The best free things to do on Sentosa

No need to melt down your credit cards.

What we say: 3.5 stars

Sentosa Island may be one of Singapore’s main attractions, but even after you’ve paid S$3 for entrance by monorail the costs keep coming and coming – S$23 for Underwater World, S$10 for Songs of the Sea, S$70 for Universal Studios! Being on a budget doesn’t mean you should skip Sentosa, though you won’t see any of these free activities advertised in the glossy brochures.

The most obvious free thing to do on Sentosa is enjoy the beaches. The water may not look particularly inviting with huge tankers in the distance, but the spotless white sand is perfect for stretching out and soaking up the tropical sun. Tanjong is the quietest of the beaches and where you’ll want to head for some R&R. Palawan Beach is the family favourite, with its splash fountains, affordable eateries, and free kids’ entertainers on the weekend. Siloso is the see-and-be-seen beach for working on your tan or joining a game of beach volleyball. All beaches have change room facilities.

ride the free open-top bus

More free attractions can be found near Palawan. An open-air amphitheatre hosts Animal & Bird Encounters from 12:00 – 17:30 daily. Though the silly shows are designed for kids, who doesn’t enjoy clowning around with monkeys or holding a 12-foot python? Palawan Beach is also the access point for the rope bridge to a little island that claims to be the southernmost point of continental Asia. With a title that gimmicky, we’re surprised they’re not charging admission.

catch some rays at Palawan beach

Though it’s currently impossible to get to Sentosa without paying (a pedestrian bridge opens next month), once you’re on the island there is no charge for the trams or buses that take you from sight to sight. For a breezy tour of the whole island without paying a cent, I strongly suggest the open-top double-decker bus.

The Crane Dance - free!

Casinos are pretty much designed to part you from your money, but if you’re over 18 and have a foreign passport you can enter the new Resorts World Sentosa Casino for free (locals pay a hefty S$100 levy). It’s not sexy like Vegas, but there’s usually some art to admire, live entertainment in the evenings, and free (non-alcoholic) drinks. If it’s after dark, stick around to see the Crane Dance or Lake of Dreams shows also at Resorts World. These sound and light (and giant dancing robot crane) performances only last about 15 minutes, but admission is free.

Have you discovered any other free things to do on Sentosa? I’d love to hear them!

Last updated: 4th 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
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