Visit the famous sights of Singapore, including the Merlion and Marina Bay Sands, on this great walking trail around the edge of Marina Bay.
How to get to Marina Bay
To get to Marina Bay take the MRT to Raffles Place MRT station, on the green East-West and red North-South lines. This walking trail ends at the Merlion Statue, from where you can return to Raffles Place just 200 metres away to go on a boat tour, or cross over the river into the Colonial District. There are also many buses that stop near Raffles Place and the Merlion Statue.
Tips for Marina Bay Walking Trail
- Early mornings or late afternoons are a good time to enjoy this walk to avoid the heat of the day. Sunset is also a beautiful time to explore the marina.
- If you can, get to the rooftop of Marina Bay Sands for amazing views over the entire area.
- Get discounted river tours on Klook*.
- To explore further inland, try our Singapore River Walk.
- Check out other walking trails around Singapore in nearby Colonial District, Chinatown, Kampong Glam or Little India Walking Trail.
Attractions on the Marina Bay Walking Trail
On this walking trail you’ll see the main sites and attractions of Marina Bay:
- Boat Quay
- Fullerton Hotel
- The Merlion Statue
- The Esplanade
- Makansutra Gluttons Bay
- The Singapore Flyer
- ArtScience Museum
- The Shoppes
- Marina Bay Sands
- Red Dot Design Museum
- The Promontory
- Boat Tour
If you don’t want to walk, you can also hire a bike to cycle around Marina Bay*. For food and drinks, there are nice restaurants and bars along Boat Quay and near the Merlion Statue, a small hawker centre at Makansutra Gluttons Bay, a cafe in the ArtScience Museum, and many restaurants and cafes in the Shoppes Mall and Marina Bay Sands, along with rooftop drinking and dining.
History of Marina Bay
The idea of Marina Bay began in 1971 with several large land reclamation projects. By the late 1990s a lot of building space became available and Marina Bay Sands opened in 2010.
Marina Bay itself is a freshwater reservoir that supplies Singapore with some of its drinking water, reducing the city’s dependence on Malaysia for its water supply. The barrage to separate the Bay from the ocean was completed in 2008.
Marina Bay Walking Trail Route
This walking trail starts from Raffles Place MRT station. Try and exit from A or B. You’ll come up in the middle of Raffles Place. Wonder at the tall buildings leaning over you from all sides.
Directions: Head across Battery Road towards the Singapore River from the end of the park closest to you. You’ll soon reach the water.
1. Boat Quay
Boat Quay is to the left, and the name for this bank of the Singapore River from here up to Elgin Bridge. It’s lined with many bars and restaurants, all with outdoor seating on the edge of the river. It is lively at lunchtimes, evenings and on the weekends.
You’ll see some buildings of the Colonial District opposite, such as the Asian Civilizations Museum behind the trees. The two lovely old bridges to your right are the Cavenagh and Anderson Bridges (from 1869 and 1910 respectively).
Directions: Stroll right, towards the bridges, and the Fullerton Hotel.
2. Fullerton Hotel
The Fullerton Hotel (Website, Booking Reviews*) is one of the most famous and distinctive sights on Marina Bay. It looks tiny compared to the huge skyscrapers of the Financial District just behind it. The first Governor of the Straits Settlements gave his name to this monument. The current building dates from 1924, though it was built over a fort from 100 years earlier which guarded the river mouth with a large gun.
This luxury hotel contains several restaurants and bars, with a classic highlight being afternoon tea in The Courtyard. The Fullerton Waterboat House next to the hotel, a historic water supply house, now contains a European-style bistro called Picotin (Website, Tripadvisor Reviews*).
Directions: Walk around the hotel and right past the Fullerton Waterboat House. Cross the large Collyer Quay Road and head down to Marina Bay and you will see the next stop.
3. The Merlion Statue
The Merlion Statue (Tripadvisor Reviews*) is a large white sculpture of a cross between a mermaid and a lion. Gushing water spews out of its mouth into Marina Bay below. Make sure to walk out on the extension of Merlion Park to get a view of the famous statue in front of the huge skyscrapers that form its background.
Directions: Return from the extension over the water and turn right to walk over Jubilee Bridge to the next stop.
4. The Esplanade
The Esplanade (Website, Tripadvisor Reviews*) is an arts complex and contains the Theatres on the Bay. Many famous international performers visit and there can be several concerts here per day. There are also sometimes free outdoor performances. The spiky design of the building has led locals to call it the ‘durian’ – a local fruit with a similar spiky skin.
There are two guided tours here – one every day at 1 pm that explores the inside of the buildings, and one on Mon & Tue at 7 pm to discover the nighttime views. Both are $15-25.
