Swing Singapore: Day Trips From The Little Red Dot

Swing Singapore: Day Trips From The Little Red Dot
| 9 min read

Right now you’re probably thinking, “Day trips? From Singapore? But there is nothing that near to Singapore that isn’t the little island itself!” Right?

Wrong! Despite its small physical size, Singapore’s close proximity to its neighbours make for some great day-trip options if you just want to get out and explore, or even to escape the hustle and bustle of the recent Pokemon Go craze. Depending on what you’re looking to do, there really is something to keep you happy.

Whether it’s a much-needed shopping trip with the girls, in a location that isn’t Orchard Road or another Singapore Shopping hotspot, a suntanning day at the beach, cafe-hopping with friends, visiting some heritage sites, or delving a little bit into a different culture, this day-trip list is for you! Read on to find out about the top 5 day excursions you can take from sunny Singapore!

1. Batam, Indonesia

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

The Indonesian city of Batam is so close to Singapore that it could almost be considered part of the Little Red Dot.

It is both so close to Singapore and also that convenient that you don’t even need to exchange Singaporean dollars for another currency. Many merchants and peddlers in the area accept Singaporean currency, which is another reason to visit Batam. After all, do you want the hassle of changing money and thinking about exchange rates?

One of the most popular day-trip locations from Singapore, Batam is best explored with a set of wheels and a local driver to take you around. Explore the sites with the help of a local and find many buried treasures!

Catch the sunset at Barelang Bridge

One of those attractions that costs no money whatsoever and can be enjoyed as many times as you like, catching the sunset while soaking up the heat is free, stunning, and romantic.

Barelang Bridge is a chain of 6 bridges that connects the nearby islands of Batam, Rempang, and Galang. Mimicking the famed Golden Gate Bridge in the USA, but smaller in stature, Barelang Bridge is the perfect place to catch the sunset. Whether with your significant other, your friends, your family, or on your own, the sight is simply stunning!

Over time, the bridge has become more of a tourist attraction rather than a transportation route, so it is definitely something worth seeing. Perfectly set up for visitors, enjoy the sunset with an ice-cold beverage that can be purchased from the little trolleys along the bridge.

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Walk the sandy shores of Melur Beach

Feel the sand between your toes and take a stroll along the finest stretch of shoreline in Batam.

Despite its many beaches, Melur Beach is definitely the one to visit if you want pristine sand to roll off the soles of your feet. Found on Galang Island, the beach is conveniently linked to Batam Island by Barelang Bridge.

Known to locals as one of the most picturesque beaches in Galang, the entire area was developed as a holiday destination in the year 2000. With seafood eateries scattered along the shore and comfy beach accommodations nearby, it is a great place to just kick those shoes off and relax, coconut in hand.

You can get a nice even tan, swim in the cool sea, or do some water sports activities at Melur Beach.

Fancy getting a souvenir to remember this great day trip? There are a number of small shops close to Melur Beach that sell trinkets and all kinds of souvenirs, making for perfect gifts or even just to keep yourself as a memento.

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Get a massage at Sekupang District for a fraction of the cost (from 75.93 USD)

You know how Singapore is filled with those expensive spa shops selling varied packages, mud spas, and massages?

Give your back and shoulders a treat at a fraction of the cost! At Sekupang District in Batam, massages are cheaper than those in Singapore and provide equally great relief for those aching joints.

Try out their ear candling too while you’re getting a good rub. It’s a sure way to get a good night’s rest and feel refreshed for the next day at work or school.


Price: from 75.93 USD

Duration: around 1 day required


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2. Johor Bahru, Malaysia.

Legoland Malaysia Resort
Source: Photo by user Mohd Fazlin Mohd ... used under CC BY 2.0

No list of day trips from Singapore is complete without including Johor Bahru, another of the most-visited destinations when it comes to day trips from Singapore. The 2nd-largest city in Malaysia, there is plenty to do in this part of town, with cultural sites, kid-friendly activities, and premium outlets where you can shop till you drop!

