Life’s a beach with these 14 family-friendly beaches in Singapore and seaside day trips to take in 2020
We can’t book that holiday to the beach with Covid-19 restrictions on travel, but we can still get that holiday feel with a trip to a beach in Singapore. Did you know that Singapore actually consists of as many as 64 islands? That’s a lot of potential beaches to check out. We round up (in no particular order) the best sandy beaches in Singapore that offer a fun day out for the family. From the 17 October 2020 you will need to book if you want to use the beaches in Sentosa at the weekend and during public holidays. You can continue to access beachfront establishments like our favourite beach clubs without a beach entry booking, but you will need one if you wish to use the beaches adjacent. Find out more here.
NB: There have been several incidents of box jellyfish stinging children in the waters around Singapore – always check beach notices before swimming. Marine Stewards Facebook for recent updates on safety.
1. Palawan Beach, Sentosa
You’ll find the sandy stretch of Palawan Beach between Sentosa’s Siloso Beach and Tanjong Beach (the closest Sentosa Express stop is Beach Station). Palawan Beach is one of the best beaches in Singapore with its soft sand so it’s no wonder it’s a hit with families. If you can squint your eyes and block out the oil tankers on the horizon it’s a pretty patch to set up for a sunny morning at the beach. Look out for the suspension bridge that connects the beach to the Southernmost Point of Continental Asia (and also Asia’s closest point to the Equator). You can swim out to the island but beware the currents are very strong so only advised for very strong swimmers. Safety tip for when you are at the beach in Singapore: Always swim between the Red and Yellow (‘Swim Here’) flags, where the area is closely supervised by Beach Patrol officers from 9am to 7pm.
Nearby Dining: FOC Sentosa with a small plunge pool
Palawan Beach, Palawan Beach Walk, Sentosa Island, Singapore 098521
2. Siloso Beach, Sentosa
Another one of the best beaches in Singapore, Siloso Beach is where you’ll family-friendly outdoor dining hot spots right by the water and you can dine with the sand between your toes. The waters are relatively calm here so it’s popular with families with young kids who can splash about in the sea and make sandcastles on the beach, which is cleaned regularly. The beach is patrolled by Beach Officers who will advise when it is unsafe to swim.* Ola Beach Club and newish Rumours have pools to splash out in as well as the beach on their doorstep, so the kids can make sandcastles while you have a coffee or cocktail. Coastes is a fave thanks to the tables on the beach set up so that you can watch the kids play while you eat (or bag a sun lounger to be right up close to the action). Ola offers water sports like stand up paddleboards and kayaking for sporty teens. Trapizza is on the far side of Siloso Beach near Siloso Point and is great for thin-crust pizzas close to the beach (with the chargeable mega-playground Nestopia nearby). Come dusk, the party crowd moves in for drinks on the beach.
Nearby Dining: Coastes, Ola Beach Club, Rumours and on the other end Trapizza
Siloso Beach, 10A Siloso Beach Walk, Singapore
3. Tanjong Beach, Sentosa
Another contender for the best beach in Singapore is Tanjong Beach which has something for everyone depending on the time you visit. First thing in the morning this pretty stretch of sand attracts dog walkers (the beach is heaving with doggies playing on the beach) and volleyball players. Then families with young kids descend and come lunch and early afternoon the party peeps and sun-seekers move in, taking over Tanjong Beach Club’s pool and sun loungers for cocktail time. Unlike at Palawan Beach, there are safety Beach patrollers only on weekends and public holidays.
Nearby Dining: Tanjong Beach Club
Tanjong Beach, 120 Tanjong Beach Walk, Singapore 098942
4. Coney Island
Coney Island has some of the most rugged beaches in Singapore to explore. It’s nothing like the expansive sandy beaches of Palawan or Siloso though so it’s not high on the running for one of the best beaches in Singapore but a trip here does make a fun seaside day out. Rather than coming here just for the beach, explore this stunningly green forested island on foot or by bike along the 2.5 km Coney Island Park Connector around the Serangoon Reservoir (but beware: some paths on Coney Island itself can be shingly and loose). A hit with birdwatchers (so pack binoculars), you might spot one of 80 species of birds on Coney Island Park, including the resident male Baya Weavers, Oriental Magpies, or flocks of parakeets.
