Have you ever wondered what's in store for you in the central region of Singapore besides predictable options like shopping and dining?

Of course, the vast number of skyscrapers in the highly commercialised Central Business District is off-limits to those of us who would like to explore the area.

The central region of Singapore is charming, really. There are so many places where we could go but we probably never bothered to look them up, at all. We might even have taken their existence for granted.

GET.com lets you in on the best 10 free places to visit in central Singapore!

*Note: Admission to the various museums is free for all Singaporeans & PRs.

1. ION Art Gallery

Image source: ionorchard.com

Everyone is familiar with ION Orchard. Is that too bold a statement to make? Well, I don't think so.

You may know by heart how many steps it takes you to reach the storefront of Zara from the Orchard MRT gantry area, but you may not necessarily know that an art gallery actually exists right in the heart of a shopping mall.

The ION Art Gallery is a dedicated visual arts space that exhibits contemporary works from both international and local designers and artists. The ION Art Gallery is located on the 4th level of ION Orchard.

Address:
Ion Orchard
2 Orchard Turn
Singapore 238801

Mall opening hours:
10:00am-10:00pm daily

2. ION Sky

Image source: ionorchard.com

Extending from the point above, ION Orchard has another surprise for its visitors. This time around, head to the 55th level via the lift at ION Art Gallery.

A new experience awaits you 218 metres above ground at ION Sky. It is an observatory complete with state-of-the-art telescopes where you get to surround yourself with 360 degree views of the beautiful cityscape.

Surprise your date the next time you're here with this hidden gem in the middle of town. Why, you're welcome!

Address:
Ion Orchard
2 Orchard Turn
Singapore 238801

Ion Sky opening hours:
3:00pm-6:00pm daily
Last entry is at 5:30pm

3. The Substation's Monthly Free Indie Movie Screening

Image source: backstagebusiness.wordpress.com

Here's an appealing option for those who love movies but unfortunately can't watch them in the cinema all the time due to rising costs and lack of leisure time.

The Substation screens a short film on the first Monday of every month under their initiative, First Take. First Take showcases short films by up-and-coming Singapore filmmakers and gives them the support and space that these emerging artists need.

You can find more information here.

Address:
The Substation Theatre
45 Armenian Street

Singapore 179936

4. Explore Central Singapore On Foot With Indie Singapore

Image source: chinatown.sg

Nobody's going to judge you for being a tourist in your own country. Who knows what you'll discover each day? It's always good to learn, so don't feel sheepish!

These guided walks take place every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, in case you're wondering. Tuesday's tour will take you through Chinatown, Wednesday's tour will take place in the Kampong Glam and Bugis precinct, while Thursday's tour will walk you along the Singapore river and civic district.

Note that you are advised to book a slot in advance as slots are limited! You may find more information on their website.

Also, those who are interested in learning more about Singapore's roots but are free only on weekends can check out Singapore Footprints. They provide free guided walks as well!

5. National Gallery Of Singapore

Image source: nationalgallery.sg

This is one exciting museum that I'd love to visit!

Just a quick heads up, the National Gallery of Singapore will oversee the world's largest public collection of Southeast Asian and Singaporean art, consisting of over a whopping 8,000 artworks.

It will be Singapore's largest visual arts venue and museum when it officially opens in November.

The National Gallery of Singapore seeks to encourage a better understanding and appreciation of art and culture.

It achieves this through a myriad of media that focuses on Singapore's culture and heritage and its relationship with other Southeast Asian cultures, Asia, and the world.

What's the best part? Admission is absolutely free of charge for Singaporeans/PRs for the gallery's permanent exhibitions!

Address:
1 Saint Andrew's Road
Singapore 178957

Opening hours:
Sunday-Thursday & public holidays: 10:00am-7:00pm
Friday-Saturday & eve of public holidays: 10:00am-10:00pm

6. National Museum Of Singapore

Image source: intertour.vn

The National Museum of Singapore is a cultural and architectural landmark that is custodian of 10 national treasures. It helms the title of Singapore's oldest museum with a history dating back to its inception in 1849.

Even though it has clearly been around for a long time, visitors can rest assured that history and culture are presented in an array of cutting-edge ways that will redefine the traditional (read: boring) museum experience.

