About Sentosa Island
During our travels through Asia, we had the opportunity to spend some time in Singapore, a beautiful, clean and friendly city-state. While the majority of the population and commerce takes place on the main island, there are over 60 other islets that you can explore during a visit. One of the most popular is Sentosa Island.
Sentosa Island is a playground for the big and small, young or old. You can have fun at a theme park, enjoy nature with hikes, swimming or snorkeling, get in a round of golf, hang on a beach, or enjoy a spa treatment. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are also some great restaurants (for all budgets and tastes), shopping, and beachfront bars.
If you’ve got time to make a detour while in Singapore, Sentosa Island might just fit the bill.
How to Get to Sentosa Island
There are four ways to get to the island, all of which have their pros and cons. The cable car was, by far our favorite mode of transport, but it is not for those with vertigo or scared of heights. The views however…spectacular!
The MRT runs trains over to the island. They come fairly frequently (every 5-8 minutes). The cost is reasonable but there can be crowds, so you may have to wait. Taxis are everywhere and they are quick and convenient, but the price will be high. Then there is always on foot, a great way to expend some calories and take in all there is to see.
Here’s a rundown of four different methods to get to Sentosa Island:
1. Sentosa Cable Car
This just might be the best way to get to Sentosa Island. It is both scenic and thrilling, with full views of Singapore’s skyline, the island, and its attractions. There are two cable car lines: Mount Faber and Sentosa. If you purchase a Sky Pass, you can take either of the lines and have access to the cable car within the island. You can even start from one line and return on the other!
We actually cabbed to the Mount Faber line in order to catch the cable car. The advantage of this line is that you start way up on a mountain, so it is a more thrilling and scenic ride than the Sentosa Line.
This mode of travel is a bit pricey at $35 round trip per adult, but we felt it was part of the experience and gave us the perfect photo opportunity!
Travel Tip: You can purchase tickets at Mount Faber for attractions on Sentosa Island. We bought the cable car tickets and the SEA aquarium at one time, this saves you time once on the island.
2. Sentosa Express
The MRT (mass rapid transit) in Singapore is an efficient and economical way to travel around the island, no matter where you are going. It also can take you to Sentosa Island. Take a train to the Harbourfront Station (North-East Line). Head into the mall and up to anhe third floor. There is a Express Monorail Station to Sentosa, complete with ticket office.
You’ll need to purchase a Sentosa Pass, which will give you round-trip transportation, as well as the use of the Sentosa Express while you are on the island itself. The cost is a mere $3 US. Then just wait for the next train to whisk you across to the island.
3. Taxi to Sentosa Island
Taxis are happy to take you to the island, however be warned that there is a surcharge for vehicles on the island. Those who take the MRT or walk can avoid this surcharge, but private cars and taxis will pay a fee of $2 – $7 to enter the island. This will be added to the cost of the taxi ride.
4. Walk to Sentosa Island
If you’re up for a little exercise, you can actually walk to where the action is. Take the MRT to the Harbourfront Station. Walk from the station over to the waterfront promenade located adjacent to the Vivo City Shopping Mall. You’ll see the Sentosa boardwalk. Follow the boardwalk over to the island. This boardwalk has a portion equipped with covered travellators—moving walkways—making your journey a little easier. It’s actually a pretty walk that takes you through various tropical landscapes and the total travel time is about 15 minutes.
Now, that you’re on the island, it’s time to take a look at what there is to see and do!
The Top Sentosa Island Attractions
As I mentioned there is a multitude of attractions on Sentosa Island, far too many to list here, but this will give you a good overview and I wanted to list out the best things you can do on the island. Think of these as our priority items and then if you have more time you could add additional attractions. There really is something for everyone, regardless of age, interests, or fitness level.
Universal Studios Singapore
It’s a long way from Hollywood, but it’s a great place to spend the day whether you’re an adult or have kids tagging along. Universal Studios in Singapore has 24 rides, as well as multiple shows and attractions, including a whole new Jurassic World exhibit (for a limited time).
Try out the world’s tallest dueling roller coasters, the cool WaterWorld show, and snap a pic with a Transformer or Minion. If you’ve got kids, there are multiple opportunities for a meet and greet with Sesame Street characters, Autobots, and animals, 10 rides just for the younger set, as well as 6 shows and lots of street entertainment. It’s a full day of fun here.
