The best things to do in Singapore this July

From blockbuster exhibitions and beer festivals to refined new restaurants, here are the best things to do in the Lion City this month

Words by Joseph Koh
Last updated: July 3, 2024
Sky walk at the Gardens by the Bay in SIngapore
Gardens by the Bay. | Photo by Carles Rabada

While there’s no official “summer season” in Singapore (it’s always sunny here), the city’s host of events, exhibitions, concerts and new openings tell a different story. From a promising new creative enclave to Asia’s largest beer festival, we’ve curated the best things to do in Singapore this month to evoke that breezy summer feeling. We’ve included our favourite indoor activities in the mix, too, as temperatures can soar in July (and let’s not forget those tropical downpours).

Whether you’re looking to turn it up or slow things down, here are the ultimate things to do in Singapore this July.

Sky walk at the Gardens by the Bay in SIngapore
Gardens by the Bay. | Photo by Carles Rabada

Seasonal things to do in Singapore

Borealis at Gardens by the Bay

When: Mondays and weekends
Location: 18 Marina Gardens Drive, Singapore 018953
Price: Free

Step aside Garden Rhapsody, there’s a new light and sound show at the futuristic Gardens by the Bay. Borealis is an immersive installation by Switzerland-based artist Dan Archer that combines beams and particles to recreate the ethereal quality of the Northern Lights. Come 12 July, the Flower Dome at Gardens by the Bay will also play host to Impressions of Monet, a multi-sensory exhibition centred on French Impressionist painter Claude Monet’s love for gardens. Start your afternoon wandering through the blooming glasshouse, grab a bite at TungLok Seafood or Shake Shack before rounding out your day with Borealis.

Green pizza oven at L'antica Pizzeria Da Michele in Singapore
L'antica Pizzeria Da Michele, Telok Ayer. | Photo by Marcello Mazzotta

Food and drink happenings in Singapore

L’antica Pizzeria Da Michele, Telok Ayer

Location: 8 Club Street, #01-08, Singapore 069472
Price: Small plates from 6 SGD; large plates from 22 SGD

Singapore’s pizza scene has puffed up in the past few years and 154-year-old L’antica Pizzada Michele’s first Southeast Asian outpost continues to turn up the heat. Originally from Naples, this new restaurant is currently one of the hottest tables in town thanks to its centuries-old Neapolitan pizza recipe made from imported Italian ingredients. The most popular dish is pizza ruotadi carro (wagon wheel pizza) – an extra thin and delicate dough that’s so big, it drapes over the plate.

Corn dish at Laut restaurant in Singapore
A Southeast Asian dish at Laut

Laut, Downtown

Location: 190 Middle Road, #03-05 Singapore 188979
Price: Small plates from 11 SGD; sharing plates from 27 SGD

After its opening was cut short by the pandemic, bar Laut has finally returned with a new space and concept. Its menu explores Southeast Asian flavours through the use of native fruits and plants, such as belimbing (cucumber tree), jambu (rose apple) and kampot pepper. Apart from incorporating an array of Asian spirits, you can expect reinvented classic cocktails here – its Old Fashioned contains coconut water and molasses and the Negroni melds ginger flower gin with mulberry vermouth.

A low-lit interior shot of Tamba in Duxton Hill
Interiors at Tamba

Tamba, Duxton Hill

Location: 101 Duxton Road, Singapore 089964
Price: Cocktails from 30 SGD

African restaurants are still a rarity in Singapore, but owner Kurt Wagner is on a mission to change that. Set in a two-storey conserved shophouse, his new restaurant Tamba is a sumptuous ode to West Africa with dishes like jollof rice and sofrito, tapalapa bread and suya (a tenderloin skewer). The cocktails are equally enticing, with many of them incorporating lesser-known African spirits. Not to be outdone are the head-turning interiors, where earthy tones and tactile artworks will transport you into another world.

Olafur Eliasson exhbition at Singapore Art Museum
Olafur Eliasson: Your curious journey exhibition at Singapore Art Museum. | Photo by Joseph Nair, Memphis West Pictures

The best exhibitions in Singapore

Olafur Eliasson: Your curious journey at Singapore Art Museum

When: Until 22 September
Location: 39 Keppel Road, #01-02 Tanjong Pagar Distripark, Singapore 089065
Price: 20 SGD 

Icelandic-Danish artist Olafur Eliasson’s first major solo exhibition in Southeast Asia is now showing at Singapore Art Museum’s new home, Tanjong Pagar Distripark. Renowned for his immersive installations that play with perception and natural phenomena, Eliasson’s survey show explores key works across his three-decade-long practice, which often delves into the urgency of climate action. If you’ve got time, be sure to check out the different art galleries within the warehouse building – Gajah and Whitestone are our top picks.

