Best places to watch NDP fireworks!

Two years ago, I did up a post on the top places to watch NDP fireworks – you can refer to the post here. This year, I’ve modified the list a little to cater for family staycations! Public holidays, especially festivities like the National Day Parade, serve as a good time for families or couples to go on a short staycation (even better since this year, Hari Raya is just a day before National Day – long weekend!).

Top 5 Hotels to watch NDP 2013 fireworks

Hotels are usually the first to get snapped up for major events such as NDP and F1, especially those facing the Float @ Marina. So, if you’re considering a short staycation, you probably have to act fast to secure good rooms with good views!

1. The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore

The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore will always be my top choice for a bird’s eye view of events happening at the Float. This hotel is suitable if you are willing to splurge for the luxury and comfort of their 5-star rooms and service. Till date, I am not able to find any NDP packages, so you’ll probably have to go with their rack or promotional rates, if any.

I did a quick check on Ritz-Carlton, and you’d be happy to note that rates for a 2D1N stay on 9 Aug through 10 Aug only sets you back around $450++ per night for their high level Premier Room. If you have a larger family, a suite would be great!

Screen shot from Ritz-Carlton website.

Screen shot from Ritz-Carlton website.

Ritz-Carlton is probably the best place to watch fireworks from, being situated right behind the Float. It also allows you to see what is happening on the platform, in the comfort of your air-conditioned room. No balcony though, unlike Swissotel the Stamford.

Standard room in Ritz Carlton

Standard room in Ritz Carlton [Photo courtesy of insing.com]

View of fireworks from Ritz Carlton [Photo courtesy of Umeiko - ClubSNAP]

View of fireworks from Ritz Carlton [Photo courtesy of Umeiko – ClubSNAP]

2. Swissotel the Stamford

This year, Swissotel is back with it’s annual NDP package. This is one of the few hotels with a balcony for you to enjoy the loud bangs of the fireworks and even inhale the “aroma” of the gunpowder from the pyrotechnics -.-. For slightly over S$740++, you get to enjoy a 3D2N package from 8 Aug through 10 Aug!

Swissotel's rates as shown on their official website.

Swissotel’s rates as shown on their official website.

Standard room at Swissotel the Stamford.

Standard room at Swissotel the Stamford.

View of the fireworks from Swissotel the Stamford

View of the fireworks from Swissotel the Stamford

3. Marina Bay Sands

Marina Bay Sands (MBS) is yet another hotspot to watch NDP and fireworks from. Though you might not get a perfect view of the happenings on the Float, you’ll probably be overwhelmed by the proximity of the pyrotechnics going off right in front of your window!

Room in MBS

Room in MBS

Rates per night as shown on the website of Marina Bay Sands

Rates per night as shown on the website of Marina Bay Sands

Panoramic view from the Skypark of MBS

Panoramic view from the Skypark of MBS

4. Mandarin Oriental

Mandarin Oriental is yet another hotel, though a tad further from Ritz-Carlton, that overlooks the Float. 172 of it’s 500 odd guest rooms have a Marina/city view, so be sure to ask for one when you make your booking, or you’ll be left disappointed staring out into the ocean (the other view of the hotel) for the entire duration of your stay!

Rates as reflected on the website of Mandarin Oriental.

Rates as reflected on the website of Mandarin Oriental.

Room in Mandarin Oriental [Photo courtesy of insing.com]

Room in Mandarin Oriental [Photo courtesy of insing.com]

5. Fullerton Bay Hotel

Lastly, this relatively new hotel sitting right next to the old Collyer Quay is also one of the recommended spots for you to catch the buzz of the parade. However, this is a relatively small hotel, compared to its bigger sister The Fullerton Hotel, as it houses only 100 rooms. If you’re unable to grab rooms here at this heritage-inspired hotel, do try the Fullerton across the road!

Rates at Fullerton Bay Hotel

Rates at Fullerton Bay Hotel

For slightly less than S$600 per night excluding taxes, Fullerton Bay Hotel is definitely one of the pricier hotels to stay in. However, there is just the room option if you’re looking at sleeping in and skipping breakfast (which is provided in the B&B package above).

