White, sandy shores aren’t usually the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Singapore. The country makes headlines as a bastion of rapid urban development, not as your average beach bum’s next destination.
Yet behind its concrete facade, Singapore hides serene pockets of sand and sea for locals and tourists alike looking for a breather from everyday city life—or just to avoid overheating. In a country where temperatures can be as scorching as 36°C, a way to cool off the population is practically a necessity. In fact, Singapore is littered with waterparks, water sports complexes, and public swimming pools.
So toss that sunscreen and swimwear into your duffel bag. Below are the top 9 hotspots locals flock to for some vitamin sea, as well as some nearby restaurants. Nothing can work up an appetite like swimming can; it’s important to stay fed and hydrated to make the most out of your beach trip.
While Sentosa’s beaches offer a lot of fun activities, Lazarus Beach is the place to go for travellers who just want to go off the beaten path and break away from the crowd. The beach is situated on a private island, a 15-minute boat ride away from the Marina South Pier. The waters are clear, and there’s a fair amount of walking trails that will take you around the island for those who want to explore.
Where to fuel up for fun: There are no restaurants on-site, so you would need to bring your own lunch and water before heading out. If you’re lucky you can ask the locals for some help breaking open a coconut for hydration.
St. John’s Island
A few minutes away from Lazarus Beach, St. John’s Island is as much a historical as a tropical adventure for the curious. The island was once a prison and screening area for ill immigrants in the early 1900s. Now the area is a peaceful getaway with beautiful lagoons, trekking trails, and camping and fishing spots for visitors. Several flora and fauna also call the island a home. Scuba divers can check out the corals at St. John’s reefs a few miles away from shore.
Where to fuel up for fun: Like Lazarus Beach, food is limited on the island. Visitors need to bring their own lunch and water.
East Coast Beach
Like Siloso Beach, East Coast Beach is one of Singapore’s most popular beach spots. The venue plays host to a variety of events on its stretch of 15 kilometres of shore, such as the Singapore Marathon and Xtreme Championship. The area is also home to a skate park, and is frequented by water sports enthusiasts like water skiers and windsurfers. Those into more leisurely activities can opt for paddle boarding. Camping is allowed, although you would need to secure a permit from Singapore’s National Parks Board. You can do it online through here.
Where to fuel up for fun: Grab a slice of Sandbank’s handmade pizza, and maybe even take swimming lessons in their 15m deep pool. Alternatively, visitors can head to Babalicious for good, traditional Peranakan dishes.
Punggol Beach is a scenic little spot peppered with smooth boulders, soft sand, and beautiful sunsets. The beach is a part of a complex where you can try a mix of low-key activities such as prawning (fishing, but with a higher catch rate!), and horseback riding. You can also visit Singapore’s last standing village, Kampong Lorong Buangkok.
Where to fuel up for fun: Punggol Beach is home to some of the best seafood restaurants in the area. Drop by House of Seafood for fresh seafood, or the White Restaurant for their famous white bee hon.
Pulau Ubin is an island off the eastern coast of Singapore, which visitors can go to via a bumboat from the Changi Village terminal. Chek Jawa, one of Singapore’s most famous shores, lies at the southeastern side of Pulau Ubin. The unspoilt and preserved beach is a perfect spot for visitors looking for a tranquil, peaceful reprieve from the city. Numerous hiking trails also snake through the island for adventurers.
Where to fuel up for fun: Head to Cheong Lian Yuen for Chinese cuisine by the beach, or grab some butter prawns at the Season Live Seafood.
Pasir Ris Beach
Pasir Ris beach is also known as Kid’s Wonderland—and for good reason. Besides a shore that stretches for a good 6 kilometres (“pasir ris” means “beach bolt rope”, referring to the narrow stretch of sand), the area also houses a playground that where kids can go rope climbing and shoot the hoops on a basketball court. There’s also a canoe rental place and fishing pond on-site for more good family fun. Camping is allowed in designated areas on the beach, although as with East Coast Beach, you need to secure a permit.
Where to fuel up for fun: Visitors can head to Georges At The Cove, where you can munch on some fries or a burger while the ocean stretches out in front of you. If you’re not in the mood for American cuisine, nearby The Basil Inn is a hidden gem of a Thai restaurant.
Siloso Beach may be one of Singapore’s most famous beaches. Situated on the island of Sentosa, this beach is home to Singapore’s New Year countdown beach party. When the sun is out, the place offers a variety of fun activities like surfing man-made waves at the Wave House Sentosa, or weaving above the water on a jetpack. At night, daylight gives way to an array of bars and parties by the shore.
Where to fuel up for fun: As part of a major tourist attraction, Siloso Beach hosts restaurants that offer a wide variety of cuisines. Italian, Australian, Chinese, or Taiwanese food—you’re probably bound to find it wandering along Siloso Beach.
Palawan Beach is Siloso’s family-friendly cousin. If people go to Siloso for sports and parties, then Palawan Beach is where people go to relax. Although it’s proximity to the port and therefore large ships can be uncomfortable to some, the man-made beach is clean, and is perfect for people looking for an idle swim. Nearby also lies KidZania Singapore, a massive play park that’s basically a small city for children.
Where to fuel up for fun: Besides the nearby food joints at Siloso Beach, Palawan Beach offers some haunts of its own. Drop by upscale Sabio by the Sea for authentic Spanish food, or just snack by the beachfront at FOC Sentosa.
Tanjong Beach is the place to go for people looking for tranquility along Sentosa’s shores. Visitors of Tanjong often go for the quiet, as the area receives far less visitors than Siloso or Palawan, even on weekdays.
Where to fuel up for fun: Head for Conde Nast-acclaimed Tanjong Beach Bar for a drink or two to cool you down as you laze in the sun
So pack up your sunscreen, swimsuits, cameras, and sense of adventure. And because only one of those things is waterproof, check out our line of ultra durable, waterproof backpacks and duffel bags for a truly worry-free tropical escape.