merlion and marina bay sands

Most likely, when you search the term “Singapore” or get souvenirs, the iconic Merlion statue will appear. This article takes a look at the Merlion fountain at the Merlion Park and fun activities to do around this national symbol.

History of Merlion

If you have come across any tourist information on Singapore, you have seen the Merlion statue. It has become the national symbol for Singapore and widely used for its tourism advertisements.

As you might have guessed, Merlion is a mythical creature who is a half fish half lion. Think mermaid except the top half is a lion. The fish half represents the city-state’s long history as a fishing village. After establishing as an independent nation, Singapore’s first prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew, oversaw the installation of the Merlion statue in 1972.

While the Merlion statue prominently stands near Marina Bay Sands, it wasn’t always located there. The original statue stood at the beginning of the Singapore River but was subsequently moved to the Merlion Park to ensure it’s publicly displayed to visitors.

The park is located near the CBD and 1-Fullerton road, just a few steps from the Monorail Rapid Transit at Raffles Place. The Merlion statue stands at 8.6 meters tall while water sprouts from its mouth. Furthermore, the park is an open space without any entry fee. Surrounding the park are cafes, souvenir shops, and fantastic restaurants. Here are our recommended activities at Merlion Park.


1. Take nice photos

This is probably one of the most photogenic spots in Singapore. If you are near the statue, you will notice a neverending line of visitors taking pictures while pretending to drink from the sprouting fountain of the Merlion. Of course, you can decide on your own if you want to join the fun.

merlion statue front view


merlion and marina bay sands

2. Explore the Vicinity

Explore the vicinity on a walking quest. You can even play a game with your kids where you reward points if they can spot places such as the Lim Bo Seng Memorial, the Jubilee Bridge design, and more. You can also stroll down the bay admiring the splendid Marina Bay Sands and the panoramic view of the city lights.


3. Go on a Boat Ride or Duck Boat Tour

If you want to avoid the tourists but still want to get a fantastic view of the Merlion statue, a boat cruise might be your best bet. For the price of $25, you will be able to take a boat ride from Clark Quay MRT station and get a splendid view of the statue. In addition, you get a gorgeous view of Singapore’s skyline. This is an excellent opportunity to learn about Singapore as boats are also equipped with screens that will play a short documentary on the history of Singapore.


4. Go Shopping

Near the Merlion statue, you will notice a series of souvenir shops. Most shops will feature similar items such as Merlion themed keychains, shirts, picture frames and more. These items are the perfect gifts for your loved ones to cherish the warm, gentle culture of Singapore.