The lights of the Singapore skyline reflected in water as multicoloured fireworks explode above
Seasonal travelTrip inspirationblog.categories.trip-and-advice
Jo Cooke

Singapore in January

Image of

Wondering what’s the best time to visit Singapore? Hooray! - there’s no wrong answer!

Just 85 miles from the equator this tiny tropical island is balmy all year round - and its multi-ethnic, multi-lingual society comprising Chinese, Malay, Indian and other nationalities, means the welcome is equally warm.

That crazy cultural melting pot also means that there’s almost always a festival underway and January is no exception. So whatever time of the month you visit, be ready to be swept up in the colour and joy of celebrations.

Whilst January is one of the wettest and windiest months by Singapore standards, there’s definitely no shortage of sunshine, with average temperatures still a far-from-cold 27oC. So, whether you’re looking for nature or nightlife, sights, scenery or city living, pack your shorts (and perhaps a portable umbrella) and bask in the best things to do in Singapore in January, including:

• New Year in Singapore

• Singapore festivals (Pongal and Thaipusam)

• Chinese New Year in Singapore

• Gardens by the Bay

• Singapore Wildlife Attractions
- Bird Paradise
- Singapore Zoo
- Night Safari

• Singapore Indoor Attractions
- National Museum of Singapore
- Madame Tussauds
- Virtual Room Singapore

Image of Water, Waterfront, City, Cityscape, Urban, Fireworks,

New Year in Singapore

Grab your glad rags and pop some corks; there’s no shortage of celebrations for New Year’s Eve in Singapore. As the sky lights up with pyrotechnics and light projections, Marina Bay Sands is a focal point for partying and live performance. An icon of modern Singapore, this luxury hotel, shopping and lifestyle destination is topped by... yes, believe your eyes...a full-size ship, which also happens to be home to the world’s largest infinity pool. You don’t need the excuse of New Year to take a dip there - nor to come aboard to indulge in the luxury of Marina Bay Sands’ premier bar. Book your spot in the VIP area of the CÉ LA VI Skybar and sip your complimentary drink whilst you take in the stunning 360o city panorama.

Image of City, Building, Cityscape, Urban, Metropolis, Water, Waterfront, Nature, Outdoors, Scenery, High Rise,

New Year’s Day is also the final day of the Great Bay Fiesta, Marina Bay’s winter playground, complete with snow and ice attractions, breathtaking circus shows, carousels, carnival games, food stalls and loads more. Throw yourself into the fun throughout December, knowing that New Year’s Day is a national holiday in Singapore when you can kick back, make like the locals and celebrate with a foodie feast, champagne brunch or afternoon tea.

Image of Cooking Pot, Cookware, Food, Pot,


Time your visit for the middle of January to join in the joyous celebrations for the Tamil Hindu harvest festival when farmers give thanks to Surya (the Sun God), Mother Nature and the farm animals. Families honor the Sun God by cooking a pot of rice to offer up at dawn and share with family and friends. Pongal means ‘to overflow’ so the rice has to bubble over to symbolize prosperity and abundance.
Although it’s a four-day festival, celebrations go on all month so you’ll find the streets are also overflowing with light, color and things to see and do. Hit Little India, the vibrant historic and cultural center of Singapore’s Indian community, for the Pongal Light-up Ceremony and grab all the pics for the ‘gram as a myriad of magical lights welcome in the festival.

Image of Temple, Adult, Female, Person, Woman, Prayer, Shrine,

Visit the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple - dedicated to Kali a protector goddess and destroyer of evil. Explore the mix of Hindu and Chinese temples on Serangood Road. Shop for everything from spices to unique home decor in the Festive Village. Find flower garland sellers jostling with modern eateries and boutique hotels. Check out the Tekka Centre (Singapore’s largest ‘wet’ market) for a mystifying array of rare produce. Browse open-air goldsmith shops and sari centers. And feast your way along the colorful streets and alleys, discovering South Indian vegetarian food, North Indian tandoori dishes and local treats like prata (round pancakes) and teh tarik (pulled tea). You’re welcome.

Image of Carnival, Back, Person,


You may also be around to catch another colorful, but deeply religious, Hindu festival celebrated in Singapore in January or February (according to the timing of the full moon in the Tamil month of Thai). Thaipusam literally brings traffic to a standstill, thanks to its vibrant annual procession in honor of Lord Subramaniam (sometimes known as Lord Murugan), the destroyer of evil and representing virtue, youth and power.

Stake out your spot in Little India’s historic streets, as the procession winds its way from the dazzling Sri Thendayuthapani Temple, the roof of which is made from 48 colored and etched glass panels angled to catch the sparkle of the rising and setting sun.
Then try not to wince as you watch traditional devotees carry kavadi (literally ‘a sacrifice at every step’) which range from wooden spikes that pierce the tongue and other body parts - to huge heavy frames decorated with flowers and feathers. Less alarmingly others carry pots of milk, symbolizing abundance and fertility.

Image of Lamp, Lantern,

Chinese New Year in Singapore

The date of the first full moon of the year also determines the most important date in the Chinese calendar - Chinese, or Lunar, New Year. Whether it falls in January or February, revel in the festive atmosphere in Singapore’s Chinatown as beautiful lanterns blaze for the Chinese New Year Opening Ceremony. Be dazzled by the lights and ornaments that adorn the streets and jostle with tourists and locals among stalls selling everything from pottery, homeware and clothes to delicious sweet and savory treats.

