Singapore is a fascinating playground that caters to a whole host of interests. There are plenty of activities to delight travellers, from glitzy shopping centres to historical streets filled with old-world charm.

But, what if you are looking for a deeper travel connection? Skip the traditionally tourist-heavy top Singapore attractions. Let us show you the best places to visit in Singapore for an authentic local experience!

Have a Local Feast in a Hawker Centre

It is no secret that Singapore is a food paradise and one of the best places to visit for food lovers.

Singaporeans are obsessed with food and would go to great lengths in search of the best tasting dish. Local dishes are often a culmination of exciting flavours, influenced by various cultures from the Chinese, Malay, Indian and other early European settlers.

This rich heritage resulted in an intoxicating variety of famous Singapore dishes that will tantalise your taste buds and leave you craving for more.

one of the best things to do for food lovers is to visit a hawker centre

To taste some of the best Singapore foods, forget about fancy award-winning places or Michelin-starred restaurants. Head straight to the hawker centres to experience the authentic Singapore food culture!

What is a Hawker Centre?

Imagine a huge open-air communal dining room where a wonderful selection of food and drink stalls are lined up in neat rows. It is Singapore’s version of street food, only more organised and hygienic. Different groups of people come together to dine and mingle, regardless of ethnicity and religion, over a simple shared loved for good food.

Visiting a hawker centre has to be on your list of Singapore attractions, especially for tourists on a budget. Or really anyone who just loves to enjoy some great local food!

Head to the hawker centres to experience the unique Singapore food culture!

There is an exciting variety of food to be found in every hawker centre, inspired by the food culture of the early immigrants who settled in Singapore during its founding years.

Some must-eats include the famed Hainanese Chicken Rice, Hokkien Prawn Noodles, Nasi Lemak (coconut-infused rice), Satay (barbequed meat sticks), Roti Prata (Indian flatbread with curry dip), Cendol (coconut shaved ice) and more.

The atmopshere is boisterous and buzzing with energy. Inhale a heady aroma of spices wafting across different stalls and listen to multi-lingual chatter between diners. It can be slightly daunting for first-time visitors but the hawker centres are a facet of true Singapore food culture.

What’s even better? The food prices here are very affordable!

Check out the Hawker Fare: Little India Street Food Tour and try 8 of the best local Indian dishes in Singapore with an expert local tour guide!

Go Mural Hunting at Little India Singapore

Among the many iconic Singapore attractions, Little India has got to be one of the best-kept secrets of this little red dot.

Stepping foot into this vibrant Indian community is a thrilling sensory overload. Be surrounded by exotic spice stalls, colourful Hindu temples, a range of traditional and eclectic restaurants, and the throngs of people along the streets. It is a popular destination for both tourists and locals alike!

little india has plenty of art murals drawn by local and international artists

There is so much to see and do in Little India; shop for souvenirs at Mustafa, Singapore’s biggest 24-hour shopping mall, challenge your taste buds with some delicious Indian street food and check out the amazing street art located at surprising alleys!

Concealed between small streets and overshadowed by the many colourful shophouses are pops of gorgeous art murals hand-drawn by local and international artists. Unlike graffiti art found in other countries, the wall art in Singapore are commissioned art pieces that tell stories of culture and history.

Around the corner of Chander Road, one can find a huge artwork of jasmine flowers titled ‘Jasmine of the City’. This is a tribute to the migrant workers of Singapore and symbolises their longing for their families back home.

Over at Clive Street, a sprawling mural of a traditional Indian dancer captures and adds to the vibrancy of Little India. This beautiful piece, titled ‘Alive’, is created by Sufian Hamri, one of the pioneers of the local street art scene.

And, there are many more hidden art gems just waiting to be discovered.

Little India has plenty of art and cultural experiences, and is definitely one of the top things to do in Singapore

Whether exploring during the day or at night when the lights come on, Little India has plenty to offer in terms of art and cultural experiences. It is definitely one of the top things to do in Singapore!

If you want to explore Singapore’s cultural quarters, go on a fascinating City Highlights: Chinatown, Little India, Kampong Gelam walking tour!

Check Out a Local Market

Food is the heart and soul of every country, and it is the best way to get to know a new culture. Trying local food is a must but if you really want to delve deep and go beyond the mainstream Singapore tourist attractions, take an adventurous visit to the local markets!

Unlike the modern supermarkets where everything is packed in plastic, a local market in Singapore is a slightly chaotic but incredible experience. Rows of vendors sell fresh meat, a variety of seafood, vegetables and fruits of all kinds, and even preserved produce.

a vegetable and fruit seller in the local market makes for an authentic experience

The locals call them wet markets for a reason, as the floor is always wet from the melting of ice used to keep seafood fresh and by stall holders who routinely clean their stalls by spraying them with water.

It is a beautiful medley of smells, colours and sounds.

There are many of these markets found throughout the island, mostly in local neighbourhoods. Intrepid travellers who want to experience this slice of local culture can check out the Tekka Centre wet market and Tiong Bahru wet market.

At these bustling markets, you can get the freshest produce and maybe learn a tip or two on how to bargain like the locals do. It is also a haven for photography enthusiasts looking to capture the daily life of real Singaporeans.

experience a slice of local culture at the local markets in singapore

Most of the wet markets open at 6am and close around noon, so the best time to explore Singapore’s wet markets is in the early morning. Put on your non-slip shoes, roll up your trousers and immerse in this authentic Singapore experience.

For food-lovers who want a more meaningful local experience, try the Market to Table Culinary Tour Experience that includes an eye-opening local market tour and a hands-on cooking class by a local chef-cum-tour-guide!

Now that you are better informed about the best things to do in Singapore for an authentic experience, which would you add onto your travel itinerary?