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Escape the crowds with these 13 hidden gems in Singapore on your itinerary!

Escape the crowds with these 13 hidden gems in Singapore on your itinerary!

It’s sometimes a real struggle to find a spot to simply relax and take in the views without worrying about the thousands of people who had the exact same “aha!” moment as you that day.

It’s also even worse than it sounds when you think about it in the context of Singapore, a relatively tiny country where it’s easy to assume that every nook and cranny has already been discovered by both locals and tourists.

Except that it’s not, actually far from it as this guide shows.

So if you’re like us and hate too much foot traffic enough to disconnect from the fast-paced life of modern Singapore, here are several hidden gems in the nation that you can take advantage of before they get way too mainstream!

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

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Address: Hindhede Drive

Contact Details: +65 1800 471 7300

Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday: 7 AM – 7 PM

Features: Bukit Timah Hill, rainforest, ecological bridge, trails, nature walks, mountain biking, visitor centre/exhibition hall, plants/animals

What better way to start off our entries than with a nature reserve that is chock full of sights to see and things to do while taking in the flora and fauna? If that seems interesting, then head on over to Bukit Timah!

From hiking and mountain biking to simply gazing at all species of wildlife to be found here, this place has everything any nature lover would find haven in. 

Plus, there’s obviously a lot of natural shade around, so even doing any of the activities in the summer heat shouldn’t hit you too badly. We still recommend bringing water and extra clothes, of course.

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve


Address: 301 Neo Tiew Cres

Contact Details: +65 6794 1401

Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday: 7 AM – 7 PM

Features: Eagle Point, Aerie Tower, Mangrove Boardwalk, plants/animals, nature walks/tours, snacks/drinks

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve benefits from the fact that it is Singapore’s first wetland reserve and also its first ASEAN Heritage Park, which now houses hectares upon hectares of mangroves and lots of wildlife.

You can easily spend several hours marveling at all the migratory bird species, like the Whimbrel and Pacific Golden Plover, that make the place their temporary home between the months of September and March.

A wetlands reserve experience also wouldn’t be complete without looking at the monitor lizards and crocodiles (from a safe distance). If that’s a little too much action, then you might be able to see some otters preying on some fish in the area as well.

Yunnan Garden

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Address: 12 Nanyang Drive

Contact Details: +65 6791 1744

Operating Hours: Open 24 hours

Features: Gardens, waterfalls, arches, Chinese landmarks, pavilion, ponds

Nestled at the southern end of Nanyang Technological University (NTU) is the beauteous Yunnan Garden, a blend of nature and traditional Chinese themes all around.

This collection of greenery is more of a park than any ordinary garden due to its size, with dozens of ancient Chinese landmarks, a pavilion right in the middle, and an aesthetic waterfall scape to complete the eye candy package.

What’s better is that it’s open 24/7 so you can admire the entire symphony of lights at night (which we highly recommend seeing) when just about everyone has gone home. It really gives off a completely different vibe, based on our experience!

Chek Jawa Wetlands

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Address: Chek Jawa Trail

Contact Details: +65 6542 4108

Operating Hours:  Monday to Sunday: 7 AM – 7 PM

Features: Visitor Centre, Coastal Forest, Coastal Boardwalk, Rocky Shore, Coral Rubble, Seagrass Lagoon, Sandbar, Mangrove, Viewing Tower, Viewing Jetty

If you’re ever planning to go to Pulau Ubin, then be sure to add Chek Jawa Wetlands to your itinerary for a completely different island experience off the coast!

Chek Jawa Wetlands is one of the main highlights of any trip to Pulau Ubin, and unless you’re ready to embark on an almost hour-long walk from the port, you can take a bike with you (or rent one nearby) to at least get to its visitor centre.

From there, you can then explore Chek Jawa’s attractions like the coastal boardwalk, coastal and mangrove forest, rocky shore, and seagrass lagoon. Be sure to also check out the Jejawi viewing tower to get a bird’s eye view of the wetlands.

