The Marina Bay Sands skypark is a tourist observation deck attraction located up on the roof of the Marina Bay Sands (MBS) hotel. The hotel is a world class 5-star joint home to 2,561 rooms and suites spanning over 55 floors across three tower blocks, each as MBS claims was designed with flows of feng shui in mind for balance with the environment. Sitting squarely on top of these three hotel tower blocks is a 340 meter long connecting skybridge. It is as long as an aircraft carrier (and looks like one from afar too) with a capacity for 3,900 people. The skybridge is where the hotel’s skypark and observation deck reside.
You access the Marina Bay Sands Skypark from the Northern end of the 3 towers (Tower 3). It is situated 2 towers away from the hotel’s main reception and restaurant (The Rise). If you are coming from the Marina Bay Sands (MBS) shops or the Bayfront MRT station, you can take either an overpass (via shops) or underpass (via MRT) from the MBS convention center building into the Hotel’s middle tower. The entrance to the skypark at Tower 3 is separate from the hotel, with its own glass entrance just outside the hotel lobby areas, located adjacent to the Tower 3 outdoor taxi stand. An escalator there brings you down to the attraction ticketing counter. Tickets cost $22 for adults and $16 for children; you do get on-site discounts when paying with a foreign credit card.
Following a touristy green-screen photo shoot, a dedicated elevator from the basement brings you directly 55 floors up to the top floor deck. The ride up is boring and unlike most observation decks around there, there is no in-elevator multimedia or information on your way up. You enter the skypark deck via one of the side entrances on the 55th floor straight onto the open-air top viewing deck. Unlike most viewing observatories, there are no indoor air conditioned viewing areas or exhibit rooms on the skypark.
The top deck is not sheltered lined with outdoor wood panel flooring and enclosed by glass railings with cable grilles. It gets rather windy at the top at times, so do have your loose items secured. On the southern side of the sky park sits the Gardens by the bay, a 101 hectare man-made public park built totally on reclaimed land. On the far east, you can see the Singapore sports hub and national stadium, with it’s iconic domed structure just beyond the Singapore flyer observation wheel.
Also, from up here, directly below the skypark, you have the Benjamin Sheares bridge with its buzzing traffic on the left. The Helix bridge and MBS flyover runs parallel to his iconic bridge which used to serve the main highway from Changi Airport. The Art science museum “Lotus” building sits by the Helix bridge entrance. Across the Marina reservoir is the Singapore Flyer by the F1 pit building, separating the Gardens By the Bay east and west gardens is the mouth of the Marina Reservoir. The Marina Barrage sits on the entrance of the Marina Bay reservoir in the distance.
Day Panorama of Gardens by the Bay and Marina Reservoir
You can make up the relative size difference between the Garden By the Bay glass conservatories (the larger flower dome and taller cloud forest) in contrast with the rest of the gardens. Another area of interest will be the clusters of man-made super structures comprising the Supertree grove with a noodle restaurant perched at the top.
The Singapore business district resides on the northern side of the skypark, offering breathtaking skyline views. You can see the Marina bay downtown area on the left, with the Keppel Terminal (a PSA container port) in the distance. The bulk of the skyline comprises of the UOB building, Republic plaza and Maybank buildings, demarcated by the group of dark glass cladded buildings on the left of the panorama below with more of the concrete cladded hotel buildings such as the Marina Mandarin, The Pan-pacfic and Ritz Carlton Millennia on the right.
Panorama of the Singapore CBD Skyline in the day
On the high points in Singapore, in the far distance on the left beyond the Keppel Terminal, you can make out a small green hill with a number of sparsely populated HDB public housing buildings leading up to it, that is Mount faber hill, it is not necessarily a mountain by any world-standards, but this hill is the tallest point in the south of Singapore, and home to the Singapore Cable station serving Sentosa and the Southern ridge park connector.
Far out into the horizon, you can see another high point, a flat hill which Singapore’s last stand against the Japanese in World war 2 was fought- Bukit Timah Hill. Singapore’s 15th reservoir- the Marina reservoir, sits in front of you dominating most part of the view. The water body is one-sixth the land size of Singapore, making it the largest of all the Singaporean reservoirs. It is used for sightseeing on the Singapore bumboats as well as recreational sailing. By the reservoir banks is Clifford pier and Fullerton hotels.
On the far banks of the reservoirs, in front of you is the Singapore Padang, meaning “open field” which serves as a multi-purpose area for events and sports. The old Supreme Court sits in front of the Padang, which is now converted to the Singapore National Art Gallery. You can distinguish it from the “City hall” style top domed spire. The new Supreme court sits behind the National Art Gallery now, beside the Parliament of Singapore, which has a bright orange roof can’t be readily seen from the observation deck.
