Singapore is a major world city known for its signature drink–the Singapore sling–and its rather harsh rules and fines for things like jaywalking and chewing gum. As an international financial center and tourist destination, Singapore is not necessarily a budget-friendly place to travel. However, quite a few of the city’s sights are free and open to the public.
This park is located near the city center and is part of the historic district of Singapore. It was once a fort, of course, and the fort gate remains, along with a “sally port,” which is a hidden door in the side of the fort. There are paved walks inside the fort that wander through the lush tropical greenery and lead to the Spice Garden, the ASEAN Sculpture Garden and other attractions. The Battle Box, an underground bunker with information and exhibits about Singapore during World War II, is the only place within Fort Canning where visitors must pay an entry fee.
More of a plaza than a park, this tourist attraction has not one, but two Merlion fountains. This mythical creature is half fish, half lion and has become an iconic symbol of Singapore. Merlion Park is located in the city center at the water’s edge. It provides an excellent view of the sea, as well as the famous Marina Bay Sands casino and hotel with its very unique architecture (three tall towers with a boat-like structure sitting atop them). To make your travel easier and more organized, your can hire private tours like private luxury tours in Switzerland, London, Singapore and any other places you want to go to.
To the north of the city center, you will find Singapore’s Little India. This area is full of Indian restaurants, sari shops, Bollywood DVD stores and more. On a walking tour of the area, you will encounter Hindu temples with elaborate exteriors, as well as a couple of mosques and Buddhist shrines. Many non-religious buildings are also worth the visit because they are brightly colored with matching shutters and balconies, only adding to the great atmosphere of Little India.
This is another colorful district of Singapore not to be missed, and of course, walking around and seeing the sights is free. The Chinatown Heritage Center houses historical exhibits about the area, and the nearby Sacred Buddha Tooth Temple is worth a visit–at night it is illuminated. Chinatown also has a night market, which is a great place to find souvenirs.
Further out of the city is the Singapore Botanic Gardens, which was established at its present location in 1859. Everything but the National Orchid Garden is open to the public for free. There are areas of the garden devoted to bonsai trees, rainforest fauna, herbs, spices, fruit trees and other types of plants. The garden has also established a Heritage Walking Trail to showcase and protect its most mature trees.
Author Sydney Stonner is addicted to traveling. After studying journalism and music at the University of Missouri (where she studied abroad twice), she worked for a time as a newspaper reporter. Now, she is living in Hong Kong teaching English to primary school students. So far, she has visited 15 countries and hopes to visit many, many more. Visit this site to follow Sydney’s adventures.