Singapore’s beaches may not have the prestige of more popular Southeast Asian shorelines like Phuket or Boracay, but don’t count them out yet. Local fans have made family-friendly parks out of many Singapore beaches, with sands leading out to playgrounds, hiking trails, and hawker centers. You’ll want to follow their lead—even if you’re not a local, you’ll find something to love in the beaches listed here.
The beaches in this list can be roughly sorted into three categories: family-friendly, park-enhanced beaches on the main Singapore island’s eastern end (Changi, Pasir Ris, East Coast, and Punggol Beaches); upscale beaches on the resort island Sentosa (Palawan, Siloso and Tanjong Beaches); and remote beaches on the southern islands (Kusu Island and Lazarus Beach).
Palawan Beach, Sentosa
Not to be confused with its bigger island namesake in the Philippines, Singapore’s Palawan Beach is Sentosa’s most family-friendly spot, thanks to the activity providers stationed there. A suspension bridge links the beach to an islet marked as the “Southernmost Point of Continental Asia.” Check out the Palawan Amphitheatre’s “Animal Encounters” for a meet-and-greet with monkeys, assorted birds, and reptiles (stay for the afternoon 15-minute shows). Finally, wash the sand off the kids and set them loose at Kidzania Singapore, an “indoor city” play concept that lets the little ones pretend to work as pilots, chefs, and other stimulating careers.
Getting there: Take the MRT to Vivocity Station. From there, ride the Sentosa Monorail to the very last stop, Beach Station, then ride the Beach Shuttle to get to Palawan Beach.
Siloso Beach, Sentosa
Siloso Beach, Sentosa's main hub for beach sports, earns its enduring popularity by hosting beach volleyball tournaments, kayaking, and canoeing facilities, along with water-jetpacking at Ola Beach Club and a (soon to open) artificial surfing break. For adrenaline-pumping adventures off the beach, you can go bungee jumping at AJ Hackett or ziplining at Mega Adventure Park. On New Year’s Eve, Siloso Beach becomes a party animal’s dream as the Singapore Sentosa Countdown rings in the new year with stilt-walkers, dancers, fire-eaters, and fireworks.
Getting there: Take the MRT to Vivocity Station. From here, ride the Sentosa Monorail to the very last stop, Beach Station, then ride the Beach Shuttle to get to Siloso Beach.
Tanjong Beach, Sentosa
Don’t be fooled by Tanjong Beach’s more laid-back vibe. The crescent-shaped white sand beach hosts night parties every Sunday, courtesy of the Tanjong Beach Club (TBC). You don’t have to be a patron of TBC to enjoy the beach, though, as Sentosa has thoughtfully provided free public restrooms and showers for beachgoers’ use, as well as low-cost paid lockers on site.
Getting there: Take the MRT to Vivocity Station. From here, ride the Sentosa Monorail to the very last stop, Beach Station, then ride the Beach Shuttle to get to Tanjong Beach. The beach is also a short walk away from Palawan Beach.
Changi Beach, East Region
A northern coast beach with a throwback vibe, Changi Beach is the centerpiece of a 28-hectare park that occupies some 2 miles of beachfront near Changi Airport. The beach is all right to swim in, but the beach activities are, arguably, its best draw: barbecue pits, jogging trails, and bike rentals offer great diversions to keep all ages occupied. Foodies have plenty of choices at Changi Beach, from Bistro@Changi’s fresh fish catch to Changi Village Hawker Centre.
Getting there: Buses 19, 89, and 9 stop over at several bus stops at or near Changi Beach. Alternatively, take buses 2, 29, 59, and 109 to Changi Village nearby.
Pasir Ris Beach, East Region
Four miles of beachfront make up the longest beach park in Singapore, Pasir Ris Beach. Picnickers, campers, and nature lovers congregate here to enjoy the mangrove forests, the 60-plus barbecue pits, and the picnic grounds. The Pasir Ris Park Maze is a must-try challenge for all but the most directionally-challenged. Horse rides can be arranged at Gallop Stable, and visitors who prefer to keep both feet on the ground can explore the boardwalk along the mangrove forest. Get a pick-me-up at the dining options nearby, including Georges @ the Cove and Pasir Ris Hawker Center.
Getting there: Take the MRT to Pasir Ris Station, or ride Bus 403 to Pasir Ris.
East Coast Park, East Region
This place strongly lives up to its tagline “Recreation for All”, offering almost every imaginable recreational activity for its visitors. Go walking, biking, rollerblading or jogging on the East Coast Park’s long trails. Visitors with a more adventurous bent can try wakeboarding at the Singapore Wake Park, Singapore’s only cable-ski park, set in a park lagoon.
Foodies should visit Jumbo Seafood for the classic chili crab. Families with little kids will love the Marine Cove outdoor playground, a 0.8-acre recreational zone with numerous climbing towers. One downside: the container ships parked off the coast of Singapore are too easily visible from the beach.
Getting there: Take the MRT to Bedok Station, then ride Bus 401 to East Coast Park (on weekends) or Bus 197 (on weekdays); disembark at Marine Parade Road outside Parkway Parade, then walk through the underpass to the park.
Punggol Beach, Northeast Region
This beach is a little off-the-beaten-path, but most Singapore tourists don’t know what they’re missing when they ignore Punggol Beach. Nearby Punggol Point Park offers raised platforms for great views of the sea and the shores of Malaysia across the strait. The beach is not exactly ideal for swimming—it’s covered with large rocks—but it’s great if you just want to get your toes wet and take in the view. Beyond the beach, you can explore the nearby recreation center, hike the nearby walking trails, or even explore the Coney Island Park and its profusion of native birds.
Getting there: Ride the MRT to Punggol Station, then ride Bus 84 to Punggol Point.
Kusu Island, Southern Islands
“Kusu” means “turtle” in Hokkien Chinese, a reference to the legend that a benevolent tortoise turned into this island to save seamen from drowning. The shrines on Kusu Island pay tribute to the legend, reflecting the Taoist and Muslim faiths of the rescued sailors.
Two lagoons on Kusu Island have been set aside for swimmers and picnickers, offering the most peaceful beach experience you’ll find in Singapore. Owing to its distance from the main island, Kusu Island has little by way of facilities, with toilets and picnic tables and little else. If you’re making a day trip of Kusu Island, bring your own food and water.
Getting there: Take the MRT to Marina South Pier Station, then go to the namesake pier to catch the twice-daily Singapore Island Cruise ferry that crosses over to St John’s Island and Kusu Island. Avoid visiting during the 9th month of the Chinese Lunar Calendar (late September-late October); this is pilgrimage season for the Taoist temple.
Lazarus Beach, Southern Islands
St. John’s Island has one beach that’s a bit of an effort to get to, but the 15-minute walk from the pier to Lazarus Beach is well worth it. This is the closest you’ll ever get to feeling like you’re on a deserted island to yourself, with a wide, long white-sand beachfront facing away from Singapore’s skyline. The absence of urban noises, the white sand on blue water, and the unapologetically tropical vibe of Lazarus Beach makes it unique among Singapore beaches, worth the visit despite the absence of most creature comforts.
Getting there: Take the MRT to Marina South Pier Station, then go to the namesake pier to catch the twice-daily Singapore Island Cruise ferry that crosses over to St. John’s Island and Kusu Island.