15 Hidden Gems in Singapore You Never Knew Existed

15 July 2021 by Farihin Joehari

[Updated on 15 July 2021] 

Are you longing to travel? Unfortunately, boarding a plane to our dream destinations won’t come anytime soon. How about taking time to rediscover Singapore and explore hidden gems which you didn’t know existed? This listicle is devoid of all things touristy, but instead, we’ll dish out our city’s best-kept secrets! Escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, and check out these secret spots which may be found right in your backyard.

1. Jurong Hill Park

Source: @lnmjstn

Source: @chasbuduo

Travel back in time and visit the spiral Lookout Tower, which opened in 1970, that boasts a breathtaking view. Witness the panoramic view of the Jurong Port, Island and beyond. Standing at 18m, this tower used to host foreign royalties and dignitaries in the past, including Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II. Surrounding the tower is the ‘Garden of Fame’ which features about 27 trees planted by the visiting dignitaries.

Address: Jurong Hill Park, 60 Jurong Hill, S628926
Opening hours: -

2. Bollywood Veggies

Source: Bollywood Veggies

Souce: Bollywood Veggies

Source: Bollywood Veggies

Travel to the west and find yourself on an organic tropical farm you didn’t know existed in Singapore. Bring the kids along for an educational trip where you’ll see various fruits and vegetables grown here. After exploring the farm, whet your appetite at Poison Ivy Bistro – where the vegetables and herbs are freshly grown from the garden. You’ll find local delights such as Nasi Lemak, Laksa and kueh-mueh.

Address: 100 Neo Tiew Road, s719026
Opening hours: Thurs to Sun 7am - 7pm, closed from Mon to Wed

3. Marina East Breakwater

Source: @mamonn

Also known as the Pulau Ujong breakwater, this location became viral thanks to TikTok. Just a short 5 mins walk from Marina Barrage, arrive at the picturesque breakwater that’s perfect for date nights. While you have a mini picnic here, admiring the views and enjoying the sea breeze, please remember to clear your litter responsibly.

Address: Marina East Drive
Opening hours: -

4. Peranakan Shophouse at Koon Seng Road

Source: @zippyzipeng

One of Singapore’s hidden gems, the iconic Peranakan Houses at Koon Seng Road is a sight to behold. Its colourful exterior with intricate motifs and details will take your breath away. Built in the 1920s, the pastel shophouses make a perfect Instagram shot. After your photoshoot, take a stroll to Kim Choo Kueh Chang for some chewy rice dumplings, a classic Peranakan dish you must try. Do practice caution and be respectful when having your photoshoot as the houses are still occupied by residents.

Address: Koon Seng Road
Opening hours: -

5. ION Sky
Situated in the heart of Orchard Road, did you know there’s an observation deck perched on top of ION Orchard? Get a bird’s eye view of Singapore from Level 55 and take your OOTD with an unobstructed million-dollar view. To enjoy this experience for free, spend more than $20 when you visit the mall and redeem a free ticket to ION Sky. From now till 30 Jun 2021, enjoy two show screenings – Adventures in Food Wonderland by Ang Ku Kueh Girl or Transformation of Orchard Road by Dick Lee.  

Address: ION Orchard, Level 55/56. Take the lift from Level 4 via ION Art (located near Concierge)
Opening hours:

6. Kampong Lorong Buangkok

Source: @letsgotoursingapore

While Singapore develops itself into an urban cosmopolitan city with skyscrapers, high-rise condominiums, apartments, the historic Kampong Lorong Buangkok still stands strong and remains untouched. Known as the last surviving kampong in Singapore, it is surrounded by a modern housing development. A visit here would remind you of the olden Singapore, where life was possibly simpler and carefree. Go on a tour with Klook here for the full experience – learn about the development of housings from villages to high rises and step into a kampong house.

Address: Lorong Buangkok
Opening hours: -

Capture the past at Singapore’s last kampong with DJI and Canon.

7. Japanese Cemetery Park

Source: @yuniqueyuni

Source: @thet_diary

Did you know there’s a cemetery in the heart of Hougang? It is the largest Japanese cemetery in Southeast Asia and has over 900 tombstones. Step into a sakura blossom wonderland and feel as though you’re in Japan. If you’re dreaming of visiting the Land of the Rising Sun, visit here during flower season and be awe-inspired by the bougainvillea that blooms in abundance. Please be respectful during your time here, as it is, after all, a cemetery.

Address: 22 Chuan Hoe Ave, S549854
Opening hours: All-day

8. Wessex Estate

Source: ArtWalk@Wessex

Located near Portsdown Road, there are black-and-white colonial houses built in the 1940s, used by non-commissioned British officers and soldiers. The picturesque and charming semi-detached houses are now home to families and art studios. Each block is named after a former British province such as Tangier, Quebec and Gaza.

