The island city-state of Singapore is a favourite destination for tourists, especially for those who come here as families. Even if you have the most rambunctious brood, you can be confident that this kid-friendly country will have your back when it comes to infrastructure and services, which make it a convenient destination for parents who are vacationing with kids in tow.
And while it’s true that Singapore is one of the most expensive cities to visit in the world, it’s easy enough for budget-savvy parents to find destinations and attractions that are easy on the pocket—or don’t cost anything at all.
You can simply book a Singapore tour package with Traveloka—or another one of your trusted online booking service—to keep the major expenses nailed down, and then spend time on free attractions that are still worth a visit. Below are just some suggestions that won’t cost you a dime but are sure to be enjoyed by everyone in your family.
Gardens By the Bay
For a city that’s only 721.5 square kilometres big, Singapore has some of the largest green spaces located within busy business districts. The Gardens by the Bay is a shining example, with its towering vertical gardens called the Supertree Grove, which has now become one of the city’s most iconic installations.
Do take note that while most of the gardens—including the Grove, Bay East Garden, the Sun Pavilion, and the Heritage Gardens—offer free admission, other areas like the Cool-Dry Conservatory, Flower Dome, and new exhibitions will require tickets. That said, entrance to the most recommended area for kids, which is the Far East Organization Children’s Garden, is completely free of charge. It has interactive water features that kids will enjoy, so don’t forget to bring their swim clothes!
Fort Siloso at Sentosa
Very few visitors to Singapore are aware of Sentosa’s rich history and the role it played during the Second World War. The resort island was actually part of the British’s defence strategy against the Japanese invasion, so when the Japanese forces captured the island, it became a prison war camp housing their captured enemies.
You and your kids can learn all about the history of the island at the restored Fort Siloso gun battery. Within the small fort is a war museum filled with collections of WWII memorabilia, as well as wax figures of soldiers from the British and Japanese army. Make the most of your visit here by coming on a Friday, weekend, or holiday, so you can join the free guided tour.
When you visit Singapore, it’s a must to make a pit stop at the Merlion Park and take pictures of the half-fish, half-lion symbol of the city. Standing at 8.6 metres and weighing 70 tonnes, this iconic statue is hard to miss, as it overlooks the Marina Bay near the CBD or Central Business District.
It’s recommended that you go there when the sun is setting to catch the last bits of light for great photos. In addition, you and your family can find a great vantage point, as you wait for the free Spectra Light and Water Show that starts at 8 PM every weekend and Fridays. This dazzling 15-minute outdoor show tells the story of Singapore’s journey—from its humble beginning to its transformation into the cosmopolitan global city that it is today. The show combines high-tech lighting and fountain technologies with a creative story arc that is told in 4 parts. Truly, the story of Singapore is brought to life through an awe-inspiring show that will capture your kids’ imagination.
Singapore Botanic Gardens
One of Singapore’s oldest gems is the Botanic Gardens, which date back to 1859 and was established by the Singapore Agri-Horticultural Society. Far from being a garden meant only as an ornamental display, the Botanic Gardens played an important role in the development of agriculture in the country. In 2015, the Gardens was inscribed into the UNESCO World Heritage List, giving visitors added incentive to visit.
All areas of the Botanic Gardens are open to the public at no charge, except for the National Orchid Garden. What’s more, volunteers regularly conduct guided and informative tours for both English and Mandarin speakers at different times. You can check out their website to see the updated schedules so you’ll know when to go.
Singapore is a great playground for kids, but it’s also a city with stories to tell and learn from. Best of all, the city won’t require you to spend a lot of money to enjoy and have fun.