Exploring Singapore: A Guide to Its Stunning Islands

Singapore is a small country made up of many beautiful islands. Each island has something special to offer. Whether you like beaches, history, food, or wildlife, there is an island for you. This guide will help you explore some of the most amazing islands in Singapore.

Key Takeaways

  • Sentosa Island is perfect for fun activities, sandy beaches, and lively nightlife.
  • Pulau Ubin offers great cycling paths, nature trails, and a look into old village life.
  • St. John’s Island is known for its history and relaxing activities.
  • Lazarus Island has clean beaches, spots for camping, and interesting sea creatures.
  • Kusu Island is famous for its legends, temples, and quiet places to relax.

Discovering Sentosa Island

Sentosa Island is Singapore’s playground, an entertainment hub brimming with attractions for all ages. A Sentosa Island tour is your ticket to a day of adventure and relaxation. You can explore Universal Studios Singapore, interact with marine life at S.E.A. Aquarium, or simply soak up the sun at the island’s pristine beaches. Be sure to catch the incredible evening light and sound show called "Wings of Time," which is the perfect way to end your day on Sentosa.

Exploring Pulau Ubin

Pulau Ubin island Singapore

Pulau Ubin, a rural island, is home to Singapore’s last traditional villages, known as kampongs. Just a 15-minute ‘bumboat’ ride from Changi Point Ferry Terminal, this island feels like a different world compared to the bustling mainland. The small village near the boat jetty has a few shops where you can chat with locals, whose numbers have dwindled to less than 100. Biking is a major attraction here, with rentals readily available, but the unhurried pace of Pulau Ubin is what truly captivates visitors.

A Guide to St. John’s Island

St. John’s Island is a hidden gem with its pristine beaches, turquoise waters, and lush greenery. It is a perfect spot for those seeking tranquility. The island also boasts rich biodiversity, making it a popular destination for nature lovers and bird enthusiasts.

Unveiling Lazarus Island

Pristine Beaches

Lazarus Island is one of the most popular Southern islands of Singapore. With its virgin white sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters, this secluded island provides a perfect escape for those looking to unwind amidst nature. Look forward to new adventures at Lazarus Island, with a convenience store, 9 glamping units, and sea-sport activities!

Camping and Picnicking

For those who love the outdoors, Lazarus Island offers eco-friendly "tiny houses" where you can stay overnight and enjoy the island life peacefully. You can also plan a picnic on the beach or camp under the stars. The island’s serene environment makes it an ideal spot for a relaxing getaway.

Marine Life Exploration

If you are a water person, go snorkeling and explore vibrant marine life. Adventure seekers can try kayaking, paddleboarding, and fishing. Don’t miss the Marine Park Outreach and Education Centre to learn about marine conservation efforts. The island is also home to several species of wildlife, including the rare banded langurs that can be spotted swinging from tree to tree.

Visiting Kusu Island

Kusu Island, also known as Tortoise Island, is steeped in mythology and legend. The island is home to a famous Chinese temple, Da Bo Gong, perched on a hill. Visitors can also explore three Malay shrines, each with its own intriguing history. The island’s name itself is derived from a legend about a giant tortoise that turned into an island to save shipwrecked sailors.

Every year, during the ninth lunar month, Kusu Island becomes a bustling hub of activity. Thousands of devotees flock to the island for the Kusu Pilgrimage, seeking blessings at the Da Bo Gong Temple. This annual event is a significant cultural and religious gathering, offering a unique glimpse into local traditions and beliefs.

For those looking to unwind, Kusu Island offers pristine sandy beaches and clear turquoise waters. It’s an ideal spot for relaxation and swimming. The island also features a tortoise sanctuary, where visitors can observe and feed these fascinating creatures. Whether you’re lounging on the beach or exploring the sanctuary, Kusu Island provides a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Pulau Satumu: The Lighthouse Island

Pulau Satumu lighthouse

Historical Lighthouse

Pulau Satumu, located about 23km from the mainland, is home to one of Singapore’s oldest lighthouses, the Raffles Lighthouse. Built in 1855, this lighthouse has been guiding ships safely through the Singapore Straits for over a century. The island itself is a small, serene spot that offers a glimpse into Singapore’s maritime history.

Special Tours

Visiting Pulau Satumu is a unique experience as it can only be accessed through special tours organized by the Maritime & Port Authority of Singapore. These tours provide an exclusive opportunity to explore the island and learn about its historical significance. The tours often include a guided walk around the lighthouse and informative sessions about its operation and importance.

Marine Biodiversity

Pulau Satumu is not just about the lighthouse; it is also a haven for marine life. The waters surrounding the island are teeming with diverse marine species, making it a great spot for marine biodiversity enthusiasts. The island’s ecosystem is carefully preserved, ensuring that the natural habitat remains undisturbed.

