It’s been a while since overseas leisure travel came to a screeching halt, so if you’re already running out of fun things to do in mainland Singapore, we completely understand. But have you considered venturing further?  

We’re talking, of course, about getting on a boat and checking out the many offshore islands surrounding Singapore. First off, you’d be surprised by how many there are — a total of 64 offshore islands! Moreover, activities galore await at these places, from nature walks to snorkelling, cycling to eco-tours. No flight tickets or passports are needed at all. 

So pack your bags with snacks and sunscreen; it’s time to go island-hopping! It might not be practical to visit all of them in a day, so it’s best to spread them out across a couple of days to fully soak in the sights.     

1. Coney Island

The first stop in this offshore escapade is probably the most accessible. Getting to Coney Island is easy - simply walk from the mainland.

Although it was intended to be modelled after the bustling amusement park in 1950, Singapore’s Coney Island bears nothing in similarity to the one in New York. Also known as Pulau Serangoon, the 133ha island is located off the northeastern coast, with each end of the island accessible from two bridges; one from Punggol Promenade and the other from Lorong Halus.  

You can easily trek and cycle around Coney Island, thanks to a paved path where visitors can marvel at the towering Casuarina trees. Even for such a small piece of land, more than 80 species of birds — including the Baya Weavers, the Oriental Magpie-robins, and the Long-tailed Parakeets — have made their homes on the island. Aside from bird watchers, keep a lookout for couples having their wedding shoots too; such is the rustic charm of Coney Island.  

Even if you’re not interested in birds, you can easily spend hours wandering away from the main path to trek through the many beach areas, coastal trails, a mangrove forest and a comfortable promenade with plenty of picnic and photo opportunities.  

To remain as environmentally sustainable as possible, Coney Island is entirely off the grid, meaning it’s not connected to Singapore’s mainland power or water system. There won’t be any lamp posts around to guide you after dark — so you might want to get out before the park’s closing time! 

How to get there: From Punggol Point Park, stroll down Punggol Promenade Nature Walk to the West Entrance of Coney Island
Opening hours: Opens daily from 7:00am to 7:00pm

How long does it take to walk around Coney Island?

The time it takes to walk around Coney Island depends on the pace of the individual, as well as the stops they make along the way. On average, it takes about 1 to 2 hours to walk the entire perimeter of the park. However, if you want to explore the various trails and habitats within the park, it may take longer.

Where is Coney Island in Singapore?

Coney Island is located in the northeastern part of Singapore, in the Punggol area. The park is situated between Punggol Promenade and Serangoon Reservoir, and is accessible via the Coney Island West Entrance and East Entrance. To get to the park, you can take public transport such as the MRT and bus, and alight at Punggol Point Park or Punggol Settlement. From there, it is a short walk to the park entrances.

2. St. John’s Island

rocky shores of st john’s island, singapore rocky shores of st john’s island, singapore

Spot the Horn-eyed Ghost Crab and other marine life when you trail along the rocky shores at St John’s Island

Make your way to Marina South Pier and hop on a ferry ride to St John’s Island, one of our many southern islands. What was once a penal settlement is now a lush tropical destination for day-trippers as well as a place for marine research and conservation in Singapore.  

The rich biodiversity of our country’s waters is put on full display at St John’s Island National Marine Laboratory, where visitors can get an overview of the island’s conservation efforts. To get even closer to marine life, there’s a beach for a relaxing swim in the waters, a lagoon protected by sea barriers. During low tide, visitors can even enjoy an intertidal walk on the lagoon to catch native marine life up close, like the Horn-eyed Ghost Crab, the Fluted Giant Clam, and more than 250 species of hard corals. 

Otherwise, you can embark on an unguided tour along the island’s 2.8km walking trail by grabbing a copy of the DIY trail guide at the Sisters’ Islands Marine Park Public Gallery. Guided tours are available, check out more information on NParks’ website.

How to get there: From Marina South Pier*, take a ferry (approximately 40min) to St John’s Island 
Price: S$15 for adults, S$12 for kids and senior citizens 

*Please check ferry schedules before heading down.

How can I get from Singapore to St John's Island?

St. John's Island is located south of mainland Singapore and is accessible by ferry. The ferry terminal, located at Marina South Pier, can be easily reached by public transport such as MRT and bus. From Marina South Pier, take a ferry to St John's Island. The ferry ride takes around 40 minutes and tickets can be purchased at the ferry terminal.

Does St John's Island belong to Singapore?

Yes, St John's Island is part of Singapore and is one of the southern islands of Singapore. It was formerly known as Pulau Sakijang Bendera and was renamed St John's Island in 1975. The island has a rich history. Today, it is a popular destination for day trips and picnics, with facilities such as campsites, barbecue pits, and swimming lagoons available for public use.

