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Saturday, 8 September 2018

Things to do in Singapore when it's raining



What better time to write this than on a grey and drizzly morning in Singapore where I can hardly see out of the window? Yes, that's right, Singapore is not sunny every day even though the temperature barely drops below 30°c. I thought I'd use this morning indoors to write a handy guide for those visiting or living here: thing to do in Singapore when it's raining.

Visit the Art Science Museum


This is a really popular museum for both adults and children. There is a huge variety of activities here to keep the whole family entertained in Singapore when it is raining. Sadly the 'Space' exhibition pictured below is now closed for maintenance: this is worth knowing if you are going for this exhibition in particular. I would still highly recommend a visit as there is so much to see. I loved the exhibition called 'Town' where you could colour in your own picture, scan it and then see it appear as a house or car on the virtual town on screen. Who doesn't love an excuse to colour in? The exhibitions change regularly and ticket prices vary depending how many exhibitions you decide to visit: see the website for details before you go.

The Space Exhibition at Art Science Museum, Singapore


Explore Marina Bay Sands


You could easily spend a day walking round this huge, awe-dropping shopping complex. It has a good mix of high-end designer labels and more affordable brands such as Bath and Body Works and Zara. There is a food court called Rasapura Masters where you can sample an array of exotic local dishes. Eating is a great thing to do in Singapore when it is raining! For inspiration on some local dishes to try you can check out a food guide I wrote here. When it gets to evening there are some really good entertainment options in the shopping centre. Sands theatre has some great shows: recently I have seen them advertise Lion King and Kinky Boots. You can check out a full guide to what is on here. If gambling floats your boat there is always Sands casino to occupy you when it's raining. This is open 24 hours a day!

Discover Gardens by the Bay


Although the outdoor gardens are not at their best when it is raining, there are two major attractions within the gardens which are under cover. The first is the Cloud Forest, which is open 9.00 am - 9.00 pm daily. The creators have mimicked a rain forest climate complete with a huge waterfall as shown below, which makes it an unmissable attraction in Singapore.

The other covered attraction is the Flower Dome, the largest glass greenhouse in the world (correct as of September 2018). This is also open from 9.00 am - 9.00 pm daily. It contains an exotic mix of plants and flowers from five continents displayed in nine beautiful gardens. Entry to both domes is S$28 for visitors and S$20 for residents / pass holders. Inside the Flower Dome is a gorgeous restaurant called Pollen which I would recommend for tea and cake, or you could be greedy like me and go for the full afternoon tea! The benefit of doing this, as well as the delicious food, is that you also get free entry to the Flower Dome directly from the restaurant. Booking is recommended. To get from the start of the gardens to the covered domes I would recommend buying a ticket for the shuttle bus at a cost of S$3 for a full day of unlimited rides. The bus is covered and takes you right down to the domes so no need to worry about getting soaked!


Eat local food


If you have read up on Singapore you will already know how much of a foodie heaven this place is. If you are stuck for things to do in Singapore when it is raining and don't want to walk too far, then I'd highly recommend a visit to the food court Lau Pa Sat. I won't tell you exactly what to order as part of the fun is choosing various inexpensive dishes to try, but I would suggest ending your meal with a chilli or black pepper crab. You can find this at many of the seafood stalls and it is a very iconic local dish to try. The best way to enjoy this food court is to share dishes in a group and try to make your way round as many stalls as possible! It is also a very inexpensive place to drink beer, with a jug of tiger available for as little as S$20 and a mug at S$5.50. You won't find drinks as cheap as that in many bars in Singapore!


