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A Muslim-Friendly Guide To SG's Marina Bay: Where To Stay, Eat And Explore In This Iconic Precinct

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Shasha Dania  •  Dec 22, 2020

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If you’re dreaming of your future trip to Singapore once the borders reopen, one neighbourhood you’ve got to include in your itinerary is Marina Bay! Located in the heart of Downtown Singapore, this riverside area has some of the city’s most stunning attractions like Gardens By The Bay, Esplanade Theatres On The Bay, and of course, Marina Bay Sands. With so much to explore and experience, here’s what you need to know before you plan your trip to Marina Bay!
Safe distancing & hygiene tips in Singapore:
Similar to Malaysia, there are some essential safety measures you’ll need to adhere to while in Singapore. Here are some of the mandatory measures to keep in mind:
  • Wear a mask that covers your mouth and nose at all times when you’re in public, including in attractions, eateries, and public or private hire transport. If you’re eating or drinking you can remove your mask but must put it back on immediately afterwards.
  • Practice safe distancing measures when you’re out and about, including keeping 1 metre from other groups. Scan and check-in the SafeEntry QR codes  at the entrance of attractions, eateries, and MRT stations to enable contact tracing. Compared to the tracing app in Malaysia, you’ll need to check-out once you leave that destination! 
  • Download and activate the TraceTogether app while you’re out and about. If you forget easily, switch it on when you leave your accommodation. This will help track who you’ve crossed paths with, which will be used for contact tracing if you come into contact with a COVID-19 case. You can download the TraceTogether app on the Google Play store and iOS App Store. (P.S. This app is easy to use and similar to the tracing app in Malaysia!)
  • Look out for attractions, eateries, and accommodations that have been granted the SG Clean mark. The mark certifies that they have met the requirements for safety and hygiene set by the Singapore government, including increased cleaning frequency, enforcement of safe distancing measures, and use of contactless entry methods.
  • Attractions in Singapore now require all visitors to pre-book tickets to secure their slot and ensure safe distancing during your visit. As popular attractions may be sold out during weekends or school holidays, we recommend booking your tickets as early as possible so that you can get your desired slot.
  •  At the moments, small groups of up to 5 are allowed in public spaces including restaurants. We recommend travelling in smaller groups - do check the latest regulations for updates on the number of persons allowed in small gatherings and groups! 
  • If you’re travelling with kids, children under 6 years of age are not required to wear a mask. Children 12 years and below are allowed to wear a face shield in place of a mask if they have difficulty keeping a face mask on for prolonged periods of time.
Top attractions in Marina Bay
1. Merlion Park
Credit: Bex Walton on Flickr One Singapore icon you’ll need to snap a photo with when you’re in the country is definitely the Merlion! The Merlion Park along Marina Bay houses one of the most recognisable Merlion statues in the city, with a neverending spout of water coming from its mouth. Get creative with your poses, and snap an unforgettable selfie with this national mascot! P.S. Do keep at least 1-metre distance from other groups while you’re there, and keep your masks on if you’re not eating or drinking. Address: 1 Fullerton Rd, Singapore 049213 (in front of The Fullerton Hotel and Esplanade Bridge) Getting there: Walk 7 minutes from Raffles Place MRT station Exit H.
 2. ArtScience Museum (SG Clean Certified) 
The ArtScience Museum is one of the most popular attractions in Singapore for its interactive and immersive exhibitions! Snap your fill of IG-worthy shots here at the permanent  exhibit, Future World, which has mesmerising digital installations that play with your senses. Make sure to walk through the beautiful mirrored Crystal Universe artwork that will make you look like you’re walking through the stars! The museum also hosts touring exhibitions so don’t forget to check the event calendar to see what’s on at the moment. Current temporary exhibitions include Planet or Plastic? by National Geographic (until 28 Mar 2021) which shines a light on the global plastic pollution crisis. Past exhibitions have even showcased popular media and shows like Disney, Alice in Wonderland, and Marvel Studios! Remember to pre-book your tickets at ArtScience Museum to ensure that you can get your desired slot. Opening hours: Sun-Thurs; 10AM-7PM (Last admission 6PM), Fri-Sat; 10AM-9PM (Last admission 8PM) Address: 10 Bayfront Ave, Singapore 018956 Getting there: Walk 10 minutes from Bayfront MRT station Exit D Website | Facebook | Instagram
3. Gardens By The Bay (SG Clean Certified)
Don’t forget to spend a day out at Gardens By The Bay ! This iconic attraction will completely change what you think you know about indoor gardens with its variety of beautiful flora.There are a mix of free and paid attractions across all 3 areas to cater to everyone. The Flower Dome and Cloud Forest are popular with all visitors, and the Flower Dome even has rotating special exhibits so no two visits are ever the same. P.S. Check out our Muslim-friendly guide to Gardens By The Bay for a fun-filled family day out!
Families will love the Far East Organization Children’s Garden, an outdoor water play area perfect for kids to run around and cool down during a hot day. If you don’t want to enter the paid exhibits, you can still enjoy the Outdoor Gardens for free including the Supertree Grove, Serene Garden, and Heritage Gardens! Remember to keep 1 metre from other groups while exploring the gardens, and to keep your mask on and covering your nose and mouth at all times. The mask can be removed while playing in the Far East Organization Children’s Garden but should be put back on once you’re finished. Gardens By The Bay now requires all visitors to pre-book your tickets for paid attractions so do plan ahead!  Opening hours:  Do check the operating hours and closure dates for specific attractions before planning your visit - not all attractions may be open on that day, or may be closed for maintenance. The free outdoor gardens are open from 5AM-2AM daily. Address: 18 Marina Gardens Drive, Singapore 018953 Getting there: Walk 10 minutes from Bayfront MRT station Exit B. If you’re travelling via private hire vehicle, there are drop-off points at the Main Entrance, Meadow Entrance, and Bayfront Pavilion. Website | Facebook | Instagram
4. Singapore Flyer (SG Clean Certified)
Credit: @dj.liow on Instagram Soar above the city with a ride on the Singapore Flyer. Asia’s largest observation wheel takes you 165 metres above the ground for a stunning view of the Singapore skyline. While you’re up in the air, you’ll even be treated to in-capsule audio guides and interactive displays about Singapore’s history and culture.
Credit: Singapore Flyer Don’t miss out on the multisensory exhibition Time Capsule  that was just launched at the Singapore Flyer in Dec 2020. The interactive and immersive exhibits take you through key milestones in Singapore’s history, and shine a light on the country’s culture, heritage, and landscape too. It’s a whole new way to learn about the Singapore Story!  Pre-book your tickets with Singapore Flyer to get special online rates and ensure you’ll get the timeslot you desire! Under COVID-19 safe distancing measures, cabin capacity is restricted to 5 guests maximum from the same group. Do keep your face mask on at all times when inside the cabin. High-touch areas in all capsules and exhibits are sanitised frequently throughout the day to ensure a safe experience for visitors. Opening hours: Thurs-Sun & PH; 3PM-10PM (Last admission 9.30PM, closed Mon-Wed) Address: 30 Raffles Ave, Singapore 039803 Getting there: Walk 10 minutes from Promenade MRT station Exit A. Website | Facebook | Instagram
