of land, which offers enough space for escaping the urban vibe of Singapore, while at the same time still being in the core of the city. With so many events happening, both for children and adults, the park is a wonderful place for exploration.
The impressive complex is actually made up of three gardens and is home to the largest greenhouse in the world, the Flowe Dome. Gardens by the Bay is a project initiated in 2005 by the country’s administration with the purpose of raising the quality of life for the inhabitants of Singapore.
Prices for one adult/one entry for Gardens by the Bay Singapore range as follows (2019):
- Outdoor gardens and children’ gardens: free admission
- OCBC Skyway: $8
- Cooled conservatories: $28
- Floral fantasy: $20
#Little India, Singapore
If you’re looking to indulge your senses, head over to Little India, one of Singapore’s bustling historic districts. Some of the people here will tell you stories about the Europeans who used to live here in the 1840s and who indulged in commerce with cattle. As the merchants hired Indian workers, a community started to form and Hindu temples slowly begun to appear.
An impressive richness of colors will take over you as you begin your adventure at the Teka center, a vibrant market. You will naturally head down on Serangoon Road, which is filled with tea houses, restaurants and shops of all types. If you are looking for even more color, visit Little India Singapore during Deepvali, a celebration of the triumph of light over darkness. In 2019 the festival will be held during the 6th of November, which is when the streets will be adorned with festive lighting and various installations.
Singapore is also home to an authentic Chinese Quarter and to the culturally rich ‘Arab street‘, both recommended for their charming eclecticism.
#Asian Civilisations Museum
Let’s dig in some continental culture, should we? The Asian Civilizations Museum uncovers special collections depicting the life and habits of the ancestors of the Singaporeans. This is not a very old museum (it opened its gates in 1997), however the management quickly enlarged the numbers of artifacts with each passing year. There are plenty of valuable things to see and experience inside the museum, and if you are thinking of spending an entire day here, know that there is also a restaurant, a cafe and a souvenir shop with plenty of publication on Asian traditions and art. Admission fee for adults (2019): $20.
For those who wish to go deeper into the cultural background of the region, there are three more museums in Singapore that are well worth a visit: the Peranakan Museum at Old Tao Nan School, the National Museum of Singapore. Also, be sure to book your Singapore flights (website useful in advance if traveling from Asia).
#4. S.E.A. Aquarium
With over 100,000 marine animals of over 1000 species, the S.E.A. Aquarium in Singapore was once the largest in the world, before being uncrowned by Chimelong Ocean Kingdom aquarium in China. This massive land of blue will grab you by the hand and make you forget about the Singapore heat for half of day or more. From interactive installations, various talks and audio-visual experiences, this colorful Oceanarium is a colorful experience for the entire family/group of friends. Standard admission fee for adults (2019): 30$.