A new exhibition called 'We Built A Nation' showcases 115 artefacts from founding leaders including Mr Lee Kuan Yew, Dr Goh Keng Swee, Mr Othman Wok, Mr Hon Sui Sen and Mr Lim Kim San. About half of these artefacts on display are from the late Mr Lee's estate.

You can view the dining table around which the founding leaders once gathered; a wooden writing table; language books Mr Lee studied; and two tingkat tiffin carriers used by the Lees.

If you must know, the museum also frequently hosts festivals and events all year round, in addition to its exhibitions.

An example of such is the Singapore Night Festival, the iconic alternative extravaganza of arts, culture and revelry.

Address:
93 Stamford Road
Singapore 178897

Opening hours:
10:00am-6:00pm daily

7. Singapore Philatelic Museum

Image source: johnnylowis2.blogspot.sg

A trip to the Singapore Philatelic Museum is guaranteed to satisfy your interest in Singapore's postal history and its stamps.

It is through-and-through a unique museum unlike any other as it seeks to promote appreciation of Singapore's progress, history and heritage through philately.

On top of the permanent galleries, the themed galleries offer a whole host of varying exhibitions throughout the year that are exceedingly unique. The museum's stamp shop is especially popular with stamp collectors!

Address:
23-B Coleman Street
Singapore 179807

Opening hours:
Monday: 1:00pm-6:30pm
Tuesday-Sunday: 9:30am-6:30pm

8. Asian Civilisations Museum

Image source: commons.wikimedia.org

We all know that Singapore is a vibrant cultural melting pot of Asia with its mix of races and cultures, hence it is only natural that this unique, diverse heritage of ours is being showcased.

Housed in a historical building with a sprawling 14,000 square metre space at the mouth of the Singapore River sits the Asian Civilisations Museum. It takes you on a grand exploration of Asian civilisations through its permanent collections.

Unique to the Asian Civilisations Museum are the 11 thematic galleries that display some 1,300 artefacts from China, Southeast Asia, South Asia and West Asia.

The new 3-storey Kwek Hong Png Wing will showcase artefacts and objects that belonged to Chinese scholars. It will also be dedicated to contemporary art commissions.

Here's an extra nugget of information for those curious souls - the Asian Civilisations Museum is one of the pioneering museums in the region to specialise in Pan-Asian civilisations and cultures!

Address:
1 Empress Place
Singapore 179555

Opening hours:
Monday-Thursday, Saturday-Sunday: 10:00am-7:00pm
Friday: 10:00am-9:00pm

9. Singapore Art Museum

Image source: eddy2099.com

There is plenty at the Singapore Art Museum for art lovers to check out. You'll find everything and anything from sculptures, photography and paintings to multimedia installations.

If those aren't enticing enough, you'll be happy to know that the Singapore Art Museum hosts exciting new exhibitions every few months. There you go, the perfect excuse to visit time and again!

Special museum events like workshops, performances and film screenings are often held to complement the collections amassed in the museum, so you may want to keep an eye on those events via their official website.

The Singapore Art Museum is easily accessed via MRT; it is next to Bras Basah station, and within walking distance of both Dhoby Ghaut and Bugis stations.

Address:
71 Bras Basah Rd
Singapore 189555

Opening hours:
Monday-Thursday, Saturday-Sunday: 10:00am-7:00pm
Friday: 10:00am-9:00pm

10. Singapore Botanic Gardens

Image source: stylexstyle.com

The Singapore Botanic Gardens is an excellent place to unwind and escape from stressful urban life. Our very own tropical garden is 156 years old and is honoured as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The amazing selection of botanical and horticultural attractions is precisely why the Singapore Botanic Gardens remain one of Singapore's most enduring attractions.

Here you can explore rare species of flora and fauna, admire graceful swans or if you're lucky, catch free concerts held by the Singapore Symphony Orchestra!

Address:
1 Cluny Rd
Singapore 259569

Opening hours:
5:00am-12:00am daily

Looking for more free places to visit in Singapore? We've done the research for you!

If you'd like to go north, check out the top 10 fun places to visit in northern Singapore. If you'd prefer to go south, discover 10 fun places to visit in southern Singapore.

East Singapore has a lot to offer, and we've found the best places to visit all around the island. Here are 10 fun places to visit in eastern Singapore. If you think the west has nothing going for it, think again! Here is our guide of 10 fun places to visit in western Singapore.