It is only a bridge away, you can take advantage of the good exchange rates when swapping the Singapore dollar for the Malaysian ringgit.

Pick up the best parent award with visits to Legoland and Puteri Harbour Family Theme Park

Capture the radiant smiles of the kids by bringing them across the causeway to the newly-opened Legoland Malaysia or Puteri Harbour Family Theme Park in Nusajaya.

Legoland Malaysia has great rides for children from 2 to 10, as well as interactive displays that challenge the creativity of your children. Not to mention the fact that it’s a theme park that revolves around Lego, often a firm favourite with youngsters.

On the other hand, Puteri Harbour Family Theme Park in Nusajaya has famous characters that children know and love, such as Hello Kitty, Thomas the Tank Engine, and Bob the Builder. Dine in the Hello Kitty Cafe and be entertained by the mascots that come out to play every few hours!

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Shop till you drop at Johor Premium Outlets

If you’re just looking for some great retail therapy, the Johor Premium Outlets is a great place to get started.

Since Kuala Lumpur (KL), the capital city and shopping mecca of Malaysia, is slightly too far for a day trip, Johor Premium Outlets offers a good alternative.

This area is a major attraction for tourists and Singaporeans, since the consumer goods, clothing, and even daily essentials such as toiletries are cheaper here than within Singapore. Whether it’s a home-decoration outing or just a girls’ day out looking for good bargains on clothes, take advantage of the good exchange rate and shop till you drop!

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Get a cuppa along Jalan Trus (from 34.17 USD)

For teenagers and young adults, this one is for you!

With plenty of hipster stores opening along Jalan Trus, the little lane is quickly gaining fame amongst the youth and coffee aficionados around the world. With trendy food and drink items such as salted egg yolk churros, Thai milk tea, coconut ice cream, rainbow cheesecake, and charcoal Earl Grey soft serve ice cream, it is no wonder the street is gaining popularity, and fast!

Additionally, the gorgeous interiors of some of the stores, and the innovative use of a container as a cafe, is one more reason to visit, because, who doesn’t like cool Instagram photos and iced coffee?

Johor Bahru, Malaysia

Price: from 34.17 USD

Duration: around 5 hours required


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3. Malacca, Malaysia.

A 3.5-hour bus ride from Singapore, Malacca, sometimes also spelled as Melaka, used to be one of Southeast Asia’s (SEA) most significant trading ports.

Now, the port acts as a tourist destination, with the well-preserved colonial architecture a main sight for tourists who are looking to wander and explore. Visit the cultural sites of the town, be wowed by the simple yet elegant architecture, and try out the famous but traditional Melaka chicken rice balls.

Visit the 18th-century Dutch House or the Heritage Museum

Take a trip down memory lane and visit the Stadthuys, otherwise known as the 18th-century Dutch House. Its bright, outstanding terracotta facade peeks out of the otherwise faded background as its brownish red appearance lights up the town center.

A reproduction of the former Stadthuys, an archaic Dutch name for the City Hall, this monument has, as the name suggests, Dutch heritage and links to the Netherlands.

Today it houses the Heritage Museum, where a visit will easily bring you back in time to the golden age of Melacca. Learn about the conquest of Melacca’s port by the Portuguese, the Dutch, and the British. It’s similar to getting a history lesson, but with more interaction and fun involved!

Instead of shopping, visit the museum to pick up some heritage of Melacca. History is cool!

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Savor Melacca's most famous dish of chicken rice balls (from USD 231.0)

Fragrant rice, marble-smooth chicken, and an ice-cold coke in hand, what better way could there be to treat your taste buds?

Savor Melacca’s most famous dish, the chicken rice ball. Similar, if not exactly the same because of the shape and size, to the common Singapore dish of chicken rice, it holds a fragrant aroma that attracts visitors from all around the world to visit this small town filled with heritage.