5. Marina Barrage
Credit: @hazel9512 on Instagram For a laidback day out, head to Marina Barrage to enjoy an afternoon on the Green Roof. This green spot in the middle of the city is a great place for picnicking, kite-flying, or even just people-watching and relaxing away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Do remember to check the weather forecast before you make plans - there’s no shelter over the roof if it rains!  P.S. The Green Roof may be temporarily closed for 1 hour or longer if it’s overcrowded. Do keep at least 1-metre distance from other groups while you’re there, and keep your masks on if you’re not eating or drinking.  Opening hours: Open 24 hours daily; Green Roof is open daily from 8AM-9PM (Last entry 8pm) Address: 30 Raffles Ave, Singapore 039803 Getting there: From Marina Bay MRT station or Downtown MRT station, walk to ‘Marina Bay Financial Centre’ (bus stop no. 03391). Take bus service 400 to ‘Marina Barrage’ (bus stop no. 03369). Website
6. Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay
Credit: @omm.sg on Instagram Affectionately known as the ‘durian’ building, Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay is Singapore’s national performing arts centre showcasing the best of local, regional, and international artists. There are free programmes year-round so you can enjoy some artistic enrichment while on a budget - like the daily live performances at the indoor Concourse and Outdoor Theatre. There are even family-friendly art programmes including dance workshops and music performances that your little ones will enjoy! Live performances also have limited audience capacity and admission in line with safe distancing measures, so do remember to pre-book your tickets whenever possible to ensure you get your slot! Ensure you stick to safe distancing measures while watching any shows or programmes, including keeping a 1-metre distance from other groups.  Opening hours: Open daily; 8AM-10PM (Check their show calendar for specific showtimes) Address: 1 Esplanade Drive, Singapore 038981 Getting there: Travel to Esplanade MRT station and follow the Esplanade’s instructions to walk to their entrance. If you’re taking the bus, there are multiple services that arrive at ‘The Esplanade’ (bus stop no. 02061) or ‘Esplanade Bridge’ (bus stop no. 02111). If you’re travelling using private-hire transport, there are drop-off points at Esplanade Drive and Esplanade Mall (along Raffles Avenue). Website | Facebook | Instagram
The Helix Bridge is a bridge linking the Esplanade and Esplanade Park to Marina Bay Sands, and is a must-visit spot for some IG-worthy shots! The bridge’s unique design is inspired by the spiral structure of a DNA helix and is even lit up at night in a dazzling display of lights. If you’re trying to get a good look of Singapore’s nighttime skyline, this is the place to be! Getting there:  Walk 5 minutes from Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay. Exit on the ground floor towards the Esplanade Outdoor Stage, and turn to the left towards Marina Bay Sands. Keep walking and the Helix Bridge will be on your right. 
Halal food in Marina Bay
Enjoy dishes from local and international cuisines at the many halal eateries across Marina Bay. For a longer list of halal eateries in the area, check out our ultimate Muslim-friendly halal food guide to Marina Bay! #HHWT Tip: While dining at any of these eateries do remember to stick to these safe distancing measures!
  • If possible, make a reservation at these eateries ahead of time to ensure you get a table - especially if you’re visiting during the peak lunch and dinner times. Eateries have a limited seating capacity during this period, and it may be difficult to get a table without a reservation.
  • Scan and check-in with SafeEntry and TraceTogether when entering and exiting the eatery.
  • We recommend dining in small groups but if your groups are seated across different tables you are not allowed to inter-mingle. From 28 Dec 2020 onwards, groups of up to 8 may dine at the same table together. As this number may change, do keep up-to-date with the latest requirements.
  •  Keep your mask on over your nose and mouth anytime you aren’t eating, and put it back on once you’ve finished eating. 
 1. The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Beanstro (Halal-certified)
Located in the stunning Marina Bay Sands, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Beanstro takes your usual Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf menu and takes it to a whole new level. Enjoy Western-style cafe dishes like pancake breakfast platters, pastas, and even beef short ribs for a hearty meal at any time of day! Tea enthusiasts can also try their signature Iced Tea Dripper for perfectly steeped tea, and Beanstro-exclusive items like the Singapore Blend Cooler concoction. Halal status: Halal-certified Opening hours: Sun-Thurs; 8.30AM-11PM, Fri-Sat; 8.30AM-12AM Address: 2 Bayfront Ave #B2-20/20A, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore 018972 Contact: +65 66887001 Website | Facebook | Instagram
2. NOOSH Noodle Bar & Grill
Credit: @nooshnoodlebarandgrill on Instagram Located in the ground-floor outdoor area of the Esplanade theatre, NOOSH Noodle Bar & Grill serves up fusion food that blends local and international techniques and flavours together. Their Creamy Smoked Duck Lemak Chilli Padi Pasta and Noosh-Style Seafood Platter are popular must-try dishes, as well as mouth-watering appetizers like Chicken Siracha with Cheese! Halal status: Muslim-owned Opening hours: Open daily; 12PM-10PM Address: 8 Raffles Avenue, Esplanade Mall #01-13B, Singapore 039802 Reservations: Online Website | Facebook | Instagram
3. Jiak Modern Tze Char
For a taste of local classics, head to Jiak Modern Tze Char located within the Esplanade theatre. Their Singapore-style chilli crab, fish head curry, and salted egg prawns deliver Asian recipes with a modern twist. You can even get a serving of yummy rice or noodles for just $5 - a rare find in the middle of Marina Bay! Halal status: Halal-certified Opening hours: Open daily; 11.30AM - 9.30PM (Last order 9PM) Address: 8 Raffles Avenue, Esplanade Mall #02-14, Singapore 039802 Reservations: +65 62528765 or Whatsapp +65 88753466 Website | Facebook | Instagram
4. Ichikokudo Hokkaido Ramen
Credit: Ichikokudo Hokkaido Ramen on Facebook If you’re shopping in Suntec City, head to the basement for a taste of the first halal Hokkaido-style ramen eatery in Singapore! Ichikokudo Hokkaido Ramen uses ingredients flown fresh from Hokkaido to create their mouth-watering ramen bowls. Their chicken broth is simmered for hours to give it a rich and savoury flavour, and they have a variety of flavours to choose from to satisfy every flavour. Try the classic Shoyu Ramen, or turn up the heat with spicy Hokkai Jigoku Ramen instead! Halal status: Halal-certified Opening hours: Open daily; 11AM - 10PM (Last order 9.30PM)  Address: 3 Temasek Boulevard, Suntec City North Wing #B1-135, Singapore 038983 Reservations: Online Website | Facebook | Instagram
5. Javier’s Rotisserie & Salad
Credit: Javier’s Rotisserie & Salad Bar on Facebook For a family-friendly restaurant that gives you excellent value for money, tuck into steak and salad at Javier’s Rotisserie & Salad in Suntec City! While their Salad Bar Buffet is not available right now, you can still choose from a variety of salads to suit every palate. Or for a heartier option, dine on mouth-watering mains like Lamb Short Rib, Soft Roasted Beef, and their signature Slow Roasted Chicken. Halal status: Halal-certified Opening hours: Open daily; 11.30AM - 10PM Address: 3 Temasek Boulevard, Suntec City Mall #B1-128/129, SIngapore 038983 Reservations: +65 62527371 Website | Facebook
Where to shop in Marina Bay
Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands
For a mix of high-street brands and luxury goods, head to the Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands. Located within the Marina Bay Sands hotel resort complex, this air-conditioned shopping mall has recognisable brands ranging from Adidas to FILA to Sephora to Kate Spade. Make sure to stop by Singapore’s 3rd (and latest!) Apple Store, Apple Marina Bay Sands  located just outside the shops - it’s the world’s first ‘floating’ Apple store and glows with a futuristic light display at night!  Opening hours: The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands is open daily from 11AM - 9PM. Individual stores may have different operating hours - do check the store directory for more information. Address: 10 Bayfront Avenue, Singapore 018956 Getting there: Directly connected to Bayfront MRT station. If you’re travelling by private-hire vehicle, there is a drop-off point directly outside The Shoppes. Website | Facebook | Instagram
