Sentosa Island is one of the biggest tourist destinations in all of Singapore, and with good reason. It has been rebranded in the last few years from its original name, of Pulau Belakang Mati (“The Island After Death” in Malay). Now it has been changed quite a bit, adding shopping, Universal Studios theme park, a casino, hotels, and tons of shopping.
Basic Information about Sentosa Island
Sentosa Island is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Each attraction will have different hours.
To get onto the island, you will have to pay at least $2 per person, which is typically included in many transportation fees. You can get many different tickets in combination, depending on what you want to do, so you might want to figure some time into look at all of your options.
How to Get to Sentosa Island
The best way to get to Sentosa Island is to take the North-East MRT line to Harbour Front and then go to Level Three of Vivocity, where you will be able to hop on the monorail on the Sentosa Express. The train operates between the hours of 7:00 AM and 11:45 PM every day on a 5-8 minute schedule. A round trip ticket costs $4. You can also take the SMRT bus for $2, though it isn’t as convenient and takes longer.
A Cable Car is the more expensive (but memorable) option coming in at $29.
For those who don’t want to take public transportation, a taxi or car takes between $2 and $7 to enter. A taxi has a $3 surcharge.
There is a ferry, but since the terminal was destroyed during renovations, it is extremely limited.
If you want to walk, you can now take a bridge via the Sentosa Boardwalk, but you’ll have to pay a $1 fee.
How to Get Around Sentosa Island
The good news is that ALL internal transportation (other than taxis) is free.
Bus: Stagecoach took over Sentosa island busses, so everything is extremely well taken care of and runs like clockwork. There are three different busses.
Tram: Every 15-20 minutes, minivans and beach trams shuttle people from place to place. You can go from Beach Station to Siloso Beach or Beach Station to Palawan and Tanjong Beaches.
What to See in Sentosa Island
There have been a lot of jokes in the past about Sentosa Island because it was run down without a lot to do or see. However, the renovations and the increase in tourist traffic means that there have been a lot of improvements to the area. For families, this is definitely a place you could spend an entire day, but there is a focus on activities for children under the age of 15 or so.
Here are some of the things to see on Sentosa Island:
Dolphin Lagoon: This shares a ticket with Underwater World and has all of the traditional sea exhibit activities, including pink dolphins jumping through hoops, tails splashing, and a lot of fun for children.
For Siloso: Also near Underwater World, this is a former British Naval Base. You can tour the area and see a lot of the maritime history of the area and see the people who called the area home. This is a free activity.
Madam Tussauds: This is pretty much the same everywhere – wax figures of famous people.
Sentosa Luge & Skyride: A favorite for children, you take a ski lift up the hill and back down again in a bobsled. Children can go themselves as you won’t go too fast.
Sentosa Merlion: This is a 37-meter version of the statue by the Singapore River. It is beautiful at night, so this is when you should go. When you enter it, you can take the elevator up to the mouth and look at the Port of Singapore.
Songs of the Sea: This is a performance with a live cast, pyrotechnics, water jets, and lasers. You will absolutely have to book ahead of time, especially if you want to sit near the action.
Tiger Sky Tower: This attraction is located near the Cable Car. It is Asia’s tallest observation tower, coming in at 131 m above sea level. It offers unparalleled 360-degree views of the area. You can even see Malaysia and Indonesia when the air is clear!
S.E.A Aquarium: Explore the Museum to discover Asia’s maritime heritage. Then head to the S.E.A. Aquarium, Asia’s largest oceanarium that entices everyone (more than 100,000 marine animals). It has a walk-through aquarium with many different kinds of fishes and sharks. Almost everything caters to tourists, so you’ll be sure to have fun.
Things to do At Kusu Island
Kusu Island is reachable by ferry from Sentosa Island. You’ll see a lot of natural wildlife but still have the perks of a renovated and restored island. Here are some things to do here:
Da Bogong Temple: This is a small and simple Taoist temple dedicated to the Merchant God. If you go in October or November, you’ll be able to see the yearly Kusu Festival, where people make a pilgrimage to the island to pray for prosperity.
Keramat Kusu Island: This is a Muslim shrine that sits atop a hill. It is dedicated to the saint Syed Abdul Rahman and his family. The shrine is popular amongst childless couples who wish to have children.
Popular Family Activities in Sentosa Island
Some of the most popular events on Sentosa Island are those that families can do together. Resorts World is the most popular activity and it can be reached via the monorail or on the RWS busses from all over Singapore. Some of these activities include:
Botanical Gardens: The Botanical Garden in Singapore is a fantastic way to unwind and enjoy a bit of nature. You’ll see plants from all over the world, though there is a focus on plants from Singapore.
Casino: A beautiful casino that is underground the Crockfords Tower hotel. You’ll find 500 gaming tablets with 19 games with an emphasis on roulette, baccarat, and a few Asian favorites. You do have to dress up to go here.
Universal Studios Singapore: This if the first Universal Studios theme park in Southeast Asia. It has seven zones: Hollywood, New York, Sci-Fi City, Ancient Egypt, The Lost World, Far Far Away and Madagascar. Each world is slightly different with things to do for everyone. It has the world’s tallest dueling rollercoaster, a major attraction for older children. See our entire outline of what to do at Universal Studios Singapore.
Voyage de La Vie: This is a circus themed entertainment event about a boy’s journey to find out the meaning of life. It is filled with circus acts, gymnastic, athleticism, and a little bit of magic. It is certainly something that people of all ages will enjoy, but it does fill up fairly quickly and you may want to book your tickets early to get a great seat.
Where to Eat on Sentosa Island
It is unavoidable: kids get hungry. Most of the food on Sentosa is a bit pricy with some pretty basic options. If you want to go cheap, you can try the VivioCity or Harbour Front center, though there are plenty of better options if you are willing to pay.
7/11: Hey – if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. You can get cheap drinks and snacks here easily.
Food Republic Vivocity: This is a themed diner with a 1960s feel. It has a lot of amazing options for pretty cheap.
Garden Restaurant: This is a contemporary cuisine location that focuses on vegetarian options.
Sakae Sushi: It doesn’t look that great, but it is. This is conveyor belt sushi at its very best.
Seah Im Food Centre: Extremely popular with the locals (which means it’s a good idea) that has many different styles of Indian Muslim food. It looks older (because it is) but don’t let looks get in the way.
Thanying: Located at the Amara Sanctuary Resort, this is a well-known Thai restaurant that has some amazing duck curry.
Trapizza: Offers junk foods like pizzas and pastas that will fit anyone’s dietary restrictions. It also has a trapeze school.