Hello and welcome to a guide on the best places to photograph fireworks in Singapore. The “Little Red Dot” may be small, but it is packed with fireworks action every year. For you visitors to Singapore and local fireworks fans, here is a guide on when and where to catch the fireworks – Read on!
COVID SITUATION IN SINGAPORE 2023
Singapore is “almost normal”. Masks are only required on public transport and in medical facilities (clinics and hospitals). But it’s best to mask on in crowded areas to protect yourselves – Especially for you guys who are here on a holiday, it will suck a whole load to get sick for an entire week.
CHINESE NEW YEAR (JAN ~ FEB)
For the guys who are not too familiar with Chinese culture, the Chinese have a traditional Lunar Calendar that is different from the international Gregorian calendar. So yep, the Chinese New Year does not fall on 1 Jan, but usually in January or February instead.
DATES TO MARK
|20-28 Jan 2023 (Fri To Sat)||River Hong Bao|
|22 Jan 2023 (Sun)||Chinese New Year’s Eve|
|23 – 24 Jan 2023 (Mon & Tue)||Chinese New Year|
Several shopping malls and streets all around Singapore will be decorated and lit up to celebrate Chinese New Year. But the major locations and events to check out are:
- Chinatown is the “main attraction”, fireworks and firecrackers are usually displayed before the actual Chinese New Year or during new year’s eve. Please check out the official Chinatown Festivals website.
- River Hongbao is back at Gardens By The Bay for 2023. There are usually small fireworks in the past, not too sure if they will continue that tradition. Click here for the River Hongbao official homepage.
- Orchard Road is another stretch that will light up during the festive seasons.
EXTRA STUFF TO TAKE NOTE
Visitors to Singapore, please take note that many shops will be closed over the Chinese New Year period (most people will be out visiting family and friends). If you are looking for some fun and fireworks action, come right before the Chinese New Year.
SINGAPORE NATIONAL DAY PARADE (AUG)
Every year on Aug 9, we celebrate our independence day and there will be some grand fireworks. But unknown to some people, there are rehearsals 1-2 months before the big day – Where you don’t have to fight with a big crowd to catch the good stuff.
DATES TO MARK (NOT CONFIRMED)
|24 Jun 2023 (Sat)||CR|
|1 Jul 2023 (Sat)||NE SHOW 1|
|8 Jul 2023 (Sat)||NE SHOW 2|
|115Jul 2023 (Sat)||NE SHOW 3|
|22 Jul 2023 (Sat)||PREVIEW 1|
|29 Jul 2023 (Sat)||PREVIEW 2|
|9 Aug 2023 (Wed)||ACTUAL NDP|
PHOTO SPOTS (NOT CONFIRMED)
The list below may no longer be accurate. Not sure if fireworks will go off in front of the Marina Bay Sands “as usual” – TBC.
NDP 2023 will be held at The Padang – ST.
THE FREE PLACES
|MERLION PARK||The number 1 crowded spot, with both locals and tourists. It will be nice if you can actually catch the fireworks with the Merlion.|
|ALONG ESPLANADE DRIVE||Most of the crowd from Merlion park will spill over here. Camp here super early if you want this spot.|
|ESPLANADE||The rooftop of Esplanade is another nice place to catch the fireworks – But beware that many photographers also know that.|
|THE PROMONTORY||I personally prefer this spot – where you can catch the fireworks with MBS as the backdrop. Another crowded place though.|
|MARINA BAY SANDS||You will be catching the fireworks with the Esplanade as a backdrop here… Another super crowded zone.|
|MARINA BARRAGE||Not really a good place with MBS blocking most of the fireworks. But not as crowded.|
|GARDENS BY THE BAY EAST||This place is not as accessible but offers a nice skyline of the city and fireworks. Another of my favorites.|
|QUEEN ELIZABETH WALK||Behind Esplanade Drive, but still offers a pretty decent view and the skyline of the city.|
THE PAID PLACES
|MARINA BAY SANDS||If you can afford to pay for a room at MBS, you are in for a treat – The SkyPark offers a good view.|
|RITZ CARLTON MILLENIA||This hotel is right in front of all the fireworks action. If you can even manage to book a room there.|
|RESTAURANTS AT ONE FULLERTON||The Pelican, Overeasy, Forlino, and Palm Beach Seafood – Enjoy your food and beer while watching the fireworks.|
|LEVEL 33||This is an experimental penthouse dining place that has a nice view of the fireworks. Do reserve in advance.|
|1-ALTITUDE||This gallery/bar will sure offer a nice view of the city and fireworks.|
TIMING & NOTES
- If you are taking public transport, City Hall, Raffles Place, Marina Bay, Bayfront, Downtown, or Promenade MRT stations are good places to start.
