Feel on top of the world, or at least on top of Singapore, with views from one of the world’s largest cantilevered platforms. The SkyPark, an open-air wooden observation deck, perches on the rooftop 57 levels above the city and offers unobstructed 360º views of Singapore’s skyline as it overhangs the triple towers of Marina Bay Sands Hotel.
This instantly recognisable part of Singapore’s skyline was designed by Moshe Safdie Architects and inspired by a pack of cards. From the deck you’ll have a birds’ eye view of the SuperTrees of Gardens by the Bay and the busy shipping lanes of Singapore Strait. The 1.2 hectare gravity-defying feat of engineering hosts restaurants, gardens and an exclusive infinity pool.
Unless you’re staying at the hotel or eating at one of the restaurants, the view comes with a price — S$23 for adults, S$17 for children (aged 2-12) and S$20 if you’re over 65. Tickets are for a single entry, but there’s no time limit to how long you can stay. Most restaurants have a minimum spend, however if you plan your visit for a weekday daytime, Cé La Vi Restaurant (formally Ku De Ta) waives the minimum, and it’s cheaper to buy a drink or snack at that time than pay for the ticket. Visit the Cé La Vi reservation counter at the lobby of tower three Monday to Friday, 12:00-15:00 if you haven’t made a prior reservation.
However for the best experience, we recommend late afternoon as a good time to visit, as you can see the city during the day, hopefully watch the sunset and then see it sparkle at night. At 17:45 a free light show illuminates Gardens at the Bay, and if you linger until 20:00 you can see “Wonder Full” light show at Marina Bay too. For a bit more comfort (and a bit more of a spend) Flight Bar has a minimum spend of S$30++, and cheapskates can get away with a drink and snack for that and get the view included (you’ll need to book). Note that all restaurants have a dress code. If you visit during the day, you’ll want a hat too — it’s hot and there’s no shade on the platform.
Don’t get too excited about the pool: Unless you’ve booked a hotel room, you won’t even be able to dip in a toe, and as impressive as it looks we thought it was very crowded the day we visited and have probably never seen as many people in a hotel pool — think human soup (doesn’t that make you feel better now?).
As the SkyPark is uncovered and open to the elements, it closes during extreme rain or lightning. If you have entered the park less than an hour prior to that, you are entitled to a refund. Overpriced snacks and souvenirs are available from a kiosk on the platform — if you want a drink, again it’s possibly better value to book at the bar. The SkyPark is a non-smoking venue. As you enter the observation area, your photo is snapped and miracles of modern photoshop impose your image on a night time view of the area, which you can purchase.
Tickets can be pre-booked with Marina Bay Sands at least one day before your visit, or are available prior to entry at the box office located at basement one, outside hotel tower three. Occasionally the observation deck may be closed for private events. If you fly into Singapore on Singapore Airlines or Silk Air, your boarding pass will get you 15 per cent off the ticket price. For an alternative sweeping vista, ION Sky at ION on Orchard offers a free view from 56 levels above Orchard Road.
How to get there
The nearest MRT is Bayfront.
By Sally Arnold.
Last updated on 30th May, 2016.
The Travelfish newsletter is sent out every Monday and is jammed full of free advice for travel in Southeast Asia. You can see past issues here.