10 Places in Singapore for the Solo Traveler
Alone, but not lonely!
(SPOT.ph) As one of the safest and cleanest Asian countries to visit and live in, Singapore makes a great destination for solo travelers. Getting around—either by walking or by train—is easy enough if you’d rather explore this Asian country on your own. Plus, you’re guaranteed a good mix of activities—from museum-hopping to bar-crawling—to keep you occupied on your getaway.
Here are 10 places to visit in the Lion City on your own:
Funan DigitaLife Mall, which is a revamped shopping center of the 1985-built Funan Centre, opened in June 2019 with a wide variety of tech stores, fashion boutique, and restaurants. It also features a rock climbing wall at the middle of the mall, virtual reality pods which you can try for free, and highly automated food courts. Want to take a breather? You can hang out at 5,000-square-foot roof garden where there are swings and benches or even play some play in an artificial grass futsal court.
Funan DigitaLife Mall is at 107 North Bridge Road, Singapore. It is open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
SAM at 8Q
SAM at 8Q, which is found at No. 8 Queen Street—thus the name, is the cooler and quirkier sister of the Singapore Art Museum. (Fun fact: It takes approximately 88 steps to reach it from the main building.) The four-storey building, which used to be the primary school wing of the Catholic School, now houses out-of-the-box installation art, video installations, and bold mixed media pieces. For the Singapore Biennale 2019, it hosted Pooja Nansi's "Coping Mechanisms." This 36-meter piece comprises puts together chat conversations, such as "life = stress," "I spent all my GST money on cigarettes," and other relatable text messages.
SAM at 8Q is at 8 Queen Street, Singapore.
Golden Mile Complex
Singapore has a reputation for being “Asia for beginners,” where you can experience a sanitized version of East-meets-West in one visit. There's Chinatown for the immersing in the immigrant Chinese experience, Kampong Glam for a glimpse of Malay traditions, Katong for Peranakan culture, and Little India for all your spices needs.
But did you know that Singapore has its own Little Thailand that's not frequented by tourists? Golden Mile Complex, which is a 16-floor retail complex built in the '70s, houses convenience stores and eateries with authentic Thai flavor. You can also find it very affordable compared to most restaurants in the city. If you happen to drop by during Songkran Festival, you can experience a bit of Thailand even while in Singapore.
Bishan Public Library
Relish your alone time by cooping up in Singapore’s most picturesque public libraries. There’s Bishan Public Library, with its famous reading pods that are cantilevered from the façade, natural light filtering through colorful glass panels. The four-strorey structure, which is inspired by the look of a treehouse, is easily accessible by train through the Circle Line and North South Lines or by public bus.
Bishan Public Library is at 5 Bishan Place. It is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
One of most Instagrammed streets in Singapore, Haji Lane is frequented by travelers looking for graffiti backdrops, fashionistas shopping for indie brands, and tourists young and old exploring hip shophouses. It’s the only place in SG where you can have your selfie printed on a latte, get inked in a tattoo shop, and find a unique boutique item all in one afternoon.
Lau Pa Sat
You haven’t had the full taste of Singapore until you’ve immersed in a hawker center, or their version of the food court. And if you’re looking to enjoy a feast both for the eyes and for the palate, Lau Pa Sat or Telok Ayer Market is a good choice. A Singaporean landmark, it was built in the 19th century and declared a national monument in 1973 because of its distinct octagonal shape and ornate columns. It was designed by Irish architect George Coleman, the same guy behind most of Singapore's colonial buildings. As a food hub, it's best known for the classics such as chicken rice, laksa, and satay.
Lau Pa Sat is at 18 Raffles Quay, Singapore. It is open 24/7.
MacRitchie Reservoir Park
If you need a break from the busy shopping districts, there are several parks and reserves you can escape to. Just a 10-minute walk from Marina Bay Sands is Gardens by the Bay, which features 101 hectares of impressive waterfront gardens, including the man-made supertrees you often see in postcards. But if you’d rather get away from it all, head to MacRitchie Reservoir Park, the largest of nature reserves in Singapore. It features a 20-kilometer network of trails winding through the forest as well as the TreeTop Walk, a 250-meter hanging bridge that connects Bukit Peirce and Bukit Kalang, the two highest points in the park.
Like their museums, Singapore has dozens of bookstores, from hidden secondhand shops to specialty stores. Don’t know where to start? Epigram Books in Raffles Place is the largest independent publisher in SG, where you may browse through hundreds of books by local authors while enjoying a cup of latte from their coffee shop. Also check out The Moon in Mosque Street, an event space, coffee shop, and homey bookstore in one.
Epigram Books is at 1008 Toa Payoh N. Open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. The Moon is at 37 Mosque St. Open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
CUBE Boutique Capsule Hotel
A solo traveler's best friend is a neighborhood hostel; and if you're looking to be near a cultural enclave, there's CUBE Boutique Capsule Hotel in the historic Kampong Glam district. The two-floor hostel, which opened in 2018, features 56 capsules with either a queen-sized bed or a single-sized bed. All capsules are fully automated—from adjusting its own temperature and air-flow to reducing ambient noise to make sure that you can get some shut-eye despite the crowd.
CUBE Boutique Capsule Hotel - Kampong Glam is at 55 Bussorah Street, Singapore. Rates start at SGD 50 (approx. P1,800).
Changi Experience Studio
On your last day, make sure you arrive at Changi Airport hours before your flight to explore Jewel Changi, the newly opened mixed-use complex at Terminal 1. Check out Changi Experience Studio and geek out on amazing projections, interactive digital games, and immersive shows. Your adventure begins with a piece of cardboard, which serves as your very own projection screen for all the booths. Bring it to the Garden of Harmony where you need to follow instructions to make music, tap it at the seven stations of the Hanging Gardens to learn more about Singapore's aviation history, or use it as your key to a simulation of a Porsche car that you can drive—in a virtual world, of course.
Changi Experience Studio is at 4/F Jewel Changi Airport, 78 Airport Boulevard, Singapore. It is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.