Directions: Pass the Esplanade and the Theatre at the edge of the Marina. Almost immediately you’ll see the next stop on your left.
5. Makansutra Gluttons Bay
Key Information: Closed Mon. Open 4pm-10.30pm Tue-Fri and 3pm-10.30pm Sat-Sun.
Makansutra Gluttons Bay is a small hawker centre (Tripadvisor Reviews*) on the edge of the Marina. There’s a guide to almost all Hawker Centres and stalls in Singapore called Makansutra, named after this spot. The guide comes in an ebook format and you can find out which stalls are highly rated, and where to head for the best. I love the pizza stall here, it’s almost the best pizza in Singapore but at a fraction of the price.
Directions: Continue walking around Marina Bay by the edge of the water.
You’ll soon walk past Float @ Marina Bay where there are sometimes football matches, concerts and more. To the left is the colourful stadium seating that gives great views to watch the events held here.
Directions: Walk underneath the silver Helix Bridge and under the highway bridges to reach the next stop on the edge of Marina Bay.
Sunglasses to Protect from Water Glare
The best way to protect your eyes against the strong UV light in the middle of the day is a good (and cool looking) set of sunglasses. Anything will do as long as their UV protection is genuine. It’s particularly important when walking near the water, which reflects sunlight back into your eyes. I have some Ray-Ban sunglasses like these:
Ray-Ban Classic Aviator Sunglasses on Amazon*.
Check out the complete list of hiking gear needed for Singapore:
6. The Singapore Flyer
Key Information: One rotation lasts 30 minutes, you might spend 30 minutes in the Time Capsule, and there might be a queue so allowed 1h30. You can book tickets on Klook*.
The Singapore Flyer (Website, Tripadvisor Reviews*), when open, takes you up into the air just next to the water. The views are ok but you can’t really see the downtown skyline or any older areas. It is however, a nice break and a very relaxing way to spend 30 minutes. There are sometimes queues.
Don’t forget to check out the Time Capsule, another attraction underneath the Singapore Flyer and free with your ticket. It’s an immersive, interactive story of Singapore through time.
Directions: Return back to the Helix Bridge.
The Helix Bridge Connects the Singapore Flyer with Marina Bay Sands (MBS). The design represents the double-helix structure of DNA. If you’re wondering what the green and red letters on the floor are (c&g, a&t), they’re the four bases that join together to form DNA.
Directions: Cross over the bridge and the next stop is the giant white lotus. The entrance is at the base of the structure.
7. ArtScience Museum
Key Information: Open 10-7 every day. Exhibits are ticketed separately and mostly S$18 each (with a discount for multiple exhibits) or slightly cheaper if booked via Klook*. Cafe inside.
The ArtScience Museum (Website, Tripadvisor Reviews*) is within and underneath the strange white lotus flower structure on the water. The architecture is much more impressive from the outside. Most of the exhibits are in the basement, not in the lotus structure, so you don’t really get to see it. There’s also a nice cafe on the ground floor with some views over the Marina.
Future World is the only permanent exhibition, with the others changing every year. Future World has several different interactive artworks to explore. They are all interactive and the artworks continuously evolve and regenerate depending on how you interact with them. For example, in one room you can move around house and train stations blocks and new roads and railways be will be created depending on where you place them. In another artwork, you can draw a picture then scan it in and your artwork will be rendered in 3D in the larger artwork on the wall.
The exhibition has plenty of interest for children and adults alike, as long as you are happy with getting involved in creating the art yourself!
Directions: After the museum, walk along a little way by the water. There are several entrances to the next stop on your left.
8. The Shoppes
The Shoppes (Website, Tripadvisor Reviews*) at Marina Bay Sands is a large shopping mall complex (Open 10:30 am–11 pm every day, until 11:30 pm on Fri & Sat). It’s fairly posh and quite nicely designed for a shopping mall. The Louis Vuitton and Apple stores float above the water outside. Inside, there are plenty of upscale restaurants and cafes, and all the big fashion labels. The MBS Casino is at the far end of The Shoppes mall.
At the lowest level you can take boat rides on a sampan (11 am – 9 pm). This is a flat-bottomed boat traditional in China and Malaysia, and slightly like a Venetian Gondola. The ‘canal’ runs along one aisle of the mall and you can get discounted tickets here*.
Directions: To get to Marina Bay Sands, head out the opposite side of Shoppes Mall and across the road.
9. Marina Bay Sands
Marina Bay Sands (Website, Booking Reviews*) is the most iconic building in Singapore. It’s hard to imagine the Singapore skyline without it, though it only opened in 2010. Apart from marvelling at the soaring atrium as you walk up and down, the most popular thing to do is visit the rooftop.