A man observes an artwork at Cheong Soo Pieng: Layer by Layer exhibition at National Gallery Singapore
Cheong Soo Pieng: Layer by Layer at National Gallery Singapore

Cheong Soo Pieng: Layer by Layer at National Gallery Singapore

When: Until 29 September
Location: 1 St Andrew’s Road, Singapore 178957
Price: Free

When it comes to discovering Singaporean art, the work of Choo Soo Pieng (1917-1983) is a great place to start. He was one of the pioneers of Nanyang art, a modern art movement that took shape among migrant Chinese painters in Singapore during the 1940s to 1960s. In this Layer by Layer exhibition, 30 of Choo’s seminal paintings will be on display but with an extra dimension: the museum has employed material analysis techniques such as infrared photography and X-ray scanning to reveal the different types of liquid ink used, as well as whether artworks began with a preliminary sketch or not. While you’re at the National Gallery, don’t miss New Zealander contemporary artist Lisa Reihana’s large-scale kinetic installation on the roof garden, too.

People mediate beneath infrared light at Glow Festival in Singapore
Meditating at Glow Festival

Cultural happenings in Singapore

Glow Festival

When: 6 – 21 July
Location: Marina Bay Sands Event Plaza
Price: 20 SGD

The iconic boardwalk at Marina Bay will transform into a wellness playground for 16 days at Glow Festival, the flagship event of Singapore’s annual Wellness Festival. Headliners Akin Akman (co-founder of AARMY) and Dr Chelsea Jackson Roberts (a fitness coach and Peloton instructor), along with a multitude of local instructors and experts, will hold fitness sessions, informative talks, immersive experiences and more. If you’re looking to recharge and rejuvenate in Singapore, this festival needs to be on your list.

The striking geometric exterior of the Esplanade in Singapore
The exterior of the Esplanade. | Photo by Bady Abbas

Jazz in July 2024

When: 1 – 31 July
Location: 1 Esplanade Drive, Singapore 038981
Price: Event prices vary

World-class performing venue Esplanade celebrates a month of jazz in July, as three-time Grammy nominee Jazzmeia Horn, guitarist Pasquale Grasso and Brazilian multi-hyphenate Pedro Martins take the stage. That’s not all: a string of free jazz concerts will take place on the outdoor stage throughout the month – the perfect soundtrack for taking in Singapore’s sparkling skyline. Should jazz not be your jam, both Japanese alt-rock trio Hitsujibungaku and Norwegian singer-songwriter Girl in Red will make their Singapore debut at Esplanade this month.

People pulling pints at Beerfest in Singapore
Beerfest Asia. | Photo by Alex Wilson

Beerfest Asia

When: 11 – 14 July
Location: Kallang Outdoor Arena, 6 Stadium Boulevard, Singapore 397797
Price: 31 SGD

Slick cocktail bars may be flying the flag for Singapore’s drink scene of late, but its craft breweries are no slouch either, and Beerfest Asia is the place to be for a great introduction, where leading names like Alive Brewing, Lion Brewery and Ren Min bring out their best brews. This is also Asia’s biggest beer festival, which means you’ll be able to taste unconventional beers from across the world, which span a spectrum of taste profiles. Beyond bottomless drinks, international tribute acts and gourmet grub will set the tone for a swinging good time.

A brutalist building contrasted with verdant greenery in Singapore
A snapshot of the New Bahru. | Photo by Finbarr Fallon

New Bahru

Location: 46 Kim Yam Road, Singapore 239351

There’s nowhere better to take the pulse of Singapore’s creative scene than New Bahru, a former high school turned lifestyle destination. Local hospitality heavyweight The Lo & Behold Group has gathered the best independent entrepreneurs and talents around town in one hub, demonstrating that this tiny island nation has lots to offer when it comes to ambition and ingenuity. Notable names include Sri Lankan restaurant Kotuwa, womenswear label Rye, reformer gym Off Duty Pilates, modern makgeolli bar Odem and botanical studio Soilboy. It’s still early days as New Bahru just had its soft opening, so watch this space.

Continue your cultural tour of Singapore with our insider guide to the city’s greatest galleries and museums.