The Merlion is the mythical symbol of Singapore and easily the most popular attraction on the whole island. Come to visit this half-fish, half-lion statue during the day to witness crowds of tourists all bustling for position for Singapore’s most sought-after photo-op in front of the 70-tonne concrete figure, which stands 8.7 metres tall and has a fountain of water spurting out into the picturesque Marina Bay.
You can find the statue at Merlion Park, situated at One Fullerton near the waterfront at Marina Bay. This must-see Singapore attraction is just a short walk from Raffles Place MRT Station, and can also be visited via this popular day-tour, which stops off at all of the other most popular attractions in Singapore.
The Merlion Park, which is completely free to visit, also recently had a bit of a revamp, and now includes several cafés, restaurants, souvenir shops and on-site toilets. You can get up close to the statue or walk along the purpose-built jetty that sticks out into the bay, presenting the best position for that all-important holiday snap: bonus points if you can position yourself so it looks like the fountain of water from the Merlion is falling into your own mouth!
It’s said that the fish’s body of the Merlion represents Singapore’s humble begins as a small fishing village at the southern tip of the Malaysian Peninsula, whilst the Lion’s head is derived from the country’s original name, Singapura, which means Lion City in Malay. Whilst nowadays most locals regard the Merlion to be more of a shrewd marketing tool rather than holding any deep mythical or historical significance, the statue remains an iconic symbol of the country and certainly is a must-see Singapore attraction. Come early enough in the morning or late at night to avoid the crowds, and enjoy the particularly pleasant view across the bay.