Singapore is like a dreamland for photography lovers. This shimmering jewel of Southeast Asia is full of photo opportunities.
This city-state, where futuristic architecture melds seamlessly with verdant nature reserves and centuries-old temples, offers a visual spectacle at every turn.
From the awe-inspiring heights of Marina Bay Sands to the tranquil pathways of the Botanic Gardens and the bustling streets of Chinatown, Singapore promises a diverse photographic journey.
Whether you’re looking to frame the neon-lit skyline, the vibrant hues of street markets, or the serene landscapes of its green spaces, the Lion City never disappoints.
Here are some of the best places in Singapore for Instagram-worthy photos or a professional photoshoot.
I’ve also included some FAQs on how to behave when taking photos and some rules you should be aware of during your time in Singapore.
More photo location guides:
Table of Contents
The Well-Known (But Unmissable) Places to Take Pictures in Singapore
Here you’ll find a list of my favorite locations with the best photo spots in Singapore in each one.
This way, you’ll be able to organize your Singaporean photo tour, making the most out of every place.
1. Gardens by the Bay
Gardens by the Bay is a huge National Park consisting of three gardens – Bay South Garden, Bay East Garden, and Bay Central Garden.
This place has something for every photography lover. As it’s intended to be the biggest urban outdoor recreation space, you can find locals and tourists engaged in all sorts of activities.
For nature lovers, there are carefully designed gardens and a glass house Flower Dome where you can photograph the most beautiful flora from around the world. This is thanks to the different microclimates replicated in the structures.
If you prefer architecture photography, you’ll find nature-inspired buildings that will give you plenty of material if you want to photograph the details or the entire landscape.
- The Flower Dome – a glass house with nine gardens featuring flora from cool-dry regions of the world.
- The Dragonfly Lake – a beautiful lake with fish, amphibians, and water birds. If you stand at the Dragonfly Bridge, you’ll get a fantastic view of the Supertrees.
- Floral Fantasy – the most Instagrammable place thanks to the beautiful shapes and colors.
- Supertree Grove – it features 12 of the 18 Supertrees. Walking underneath, make sure you photograph them a worm’s eye view for some stunning pictures. You should also go up to the balcony view – you can do this on foot or take the elevator.
- The Cloud Forest – here, you can find the tallest indoor waterfall. So, make sure you bring a wide-angle lens and get as close to the ground as possible.
Best time to visit
The light in the early morning is perfect for photography. You need to arrive very early to avoid the crowds.
Night photographers can also enjoy the beautiful light design.
If you’re looking for a clear view of Singapore’s skyline, you should go to the Bay East Garden.
If you’re photographing the Cloud Forest, wait for the mist that’s released every two hours – it adds to the mystical atmosphere.
2. Little India
About 10% of the population in Singapore has an Indian background. This is why there’s a Little India inside the city that’s full of photo opportunities.
- The most famous building is Masjid Sultan, with its beautiful building with a golden dome.
- Sir Srinivasa Perumal Temple was built in the late 1800s
- House of Tan Teng Niah. A colorful residence built in the 1900s.
- Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya Temple (AKA The Temple of a Thousand Lights) with its eclectic Buddhist architecture.
- Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple, which is one of the oldest Hindu temples.
- Tekka Center. The best place to photograph street food vendors and local people.
Best time to visit
You can visit throughout the day and catch the busy streets of Little India. Since the Mustafa Center is open 24 hrs, you’ll also see people going about their lives during the night.
However, if you want to photograph the rituals at the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple – you can come at 8 a.m., noon, 6:30, and 9 p.m.
If you’re interested in documentary photography, you can visit the Sir Srinivasa Perumal Temple during the annual Thaipusam festival at the beginning of February.
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3. Haji Lane
Haiji Lane is a beautiful street full of cafes and boutiques. Most importantly, it’s covered with colorful street art. No matter where you turn, you’ll find something that’s catching your eye.
- As Ultraman battles monsters threatening the peace of the city in “Ultraman: A New Power of Singapore”, you may want to check out its mural in Haji Lane.
- Check out the pieces made by Didier Jaba at Piedra Negra and, of course, his iconic Aztec-inspired mural.
- Blu Jazz features some colorful graffiti, and it’s the perfect place to have a drink and listen to some music.
- If you love pet photography, make sure you stop at What the Pug and Meomi Cat Cafe.
Best time to visit
This street is very popular and quite narrow. So, make sure you get there early if you want ‘clean’ shots of the murals.
Haji Lane is full of trendy bars, restaurants, and boutiques – all of them have well-curated interiors. So, pop inside to make some beautiful pics for your Instagram.
4. The Esplanade – Theaters on the Bay
The Esplanade is a performing arts center in Marina Bay. Even if there were plans to build such a center since 1975, the groundbreaking ceremony didn’t happen until 1996, and it was inaugurated in 2002.
The building’s architectural design has been very controversial – it didn’t suit everyone’s taste. However, it’s a city landmark that’s worth photographing.
Here, you can find a concert hall, a theater, a library, restaurants, cafes, etc. There are plenty of things to enjoy. However, it’s also a great location to photograph the city skyline during sunrise and sunset. Plus, it makes a great starting place for your photo walk.
