Whenever we get to a city, the first thing we do is get as high up as possible – to the top of a tower, skyscraper or hillside in search of the best views from above. This helps us get an idea of how the city is laid out, its actual size, and most importantly creates a huge respect for the city, its skyline and the buzz of the people living and working on its streets.
Before arriving at one of our hotels in Singapore, we had already researched the best places to see Singapore from above, and knew that this Asian metropolis has a wide variety of these vantage points. Read on to find out the best ways to take in Singapore’s skyline:
The Mount Faber Cable Car
The Singapore cable car connects Mount Faber with Sentosa Island, with a short stop at Harborfront. Start at Mount Faber – the views from the mountain are fantastic! Watch cars drive along the curvy road hugging the bay, and look a bit further into the distance to count dozens of freighter ships waiting to be allowed into the harbor.
Spot some of Singapore’s creative architecture in the new apartment buildings near the ocean, and of course one of Singapore’s main tourist destinations, Sentosa Island, where you land on your final approach.
The ride is short. It takes about 10 minutes to cover the roughly 1,000 meters (3,280ft) between Mt Faber and the island. To spend more time in the sky, opt for Sky Dining, which will give you the privacy of your own cabin and a romantic fine dining experience during the sun set (S$168 per couple for a 3-course dinner, S$218 for four courses.)
Price: S$29 (round trip), Super Saver Night Rider: S$35 per couple for a round trip incl. popcorn and soft drinks
More information: Singapore Cable Car
Once you have arrived at Sentona Island, hang out for a while. Tour the free cable car museum for an interesting history of how the cable car has improved over the years. Make no mistake – Sentosa Island is essentially a resort, with two golf courses, two 5-star resorts, a Universal theme park, underwater world, dolphin lagoon and several other attractions, but you can spend a day on the beach here facing the ocean and blissfully ignore the busy city behind you.
Sentosa Island is also the best place to look at Singapore from outside of the city, by taking a trip up the Tiger Sky Tower. Not only does this offer views over Singapore’s skyline, but you can see everything on Sentosa Island and the small islands beyond. On clear days you can even see Malaysia and Indonesia. The Tower is actually a big round cabin that ascends the column of the tower slowly while turning, providing 360 degree views.
Highest point: Observation deck, 110 m (360 ft) above ground
More information: www.skytower.com.sg
If you like Ferris wheels, you will love The Singapore Flyer! The tallest in the world, the Singapore Flyer towers over the city at 165 meters tall, a full 30 meters higher than the London Eye. Our time up in the Flyer was an incredible 30 minute vertical tour of the city. We must have shot 200 pictures while in our massive pod.
The wheel is located on the Marina Promenade on the South Eastern side of the Marina Bay, in walkable distance from the Marina Bay Sands Hotel. As the cabin moves higher and higher, the views over the city evolve: first you have terrific views over Marina Bay, then over Singapore’s Grand Prix Circuit, over the Eastern part of town and over the Strait of Singapore with its countless freighter ships coming and going.
While we were in town, we were curious about a strange construction down near the water as well. Those of you on your way to Singapore now can visit what we later found out is a $1 billion construction of gardens, which look like they are straight out of Alice in Wonderland. Actually a conservatory with 226,000 plants and flowers from all around the globe, it is also home to 18 ‘Supertrees’ which serve as vertical gardens, collecting rain water and generating solar power, and acting as the venting ducts for the conservatory.
The Singapore Flyer also offers a longer time on board with a truly special dinner… the world’s first full butler sky dining. You will spend an hour rotating twice while enjoying a world-class 4-course meal in a private gondola.
It is a strangely beautiful architectural masterpiece and we just loved staring out at the Marina Bay Sands from everywhere else in Singapore.
But some of the absolute best views of the city are to be had on top of this building itself – from the Skydeck. The 340m-long SkyPark that tops the three towers is home to the highest infinity swimming pool in the world, and the world’s largest cantilevered platform (which is the 67 meters worth of overhang you see that makes the Skydeck almost look like ship sailing in the air.
There are several ways how you can access the Skypark. You can stay at the hotel, which in addition to views, gives you immediate acess to the infinity pool as well. There is an observation deck, but we figured that instead of investing S$20 for views only, why not grab a drink at the Sky on 57th restaurant instead. Sure, a glass of the house red costs $20, and a Singapore Fling is $18, but it’s the same price as the Observation Deck and there is nothing quite like having a drink at sunset looking out over the Marina Bay…
Plus, keep an eye out for celebrities while you’re here. The rich and famous love this hotel just as much as everybody else and Marina Bay Sands has hosted a long list of famous guests.
Highest point: 191 metres (626 meters)
Price: S$20 for the skydeck, or the price of a drink at one of the rooftop restaurants (starting at around S$8, or $18 – S$20 for a cocktail or glass of wine)
More information: Sky on 57 restaurant, Skypark Observation Deck
If you’d like to combine views with a fancy dinner, here is CNNgo’s list of Singapore’s five best rooftop bars and restaurants.
Have you been to Singapore? What is your favorite spot for views of Singapore’s skyline?