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Magical Shores at Siloso
Photograph: Sentosa Development CorporationMagical Shores at Siloso

The best free date ideas in Singapore

Low on cash? Here are some free romantic date ideas that won’t break the bank

Cam Khalid
Written by
Cam Khalid
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We know, we know – dating is more about the camaraderie rather than the venue. But that’s no reason not to impress your date by taking them to the most romantic places or restaurants even if you’re broke. No matter what sort of couple you are, Singapore has a myriad of things to do. From getting a cultural fix at the museum to going on a nature trail, vibe with your romantic partner at one of these eclectic locations without all the extra charges. Aren't the best things in life free?

RECOMMENDED:  Unique and fun date ideas in Singapore and the most romantic restaurants in Singapore

  • Art
  • Digital and interactive
  • Singapore

Siloso Beach amps up the romance every weekend with an immersive light and sound show, Magical Shores. Whirl around and see the striking visual effects change on the sand, or take a breather and soak in the light and sound symphony which accentuates the beauty of Sentosa's landscape. The multi-sensory experience also welcomes the both of you to interact with light art on the sandy beach, inspired by diverse elements ranging from water flow to marine creatures. Remember to book a time slot online before heading down.

  • Things to do
  • Changi 

If you're a pair of cycling enthusiasts with a penchant for dinosaurs, the 3.5-kilometre Changi Airport Connector makes an ace outdoor date. Hop on your individual or tandem bicycles, and cruise to Jewel Changi Airport and the terminals from East Coast Park or any of the Park Connector Network (PCN). Make a pitstop at Changi Jurassic Mile for the city’s largest permanent outdoor display of life-sized dinosaurs, before taking a break with an al fresco meal, surrounded by lush greenery at Hub & Spoke Café.

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  • Things to do
  • Lim Chu Kang

Strap on your best walking shoes and trudge through the swamps of Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve to learn more about the flora and fauna that call this mangrove forest home. This wetland reserve of mangrove swamps, ponds, and secondary forest is also home to 140 species of birds. Take a spot with your boo at the observation hides or rent binoculars to bird-watch. But keep a lookout for warning signs about the estuarine crocodiles – they’re known to be around the area albeit uncommon.

  • Things to do
  • City Hall

Bring your curious minds to the corners of Fort canning Park. There's everything from old graves and colonial-era relics to the tranquil Sang Nila Utama Garden, decked with Javanese split gates and a freshwater feature. It makes a quiet respite for you to get to know each other in a relaxing environment without the hustle and bustle of the city. While you're at it, check out the spiral underground crossing at Fort Canning Park, which makes a great backdrop for your next photo couple.

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  • Things to do
  • Changi 

Take a romantic stroll under a blanket of stars down the boardwalk at the western end of Changi Point. Start at Changi Creek in the east before traversing the 2.2-kilometre stretch which looks out to neighbouring Johor. At sundown, the path is illuminated with pretty lights. In the day, you can catch bumboats taking day-trippers out to Pulau Ubin, and some wildlife as you pass by Changi Beach. It also makes a great vantage point of the stunning sunset. What could be more romantic than gazing into each other's eyes with the crashing yet calming waves in the background and the sea breeze in your hair?

  • Things to do
  • Bukit Merah

Make your way up Mount Faber for a bird's eye view of Singapore at the peak of Faber Point. Delight in the breathtaking panoramic view which stretches to the southern islands – you might even catch a glimpse of Batam. While you're at it, snap a cheeky selfie with the cutie – the three-metre-tall Merlion included – before visiting Poland’s Bells of Happiness. These commemorative bells were gifted by Poland to Singapore as a symbol of diplomatic relations between both countries, and now, it is widely believed that those who ring them can enjoy everlasting bliss and joy.

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  • Things to do
  • Marina Bay

With a 360-degree view of the bay area – and the park being open 24 hours daily – you and your date have the opportunity to arrive as early as you want to catch the mystifying sun rising and setting over the city skyline later. Whether you set up a picnic mat, or simply taking a break on the benches, you are guaranteed a spectacular view of the open sky peppered with a kite or two – the perfect backdrop for that sneaky smooch.

  • Property
  • Changi 

This majestic dome is home to the tallest indoor waterfall which stands at 40-metres-tall, and you can admire it in all its magnificent glory for free. Take a seat at any one of its benches for the hourly light and sound show at the HSBC Rain Vortex that runs from 7.30pm to midnight. For a fee, there are over 280 dining options with some open till late – think dining for two at ungodly hours. Alternatively, head up to the Canopy Park for a romantic walk and an aerial view of Jewel.

