Bright lights, big city. Singapore conjures images of just this, along with lush landscapes, bustling street markets and world-class shopping. And she won’t disappoint no matter what the season. From breathtaking gardens and sublime beaches to globally-inspired cuisine, visiting Singapore in the winter is the perfect time to experience all that the city has to offer and more without the crazy crowds of summer.
Why visit Singapore in the winter?
Winter in Singapore runs from December to February and while temperatures and humidity levels remain fairly high, the rains have arrived, and you can expect rainfall and thunderstorms daily. Temperatures range between 28°C and 32°C and humidity levels are high. But don’t be put off by the rain – Singapore is packed with an incredible array of attraction and activities that can be enjoyed whatever the weather.
We’ve put together list of the best things to see and do in Singapore in winter. Grab a reliable umbrella and get exploring!
1. Hit the shops
We all love a bit of retail therapy and Singapore certainly delivers. Singapore’s shopping scene is world-renowned, and some people visit the vibrant city just to shop. The tiny island-state is home to an impressive range of shopping malls, high-end boutiques, brand-name stores, and hidden gems. You can find everything from appliances to apparel and the choice of places to get them is mind-boggling.
The best place to start your shopping spree is the epochal Orchard Road. Mega malls line the two-mile stretch of street and whatever you are looking for from budget clothing to state-of-the-art electronics, you’ll find it here. For something extraordinary, head to the Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, where you do some window shopping while taking a relaxing gondola ride around the mall. You’ll also find some outstanding restaurants here when you start getting ‘hangry.’
2. Explore Singapore’s superb museums
Escape the rain and explore some of the city’s excellent museums. Singapore is home to several outstanding cultural institutions that cover a wide variety of interests, and you are bound to find a few that will pique your curiosity.
Head the Asian Civilisations Museum to learn all about Asia’s fascinating cross-cultural connections. Wander through the galleries and marvel at ancient artifacts found on the Tang Shipwreck of 830 AD. Discover the grand religions of India from Buddhism to Jainism and admire some beautiful Islamic Art.
Another incredible museum to explore is the Indian Heritage Centre. Based in the heart of Little India Heritage District, this cultural centrer and museum focuses on the rich culture, heritage and history of Indian Singaporeans. Don’t forget to use your pass to get free access to these two amazing museums.
After your museum visit, why not take a stroll around the Little India Heritage District? One of Singapore’s cultural enclaves, Little India is a sensory overload with a cacophony of sounds, vibrant colors, and eye-watering aromas. It’s an experience not to be missed!
4. Soak up some spectacular views
Get a bird’s eye view of the city from the lofty heights of the SkyPark Observation Deck. Occupying the 57th floor of the Marina Bay Sands, the SkyPark Observation Deck is the perfect place to take in magnificent panoramic views of Gardens by the Bay and the impressive Supertree Grove. Try to spot Singapore's famous landmarks like the Merlion and the durian-shaped domes of the Esplanade.
Enjoy a guided tour of the deck and learn about Singapore's history. Escape the heat with a refreshing dip in the hotel’s famous infinity pool that seemingly floats over the city and sip a cool drink from the the CÉ LA VI SkyBar. Remember to use your pass to enjoy a free drink from the bar.
Top tip: Head up to the SkyPark Observation Deck in the evening to get the best seats in the house for Spectra, a nightly outdoor light and water show with fountain jets and dazzling laser beams.
4. Experience the Neon Lights Festival
One of the best experiences in Singapore in winter is the Neon Lights Festival. This unique two-day music festival runs over a few days in November and is a highlight on the city’s event calendar. The festival features over 150 music and art performances from both local and international artists. You’ll also find plenty of family-friendly activities and workshops, a silent disco and loads of delicious gourmet food. If you’re planning a trip to Singapore in winter, you should plan around this epic event.
5. Wander around Singapore’s beautiful gardens
Despite the rain, you should definitely spend a few hours exploring some of Singapore’s beautiful gardens. Wait for a break in the clouds and head to the Gardens on the Bay in Marina Bay. This is one of the city’s most spectacular green spaces and you’ll be amazed at the misty biodomes, the towering high-tech trees, and the comical sculptures. Get free access to the Cloud Forest and the Flower Dome by using your pass.
Another enchanting oasis to meander around is the 82-hectare Singapore Botanic Gardens where you can admire over 550 species planted in beautifully laid out themed gardens. Stop in at the National Orchid Garden and the botanical art gallery in the Gallop Extension while you are there.
Top tip: Visit in the late afternoon and head up to the observatory at the top of the tallest Supertree for some breathtaking panoramic views over Marina Bay. Stay until the evening Garden Rhapsody show where the Supertrees burst into light. It is a sight to behold!
6. Enjoy a riverboat cruise
Take to the water to see Singapore from a different perspective. Use your pass to hop on a traditional bumboat for a Singapore River Cruise and take in the awe-inspiring city skyline.
Bumboats are traditional painted boats that are used to transport both locals and tourists around the bay. They are covered so you don’t have to worry about the rain and their brightly painted faces will protect you from oncoming traffic (or so it is believed). Marvel at the beauty of the steaming city as you glide past famous sights like Raffles, the Esplanade, and the Old Parliament House.
7. Eat your way around the world
When it comes to food, this tiny island-state packs a punch with everything from legendary hawker stall fare to Michelin-star meals. There are some incredible restaurants and trendy envelope-pushing dining concepts in the city, but the best place to get a taste of Singapore is on the street at the legendary hawker centers.
From charcoal-grilled kaya toast for breakfast to sublime Indonesian ayam penyet (smashed fried chicken) for dinner, you’ll be able to eat your way around the world and back again in a single day.
Top tip: Cash is king on the street, so carry cash in small notes when street dining.
8. Celebrate Chinese New Year
This is another fantastic festival that happens in winter that shouldn’t be missed! Also known as the Lunar New Year, Chinese New Year occurs at the end of January is the most important date on the Chinese calendar. It’s a time for celebration, and Singapore does this with aplomb.
Head to Chinatown and witness the official opening ceremony of the holiday called the Street Light-Up. Beautifully designed lanterns and stunning floral displays line the streets and vibrant processions wind their way through the neighborhood. Lively lion dances are held, and seasonal markets bustle with trade – the mood is nothing less than electric.
And then there is the food! Traditional Asian feasts are part and parcel of the festival and hawkers’ stalls heave with piles of delicious delicacies. Make sure you go hungry!
9. Hit the town
When the sun goes down, Singapore changes from flats to heels and really puts on a show. Trendy restaurants, buzzing bars, and glitzy nightclubs all vye for attention, while chic rooftop bars draw the cool crowd.
Kick off the evening with a complimentary Singapore Sling at the famous Raffles Long Bar – present your pass for your free drink. Then head out into the night and experience Singapore’s electric nightlife.