Where to photograph the Singapore skyline

Plenty of great vantage points.

What we say: 3.5 stars

With gleaming skyscrapers, colonial hotels, the world’s tallest ferris wheel, and a Merlion, there’s no mistaking the Singapore skyline for anywhere else in the world. If you’re hoping to get some panoramic photos of this dazzling city-state, these viewpoints are where you’ll want to be.

Picture-perfect Singapore.

Marina Bay Sands Skypark: Singapore’s newest observation point is the open-air Skypark atop the Marina Bay Sands Hotel & Casino complex. The panoramas from the 55th storey are stunning and the glass barriers only go up to chest level so there are no pesky reflections to ruin your photos. The strict security may not let you bring bulky tripods into the Skypark which seems unfair considering the hefty admission price – S$20 a person.

1-Altitude Bar: High above Raffles Place, this rooftop bar is also a great place to photograph the Singapore skyline. At 63 storeys 1-Altitude is even higher than the Skypark, but more importantly the gravity-defying Marina Bay Sands complex will actually be in your photos instead of just the vantage point. If you hold your camera above the glass barriers there is absolutely nothing to obstruct the views and tripods are no problem. Admission is S$18 but at least this includes a drink.

At 282 metres, there's nothing to obstruct the view but clouds.

Pinnacle @ Duxton: Sort of a poor man’s Marina Bay Sands, this monstrosity on the edge of Chinatown is the world’s tallest public housing apartment. The 50th storey open-air sky-bridge that connects its seven towers is open to the public every day from 09:00 til 22:00. The double security barrier makes it a little harder to take unobstructed photographs, but the contrast between low-rise Chinatown and the high-rise financial district makes for striking images. Admission is a bargain S$5 but you must pay by EZ-Link card.

Singapore Flyer: In the 30 minutes it takes to make one revolution on the world’s highest Ferris wheel you’ll have plenty of time to take photos. On a clear day you can see all the way to Malaysia and Indonesia, but the Singapore Flyer is at its most magical at night when the city is lit up like a Christmas tree and the crowds are way smaller (at 21:00 on a Thursday night I had a capsule all to myself). You’ll be snapping pictures through glass, so it’s worth bringing a tripod and a polarizing filter to eliminate glare. Full price tickets cost S$29.50 – check the official website for discounts.

Next time I'm taking a tripod.

Rooftop of the Esplanade: It really isn’t that high up, but the rooftop of the Esplanade Theatre is the ideal vantage point for getting the Merlion, Fullerton Hotel, and financial district in one postcard-perfect shot. On weekends you’ll see local shutterbugs up here experimenting with their new DLSRs and wide angle lenses. Even better, it’s completely free, which means you’ll have cash for chilli crab at Gluttons Bay hawker centre on the ground level.

Last updated: 15th November, 2014

About the author:
Tanya Procyshyn is a Singapore-based freelance writer and photographer. With a passion for unusual destinations, she has camped alongside Komodo dragons and shook hands with soldiers in North Korea. She blogs at www.idreamofdurian.com.
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