Deciding the best time to visit Singapore depends upon whether you want to avoid busy periods such as big festivals, or embrace the crowds and join in the fun!
Because Singapore is an impressive melting pot of different ethnic groups and religions, along with a large number of foreign workers, you'll find many festivals and events to enjoy. Some large festivals can clog city streets and cause already expensive accommodation prices to skyrocket.
With lots of sunshine and random showers to keep things green, the weather in Singapore is fairly consistent throughout the year.
- First, see where is Singapore for some basic visitor's information.
- See 10 budget travel tips for Singapore.
Weather in Singapore
Singapore is located extremely close to the Equator, so there is little variance between seasons. Unlike the rest of Southeast Asia which experiences distinct wet and dry seasons, unexpected showers can pop up at any time in Singapore. You'll see plenty of people carrying umbrellas at all times, to keep both the sun and rain off!
While it can and does rain at any time of year, Singapore experiences the wettest months during the monsoon season between November and January. February is typically the driest and best month to visit Singapore.
The consistent heat and urban humidity in Singapore -- particularly away from the waterfront -- can be oppressive on sunny days. You'll find plenty of refuge inside air-conditioned cafes, shops, and businesses.
Along with a matrix of shopping malls, there are plenty of world-class museums in Singapore to enjoy on rainy days.
Haze from Sumatra
Although unpredictable, Singapore annually receives haze and smoke from clearing fires that burn out of control in nearby Sumatra, Indonesia. The fires typically begin around May and can continue throughout the summer. Changes in wind direction sometimes carry away haze as quickly as it came. Once trapped in the city, the haze can irritate eyes and throat; many residents wear masks when particle levels climb.
In the past, the levels of particle matter in the air have reached threatening thresholds in Singapore. People with respiratory problems should check the haze in Singapore website created by the National Environment Agency to see if haze is a serious threat.
Public Holidays in Singapore
Because Singapore has such ethnic diversity, residents enjoy 11 public holidays annually to accommodate the four major religious groups (Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu, and Christian) along with some secular holidays not associated with specific groups.
Some festivals span much longer than a single day, so businesses owned by specific ethnic groups may still be closed in observance and travel may be affected. The dates of public holidays in Singapore are set each year by the Ministry of Manpower. You can check the official website (http://www.mom.gov.sg) for specific dates of public holidays.
Many festivals and holidays are based on lunar or other calendars, so dates change from year to year.
The regular public holidays for Singapore include:
- New Year' Day: Always on January 1
- Chinese New Year (two days): Dates vary; read about Chinese New Year
- Good Friday: Dates vary
- Labor Day: Always on May 1
- Vesak Day: Dates vary, but usually in May
- Hari Raya Puasa: Dates vary based on Ramadan; read about travel during Ramadan
- National Day: Always on August 9
- Hari Raya Haji: Dates vary
- Diwali(Deepavali): Dates vary; check dates for Diwali
- Christmas Day: Always on December 25. Read more about Christmas in Asia.
Big Festivals in Singapore
The worst-case scenario for visiting Singapore is to turn up just a day or two after a major festival. With poor timing, you'll deal with the crowds and inflated prices without getting to enjoy the festival itself.
The largest festivals affecting transportation and accommodation in Singapore include: Christmas, Chinese New Year, Ramadan, and National Day. You'll find many more smaller events, parades, and celebrations to enjoy for other Asian festivals.
Other Big Events in Singapore
There is always something exciting happening in Singapore. Some big events draw large crowds to the already packed city. The surges in visitors can cause accommodation prices to skyrocket, particularly around big venues.
Check the official Singapore Tourism Board website for events and dates. A few big events include:
- Singapore Sun Festival: A 10-day festival of art, music, wine, film, and literature
- Singapore Food Festival: A month-long celebration of food
- Singapore Grand Prix: Formula One racing in Singapore
- The Chingay Parade: A massive street parade and procession
- Singapore Arts Festival: A month-long festival of art, dance, music, and performances
- ZoukOut: One of Asia's largest dance music festivals