islands near to singapore

Want to discover the best islands near Singapore?

Nestled at the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, Singapore is renowned not only for its vibrant urban environment but also for its strategic geographical setting that offers easy access to a myriad of enchanting islands.

Surrounded by the serene waters of the Singapore Strait, this bustling city-state serves as a gateway to an array of exquisite islands that lie in close proximity, presenting perfect escapades for travelers and locals alike.

Exploring the islands near Singapore has become increasingly popular as more discover the allure of these hidden gems.

These islands offer a refreshing contrast to the high-paced city life, providing serene environments, stunning natural landscapes, and a slower pace of life that many crave.

Whether it’s for a leisurely day trip or a longer, peaceful retreat, the islands surrounding Singapore cater to diverse tastes and are an essential exploration for anyone looking to enrich their experience of the region.

Embarking on a journey to these islands near Singapore not only satisfies the longing for tranquil natural settings but also unveils the rich tapestry of biodiversity and cultural heritage each island boasts.

This article aims to guide you through the best islands in close proximity to Singapore, ensuring your next getaway is as enchanting as the destinations themselves.

Why Explore Islands Near Singapore?

islands near singapore

Visiting the islands near Singapore offers a multitude of benefits that extend far beyond a simple change of scenery.

These islands are not just retreats from the bustling city life; they are gateways to worlds unmarred by skyscrapers and busy streets, where natural beauty, tranquility, and unique cultural experiences await.

Natural Beauty

Each island near Singapore is a world of its own, boasting lush greenery, pristine beaches, and clear blue waters.

From the rich ecosystems of mangroves and coral reefs in Pulau Ubin to the serene sands of Lazarus Island, nature lovers will find themselves spoilt for choice.

These islands offer a visual feast and a much-needed respite for the soul, providing the perfect setting to unwind and reconnect with nature.


The tranquility found on these islands provides a stark contrast to the frenetic pace of Singapore.

Time seems to slow down here, allowing visitors to relax in ways that the main island may not permit.

Whether it’s lounging on a secluded beach, enjoying a leisurely walk along coastal paths, or partaking in meditation retreats, the islands serve as ideal sanctuaries for those seeking peace and quiet.

Unique Cultures

Beyond their scenic vistas, the islands near Singapore also offer a glimpse into diverse cultural heritages.

For example, Kusu Island is steeped in folklore and hosts ancient shrines and temples visited by thousands during the annual pilgrimage season.

These cultural experiences provide a deeper understanding of the region’s history and traditions, enriching your travel experience.

Short Travel Times and Accessibility

One of the greatest advantages of these islands is their proximity to Singapore.

Most are just a short ferry ride away, making them easily accessible for both spontaneous day trips and planned vacations.

This accessibility means that even the busiest individuals can afford the time to escape, without the hassle of long travel arrangements.

Introduction of the Islands That Will Be Covered in the Article

In the coming sections, we will delve into the specific attractions and unique offerings of several key islands near Singapore. We will explore:

  • Sentosa Island: The famed island resort known for its themed attractions, golden beaches, and luxury resorts.
  • Pulau Ubin: A throwback to Singapore’s kampung days, offering rustic charm and adventurous outdoor activities.
  • St. John’s Island: A former quarantine station turned idyllic retreat, perfect for picnics and group outings.
  • Lazarus Island: Connected to St. John’s by a paved causeway, known for some of the best beaches in Singapore’s territory.
  • Kusu Island: A cultural and historical site, famous for its temples and tranquil beaches.
  • Sisters’ Islands: Known for their rich marine biodiversity, making them a hotspot for snorkelers and nature enthusiasts.
  • Batam and Bintan (Indonesia): These Indonesian islands offer a blend of leisure, culture, and luxury, just a ferry ride away.

Each of these destinations promises unique adventures and experiences, catering to a wide range of interests and desires, ensuring that your exploration of the islands near Singapore will be as enriching as it is exciting.

Featured Islands Near Singapore

Each island near Singapore brings its own unique flavor and charm.

Below, we provide detailed insights into what makes each of these islands a must-visit destination.