Best photo spots
From the Esplanade outdoor theater, you’ll get a cityscape featuring the Business District on the right and the Marina Bay Sands on the left.
Get across the Jubilee Bridge and get a shot of the Andreson Bridge and the buildings.
On the Jubilee Bridge, you can get a clear view of the MBS – you can include its reflection in the water for a better composition.
At the Merlion, you can shoot a beautiful cityscape, including the back of the statue. Otherwise, turn towards the Merlion to capture it from a 45-degree angle with the water coming out of its mouth with the Fullerton Hotel in the back.
Best time to visit
Sunrise and sunset.
From the Esplanade, it’s a very short walk to the Helix Bridge and the Art and Science Museum. You can organize your route to make the most of this area during sunrise and sunset.
5. Singapore Botanic Gardens
This beautiful botanical garden dates back to 1859, and it made it to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2014 by unanimous vote. It played a key role in turning Singapore into the ‘Garden City’ that it is today.
Inside it, you’ll find plenty of attractions, and most of them are free. The only paid entrance is for the National Orchid Garden – but it’s really worth it.
- The National Orchid Garden is one of the most beautiful photo spots in the park, as it features thousands of orchids and hybrids.
- The Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden is beautiful in itself. However, the best part is seeing the children freely exploring and interacting with nature. Just make sure you ask the parent’s permission before you photograph children.
- The Ginger Garden is always beautiful, but in the evening, it makes a fantastic view thanks to the romantic lighting.
Best time to visit
The beginning of the spring is a good time to visit as you’ll find most of the flowers in bloom.
Don’t forget to photograph the historic buildings inside the garden. Amongst them, you’ll find the Holtum Hall – once the house and office of the Garden’s Director and the Forest Discovery Center, which is the oldest colonial bungalow that still survives.
6. The Helix
The Helix (AKA Helix Bridge) is a bridge that connects Marina Center with Marina South. Along the way, there are four viewing platforms. All of them provide excellent photo locations to capture Singapore’s skyline and events happening in Marina Bay.
Its design is inspired by the human DNA structure, which is why it symbolizes continuity and renewal. The letters C, G, A, and T light up at night, and they represent the four bases of DNA – cytosine, guanine, adenine, and thymine.
The Helix is a pedestrian bridge, but it runs alongside a vehicular one. This is why it used to be called Double Helix Bridge. It opened in 2010 – the first part in April and the second one in July.
If you want to photograph The Helix, you’ll get the best view at the beginning – this way, you’ll have Marina Bay Sands in the background. A good photo spot is the Youth Olympic Park.
Best time to visit
As stunning as it is in the daytime, its lights will leave you amazed if you photograph it at night. Also, every night there’s a laser show in Marina Bay Sands, which makes the best background to the lighted bridge. The show happens at 8 and 9 pm, with extra shows at 10 pm on Friday and Saturday.
Standing in one of the viewing platforms of the bridge, use a wide-angle lens to incorporate part of the bridge in the foreground to frame the cityscape in the back. Use the focus stacking technique to have everything sharp.
Chijmes building complex started as a Catholic convent. Then, it acquired the Cadwell House (now a wedding venue), an orphanage, a girl’s school, and a gothic-style church.
In 1996, the complex was restored, and now it has different commercial uses. This doesn’t change the beautiful architecture that makes it a national monument and a great photo spot.
- The courtyard is the perfect location for beautiful outdoor photos. It’s surrounded by green and water.
- The lawn is another outdoor location that also provides some architectural background. Here, you can make a composition where you have the chapel in the background.
- The chapel is the most iconic building of the complex. It has a stunning gothic style that’s worth many shots.
- The hall is a beautiful location for indoor photos. It has a majestic chandelier, and you can create beautiful compositions using the columns and the staircase.
Best time to visit
For outdoor photoshoots, it’s best to visit during the golden hour. To avoid crowds, it’s best to visit during the week – in any case, stay away from dinner time when it’s the busiest.
If you want to do a professional photoshoot, it’s best to book a space. As Chijmes is a wedding venue, it’s often booked with private events and other professionals photographing the happy couple with their families and guests.
8. Jewel Changi Airport
Jewel is a mall and a nature-themed entertainment center aimed to support the Changi airport as a big international hub. You’ll find all sorts of retail stores, restaurants, a hotel, and other facilities.
However, you’ll also find tons of photo spots that made it worthy of this list. Plus, it’s very comfortable to visit after you’ve checked in your bags and before your flight.
The glass and design architecture was made by the same designers of Marina Bay Sands. Its main attraction is the Rain Vortex – which is a must-have photograph regardless of where you stand.
While many airports ban photography, the Jewel actually encourages it by offering a list of Instagrammable spots and a hashtag for you to share @jewelchangiairport.
Do keep in mind that the security areas of the airport don’t allow photographs or videos – so, it’s better to stick to the Jewel. It’s quite easy to see the difference between the attraction areas and the regular airport, but if you have any doubts of whether or not you can take a photo – it’s best to ask.
- The Rain Vortex – as I already mentioned, this is the main attraction. The nearest point to it is in the Mastercard Canopy Bridge on Level 5.