3. Lazarus Island

If you’re already at St John’s Island, you can also take a walk to Lazarus Island, which is just 10 minutes away across a causeway. Yes, the walk’s a bit far out, but what awaits you on the other side is one of the best-kept beaches in Singapore, with pristine white sands and crystal-clear waters that you’d never have thought existed. 

The beach is gorgeous enough to be a premier destination for many expats in Singapore, most of whom would typically charter private yachts for day trips there. Since it’s a more secluded beach that isn’t as easily accessible as the ones on the mainland or Sentosa, the tranquillity here is unmatched. You won’t spot big crowds around and there’s more than enough space for a private picnic and a proper swim in the sea.  

Over on the southern side of the island is a rocky shoreline, home to various critically endangered trees, including the Penaga Laut, the Pelir Musang and the Bonduc Nut. Just be careful while trekking amid the greenery, lest you come across the mildly venomous gold-ringed cat snake. If you do, remain calm and back away from the snake while keeping an eye on it. The snake should soon find the nearest cover to hide under. 

Seasoned anglers will find that the waters around Lazarus Island make for a great fishing spot, with dozens of species to reel in. Even newbies can join in the fun activity with an introductory course (S$100 per pax, inclusive of direct ferry rides between Lazarus Island and Marina South Pier) via My Fishing Frenzy Academy. Truly a place to escape the hustle and bustle of city life in Singapore.  

How to get there: From Marina South Pier*, take a ferry (approximately 40min) to St John’s Island and walk (approximately 10min) to Lazarus Island. 
Price: S$15 for adults, S$12 for kids and senior citizens. Prices vary for private yacht charters.  

*Please check ferry schedules before heading down.

What is Lazarus Island known for?

Lazarus Island is known for its stunning white sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters, making it a popular spot for swimming and picnicking. Fishing is also a popular activity here. The island is also known for its tranquil atmosphere, as it is one of the quieter islands off Singapore.

Can you stay on Lazarus Island?

Yes! There are currently five eco-friendly Tiny Houses available for rental. These compact units are sustainable in several ways - they are built with sustainable composite building materials, powered by solar energy, have high-tech food waste recycling systems, and provide biodegradable toiletries to guests. Prices start from S$284 per night. Find out more on their website.

4. Kusu Island

If you need something with more culture and heritage, look no further than Kusu Island, located 5.6km off the southern coast of Singapore. Embodiments of spirituality can be found plenty across the island, being home to a Chinese temple and three Malay shrines.  

It’s a place steeped in mystery and folklore. Legend has it that two shipwrecked fishermen, one Malay and the other Chinese, were saved by a mystical tortoise that turned itself into an island. Hence, “kusu”, Hokkien for “tortoise” or “turtle”.  

Here you’ll find Da Bo Gong Temple, a sacred site built in 1923 that still draws dozens of worshippers during the ninth lunar month for the annual Kusu Pilgrimage to pray for good health, wealth, and children. Within the grounds of the temple stands a tortoise sanctuary, both as a tribute to the legend of the island and a Chinese symbol of longevity. Aside from the many resident tortoises, a pair of stone tortoises stand guard in front of the Turtle Lagoon. 

Make your way to the northeastern end of the island to find The Kusu Kramats, three shrines commemorating three pious Malay figures — Syed Abdul Rahman, his mother Nenek Ghalib, and his sister Puteri Fatimah — who lived in the 19th century. Devotees from as far as Vietnam and Thailand would trek up the 152 steps to the shrines and pray for good health, fortune and fertility. Not much is known about the people of the shrines, but their graves were venerated following their deaths. 

Like St. John’s Island, Kusu Island is replete with a sprawling variety of corals, which can be seen along intertidal zones. As for marine wildlife, clown fishes, anemone shrimps and giant clams have made their home in the island’s waters.

How to get there: From Marina South Pier*, take a ferry to Kusu Island (approximately 1hr, with a stop at St. John’s Island in between)
Price: S$15 for adults, S$12 for kids and senior citizens 

*Please check ferry schedules before heading down.

How long is the ferry ride to Kusu Island?

The ferry ride to Kusu Island takes about 1 hour from Marina South Pier in Singapore. The ferry ride offers beautiful views of the Singapore skyline and the surrounding islands.

Can I stay overnight at Kusu Island?

Unfortunately, overnight stays are not allowed on Kusu Island. The island is open for day trips only, and visitors must leave the island by the last ferry. However, visitors can spend the day exploring the island's attractions and the island also has picnic areas, restrooms, and shower facilities for visitors' convenience.

5. Pulau Ubin

Of course, offshore island adventures in Singapore wouldn’t be complete without Pulau Ubin.  

A 15-minute bumboat ride from Changi Point Ferry Terminal, the island is best explored on the  bicycle — though you can go on foot if you’re up for a long trek.  

