An NUS Bucket List

It’s that time of the year again. Blink and the semester break will have come to an end before you know it. So, before your schedule is packed with lectures and assignments and group projects, here is a bucket list of things to do around the NUS campus! Tick the items off with your friends or take it solo; either way, you would have become a pro NUS navigator by the end of it. Have a blast! 


1️⃣Picnic on campus: 

Pick a sunny day with some cloud cover, lay out your picnic mats, kick off your shoes, sit down and stretch your legs. Picnics are cliche for a reason – people keep having them because it just feels so good. For picnicking on campus, we recommend the UTown Green, the rooftop of Stephen Riady Centre, or AS8 Level 5. You can also check out our previous reel on sunset viewing spots around NUS for scenic picnic locations.  


You can order in some food or simply do a budget-friendly, fun potluck. 


2️⃣Go for a drive with friends: 

The NUS campus is extensive. There is the Kent Ridge campus (primary campus, housing most faculties), the Bukit Timah campus (BTC) (hosting the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy and the Faculty of Law), and the lesser-known Outram campus (home to Singapore’s only postgraduate medical school). Chances are that you haven’t visited all of the campuses and perhaps not even been to faculties outside your home faculty. So rent a car via car-sharing services like BlueSg or borrow a friend’s car, and drive around NUS. When you get to a building that you’ve always seen while on the shuttle bus but never been to previously, find a parking spot and get exploring! We promise you will come across some gems.  


Did you know: The NUS Bukit Timah campus is older than the Kent Ridge campus! The main buildings (seen above) were built as far back as the 1930s. Read more here 


3️⃣Pay a visit to the Botanic Gardens: 

Speaking of the Bukit Timah campus, we must mention that it is only a stone’s throw away from the Singapore Botanic Gardens. Simply hop onto the BTC shuttle bus and get off at the Oei Tiong Ham Building stop. From there, let Google Maps guide you to the Botanic Gardens. For our history and nature nerds, we recommend a visit down to the Centre for Ethnobotany and the Seed Bank


The orchid showcase is perhaps the biggest attraction in the Singapore Botanic Gardens.  


4️⃣Borrow books from CLB: 

Okay, we know what you’re thinking: read during the holidays, too? But hear us out first. From popular self-help books like Atomic Habits to classic novels like Sherlock Holmes, the Central Library (CLB) hosts an impressive collection of books. The reading list that’s getting bigger and gathering dust: now is the time to borrow those books from the Central Library. If you want to know how to borrow a book from CLB, watch our reel here! 


Head to Level 5 of the Central Library to get to the book collection. Alternatively, you can access digitised texts via the NUS Libraries Portal (Image credits: IFLA)


5️⃣Cycle at West Coast Park: 

Being located in the west side of Singapore, NUS really called dibs on the sunset views. A favourite sunset viewing spot is West Coast Park Promenade Lookout Jetty. You can get off at the Kent Ridge Bus Terminal bus stop and then walk for 20 minutes to get to this spot. We recommend that you rent bikes from the rental shop located inside West Coast Park itself and explore the entire stretch of this coastal park. It’s a perfect way to end your day off before going home. 


From end to end, the West Coast Park stretches for approximately 2.5 km, making it a perfect cycling destination for everyone.  


6️⃣Museum hopping:  

The NUS Kent Ridge campus is home to two museums: the NUS Museum and the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM). The NUS Museum, with nine galleries, focuses on culture and heritage in Asia. LKCNHM, on the other hand, is the first and only natural history museum in Singapore with over a million specimens from across Southeast Asia. Both museums offer free entry to NUS students so do check them out whilst you are still a student!  

💎Hidden gem alert: NUS Baba House is a Peranakan Chinese townhouse dating back to the 19th century. Located at 157 Neil Road, this property is managed by NUS Museum and regular tours are conducted for visitors. Free entry for NUS students and staff! 💎 


The Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum exhibits a large number of natural specimens collected from around Southeast Asia.  


7️⃣Go for a swim: 

NUS has some world-class sports facilities. If you are looking for a fun activity to do within campus, why not go for a swim in one of the swimming pools located on campus? Head to the UTown swimming pool located at the top of the Stephen Riady Centre or to the University Sports Centre. Make sure to come in proper swimming gear! 


The UTown swimming pool offers a great aerial view of Utown. (Image credits: NUS UCI) 


8️⃣Cover the Southern Ridges:  

Kent Ridge Park is part of a larger green space that extends for almost 10 km called the Southern Ridges. From the Kent Ridge MRT station, take exit B and then let Google Maps take you to Kent Ridge Park (the entrance is a little hidden). From Kent Ridge Park, you can take the Park Connector Networks and walk across Hort Park, Labrador Park, Telok Blangah Hill Park, and Mount Faber Park. Here is a guide written up by the National Parks Board to help you out! Before you head out, make sure to check the weather forecast and be prepared in the case of an unexpected shower.  


Kent Ridge Park, near the site of the Battle of Pasir Panjang during World War II, is historically significant for its role in the defence of Singapore. The picture above was taken during the Pasir Panjang Memorial Walk conducted annually in February to commemorate the fall of Singapore. 


9️⃣Plant trees with NUS Toddycats: 

Toddy cat is the common name for the common palm civet which is considered to be one of the last remaining carnivores in Singapore. The NUS Toddycats are a group of volunteers under LKCNHM that aims to involve youths in various conservation efforts. One of their regular activities is tree planting in nature parks and sometimes on NUS campus. You can follow their webpage here for upcoming tree planting sessions or follow their Eventbrite page for timely updates. Get your hands dirty and connect with nature! 


A tree planting session at Kranji Coastal Nature Park in February of 2022.  (Image credits: Airani S.) 


🔟Visit PitStop @ UTown 

This is a must-do if you are an NUS student. Head down to UTown and enjoy a relaxing evening at the Pitstop located above Starbucks. There are plenty of activities to choose from: board games, melty beads, karaoke, and so on. In this strictly no-study zone, there are even massage chairs and a designated napping area. We cover all the nitty-gritty in this article, give it a read! 


Pitstop @ UTown is also home to NUS Peer Student Supporters 


And that brings us to the end of our NUS Bucket List. If you’ve ticked off all the items on this list, congratulations! You’ve officially achieved NUS Explorer status.  

What items have we missed and which of these have you ticked off already? Leave us a response in the comments below!




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