When people travel to Singapore, beaches aren’t usually the first thing that come to mind. With so many other choices nearby like the many beach resorts in Bintan or Batam or the close beaches of Southeast Asia like Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines or Thailand, people often forget that there are some really nice beaches, and even islands, in Singapore.
So if you’re in the Red Dot and can’t stand the heat and humidity, you should definitely take a visit to the ocean and check out some of the beaches in Singapore. And don’t forget to save my article on 50 things to do in Singapore here. Can’t wait one more minute to jump in the sea? Then get busy reading our list of the best beaches in Singapore.
- Beaches on Sentosa Island – Siloso, Palawan and Tanjong Beach
- Changi Beach
- Punggol Beach
- Singapore’s Southern Islands (St John’s, Kusu, Sisters’)
- Pulau Ubin
- The beach on East Coast Park
- Pasir Ris Beach
Beaches on Sentosa Island – Siloso, Palawan and Tanjong Beach
Sentosa is a man-made island in the south of the city-state where you will find some of the highest priced properties, some of the most luxurious resorts in Singapore like the W Singapore on Sentosa Cove, Universal Studios, Tanjong Golf Course, Adventure Cove Water Park and of course, several of the better known Singapore beaches.
There are three distinct beaches on Sentosa Island for you to laze about on that cater for different types of beach goers – Siloso Beach, Palawan Beach and Tanjong Beach.
Those interested in water sports and activities in the sand should head to Siloso Beach. It’s the most active beach on Sentosa and it is lined with beach clubs and restaurants from where you can drink and eat right on the sand only a few meters from the water. Check out Coastes, Mambo Beach Club and Bikini Bar all of which are open day and night.
On Siloso Beach not only can you play volleyball and frisbee, there are other activities to keep your thrill levels high like bungee jumping at AJ Hackett, flowriding at Wave House Sentosa, zip-lining at Mega Adventure Park, indoor skydiving at iFly Singapore and water-jetpacking at Ola Beach Club.
Taking its name from the famous Philippine island, Palawan Beach is geared towards families and it is quieter and longer than Siloso Beach. Palawan Beach is great for children because there are a lot of activities that have been thought out to keep them entertained and busy. You can even take a selfie on the suspension bridge that leads to the southernmost point in continental Asia.
For some family fun on Palawan Beach head to the Pirate Ship or Kidzania. Pose with pretty parrots at Animal & Bird Encounters, then grab a bite to eat at beach club, bar and restaurant FOC, one of our favourite Spanish restaurants in Singapore. There is also Bora Bora Beach Bar and a food court for more casual bites.
The last beach on the Sentosa list is classy Tanjong Beach, on the outskirts of the golf course and millionaire mile Sentosa Cove.
This is a more refined beach option on Sentosa Island for beautiful people to show off their bikini-ready bodies while sipping cocktails to a live DJ. Tanjong Beach Club (TBC) is the place to be, especially on Sundays when the vibe becomes electric. There are also yoga sessions, movies under the stars and many impromptu volleyball games, stand-up paddle board meet-ups and other gatherings.
Before heading to Sentosa, check out some fascinating facts about Sentosa. Bear in mind that Sentosa is an artificial, man-made island in front of the second largest shipping port in the world, so you may come across pollution.
Where to stay on Sentosa Island: I recently stayed at W Singapore – Sentosa Cove and was disappointed by their service. It is a break from its usual hip brand and is more geared toward families than trendy couples, but families may think otherwise. You can read my full review here. I would much rather recommend the Sofitel, Le Meridien or Shangri-la Rasa. The Capella is by far the most luxury hotel option on Sentosa Island and I have stayed there twice and loved it every time. Here’s my review.
For families, your best bet is to stay at one of the hotels at Resorts World. Take your pick at:
Changi Beach today is a beautiful 28 hectare beach park that stretches out for 3.3km and is near the airport, as the name indicates. When your feet aren’t in the sand and you’re not frolicking in the calm waters, you can enjoy the 2km coastal walk that has six distinct parts: Creek Walk, Beach Walk, Sailing Point Walk, Cliff Walk, Kelong Walk and Sunset Walk.
