Swap cold weather for sunny skies and snow for sand when you stop by Singapore this Christmas…
The tropics don’t hold back when it comes to Yuletide cheer – the island goes all out with decorations, celebrations and Christmas markets galore. Best of all, you can ditch coats, gloves and scarves and enjoy balmy temperatures in December. And, if you’re in town on the Singapore Stopover Holiday (SSH) en route to visiting family and friends, take advantage of the incredible shopping the island offers and stock up on presents.
1 – Visit a Christmas market
Take your pick of markets where you can grab a cup of mulled wine and pick up a few trinkets this season. Haven’t done your holiday shopping yet? Head on over to the Christmas Market at Plaza Singapura to grab some deals on last-minute shopping. If you’re craving a traditional European feel, the Christmas Wonderland Festive Market at the Gardens by the Bay has quaint wooden huts, Dutch pancakes, and raclette cheese stalls, as well as carnival games and light sculpture displays. Get super-local gifts at the Independent Market Christmas Fair, where you can support local artists as you shop for T-shirts, designer goods, books and tote bags.
2 – Marvel at the decorations
Head to the Gardens by the Bay for a festive wonderland full of twinkle lights that stretches as far as the eye can see. You’ll even be able to catch ‘snow’ here – the Blizzard Time occurs five times a day. The stars of the show are the luminous light sculptures, handcrafted in Italy. And don’t forget to visit Asia’s tallest Christmas ‘tree’ – a towering 13-meter sculpture. Want the real thing? ION Orchard and Ngee Ann City have giant Christmas trees that need to be seen to be believed.
3 – Celebrate a Merry ‘Fishmas’
You know you’re in the tropics when you can see scuba Santa and his elves swim in the waters at the S.E.A. Aquarium, just a 10-minute walk from the harbor front. While the team of festive helpers feed the fish, you can admire 100,000 marine animals, including sharks, jellyfish and the largest collection of manta rays, before heading over to the recycling workshop to make hand-crafted ornaments.
4 – Countdown to Christmas Eve
Sing your way into the season (literally) at the Great Christmas Village with a countdown as local musicians perform holiday classics. As soon as the clock strikes midnight, there’s a fireworks show and pyrotechnics display. While you wait, feast on seasonal treats, sip delicious drinks, play on the amusement rides and marvel at the wonderland of twinkle lights.
5 – Do last-minute Christmas shopping
Take advantage of the incredible shopping options in Singapore, especially since they’re tax-free (redeem the tax you pay on shopping as soon as you leave the country). Head to famous Orchard Road with its elaborate decorations and endless shopping options. The 1.3-mile stretch has everything from department stores, luxury shopping and shopping malls all vying to be crowned ‘Best Dressed Building’ for the festive season. Don’t miss the Ion Orchard and its 20-meter tall rose-gold Christmas tree.