Celebrate Christmas in Singapore - 6 Best Places to Beat the Crowd
By , 14 Nov 2016
Never mind the tropics, Christmas is still the most magical time of the year in the sunny island of Singapore. Another excuse for Singaporeans (and tourists alike) to do what they love most: eat and shop while enjoying the magnificent Christmas decorations.
Yes we know all the to-go places to admire the usual Christmas lights. Strolling down Orchard Road, alongside the Singapore River etc. But how about spending this Christmas weekend at the lesser-known, quieter yet extremely refreshing venues?
Here are 6 suggestions for the coolest and unusual places to soak up the festive mood:
1. Gillman Barracks
Built in 1935, the ex-British military base is now one of Singapore’s most trending art enclaves. Dotted with over 10 art galleries, gastronomic restaurants and hipster cafes, Gillman Barracks is the go-to destination for dazzling lights, indie music, Instagram-worthy noms and a dose of contemporary art. Surrounded by lush greenery and tranquil open spaces, this hip hotspot is utterly romantic and magical even on a regular day.
There are always some cool events going on here in Gillman Barracks every weekend, holidays or end of the month. So if you don’t want to miss out on any of the fun, head over to their Facebook page and stay updated to their upcoming Christmas celebrations!
Address: 9 Lock Rd, 108937 (Google Maps)
Opening Hours: Tues to Thurs, & Sat: 12pm - 7pm, Fri: 11am - 9:15pm, Sun: 11am - 7pm, Closed on Mon
2. Potato Head Folk
Nestled within one of the most iconic and historical buildings along the stretch of shophouses on Keong Saik Road, Potato Head Folk combines a magical formula of whimsical, fun and hipster vibes. Offering a mouth-watering selection of generously stacked and obviously succulent burgers, this quirky restaurant bar is the place to be if you want to spend your Christmas immersing in a dreamlike ambience. After dinner, move upstairs to the third floor and lepak in the intimate ‘Studio 1939’, or head up to the bohemian tiki-style rooftop garden for a stunning view of its surrounding heritage shophouses and towering skyscrapers.
Address: 36 Keong Saik Road, 089143 (Google Maps)
Opening Hours: Tues to Sun: 11am to 12 Midnight, Closed on Mon
3. Rochester Park
A cosy and tranquil vicinity located a stone throw away from Buona Vista MRT, Rochester Park is a true culinary destination set among elegant colonial heritage bungalows. Hidden amongst lush greenery, away from the hustle and bustle of the city, bring your date here for a romantic al fresco dinner and earn yourself some extra brownie points. With many establishments to choose from, spend a magical Christmas indulging in delectable eats and unwinding with classy cocktails as you soak up the quaint ambience. Beware of annoying mosquitoes ruining your moment though so be sure to bring your repellent!
Address: 1 Rochester Park, Singapore 139212 (Google Maps)
4. 28 Hong Kong Street
Contrary to what we would normally believe, this year’s best bar in Asia is not perched on the roof of some atas skyscraper with panoramic views of the city skyline. 28 Hong Kong Street is as minimalist and discreet as it sounds. With no signage and virtually non-existent PR efforts, this speakeasy is hidden with a shroud of secrecy in a plain looking shophouse. Tumble down the rabbit hole as you step behind the boring looking doors and into boutique spirits paradise. Boasting a creative mixology and bespoke cocktails named after rappers, this New York-inspired cocktail bar is nothing short of magical to spend your Christmas.
Address: 28 Hongkong St, Singapore 059667 (Google Maps)
5. Henderson Waves
Who says that a Christmas experience in Singapore needs to be weaving through the touristy crowd along Orchard Road and getting hit by selfie sticks? If you are one who enjoys the great outdoors and surrounded by a myriad flora and fauna, take a relaxing stroll at the Southern Ridges! Lying along the 10 km route is the not–to-be-missed Henderson Waves, a phenomenal structure standing 36 metres above Henderson Road and offering breath-taking, panoramic views of the city. The contemporary, futuristic wave-like structure also makes it a photography hotspot and especially charming at night. Make your way over here and spend a fulfilling Christmas weekend admiring the dazzling city lights from afar.
Address: Henderson Road, Southern Ridges, Bukit Merah, Singapore 159557 (Google Maps)
6. Punggol Waterway
Spend a tranquil Christmas with your family and loved ones discovering the beauty of Punggol! Built around the section of Punggol Waterway and along Sentul Crescent, this spacious park is ideal for cycling, roller-blading and taking a relaxing stroll. Come here in the evening and marvel at the beautiful view of the sunset over the promenade, while listening to the soothing sounds of cascading water. If you want to burn some of those extra calories that you have been putting on during this festive season, rent a bike and explore the entire area! Venture down to Old Punggol Road if you are up for some off-road adventure.
There are also plenty of chill bars and restaurants dotted along Tebing Lane for refuellings, such as Whisk and Paddle, and Café Frienzie. So if you prefer to spend your holiday weekend surrounded by nature instead of artificial snow, head over to Punggol Waterway!
Address: Sentul Crescent Road, 822313 (Google Maps)
BONUS: Once you are done spending your quiet time and you're looking for an unrivalled place to celebrate Christmas in all its glory, here's our BEST suggestion on where to go.
7 - Christmas Wonderland @ Gardens By The Bay
Even though Christmas Wonderland at Gardens By The Bay is far from discreet, it is certainly magical and worth the mention. In its third year running, Christmas Wonderland is Singapore’s biggest Yuletide fair created to mesmerise its visitors and transport them into a dreamy wonderland. Featuring magnificent Luminarie light sculptures, the Blizzard Dome (Yes! Snow in tropical Singapore!), carnival games, and festive markets redolent of Christmas markets in London and Paris, Christmas Wonderland is a must-visit!
Although free admission is not available this year, tickets only cost a nominal fee of $4 per pax. So grab yours now here and enjoy a night soaking up the festive mood. Do remember to dress light, as Christmas in Singapore coupled with thousands of other visitors can get rather stuffy.
Address: 18 Marina Gardens Drive, Singapore 018953 (Google Maps)
If you're looking for places to feast during Christmas to complete your day, check out our suggestions below: