The Merlion

The Merlion
March 18 14:06 2016

A photo with the Merlion is proof to your friends and family that you’ve been to Singapore. Standing at 8.6m tall, our Merlion may not be as impressive as the Eiffel Tower or the Great Wall of China, but it’s considered Singapore’s national symbol and draws over a million visitors a year.

This mythical creature’s scaly fish body symbolizes Singapore’s humble beginnings as a small fishing village, while its majestic lion head represents Singapore’s original Malay name ‘Singapura’, meaning ‘lion city’. Are you curious about the water spouting from the lion’s jaws? Truthfully, its just a nice addition to catch your attention but has no significance.

History of the Merlion

This stone creature was unveiled in 1972 at the mouth of the Singapore River by former Prime Minister Lee Kwan Yew to welcome all visitors to the country. Construction of the Esplanade Bridge blocked views of the statue from the Marina Bay waterfront, resulting in the Merlion being moved 120m away from its original position in 2002. Despite the move, the statue continues to face East, which is good feng shui and is believed to bring in prosperity. Accompanying this statue is a smaller, 2m version of the icon known as the ‘Merlion cub’.

Best Photo Poses with the Merlion

The Merlion Park’s viewing platform juts out over the bay and gives a great angle for you to snap a picture. Try out these poses for a good keepsake:

"the merlion singapore funny poses landmark national icon"

The Merlion is perfect for fun photos! Photo by yosoynuts


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Celebrity Ludacris joining in the fun! Photo from: Instagram @Ludacris

What to See & Do at the Merlion

This is not just a 5-second photo spot. The Merlion statue is part of a larger, 2500 square foot development called the Merlion Park, which has riverfront seating ideal for:


Placed strategically in front of the Central Business District, the Merlion Park is one of the city’s best areas to just sit back and relax. Admire the bay in front and Singapore’s cityscape from behind.

Wonder Full

From this side of the harbour, you can watch Marina Bay Sands’ nightly laser and water show! We also recommend the Gardens by the Bay light show, just as beautiful and free of charge.

Sundays to Thursdays – 8pm & 9:30pm
Fridays & Saturdays – 8pm, 9.30pm & 11pm

River Cruise

Head to the Merlion Park jetty and hop on a traditional bumboat for a 45-minute river cruise! Learn about Singapore’s early days and explore other landmarks along the Singapore River, including Marina Bay, Clarke Quay and Boat Quay. At 7:45pm daily, a special cruise takes you directly in front of the the Marina Bay laser show.

The Merlion sits amongst a host of other historical landmarks. Opened in 1870, Cavenagh Bridge is the oldest bridge in its original form in Singapore. Raffles’ Landing Site is a space dedicated to Singapore’s founder Sir Stamford Raffles, as this is where he first landed. Fullerton Hotel was built in 1928 and set in Singapore’s former post office. Try and spot all of the bronze sculptures dotted along the banks, which reflect the early days of Singapore as a fishing village.

Singapore has a lot to offer but some sadly lay forgotten. Fortunately, we’ve rediscovered those gems for you right here!

Other Merlion Statues

The Merlion and Merlion cub at One Fullerton are actually only two of seven in the country, although only 5 of them are officially recognized by the Singapore Tourism Board.
Find the other ones here:


Standing at 37m tall and lit with 16,000 lights at night, this version is impossible to miss. It is also the only Merlion that you can enter.

Mount Faber

The highest in altitude although not the tallest, this Merlion sits in a green garden at Faber Point on Mount Faber. Take a day to explore to explore Mount Faber, from bird watching to heritage trails- there are lots to do!

Tourism Court

A 3-meter tall statue made in the Philippines stands proudly outside Singapore Tourism Board’s (STB) HQ. STB is also the legal owner of the Merlion symbol.

Ang Mo Kio

A pair of 2.5m twin granite statues built in 1998 stand at the carpark entrance of HDB public housing blocks in Ang Mo Kio. These are the only Merlions not officially recognised by the government.

How to get to the Merlion

Enter 049213 into Google Maps to get to The Merlion Park

Admission Charges: Free
Opening Hours: 24/7

share your experience by using #singaporenbeyond on social media!

Review Summary

Standing at 8.6m tall, our Merlion may not be as impressive as the Eiffel Tower or the Great Wall of China, but it stands as Singapore’s national symbol.

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Wai Yan Yip
Wai Yan Yip

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