How To Celebrate National Day in Singapore

July 31

August is one of the best times to visit Singapore. Yes, it is birthday month here in the Lion City, with 9 August coming up as an official public holiday in Singapore. Buildings are adorned with national flags in red and white — Singapore’s national colours.

On this festive occasion, Singaporeans and holiday-makers anticipate catching the National Day Parade (NDP), or awaiting the dazzling fireworks display that light the night sky.

Unable to get a Floating Platform seat at the NDP? Not to worry, as we have curated some of the most popular attractions in Singapore to visit during this time of year. Here are five ways to celebrate Singapore’s National Day in style during your Singapore holidays.

1. Enjoy free entry to museums

peranakan museum of singapore

To celebrate Singapore’s birthday as well as other national holidays, the National Heritage Board welcomes all visitors to NHB museums for free. This is a rare opportunity for travellers to view the country’s prized cultural collections.

One notable exhibition to catch is Amek Gambar: Peranakans and Photography, a showcase of the unique Peranakan community at the Peranakan Museum. The exhibition traces the history and evolution of photography in the region and features early photographs of the community. They include the oldest example in Singapore’s National Collection: a portrait of a Peranakan family taken in 1857 or 1858.

Alternatively, you may wish to discover Singapore’s playgrounds, past, present and future, at The National Museum’s The More We Get Together: Singapore’s Playgrounds 1930 – 2030. This playful and nostalgic exploration of the nation’s play spaces will bring a smile to your face.

2. Check out the Orchid Extravaganza at Gardens by the Bay


From now till 22 August 2018, you can gawk at the whopping 14,000 orchids (of over 120 varieties) on display at the Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay.

This year, award-winning filmmaker Royston Tan is appointed the Creative Director of Orchid Extravaganza. Using colourful and vibrant Peranakan shophouses as a backdrop, the display is a mesmerising tribute to the multicultural heritage of Singapore.

In the month of August 2018, you can also learn how to bead a Peranakan slipper or sway to a Dondang Sayang performance – this unique traditional poetic art form is closely associated with the Malay and Peranakan communities.

Check out the full list of events here!

3. Catch The Matrix at Films at the Fort

people at outdoor cinema screening in singapore

Credit: Films At The Fort

Nothing spells nostalgia quite like “open-air cinema.”

This National Day, grab some friends for nail-biting sci-fi action at the screening of The Matrix at Films at the Fort. The film, starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, and Carrie-Anne Moss, depicts a dystopian future where reality is actually just a dream-world. Dazzling viewers worldwide when it opened in 1999, the film scooped up four Academy Awards as well as other accolades including the BAFTA Awards and Saturn Awards.

You can mull over the film’s philosophical ideas while savouring delicious food served by The Providore, washed down with a glass of wine (or two).

The show starts at 7:30pm, so be sure to arrive early at Fort Canning Park (gates open at 5:00pm) if you want to stake out a good spot.

4. Walk through history at the Istana

istana presidents home in singapore
Credit: By Elisa.rolle – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

If you have never visited the Istana, you can do so on National Day. The Istana, which means palace in Malay, is the working office of the Prime Minister of Singapore. It is also where the President receives and entertains state guests. During selected Singapore holidays, the President’s welcome extends to all locals and visitors to the island state.

There will be a variety of performances on the grounds during the Open House that you can enjoy. Or simply pack a picnic basket and soak in the celebratory atmosphere with friends and family. If you’re lucky, you may even get to catch a glimpse of Madam Halimah Yacob, Singapore’s first woman president.

During the Open House, selected function rooms in the main building will be open to the public. You may also join a guided tour of the building. Guided tours are limited to 15 persons per group, and depart every half hour from 9:00am to 3:00pm.

Nature lovers can go for a guided walk through the Istana grounds to learn about its rich biodiversity. These guided walks depart every hour from 10:00am to 4:00pm.

The Istana’s opening hours are from 8:30am to 6:00pm. Check here for more visitor information.

5. Book your best spot to catch the NDP fireworks

national day fireworks near pan pacific hotel
Experience the ebullience of the National Day Parade and rehearsals from the comfort of Pan Pacific Singapore’s well-appointed rooms.

For an elevated experience, select the Pacific Harbour Room, Pacific Harbour Studio, or Harbour Suite for exclusive access to the Pacific Club located on level 38. Offering 360-degree views of the Singapore skyline, the Pacific Club will be the perfect place to enjoy the fireworks. Additional privileges you can enjoy here include a daily champagne breakfast, afternoon tea and evening canapés and cocktails.

The National Day Fireworks Package is also available for bookings made before 9 August 2018, for stays between 27 July to 11 August 2018. A minimum of two nights’ stay is required – each stay must include either the Preview shows on 28 July and 4 August 2018 or National Day itself on 9 August 2018.

edge restaurant hotel dinner at marina bay

Alternatively, catch the resplendent fireworks from the National Day Parade at the Poolside Patio and enjoy a complimentary glass of our National Day themed cocktail with every order of our four-course barbecue menu.

Enjoy crowd-pleasing epicurean delights with unlimited mains including new highlights such as the Soy and Mustard Beef Flank Steak, Pork Jalapeño Sausage, and Miso Crusted Sea Perch Fillet.

Or tuck into Edge’s extensive heritage-themed dinner buffet from 3 to 9 August 2018, showcasing a wide range of local favourites including Ban Mian with Sliced Abalone and Fried Silver Fish, Black Pepper Crab and Mini Salted Egg Yolk Croissants. Complete the celebration with Pastry Chef Eddy Yau’s special showcase of local desserts with modern interpretations such as Durian Gula Melaka Cake and Red Ruby Panna Cotta Verrine.

Speak to our team at Pan Pacific Singapore to enquire about our latest festive offers for rooms and suites.

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