1. Sentosa Island

sentosa island
  • Location and Access: Sentosa is easily accessible by car, public bus, cable car, and even on foot via the Sentosa Boardwalk from mainland Singapore.
  • Key Attractions: Universal Studios Singapore, S.E.A. Aquarium, beaches like Palawan and Siloso, Fort Siloso Skywalk.
  • Accommodations: From luxury resorts like Capella Hotel to budget-friendly options such as the Sentosa Beach Resort.
  • Dining: Offers a range of cuisines at places like The Knolls, Table65.
  • Best Time to Visit: Year-round destination, with peak tourist seasons during school holidays.
  • Cultural Insights: Known for its high-energy attractions, but also home to quieter historical sites like Fort Siloso.
  • Conservation Efforts: Sentosa Development Corporation actively engages in sustainability and conservation programs.

2. Pulau Ubin

Pulau Ubin
  • Location and Access: A 10-minute bumboat ride from Changi Point Ferry Terminal.
  • Key Attractions: Chek Jawa Wetlands, Ubin Fruit Orchard, and Ketam Mountain Bike Park.
  • Accommodations: Primarily camping and homestays, reflecting the island’s rustic nature.
  • Dining: Simple local fare available at village eateries near the main jetty.
  • Best Time to Visit: Avoid rainy seasons; ideal in the cooler months from February to April.
  • Cultural Insights: Experience the kampung lifestyle, with opportunities to interact with local villagers.
  • Conservation Efforts: Visitors can join nature conservation programs, including habitat enhancements and coastal clean-ups.

3. St. John’s Island

St. John’s Island
  • Location and Access: Accessible via a public ferry from Marina South Pier.
  • Key Attractions: Lagoons, hiking trails, and a rich marine biodiversity at the St. John’s Island National Marine Laboratory.
  • Accommodations: Holiday bungalows and campsites are available for booking.
  • Dining: Visitors are advised to bring their own food as options are limited.
  • Best Time to Visit: Ideal during the dry season, from March to October.
  • Cultural Insights: Once a quarantine station, it has a rich historical backdrop.
  • Conservation Efforts: Part of the Sisters’ Islands Marine Park which focuses on the conservation of marine life.

4. Lazarus Island

Lazarus Island
  • Location and Access: Reached via the same ferry service to St. John’s Island, followed by a short walk.
  • Key Attractions: One of Singapore’s best-kept secrets with beautiful, uncrowded beaches.
  • Accommodations: No accommodations; day trips are common.
  • Dining: No dining facilities; picnicking is popular.
  • Best Time to Visit: Year-round, though weekdays are less crowded.
  • Cultural Insights: Mostly undeveloped, offering a serene escape.
  • Conservation Efforts: Part of efforts to keep the island’s natural habitats unspoiled.

5. Kusu Island

Kusu Island
  • Location and Access: Ferry services available from Marina South Pier.
  • Key Attractions: The Chinese Temple, Malay Shrine, and turtle sanctuary.
  • Accommodations: Day visitation is most common, as there are no overnight stays.
  • Dining: Bring your own, as facilities are limited.
  • Best Time to Visit: Popular during the annual Kusu Pilgrimage in the ninth lunar month.
  • Cultural Insights: Rich in folklore, visitors are expected to respect the spiritual sites.
  • Conservation Efforts: Efforts include maintaining the turtle sanctuary and promoting clean visiting practices.

6. Sisters’ Islands

Sisters' Islands
  • Location and Access: Accessible by chartered boat from Marina South Pier.
  • Key Attractions: Marine Park with guided walks to explore the marine biodiversity.
  • Accommodations: No facilities; intended for educational and conservation purposes.
  • Dining: Visitors should bring their own supplies.
  • Best Time to Visit: Register for a visit during the public guided tours, typically offered when weather permits.
  • Cultural Insights: Known for their legends of sisterly love and devotion.
  • Conservation Efforts: Active involvement in marine habitat restoration projects.

7. Batam and Bintan (Indonesia)

bintan island
  • Location and Access: Easily accessible by ferry from Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal, with trips taking from 45 minutes to 2 hours.
  • Key Attractions: Golf courses, beaches, shopping at Nagoya, and water sports.
  • Accommodations: Wide range from beach resorts to luxury hotels.
  • Dining: Rich Indonesian

Adventure and Activities

island singapore

The islands near Singapore not only offer serene getaways but are also hubs for a range of exciting activities.

Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie, a nature enthusiast, or a history buff, these islands provide ample opportunities to engage in adventurous and enriching experiences.

Snorkeling and Water Sports

Many of the islands boast clear, calm waters making them ideal for water-based activities.

At Sisters’ Islands, part of the first marine park in Singapore, you can snorkel alongside vibrant coral reefs and spot a diverse range of marine life.

Similarly, the waters around Bintan and Batam are perfect for jet skiing, kayaking, and parasailing, offering both thrilling rides and scenic tranquility.

Hiking and Nature Walks

For those who prefer land-based adventures, the rugged trails and rich ecosystems offer fantastic hiking opportunities.

Pulau Ubin, for example, is a haven for trekkers with its extensive network of trails that offer views of quarries, wetlands, and traditional kampongs.

Similarly, St. John’s Island offers leisurely trails that allow you to explore its historical sites and beautiful lagoons.

Historical Tours

The islands near Singapore are steeped in history, each with its own story. On Kusu Island, you can learn about its mythology with guided tours that explain the significance of its sacred sites.

Sentosa’s Fort Siloso offers a historical tour of its World War II-era fortifications, providing insights into Singapore’s past military defenses.

Wildlife Spotting

These islands are also fantastic for spotting a variety of wildlife, especially bird species and marine life.

Pulau Ubin is known for its rich biodiversity, including the chance to see wild boars, monkeys, and rare birds like the Oriental Pied Hornbill.

The marine park areas around Sisters’ Islands allow for guided tours where you can learn about marine conservation and observe sea creatures in their natural habitats.

Photography Spots

Each island offers unique landscapes that are perfect for photography enthusiasts.

Lazarus Island, with its pristine white sandy beaches and turquoise waters, provides picturesque scenes ideal for capturing stunning photographs.

The rustic charm of Pulau Ubin, with its wooden houses and jetties, also makes for compelling subjects for those looking to add a touch of nostalgia to their photos.

Other Recreational Activities

Beyond the typical, there are numerous other recreational activities to engage in.

On Sentosa, you can experience the thrill of skydiving indoors at iFly or engage in a game of beach volleyball on one of its many beaches.

Batam’s numerous spas offer a chance to relax and rejuvenate after a day of adventures.

Planning Your Trip

bawah reserve

Exploring the islands near Singapore is an exciting prospect, but like any trip, it requires thoughtful planning.

Here are some tips to ensure your visit is both enjoyable and hassle-free, along with some advice on how to make the most of your time, especially if it’s limited.

Tips on Planning an Itinerary

  • Prioritize Your Interests: Decide what type of activities you most enjoy—whether it’s relaxing on the beach, hiking through nature reserves, or exploring historical sites—and let that guide which islands you choose to visit.
  • Check Accessibility and Ferry Schedules: Some islands may have limited ferry services, so it’s important to check schedules in advance and plan your travels accordingly.
  • Consider Overnight Stays: If you’re planning to visit multiple islands or want to fully explore what an island has to offer, consider staying overnight. This is especially feasible on islands like Batam, Bintan, and Sentosa.

Recommendations for Travel Insurance and Health Tips

  • Travel Insurance: Always a good idea when traveling, ensure that your policy covers medical emergencies, especially if you’re planning to engage in water sports or other adventurous activities.
  • Health Precautions: Stay hydrated and use sunscreen liberally. Mosquito repellent is a must, particularly on more rural islands like Pulau Ubin, to protect against insect-borne diseases.
  • Safety Guidelines: Always adhere to local safety guidelines and respect nature. Be cautious when engaging in water activities and check weather conditions before embarking on sea trips.

How to Make the Most of a Short Trip

  • Combine Islands Smartly: Look into combining visits to nearby islands, like St. John’s and Lazarus Islands, which are connected by a causeway, or plan a day trip to both Kusu and Sisters’ Islands.
  • Guided Tours: Consider booking guided tours, especially for nature reserves and historical sites, to gain deeper insights and a more structured experience.
  • Maximize Your Early Mornings and Late Evenings: Start your day early to make the most of the daylight hours and consider activities like evening beach walks or night markets on islands like Batam and Bintan.

