There is nowhere in the world like the Marina Bay in Singapore. It’s the crown jewel of the “garden in a city” that is Singapore.
I’ve always dreamed of visiting Singapore and it’s photos of the Marina Bay that have fueled my lust for the city. The Marina Bay Sands hotel, with three 55 floor towers topped with a cruise ship-like structure with a garden, pool, and bars, is the most recognizable part of Singapore.
But there’s also the massive lotus-shaped ArtScience Museum sitting in front of the towers, on the water. And there’s also the DNA-shaped Helix Bridge that crosses the bay and leads you to the floating soccer stadium. That’s just the tip of things to do at the Marina Bay in Singapore.
I really mean it when I say Singapore is like no other city in the world and a huge factor is the attractions at Marina Bay. During our recent trip to southeast Asia, we spent three full days in Singapore, it was our first stop after Bali, and it was plenty of time to see the city.
We spent a whole day here, and got to see everything we wanted, plus some. We started by exploring the Instagrammable Art Science Museum in the morning, then walked through the gardens at lunch, and ended the day with a million dollar view on top of the Marina Bay Sands.
If you only do one thing in Singapore, go to the Marina Bay. You could spend a few hours here and see so much. I suggest clearing the whole day if you want to visit all the best spots.
Things to Do at Marina Bay in Singapore
From shopping to dining, to light shows and mind-blowing gardens, there are so many things you don’t want to miss in this part of Singapore. Here’s the best things to do at Marina Bay, plus advice on how to get the best experience during your time at the bay.
Getting to Marina Bay
It’s pretty simple to get to the Marina Bay area in Singapore. Take a taxi down to the area, most likely they’ll drop you off at Tower 3, which is basically in the middle of the very walk-able bay.
Or you can take the MRT metro down. Take the Circle Line or Downtown Line to Bayfront MRT Station, leave via Exit B from the station and follow the footpath that crosses either the Dragonfly Bridge or Meadow Bridge into the gardens.
The Best Way to Get on the Roof of Marina Bay Sands
So here’s the deal, there’s two ways to get to the top of the Marina Bay Sands hotel: buy a ticket to the Observation Deck on level 56 or buy a ‘voucher’ to the rooftop bar, CÉ LA VI, on the 57th floor. Both cost the same (about $20 USD), but the voucher you buy for the bar will be applied to your check. So would you like your views of Singapore with, or without a fancy drink?
Funny story, we ended up doing both views. At the bar, you have somewhat of an obstructed view as you aren’t ‘front row’ to the skyline. We chilled at the bar until the sunset, then went down to the observation deck to catch Spectra, the nightly light show and a thunderstorm going down in the distance.
Small Girl Travel Tip: Whichever path you choose to get to the roof of the Marina Bay Sands hotel, you’ll need to go to Tower 3 for tickets to the roof.
The Shoppes at the Marina Bay
Right below the Marina Bay Sands hotel are The Shoppes, the most luxurious bit of shopping you’ll find in SE Asia, maybe even the world! Even if you’re on a budget, this is a fun place to walk around. Who knows, you might even spot a celebrity or two.
Along with the luxury shops there are several celebrity restaurants, water sculptures, a river for gondola rides, and a koi fish pond.
Featuring different styles of art each season, this Art Science Museum has become one of the top tourist things to do in Marina Bay. Not only that, you can’t help but notice the glamorous lotus shaped building and it’s very own lotus garden located at the base of the Museum.
There are three different exhibits, the most popular one is Future World: Where Art Meets Science. Ticket to just this exhibit are about $14 USD, more information here.
A few of the exhibits here are some of the most Instagrammed places in the world. And while I promise you several new fire photos for your feed, make sure to put your phone down for a moment and take in the exhibits. There’s some cool ‘hidden’ features to many of them. You’ll feel like a kid all over again.
The Helix, commonly referred to as Helix Bridge, is the longest pedestrian bridge in Singapore. Opened in 2010, the bridge has a distinctive double helix structure modeled on the DNA structure. It overlooks Marina Bay, forming a curve next to the Bayfront Bridge and the Youth Olympic Park, and connecting Marina Centre with the Bayfront area.
This modern work of art not only makes for a great city viewing point but comes alive at night time. It also comes free, as one of the top things to do in Marina Bay.
Attractions at Gardens by the Bay
Small Girl Travel Tip: Entrance fees to the famous Supertrees and the majority of the gardens at Gardens by the Bay are completely free. Simply walk over from Marina Bay Sands and follow the trails.
The Cloud Forest is a 115 foot tall mountain covered in lush vegetation shrouding the world’s tallest indoor waterfall. With plant life from tropical highlands up to 2,000 meters above sea level, you’ll enjoy learning about unique biodiversity and geology of cloud forests and the environmental threats they face within the nine unique zones inside this conservatory.
Next door to the Cloud Forest is the Flower Dome, the largest glass greenhouse in the world. It’s a gigantic air-conditioned glass greenhouse with themed gardens and hundreds of exotic plants.
The Flower Dome showcases exotic plants from five continents which are displayed in nine different Gardens. Wander among thousand-year-old olive trees and unusual Baobabs as you take in sights of the Flower Field Display.
Small Girl Travel Tip: Tickets for non-Singapore residents include both domes (Conservatories) for about $20 USD. If you only have time to do one, I’d go with the Cloud Forest, no doubt. Expect to spend no less than 45 minutes at each dome. More information here.
Satay by the Bay
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Just pass the shell domes, is Satay by the Bay, a must visit spot for a casual lunch or dinner at the Marina Bay. Bond with your travel crew over local eats, while enjoying the open air views of the waterfront. Drink stalls are open 24 hours a day, and food stalls are open daily from 11am to 10pm. More information here.
The Grove is home to the incredible Supertrees and one of the most famous gardens in the world. Gardens by the Bay should be top of your Singapore to do list – right after the Marina Bay Hotel area.
The Grove is main reason people come to Gardens by the Bay. The 25 and 50 meter tall iconic tree-like vertical gardens are designed with large canopies. Throughout the day they provide shade, and at night they come alive in the beautiful light show, featuring beautiful colors and different melodies.
There is also a 22 meter high skyway that loops around and in between the Supertrees. Catching the views up on the walkway will give you perfect views of the Singapore skyline plus the Marina Bay Sands hotel.
Small Girl Travel Tip: Lay beneath the massive Supertrees and watch as they come to life at night. The trees light up and dance to iconic movie songs. Best part is, it’s free! 15 minute lightshows are shown daily at 7:45pm and 8:45pm.