Image of Brunch, Food, Meal, Food Presentation, Cafeteria, Indoors, Restaurant,

On the eve of the new year families hurry home to share a Reunion Dinner with their loved ones, to honour ancestors and traditional deities, a tradition so important to so many people that it is often known as ‘the world’s largest human migration’. Don’t miss the Chingay parade in Marina Bay, as the year is ushered in with floats and performances including stilt walkers and lion dancers.

Image of House, Housing, Villa, Hotel, Resort,

To get a handle on what it’s all about, why not drop by the Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Museum, which often hosts exhibitions to help visitors understand Chinese history and culture. It includes an exhibition of Nian Hua, traditional woodblock prints used to decorate homes for Chinese New year.

Image of Garden, Nature, Outdoors, Gardening, Vegetation, Arbour, Person,

Gardens by the Bay

Even though local markets and shops are shut for at least a week, the major malls, tourist areas and entertainment attractions will all be buzzing. Join the crowds for River Hongbao, one of the most popular New Year celebrations, featuring live stage performances and amusement rides. It takes place at Gardens by the Bay, the stunning natural park recognizable around the world as a symbol of Singapore. Make the most of the photo ops whilst the gardens are decorated with good luck symbols, positive messages, giant coin pouches and particularly giant lanterns. But, whatever the time of year, you can Pick up a Gardens by the Bay ticket that also includes access to the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest featuring Avatar: The Experience. For New Year the Flower Dome showcases Dahlia Dreams, a breathtaking floral display of over 2000 dahlias, which appear alongside other auspicious New Year blooms like azaleas and chrysanthemums.

Image of City, Temple, Prayer, Shrine, Pagoda, Urban, Person, Walking, Adult, Male, Man, Female, Woman, Shorts, Bag, Handbag,


Not just in January but all year long, Singapore’s Chinatown is a heady mix of heritage, culture and architecture, where historic temples sit alongside hip bars and colorful street art. Testament to Singapore’s multi-ethnic society, it is the only Chinatown that is home to a Buddhist temple, a mosque and a Hindu temple along the same street.
Share the peace and beauty of the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple & Museum, with its tranquil rooftop garden, pagoda and beautiful interior designed in the form of a mandala.
Or compare the architecture of Masjid Jamae (the Big Mosque) with the Sri Mariamman Temple, the oldest Hindu temple in Singapore.

Though Chinatown is not all tradition. After dark the streets come alive with music, so make the most of the bustling bars and food ranging from traditional flavors to modern fusion.

Image of Person, Adult, Female, Woman, Boy, Child, Male, Girl, Teen, Animal, Bird, Man,

Singapore Wildlife Attractions

As the holiday season comes to a close and the crowds die down, January can be a peaceful time to enjoy some of Singapore’s main attractions at your own pace.

Jurong Bird Park

Wing your way to Bird Paradise, Asia's largest bird park, to discover over 3,500 birds, as well as the tallest artificial waterfall in the world.

Image of Animal, Zoo, Land, Nature, Outdoors, Rainforest, Tree, Vegetation, Child, Female, Girl, Person, Mammal, Monkey, Wildlife, Boy, Male, Teen,

Singapore Zoo

Over at the Singapore Zoo you can watch orangutans swing high above their platforms, not to mention sloths, chimpanzees, meerkats, a komodo dragon, white tigers, kangaroos and many more. Over 300 species living amid lush vegetation have ensured the zoo’s reputation as the world’s best rainforest zoo and an important center for conservation.

Image of Animal, Zoo, Jungle, Nature, Outdoors, Vegetation, Elephant, Mammal, Wildlife, Boy, Child, Male, Person, Adult, Man,

Night Safari

When night falls, take the Night Safari; you can’t fail to be fascinated by over 100 species in the world’s first nocturnal wildlife park. Follow one of the four walking trails or take the tram to see the natural habitats and learn the secrets of native and endangered species including the Malayan tiger, Malayan tapir and Asian elephant.

Image of Person, Walking, Urban,

Singapore Indoor Attractions

And you needn’t let the rainy season put a damper on your adventures since Singapore has plenty of undercover attractions too. From culture to family fun, there’s something for every age and taste.

Perhaps you’ll choose to get a handle on the country’s rich culture and history via the captivating installations at The National Museum of Singapore.

Image of Hat, Adult, Female, Person, Woman, Male, Man,

Head over to Madame Tussauds Singapore to pose for a selfie with Taylor Swift, David Beckham and a galaxy of other stars of Hollywood, Bollywood, TV and sport. Your ticket offers an exciting 5-in-1 experience, with other attractions including the Spirit of Singapore Boat Ride and a Marvel 4D Experience.

Image of VR Headset,

Or escape reality at the unique virtual adventure that is Virtual Room Singapore. Enjoy multi-player fun in the world’s best team-based virtual reality experience, where 3D cinematic effects are combined with an escape room concept. Immerse yourself in high-tech, high definition gameplay as you interact, walk, talk and problem-solve your way through each activity.

Phew! It’s only the beginning of the year and there’s already so much to see and do. Whether you choose to throw yourselves into the colourful celebrations, pack in the attractions, or prefer a peaceful natural retreat, remember that picking up an All-Inclusive Pass or an Explorer Pass is the best way to sight-see and save in Singapore. Happy new year and happy adventuring - with Go City.

Love this article? Why not share it:

Buy with confidence

Free cancellation

Plans can change, we get it. All non-activated passes are eligible for a refund within 90 days from your purchase date.

Find out more


Confused? We're here to help!

See our FAQs

We're kind of popular, but don't just take our word for it.

Have a 5% discount, on us!

Sign up to our newsletter and receive exclusive discounts, trip inspiration and attraction updates straight to your inbox.

  • Thick check Icon