Changi Beach maintains that kampong feeling of yesteryear and is a very popular local hangout, especially on weekends. You can camp overnight, have a barbeque, go fishing, hire a bicycle or even just come for a jog along the path. If you go to the east by the SAF Changi Ferry Terminal, you can watch the sunrise and stroll over to the west at Changi Point for sunset.
There are also some places to have fresh fish like Bistro@Changi, or the various food options at Changi Village like Changi Village Hawker Centre or Changi Village Market all within close proximity of each other.
Where to stay near Changi Beach: The closest luxury hotels near Changi airport are Capri by Fraser Changi City which is more business than luxury or the Crowne Plaza at Changi Airport. However, the beach is a short 20-30min to town where there are a host of luxury hotels. Check the best hotels in Singapore on Agoda | HotelsCombined | TripAdvisor.
When you enter Punggol Point Park you will be gasp at the beauty of the north from the viewing deck. There are elevated views of the ocean and you can peek into nearby Malaysia which is just a few meters away across the water.
One of the reasons to visit Punggol is the ocean breeze, where you can escape the otherwise muggy city centre. After taking a stroll along the Punggol Promenade, set up your picnic on the beach.
The beach is covered in soft white sand, but large rocks are scattered around so it may take you a while to find a place to lay your blanket. It is a beautiful spot though, so traversing the rocks is worth the hassle. It also makes for a beautiful Instagram moment.
Other activities at Punggol include a recreation centre, and a Children’s Playground with toilets. You can also access Coney Island from Punggol Park and make it a full day of exploration.
Where to stay near Punggol Beach: There aren’t that many hotels in this are as it is primarily residential and there aren’t any reasons for visitors to stay there. However, Punggol Beach is a short 20-30min to town where there are a host of luxury hotels.
Coney Island (Pulau Serangoon)
At the northern tip of Punggol lies Coney Island. This is more for nature lovers than beach bums but there are a few stretches of sand. The privately-owned 50 hectare park can be trekked on foot or explored by bike to witness the environmentally-rich area. If you’ve been to Haw Par Villa, you’ll know about the Haw Par brothers and founders of Tiger Balm. They also own Coney Island which was only opened to visitors recently and is one of the last uninhabited parts of Singapore.
As a result of isolation and lack of development, Coney Island is pretty wild and untouched, so it’s not really the place to go if you’re looking to show off your beach bod. There is no electricity or running water, or any stores to buy any food or drinks, so pack accordingly.
There are some beaches on Coney Island, aptly named Beach A, B, C and D, but they are small and may have sand flies, although the sand is fine and white. There is apparently a secret beach on the island that is isolated and better for tanning, but we have never found it! You can also try to find their old abandoned beach villa if it hasn’t already been completely demolished.
The best thing to do on Coney Island is to hire a bike and explore the nature. It is a large island to walk and there is only one toilet, so it’s best to hire a bike for easier access. There are also some eateries, with the most famous being Sembawang White Bee Hoon.
Coney Island is open from 7am to 7pm and can be reached on bus 84 from Punggol exchange.
Where to stay near Coney Island: There aren’t that many hotels in this are as it is primarily residential and nature conservation area and there aren’t any reasons for visitors to stay there. However, Coney Island is a short 20-30min to town where there are a host of luxury hotels on Agoda | HotelsCombined | TripAdvisor.
Singapore’s Southern Islands (St John’s, Kusu, Sisters’)
Not all the beaches in Singapore are on the main island. In fact, some of the most beautiful can be found in a cluster known as the Southern Islands, accessible only by ferry. Depending on which one of the three you choose to visit, you will need 20 to 40min on the ferry from Marina South Pier at a rate of S$18 to get there. Check the ferry schedule here. Or can also rent your own yacht and explore them independently.
The Southern Islands in Singapore are made up of three islands that include St John’s, Kusu and Seven Sisters Islands. While St John’s and Kusu have scheduled ferry services, you will need to hire a boat at the ferry terminal to get to Seven Sisters.