This phenomenal aquarium is the second largest is the world, containing 12 million gallons of water and more than 100,000 marine species across its 50 exhibits. The most enthralling display is the huge Open Ocean Tank, with its 27-foot tall windows that span an impressive 118 feet. You could spend all day and not count even a tenth of the fish that live there (over 50,000).
You can also see the world’s largest collection of manta rays, as well as an assortment of sharks, dolphins, jellyfish, stingrays, and other assorted and varied fish species. The Discovery Touch pool allows you to interact with sea stars and sea cucumbers. Most of the exhibits are theme-based by destination. There are exhibits with the sea life from East Africa, the Red Sea, South China Sea, Persian Gulf, Bay of Bengal, and more. You can travel around the world just in this one attraction!
Sentosa Golf Club
Green and lush and tropical are all words I’d use to describe this gorgeous golf course. Listed as one of the top 100 courses in the world, the Sentosa Golf Club is home to the #1 Championship Golf Course in Asia—The Serapong.
With the Singapore Harbor as its backdrop, this challenging 18-hole, par 72 course is a must-play if you like to chase little white balls around with big sticks. Just kidding…. But only serious golfers are allowed on this and the new course. To play, visitors must have an official USGA handicap index lower than 36.6 for men and 40.4 for women. Clubs and shoes are available for rent, as are caddies and carts. Strict dress code enforcement as well.
If your game isn’t quite up to par (pun intended), you can take lessons at the Sentosa Golf Club. Also available are two restaurants and a bar.
Luxury Fashion Galleria
If you’re up to a bit of shopping (always in my case), then head to the Luxury Fashion Galleria on Sentosa Island. While many of the tenants here are uber luxury brands, we found that there was a great variety of stores, providing endless opportunities for window shopping and ducking to pick up and item or two. Jewelers like Omega and Bulgari are here, apparel ranges from Victoria’s Secret to Ralph Lauren and you’ll even find a Lego store here!
This is an indoor shopping mall perfect if the weather gets too hot or a brief rainstorm hits the island.
Mega Adventure Park
The name of this park is apt, as it really does have mega adventures. There is a MegaZip, a zip-line tour that takes you up 250 feet into the air, flies you 1,500 feet at 35 mph across the jungle terrain. A trio of zip lines makes for competition with friends and keeps the flow of traffic from stalling too much.
There is also the MegaClimb, a ropes adventure course that spans the Eucalyptus forest. You’ll be up 16 to 50 feet the air, trying to make your way across the obstacle course. There are 12 obstacles in all, including confidence gaps and horizontal ladders.
The MegaWall is just that, a 50-foot climbing wall that offers three different routes, and then there is the MegaJump, which allows you to experience a free-fall parachute jump (wearing a safety harness, of course). This is not for the faint of heart!
This beautiful—and very clean—beach is located on the southwest coast of Sentosa Island. It’s a great place for outdoor activities, such as beach volleyball, kayaking, even surfing. There are bicycle rentals if you want to see the island on two wheels, or rent a pair of rollerblades and cruise the boardwalk.
You can also just rent a beach chair and hang out for a few hours, shop at one of the cute boutiques that line the beach, or step into one of the many bars, cafes or restaurants for a little nourishment. It’s actually a nice place to catch a sunset.
If you have the desire to just hang out for the day and catch some rays, then choosing one of the many beach clubs on the island will give you just what you’re looking for. These beach clubs provide lounge chairs for sun tanning, large freshwater pools for swimming, beach access, as well as full bars and restaurants.
You can literally spend all day at one of these: settle in on a lounge with a good book, have some lunch, take a dip, grab a nice cold drink and then relax all over again. Ahhhh….
How to Get Around on Sentosa Island
Once you’ve made your way to Sentosa Island from Singapore all transportation—save the taxis—are free! There are 3 buses that serve the island (aptly named Bus 1, Bus 2, and Bus 3), beach trams that take you from the interior to the beaches, and the Sentosa Express, which can take you from Imbiah Station to the beaches.
Because the island is so small, walking is also a good option.
I hope this guide has helped you plan your visit to Sentosa Island!