Kampong Lorong Buangkok

Address: Kampong Lorong Buangkok

Going on a walk in Kampong Lorong Buangkok is like opening a timing capsule of what life used to be like in Singapore amid the vast concrete jungle that just lies outside Kampong’s doorstep.

As the last remaining kampong or “rural village” in Singapore, it gives a unique and rare glimpse of a more simple time in Singaporean history and its cultural roots, so take this as an opportunity to look through with sepia-tinted glasses while you still can.

It can be quite easy to miss with all the modern and high-rise buildings surrounding it, but since it’s the only rural-looking neighborhood next to the Sungei Punggol River, that’s arguably the only landmark you’ll ever need.

Of course, the kampong still houses several families, so it’s best just to take a casual stroll and try not to disturb the peace and tranquility of the place.

The Intan

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Address: 69 Joo Chiat Terrace

Contact Details: +65 6440 1148

Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday: 7 AM – 10 PM

Features: Peranakan culture, private museum, artifacts, jewelry, tours

The Intan is the perfect place to be for all things Peranakan, so there’s no doubt that you’ll find a lot of hidden gems once you finally book a visit!

There is no lack of culture in a spot like the Intan, a mansion-turned-museum situated near the Katong residential area that’s decorated with Peranakan pots, jars, furniture, and all sorts of artifacts as far as the eye can see.

Whether you’re of Peranakan descent or not, we can say you’ll be in for a dive into the rich culture and tradition of what truly makes one a “Peranakan”, especially with the huge help of the enthusiastic owner, Alfin Yapp!

Hampstead Wetlands Park

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Address: 1 Baker St

Operating Hours: Open 24 hours

Features: Nature walks, birdwatching, photography, wildlife, plants/animals

It’s hard to beat a simple walk in the park to catch a breather after a tough week, especially if it’s at the Hampstead Wetlands Park. Just keep in mind that the nearest car park is a 5-minute walk away. 

This 3.2-hectare nature park next to the Seletar Aerospace Park is known for its native flora such as Pong Pong, but we urge you not to pick them or any of the other plants you can see as that’s against the park rules.

What you can do, however, is to take as many quick snapshots to your heart’s content of what you can catch a glimpse of, whether that be a fleeting Rhododendron flower or a Crimson Sunbird gently perched on a tree branch.

National Orchid Garden (Singapore Botanic Gardens)

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Address: 1 Cluny Rd

Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday: 8:30 AM – 7 PM 

Features: Tropical Montane Orchidetum, Sembcorp Cool House, Yuen Peng McNeice Bromeliad Collection, Tan Hoon Siang Mist House, Crane Fountain, Silver Arches Display, Enhanced VIP Orchid Garden

The National Orchid Garden of Singapore Botanical Gardens is truly a sight to behold from the moment you walk into its Tyersall entrance.

For the price of $5 for locals and $15 for foreign tourists, you can get transported into a completely different world of endless greenery and blooming flora via features like the Silver Arches and the Tropical Montane Orchidetum.

Impressive displays like the “Sembcorp Cool House”, which was built to house a collection of orchids found in different biogeographical realms in Asia, Africa, and South America, allow you to travel the world while staying in one big sanctuary.

Fort Canning Park


Address: River Valley Rd

Contact Details: +65 1800 471 7300

Operating Hours: Open 24 hours

Features: Fort Gate, Heritage Gallery, Tree Tunnel, Pancur Larangan, Mural Wall, Picnic Terrace, Raffles Garden, Sang Nila Utama, Jubilee Park, Tiong Bahru Bakery, Battlebox Bunker

Fort Canning is for those looking to delve into the rich history of Singapore under the British colony while also having time to unwind and appreciate many of its historical hotspots.

If you’ve ever seen any photos related to Fort Canning Park, chances are you’ve seen the popular “Tree Tunnel” shot and its characteristic winding staircase. This along with other top spots like the Sang Nila Utama garden are all worth a visit.

