Travel

Seven Free Things to Do in Singapore

July 24, 2018
Seven Free Things to Do in Singapore

The most expensive  in the world ironically has a lot of marvelous things to offer for free! I will run down just the things that I experienced myself in Singapore.

1.Visit Churches, Monasteries

I haven’t been to a lot of foreign countries but when I do I always make sure I get to pray inside a Catholic Church. If I’ll be out of the country on a Sunday, it’s a must, too, to attend mass and it always turn out to be a priceless experience in itself. I get to learn a lot, too. In Singapore, Catholic church has to recruit members, unlike here in the Philippines where a recent congress on New Evangelization referred to the current institution as a church in a “maintenance mode”.  Common observation in Catholic churches abroad is that devotees are stricter than here in the Philippines. Twice on different countries, I was called out for being loud when I as much tried to speak three words while they were reciting the rosary. Maybe they thought I was just a curious tourist wanting to snap some photos without real care for everything sacred inside the church’s walls. The stares would stop when they see I can make a sign of the cross correctly. I said to my self, I’m gonna make sure no non-Catholics would feel prejudiced with the slightest attempt to get close to Christ. Not at least from me.  Tip: Taxi drivers need the exact addresses of these churches. They won’t get it by you just saying Singapore cathedral due to the plethora of churches from several religions in this melting pot.

Singapore cathedral
Cathedral of the Good Shepherd. Located in A Queen Street. Saturday: 6pm Sunday: 8.30am, 10.30am, 1.00pm, 5.30pm Monday to Friday: 1.15pm, 6.30pm (except every First Friday at 7.30pm) (No Mass on weekday public holidays. Website: https://cathedral.catholic.sg/
Carmelite Monastery Singapore
Carnelite Monastery. Located at 98 Bukit Teresa Road, Singapore. Visiting hours are from 9am to 11am and 2.30pm to 4.30pm daily. Daily mass is at 6am.
Catholic church Singapore
Church of St. Teresa. Located at 510 Kampong Bahru Road, Singapore (walking distance from Carmelite Monastery) Weekday Mass: 6pm, Saturday Mass : 5.30pm, Sunday Mass : 8.30am, 10.30am, 12.30pm, 5.30pm. Website: https://www.stteresa.org.sg/~stteresa/mass-times/

2. Hotel Pool and Amenities

Hotel Jen in Orchard Road has on its top floor an award-winning infinity pool. Make sure you enjoy the free things your hotel has to offer whether it’s a swimming pool, gym, free bottled water (which can cost up to Php240 outside!), or bikes which you can use to roam around Singapore for free! I used Hotel Jen’s complimentary bike services to exercise one morning and experience another free thing to do in Singapore in item 3 below. We were also amused by Jeno and Jenna, the two helpful robots of the hotel used for room deliveries.
Hotel Jen Pool

Hotel Jen Singapore

Hotel Jen Pool3. Singapore Botanic Garden

Location: 1 Cluny Rd, Singapore , Opening Hours: 5 am to 12 midnight daily, Website: https://www.nparks.gov.sg/sbg

A UNESCO World Heritage Site at the heart of a bustling business district. How can this amazing tropical garden be for free? Why can’t Philippines have the same? I was here at 7am and found joggers, photographers, yoga groups, students on a field trip, and a couple having their pre-nuptial shoot! Though bikes are not allowed inside, you can bike until behind the gates of this 74-hectare garden.

Botanic Garden Singapore
The wooden bike courtesy of Hotel Jen even comes with a lock though the lock may not be needed at all with Singapore being one of the safest cities in the world.

 

Botanic Garden Singapore
Spend an early morning walking on flower-strewn pavements. Good morning!
Surround your self with beauty and be one in the process.

4. Little India

How to Go: Little India MRT station MRT interchange station of the Downtown Line and North East Line

Tip: Download Singapore by Ulmon mobile app. It’s an offline map that has helped me a lot on locating different spots in Little India. On maps found on streets, bus stops and outside of Little India MRT stations, you will be guided on what specific streets you have to go to to see places of interest in Little India.

Places I’ve been to:

Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple, Campbell Lane; Little India Arcade, Sri Veeramakalliamman, Sakya Muni Buddha Temple, Mustafa Center

Hindu Temples are open to all for free. Hindus are tolerant of tourist in my opinion. They don’t mind obvious tourists who take photographs with their big lenses on – as long as they are well-behaved and observe the no-shoe policy inside the temples. Buddhist temples generally do not allow most of the interiors to be photographed. I saw Sakya Muni Buddha Temple but due to its intimidating atmosphere, there were no tourists there, I did not attempt to enter.Litte India contains Mustafa Center which is comparable to Divisoria though a lot smaller. A lot of tourists buy souvenir food items here but the stalls just outside Mustafa Center sells items at cheaper prices, though the choices are limited compared to Mustafa Center. I lost track of time here. I couldn’t help but shop a little and window shop a lot more that I had to go back to hotel sooner than planned because I was carrying too much already.

Little India Singapore
Walk a lot so that you don’t only see things from a distance – you can smell the experience, too.
Little India Singapore
Hinduism is a religion with numerous gods and goddesses.
Little India Singapore
Inside Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple with no shoes.

 

5. Graffiti

Location: SCAPE Park , 2 Orchard Link near Somerset MRT Station of North South Line

Graffiti to me means that a community encourages creativity. That it honors the crazy but human angst that pleads expression. That it does not discard scribbles, paintings, and writings on the walls as just meaningless vandals. Instead, emotions are proudly put on display channeling perceived darkness, weirdness, non-conformity into beautiful ways. Photos below are taken at Youth Scape Park, walking distance from Hotel Jen Orchardgateway.

Other places where you can bask yourself in graffiti are: Joo Chiat, Haji Lane, Singapura Club

Graffiti in Singapore

Graffiti in Singapore

Graffiti in Singapore

6. Gardens by the Bay

Location: 18 Marina Gardens Dr, Singapore

How to Go: MRT Via Circle or Downtown Line and exit at Dragonfly or Meadow Bridge

Sure the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest are with entrance fees but the spectacular view of the Supertrees at night isn’t. Gardens by the Bay

Gardens by the Bay

Gardens by the Bay

7. Chinese Garden

Location: 1 Chinese Garden Road, Singapore

How to Go: Chinese Garden MRT Station of East West Line

I have a friend to thank for this “unique find”. Chinese Garden wasn’t included in my original itinerary. It was a 13.5 hectare of Chinese and Japanese garden recommended by a friend when I needed to fill in what I anticipated to be a boring day. This free garden is very accessible by MRT. People also go here to jog and exercise. More advanced selfies and information on this blog post.

Chinese Garden Singapore

Chinese Garden Singapore

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