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Christmas in Singapore

For me, the holiday period means working right up to Christmas Eve, then sitting around a table with my family on one of the hottest days of the year and eating way too much food. We don’t really do presents anymore as we’re all adults, so mainly the day is filled with food and family. This year I decided to buy myself a present – I bought myself a holiday and a Christmas experience I’ll never forget! I’ve never spent Christmas away from home but this year I hopped on a plane a few days before Christmas and headed for Singapore with my mum to celebrate the holiday period in a way we hadn’t before, just the two of us in a different country!

A Universal Christmas

A bucket list item of mine has always been to spend Christmas at a theme park – this year I spent Christmas Day at Universal Studios Singapore! Decorated for the Season, with themed foods, carnival games, and shows, it was truly a great way to spend the day! At the end of the night, Santa and his friends put on a circus show in the New York area of the park – a spectacle that’s definitely worth a watch.


We had two days at the park, 23 December, and Christmas Day – both days were very busy. Wait times for the large rollercoasters – Battlestar Galactica: Human and Cylon – standby lines were consistently over 30 minutes, even when they said they weren’t. at one point we waited 2 hours for Cylon, which was posting a 90 min time, 20 mins less than Human so I can only imagine how long that one took. Other thrill rides – Transformers and Return of the Mummy were usually around the 20–30-minute mark.


We purchased the ‘Universal Christmas’ bundle for our tickets. In 2022, these tickets were priced at SGD98 per day and included park admission, a SGD20 food voucher, and SGD5 store voucher. If you’re not fussed about the vouchers, you can access all of the Christmas goodies without the special Christmas ticket.


My recommendation would be to invest in an Express Pass, especially over this period. Express Passes are an add on to your admission and will give you priority access to participating shows and rides once per day for the general Express Pass, or as many times as you like per day if you get the Unlimited pass.

Christmas Wonderland

If you want a cute, easy, and chill way to spend a Christmassy evening, you need to head to the Gardens by the Bay for their Christmas Wonderland event. Admission was incredibly cheap – about SGD10 each. You can also buy admission in a bundle with admission to the Flower Dome and the Supertree Observatory for approximately SGD50. If you’re wanting to visit the Cloud Garden as well, I recommend not buying the Christmas Wonderland bundle as you’ll need to buy a conservatory bundle for the Cloud Garden and Flower Dome as they don’t sell them separate to international visitors.


The event is set up in the Supertree Grove and is great fun for all ages. They have carnival games, a beautiful double decker carousel (a separately ticketed attraction), many light displays like a candy cane walk and a 21-metre Spalliara from Italy, an adorable marketplace, Santa, and food and drink areas. There’s even a snow zone! We had a great time sitting in the ELFresco area, sipping on cocktails, and listening to live music, taking in the festive surrounds. You won’t even miss out on the famous Garden Rhapsody show on the Supertrees – the event surrounds the trees and it still multiple times throughout the night! Also don’t miss out on the Walk of Light – a 50-metre-long tunnel of programmable LED lights!

Food and lights

If you love streets lit up with Christmas lights, you need to head out to Orchard Road – a main, high-end shopping area. The entire street is lit up with lights and displays, including the stores and hotels that line the street!


While we were adamant on being away for Christmas, we still wanted to have a ‘Christmas Dinner’. A lot of hotels and restaurants hold festive menus throughout the holiday period. We chose the festive buffet at the Orchard Café, located in the Orchard Hotel on Orchard Road. For 2 of us, our dinner cost approximately SGD240 for an all-you-can-eat buffet and “free-flowing” wine. Our servers were incredible, and the food was top notch – lobster, other seafood, sushi, noodles, ham, turkey, curries, and a dessert bar that would make any sweet tooth excited!

Other attractions

Not especially Christmassy but here are some attractions you can’t miss while you’re in Singapore!

Cable Cars

For a different perspective on Singapore and Sentosa Island, make sure to check out the cable car system! We got on at the Harbourfront station with a SkyPass, meaning we could ride one return trip on both the Mount Faber Line and Sentosa Line. Head up to Mount Faber for a great view from the top, then back down to Sentosa. Swap lines to the Sentosa Line and head out to Siloso Beach, then to the Merlion. It’s a bird’s eye perspective and makes for great photos!

Sky Helix Sentosa

Another bird’s eye perspective – grab a drink and strap in for a ride up the Sky Helix for a 360-degree view of Sentosa Island. You will literally be strapped into the seat and the seats and ‘table’ will be raised up to a height of 79 meters above sea level. It’s a great way to see Sentosa Island from the air – especially with a cocktail! The guide will even take photos and video for you. Tickets aren’t expensive and definitely worth it.

The Jewel at Changi Airport

Honestly, an architectural marvel, especially considering the fact it’s inside the airport! A veritable indoor rainforest with a stunning waterfall feature! Its free to walk around the area, however there are ticketed attractions around the canopy, including an adventure ropes park! If you have any spare time or a long layover, don’t miss out!

Accommodation

Hotels in Singapore are generally pretty good in terms of quality and amenities. For this holiday, we stayed at the Travelodge Harbourfront, across from VivoCity and the Sentosa Gateway. The location of this hotel was incredible. With the gigantic shopping centre, ViVoCity, directly across the road, we had access to everything we could have wanted – a plethora of eateries, all kinds of shopping, a cinema that was showing a range of movies from locals to blockbusters (we saw Avatar: Way of Water while we were there), and transport options galore – including the Sentosa Express, the monorail over to Sentosa Island, and cable car network.


Apart from the location, the Travelodge Harbourfront was spacious, comfortable, and very clean. Our Twin Room with two single beds was on the same level as the pool and looked out over it. Other rooms have Sentosa views as well – rooms range from single rooms to family rooms that sleep 4. We didn’t have breakfast included in our rate (though you can choose that option) but we did have breakfast at the hotel a few mornings. Costing about SGD17 you get eggs, noodles, hashbrowns and a ‘meat’ option – no pork though so no bacon. There is also croissants, bread/toast, fruit, and yoghurt. Tea, coffee, water, and juice are also available. You can eat as much as you like.


On Christmas morning, we woke up to a card slipped under our door and a cute little Santa sack hanging on the outside of the door with chocolates and candy canes. A very cute touch.

Honestly, Singapore does Christmas incredibly well. It felt much more festive than being at home and I recommend making the trip. The whole place is decorated with garlands, lights, and installations. And so many giant Christmas trees!


Do yourself a favour and spend Christmas in Singapore!

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