When on a bicycle, you can enjoy most of Pulau Ubin’s sights in a day. It’s an easy ride to the island’s Chek Jawa Wetlands, an intertidal zone with rich biodiversity that can be appreciated across a wooden boardwalk circling the coastline. After which, visitors can walk through the Mangrove Loop for a closer look at the wildlife, including oriental pied hornbills, smooth-coated otters, wild boars, mud crabs and monitor lizards. Be sure to climb up the seven-storey Jejawi Tower there for a birds-eye view of Pulau Ubin’s coastline and tree canopy, which includes the Malayan Banyan, the Common Pulai, and Rubber trees. A good time to put your new camera to use!

Another viewpoint not to be missed is Puaka Hill on the western end of the island, which overlooks Ubin Quarry. Fun fact: Pulau Ubin has six quarries — granite was mined from the island for use in the construction of early public housing and roads in mainland Singapore back in the ‘70s.  

Those wanting a bit more thrill can go off-road biking at Ketam Mountain Bike Park, with over 10km of hard trails for adventuring cyclists who aren’t afraid of getting a bit of mud on them.  

After all that excitement, visitors can connect with the old ways on the Sensory Trail, which will take them through the backyards of the island’s village homes to see fruits, vegetables, spices and herbs being grown — crops that were important to Pulau Ubin in the early days.  

End the rustic expedition with refreshing coconut juice from Ah Ma Drink Stall. Managed and run by island resident Ong Ang Kui, she sells drinks and fruits plucked fresh from the many trees surrounding her stall. Truly kampung living!

How to get there: From Changi Point Ferry Terminal*, take a bumboat (approximately 15min) to Pulau Ubin
Price: S$3 for a single trip, additional S$2 to bring a bicycle on board 

*Please check ferry schedules before heading down.

Do you need a passport for Pulau Ubin?

No, you do not need a passport to visit Pulau Ubin. Pulau Ubin is part of Singapore and is located just off the northeastern coast of the main island. As such, visitors are not required to go through immigration or show their passports to visit the island.

How much is the ferry to Pulau Ubin?

The ferry ride to Pulau Ubin is quite affordable, with fares ranging from S$3 to S$5 per person. The ferries operate from the Changi Point Ferry Terminal and run from early morning until late evening. Visitors can also opt for a chartered bumboat ride to the island, which can cost around S$35 to S$40 for a round trip.

6. Sisters’ Island

sisters island singapore sisters island singapore

Want to feel like you’re in paradise without getting on a plane? Head down south to the Sisters’ Island to get a close-up view of protected coral reefs, sandy shores and marine life!

Sisters' Island is an absolute paradise tucked away in the offshore of Singapore. These two southern islands, separated by a narrow channel, boast pristine beaches, vibrant coral reefs, and lush mangrove forests that will leave you speechless. It's the perfect destination for travellers looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and immerse themselves in nature. 

To get to Sisters' Island from the main island of Singapore, catch a ferry from Marina South Pier and bask in the stunning views of the city skyline and the surrounding islands. The ferry ride takes about 30 minutes and will leave you feeling refreshed and invigorated once you reach the island. Take note that only the bigger island is open to the public; Small Sister’s Island is an area of conservation.

One of the island's highlights is its Marine Park, where you can explore a rich array of marine life, including corals, seagrasses, and fish. Snorkelling and diving are popular activities. You may even spot some sea turtles, dolphins, or other marine creatures!

The island's nature trail is a great way to get a glimpse of the island's diverse flora and fauna and spot some of the animal species. If you're in the mood to chill, you can always just sit back and relax by having a picnic on the beach and soaking up the sun.

Sisters' Island is one of Singapore's hidden gems that's well worth a visit. Whether you're a nature lover, an adventure enthusiast, or simply seeking a serene escape, you'll find everything you need on this island. Don't miss out on this unforgettable experience — you're in for a delightful time!

How to get there: From Marina South Pier, take a ferry (approximately 30min) to Sisters’ Island
Price: S$17 for adults, S$12 for children aged 4 to 12

*Please check ferry schedules before heading down.
*Note that Sisters’ Island is closed for maintenance until 2024.

Is Sisters' Island open to the public all year round?

Yes, Sisters' Island is open to the public all year round. However, visitors are required to book their visit in advance through a licensed operator, as the island has a limited carrying capacity to ensure the preservation of its delicate ecosystem.

Are there any facilities on Sisters' Island for visitors?

Yes, there are basic facilities on Sisters' Island, including picnic tables, washrooms, and shower facilities. However, visitors are encouraged to bring their own food, drinks, and other essentials, as there are no stores or restaurants on the island. Additionally, visitors must take all their trash with them when they leave the island to keep the environment clean and healthy.


On our sunny island of Singapore, we often forget that there is more than just the mainland to spend our leisure time— we’ve got a tonne of islands too with many fun activities waiting to be explored! And while all of us wait out the pandemic in the hopes of returning to holidays abroad, we might as well hop on a boat and travel yonder for tropical adventures right across our shores.


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