The Best Views of Singapore's Skyline

Singapore has plenty of striking vistas, like this one of the Central Business District
Singapore has plenty of striking vistas, like this one of the Central Business District | © Roland Nagy / Alamy Stock Photo
Andrew Darwitan

Singapore’s skyline is a product of its rapid modernisation – an ever-changing cityscape that moves and shifts as the country carves out its future. Head to these spots for the best views of this Asian megacity, whether you want to capture the CBD from above or see what the locals do.

1. Marina Bay Sands SkyPark

Building, Park

Infinity pool of the Marina Bay Sands, Singapore
© Michel & Gabrielle Therin-Weise / Alamy Stock Photo
Floating 57 levels above the three towers of Marina Bay Sands, the SkyPark offers an alternative angle on the Singapore skyline. Taking up more space than Paris’s Eiffel Tower, at three acres (1.2ha), it offers plenty of space to catch a view without bumping into other tourists. Moreover, as it is an open-air observation deck, you don’t have to worry about annoying glass reflections. The SkyPark comes with an admission price, but the Singapore view is priceless.

2. Merlion Park – Marina Bay, Singapore

Park

The Merlion fountain, Singapore.
© Ivan Nesterov / Alamy Stock Photo
The 8.6m (28ft) half-lion, half-fish Merlion statue takes you back to Singapore’s humble beginnings as a fishing village, while its stark visual contrast with the skyscraper-heavy skyline Singapore has built up over the years illustrates the city’s gradual growth into an economically important metropolis. It’s also the city state’s national symbol. There are two archetypical camera shots you can take at Merlion Park. The first one is a rear view of the statue with Marina Bay Sands in the distance. Or you can cross the pedestrian bridge to photograph the Merlion against the backdrop of Raffles Place’s skyscrapers.

3. Esplanade

Theater

Esplanade, Theatres on The Bay, Singapore.
© Chris Putnam / Alamy Stock Photo

Looking for the classic postcard view of Singapore? Just head down to Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, and walk along its idyllic waterfront. Within minutes, you will find an unobstructed view of Raffles Place, with the historic Fullerton Hotel taking centre stage. Don’t forget to stick around until 8pm, when the Esplanade waterfront provides the best night view Singapore has to offer.

4. Singapore Flyer

Building

Singapore Flyer
© Andrew Woodley / Alamy Stock Photo
The Singapore Flyer is Asia’s largest observation wheel and an integral part of the Marina Bay skyline. Towering at 165m (540ft) above ground level, with 28 glass cabins that make a slow circular revolution, you can enjoy a bird’s-eye view of the surrounding Marina Bay and its architectural landmarks, panoramic views of Singapore’s skyline and, on a good day, even see parts of neighbouring Malaysia or Indonesia in the distance. Splurge on a ticket that includes a flute of champagne or a Singapore sling cocktail while you take in the view, or go all out and enjoy a full fine-dining experience while in the air.

5. 1-Altitude Bar, Raffles Place

Bar, Restaurant, Nightclub, Fusion

1-Altitude Bar, Raffles Place
Courtesy of 1-Altitude Bar, Raffles Place
Looking to get to the highest point in Singapore? Standing tall on the 63rd floor and located right in the heart of the Downtown Core, the Upper Viewing Gallery of 1-Altitude brings a unique perspective on the surrounding CBD. On top of that, you get a drink of your choice in a comfy lounge with modern decor, multi-coloured lighting and great music.

6. Gardens by the Bay East

Botanical Garden

Gardens by the Bay Singapore
© Paul Bystrican / Alamy Stock Photo

The problem with most vantage points is that they are either in the Downtown Core or part of an iconic landmark. Rarely will you ever be able to snap the Marina Bay Sands, the Singapore Flyer, the ArtScience Museum and the CBD skyscrapers in one harmonious photo. From Gardens by the Bay, walk further to the lesser-known Bay East Garden to see these distinctive landmarks side by side from relative tranquillity.

7. Marina Barrage

Building

Marina, Singapore
© Itsanan Sampuntarat / Alamy Stock Photo

Bored with the same old views? For true sightseers, the Marina Barrage is an excellent place to look at Singapore from fresh, alternative angles. If you climb up on the roof of this reservoir, you will discover a spot where you can see “the other side” of Marina Bay Sands, the Supertree Grove, the two domes of Gardens by the Bay and the reservoir’s distinct dual curvature – framing an image of Singapore’s skyline that is truly your own.

8. Padang

Sports Center

Singapore City skyline overlooking the Padang, Marina Bay and Downtown Core Central Business District.
© Jason Knott / Alamy Stock Photo

Padang is an open playing field surrounded by underrated landmarks such as the Old Supreme Court Building and St Andrew’s Cathedral. The lush greenery also adds a striking element to the view. On top of that, as a major recreational area, Padang brings countless possibilities to see slices of life for average Singaporeans when they are not busy boosting the country’s GDP in those high-rise financial district offices in the background.

9. The Pinnacle @ Duxton Skybridge

Building, Bridge

Aerial view at The Pinnacle@Duxton | © Darren Soh / Courtesy of Singapore Tourism Board
© Darren Soh / Courtesy of Singapore Tourism Board
Skyscrapers full of offices and hotels are awesome, but they represent only a small portion of the full picture of Singapore. As the world’s tallest public housing, the Pinnacle @ Duxton’s 50th-storey viewing deck provides a glimpse of the cultural precinct of Chinatown and surrounding residential buildings. This creates a marvellous contrast of traditional red-brick houses against soaring CBD towers, forming an unusual picture of Singapore’s skyline. There is an admission fee, and only 200 non-residents are allowed up per day.

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