11 Top Things to Do in Marina Bay, Singapore

Looking at Marina Bay, Sinagpore

 FilippoBacci / Getty Images 

The winds of change in Singapore have buffeted Marina Bay the hardest, but the results have been pretty amazing. From its days as an overgrown parcel of reclaimed land flanking the Singapore River’s outlet into the sea, the area has been rapidly transformed into Singapore’s most modern business and pleasure district. The skyline, once flat and unremarkable, now boasts highlights like the Marina Bay Sands hotel, Singapore Flyer Ferris wheel, and SuperTree Grove in the Gardens by the Bay.

So what’s in it for you? Plenty, actually, since the area’s many new (and a fair bit of old) attractions will keep you occupied while you visit, with a wide selection of dining, entertainment, shopping, and culture, all easily accessible by taxi, bus, and MRT—train riders armed with Singapore’s EZ-Link card can reach Marina Bay and its environs through the following MRT stations: Raffles Place (NS26/EW14), City Hall (NS25/EW13) Marina Bay (NS27/CE2/TS20), Bayfront MRT Station (CE1/DT16), Promenade MRT Station (CC4/DT15), and Esplanade MRT Station (CC3).

01 of 11

Get Some Retail Therapy

The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

Marina Bay Sands

If you're in need of some serious retail therapy—and come on, aren't we all?—head straight to The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, where you'll find familiar names like Adidas, Bath & Body Works, Pandora, and Zara, as well as luxury brands like Armani Exchange, Burberry, BVLGARI, Cartier, Christian Louboutin, Gucci, FENDI, Jimmy Choo, Manolo Blahnik, Michael Kors, Prada, Versace, and Tiffany & Co., among others.

If shopping is going to be a major theme of your trip to Singapore, bring along an extra suitcase or pack a foldable tote bag to use as a carry on in case you get carried away. But hey, a few new outfits and accessories never hurt anyone, right? At least you'll think of your time in Singapore whenever you wear them.

10 Bayfront Ave, Singapore 018956
Phone +65 6688 8868
02 of 11

Hit the Links at Marina Bay Golf Course

Marina Bay Golf Course Singapore

Marina Bay Golf Course

For a fun day out on the links, head to Marina Bay Golf Course, Singapore's only 18-hole public golf course, designed by Phil Jacobs and consistently rated as one of the best in Singapore as well as the Asia Pacific region. If you're not up for a full round, opt for the Marina Bay Putting Course or practice greens to work on your short game, or focus on your golf swing at the onsite driving range. Either way, you'll be able to enjoy some outdoor recreation with amazing views of the Marina Bay district.

#01-01 80 Rhu Cross, #01, Singapore 437437
Phone +65 6345 7788
03 of 11

Soar High in the Singapore Flyer

Interior of Singapore Flyer capsule in mid-flight

TripSavvy / Mike Aquino

Changi Airport isn’t the only place in Singapore that can launch you high in the air. For a unique 30-minute “flight” with obstruction-free views of Marina Bay and nearby Malaysia and Indonesia from 540 feet above the island, book a ride on the Singapore Flyer. The gigantic observation wheel’s 28 air-conditioned capsules can accommodate up to 28 riders each. The “flight” consists of a half-hour, single revolution; the slow and steady climb and drop lets you drink in the 360-degree views to your heart’s content. To view the experience in pictures, check out our Singapore Flyer image gallery.

For another sky-high perspective on the Marina Bay district, visit the Marina Bay Sands SkyPark on the hotel’s 57th level, which rests on a three-acre platform housing a restaurant, nightclub, a viewing deck, and an infinity pool. From the viewing deck, Marina Bay at nighttime looks like a sparkling galaxy brought down to earth. For more details, read our review of the Marina Bay Sands Singapore.

30 Raffles Ave., Singapore 039803
04 of 11

Indulge Your Inner Arts Enthusiast

Esplanade outdoor performance

Singapore Tourism Board

Singapore is busy growing its arts scene and much of the action is happening right in Marina Bay. For the theater and performing arts scene, visit The Esplanade–Theatres on the Bay, a theatrical arts venue that's particularly notable for its durian-like prickly exterior, hosting over 3,000 arts performances, workshops and exhibitions across every conceivable artistic venture. Its most high-profile performance event takes place on New Year's Eve, when its outdoor stage hosts local and international musical artists ringing in the New Year.

Some of the hotels in the Marina Bay area also have art collections of their own: The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia has a four-million-dollar collection distributed through its lobby and other public spaces, while the Marina Bay Sands hotel has an Art Trail featuring works from some of the world's most talented modern art masters.

1 Esplanade Dr, Singapore 038981
Phone +65 6828 8377
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05 of 11

Wish Upon the World’s Biggest Fountain

World's biggest fountain in Singapore

Singapore Tourism Board

While Marina Bay is full of top-flight shopping centers and malls—see our rundown of shopping centers near City Hall and Marina Bay for the complete list—one particular shopping area stands out.

Suntec City is a modern shopping mall through and through, and an atrium in its center features a large token of good fortune: the “Fountain of Wealth," an 85-ton cast-bronze ring fountain towering over 46 feet high. A steady stream of water flows inward from the ring, spouting toward the center of the atrium—according to feng shui principles, the inward flow symbolizes wealth pouring into the mall. 

