Just outside of Singapore’s international metropolis, you’ll find quiet islands with sandy beaches, ethnic enclaves, and handicraft villages. You can even take a quick trip to another country and be back in time for dinner. If you’re ready to escape the city, give these day trips from Singapore a try.
Sentosa Island — 13 miles (21 km) away
What was once a British military stronghold has become Singapore’s favorite beach resort. A quick trip by cable car, taxi, light rail, or bus takes you to Sentosa Island and its many attractions. While you could easily shorten your trip into a half day, there’s plenty to justify a full-day trip. Laze on the three beaches, hike the Dragon Nature Trail Walk, catch a dolphin show at Dolphin Lagoon, or go ziplining through the canopy. End your day with the Songs of the Sea laser fountain show or a unique dinner aboard the Jewel Cable Car. If that’s not enough, there’s also the S.E.A. Aquarium, an observation park, a butterfly park, and a 4-D theater to keep you entertained.
Johor Bahru — 16 miles (25 km) away
Singapore enjoys a close proximity to Malaysia, so you can easily spend one day in two countries. Johor Bahru, a border town and capital of the state of Johor, is a shopping hotspot. Even if you don’t come for retail therapy, you can visit a Moorish-style mosque and mausoleum, play golf, or see how batiks are made at a working handicraft center.
Malacca — 149 miles (239 km) away
A bit farther afield you’ll find Malacca, Malaysia’s oldest city and a highly sought-after tourist destination. The city’s Portuguese, Chinese, Dutch, British, and Malay heritage lends it a multiculturalism found in few other places in Asia, and the city center was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008. Tour the Dutch city square, visit a Portuguese fortress, observe tradition at a Chinese temple, and dine on local Malay cuisine.
Pulau Ubin — 41 miles (66 km) away
If your idea of the perfect day trip involves a healthy dose of Mother Nature, then consider an excursion to Pulau Ubin, an island off the northeast tip of Singapore. The second-largest of Singapore’s offshore islands is rugged and virtually untouched—perfect for a little biking, hiking, kayaking, and wildlife viewing.