A visit to Pulau Satumu offers a rare chance to step back in time and appreciate the rich maritime heritage of Singapore.

Culinary Delights of Singapore

Singapore is a true food paradise, and a food tour is a must for anyone looking to indulge in the city’s culinary delights. From hawker centers to Michelin-starred restaurants, the Lion City offers an array of gastronomic experiences. Sample local favorites like Hainanese chicken rice, laksa, and chili crab. Food tours can take you through the diverse neighborhoods of Singapore, allowing you to taste the authentic flavors of different cultures. Be prepared for a gastronomic adventure that will leave your taste buds tingling.

Street Food to Try

If food is your passion, Singapore is your place. While Malay is the national language and English the official language, food is the universal language of Singapore. Dig in and discover the island’s multi-ethnic smorgasbord of tantalizing aromas and tastes at the island’s iconic Hawker Centers. The open-air food courts—such as the world-famous Maxwell Food Centre and the Chinatown Complex Food Centre—are packed with stalls serving fresh and affordable street foods like Singapore-style chicken rice, Hokkien mee, and satay.

Fine Dining Experiences

The foodie culture in Singapore is out of this world! You have to give the local street food a try—markets here are made up of “hawker” stalls making authentic Singaporean bites. There are so many incredible local dishes that it’s impossible to narrow it down to a fave, but some of my favorite dishes include chili crab, prawn mee (noodle soup with prawns), and laksa (a spicy noodle soup that can have different proteins).

Local Desserts

During our visit to Singapore we stayed at The Holiday Inn Express which I booked with Booking.com


Singapore is famous for its food. The cuisine is a meld of Malaysian, Indonesian, Chinese, and Indian flavours. Singapore is also famous for its seafood. Authentic Singaporean food includes its signature and national dish ‘Chilli Crab’ with spicy tomato chilli and black pepper. For fabulous food explore Little India, China Town, and Hawker Food Stalls.

For foodies there’s world famously delicious food from hawker stalls or high-class restaurants.

There’s fabulous retail shopping in Orchard Road. Food and local shopping in Little India and China Town.

Adventure and fun in spades can be found at Sentosa Island and Universal Studios Singapore.

Wildlife in Singapore

Native Species

Singapore is not just about skyscrapers and urban attractions; it also boasts lush greenery and diverse wildlife. Nature enthusiasts will delight in tours of the Singapore Zoo, River Safari, and Night Safari. The Singapore Zoo is famous for its open enclosures that allow you to get up close and personal with animals, while the Night Safari offers a unique nocturnal experience with various species of animals that come alive after dark. For a taste of the wild, take a trip to Jurong Bird Park, home to over 5,000 birds from 400 species.

Best Wildlife Parks

  • Singapore Zoo: A well-designed zoo known for its wildlife conservation efforts and interactive exhibits. The Singapore Zoo is also known as The Mandai Zoo. It is one of the city-state’s most popular attractions, drawing visitors from around the globe to experience a unique and immersive wildlife encounter. The zoo is known for its innovative and humane approach to animal care, conservation efforts, and immersive exhibits that provide a naturalistic environment for the animals.
  • River Safari: This park offers a unique experience with its river-themed wildlife park. It features animals from major rivers around the world, including the Amazon and the Nile.
  • Night Safari: The world’s first nocturnal zoo, offering a chance to see animals in their natural nighttime habitats.
  • Jurong Bird Park: Home to over 5,000 birds from 400 species, this park is a must-visit for bird lovers.

Conservation Efforts

Singapore is committed to wildlife conservation and has implemented various initiatives to protect its natural heritage. The Singapore Zoo, for instance, is involved in numerous breeding programs for endangered species. Additionally, the city-state has several nature reserves and parks that serve as sanctuaries for native wildlife. MacRitchie Reservoir Park, with its TreeTop Walk, offers a bird’s-eye view of the forest canopy and is home to flying lemurs, long-tailed macaques, and other wild things.

Discover Singapore’s surprisingly green side (some three million trees—including a stand of virgin rainforest—cover the city) on a nature hike through MacRitchie Reservoir Park.

For those interested in marine life, the wetlands offer a diverse ecosystem. Book an intertidal guided tour of the wetlands well in advance of your visit to look for octopus, cuttlefish, and other marine animals.

Cultural Etiquette in Singapore

Do’s and Don’ts

When visiting Singapore, it’s important to be aware of the local customs and traditions. Respecting local customs is key to having a pleasant experience. Here are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind:


  • Greet people with a smile and a nod.
  • Use both hands when giving or receiving something.
  • Dress modestly, especially when visiting religious sites.


  • Avoid touching someone’s head, as it is considered sacred.
  • Do not point with your finger; use your whole hand instead.
  • Refrain from public displays of affection.