3 Temasek Blvd, Singapore 038983
Phone +65 6822 1537
06 of 11

Climb the "SuperTrees" at Gardens by the Bay

View from the Supertrees, Gardens by the Bay

TripSavvy / Mike Aquino

The 101-hectare Gardens by the Bay super park recreates a number of climates from all across the globe in two climate-controlled Conservatories. Visitors can take a break from Singapore's unrelenting humidity by entering a "flower dome" that recreates Mediterranean climes or get lost in a "cloud forest" that duplicates tropical mountain weather. The conservatories harbor a number of plant species exclusive to each climate.

Don't leave without ascending Gardens by the Bay's main contribution to the Marina Bay skyline: the "SuperTrees" rising over 16 stories tall, linked by a walkway suspended more than seven stories above the ground. The "SupertTrees" are technologically "green" marvels—covered in flowering plants, ferns, and vines, they collect solar power and rainwater for use in the complex and help vent exhaust from the conservatories around them.

18 Marina Gardens Dr, Singapore 018953
Phone +65 6420 6848
07 of 11

Visit a Museum Devoted to Cutting-Edge Design

Red Dot Design Museum

Red Dot Design Museum

With roots in the international Red Dot Design Awards instituted in Essen, Germany, the Red Dot Design Museum maintains a cutting-edge collection of more than 300 design works, showcased in an angular glass-and-steel building along the Marina Bay promenade.

Exhibits here symbolize the high-minded principles of the Red Dot Design Awards: products and ideas adjudicated by the Red Dot Awards jury to meet the highest standards in product and communications design, and awarded the Red Dot quality seal. They are almost discipline-agnostic, covering consumer products, works of art, and marketing materials. Visitors can take samples of the Red Dot’s designs home with them by checking out the design shop, filled with souvenirs from both international and Singaporean designers.  

11 Marina Blvd, Singapore 018940
Phone +65 6514 0111
08 of 11

Watch the Formula One Races Live

F1 race in progress, Singapore

Yuki Shimazu / Creative Commons

The second half of September every year brings Marina Bay to a near-standstill, as the Formula One Grand Prix arrives on Singapore’s streets. And we mean that literally—the Singapore Formula One race is the only night race in the Formula One calendar and is held right on Marina Bay’s own roads.

Singapore’s Marina Bay circuit is 3.14 miles long, adding up to a total length of 192 miles when all 61 laps are accounted for, taking drivers through some of the country's best tourist spots and right past the Formula One pit building. Not all the rave reviews come from spectators—as F1 champion Lewis Hamilton once commented on the local race, "the track is fantastic, the fans here are amazing, and they put on a great show here in Singapore."

10 Bayfront Ave, Singapore 018956
Phone +65 6688 8868
Continue to 9 of 11 below.
09 of 11

Go Marina Bay Museum Hopping

The ArtScience Museum

TripSavvy / Mike Aquino

Marina Bay preserves Asia’s past and present through two establishments in particular: the ArtScience Museum and the Asian Civilisations Museum. The ArtScience Museum is located in a lotus-like structure set apart from the rest of the Marina Bay Sands complex, right on the bay. Inside, exhibits are set in 64,500 square feet of gallery space over three floors. 

The Asian Civilisations Museum unravels Asia’s cultural threads in a series of interactive displays—the fact that you can’t see the whole thing in a single visit says a lot about the region’s cultural diversity! Themed exhibits take visitors through ethnographic tours of China, South Asia, West Asia, and Southeast Asia, helped along with authentic artifacts from each culture, such as a Chinese snuffbox, a sword collection, Chinese pottery recovered from a shipwreck, and an ancient Buddha statue.

6 Bayfront Ave, Singapore 018974
Phone +65 6688 8888
10 of 11

Party Till Dawn at Marina Bay's Bars & Lounges

A couple enjoying drinks at Flight, Marina Bay Sands

Marina Bay Sands

Singapore’s reputation as a stodgy business-only place is less and less deserved these days, as the rules have been steadily relaxed for some time now—that said, table dancing was only made legal in 2003.

In the Marina Bay area, partygoers can enjoy the party atmosphere in places like CHIJMES, a former Catholic convent that's been converted into a happening nightspot crammed with bars and restaurants. The Marina Bay Sands complex has captured the bulk of the party crowd in the past few years, thanks to a few popular establishments within the premises: the Ce La Vi Club Lounge, the Club55 lounge, and Flight, a bar whose 57th-floor location promises awesome views of the Marina Bay area.

10 Bayfront Ave, Singapore 018956
Phone +65 6688 8868
11 of 11

Dine to Your Heart’s Content

KF Seetoh chowing down at Makansutra Gluttons Bay, Singapore

TripSavvy / Mike Aquino

While the food scene in the Marina Bay district captures the “high end” of the culinary scale, you’ll still find plenty of hawker stall eats as well as fine dining experiences throughout its many hotels and shopping centers. Marina Bay Sands hotel has captured the market with its “celebrity chef” restaurants, captained by some of the culinary world’s most notable names. CUT showcases Chef Wolfgang Puck’s version of the classic American steakhouse, while db Bistro Moderne introduces guests to French bistro dining via Chef Daniel Boulud.

Foodies can also raid other areas in Marina Bay: Suntec City mall and CHIJMES, both of which feature a wide array of restaurants within a few minutes’ walk of each other. For a one-stop hawker food experience in Marina Bay, Makansutra Gluttons Bay serves up hawker food favorites from all across Singapore, including a kaya-coated fried banana dish that still lingers in this writer's dreams. 

8 Raffles Ave., #01-15 Esplanade Mall, Singapore 039802
Phone +65 6438 4038
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11 Top Things to Do in Marina Bay, Singapore