When one thinks of Singapore, visions of towering skyscrapers, bustling shopping districts, and modern architecture often come to mind. However, beneath the surface of this cosmopolitan city lies a realm of hidden treasures waiting to be discovered. Prepare to be amazed as we uncover 10 incredible hidden gems nestled within the vibrant city of Singapore.
From enchanting secret gardens to captivating underground wonders, explore a side of Singapore you never knew existed. These amazing places will leave you in awe, showcasing the city’s hidden treasures and surprising discoveries that defy expectations. Prepare to be amazed as you explore these best-kept secrets that defy expectations and challenge conventional perceptions of the Lion City.
1. Coney Island
Coney Island, nestled in the northeastern part of Singapore, is a hidden paradise that offers a serene and unspoiled escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. Also known as Pulau Serangoon, this pristine island boasts a natural wonderland of lush forests, tranquil beaches, and diverse ecosystems.
As you wander along its meandering trails, you’ll encounter a myriad of native flora and fauna, including wildflowers, coastal vegetation, and even rare bird species. With its untouched beauty and tranquil atmosphere, Coney Island is perfect for nature enthusiasts, cyclists, and beach lovers. Explore the sandy shores, enjoy a picnic by the waterfront, or simply revel in the peacefulness of this hidden gem.
A visit to Coney Island offers a rejuvenating experience, immersing you in the natural wonders and serenity of Singapore’s natural landscapes.
2. The Southern Ridges
Escape the city’s hustle and bustle by traversing the Southern Ridges, a network of elevated walkways that connect various parks and green spaces.
The Southern Ridges offers a unique and immersive experience with stunning panoramic views of the city skyline, verdant forests, and expansive greenery. As you embark on the journey, you’ll be greeted by architectural marvels such as the iconic Henderson Waves, the highest pedestrian bridge in Singapore, and the elegant Forest Walk, which takes you through a canopy of trees. The Southern Ridges also presents opportunities for birdwatching, as it is home to a diverse array of bird species.
Whether you’re a nature lover, a photography enthusiast, or simply seeking a peaceful escape, a walk along the Southern Ridges is an enriching and rejuvenating experience that allows you to connect with nature and savour the beauty of Singapore’s natural landscapes.
3. Bukit Brown Cemetery
Bukit Brown Cemetery, nestled in the heart of Singapore, is a place steeped in history and tranquillity. This sprawling cemetery serves as the final resting place for many early Chinese pioneers, making it an important cultural and heritage site.
As you wander through the cemetery’s serene and lush surroundings, you’ll be captivated by the intricate tombstones, ornate sculptures, and the stories they hold. The cemetery offers a glimpse into Singapore’s past, reflecting the diverse cultural tapestry of the city. It is not only a place of remembrance but also a peaceful sanctuary for nature lovers, with its verdant foliage and abundant birdlife.
Bukit Brown Cemetery is a unique and sacred space, inviting visitors to reflect on the past, appreciate the rich heritage of Singapore, and pay tribute to those who have shaped the nation’s history.
4. Haw Par Villa
Haw Par Villa, located in Singapore, is an extraordinary and whimsical theme park that transports visitors into a realm of mythology and folklore. The park is adorned with vibrant and intricate statues, dioramas, and elaborate displays depicting scenes from Chinese mythology, legends, and historical tales.
As you explore the park, you’ll encounter awe-inspiring sculptures of deities, mythical creatures, and larger-than-life characters that bring these stories to life.
Haw Par Villa offers a surreal and immersive experience, inviting visitors to wander through its enchanting gardens, traverse the Ten Courts of Hell, and learn about traditional Chinese values and beliefs. It is a place where imagination flourishes and cultural heritage is celebrated, making it a truly unique and captivating attraction in Singapore.
5. The Intan
Offering visitors a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of the Peranakan community, The Intan is a unique private museum located in Singapore. As you step inside, you are greeted by a treasure trove of artefacts, antiques, and personal stories meticulously curated by the owner, Alvin Yapp.
The museum provides a rare opportunity to immerse yourself in the opulent world of Peranakan culture, showcasing intricate beadwork, ornate jewellery, traditional costumes, and vintage furniture.
The Intan is not just a museum; it is a living testament to the Peranakan legacy, providing a captivating journey through time and an appreciation for the vibrant and unique Peranakan culture in Singapore.
6. Pulau Ubin
Pulau Ubin, a charming island located off the northeastern coast of Singapore, is a hidden gem that transports visitors back in time.
Known for its rustic and idyllic ambiance, Pulau Ubin offers a glimpse into Singapore’s past, showcasing a slower pace of life and unspoiled natural beauty. As you step foot on the island, you’ll be greeted by lush forests, scenic trails, and traditional village houses. Explore the island on foot or rent a bicycle to navigate the narrow roads and discover its hidden treasures, including secluded beaches, serene mangroves, and captivating quarries.