It is amazing to note that the Padang and the Clifford pier area was where the fringe of where the Straits of Singapore used to be. The very ground which the entire CBD sits on, East Coast park and even the Marina Bay Sands did not even exist over 50 years ago. This transformation was very much thanks to the efforts of extensive land reclamation over the years, extending the mouth of the Singapore River to where the Marina Barrage and enclosing the Marina Reservoir we know of today.
Swissotel hotel, the tallest hotel in Singapore at over 70 floors can be seen sticking out beside the Esplanade building. It has a helicopter pad on its roof. The building is a favorite venue for sporting vertical marathons. The top of the building is home to a Chinese Restaurant. The Civilian war memorial and Suntec City convention center reside as an adjacent building. The Merlion park, the Esplanade bridge and Esplanade sits at the center of the view, with the Esplanade building itself and the Marina Bay floating platform on the far right.
The skypark is also home to the world-renowned 150 meter long infinity swimming pool, which faces the Central business district (CBD). A small gift shop sits at the skypark selling touristy related gifts and overpriced beverages. The hotel’s executive club lounge and bar, Club 55 also resides here, the place is renowned for an expensive drinks menu going into the tens of thousands. Entry to the skypark previously included entry to the hotel’s pool area as well, allowing visitors to walk the entire stretch of the skypark. Following incidents of abuse and visitors using the swimming pool, the sector is now closed off to skypark visitors and only accessible to hotel guests.
Panorama of the Singapore CBD in night with MBS lightshow
As the sun sets, the Singapore skyline slowly transforms into a sea of orange lights, which is a sight as impressive as the day view. Both the Merlion and Esplanade building are also all lit up from the distance. The view at night is very much limited to the immediate CBD buildings around the skypark. The distant hill features are not visible from afar. At 8pm & 9pm daily, MBS runs their daily light, water and pyrotechnics show, which can be viewed from the skypark too. Lasers from the light show are beamed down from the top of the skypark complimented by spotlights from the ground level, adding to the show effects, certainly nice to catch the show from the top.
The buildings of the Singapore Business district glows in a variety of colours, from blue, red to purple- reflecting off the marina reservoir itself. Even the convention center below the skypark are covered in sleek blue lights at night, accentuating the roof lines not obvious in the day. The Esplanade bridge and Fullerton hotel are fully flooded and visible in orange lights, while the top of the Esplanade theater is lit with a matrix of sparking rooftop lights. The view here past sunset is totally unique in the night as in the day. The skypark top deck is very dimly lit at light, with soft lighting to keep with the night ambience as well as not affecting your night vision at the top.
Engineers speak of the skypark top deck cantilever as the world’s longest free standing cantilevered platform. This superstructure is perched from the north tower, it overhangs over the edge by up to 67 meters over 50 floors above the air. So literally, there are not supports right under your feet on the north end of the skypark viewing platform. The platform was also tuned to prevent resonance with hundreds of people are dancing at the top.
Too bad you don’t have much of a glass bottom floor to appreciate the air below your feet. Each hotel tower stands on its own weight, supporting the uniformly distributed weight of the skypark, with the exception of the third tower supporting additionally the cantilever and its counter-balancing structural weights sitting on the other end of tower 3, minimizing the torsion moment caused by the extensive superstructure overhang.
Panorama of Gardens by the Bay in the night
Back on the Gardens by the Bay, the two garden conservatories exteriors are now all lit the night, making them stand out of the park in contrast. If you look closely, you can see the tallest man-made waterfall in the taller cloud forest conservatory, which is an excellent place to visit too at night. The gardens are mostly dark, with lines of dotted lamps lining the various garden footpaths. The marina barrage in distant far left at the mouth of the reservoir with it’s barrage walls outlined with pedestrian lamp posts, while the barrage service building glows in white. The Super tree park in the center of the Gardens at night also now glows in a pulsing set of blue and purple colours, providing for an extra extraterrestrial feel.
Further out in the distance, you can see the hundreds of container ships berthing areas out in the sea. Like dots of floating fortresses in the middle of the dark sea. Reestablishing Singapore as an important maritime hub and reminds you how busy the Singapore waters are with so many ships out along the straits of Singapore at any one time.
With the exception of the shorter and older Singapore flyer, there are not many observation viewing attractions in Singapore, or particularly one in the city which is publicity accessible so do make the skypark a point of interest when you are in the neighborhood. A visit to the skypark is good for an hour or two. It is recommended to be up just before sunset in the day, about 6pm, where you can catch both the day and night views in one visit. You can often just arrive 15 mins beforehand and they won’t be much of a queue, especially on weekdays to get up. The skypark opens daily 9:30 to 10pm, with extended hours to 11pm on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.