Credit: Suntec City on Facebook Tech enthusiasts should check out Millenia Walk, which houses a variety of electronic brands including [email protected] and Mac.Infinity for your latest gadget updates. If you’re travelling with family and want to shop for everything and anything, then Suntec City might be more of your style! This huge megamall and entertainment destination has everything you could ever want with hundreds of stores, eateries, and even Singapore’s largest VR gaming arena. Plus don’t miss out on Suntec City’s own IG-worthy attraction - the mesmerizing Fountain of Wealth! Millenia Walk Opening hours: Millenia Walk is open daily from 10AM - 10PM. Individual stores may have different operating hours - do check the store directory for more information. Address: 9 Raffles Boulevard, Singapore 039596  Getting there: Next to Promenade MRT station. If you’re travelling by private-hire vehicle, there is a drop-off point at the mall entrance along Raffles Boulevard. Website | Facebook | Instagram Suntec City Opening hours: Suntec City is open daily from 10AM - 10PM. Individual stores may have different operating hours - do check the store directory for more information. Address: 3 Temasek Boulevard, Singapore 038983 Getting there: Directly connected via underpass to Esplanade MRT station, Promenade MRT station, and City Hall MRT station. If you’re travelling by private-hire vehicle, there is a drop-off point along Temasek Boulevard in front of the Convention Centre. Website | Facebook | Instagram
Best hotels in Marina Bay
With stunning views of the Singapore skyline and walking-distance accessibility to multiple MRT stations, finding a hotel room in Marina Bay is both a visual treat and a convenient place to start exploring the rest of the country! No matter what your budget is, here are some options for your stay in Marina Bay.  Note: These nightly prices are based on a search in Dec 2020 for a stay in June 2021, with currency conversion rates accurate as of 14 Dec 2020. Do check with the accommodation directly before booking your stay as prices may vary, as prices will be affected by the length of stay, number of guests, seasonality, and other factors. Before you book your stay, check if the accommodation has received the SG Clean quality mark. The mark certifies that an accommodation, attraction, or eatery has met the Singapore government’s standards for sanitation and hygiene - so you can rest your head after a long day without any worries!
Budget accommodations
Credit: MET A Space Pod on Facebook You might have heard of the luxury accommodations in Marina Bay, but you don’t have to burst your budget to stay in this neighbourhood! If you’re a solo traveller or small group of friends who don’t mind staying in a compact space, check out these capsule hotels like BEAT Capsule Hotel (from MYR106.67), and MET A Space Pod @ Boat Quay (from MYR182.86). Budget hotels like S Inn Clarke Quay (from MYR206.34) will also keep you close to the excitement of the neighbourhood without breaking the bank.
Mid-tier accommodations
Credit: Hotel NuVe Elements on Facebook For travellers willing to spend a little more, there are a few mid-tier accommodations you can look at. Boutique hotels like Hotel NuVe Elements  (from MYR262.17) and ibis budget Singapore Clarke Quay (from MYR384) offer a more comfortable experience, with room options for families and better amenities too.
Luxury accommodations
Credit: Marina Bay Sands And of course, who can forget the luxury hotels in the area? If you’re planning for an extravagant treat you’ll have plenty of places to choose from. The Fullerton Hotel (from MYR888) has a rooftop pool with riverside views, and PARKROYAL COLLECTION Marina Bay (from MYR707.82) is directly connected to Marina Square Shopping Mall for an easy shopping experience. The iconic Marina Bay Sands (from MYR1,319.17) is also a once-in-a-lifetime experience on its own with its rooftop infinity pool and exquisite rooms.
Seasonal festivities at Marina Bay
If you’re in Singapore during festive events or the year-end period, make sure to check out the limited-time seasonal activities and showcases too! Marina Bay’s own Gardens By The Bay has an annual Christmas Wonderland lights exhibition in their outdoor gardens, and other popular attractions like Wildlife Reserves Singapore (including the Singapore Zoo and River Safari) are having a family-friendly Disney Outdoor Explorers program. P.S. Click here for an All-In-One Guide to the Singapore Zoo and River Safari for your future adventures - including where to find halal food, and what are the must-see attractions! 
Credit: @orchardroad.sg on Instagram Even if you’re not able to travel to enjoy them in-person at the moment, there are also virtual options so you can still join in the fun from the safety of your home. 😄 Enjoy a stroll down the Orchard Road shopping district with their Virtual Street Light-Up that gives you a 360-degree tour of Orchard Road! Kickstart your wanderlust and start planning your dream future holiday in Marina Bay! This article is brought to you by the Singapore Tourism Board.