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After building fun attractions and importing tons of sand from nearby Malaysia and Indonesia, Singapore has ambitiously created a string of human-made beach paradises. The sand is still gleaming white and powder soft, the water is still a dreamy aqua blue, and the palms still sway in the wind — so who’s complaining? Discover the best beaches in Singapore below.
Just south of downtown Singapore is Sentosa Island, a big human-made collection of beaches that make for a great mini escape from the big city. It’s home to a couple attractions like Resorts World Sentosa and Universal Studios, as well as three of the most famous beaches in the island country: Palawan, Tanjong, and Siloso. You can reach Sentosa by cable car, skytrain, car, or foot. While you’re in town, check out Where to Stay in Singapore.
Most Family Friendly: Palawan Beach
Palawan is widely regarded as the most family-friendly of the three beaches on Sentosa. The stretch of fine sand and calm water with a collection of beach bars is sure to keep you hydrated from mid-morning to late evening. Make sure to use the Pirates of the Caribbean-style suspension bridge to cross over to the southernmost point of continental Asia and Asia’s closest point to the equator.
Best for Partying: Tanjong Beach Club
Tanjong is extremely relaxing during the daytime. It’s a crescent-shaped hideout with white sand, warm waters, palm trees — all the components to help you forget it’s not natural. The Beach Club hosts popular parties thrown twice per month, and during the daytime, guests can relax in the pool and order from the exhaustive cocktail menu.
Best for the Active Traveler: Siloso Beach
Siloso is probably the most popular of the three beaches on Sentosa. Here, you’ll find crowds of active beach-goers playing volleyball, beach games, and exercising, as well as groups of folks simply relaxing. Activities on offer on Siloso Beach include kayaking, cycling, and rollerblading. Come nighttime, check out the cluster of beach bars called the C Side — Coastes, Bikini Bar, and Sand Bar to name a few.
Best for Watching Planes: Changi Beach Park
Back on Singapore’s mainland east coast, Changi Beach Park is another popular place for families, fitness freaks, and leisure lovers. The highlight of Changi, however, is the plane spotting. Sprawl out on the sand and watch the incoming planes fly overhead en route to their landing at Changi Airport.
Best for Instagram: Punggol Beach
If you can overlook the fact that this was the site of the Sook Ching Massacre in 1942, Punggol Beach in northern Singapore is a gem. Soak up some history at the on-site heritage marker, and then soak up some sun. The sand is soft, and there’s a vast collection of boulders dotted along the coast that make the place quite photogenic. For food, make your way to Punggol Settlement, a spot with a few restaurants overlooking the water.
Best for Camping: East Coast Park
Among other things, East Coast Park is best for camping. As one of the only beaches in Singapore with beach camping permitted, East Coast makes for a great weekend to disconnect — bring supplies for a late-night BBQ and gaze up at the stars. Before embarking on your trip, make sure you get a permit from the national park service. For other ideas for some not-so-rugged camping nearby, check out 5 of the Best Glamping Spots in Singapore.
Best to Get Away: Lazarus Island
If you’re really looking to escape the crowds of mainland Singapore and even Sentosa Island, catch a ferry and head further south to Lazarus Island. Of all the beaches on this list, Lazarus probably retains the most rustic charm of old-town Singapore. It’s as reclusive as they get for Singapore beaches, so there are no options for drinking or dining. Be sure to pack a lunch and some snacks if you’re planning on sticking around for a while.
Best for a Plush Accommodation: St. John’s Island
Just adjacent to Lazarus Island is St. John’s Island, which is also accessible by ferry (check out the ferry schedule here, the fare is around $10 USD). This a good option for lounging, relaxing, and strolling the beach away from crowds. The best part about St. John’s Island is renting a beach bungalow for the night; reservations can only be made in person at the SLA Service Counter, located at Level 12, Revenue House, 55 Newton Road.