Off-The-Beaten-Path Singapore

Book Shop in SingaporeBook Shop in Singapore

If you're planning a trip to Singapore and would like to see the city-state beyond its usual tourist hotspots, check out's list of 50alternative things to do in Singapore. Here are 10 of our favorites.

Explore an abandoned palace

Tired of the mainstay photography haunts like Chinatown, Little India, and Tiong Bahru? Get behind the wheel and head to Istana Woodneuk. Located on a small hill between Holland Road and Tyersall Road, this place takes some effort to get to. The land still belongs to the royal family in Johor, and despite being empty and in slight disarray, it is still a magnificent sight and would make for lovely photographs.

See Old Woodlands Town Centre before it's gone

In its heyday in the 1970s, the town center was filled with people and activities. While it is no longer a bustling bus berth, there are still countless shops selling everything from mattresses to fresh fruits, and the food at the hawker center remains cheap and tasty. It is definitely worth making a trip down to explore the area and snap some photographs of its old school architectural design before it gets torn down.

Head on over to Kranji's organic veggie farm

Take the Countryside Express shuttle bus to Bollywood Veggies from Kranji MRT. This lush green sanctuary grows and sells organic vegetables, and if you like the farm-to-plate concept, sit and enjoy a meal here. The farm offers everything from lady fingers to spinach, and is particularly proud of their bananas. Don't leave without buying a thick, moist chunk of their signature banana bread.

Swap supermarkets for farmers' markets

Tick the following off your list: Kranji Countryside Farmers' Market, Dempsey's Loewen Gardens Market and PasarBella at Bukit Timah. The first boasts fresh local produce, and the latter two take a slant towards artisan foods.

Playtime at Punggol Waterway

If you're in the mood to work out, why not check out the newly-developed Punggol Waterway Park? The area is lush and beautiful, and feels like a departure from the hectic city streets. There are also playgrounds, exercise equipment, and eateries scattered along various points, so you don't have to worry about going around endlessly and getting bored.

Check out an old playground on a retro set of wheels

While you're exploring Punggol Waterway or one of Singapore's many parks and bicycle paths, why not rent a retro-looking but fully functional set of wheels from One Day Wheels? They offer two cool looking bikes that will make you look super hip whether you're intent on posing for photos, working out, or both. We think it would be especially fun to pose for photos at the iconic dragon sand playground in Toa Payoh on these bikes.

Be a beach sloth

If you prefer beaches to parks, head on over to Sentosa and enjoy living the life of a sloth at Tanjong Beach Club. The food here—especially the tuna tartare and desserts—are highly recommended. Lying on a sunbed for an entire day has never hurt anyone, right?

Practically stand on water

One of the hippest things to do in Sentosa is to Stand Up Paddle (SUP). Tired of lounging by the beach with a cocktail in hand? Sign up for a class that will really work your core. You'll be performing yoga poses on the paddle board before you know it!

Support animal welfare organizations

Animal lovers or those considering getting a pet would do well to visit Pasir Ris Farmway and check out not only the cute puppies in puppy mills, but ex-breeding dogs as well. Animal welfare group Voices For Animals regularly holds adoption drives for the ex-breeding dogs that breeders give up when they no longer produce big enough litters. The dogs are mostly HDB-approved and the adoption drive is held at Mutts and Mittens. You may also see creatures big and small from other animal welfare groups in the area.

Litter your life with books

There is a small but delightful collection ofindependent bookstores in Singapore that you ought to stop by, including Littered with Books, pictured above. Housed within a two-story shophouse, this bookshop along Duxton Road boasts a whimsical interior that's as fantastical as the books on sale. When you're there, look out for the little notes taped to the shelves—the owners scribble short, colorful reviews to draw your attention to books they'd read and want to recommend.

Click here to see more off-the-beaten-path things to do in Singapore.

This article was written by Sia Ling Xin, who travels and writes about it, a blog and online community focused on travelling in Asia. You can also find her on Twitter.

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