According to Wikipedia, after Chinese New Year eve

The two following days are spent with family and most of the island comes to a standstill

So what tourist attractions in Singapore are open on the first days (especially the first two) of Chinese New Year 2014?

EDIT: I can confirm that all tourist places I visited open as normal, often with additional performances and decisions. However, they are exceptionally busy with long queues and congestion.

  • What do you mean by "decisions"?
    – nic
    Dec 9, 2017 at 6:21

3 Answers 3


The quote from the Wikitravel page is quite mistaken. Singapore in no way comes to a "standstill" during the first two days of the Chinese New Year (CNY). Whoever wrote that must have assumed that it was somehow analogous to Christmas in Europe or the USA.

Not at all. Indeed I would be quite surprised if there were even one major tourist attraction that did not open on those days.


  • Bird Park: "We're open every day of the year." Link
  • Zoo: "We're open every day of the year." Link
  • Universal Studios: Usual hours (Jan 31st and Feb 1st) , plus parades and Spectacular Link
  • Casino at Resorts World Sentosa (RWS): "The Casino will be open 24 hours every day of the week unless otherwise notified." Link
  • Singapore Flyer: "Opens daily from 8:30am to 10:30pm." PDF
  • Asian Civilisations Museum: Open daily Link
  • 1
    I wrote that line based on my experience of living on the island for 7 years, and I rest my case that most of the island does indeed come to a standstill (ever wandered around Chinatown on the 1st day of CNY?). However, that "most" does not include major tourist attractions, most of which do operate 365 days a year, and the preceding text (not quoted by the OP) also notes that "supermarkets, department stores and high end restaurants remain open". Jan 6, 2014 at 0:44
  • Many of the mom-and-pop stores will be closed it is true. And certainly true things are quieter during CNY than most other days of the year. But as for Chinatown during CNY, check out this video (youtube.com/watch?v=TvZhFhHnLtU, from around 1 min mark) leading to midnight of CNY. There are actually POLICE there to manage the crowds.
    – user8803
    Jan 6, 2014 at 23:07
  • It is possible that you were in "Chinatown" (that is, the part that's been sanitized for the benefit of tourists, bedecked shops selling kitschy souvenirs and even a tourist information centre). The real Chinatown where older folks still go is roughly where the temple featured in that youtube video is. (P.S. I write this based on my experience of being born on the island and living there for most of my life.)
    – user8803
    Jan 6, 2014 at 23:08
  • Kenny, I lived in 珍珠苑 and have been in those midnight crowds myself. Chinatown is packed until CNY, but after the firecrackers have popped, it becomes a ghost town for a while. Jan 6, 2014 at 23:32

This is "opinion only" - I cannot speak with authority on specifics but, I have visited Singapore a number of times (4 or 5?)and the following would be what I would expect based on what I have seen there and elsewhere in Asia:.

While I have seen the downturn in Asian public activity immediately after Chinese New Year (even Hong Kong gets very quiet) I'd expect this to be more related to the number of people seen in public than in major attractions open.

You can almost certainly check on a website by website basis but in Singapore I'd expect you could see "Chinese Garden" (very good gardens)(get off train at 'Chinese Garden' :-) - walk directly into gardens ),
the impressive new high tech gardens in town (I've not seen them yet),
Bird Park. ... similar.
Sentosa Island is ALWAYS willing to take your $ (horrible place :-) ).

I'd expect areas like Little India, Arab Street,...to be lower populated but odds are that shops would be open and selling food.

Some temples may be less populated but probably still able to be accessed as much or as little as ever.
Mosque in little India is the most 'tourist friendly' & "laid back" I've seen anywhere (I'm Christian but I (very politely) 'evicted' rowdy tourists from the Mosque on one occasion when the locals just ignored their rudeness).

Marina Bay will still probably take your $ so you can go up and see their infinity pool and view.

Overall I'd expect that the island would be "slow" but that there would still be lots to see and do if you are only there for a few days. –


The island does indeed slow to a crawl, however, Arab Street & Little India as indicated above are both open for business. My wife's family (about 2/3 of which live in SG including her mom) have made a point of taking me (the only Gwai-lo in the family) out to see the city when it's at it's ebb during CNY, including lunch on Arab street, buying durians from roadside stands (that's a whole 'nother story), etc. Even the MRT (excellent local transit) is uncrowded. If I remember correctly the casino is open (haven't been back for a few years now).

Now compare that to the city center on CNY eve, holy cow, if you're a westerner, be prepared to have your personal space invaded! It is packed solid with people, you can't move freely, and it's a sea of black hair making it nearly impossible to locate people if they're Asian (or simply dark haired). I'm 6'-2" and can see over the majority of the crowd, but my wife is 5'-0" and can't, so she will simply wrap her hand around my belt and follow me through the crowds. If we got separated it would be nigh on impossible to find each other again, but we planned for that & set up a rendezvous place beforehand so we could meet up if it became necessary (it never has, yet). Even with mobile phones you can't find someone, even if they're within feet of you, it's simply stunning how crowded it is. Fortunately the people are all very jovial, and unless you suffer from agoraphobia, you'll have a pretty good time.

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