6 things to do indoors in Singapore

From Singapore Slings in Raffles Hotel to upmarket shopping and delicious hawker food in a Victorian market, here are six great indoor activities in Singapore if you need a break from the famously wet and hot weather
ION Orchard mall, Singapore
ION Orchard mall, Singapore

ION Orchard mall, Singapore. Photo: DoublePHOTO studio / Shutterstock

Singapore is notoriously hot and humid, with two monsoon seasons and the risk of thunderstorms throughout the year. And even when the weather is sunny, you may want a cool retreat from the average daily temperature of 31ºC (88ºF). For those moments, try one of the below suggestions for Singapore indoor fun on for size

1. Sip a Singapore Sling in Raffles Hotel

Nearly all visitors to Singapore end up at the Raffles at one point or another, usually to try the world-famous Singapore Sling in the Long Bar (invented here in 1915). Enter via its cast-iron porticoed entrance on Beach Road – the hotel originally faced the beach before it was reclaimed – which leads into the lobby with marbled floors embellished with plush Persian carpets. Opened in 1887 by the Sarkies Brothers, this ‘Grand Old Lady of the East’ has seen its fair share of kings and queens, presidents and prime ministers, movie actors and giants of literature, as well as ordinary people attracted to this icon of tropical elegance and style. Stay at the Raffles and sip gin cocktails until you on Insight Guides' Indulgent Singapore holiday.

The Raffles Hotel. Photo: Iryna Rysko/Shutterstock The Raffles Hotel is world-famous for creating the Singapore Sling cocktail. Photo: Iryna Rysko / Shutterstock

2. Keep the kids entertained at the Singapore Science Centre

Inquisitive minds will find the 1,000 interactive exhibits in the Science Centre’s 14 galleries a thorough joy. Highlights include the Genome Exhibit, where DNA structures and their functions are explored through three-dimensional exhibits. There are optical illusions in the Mind’s Eye gallery, and kids will find the Kinetic Garden, with sculptures and water features, especially engaging. The adjacent Omni-Theatre presents several wide-screen Omnimax movies each day on a five-storey-high hemispheric screen. Add this educational activity to Insight Guides' Singapore Family Fun holiday, to keep the kids entertained. 

Making science experiments. Photo: CroMary/ShutterstockMaking science experiments. Photo: CroMary / Shutterstock

3. Discover the history of the region at the Asian Civilisations Museum

From prehistoric agricultural tools to fabric displays and bronze artefacts, the exhibits in the 11 galleries at the Asian Civilisation Museum reveal the cultural and historical diversity of West, South and Southeast Asia, as well as China. In the China Gallery, learn about the Middle Kingdom from the displays – the Chinese deities and fragile Dehua porcelain are the ­highlights, while the West Asia Gallery impresses with Qur’an-inspired calligraphic art. The South Asia galleries hold religious statuary and architectural motifs of the Indian subcontinent. Even visitors who are not history buffs will find the snazzy interactive zones and videos highly entertaining. 

 Asian Civilisations Museum. Photo: saiko3p/ShutterstockThe Asian Civilisations Museum is full-to-bursting with interesting and intricate artefacts. Photo: saiko3p / Shutterstock

4. Go shopping at ION Orchard

Shopping is a true Singaporean pastime. One of Singapore’s glitziest malls, ION Orchard is laid out like the Borobudur of shopping with mass labels and eateries built four floors underground, while the bigger designer names are spread across four floors up from the street level. Add time for a shopping spree to your adventure with Insight Guides on our Uniquely Singapore holiday

ION Orchard mall, Singapore. Photo: Korkusung/ShutterstockION Orchard Shopping mall is a shopaholic's paradise. Photo: Korkusung / Shutterstock

5. Feast at Lau Pa Sat Festival Market

There are few places in the world where life revolves around food like it does in Singapore, so make sure you sample as many of the culinary delights as you can (note ALL of our street food recommendations here), startign with Lau Pa Sat Festival Market. This Victorian octagonal-shaped structure, whose Hokkien name translates into ‘old market’, was built in Glasgow and shipped in 1894 to Singapore and reassembled on the waterfront. Formerly a fresh-produce market, it now has some 60 food stalls selling a variety of hawker fare. It underwent a S$4 million makeover in 1996. 

Lau Pa Sat Festival Market. Photo: DoublePHOTO studio/ShutterstockMake sure you arrive at Lau Pa Sat Festival Market with an appetite. Photo: DoublePHOTO Studio / Shutterstock

6. Indoor skydiving

There are plenty of other fun activities to help you beat the heat, and get your adrenaline pumping. According to the experts over at PassportChop, a travel blog devoted to Singapore experiences, indoor skydiving at iFly at Sentosa Singapore is an action-packed adventure (and sure to please the travelling thrill-seeker). If that's a little too hard core for your tastes, PassportChop says to check out AMPED Trampoline Park or LaserOPS indoor laser tag.

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Looking for more information? 

Learn it for yourself: how to cook Singapore style

How to bag a bargain: a complete shopping guide to Singapore

Alternative activities: Top 9 things to do in Singapore