When is the Best Time to Visit Singapore?
Any time is a good time says the Tourist Board, but here are some things to note when planning a trip to Lion City.
Planning a visit to sunny island Singapore? You may have heard that this is a land of eternal sunshine but depending on the month, you may find yourself in a quite a wet situation.
Singapore does not have distinct seasons. It’s either hot & wet or hotter & wetter but the best advice is to always bring an umbrella with you. The temperature in Singapore rarely dips below 27 and it’s either raining or very sunny so you’ll need your brolly either way.
From June to August temperatures may soar up to a sweltering 34 degrees Celsius while in late November to early January it gets very wet. And when it rains in Singapore, it pours. The driest months are February, June and July.
If you’re only planning to shop, this wouldn’t be a problem (all shopping malls are air-conditioned) but if you plan to be outdoors most of the time, do take note of this.
New Year’s Day – Thursday 1 January
Chinese New Year – Monday 26 January and Tuesday 27 January
Good Friday – Friday 10 April
Labour Day – Friday 1 May
Vesak Day – Saturday 9 May
National Day – Sunday 9 August*
Hari Raya Puasa – Sunday 20 September*
Deepavali – Sunday 15 November*
Hari Raya Haji – Friday 27 November
Christmas Day Friday 25 December
Business as usual for most shops and restaurants on public holidays except for Chinese New Year (see below).
Businesses with Muslim owners may be closed for a day or two on Hari Raya Puasa and sometimes on Hari Raya Haji while businesses with Hindu owners may be closed for Deepavali celebrations. The Muslim and Hindu population are a minority and shops closed are usually limited to those in the ethnic enclaves of Geylang Serai and Little India.
*If a public holiday falls on a Sunday, the next day (Monday) also a public Holiday.
Events, Festivals, Celebrations, Holidays
New Year’s Day
1st of January is a public holiday. Some shops may close on New Year’s Day but most remain open, especially in the Orchard Road shopping belt. A number of shops will be holding post-holiday season sale.
Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year (or Lunar New Year)is usually celebrated in January and the weeks before, shops, especially in Chinatown, will be decked in festive decorations of red and gold. It’s a great time to get a feel of the festivities but beware, since the majority of the population is Chinese, most shops and restaurants will be closed for the first two days of the Chinese New Year with some shops closing for up to a week. Even Orchard Road will be a ghost town. If you’re not invited to someone’s house to join in the celebrations, you may be at a lost of what to do on these two days. Chinese New Year holidays in Singapore for 2009 falls on Monday 26 January and Tuesday 27 January.
Watch colorful performance and procession at the Chingay parade on 30 and 31 January, touted as “Asia’s grandest street and floats parade”
From end of May to mid-July, the Great Singapore Sale will be on. Shopping centers and heartland malls feature promotions and great discounts on a wide variety of products.
The Singapore Arts Festival is on from 15 May – 14 June 2009 while the Singapore Food Festival is on in July.
Hari Raya Puasa (Eid ul-Fitr) marks the end of a month-long fast in the month of Ramadan. Muslims celebrate with prayer, visiting of friends and relatives and food. Check out the bazaar in Geylang Serai during Ramadan (starting 21 August 2009 to 19 September 2009) for food, traditional fashion or just to enjoy the light-up streets.
Singapore leg of the F1 Grand Prix race will be on Sunday 27 September 2009. The road race will see some roads in the CBD area closed for a few days.
Hindus celebrate the triumph of good over evil on Deepavali or the Festival of Lights. The rest of Singapore celebrates with them with the lighting up of Little India.
In late November to the new year, Orchard Road will be lit up to welcome in the festive season. Christmas decorations and promotions fill the air in shops and streets. If you’re game for a warm and wet X’mas, this is the best time to go. Watch out for the crowds!
For detailed events and other festivals, check out the Uniquely Singapore website.
Major attractions may be crowded during the school holidaysIn Singapore there are 4 school breaks the month-long semester breaks in June and late November – end December and shorter week-long term breaks in March and September:
Saturday 14 March – Sunday 22 March;
Saturday 30 May – Sunday 28 June;
Saturday 5 September – Sunday 13 September;
Saturday 21 November – Thursday 31 December.
Schools also closed for Youth Day on Sunday 5 July 2009 (and the following Monday), Teachers’ Day Tuesday 1 September and Children´s Day Thursday 1 October (Primary and Secondary Schools).