Visit the National Gallery


Singapore has many great museums and galleries and the National Gallery is no exception. The building is a combination of the old Supreme Court building and City Hall. The combined building is now a gallery which houses the largest public collection of Singapore and South East Asian art. To enter any of the art galleries, tickets must be purchased from the basement level at a cost of S$20 for non-locals and S$15 for concessions. Locals and permanent residents get free entry. The architecture is simply stunning and you can join a free walking tour to learn more about its history. We did this tour a little hesitantly as we aren't usually into history and architecture but I absolutely loved it and learnt so much from the helpful volunteer guide. It also included a tour of some of the galleries with significant art works explained to us which was really useful. There are various other free tours you can also join: to the left of the ticket counter you will see a desk where you can sign up to the tours happening that day. You are allowed to walk round the beautiful building for free as long as you don't try to enter any of the galleries; this could be good if art isn't your thing. If the rain has cleared by the time you finish in the gallery I'd highly recommend Smoke and Mirrors, read more about it in my rooftop bar guide here.


Sentosa


Sentosa island may not be the first place you think of when it's raining in Singapore but there are some good covered attractions to vist. A great option, particularly with children, is the S.E.A. Aquarium which is currently open 10.00 am - 7.00 pm daily. The operating hours sometimes change so I would always advise checking here before leaving home. There is also a really unusual experience you can book here: dining in an underwater aquarium. This is an expensive but very unique thing to do in Singapore when it's raining. Click here to see the different menus and book.

Other options for Sentosa are Madame Tussauds and the Trick Eye Museum. You can buy a bundle ticket for both attractions online here at S$48 per adult. This saves up to 30% compared to walk-up prices.

Chinatown Heritage Centre


I absolutely love this place and think it's a very underrated tourist attraction. As some of you will know from my Instagram, I am a little obsessed with the beautiful restored shop houses you can spot all over Singapore. The Chinatown Heritage Centre consists of three restored shop houses on Pagoda street and really gives you a feel for the rich culture and heritage of this area. I really enjoyed learning what life was really like for early migrants from China working and living in Chinatown. Admission is S$15 including an audio guide which is useful.

I'd also recommend a restaurant on the same street called Wah! Kungfu if you would like to try the traditional spicy grilled Szechuan fish. This is one of the absolute stand-out meals I have had in Singapore. Don't be put off that this is a frog restaurant as you don't have to try the frog (I didn't), but the option is there if you want to!


Weekend Brunch


If you are looking something relaxing to do on a rainy weekend then I would highly recommend going for one of Singapore's famous 'all you can eat' brunches. I have only done this once and had an outstanding experience at Town restaurant in the Fullerton hotel. It is not a cheap way to spend a rainy day: our meal came to just under S$200 per person including unlimited food and Veuve Clicquot champagne, wine, water, tea and coffee for 3 hours. You can also opt for a non-alcoholic version including coffee, tea and juice for around S$140 per person. Both prices include tax and service. The highlights of the meal for me were the fresh seafood selection (they even had three varieties of lobster) and the impressive cheese board which was the biggest I've ever seen. Other food options were various 'Sunday roast' meats with all the trimmings, a range of delicious curries, a Japanese food station and a huge selection of mouth-watering desserts.



Other options which I have heard great things about are The Knolls restaurant at Capella hotel on Sentosa Island and Kinki, which has a Japanese themed brunch. For Saturday brunches there is an excellent guide by Expat Living SG that you can read here.

It was only when I started writing this that I realised truly how much there is to do in Singapore, even when it is raining! I hope you have enjoyed this guide and it has given you some inspiration to get out and explore even when the weather isn't on your side.


4 comments :

  1. Singapore sounds and looks amazing! If this is all the things you can do when its raining I can only imagine all the things you can do when its a sunny day! You photos look amazing xo

    Pinar | www.beautybakingbella.com

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    1. Thanks so much! Yes it is a fantastic place packed with so much to do for adults and kids. I've got proper itinerary guides coming soon... they are taking forever to write :)

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  2. Love these ideas. When I visited Singapore a few weeks ago we were on the Southern Ridges when there was a sudden downpour... we were drenched! haha. Its nice to know there's so many things to do when the sun isn't shining.

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    1. Oh no really! Yes that happens so often, it can suddenly tip it down when you don't even expect it. Usually passes quickly but can really get in the way of plans! I hope you had a fab time in Singapore.

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