You can either do this by buying a ticket to SkyPark Observation Deck, or by visiting CÉ LA VI Sky Bar. It’s roughly the same price for an Observation Deck ticket or a cocktail at the bar, though from the bar you can’t get to the very edge of the roof. Either way, sunset is a popular time. Unfortunately if you’re not a hotel guest there is no way to swim in the rooftop pool.
SkyPark Observation Deck
The SkyPark Observation Deck (Website, Tripadvisor Reviews*) is on the roof of the spaceship at the top of Marina Bay Sands. You can get tickets here* – make sure to tick the option ‘Admission to Sands Skypark’. There are signs to lifts for the SkyPark in the main atrium. Obviously, try and visit when it’s not raining when sometimes the rooftop can be in the clouds.
CÉ LA VI Sky Bar & Sky Lounge
Key Information: Open weekdays 4-10:30pm, Sat 12-10:30pm and Sun 12-9pm. Reservations are recommended.
Ce La Vi (Website, Tripadvisor Reviews*) sits on the rooftop of Marina Bay Sands. The seating is mainly outdoors, though there are also tables inside for when it rains. You can go for drinks only, lite-bites, or full meals at the restaurant. While slightly pricey, the drinks aren’t much more than any nice bar way down on ground level. There are various discounts during the week, including Happy Hours and Ladies Night, while on weekends there can be minimum spend requirements.
Directions: From MBS, head across back to the water and turn left to continue walking around Marina Bay. The next stop is soon on your left.
10. Red Dot Design Museum
Key Information: Temporarily closed until 8th April 2022.
The Red Dot Design Museum (Website, Tripadvisor Reviews*) focuses on product design and there are some very sleek exhibits. The gift shop has interesting gadgets, good for presents. A crafts market called MAAD takes place here most Fridays from five until midnight when the museum is free and stays open late.
Directions: Return to the water and turn right around the corner. Keep by the water and you’ll soon reach the next stop.
11. The Promontory
The Promontory is a piece of flat land that sometimes contains public artworks or light displays. There are nice views from this small park, with the Singapore Flyer and MBS on one side, and the closer restaurants and fancy buildings on your left. It’s also a good place to view the night lights of the city.
If you face away from the edge of the water you’ll see a gap in the tall buildings. This is the Lawn @ Marina Bay, where office workers and others come to relax during the day or exercise on weekend mornings.
Directions: Continue walking around by the Marina to head back towards the Merlion Statue.
There are several restaurants, bars and hotels along this stretch. You’ll notice the alien-spaceship-looking OUE Tower which houses a posh Chinese restaurant (Tóng Lè Private Dining) at the top. There are several other nice restaurants on the edge of the water and more nice views over the Marina.
Directions: Soon you’ll approach the Merlion Statue again. From here you can take a boat tour (see below), cross the river into the Colonial District, or head back to Raffles Place MRT station a short distance away.
12. Boat Tour
Taking a boat tour is a great way to explore Marina Bay and/or the Singapore River. While there are several tour options, the two main ones are Singapore River Cruises or Duck Tours. Klook often has discounted tickets for both Singapore River Cruises* and Duck Tours*. The River Cruise lasts 40 minutes and is cheaper than the Duck Tour, while the Duck Tour lasts 1 hour and you drive on the roads to explore some other main sights as well as cruising around Marina Bay.
Singapore River Cruises is currently only operating from Clarke Quay Jetty, though in pre-Pandemic times you could book tickets and board the boats from any of their counters around Marina Bay and the Singapore River. Duck Tours start from outside Suntec City.
Marina Bay Walking Trail at Night
The evenings are a great time to walk around Marina Bay. The heat of the day decreases, the sky often turns pink as the sun sets and the lights of the city begin to come on. The bars and restaurants come alive and the shops remain open. The light shows at Marina Bay Sands and Gardens by the Bay also happen after dark. The only things you can’t visit in the evening are the ArtScience and Red Dot Design Museums.
Guidebooks to explore more of Singapore
FAQS – Marina Bay Walking Trail
The main attractions of Marina Bay are the Merlion, Fullerton Hotel, Marina Bay Sands and the Singapore Flyer. Additional attractions include the Esplanade, Helix Bridge, the lotus-shaped ArtScience museum and the many great views over the water.
To get to Marina Bay, take the MRT to Raffles Place MRT on the green East-West and red North-South lines. Alternatively head to Bayfront MRT station near Marina Bay Sands, on the blue Downtown and orange Circle lines.