The residential town of Novena gets its name from Novena Church which was owned by a Chinese businessman, Wee Kah Kiat. The church was later sold to Redemptorist priests in 1948. Although there are no bus routes within Novena, the city is easily accessible from Novena via buses, taxis or MRT. Bang in the center of Novena is the Novena Square Shopping Mall, directly above the MRT Station. Most of the places to stay in Novena are rather expensive because of how close it is to the city. Subsequently, most of them are either private housing or condominiums. There are several things to do in Novena. We’ve listed a few below.
Top 10 Things To Do In Novena
Novena is a rather busy locale. It is a unique fusion of the local shophouses and old Singaporean restaurants, and the western influence of chains like Starbucks, Harry’s Bar and Cold Storage. Here are some fun things to do in Novena you shouldn’t miss:
1. Springleaf Nature Park: Go For A Walk
This park is a delight for nature lovers who like to go for long walks. It is also a rather romantic setting so it’s an ideal place for you to spend some time with your partner out here. It is a host to several botanical specimens. It uses to be a part of Chan Chu Kang village when the piece of land near Seletar River was acquired by Chan Ah Lak for cultivating pepper and gambier. This nature park is known for its biodiversity and some of the plant specimens found her are Kopsia Singapurensis, Neesia Malayana, and Bhesa Paniculata.
Location: 1230 Upper Thomson Rd Singapore 787129 Upper Thomson Rd, Singapore 787129
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2. Church Of Saint Adolphus: Visit
The Church of Saint Adolphus, or popularly known as Novena Church is not a parish church. Currently, under the care of Redemptorists priest, this church is also called the Novena Church as it is famous for novena prayer devotion. It is a traditional style of praying in which the devotees say prayers for nine successive weeks or days, either publicly or privately. As a result, followers usually attend Saturday Novena services more than they do Sunday masses. This church is also significant as it is what gave the town its name. Therefore it is culturally significant and you must visit it to marvel at its beauty.
Location: 300 Thomson Rd, Singapore 307653
3. Clarke Quay: Explore The Pedestrian Mall
Pronounced as Clarke ‘Key’ and not ‘kueh’, it is one of the more popular places amongst the locals and is of historical significance. Its location is instrumental in positioning Singapore as the key port for the Malay states of Perak, Sungei Ujong and Selangor. It is named after the Governor of the Straits Settlements from 1824 to 1902, Sir Andrew Clarke. It was previously known simply as East and West Street in north Kampong Malacca. The pedestrian mall occupies a part of the road along the quay, which is also known as Clarke Quay.
Location: 3 River Valley Rd, Singapore 179024
4. Singapore Botanic Gardens: Take A Stroll
Created in 1859, the Singapore Botanical Garden has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, has been ranked Asia’s top park attraction since 2013, by TripAdvisor Traveller’s Choice Awards and has received Michelin’s three-star rating in 2008. I guess those reasons are good enough to encourage you to visit this extravagant site and take in the various plant specimens belonging to a wide array of families in the plant kingdom. The main attraction is the National Orchid Garden which has a collection of more than 1,000 species and 2,000 hybrids of orchids.
Location: 1 Cluny Rd, Singapore 259569
5. Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall: Step Back In Time
A two-story colonial style villa, it serves as a museum for commemorating the life and contributions of Sun Yat Sen - the founding father of China who visited Singapore nine times between 1900 and 1911. The villa has put up for display around 400 artifacts like old books, calligraphy works, sculptures, paintings and photographs in the five galleries spread throughout the five galleries. The artifacts also include bronze statues and murals estimated at 1.5 million dollars. The villa is decorated in the style of an old Peranakan house.
Location: 12 Tai Gin Rd, Singapore 327874
6. ION Orchard: Shop ‘Til You Drop
This shopping mall also comprises of a residential component called The Orchard Residences. The ION Sky, located on the 55th and 56th floors of this building, offers a panoramic view of the city with all its magnificent towers and buildings. So make sure to not skip those floors. The Media Façade, a multi-sensory canvas media wall, occupies the giant walls of ION Orchard. Located on the 4th floor of the building is an art and exhibition center called ION Art which was built with the purpose of promoting modern and contemporary art by emerging artists and designers.
Location: 2 Orchard Turn, Singapore 238801
7. MacRitchie Reservoir Park: Embrace The Wilderness
Built around Singapore’s oldest reservoir, The MacRitchie Reservoir Park is a gateway to Singapore’s nature reserves. It’s popular among locals who love to exercise and go for a stroll in the park. There are tones of activities to do out here; it has a hiking trail, kayaks, and canoes that you can rent to spend some time in the reservoir. Understandably, this park is popular among locals who wish to relax after a hectic day at work or spend some time with their loved ones on a canoe in the reservoir.
8. Sasanaransi Buddhist Temple: Meditate
It was built by a Burmese expatriate to serve the overseas Burmese Buddhist community and is, therefore, also known as the Burmese Buddhist Temple. It was previously located in Little India, off Serangoon Road, and was relocated to its current location in 1991. It is a multi-storied building, the interiors of which are embellished with paintings depicting events in Buddha’s life and on the third story is a standing gold image of Buddha. Surround by a halo of colorful lights, is a 3.3m tall Buddha statue built from a 10-ton block of marble.
Location: Located next to the Sun Yat-sen Villa near Toa Payoh New Town
9. Police Heritage Centre: Get A Glimpse Of The Evolution Of Police Force
The PHC logo is a feather quill to symbolize the connection between the present and the past in order to plan the future and maintain the legacy of the SPF. The PHC has put up for display exhibits that allow a peek into how the SPF was founded and their systems developed since the 1800s. It sheds light on the trust that exists between the public and the police as a result of the corrupt-free rule of lar and carrying out of justice.
Location: 28 Irrawaddy Rd, Singapore 329560
10. Haji Lane: Stop By
This lane is rather picturesque with its buildings’ walls being embellished with beautiful art. It’s ideal for you to take pictures with its walls as its backdrop for Instagram. Known as one of the narrowest streets in Singapore, it is riddled with a string of independent boutiques that sell a range of items from clothes and accessories to vintage cameras. Located in the Arab Quarter, you could walk down this lane and not even realize it. It is the best place to get your shopping done as its shops boast a wide variety of quirky collectibles that you can take back as souvenirs.
We hope this extensive list provides you with enough number of fun activities to do and create some unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime. Book a trip to Singapore and make sure to stop by here to indulge in all the exciting things to do in Novena that we’ve mentioned above. We promise that you’ll have the time of your life.
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