Once just a body of water where ships docked to transfer passengers and goods onto smaller boats that could better navigate the narrow Singapore river, the Marina Bay area has since transformed to become home to some of the most internationally-recognized landmarks of the city.
Dig up a photo of Marina Bay from the 1950s and you’ll see that the landscape is starkly different to what you see today. The bay area was created by a land reclamation project between 1969 and 1992, reclaiming a total of approximately 360-hectares of land, guiding the Singapore River to flow into the bay area to create the scenic waterfront location you know today. In 1983, the Singapore government first articulated that the bay area was to be optimized to create a distinctive image with international landmarks that would be recognizable trademarks of the city. And boy, did they succeed.
Fast forward a few decades and the Marina Bay area has now transformed into one of the most affluent and luxurious areas of Singapore. Its centerpiece is Marina Bay Sands, an integrated luxury resort which at the time of opening in 2010 was billed as the world’s most expensive standalone casino property, and is now the towering figure that many cover photos of Singapore are centered upon. Establishments such as the Esplanade and the ArtScience museum lend to the creative bloodlines of the area by showcasing the arts, cultures, and sciences. A-list nightclubs, swanky bars, and celebrity dining destinations are always only just a few minutes away.
It is a dream for many to have a postal code in this area. Tall, modern, shiny condominiums offer up lavish accommodations suitable for luxury living. Of course, it will do you well to expect no less from the prices in this area. Marina Bay is mainly populated by high-flying executives, successful businessmen, entrepreneurs, and up-and-coming young professionals. The neighbourhood great for those who have a large budget and want to be right in the center of Singapore, where the city lights are always bright, and thrills and excitements are never too far away.
Marina Bay is bordered on the north by Marina Bay (body of water), on the east by and south by the Straits of Singapore, and on the west by Cecil.
CBD: 2.3 km / 10-20 minutes by car / 20-30 minutes by transit / 25-30 minutes by foot
Changi Business Park: 17 km / 15-25 minutes by car / 60-70 minutes by transit
Jurong International Business Park: 18 km / 20-40 minutes by car / 55-70 minutes by transit
One North Buona Vista: 11.5 km / 15-40 minutes by car / 40-45 minutes by transit
Tuas: 40.1 km / 45-65 minutes by car / 120 minutes by transit
The icon of glamour, aspiration, luxury, and all things shiny and new, the Marina Bay Sands towers stand tall over the bay, forming the most distinctive landmark on the Singapore landscape in its modern era. An integrated luxury resort, Marina Bay Sands boasts celebrity restaurants, five-star dining options, luxury retail shops, a roof-top infinity pool, an even an indoor ice-skating rink.
From afar, the Gardens By The Bay seems almost fantasy-like, with its glowing “Supertrees” towering over 101 hectares of rolling greenery. Large domes dot the lush landscape, home to a multitude of species of plant life, some so rare they are on the verge of extinction. A selection of dining options is also available within the grounds, including one high up in a Supertree with 360-degree views of the bay.
LeVel 33 is the world's highest urban craft-brewery, housed in the penthouse of the Marina Bay Financial Centre. With a captivating and unobstructed view of the bay, this terribly kept secret is what sees tourists and executives alike flock to the bar for dinner, drinks and snaps. Be prepared to shell out a little here – that view does come with a price tag.
One of the most distinctive landmarks on the Marina Bay landscape, the Esplanade (also known as “the Durian” to Singaporeans due its likeness to the fruit) holds large concert theatres seating up to 2000 people, as well as more intimate venues for smaller events. It is a hub of creativity, with many live performances taking place in and around the building. If you’re feeling a little peckish, be sure to check out Makansutra Gluttons Bay, a modest street showcasing a collection of some of Singapore’s best local street food, set against the backdrop of the beautiful bay.
Originally built in the 19th century, Lau Pa Sat is a distinctive landmark in the area, with its unique octagonal shape, ornate columns, and beautiful clock tower that still chimes every hour. After several restorations and location movements, Lau Pa Sat now sits in the heart of the Central Business District. First conceived by British architect George Coleman, who designed many of Singapore’s colonial-styled buildings, Lau Pa Sat is now a local market serving up local hawker fare and well-known for their outdoor street-style satay barbecues.
The ArtScience Museum is a premier exhibition space, showcasing a harmony of art and science in a creative space. Its unique architectural design signifies the welcoming hand of Singapore, with 10 extended fingers, each inviting in natural light to highlight a certain exhibit within. Enjoy major international-touring exhibitions, as well as creative showcases perfect for a family day-out.