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  • Art
  • Rochor

Scooch on down to the back alleys of Muscat Street for a rad hidden gem, an outdoor art gallery. Two parallel walls burst with a kaleidoscope of colour thanks to over 30 Instagram-worthy works by artists from the region and beyond. Admire the pop culture-dominated creation by multi-disciplinary artist PrettyFreakyFantasy or take a snap of a bold, terrestrial piece by graphic designer Liyana Farzana before exiting to Baghdad Street. The eye-catching designs also make ace backdrops for that much-needed couple photo, and with natural light, Gelam Gallery is a win-win, really.

  • Art
  • Kent Ridge

If you and your partner are a pair of art lovers, stop by Gillman Barracks for a fresh rotation of modern visuals and after-dark art events. The former colonial army base – originally built for the British Army – is now home to 11 art galleries. Go through the ticket-less doors of Chan + Hori Contemporary, Fost Gallery, Mizuma Gallery, among others, and contemplate over captivating displays. Need a break? Cooldown at The Naked Finn.

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  • Things to do
  • Jurong East

Surround yourself with the flora and fauna of this national – and natural – treasure in the west. The gardens include Lakeside Garden, Chinese and Japanese Gardens and Garden Promenade – previously known as Jurong Lake Gardens West, Jurong Lake Gardens Central and Garden Promenade respectively. Take a walk on the bridge by the waters, chill out in hammocks overlooking the pagodas, or unleash your inner kid at the obstacle course and playground.

  • Things to do
  • Marina Bay

Nothing like fresh air and picturesque views. Stop and smell the roses as you walk through the majestic, gargantuan gardens surrounded by exotic foliage. Skip the pricey entry to the Cloud Forest and Flower Dome – the outdoor Bay East Garden, Sun Pavillion, Heritage Gardens, World of Plants, as well as the Dragonfly and Kingfisher Lakes are just as good. Take it from us, it's even more romantic at sunset when the Garden Rhapsody light show comes on from 7pm.

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  • Things to do
  • Kent Ridge

Not your usual date venue, this free weird and wonderful park opens its gate to multicoloured statues and tableaux that depict scenes from Chinese history and mythology. Don't miss out on the Ten Courts of Hell (responsible for childhood nightmares for generations of Singaporeans) where small-scale tableaux show human sinners being punished in a variety of hideous and bloodthirsty ways – in extremely gory and graphic detail. This rather morbid option can be fun for the skeptics, but definitely not one for the faint-hearted.

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  • Attractions
  • Beaches
  • Central

Your bae is the only Bae-watch (y'know like Baywatch) you'll ever need at Palawan Beach. Located between Sentosa’s Siloso Beach and Tanjong Beach, this stretch of calm water and fine grain sand is considered the most romantic of the three. Plus, with swaying palm trees, cool breeze, tranquil waters, and a tower for a bird’s eye view of Sentosa, all while having a cocktail in hand and toes in the sand, no pair of beach bums can resist. Be sure to make a booking before heading down in your best beachwear.

Pretend to be cultured at a museum

There's more than meets the eye when it comes to museums here. Most of them, including the National Gallery Singapore, the National Museum Singapore and the Singapore Art Museum, are free for citizens and permanent residents, so gawk at its architecture and head in for a cultural fix. Feed both your curious minds with a spectrum of genres, spanning from state-of-the-art science, vintage memorabilia, cultural artifacts and historic treasures with interesting narratives. 

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Explore the city together with trails
Photograph: Ahmad Iskandar Photography

Explore the city together with trails

What better way to get to know the city than on-foot with your right-wing man or woman? Strap on some sturdy walking shoes and uncover Singapore's rich heritage and stories via these heritage trails. Go on an art trail and peep at some colourful murals, street art and sculptures that are spotted around the city. Explore the great outdoors with these nature trails – don't forget to slap on some sunscreen and grab a bottle of water!

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  • Things to do
  • Jurong East

This venue is temporarily closed.

If your beau leaves you starry-eyed, take it up a notch at Science Centre Singapore's The Observatory. Look past the artificial illumination of the city and to the stars light-years away with its 40-centimetre mega-telescope. Because this observatory is one of the few in the world located so close to the equator, it offers stargazers views of both the northern and southern hemispheres. Don't forget to make a wish when you spot a shooting star.

Love is in the air

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