Respecting Local Customs

Singapore is a melting pot of cultures, and each has its own set of customs. For example, when dining with locals, it’s polite to wait for the host to start eating first. Also, remember to remove your shoes before entering someone’s home.

Social Norms

Singaporeans value harmony and order. It’s important to follow the rules and regulations, such as not littering and not smoking in prohibited areas. Singapore is known for being one of the safest cities in the world, and adhering to these norms helps maintain that reputation.

When in doubt, observe what the locals do and follow their lead. This will help you blend in and show respect for their culture.

Romantic Spots in Singapore

romantic island in Singapore

Best Places for Dates

Singapore offers a variety of romantic spots perfect for dates. Gardens by the Bay is a must-visit, with its beautiful Supertree Grove and Flower Dome. Another great spot is the National Gallery Singapore, where you can enjoy art and a cozy meal at one of its restaurants. For a more laid-back date, head to Chijmes, a historic building complex with charming cafes and bars.

Scenic Views

For breathtaking views, visit Marina Bay Sands SkyPark. The panoramic view of the city skyline is simply stunning. Another excellent choice is Mount Faber, where you can take a cable car ride and enjoy the lush greenery. Don’t miss the Singapore Flyer, a giant Ferris wheel offering a bird’s-eye view of the city.

Couple Activities

There are plenty of activities for couples in Singapore. Take a romantic stroll through the Singapore Botanic Gardens, a UNESCO World Heritage site. If you love adventure, try kayaking at MacRitchie Reservoir. For a unique experience, visit the S.E.A. Aquarium and marvel at the underwater world together.

Singapore’s romantic spots offer something for every couple, from stunning views to exciting activities. Whether you’re looking for a quiet date or an adventurous outing, you’ll find the perfect place in this vibrant city.

Top Cities to Visit in Singapore

Singapore islands and cities

Singapore, often called the "Lion City," is a fascinating mix of modern and traditional. This small but lively island nation has many cultural, historical, and natural attractions that draw tourists from all over the world. Traveling to Singapore offers a chance to explore its unique cities, each with its own charm and attractions.

Singapore City

Singapore City is the heart of the nation. It’s known for its stunning skyline, lush gardens, and vibrant cultural experiences. You can visit top attractions like Gardens by the Bay, the Singapore Botanic Gardens, and the National Museum. The city is also famous for its shopping districts, such as Orchard Road, and its diverse food scene.

Jurong East

Jurong East is a bustling area known for its family-friendly attractions. Here, you can explore the Singapore Science Centre, the Jurong Bird Park, and the Snow City. It’s a great place for families to spend a day filled with fun and learning.


Tampines is a residential town that offers a more laid-back experience. It’s known for its parks and recreational areas, such as the Tampines Eco Green and the Bedok Reservoir Park. It’s a perfect spot for those who enjoy outdoor activities and a slower pace of life.

Whether you’re exploring the busy streets of Singapore City, the family attractions in Jurong East, or the peaceful parks in Tampines, each city has something special to offer. Make sure to include these cities in your itinerary when traveling to Singapore.


Singapore’s islands are a true gem, offering a mix of adventure, relaxation, and cultural experiences. From the serene beaches of Lazarus Island to the historical landmarks on Kusu Island, there’s something for everyone. Don’t forget to try the local food, which is as diverse as the islands themselves. Whether you’re exploring the bustling city or the quiet islands, Singapore promises an unforgettable experience. So pack your bags and get ready to discover all that this amazing place has to offer.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best islands to visit in Singapore?

Some of the top islands to visit in Singapore include Sentosa Island, Pulau Ubin, St. John’s Island, Lazarus Island, Kusu Island, and Pulau Satumu.

How do I get to the Southern Islands of Singapore?

You can take a ferry from Marina South Pier to reach the Southern Islands like St. John’s Island, Lazarus Island, and Kusu Island.

What activities can I do on Sentosa Island?

Sentosa Island offers a variety of activities including theme parks, golf courses, beaches, dining, and nightlife.

Is Singapore a good place to find a girlfriend?

Singapore is a vibrant city with a diverse population, making it a great place to meet new people and potentially find a girlfriend.

What foods should I try in Singapore?

Don’t miss trying Singapore’s famous street food like Hainanese chicken rice, laksa, and chili crab. There are also fine dining options and delicious local desserts.

What wildlife can I see in Singapore?

In Singapore, you can see a variety of wildlife including native species at wildlife parks and nature reserves. Popular spots include the Singapore Zoo and Night Safari.

What should I know about cultural etiquette in Singapore?

When in Singapore, it’s important to respect local customs, such as removing your shoes before entering someone’s home and not touching anyone’s head.

Which cities in Singapore should I visit?

Top cities to visit in Singapore include Singapore City, Jurong East, and Tampines, each offering unique attractions and experiences.

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