- Stage fireworks seem to start at around 7 pm.
- National Anthem (big ones) at around 8.30 pm.
- The NE fireworks seem to be only about 50% of the actual performance, and previews at about 75~90%.
- Try to exit fast when the fireworks end or you will understand what “packed like human sardines” mean.
- For security and safety reasons, no drones are allowed to fly in the vicinity of the NDP (your drone will be jammed and confiscated).
SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX (SEP ~ OCT)
The Singapore Grand Prix will usually run in September. Being a night race, there will traditionally be some fireworks at the closing.
DATES TO MARK
The Singapore Grand Prix will run from 15 Sep 2023 (Fri) to 17 Oct 2023 (Sun).
FIREWORKS LOCATION & STUFF TO NOTE
The usual race track is around the Marina Bay area, and the fireworks will be at the Grandstand on the last day. The entire Marina Bay area will be closed for the event with rather strict security checks… That makes free attempts to catch the fireworks difficult.
But if you still want to have a jab at it, you can try Gardens by the Bay East. If not, your best chances are to actually buy a ticket or stay at the nearby hotels. You can get more information at the official Singapore Grand Prix Website.
NEW YEAR COUNTDOWN (DEC)
Without fail on the 31 Dec every year. There will be countdown parties all over the major locations in Singapore – Orchard Road, Marina Bay, Sentosa, etc…
DATE TO MARK
The date, 31 December. Captain Obvious to the rescue.
The fireworks are mainly towards the city area to the south:
- Siloso Beach Party – Sadly not free, but the tickets do come with a complimentary drink. Click here for their official website.
- Marina Bay Countdown – Light show all around the bay, and fireworks in front of Marina Bay Sands… But expect heavy human traffic. Click here for the official website.
- Dining @ Mount Faber – You may be able to catch the Sentosa fireworks from a restaurant on top of Mount Faber. Food is obviously not free… Click here for the official website.
STUFF TO TAKE NOTE
Expect a massive “human traffic jam” after the countdown event. Public transport will probably run until 3 am in the morning, but some people simply choose to crash somewhere, have “early breakfast”, and wait until the traffic clears.
WINGS OF TIME (DAILY)
Can’t wait? Or your travel schedule does not fall on the big events? Then there is an alternative – A show called Wings of Time on Sentosa island.
LOCATION & TIME
Wings of time is a daily show that plays at Sentosa at 7.30 pm (with an extra show at 8.30 pm during weekends). There will be some small fireworks during the finale. Unfortunately, you will need to pay for a ticket to watch the show. For more information and to book the tickets, check out their official website.
A QUICK “PREVIEW”
Here is a short clip of the fireworks finale, video credits by Kelvin Tan.
GALLERY AND MORE
For the final section of this guide, I shall leave a quick sharing of my humble fireworks photography over the years. Also, a few extra bits that may be useful to you.
FIREWORKS GALLERY (CLICK TO ENLARGE)
NDP fireworks from Garden by The Bay East.
River Hongbao fireworks.
NDP fireworks at Marina Float.
FREE LIGHT SHOWS & NIGHT FESTIVALS
Apart from free fireworks, Singapore has plenty of free light shows and night festivals as well. Check out my other guide –