Sentosa is basically a big island full of man-made activities geared for tourists and Singaporeans looking for a weekend mini-escape from the big city. Popular attractions such as Resorts World Sentosa and Universal Studios dominate the island, which is also home to three of the best beaches in Singapore, offering 3.2km of (imported) sand. Changi Beach - Want to skip Sentosa altogether but still want a taste of the white stuff? Then your best bet would be head to Changi Beach on the east coast of Singapore. More leisure park than tropical paradise, this 28-hectare area is home to a long, narrow strip of sand and well-preserved running and cycling lanes on the inside. The coastal park proves popular for fitness fanatics, families on the weekend, plane spotters (you can watch the planes landing at the nearby Changi Airport) and there are also facilities for camping and barbeques.
Punggol Beach - The seldom talked about Punggol Point Park in the north of Singapore is home to an even more seldom talked about beach – Punggol Beach. Although a little out of the way, this coastal park is well connected by Punggol MRT Station, with a shuttle bus making its way through to the modern development at the northern tip of the country. As well as a jetty, walking trails and ponds, you’ll also find a deserted beach (just follow the signposts in the park). The sand is fine and soft, but there is a collection of huge boulders in the middle that you can’t miss. A perfect place to escape the crowds, with some nice sunset views across to Malaysia to be had.
Palawan Beach - One of the most prominent beaches in Singapore, Palawan Beach is well-known for its Pirates of the Caribbean-style suspension bridge linking to a small island which you can walk or even swim across to. Located in the centre of the southern tip of Sentosa, Palawan Beach has fine white sand, palm trees and a few lively beach bars to keep you refreshed from mid-morning to late evening. Once on Sentosa, you can take the shuttle bus around the island to the beach, or walk.
With a suspension bridge linking beach-goers to the Southernmost Point of Continental Asia (and also Asia's closest point to the Equator), Palawan Beach, Singapore's happiest family beach, boasts interesting shops and eateries that are a favourite with adults and children alike. Whatever you decide to do, you are bound to have fun at this family-friendly beach. Spanning over 81,000 square feet, equivalent to 6 Olympic-sized swimming pools, KidZania Singapore offers children real-life experiences through many different role-play activities in the kid-sized city. Children can learn to pilot an airplane, perform a surgery or whip up a meal as a chef!.
St John’s Island - Jump on a ferry from World Trade Centre (around S$15) to St John’s Island, one of Singapore’s most popular outer-lying islands (other than Sentosa, of course). There are a few decent beaches for swimming, changing rooms, toilets, picnic spots and shops. You can also rent a bungalow for a night on the island and make the most of the tranquillity when all the tourists go home.
Lazarus Island - Connected to St. John’s Island by a large concrete walkway, Lazarus Island is often said to be home to the most beautiful beach in Singapore. Most tourist and day-trippers don’t bother with it, however, as once they make it to St John’s Island via ferry, they usually set up for the day and don’t decide to explore. The short walk across to Lazarus will seem well worth it once you set eyes on the long stretch of unspoilt white sand, palm trees and a tropical jungle making up most of this tiny island.
Siloso Beach - This beach can be found on the south-western coast of Sentosa, and is well-known for being a popular picnic spot for families at the weekend, as well as hosting a range of beach sports such as volleyball, beach football and canoeing. This is probably the best-catered-for beach in Singapore, with a range of bars, restaurants, shops and hotels near the beachfront, which underwent a S$3.3 million makeover at the end of 2012. Home to the coolest bars and restaurants, Siloso,Singapore's hippest beach, is the beach to head to for fun-loving people – day and night.
Get into your favourite bikini and take a dip. Or simply bask in the sun and admire the other hot bods. Themed bars abound - you can surf a man-made wave or chill-out in a whirlpool bath on the beach. A host of shopping options awaits, as well as tempting all-day menus from exceptional bistros and restaurants. Try your hand at skim-boarding or kayaking, as well as cycling, rollerblading and other exciting beach activities. After dark, Siloso really comes alive, with parties, music, lively bars and restaurants celebrating the beach lifestyle long into the night – every night.
Tanjong Beach - This is arguably Singapore’s best beach for relaxing in the daytime, thanks to its slightly more secluded position on the south coast of Sentosa. This crescent-shaped hideout has shallow warm waters, fine white sand and tropical palm trees – all the essential ingredients to make for a perfect beach and help you forget it’s not actually natural.
Tanjong Beach is also well-known for its parties, thrown at the popular Tanjong Beach Club, which generally happen about twice a month at night. However, this bar usually provides more relaxed vibes in the day time, with its swimming pool, sun-loungers and extensive menu of drinks. Tanjong Beach is a favourite with guests who treasure its tranquility and solitude. Here, you can while away the hours with the sun, a favourite book and a gentle breeze for company. This beautiful stretch of beach gets especially romantic by night, with the twinkling lights of nearby ships providing a magical backdrop.