Useful Tips

  • Book in Advance: For accommodations and ferries, booking in advance can save you from last-minute hassles and often secures better rates.
  • Pack Light and Right: Depending on the activities you plan, pack accordingly. Essentials include a change of clothes, swimsuits, comfortable footwear, and any necessary gear like snorkels or hiking sticks.
  • Local Connectivity: Consider purchasing a local SIM card if staying for several days, especially on the Indonesian islands, to stay connected and access online maps and resources.


The islands near Singapore offer an array of diverse and enriching experiences that cater to every type of traveler.

From the thrilling adventure sports in Batam and Bintan to the tranquil, untouched beaches of Lazarus and Sisters’ Islands, each destination provides a unique escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Whether you’re a history enthusiast eager to explore the storied pasts of Kusu and St. John’s Islands, or a nature lover looking to immerse yourself in the lush landscapes of Pulau Ubin, these islands promise adventures that are both refreshing and rejuvenating.

This guide has walked you through the must-visit islands, highlighted the myriad of activities you can indulge in—from snorkeling and hiking to historical tours and wildlife spotting—and offered practical tips on how to plan your visit.

These islands are not just spots on the map but are destinations rich in beauty, culture, and history, each waiting to offer you something special.

singapore island

FAQ’s About the Islands Near Singapore:

What are the islands to the south of Singapore?

The islands to the south of Singapore include Sentosa, the Sisters’ Islands (comprising Big Sister’s Island and Little Sister’s Island), Kusu Island, St. John’s Island, and Lazarus Island.

These islands are popular destinations for both tourists and locals due to their beaches, parks, and recreational activities.

Which is the best island near Singapore?

Sentosa Island is often considered the best island near Singapore due to its wide range of attractions and activities.

It hosts Universal Studios Singapore, S.E.A. Aquarium, numerous beaches, luxury resorts, and golf courses, making it a complete leisure destination.

Which beach is easiest to get to from Singapore?

Siloso Beach on Sentosa Island is the easiest beach to access from Singapore.

It can be reached quickly via cable car, monorail (Sentosa Express), or even walking across the Sentosa Boardwalk, offering convenience and a variety of leisure activities.

What island countries are near Singapore?

The nearest island countries to Singapore are Indonesia and Malaysia. Indonesia’s closest parts include the islands of Batam and Bintan, both popular for short getaways with Singaporeans due to their proximity.

Malaysia’s nearest territory includes the state of Johor on the mainland and the island of Penang further north.

How to get to Langkawi from Singapore?

To get to Langkawi from Singapore, you can take a direct flight which typically lasts about 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Alternatively, you can drive or take a bus to Kuala Perlis or Kuala Kedah in Malaysia and then take a ferry to Langkawi.

This route is more time-consuming but offers scenic views along the way.

How do I get to Gili Islands from Singapore?

To reach the Gili Islands from Singapore, the most common route involves flying to Lombok International Airport in Indonesia.

From Lombok, you can travel to Bangsal Harbor and take a ferry to the Gili Islands. Alternatively, you can fly to Bali and take a fast boat from either Serangan, Padangbai, or Amed to the Gili Islands.

What island is off the coast of Singapore?

Pulau Ubin is an island situated off the northeastern coast of Singapore.

It remains one of the last rural areas in Singapore, offering a glimpse of the country’s kampong (village) lifestyle, rich biodiversity, and outdoor recreational activities like biking and hiking.

What is the closest country to Singapore for tourists?

The closest country to Singapore for tourists is Malaysia, with the state of Johor directly north of Singapore, accessible via the Johor-Singapore Causeway and the Malaysia-Singapore Second Link.

Malaysia offers a diverse range of attractions, from urban exploration in Kuala Lumpur to natural retreats in Cameron Highlands.

What is the offshore island around Singapore?

One notable offshore island around Singapore is Pulau Tekong, located to the northeast of the main island.

It is primarily known for being a military training base and is not accessible to the general public.

For leisure and tourism, Sentosa and the Southern Islands like St. John’s and Kusu are the primary offshore islands frequented by visitors.

island close to singapore

(Island Expert)

Christian is a dynamic serial entrepreneur and a licensed real estate agent with a relentless passion for unlocking the potential of island real estate. Christian's expertise extends beyond entrepreneurship and property transactions. He possesses a profound expertise in crafting captivating content and persuasive copywriting tailored exclusively to the enchanting realm of island real estate.

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