Located on the southern tip of Malaysia, the city-state of Singapore offers more than just a stopover en route to other exotic locales. But with a tropical rain forest climate and its location only one degree north from the Equator, there are plenty of days when the humid weather takes a turn for the worse and clouds roll in dropping rain on everyone. In fact, on average, Singapore has more than 170 days of rain each year, so the chances of encountering some of the wet stuff on a visit is definitely a possibility.
But don’t despair. Rain doesn’t mean Singapore cannot be explored. In fact, there are plenty of options for things to do in Singapore when it rains.
1. See some art
There are a lot of art exhibits in Singapore. Spend some time at Tanjong Pagar Distripark for a selection of art galleries ranging from eclectic to specific focuses such as Indonesian work, Australian indigenous and more. Also, stop by the Ritz Carlton to view the three-ton Frank Stella installation in the lobby, along with a pair of Dale Chihuly crystals and another 4,200 pieces of contemporary art including works from Andy Warhol, Henry Moore and other renowned artists.
Read more: Art Galleries in Singapore
Want to know more about the history of Singapore? Head to the Chinatown Heritage Centre to get a glimpse of Chinatown’s past complete with recreations of the original interior of shop house tenants in the 1950s when it was becoming an established seaport. Also, check out the Asian Civilizations Museum, the only museum in the region to focus on the art, culture and civilization of Asia. To learn more about Singapore’s history, spend some time at the National Museum of Singapore which includes exhibits from the country’s birth in the late 1800s to present day. Check the calendar, too. The museum hosts festivals year-round, so there could be something special during your visit.
Dining options in Singapore are numerous. For those in search of European food, head to the White Rabbit, a restaurant found in a former abandoned church and run by Chef Daniel Sia. For local treats, try the neighborhood of Geylang. Sure, it may be home to city’s Red Light District, but it also has a vibrant scene and a bounty of food choices. If time isn’t of the essence, head to Sin Huat Eating House. Anthony Bourdain named this spot, where the wait for food is long, as one of the “13 Places to Eat Before You Die”. On a budget? Hawker centers are plenty, but perhaps the most popular is the Old Airport Road Food Centre. With a range of food items, the opportunities for cheap eats are many.
Orchard Road and Haji Lane are both known for their vast selection of stores ranging from upscale to boutique. But when it rains it might be better to put away the umbrella and explore some indoor shopping alternatives. Unless you are OK with a little rain in between stores, in which case, go! Open 24 hours, Mustafa Centre can meet any store-bought instant gratification need. For the gadget-lover, head to Sim Lim Square, the largest IT and electronics center in Singapore.
People in Singapore can party, as evidenced by the massive St. James Power Station. Home to one club with various different rooms, all adorned with memorable names like Peppermint Park, Dragonfly and more, there’s a scene for a variety of partiers. Also check out Zouk, Singapore’s infamous nightclub. If it’s too early to head to the club, grab a cocktail at the simply gorgeous Raffles Hotel, also a 120-plus year-old landmark.
– Diana Edelman