Singapore isn't just a concrete jungle, there are pockets of green to seek out the wild, urban walking trails and sporty activities to try. In a nutshell, there are plenty of reasons to go outside in this city so get off the couch, put the Netflix binge sesh on hold and strap on a good pair of shoes and embark on one of these land-based adventures. The great outdoors isn't so bad, you know.
The best way to discover all the greenery in Singapore is by hiking.Put on your best trekking shoes and go by foot to explore these hidden (and not so hidden) trails around the island. An evergreen favourite is MacRitchie Reservoir TreeTop Walk, which takes you through a mature forest and concludes with a 250m suspension bridge perched 25m above ground. Stake your claim at the highest point of Singapore at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, home to the city’s tallest hill, standing at a modest 163.63m.
Thanks to our year-round sunny climate and lush tropical terrain, there’s a small but growing interest in mountain biking. If you’re new to the sport, hit up Mandai Track 15 – its smooth gradient, both upwards and downwards, makes this 12km route one of the easiest trails around. Continue on the track and you’ll hit Chestnut Nature Park where you can show off your bike tricks on Singapore’s first pump track and four circuit zones that range from easy to intermediate. But if you just want to go on a leisurely ride by the water, there's plenty of scenic trails to follow as well.
We've already seen the slick CBD sky scrapers, iconic landmarks in the city and the pretty pastel-hued shophouses so it's time to get to know Singapore and all its heritage, and the stories she has to offer. There's really plenty of history out there. You can choose to learn all about it sitting still from the history books and you can also get out there, strap on some sturdy walking shoes and live, breathe and learn about Singapore's heritage and past from walking trails around Little India, Chinatown and Fort Canning Park.
There's a time for trekking and conquering nature trails but there's also a time for sitting pretty and having a picnic in the park. Forget fighting for a table in a hip cafe in the city – when the weather's looking fine, it's time to pack some bites and look for a spot in one of Singapore's prettier parks. We don't know about you but the Botanic Gardens is still our favourite picnic spot in town.
There's no need to be busting out the moves in the gym or HIIT studio all the time. Sometimes a run in the outdoors can do wonders for the mind. After all, it’s a relatively fuss-free way to stay fit, without the need for expensive gym memberships. If you’re going to keep up a running routine, you’re going to need somewhere to do it. From seaside trails like East Coast Park and Labrador Park to keeping it in the neighbourhood at Punggol Park and Jurong Lake Park.
Feeling brave? Pick up a skateboard and bust your skills at the skate parks around town. Years ago it wouldn't even be legal to be skateboarding in Singapore. Thankfully, these days skating on the streets is fine (if you're not a nuisance) and there are also designated spaces for nailing tricks or practicing if you are starting out in the sport yourself.
Farms? What farms? Even though less than one percent of our land area is dedicated to farming activities, there’s an impressive variety of farms in Singapore. Whether you are looking for a family-friendly activity on the weekend or a getaway from the hustle and bustle, pick any of these for a breath of fresh air.
There are many green nooks around the island if you look close enough. Explore the more obscure of these parks in Singapore – you'll be surprised at how many there are. There are some right in the CBD, and some you might need to travel a little more to get to but with pockets of green everywhere, there’s always a reminder to take a breather.
More things to do
First things first, the solitary cow on Coney Island is no longer there but there's still lots of reasons to visit the island. Opened to public, the island is now very easily accessible from Punggol Central – no passports and ferries involved. If you want to feel away from Singapore without leaving the country, Coney Island is a great place to escape to. This ecologically sustainable park also uses timber from fallen trees for all the signage in the park, benches and the boardwalk over the mangrove swamp. Pack your bags, it's time to make the trip to the North-East of Singapore. RECOMMENDED: The best hiking trails in Singapore and the ultimate guide to Singapore's offshore islands
Metal cranes are a dime a dozen in Singapore, but it’s always good to seek out some of their feathery counterparts out in the wild – and get a few deep breaths of fresh air while you’re at it. MacRitchie Reservoir and Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve are (literally) evergreen favourites, and we can add one more to the green club – Kranji Marshes, which, at a sprawling 57 hectares, is our island’s largest freshwater farmland. It was cultivated since the ’70s, when the Kranji reservoir was dammed, forming a wild diversity of terrains such as marshland, grassland and secondary forests. We wade through the green and suss out five unique things you can do in this slice of paradise.
Singapore's known for the prettier sights like Marina Bay Sands, the Botanic Gardens and pastel-hued shophouses but switch it up for the lesser known, more offbeat, quirkier places like Haw Par Villa. This little theme park of horrors is both terrifying and impressive at the same time. Statues and dioramas are painted in bright, gaudy colours making it look more menacing than it should. Still, it's fun to explore this sloping park in the West. We pick some of the best things to see at the place. RECOMMENDED: The best secret and hidden parks in Singapore and the ultimate guide to Singapore's offshore islands