While the park itself is open 24 hours to the public, the Heritage Gallery is only open from 10 AM to 6 PM. It’s another great spot we recommend if you’re interested in seeing the over 700 years worth of artifacts surrounding Fort Canning Hill (plus it’s free!).

Kampong Glam (Kampong Gelam)


Address: Kampong Glam

Features: Sultan Mosque, Malay Heritage Centre, bazaars, food, cafes, boutiques, artwork, live music, textiles/fabrics

If there’s a place in Singapore that has just about every color of the rainbow mixed into one big multicultural melting pot, it would have to be Kampong Glam.

This glamorous district established around the Sultan Mosque’s centerpiece showcases streets filled with vibrant boutiques, cafes, textile shops, and street art. 

The Malay Heritage Centre is also a must-see for those looking to discover the roots of this high-spirited kampong.

Once the sun sets, the nightlife is very much alive in Kampong Glam with a variety of colorful lights, music performances, and other energy-packed activities, so be sure to check out spots like Bussorah Street and Haji Lane for that!

Jurong Eco-Garden

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Address: Cleantech Loop

Operating Hours: Open 24 hours

Features: Ceramic Sculpture, Summit Lookout, Bicycle Shelter, Fitness Corner, Composting Station, Rock Sculpture, Butterfly Garden, Nature Trail, Freshwater Swamp Forest, Swamp Pavilion, Ficus Lookout, Cleansing Biotope, Green Roof Toilet

Jurong Eco-Garden is yet another hidden gem just outside of Nanyang Technological University that may be slightly overshadowed by the bigger and more populated gardens and parks in the area.

With that said, this garden is a nice and quiet alternative to the bustling city life, and it’s not that empty either. Within it are different eco sculptures, a swamp pavilion, and different wildlife such as birds, dragonflies, and even some monitor lizards.

This whole park demonstrates the efforts toward a more eco-friendly urban city, so the place is naturally as clean as it can be, and, of course, anybody planning to visit will also need to do their part in keeping it that way!

Haw Par Villa


Address: 262 Pasir Panjang Rd

Contact Details: +65 6773 0103

Operating Hours: 

Features: Hell’s Museum, outdoor gallery, tours/trails, educational programmes, exhibitions, Rise of Asia Museum, workshops, Stay the Night, Visitor Centre, The Sixth Milestone, Art Journey Cafe and Studio

If you’re feeling a little quirky and would love to try out a place that’s equally quirky and engaging, then Haw Par Villa is just for you!

Known for its religious themes that talk about the afterlife, Haw Par Villa features many colorful Chinese villas, dioramas, and sculptures in its outdoor gallery as well as a dedicated “Hell’s Museum” that acts as a gateway to, well, Hell.

While “relaxing” and “tranquil” aren’t the first adjectives that come to mind when you step into the Hell’s Museum, it does offer a very unique, educational, and somewhat bizarre experience into themes not often talked about in everyday life.

Even if a trip to hell isn’t your cup of tea, there are also a ton of other attractions worth checking out, such as the Rise of Asia Museum, The Sixth Milestone restaurant, and Art Journey cafe and studio.

Smith Marine Floating Kelong Restaurant


Address: Located off Pulau Ubin coastal waters

Contact Details: +65 9792 7609

Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday: 10 AM – 7 PM

Features: Floating kelong restaurant, fish farm, pool table, board games

Smith Marine Floating Restaurant is a delectable treat for seafood lovers and thalassophiles, which is short for those who just plainly love the sea and anything yummy to ever come from it.

To get to this floating kelong requires you to take a ferry from the Changi Point Ferry Terminal. Once on board, you’ll be greeted by some of the finest variety of seafood dishes fresh off the boat including prawns, crabs, mussels, squid, and even lobster.

While this is primarily a place to dine (no wine aboard, we’re afraid), Smith Marine also comes with a few neat sources of entertainment to pass the time like a pool table, some board games, and a carrom board.