If you read our previous article on places to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Singapore, you may have been put off by the high costs of going to a bar or restaurant on December 31st. Luckily, you can still enjoy the festivities for free with just a little patience and ingenuity. One of the great things about Singapore is the abundance of public washrooms, so having a day-long picnic is entirely viable – just remember that you aren’t allowed to consume alcohol in public places after 10:30pm so you may want to bring something else to crack open when the fireworks go off at midnight.
Merlion Park certainly offers the best views; however, braving the crowds requires a certain degree of tenacity. The only way to make this method successful is by getting there early in the day and marking your territory. I would recommend bringing some snacks, but there’s always Gluttons Bay by Makansutra if you get hungry for an actual meal. Best of all, you’ll enjoy the fireworks with Marina Bay Sands and the ArtScience Museum making up the backdrop. Also, with its proximity to Esplanade MRT and the Civic District, this will be the easiest area from which to exit after the fireworks are over.
Enjoy the grass-topped roof of the Marina Barrage located at the far end of Gardens by the Bay, past the Cloud and Flower Domes. This location, popular with young families and couples alike, may seem like it is too far away from the water but it actually gives you the best of both worlds; you can enjoy the fireworks display, minus the eardrum-shattering decibels, and the performance is further enhanced by panoramic views of Singapore’s stunning skyline.
The Promontory will provide amazing views of the fireworks, but the backdrop is not quite as nice as Merlion Park. Located to the left of the imposing Marina Bay Sands, this viewing point will have you looking directly at the fireworks with the Helix Bridge and Civic District in the background. This year The Promontory will be used during the day to host an inflatable playground, so it may not be the ideal place to stake out a spot if you’re hoping to get settled early in the day.
The Esplanade Waterfront is the boardwalk along the bay that runs from in front of The Esplanade Theatres to The Float@Marina Bay. In 2015, to mark Singapore’s 50th birthday, the pedestrian-only Jubilee Bridge was built connecting The Esplanade Waterfront to Merlion Park. Another location with a stellar view of the fireworks, expect this area to be full of tripod-wielding photographers who generally avoid Merlion Park because of its steps and The Promontory because it is grassy. The ideal thing about this location if you’ll be there all evening, besides the view of course, is that you’re right in front of all kinds of amenities including a shopping mall and a hawker centre.
The Helix Bridge, which connects The Float@Marina Bay to the Marina Bay Sands complex, just next to the ArtScience Museum, is the place to be if you want to be close to the fireworks. And I mean really close. Expect things to get loud! This is probably the toughest location to crack because there isn’t really anywhere comfortable to sit while you’re waiting, and this is another location that is extremely popular with photographers, especially the viewpoints that are not blocked by the bridge’s intricate design.