NB: The toilet in Coney Island Park is closed for repair works till 30 September 2020. An alternative (albeit not very near) toilet can be found at Punggol Point Park or Lorong Halus Wetlands.
Nearby Dining: None — best to pack a picnic!
Coney Island, Punggol Promenade Nature Walk, Singapore 829325
5. East Coast Park
Families flock to East Coast Park beach come the weekend and Easties will probably say this is one of the best beaches in Singapore thanks to the amount of fun stuff available for kids and families. There are cycling and rollerblading paths galore (and a newish cycling park!) plus lots of rental shops for bikes, rollerblades and more. There’s lots of sand to play on at East Coast beach in Singapore and the Marine Cove playground is a huge hit with kids of all ages. Adrenalin junkies can check out the Xtreme SkatePark with obstacles to practice kickflips, or there’s the Wake Park for water fun, too.
Nearby Dining: Ps Café by the Sea East Coast, hawker stalls at East Coast Lagoon Food Village, Parkland Green
East Coast Park, East Coast Park Service Rd, Singapore 449876
Read more: Best Kid-Friendly Restaurants in East Coast
6. Changi Beach Park
Plane spotters head over to Changi Beach – one of the most scenic beaches in Singapore – to watch low flying planes preparing to land at Changi Airport. If you are more into sandcastles and splashing around in the sea you can enjoy that here, too, along the 3.3km long beach of Changi Beach Park. The beach stretches from Changi Point to Changi Ferry Terminal and overlooks Pulau Ubin. There’s also cycling, fishing (BYO gear), and BBQ pits.
Nearby Dining: Bistro in the park or restaurants at nearby Changi Village
Changi Beach Park, Nicoll Dr, Singapore 498991
7. Pulau Ubin
Despite being an island, Pulau Ubin isn’t the best sandy beach in Singapore and you really can’t swim here. Still we included this spot as a trip here feels like a seaside holiday at a different pace. Pulau Ubin is mainly known for the cycle paths (best for older kids as there are some hills). Renting a bike at the shops at the jetty and cycling off is a wonderful way to explore the island and really feels like you are out of Singapore with its kampong feel. Look out for the Chek Jawa Wetlands and if you are on foot you can hike around the beautiful forests and mangrove swamp. To get there just hop on a public bumboat ($3 per person) at Changi Jetty and in 15 minutes or less it’ll feel like you’re in a different country. All the deets on how to get to Pulau Ubin here.
Nearby Dining: there’s a choice of casual seaside restaurants near the pier serving Chinese food, fresh coconut water and cold beer.
Pulau Ubin, Access via the Changi Point Ferry Terminal, Lorong Bekukong, Singapore 499172
8. St. John’s Island
Fancy a day trip complete with boat cruise and beach at the other side? Head on over to St. John’s Island, in Singapore. The main beach here is actually on Lazarus Island (see more info below) but St John’s Island is worth exploring too. Rather than beach life, St John’s offers a chance to explore flora and fauna along marked trails (check out the E-Guide here). The lagoons to the right of the jetty are rich in starfish, crabs, and other marine life like horseshoe crabs and tropical fish. This tiny island is just 6.5 kilometers south of Singapore but feels like a world away. There is no F&B so bring your picnic and water (there are picnic tables next to the jetty).
Nearby Dining: None (pack a picnic)
St. John’s Island, Marina South Pier, 31 Marina Coastal Drive, #01-04, Singapore 018988
9. Lazarus Island
Lazarus Island, also known as Pulau Sakijang Pelepah, is between St. John’s Island (where it’s connected via a paved causeway) and Kusu Island (not accessible from Lazarus Island). You’ll need to get a boat from Marina South Pier to St John’s first then it’s about a 20 minute walk on a cement path (stroller friendly) to Lazarus. Lazarus Island offers a soft sandy beach with shallow waters (and the sight of ships much further away on the horizon than when you are on the beach in Sentosa). But sadly the beach is often littered with plastic and rubbish despite signs for people to take their rubbish off the island and dispose of on St John’s Island. Go mid-week and it can be lovely and quiet but gets busy on weekends. There’s not much shade so bring hats and sunscreen. As with St John’s Island, pack your own picnic, snacks and water (and mossie repellent). Note there is no toilet on Lazarus island and no lifeguards. All the deets on how to get to Lazarus here.