Traverse through the different roads, and you’ll chance upon Colbar, an old-school kopitiam that serves cheap Western dishes. The restaurant is an abbreviation for ‘colonial bar’, formerly serving as a canteen for the British army.

Address: 4 Woking Rd, S138703
Opening hours: All-day

9. Gardenasia

Source: Gardenasia

Source: Gardenasia

Go on a getaway without having to travel abroad to Gardenasia. Located in the west of Singapore at Kranji, you can eat, work and play here to your hearts’ content. Pack your bags and stay at their Farmstay Villas, where each is tastefully designed with Balinese, English, Contemporary and Oriental themes. The room rate starts from $280 per night during weekdays or $350 per night during weekends.

Wine and dine at Bistro Gardenasia, where most of their ingredients are locally sourced from their in-house farms. Come by during the weekdays, and experience a tranquil ambience that beckons you for a second visit.

Address: 240 Neo Tiew Crescent S718898
Opening hours: Wed to Thurs 10.30am – 4.45pm, Fri & Sat 10.30am – 9.45pm, Sun & PH 10am – 4.45pm

10. Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve
Take your fitness journey outdoors and travel to Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, where you’ll experience Singapore’s flora and fauna. Bring your kids out during the weekends for some bird watching, explore mangrove forests or spot wild crocodiles. Here, you can even chance upon migratory birds such as the Common Redshank.

There are several walking trails, so be sure to check out the map before you start. If you’d like a trail that is stroller and wheelchair-friendly, we recommend The Boardwalk. There is a free guided nature walk every Saturday from 9.30am to 11am.

Address: 60 Kranji Way S739453
Opening hours: Closes at 7pm

11. Raffles Marina Lighthouse

Source: @iceaxe

If you think Singapore doesn’t have a lighthouse, think again – we have Raffles Marina Lighthouse. It is located within the Raffles Marina Club compound, which was built in 1994 and overlooks the Tuas Second Link. It is a hotspot for wedding photoshoots, and you can even hold your own wedding ceremony at the club for a nautical themed wedding. Come during dawn and witness the sun setting in its soft golden hue, resulting in a perfect Instagram shot.

Address: 10 Tuas West Dr S638404
Opening hours: Daily 8am – 10pm

Capture Instagram worth shots with Canon and DJI.

12. Smith Marine Floating Kelong Restaurant

Kelong, refers to an offshore platform built mostly from wood and are predominantly found in Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. Unbeknownst to many, we do have our very own kelong, Smith Marine Floating Kelong Restaurant, which opened for business in January 2015. Here, diners can fish for their meals, catch fish such as Snapper and Seabass, and then let the chefs whip up a delicious dish. The restaurant is Halal certified, and their extensive menu will have you spoilt for choice. To visit this restaurant, board a ferry from Changi Point Ferry Terminal.

Address: Johor Strait
Opening hours: 10am – 8pm

13. Thomson Nature Park

Source: NParks

One of the newest parks in Singapore, Thomson Nature Park, opened its doors to the public in October 2019. Explore the trails here and see the ruins of an old Hainanese village that was there from the 1930s. The 50 hectare park is located between Old Upper Thomson Road and Upper Thomson Road, is rich with biodiversity. It is one of the key conservation sites for the critically endangered Raffles Banded Langur.

Source: @isaiahkuan

There are different trails you can explore such as Ruins & Fig Trail (0.4km), Rambutan Trail (0.4km), Langur Trail (0.15km), Macque Trail (0.35km) and Stream & Ferns Trail (1.4km).

Shop your sports gear from Adidas, Nike and Skechers.

Address: Upper Thomson Road
Opening hours: Daily 7am – 7pm

14. The Parkview Museum

Source: The Parkview Museum

Did you know that there’s a museum located in Bugis? If you walk around the area, you’ll be sure to chance upon a gargantuan building, Parkview Square, where some dub it as a Batman’s Gotham building due to its architectural design. The building has multiple offices, embassies and even a museum! The Parkview Museum featured various international exhibitions, such as Disturbing Narratives which was held there from June 2019 to February 2020.

Address: 600 North Bridge Road, Parkview Square, S188778
Opening hours: Mon to Sat 12pm – 7pm

15. Lazarus Island

Source: NParks

Source: @jul_c__

Source: @chloetwl

Singapore doesn’t only have Pulau Ubin as its offshore island. Lazarus Island, also known as Pulau Sakijang Pelepah, is connected with St. John’s Island. The island which is about 47 hectares is home to white sandy beaches and thriving marine life. If mainland Singapore is too hectic for you, a visit to Lazarus Island is ideal as you’ll get to enjoy peace and serenity. There’s no shop on the island, so bring all your necessities such as sunglasses, to the island to have a perfect day trip. To visit Lazarus Island, take the public ferry from Marina South Pier to St. John’s Island, then take a 5-minute walk on the bridge to Lazarus Island.

Address: Board from Singapore Island Cruise
Opening hours: -

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