Even Singaporeans, who are spoilt for choice when it comes to chicken rice, take the weekends to jet off to Melacca for some of this yummy aromatic goodness.

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Full-Day Malacca Tour from Singapore

Duration: 10 hours

10 reviews

4. Bintan, Indonesia.

Source: Photo by user Robert Lowe used under CC BY 2.0

Enjoy the surf and turf along the vast beaches (from 158.70 USD)

Visited by Marco Polo in 1201, Bintan Island was considered the ‘Safe Harbor’ for the Chinese and Indian trading ships that needed protection from the violent storms that occurred in the area.

Now, it is filled with high-end resorts conveniently situated along the north coast of the island. Many weary travelers take trips to Bintan for its spectacularly unique beaches and great waves that make it ideal for learning surfing.

Close by is the Little Red Dot. It’s about 45 to 50 minutes from Singapore by motor boat, which makes it a great day trip to just get some seaside action and watch the sunset in the distance.

Highly promoted by the Indonesian government as the new ‘Bali’ for Singaporeans, it is no wonder that many Singaporeans and international visitors to Singapore take frequent trips to this island for some surfing, splurging, and eating.

Bintan Island, Indonesia

Price: from 158.70 USD

Duration: around 1 day required


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5. St. John's Island, Lazarus Island, and Kusu Island, Singapore

Singapore from St. John's Island
Source: Photo by user Kunal Mukherjee used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Head to St. John's Island for swimming and sunbathing

Believe it or not, St. John’s Island is one of the least boasted about day-trip locations around. Its sandy shoreline and pristine waters, however, make it an excellent spot to swim and sunbathe.

With its two natural rocky shores and its picturesque cliffs in the background, travelers can explore this island filled with caves and other coastal landforms that are enough to convert any city-dweller into a beach-lover instantly!

Home to a variety of animals and plants, take some time to explore the native animals that roam the area. Who knows what you might find?!

While there is no food service on this island, you are welcome to bring your picnic baskets out into the sun and laze around for the entire day. This destination is so close by that you can even see Singapore’s main island and its towering buildings from the edge of the island.

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Check out Lazarus Island for pristine white beaches

You just read how St. John’s Island has pristine beaches and sandy shores that would want to make you lounge around all day. The gorgeous Lazarus Island is similar, but more distant. Its pristine white beaches and clear waters make the walk over from the reclaimed paved bridge from its brother island, St. John’s, worth it.

Lazarus Island is best for just admiring the beauty of the beach and taking some great photos. People might even think that you took the weekend off to get a nice tan in Phuket or Bali!

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Visit Kusu Island and take a religious trip to Tortoise Island

Not so much of a beach destination, Kusu Island is well-known as a religious retreat. Most of the action starts during October, when lively festivals start to take place.

Otherwise known as Tortoise Island, Kusu Island is home to many tortoises and temples. The temples act as heritage sites, and the most famous one, Da Bo Gong, was built in 1923 and is a common place of worship and prayer for many local Singaporeans.

If temple-visiting is your thing, or you just think lazing on a beach all day is rather dull, there are three Malay Shrines on top of the hill that you can check out. Whether visiting for religious purposes, the cultural value, or simply just for the great hike and view, you’ll almost certainly be glad that you made the effort.

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Swing away in style!

Everyone loves the diverse cultures and wide range of food choices in Singapore, but sometimes what you really need is some time to breathe, explore, and relax. Plus, it’s always fun to visit somewhere new and different!

Whether it’s pristine beaches that you’re seeking, or just a day away from the hustle and bustle and the ‘lah’ and 'leh’ crowd, these day trips from Singapore are perfect for the avid traveler.

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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Amber is a content writer at Trip101 and has a passion for travelling to unique destinations around Southeast Asia. A faithful believer of unicorns and all things animal, she can be considered a...Read more

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