- Shiseido Forest Valley – a 40-meter-high indoor waterfall with 3000 trees and 6000 shrubs. You can access it from levels 1 to 4.
- The Sky Nets – here, you’ll find a children’s playground net and a walking net. You’ll find plenty of photo opportunities in this one-of-a-kind experience. You can find them at the Canopy Park on the 5th floor.
- The Crystal Clouds at the entrance of the second level are the best scenery for your portraits.
- The Foggy Bowls – a series of bowls where you can bounce amidst the mist for some surreal photos.
Best time to visit
The Jewel is open 24 hours. I recommend you arrive early before leaving Singapore and take this time to take some photos. This way, you won’t have to make an extra trip to the airport.
Every night there’s a light and sound show at the Rain Vortex. If it fits your schedule, make sure you take some photos or videos.
You can freely take photos and videos at the Jewel, but if you’re doing any professional work, you’ll need a permit.
9. The ArtScience Museum
The ArtScience Museum is Marina Bay Sands – its design resembles a lotus flower. It’s one of the most iconic buildings in the city, and every tourist and photographer loves to capture it.
At the lowest level, there’s a pond formed by the rainwater channeled and recycled to make the building more sustainable. This makes a beautiful reflective surface for your photographs.
Inside, there are 21 gallery spaces hosting mostly temporary exhibitions – although the museum does have a permanent collection.
Aside from photographing the building, you can make all sorts of amazing pictures in the exhibitions. Take a look at their Instagram account to get inspired.
From the Helix bridge, you can capture a beautiful cityscape with the ArtScience Museum on the right.
From the museum, you can shoot beautiful pictures of the city skyline with water reflections. If you use a wide-angle lens, you can frame the city with the architecture of the ArtScience museum.
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Best time to visit
To photograph inside the museum, go as early as possible to avoid crowds. If you want to photograph the building, both sunrise and sunset create wonderful photo opportunities.
You can book a time slot for the Future World permanent exhibit so you can have a photoshoot with up to ten guests. There’s only one per day – so make sure you book with enough time.
The Lesser-Known Singapore Photo Spots (6 Local Secrets)
- Old Hill Street Police Station. Granted – this isn’t such a secret, but it’s only one photo spot without many variations like the locations mentioned in the first part of the article. This beautiful historical building has 927 windows painted with rainbow colors. The surrounding area is shaped like the peh toh (Chinese New Year fish) to symbolize good fortune.
- If you want to get away from the crowds and noise, you can go on a photo-hiking trip to Seng Chew Quarry.
- In front of the Louis Vuitton Island store, there’s a photo spot where you can shoot an iconic cityscape. However, it’s only suitable for one photographer at a time. Even if it’s not so touristy because it only interests photographers – it does get crowded. So, you’ll have to be patient.
- The Raffles Marina Lighthouse – you can use the blue hour before sunrise or after sunset to photograph the lighthouse beam and still see details in the seascape as it’s not so dark.
- The Tuas Lamp Post 1 is a lamp post full of stickers. It’s become a landmark for cyclists as everyone who gets there takes a check-in selfie and adds a sticker. If you’re on a motorcycle or a bike – don’t forget your photo.
- The Former Queen Theater’s facade is a beautiful example of colonial architecture.
FAQs about Taking Photos in Singapore
Is it legal to fly a drone in Singapore?
The use of recreational drones is legal without a permit as long as you obey the country’s laws. Just to mention a few – you must fly below 200 feet, stay at least 5 km away from the airport and military camps or airbases, and don’t fly over crowds. Please review all the updated laws before flying a drone in Singapore.
Is it legal to take street photos in Singapore without permission?
Generally speaking, in Singapore, it’s OK to take photographs in public spaces. Some exceptions apply, such as not violating anyone’s privacy or not infringing any copyright laws.
Are there any places in Singapore where photography is strictly prohibited?
Istana Woodneuk used to be a must for urbex photographers. However, it burned down in 2006, and it became dangerous. Since 2015-2016 it’s been cordoned off, and there are signs warning trespassers to stay away.
Photography is prohibited at the Jurong Port, some places inside the Changi Airport, the MRT station, and military camps. It’s also forbidden to photograph children.
Flash photography is often prohibited inside museums or national parks where wildlife could be disrupted.
Do I need a permit to shoot with a tripod in public places in Singapore?
Usually, you don’t need a permit as long as you’re not obstructing passage. However, some places that may seem public are actually private, and they may forbid you from using a tripod – some people have complained about this happening at The Esplanade.
How can I respect local customs and traditions while photographing?
While you’re in a religious building – whichever this may be, avoid taking selfies and always ask for permission before photographing someone. Don’t talk too loud.
If you’re stopping to take a photo, make sure you’re not blocking the free passage of people. Inside stations, this means standing on the left side of walkways or escalators.
Is flash photography allowed in museums and indoor attractions?
Flash isn’t usually allowed in museums and indoor attractions. There should be a sign indicating the policies, or you can ask an employee if you’re not sure. It’s also often forbidden in gardens or natural parks if you’re photographing wildlife.