Nearby Dining: None
Lazarus Island, 31 Marina Coastal Drive, Singapore 018988
10. Kusu Island
‘Kusu’ means ‘tortoise’ or ‘turtle’ in Hokkien and legend says that a giant tortoise turned itself into an island in order to save two shipwrecked sailors, who then returned to the island to give thanks. Today Kusu Island is home to a famous tortoise sanctuary so this spot is popular with fans of this sacred animal and for those wishing to visit the temples here. Kusu Island is not really one to make a beeline for the beach however so you are better off sticking to the beach at Lazarus. To get there, just ride one extra stop on the St. John’s Island ferry that departs from Marina South Pier.
Nearby Dining: None
Kusu Island, 31 Marina Coastal Dr, Singapore 018988
11. Sisters’ Islands Marine Park
At Sisters’ Islands Marine Park you can swim at high tide and we have been told (but not experienced ourselves) that there are snorkelling opportunities to explore the rich biodiversity of the Marine Park. Sisters’ Islands Marine Park is also where you’ll find the city’s first turtle hatchery. Although small, some say it’s one of the best beaches in Singapore thanks to its soft sand and trees for shade. To get there, you’ll need to charter your own boat from West Coast Pier or Marina South Pier.
Nearby Dining: None. Bring your own picnic (but look out as monkeys might steal your food).
Sisters’ Islands Marine Park, 60 West Coast Ferry Rd, Singapore 126979
12. Sembawang Park
Sembawang Park and its grassy stretch that becomes a sandy beach, is in the north of Singapore, facing the straits of Johor. For kids, don’t miss the nearby Sembawang Playground in a maritime theme. Apart from beach fun and swimming there are BBQ pits, a Petanque court, and jogging paths. There are some historical aspects of the park that make this area of interest, too. Here you can get a glimpse of Singapore’s naval heritage. Walk along the restored old pathways used during the British occupation or visit the Beaulieu House, the Sembawang jetty, the remains of the 1920s Seletar Pier, and Sembawang Shipyard, which was a British Naval Base from 1938 to 1968.
Nearby Dining: Seaside Beaulieu House
Sembawang Park, Sembawang Road, Singapore
13. Punggol Beach
A beach peppered with small boulders awaits at Punggol Beach in Northern Singapore. Punggol Beach, which is close to Punggol Waterway Park has a rather dark history: this is the site of the Sook Ching Massacre in 1942, and there is an on-site heritage marker for those who want to read up on this tragic event. For a kid-friendly activity check out the nearby prawning (literally fishing, but look for prawns at designated “ponds” where fishing rods are available and bait is provided and you can bring home your catch for dinner!).
Nearby Dining: Restaurants at Punggol Settlement
Punggol Beach, Junction of Punggol Point Rd and Punggol Road, Singapore 828694
14. Pasir Ris Park
At Pasir Ris Park, there are promenade paths, skate and cycle paths and even some water sports. Before you relax on Pasir Ris Park’s beaches, if you are feeling adventurous you can check out the dedicated bird watching tower to enjoy the view and spot some birds. Kids will love the nearby Pasir Ris Park playground complete with swings, slides and mini maze. The mangrove boardwalks are worth exploring too or you could do the whole park on bikes as it is huge!
Pasir Ris Park, Pasir Ris Central, Opposite Pasir Ris MRT Station, Singapore 519639
*Safety swim tips for beaches in Singapore:
Not all the above beaches in Singapore are patrolled by lifeguards so swim at your own risk and never leave children unattended. Where beaches in Singapore are monitored, a red flag indicates that it is dangerous to swim possibly due to lightning warnings, strong currents, jellyfish or other hazards (oil spill, poor visibility, flotsam).
Enjoy your beach trips and stay safe!