Immerse yourself in the island’s rich biodiversity as you encounter rare birds, wildlife, and even glimpse the elusive hornbill. With its tranquil atmosphere and preserved heritage, Pulau Ubin provides a remarkable retreat for nature lovers, history enthusiasts, and those seeking a peaceful escape from the urban jungle of Singapore.
7. Kranji Countryside
Kranji Countryside, located in the northwestern part of Singapore, offers a delightful escape from the city’s hustle and bustle.
This serene rural enclave is known for its picturesque farms, tranquil landscapes, and a wide range of activities that allow visitors to immerse themselves in nature and the countryside lifestyle. Here’s a guide to everything you can see and do in Kranji Countryside:
Embark on a farm-hopping adventure and visit the various farms in the area. Explore organic vegetable farms, goat and frog farms, and even fish farms. Engage in hands-on experiences such as fruit picking, feeding farm animals, and learning about sustainable farming practices.
If you only have time to visit one farm, we recommend getting up close and personal with adorable goats at Hay Dairies Goat Farm. As one of Singapore’s few remaining goat farms, here you can learn about goat milking processes, interact with the cute creatures, sample fresh goat milk, and enjoy a leisurely walk around the farm.
Discover the lush greenery and organic farming at Bollywood Veggies, an expansive farm offering guided tours and workshops. After a bit of walking, refuel with some of the freshest foods you will find. Indulge delicious meals at the countryside’s charming farm-to-table restaurants and cafes where you can savour the unique flavours of locally sourced ingredients and enjoy a culinary journey in a tranquil setting.
Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve:
Adjacent to the Kranji Countryside is the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, a nature lover’s paradise. Explore the mangroves, boardwalks, and observation points, and spot a variety of bird species, monitor lizards, and other wildlife.
A true haven for nature enthusiasts and birdwatchers, this remarkable wetland reserve spans over 202 hectares, encompassing a diverse range of ecosystems, including mangroves, mudflats, and secondary forests. Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve is home to a remarkable array of flora and fauna and features a network of well-maintained boardwalks and trails where you can wander through lush mangroves and observe the intricate ecosystem up close. The Coastal Trail, Mid-canopy Walk, and Mangrove Boardwalk are some of the popular routes that offer different perspectives of the wetland reserve.
To enhance your wildlife viewing experience, Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve also provides strategically located observation hides to enhance your wildlife viewing experience without disturbing the wildlife’s natural behaviour. From these observation points, you can capture breathtaking photographs and gain a deeper appreciation for the reserve’s inhabitants.
8. St. John's Island
St. John’s Island, renowned for its pristine beaches, turquoise waters, and lush greenery is a hidden gem that offers a serene and picturesque escape from the city’s bustling streets. Just a short boat ride away from Singapore’s mainland, this idyllic island is an ideal destination for relaxation and exploration. Visitors can unwind on the sandy shores, take refreshing dips in the crystal-clear waters, or embark on nature walks to admire the island’s diverse flora and fauna. With its rich history as a former quarantine station and its natural beauty, St. John’s Island provides a tranquil oasis where visitors can connect with nature, soak up the sun, and create unforgettable memories amidst the breathtaking surroundings.
9. Raffles Marina Lighthouse
Standing tall and proud at the western coast of Singapore, the Raffles Marina Lighthouse is a captivating landmark that commands attention. With its striking red and white structure, this lighthouse serves as a guiding beacon for ships entering the bustling Singapore Strait. Located within the prestigious Raffles Marina, the lighthouse offers visitors panoramic views of the coastline, sparkling waters, and the vast expanse of the South China Sea.
A visit to the Raffles Marina Lighthouse provides a unique opportunity to capture stunning photographs, witness awe-inspiring sunsets, and immerse oneself in the maritime charm of Singapore. Whether you’re a photography enthusiast, a lover of maritime heritage, or simply seeking a tranquil spot to appreciate the beauty of the sea, the Raffles Marina Lighthouse is a must-visit destination that offers a mesmerising experience in the western reaches of Singapore.
10. Kusu Island
Kusu Island, a tranquil oasis situated just off the coast of Singapore, is a hidden gem that boasts natural beauty, cultural significance, and a sense of serenity. Known as the “Tortoise Island,” it is steeped in legends and religious traditions. The island is home to the popular Da Bo Gong (Tua Pek Kong) and Guanyin temples, attracting devotees who seek blessings and fulfilment of wishes. Explore the island’s pristine beaches, take leisurely strolls through lush greenery, and enjoy picnics in the peaceful surroundings.
Kusu Island offers a respite from the urban bustle, providing a harmonious blend of spirituality and natural splendour that leaves visitors with a sense of calm and appreciation for the island’s rich history and tranquil ambiance.