Say that again?

If you ask a friendly local, they’ll most likely tell you, “Singapore nothing to do one sia!” You then regret your decision to holiday on this tropical island, crying into a cup of overly-sweet coffee. But hold up! Singaporeans are not known for lying, but they’re spending most of their time at work or studying instead of exploring the country. So thank them for their very biased opinion, and scroll down to find out if there really is nothing to do in Singapore. But first, let’s rectify that cup of coffee.

Get Caffeinated
It’s no lie that Singaporeans are an overly caffeinated bunch. We’re not referring to Robusta or Arabica coffee, though those are widely available in the country’s burgeoning cafe scene, if that’s more of your thing. Let’s explore one of the many coffee shops and hawker centres. Anyone will do. There will be a beverage stall, and I’ll give you $7 for a Starbucks if they don’t sell coffee. Now, click through to this nifty infograph here to place your orders.

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This hit the spot BIG TIME! Nondescript coffee stall at Hong Lim Food Complex blew our socks off with the perfect cup of kopi si bei kao siu tai (stupidly strong coffee with less condensed milk). Located on the ground floor, next to the Teochew porridge stall.

A post shared by Kopi Box Vending Machine (@kopiboxasia) on Jun 30, 2017 at 3:25am PDT

It’s no latte or cappuccino, but it’s a cornerstone of Singapore’s food and drinks culture. You won’t be the first foreigner to fall in love with cheap caffeine.

Workout Outdoors
Singapore is arguably too hot for most locals who very much prefer the air-conditioned comfort of shopping malls. It’s a shame, really, as the authorities put a great deal of effort (and money) into building and improving park infrastructure around the country. Pick early mornings and late evenings to avoid getting burnt to a crisp.

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A post shared by Trails and Aperture (@trailsandaperture) on Jan 13, 2019 at 7:53pm PST

Run on well-paved roads in the Botanic Gardens, go hiking along the MacRitchie Reservoir trail and walk across Southeast Asia’s very first freestanding suspension bridge, or bike along the park connectors linking up green spaces around the city. With warm weather 365 days of the year, exercising outdoors won’t be a pain…except when it rains, of course.

Eat
When all else fails, eat. Forget about McDonald’s or Subway! You haven’t been to Singapore if you’ve never sampled its hawker cuisine. Singapore has a diverse and established street food scene. Give your tongues a good workout.

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A post shared by Evan And Raevian✈️ (@eatandtravelwithus) on Feb 21, 2019 at 6:04am PST

Insider tip: skip Newton Food Centre for cheaper grub. We recommend Old Airport Road Food Centre, Tiong Bahru Market and Food Centre, and Bukit Timah Food Centre.

Infiltrate the Neighbourhood
Singapore does have the requisite glitz of a tourist town, but it gets old. Just like stepping into the hundredth cathedral on a Europe trip, visiting attraction after attraction can be exhausting. In-between visiting the expansive (and expensive) Gardens by the Bay and the Singapore Zoo, how about a visit to the heartlands? These are largely residential areas home to most Singaporeans. It might be intimidating to venture off into the suburbs, but it’s 100% worth the effort. The residential districts are where Singaporeans feel free to roam in flip-flops and slip unselfconsciously into baffling Singlish.

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A post shared by Have Halal, Will Travel (@havehalalwilltravel) on Feb 21, 2019 at 8:47pm PST

Explore Tiong Bahru, one of Singapore’s first residential districts, just on the fringes of the city centre. It’s popular with both locals and expatriates for good reasons. There are cafes to recharge in and indie boutiques to explore.

Get Artsy
The last thing Singaporeans will associate with their country is the arts. However, this is not to say that the arts scene doesn’t exist in Singapore. It does, but many of the locals still associate it with impracticality and/or snobbery (fight me!).

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A post shared by Tram Dieu Martinez (@thelessismore_) on Feb 25, 2019 at 12:51am PST

While you’re here, check out the many heritage museums on offer at the civic district, the marvellous Art Science Museum at Marina Bay, and pop by one of the arts events on offer year-round.

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