The beaches on St John’s Island in Singapore
St John’s Island is only 6.5km from the main island of Singapore and has two beaches. The first one is at the front, facing Singapore, and will be the one you see when you come off the ferry. But that is not the best the island has to offer.
The best beach on St John’s Island is the crescent-shaped, white sand Lazarus Beach. Although it is the nicest beach in Singapore, it does require some effort to get to as you will need to walk for about 15min from the ferry pier to find it. Once you get there, you might forget you are in Singapore.
Due to its beauty and isolation, Lazarus Beach is mostly frequented by day visitors from Keppel Bay and One15 Marina on their private yachts looking for a day away from the city.
St. John’s Island also have walking paths through the forest and various places where you can set up a picnic. You can also book one of the wooden cabins to spend the night through the Singapore Land Authority (SLA). There are no shops on St. John’s Island so make sure to bring all you need with you – and take your trash back too. Note: It seems that there is currently asbestos found on the island and some areas are closed until mid-2019 for cleaning. Please check with SLA before going.
Located roughly 5.6km from the main island of Singapore, Kusu Island, or “tortoise” in Chinese, is surrounded by sandy beaches. Although it is smaller than St John’s and lacks the sprawling white-sand beaches, it is still a marvelous place to spend the day in nature and enjoy some sandy bits.
Kusu Island has smaller beaches to relax on and a diverse marine life to explore. There are even guided walking tours of the reef. And if you’re lucky, you can spot a turtle or two while snorkeling.
There is a sweet story behind the name. As legend states, a giant tortoise turned itself into the island so that it could save two shipwrecked sailors, one Malay and one Chinese. The sailors came frequently to give thanks to the gigantic reptile. Two shrines have been built since, one Muslim and one Taoist, where pilgrims still come to give thanks. This is particularly the case in the eleventh month of the lunar calendar which is also known as the “Kusu” season.
The Taoist temple known as Da Bo Gong or Tua Pek Kong (Grand Uncle), was built by a wealthy businessman in 1923 and houses two main deities – Da Bo Gong and Guan Yin (Goddess of Mercy). The Kramat at the top of the 152 steps was built in ode to a pious man (Syed Abdul Rahman), his mother (Nenek Ghalib) and sister (Puteri Fatimah) who lived in the 19th century.
There are toilets on Kusu Island but no other facilities or stores to buy anything. The beach area is surrounded by grass and has picnic tables and chairs.
Sisters’ Islands is a group of islands that are more off the beaten path and perfect for the intrepid types. The most relevant islands in the group are the larger Big Sister’s Island (Pulau Subar Laut) or the smaller Little Sister’s Island (Pulau Subar Darat). The former faces the ocean while the latter faces the mainland, although only Big Sisters’ Island is open to the public as the rest is reserved for research and conservation.
Adventurers will love snorkeling and diving here in the warm blue seas, with a chance to set up camp for the night when they are done in the water. The corals are beautiful and the marine life abundant, where it isn’t difficult to spot giant clams, seahorse and octopus.
There is also a legend behind these islands. One version says that there were two beautiful sisters, Linah and Minah, who left their village after their mother passed to live with their uncle. One day, pirates arrived at the village and upon seeing Linah, the pirate chief expressed his desire to marry her. He captured her, separating the sisters, and sailed off to distant shores. Just then a storm broke out and Minah dove into the water to chase her sister. When she saw her sister drowning, Linah jumped in after her. When the storm subsided, the sisters were nowhere to be found, but the next day two islands appeared where they were last seen. Here is a trailer for a short film that was made about this legend.
Big Sisters’ Island can only be visited privately (there is no public ferry connection to get there), you are almost guaranteed to be alone there. Join one of the Singapore Park’s guided walks for a commentary visit and an easy ferry ride (the ferries are organised as part of the walk).
