Treat yourself to a visual feast on August 9 around the Lion City
National Day in Singapore is a grand affair that gets bigger and better as the years go by. Some are lucky enough to watch the National Day Parade live from The Float at Marina Bay, but for the rest of us who don’t get the chance to do that, we can either witness the celebrations on the telly, or head to these spots around the bay to watch the biggest highlight of the parade: fireworks! Best of all? You won’t have to fork out a single cent! Pro tip: It can get very crowded at these places, so be sure you go early to pick the best seats in the house.
Adjacent to The Float at Marina Bay, the Esplanade area in general really is the jackpot in terms of best views for the National Day fireworks. But to help you out if you’re a first-time visitor to Singapore, make a beeline for the Esplanade Waterfront (which is located right in front of the Esplanade Mall; the building is linked to City Hall MRT) for unobstructed views (and seats!) right by the water. Too packed? Try nearby spots like the rooftop of Esplanade Mall or the Esplanade Bridge.
To keep you occupied before the fireworks show, consider visiting Merlion Park for snaps of the iconic half-mermaid-half-lion statue, watch a play at one of Esplanade’s state-of-the-art theaters, or kick back and relax with a cocktail in hand at Esplanade Mall’s casual rooftop bar Orgo.
Speaking of Merlion Park, another great viewing spot just down the walkway is the area outside the row of restaurants such as OverEasy and The Pelican. This little strip along One Fullerton is quite under-the-radar because it’s a bit of a walk from the nearest MRT station (geographically speaking, that would be Raffles Place), but head over here and you’ll be rewarded with views of the fireworks, the Float itself, and plenty of other structures like Marina Bay Sands and the ArtScience Museum. The latter are great must-visits if you’re in town to shop and enjoy a spot of arts and culture.
The Helix Bridge is a nifty place to watch the fireworks from because it’s slightly elevated and it’s built over water. It connects the Marina Bay Sands area to the zone where The Float is located, so you can drink in views of the fireworks set against the backdrop of Singapore’s city skyline. Do note that part of your view may be blocked by the ArtScience Museum, but the Helix Bridge is still worth a shot if you want a convenient and highly accessible viewing spot (it’s right outside Marina Bay Sands, which has Bayfront as its own MRT station).
The Promontory @ Marina Bay
Pack a picnic mat and some light bites for The Promontory. Unlike many of the aforementioned sites, it’s all the way across the bay from The Float and this massive green patch is perfect if you prefer to laze around in a more spacious area (especially if you’ve got kids with you) while watching the sky light up later in the evening. The nearest MRT stations are Bayfront and Downtown, and while there’s not much to do around the area — particularly on weekends and public holidays as it’s near the Central Business District (CBD) — you can still visit shopping centres like Marina Bay Link Mall.
Gardens by the Bay
Bay East Garden is where you want to be for stunning views of not just the fireworks show, but the postcard-worthy set of landmarks, from the Singapore Flyer to Marina Bay Sands and even the skyscraper-dominated CBD. Of Gardens by the Bay’s three main gardens, this is the second largest, measuring 32 hectares and featuring vast open lawns across the water from the central zone where you’ll find main attractions like the Supertrees, hawker center Satay by the Bay, and the Gardens’ conservatories (you can add these pitstops to your pre-fireworks show itinerary). Like The Promontory, you can set up a picnic here. The nearest MRT station is Bayfront, so if you don’t want to walk from Bay South Garden (it takes about five to ten minutes to use the bridge at Marina Barrage to Bay East Garden), you might want to just book a cab and go straight there.