View of a room in Fullerton Bay Hotel [Photo courtesy of Senatus.com]

View of a room in Fullerton Bay Hotel [Photo courtesy of Senatus.com]

Fireworks over the Fullerton Bay Hotel [Photo courtesy of William Cho - Flickr]

Fireworks over the Fullerton Bay Hotel [Photo courtesy of William Cho – Flickr]

Top 5 free places to watch NDP 2013 fireworks

If you’re one of those who do not wish to splurge on a hotel room for a staycation or view of the fireworks, or one who loves the crowd and hype on the ground, here are some suggested places you can head to to catch the fireworks and soak in the NDP atmosphere!

1. Esplanade Waterfront

Located just next to the Float, the Esplanade Waterfront is the best position to view fireworks, and one of the most favourited places for fireworks photographers. This is where you can catch the pyrotechnics with the MBS and CBD buildings in the backdrop. This is also one of the more crowded places to be at during festivities happening at the Float, for everyone will be trying to catch a glimpse of the events and happenings on the platform. So remember to watch out for your belongings!

An example of what your view will look like at Esplanade waterfront. This was taken during the Youth Olympic Games in 2010.

An example of what your view will look like at Esplanade waterfront. This was taken during the Youth Olympic Games in 2010.

2. One Fullerton

Directly opposite Marina Bay Sands, One Fullerton also allows spectacular views of the fireworks (and the aerial flypast as it zooms across you from the Sail right across Pan Pacific towards Bugis). The firing barge for the fireworks will be situated right in front of you in the reservoir, allowing the perfect shot for photographers to capture the firing streak right up to the point where the shell explodes.

Fireworks shot from One Fullerton during NDP 2009.

Fireworks shot from One Fullerton during NDP 2009.

3. The Shoppes @ Marina Bay Sands

This is the exact mirror image of the view you’ll get from One Fullerton. This place is also likely to be packed given the space constraints there, so be sure to head down early to get a good spot!

The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

4. The Promontory

This triangular-patch of grass serves as a good place for an afternoon picnic, and is an even better venue to watch fireworks from. Situated just beside One Marina Boulevard and across the road from the Sail @ Marina Bay, The Promontory offers you the rear view of the NDP platform (you’ll see nothing but the rear of the stage -.-), but is a good place for catching fireworks with no obstructions – absolutely zero.

Panoramic view from the Promontory @ Marina Bay [Photo courtesy of Singaporevr.com]

Panoramic view from the Promontory @ Marina Bay [Photo courtesy of Singaporevr.com]

5. Asian Civilization Museum

If you do not wish to venture too near the crowd, a laid-back alternative would be for you to camp at Asian Civilization Museum just beside Cavenagh Bridge. This place might see a lighter crowd compared to the ones at Promontory or One Fullerton, but you’ll have to sacrifice in giving the low-level fireworks a miss. The area is surrounded by buildings such as The Fullerton Hotel, so be prepared that you might not be able to see all the fireworks!

Fireworks as seen from Cavenagh Bridge outside The Fullerton Hotel [Photo courtesy of William Cho - Flickr]

Fireworks as seen from Cavenagh Bridge outside The Fullerton Hotel [Photo courtesy of William Cho – Flickr]

If you’ve noticed, the places suggested for the top 5 free spots to watch fireworks are the same as the ones in my 2011 post – there are only that few places available in the vicinity for you to enjoy fireworks (blame it on urban development). However, just a piece of advice, do head there prepared, and bring along food and umbrellas in case it starts to pour. The crowd will probably start gathering at around 3 pm, so it might best to plan and manage your time more efficiently!

Enjoy!

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2 thoughts on “Best places to watch NDP fireworks!

  1. Hi, do I need to be at esplanade as early as 3pm to get a spot for firework during ndp final rehearsal? How short will the combined rehearsal fireworks be? N finally will the fireworks duration get longer each combined rehearsal?

    • Hi Kay,

      Timing varies from year to year as it depends on the crowd/public and the weather. The crowd will get more and more on the CRs leading up to the actual day so you might want to head down early. I cannot advise you on the exact timing as it really is dependent on the factors I said earlier.

      Fireworks amount will vary for each CR, but will increase as the actual day draws nearer. For example, yesterday’s gauge was for 5 to 10% of the actual amount to be fired on 9 Aug, so you can expect slightly more this coming Saturday.

      Enjoy!

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