Things To Do In Singapore

Complete Guide To National Day – Heartland Fireworks, RSAF Flypass Timings & Diverted Bus Routes

National Day 2023 guide


It’s that time of the year where we put on our red and white fits. Wherever you are, be it at the NDP venue itself, home, or community clubs, there’s always a sense of camaraderie on this special day – especially when belting out the lyrics to Kit Chan’s Home at the top of our lungs.  

Similar to how there’ll be Swifties camping outside the National Stadium during her upcoming Eras Tour, you can expect a similar phenomenon outside the Padang this 9th August. Read on for our National Day 2023 guide, complete with information and tips that might come in handy on the day itself. 


– At Marina Bay & Padang –


Key shows & timings to look out for



Image credit: @henry_chiew via Instagram 

We all know it isn’t really the National Day Parade without some of the iconic segments such as the Red Lions, 21 Gun Salute, and of course, fireworks. Just because you’re not at the Padang, it doesn’t mean you can’t catch sightings of these segments. All you have to do is to stay informed of their timings and keep your eyes wide open.

We’ve compiled timings to look out for below so you don’t have to. However, please note that these are approximate and subject to change. 

  • 6pm-6.15pm: Red Lions
  • 6.40pm-6.55pm: State Flag Flypast + RSAF Flypast
  • 6.55pm-7.05pm: 21 Gun Salute
  • 7.05pm-7.15pm: RSAF Aerial Display
  • 8pm-8.20pm: Fireworks

Pro tips for watching the NDP from around the Padang


Firework displays at Marina Bay too – not just the Padang



Views from the Merlion Park
Image credit: @nai_creator via Instagram

Yes, the official parade may be held at the Padang – but that isn’t the only place you can catch the fireworks. There are quite a number of NDP 2023 fireworks spots where you can enjoy the view of the pyrotechnics – from Marina Bay to the heartlands. One of the best viewpoints in town is located at the Esplanade Park, where you can soak up the patriotic atmosphere with views of our golden child, Marina Bay Sands

Alternatively, you book one of the restaurants with views of the fireworks for a romantic dinner – but act fast, because reservations fill up pretty quickly.


Catch a free live screening on the big screen at Marina Barrage



Image credit: Klook 

Those who’d like to go out and catch NDP on the big screen, head to the NDP Celebrations @ Marina Barrage, which hosts live screenings of the parade. The best part is that it’s free. The screening starts at 5pm but we encourage you to come earlier at around 12pm.

That’s because there are other events taking place, such as the Green Bazaar where you can learn more about sustainability and upcycling, followed by Eco Jalan which has gallery tours and workshops.

NDP Celebrations @ Marina Barrage

Address: Marina Barrage Green Roof, 8 Marina Gardens Drive, Singapore 018951
Date: 9th August 2023
Time: 12pm onwards 


Avoid driving or taking a taxi as there will be road closures



Image credit: pxhere

There’ll be road closures from 12am on 9th August to 8am on 10th August – mainly along Nicoll Highway, Esplanade Drive, and the roads around the Padang. Even if your route consists of unaffected roads, you should expect a large volume of traffic around the Marina Bay area. Not to mention, it’ll be difficult to find parking as well. 

Don’t even get us started on the surge when booking ride hailing apps. To avoid the jam and exorbitant fares, we’d recommend taking public transport instead. Those taking public transport can check out SBS or SMRT for diverted bus routes and updated schedules. 


Come early with plenty of water, snacks & earplugs



Image credit: Alastair Pang

Whether you’re hoping to catch the action at Marina Barrage or around Esplanade, it’s advisable to come early to secure a good spot. Make it a whole day affair – set up your picnic mats during the day and spend quality time with your friends while you’re at it.

It’s also important to stay hydrated, especially if you’re planning to spend a whole day in the sun before the Parade. Aside from bringing a picnic mat to sit on, we also recommend packing water, food, and snacks from home. That’s because some spots like Marina Barrage don’t have any makan spots and the nearest store would be a train station away. 

Another handy thing to bring with you are earplugs, just in case the sounds of the jet planes and 21 Gun Salute get a bit too overwhelming. 


– NDP events in the heartlands


State Flag & SAF55 Island Flypast


You and your friends may have been comparing your Spotify Singapore Regions playlist not too long ago, but this National Day, let’s put away the entire debate on which is the best side. Whether you’re in the east or the west of Singapore, you’ll be able to see our Singapore flag being carried and escorted by 3 helicopters. 


Image credit: NDP 2023 Govt 

From 5.30pm-6.30pm on 9th August, the State Flag will be making its way through the heartlands via the Western Route that’ll pass by areas like Bishan and Jurong as well as the Eastern Route that’ll pass by places like Punggol and Changi. Remember to look up to the sky or out your window if you’re at home.

There will also be a RSAF55 Island Flypast starting at 5.40pm where you can expect the A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport and 3 F-155G fighter aircrafts whooshing their way through the heartlands in Singapore.


Firework displays at 5 locations



Image credit: @dormantlens via Instagram


Last but not least, there’ll be firework displays at 5 heartland sites – ActiveSG Bedok Sport Centre, ActiveSG Jurong West Sport Centre, ActiveSG Toa Payoh Sport Centre, ActiveSG Woodlands Sport Centre, and Our Tampines Hub. These will take place sometime between 8pm and 8.25pm, depending on the location. 


– National Day events before 9th August –


Carnival with free NDP concert



Image adapted from: @hellokitchan
via Instagram, Gardens by the Bay 

If you’re too excited to wait till 9th August for the festivities, we’ve got you covered. There’s also a free NDP concert at Gardens by the Bay on 5th August. Look forward to local singer Kit Chan crooning the lyrics “this is home” as she performs alongside other artists such as Mavis Hee and Ayden Sng and Jaynesh Isuran.


Image credit: Gardens by the Bay

Aside from the beats, there’ll also be a carnival and what’s a party without free food amiright? We’re talking nostalgic snacks such as kacang putih and ice cream in Singapore-inspired flavours by contestants from MasterChef Singapore.

Gardens by the Bay & Mediacorp National Day Concert 2023
Address: The Meadow, Gardens by the Bay, 18 Marina Gardens Drive
Date: 5th August 2023
Time: 4.30pm-9pm


GetActive! Singapore Heartland Festival Activities


For those who don’t want to travel to Marina Bay, there are also GetActive! Singapore Heartland festivals happening from 5th-6th August. The celebrations include a range of activities such as archery and basketball, community mural paintings, live performances, and snack booths. 

However, tickets for this event are currently fully redeemed – but you can bookmark NDP’s official website in case they release more at a later date. 


Celebrate National Day 2023 at these places

You don’t have to spend 9th August at the Padang to prove that you’re a patriotic Singaporean. Walk around the Marina Bay to soak in the atmosphere, head to your nearest heartland celebration, or simply tune into the Channel 5 broadcast from home. 

Whatever it is, all that’s important is that you have fun and enjoy this special moment with your family, friends, and fellow countrymen. 

For more National Day-related articles:


Cover image adapted from: Klook, Gardens by the Bay, MINDEF

Gracelyn Lim

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