With an expansive coastline that stretches up to 193km, Singapore‘s mainland offers several beach getaways for city slickers who need a quick break. There are also options for those of you who feel like venturing further afield to hang out on a remote island for the entire day. Short ferry rides lead to pristine white sand, rich marine life and unfettered views of the Singapore Strait. Whether you’re in the mood for a quiet stroll to gather your thoughts or a sundowner to reward yourself for getting through yet another working week, there are a myriad of beaches in Singapore to enjoy.
1. Changi Beach Park
Time stands still at Changi Beach Park, one of Singapore’s oldest coastal parks. Located close to Changi Airport and overlooking Pulau Ubin, it’s also the best place to watch planes taking off or landing (head to Car Park 4). A popular spot for families, this beach retains its simple and quiet splendour, with lots of shady areas and decades-old palm trees that evoke the kampung spirit that made it popular in the 1960s. Keep your eyes peeled for birds like parrots and kingfishers, and even marine life such as sea turtles.
2. Sembawang Beach
Unlike Changi Beach and East Coast Park which face the Singapore Strait, this coastal getaway at the northernmost tip of the Little Red Dot looks out over the Straits of Johor and neighbouring Malaysia. It’s one of the attractions to be found in Sembawang Park, a 15-hectare property with pathways that were formerly used as roads during the British occupation, when the area was still a naval base. While the beach itself is basic, the park has a rustic appeal that attracts many species of birds that are rarely seen inland.
One of Singapore’s greatest tourism projects, Sentosa has an array of beaches that cater to all different sorts of sun-seekers. Families can make a beeline for Palawan Beach, which has a suspension bridge linked to an offshore islet that the kids can clamber across. If you want to spend the day partying it up in style at a beach club, then head to Tanjong Beach, home to the ever-buzzing Tanjong Beach Club. Then there’s the multi-purpose Siloso Beach, where you can play a round of volleyball, lounge at a beach club or try your hand at various exciting water sports.
4. East Coast Park
Spanning over 15km, East Coast Park is home to one of the Lion City’s longest stretches of beaches. Plenty of the area’s residents flock here for a morning run, evening stroll or to simply chill out at the shore and watch the ships go by. The beaches around Parkland Green sport giant rock formations at the water’s edge, which offer a meditative spot if you need to clear your mind or reflect on the day’s happenings. You’ll also find many picnic tables that are shielded from the sun’s glare by tall, sweeping coconut trees.
5. Pasir Ris Beach
Part of the lush Paris Ris Park at the eastern end of Singapore, this rocky, palm tree-lined beach stretches the length of the park and offers a tranquil reprieve from the hubbub of the city. And if you can wake up early enough, it makes for a stunning spot to catch the sunrise. The greater park has tons of amenities and attractions to explore, such as a playground, mangrove boardwalk and cycling track. It’s also a popular spot among birdwatchers and those hoping to spot the cheeky family of otters that calls the area home.
6. Lazarus Island
A favourite pitstop for private yacht tours, Lazarus Island became an especially popular weekend getaway during the pandemic. And it’s easy to see why. The remote island – part of the larger Southern Islands cluster – boasts clear-blue surrounding waters and a long, crescent-shaped stretch of sand that’s perfect for a languorous all-day picnic. To get there from the mainland, take a ferry from Marina South Pier to St John’s Island, then cross the link bridge to Lazarus Island. The blustery sea breeze makes it an ideal spot for kite-flying.
7. Sisters’ Island
Comprised of two remote islands, Pulau Subar Laut (Big Sister’s Island) and Pulau Subar Darat (Small Sister’s Island), the area is home to a designated 40-hectare marine park. After a brief closure for repair works, Big Sister’s Island is set to reopen in October 2021. To get the best glimpse of the region’s rich and enthralling marine biodiversity, bring some goggles and fins for a snorkelling trip – and keep your eyes peeled for colourful corals, giant clams, sea fans and sponges. While the smaller island is currently not accessible to the public, Sisters’ Island is accessible via a short ferry ride from Marina South Pier.
8. Punggol Beach
This under-the-radar beach in the north-eastern reaches of Singapore is a quieter and less-crowded option if you don’t mind the trek. Besides exploring the unique rocky shoreline – from which you can catch a glimpse of the nearby Pulau Ubin and Coney Island – you can even try your hand at fishing along the short jetty. Punggol Beach also has key historical significance: it was the site of the tragic Sook Ching purge in 1942, during the Japanese occupation of Singapore. You’ll find a marker in remembrance of the event near the jetty.
Please check the establishment’s website for actual opening hours as well as booking and seating requirements before visiting, and remember to adhere to safe-distancing measures while out and about.