Fireworks over Marina Bay in Singapore
Stuart Bak

Singapore in December

December heralds the beginning of Singapore’s northeast monsoon season. This, as festive vacation planners will no doubt be delighted to learn, is the season’s ‘wet phase’, when heavy persistent showers are all but guaranteed to sweep in and ruin your stroll in the late afternoons and early evenings. In spite of this, the last month of the year remains a popular time to visit the Garden City, largely thanks to its epic Christmas lights and awesome New Year’s Eve celebrations. Read on for our whistlestop guide to what to expect of Singapore in December.

Visiting Singapore in December

Parent and child caught out in a Singapore monsoon

Temperature: 77–85°F • Average Rainfall: 25 days/month • Average Sunshine: 6 hours/day

The temperature in Singapore remains pretty uniform all year round. We’re talking hot days and balmy nights. December brings higher humidity and monsoon downpours into the mix, meaning choosing which outfits to pack can be a little like learning to play the ancient Chinese game of mahjong for the first time. In short: tricky. Light cottons and linens are your friends and Singapore’s proliferation of covered walkways and air-conditioned megamalls probably means you can leave the novelty umbrella hat at home. But do pack a pocket poncho and a light hoodie or sweater to see you through those wetter/cooler moments.

If you’ve never experienced a Singapore monsoon before, you’re in for quite the treat. Usually heralded by darkening skies and a brisk breeze, the rains move in fast. And boy, can they be vicious. It’s not unusual to spot newly arrived tourists bounding frantically across rapidly rising puddles like Gene Kelly in Singin’ in the Rain, but without the slick Hollywood moves.

If you are planning to visit Singapore during its glittering festive season, we’d recommend you get your flights and accommodation booked as far in advance as possible. In spite of the rains, this is a very popular time of year and booking early can often (if not always) help to beat the December price hikes.

Things to do in Singapore in December

Christmas lights on Orchard Road in Singapore

It’s all about Christmas in Singapore in December. Well, almost. Certainly, you’d be forgiven for thinking the entire planet’s electricity supply is being channeled into the festive light displays here, which are so bright they might well be visible from the planet Zork. See some of the most extravagant Christmas decorations in town on an evening stroll along Orchard Road, Singapore’s most famous luxury shopping thoroughfare. The street’s strangely titled ‘Christmas on A Great Street’ boasts not one but three Christmas villages crammed with carnival rides, games, street food stalls and, of course, pop-up gift stores. There’s even a full-on street party on Christmas Eve, complete with live music and dance, carol singers and a huge Christmas market.

Christmas lights at Singapore's Gardens by the Bay

The evergreen Gardens by the Bay turns the charm offensive right up to eleven in December with its annual Christmas Wonderland event. Take a romantic stroll along the Walk of Lights which, with somewhere in the region of 75,000 light bulbs, more than lives up to its name. Swap rain for snow at the Blizzard Time exhibit, visit (but please don’t nibble) the life-size gingerbread house in Gingerbread Grove, and try your luck on the carnival game stalls in Frosty’s Fairground.

Heck, you can even get your festive kicks at the airport. As anyone who has ever traveled through it will tell you, Changi is no ordinary airport, with attractions such as a butterfly garden, a three-story slide, a Pokémon center and the world’s tallest indoor waterfall making it a tourist destination in its own right. No surprise then that it also hosts one of the city’s finest Christmas villages. We’re talking candy-themed rides and games, a snow house with ice sculptures, and luges and marching bands – it’s the stuff Christmas dreams are made of!

What’s on in Singapore in December?

Joggers in Singapore

Of course, it’s not just Christmas and monsoon-dodging that make Singapore a fun place to visit in December. The island’s other annual end-of-year events are designed to appeal to as broad a church as possible. First up is the Singapore Marathon, which takes place (almost) without fail on the first Sunday of December. The epic route (all 26.1 miles of it) takes in some of the city’s finest sights, including a sprint through Marina Bay, a shuffle past Merlion Park and a shimmy within sight of the famous Sentosa cable car. You’ll need to register (and train) to take part and, for those who prefer their runs a little… shorter, half-marathon, 10km and even 5km routes are also available on the day.

The entertainment juggernaut that is Comic Con also rumbles into town during December for two extraordinary days of toy-, game- and comic-based events at Marina Bay Sands. Book your spot for the chance to ogle rare vintage toys and comics, as well as the opportunity to meet your favorite comic book creators, Marvel movie stars and more.

Fireworks over Gardens by the Bay in Singapore

Marina Bay is also the location for Singapore’s epic New Year countdown and fireworks. Of course you can see the flamboyant pyrotechnic display from just about anywhere across the city, but Marina Bay is where it's at for ringside seats and the best Insta snaps as the colorful display kicks off and an epic, soul-soaring soundtrack booms out across the water.

Save on attractions and activities in Singapore

Save on admission to Singapore attractions with Go City. Check out @GoCity on Instagram for the latest top tips and attraction info.

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