Where to stay near the South Islands: There is no accommodation on the islands except for the basic cabins on St. John’s. However, the pier from where the ferries depart is right by the CBD area so there are plenty of luxury hotels to choose from. For example, the Westin Hotel or the Marina Bay Sands are probably the closest, but you are unlikely to walk to the pier so any of the many hotels in the center will be perfect too. My favorite are the Six Senses Singapore, the Fort Canning Hotel and the historic Raffles Hotel.
While you can experience the old kampong feeling at Changi village, Pulau Ubin is actually the last real kampong (traditional village) in Singapore where there is no electricity in the households and the residents live using traditional, rustic methods. It is one of the forgotten sites of Singapore that should definitely be visited, even if you don’t go to the beach.
Located only 10mins from the main island and accessible by boat from Changi Point Ferry Terminal, it is a must visit as it is one of Singapore’s most iconic locations that captures how Singapore was in the 60s. The beaches are small and not really what you may think of when the word beach comes to mind. There is no sunbathing or long stretches of sand, but rather grassy sandy bits.
Mamam beach, where one of the two campsites are, is your best bet for a wild piece of isolated shore. Noordin Beach used to be the place to go, but has since been closed due to severe erosion. More daring explorers can investigate the other beaches without facilities.
The nature at Chek Jawa Wetlands is beautiful and is a must whether its a guided tour or just a stroll through the mangroves. There are also hikes and fresh traditional food to eat. You can also camp on Pulau Ubin for free at Mamam campsite or Jelutong campsite. Visit here for more information about camping.
Where to stay near Pulau Ubin: The only accommodation on the island is camping so if you want all your creature comforts, best to choose one of the many luxury hotels in Singapore and head to Pulau Ubin on a day trip.
The beach on East Coast Park
Visitors to Singapore who are looking for a quick dip in the ocean can make their way to the green belt of East Coast Park. This is a 15km stretch of coast that starts at Changi Airport and ends at the Marina, so it is very easily accessible from Changi if you are in Singapore just for the day.
East Coast Park is a very popular family spot for locals and feels the most like the other beaches of Southeast Asia. It is less frequented by tourists who prefer the hipper and more developed Sentosa, so you can really take in the local culture here.
Another reason why tourists don’t really visit East Coast Park is that the views are of the container ships waiting to cross the Singapore Channel and the sand is not powdery white, but rougher than other options. But this is offset by the many facilities and activities available. You can easily spend an entire day at East Coast Park and not get bored.
East Coast Park is a brilliant place to ride a bike, single or tandem, or rollerblade as the trail stretches all the way across the coast for kilometers on end. You will find a variety or dining options on your journey and can stop wherever you please.
While the park is open all day long and there are no fences, the bike rental shops usually close at 10pm. You can check everything there is to know about cycling in Singapore in our guide here. You can find more details about East Coast Park here.
Where to stay near East Coast Park: East Coast Park is a long stretch of land bordering more residential spaces from Changi to the Marina. So your best option is to stay somewhere Downtown and visit for the day. Another great idea would be to stay in the Marina Area and hire a bike for the day.
Pasir Ris Beach
Pasir Ris Beach is an awesome place for beach goers as it probably has the best beach in Singapore. It is a delightful and tranquil 6km stretch of coastline that has all the facilities you can image from barbecue pits and restaurants to skateparks and sheltered areas. It is by far the most family friendly beach in Singapore.
The playgrounds are a nice place to stop at after a dip in the ocean, the mangrove trail brings serenity and the Pasir Ris Park Maze will keep the little ones busy for a couple of hours. There is also non-member horse riding available at Gallop Stable and plenty of dining options like JUMBO or Long Beach UDMC Seafood Restaurant for the famous Singapore Chilli Crab or Georges @ The Cove. This is if you prefer service over do-it-yourself at one of the 65 pits for rent along the beach. These must be booked in advance through NParks.
Where to stay near Pasir Ris: Like with the other Singapore beaches on this post, there aren’t really any luxury places to stay near Pasir Ris so you are best off staying in the downtown and visiting for the day. Or camping overnight for a simple but fun way to enjoy the park.