We all love doing fun activities that do not require us to spend too much money! Whether you are a Singaporean, tourist just passing by for a few days or an expat couple base here, here’s a compiled list of best things to experience in Singapore(some are free!) put together by Eunice Zheng, a Singaporean adventure seeker who loves all things outdoors.
5 Best Outdoor Activities and Places to visit in Singapore without spending money
#1 Explore Best Scenic Cycling routes and paths
Did you know that there are more than 200km of cycling paths in Singapore? I personally like cycling from Punggol to Changi Point. I have my own bicycle, so I can start and end anywhere. But for those who want to rent a bicycle, Punggol Park has a bicycle rental along the canel and is a good start point. Cycling from Punggol to Changi will take you along Serangoon River, pass Lorong Halus, Pasir Ris heartland, Pasir Ris Beach and finally to Changi Point where you can take a break with good food and drinks. It is also possible to continue on to East Coast Park via the Coastal Park Connector.
Check out NParks website for more information on the park connectors! If walking is your thing, you can also try out the newly launched Coast-to-Coast Trail with the interactive C2C mobile application.
#2 Free Park Segments at Gardens by the Bay for cycling and walking
A park right in the heart of the city! Enjoying nature doesn’t get any easier than this. Never mind about Singapore’s hot and humid weather. The Flower Dome is air-conditioned to simulate the conditions for the thematic flower exhibitions that change periodically. The Cloud Forest hides a 30m indoor waterfall with cool and moist temperatures. You can also traverse the Supertree Grove and OCBC Skyway for Instagram worthy photos. With Satay by the Bay just around the corner, there is no better way to end a visit to Gardens by the Bay than with local hawker fare!
Gardens by the Bay is just a short walk away from Bayfront MRT. Ample parking lots are also available.
#3 Morning Day Hikes at MacRitchie Reservoir Nature Trail
I grew up playing and running around the playground at MacRitchie Reservoir while my dad did his long runs back when I was a kid. Now MacRitchie has become my go-to place for hikes. There is something about being surrounded by nature that calms me down and at the same time invigorates me. Even though I have been up to the treetop walk many times, I still enjoy the bird’s eye view of the central nature reserve.
It’s best to start as early as 7 am when the air is fresh and before the usual weekend crowd starts coming in. For the more ‘garang’ hikers, it is also possible to hike all the way to Bukit Timah Nature Reserve via Rifle Range.
MacRitchie is very accessible via public transport. There is also parking available.
#4 Bird Watching and Nature Fix at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve
Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve is home to an extensive mangrove forest and rich biodiversity. It’s awesome that Singapore has this wild side tucked away at her north-western shores. Besides enjoying the nature and spotting mudskippers, crabs and monitor lizards during my visits there, I like to stop and chat with the avid bird watchers and photographers and peer into their cameras as they share about the birds and wildlife they had spotted.
The best time to visit is from September to March during the migratory season where you will see diverse species of birds. Don’t forget your binoculars! You’d also be lucky to spot a lazy croc in the waters too! Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve is located at the north-western part of Singapore and can be accessed by bus from Kranji MRT station. Parking is also available.
#5 Day Trip for Walking, Cycling or Seafood at Pulau Ubin
A peaceful respite from the hustle and bustle in the city is easily attained by visiting Pulau Ubin. There’s plenty to see and do on the island – the main attractions are the remains of the old Granite Quarry and Chek Jawa – a coral reef with plenty of marine life with an extended boardwalk running through the mangrove, enabling you to get up close to adorable fiddler crabs and other wildlife. I like to rent a mountain bike and explore the island’s myriad of local flora and fauna. A hike is possible too. As wild macaques and wild boar are a common sight on the island, please remember not to feed them!
Pulau Ubin is an island located northeast to mainland Singapore and is easily accessed via regular boat shuttle to the island from Changi Jetty.