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Text | Desmond Chan
Photos | Desmond Chan & Low Fai Ming

16th August 2018
Heading out? You might want to take note of these 10 carparks that are always crowded, and plan for some additional queuing time.

We all know that our roads are constantly packed with cars. People need to go places, after all. But going somewhere also means you need to park, and in our crowded little island, that can be a problem. High-traffic areas mean that the carparks are inevitably going to be crowded.

Here, we pick out 10 carparks that are always crowded, and offer you some alternative options as well.
car park
the cathay car park
1.   Plaza Singapura

Plaza Singapura is a high-traffic area, with cinemas, lots of shops and a slew of restaurants. Of course, this means that it'll definitely be crowded. Ironically, the carpark isn't usually full (the top deck is usually quite empty), but it's the design of the carpark that causes headaches. All the decks are single-direction only, meaning that if you can't find a lot, you have to drive all the way down just to go up again.

Alternative: The Cathay (pricing below)

Weekday: $1.40/30min from 8:00am to 9:59am, $1.40/hr from 10:00am to 5:59pm, $3/entry from 6:00pm to 7:59am the next day

Weekend: $1.40/hr from 8:00am to 5:59pm, $3.00/entry from 6:00pm to 7:59am the following day
anguilia park
anguilia park 2
2.   Anguilia Park open-air carpark

With big malls like ION, Shaw, Tangs and Far East Plaza in the immediate vicinity, it's no wonder that drivers flock to the Anguilia Park carpark for a simple reason - it's significantly cheaper than parking at any of the malls. It's no wonder that you'll be hard pressed to find a lot regardless of what time of the day it is.

Alternative: ION Orchard (pricing below)

Monday to Thursday: $2.67 for 1st hr, $1.28 for next subsequent 30min from 8:00am to 4:59pm. $3/entry from 5:00pm to 11:59pm, $1.07/hr from 12:00mn to 7:59am the following day

Friday to Sunday: $2.56 for 1st hr, $1.88 for next subsequent 30min from 8:00am to 5:59pm, $3.74/entry from 6:00pm to 11:59pm, $1.07/hr from 12:00mn to 7:59am the following day
open-air carpark
open-air carpark 2
3.   Grange Road open-air carpark (Opposite Cineleisure Orchard)

This is the same story as Anguilia Park - an open-air carpark surrounded by shopping malls, and right smack in the heart of Orchard Road. It's the cheapest option in a place notoriously expensive to park.

Alternative: Cineleisure Orchard (pricing below)

Weekday: $2.40 for 1st hr, $1.40 for next subsequent 30min from 7:00am to 5:59pm. $4.50 for 1st 3hr, $1.60 for next subsequent 30min from 6:00pm to 6:59am the following day

Weekend: $4.50 for 1st 3hr, $1.60 for next subsequent 30min from 8:00am to 7:59am the following day.
Golden Mile
Golden Mile 2
4.   Golden Mile Food Centre

It gets especially bad during lunch and dinner, owing largely to the fact that the food centre has tons of great food, but the carpark is miserably small. Head there during meal times and you're bound to get caught up in a queue. This is compounded by the fact that it's one of those gantries that don't open when the carpark is already full.

Alternative: Golden Mile Complex (pricing below)

Monday to Saturday: $2.20 for 1st hr, $1.10 for next subsequent 30min from 7:01am to 6:00pm. $2.90/entry from 6:01pm to 7:00am the following day

Sunday: $2.90/entry from 7:01am to 7:00am the following day
ICA carpark
ICA carpark 2
5.   ICA carpark

The carpark is usually packed during office hours. After all, people have to head there to either make, replace or renew their ICs and passports. Additionally, turnover in the carpark tends to be slow, as the waiting time in ICA usually isn't that short.

Alternative: Blk 814 Jellicoe Road HDB Carpark (pricing below)

Standard HDB/URA parking rates
Tampines One
Tampines One 2
6.   Tampines One

The newest mall in the Tampines Central cluster of malls, you'll find a perpetual queue on the downward ramp, especially during lunch and in the evenings. Again, it's another of those carparks where the gantry doesn't open until someone has exited. Worse still, the carpark only has one floor, so it can't accommodate that many cars either.

Alternative: BLK 507 Tampines Central 1 HDB Carpark (pricing below)

Standard HDB/URA parking rates
Nex carpark
Nex carpark 2
7.   Nex

Nex is a massive shopping mall in an area with few alternatives, so anyone in the area looking to get out of the sun for lunch on a hot day is bound to head there. The carpark is also quite narrow, so traffic inside tends to be slow moving.

Alternative: Blk 264 Serangoon Central HDB Carpark (pricing below)

This is where the old bus interchange used to be, and there's a link bridge on the top deck that takes you directly into the shopping centre.

Standard HDB/URA parking rates
serangoon car park
serangoon car park 2
8.   Serangoon Gardens

If you've ever tried driving to Serangoon Gardens for dinner on a Saturday night, you would know that it's a complete nightmare. Getting into the place is already a problem, with traffic buildup on the one-lane road leading in. Get in, and trying to find a lot in one of the few small carpark or parallel lots along the road side is frustratingly difficult. We always end up having to park in some far flung corner in the private estate and walk 20 minutes just to get our Chomp Chomp fried hokkien mee.

Alternative: Just take a bus. Or you could also Grab.
bedok mall carpark
bedok mall carpark 2
9.   Bedok Mall

Another heartland mall with a small carpark, it's common to see the 'Full' sign out on the main road and be tempted to turn in to try anyway. However, don't be fooled by the long entrance ramp. The three basement floors don't hold many lots, and the gantries also only open once another car exits, so a line always forms at the three entry gantries.

Alternative: Bedok Central Blk 207 (Cooked Food Centre) HDB carpark (pricing below)

Everyday: $0.50/30min from 7:00am to 10:30pm. $2.00/entry from 10:30pm to 7:00am the following day
Simpang Bedok carpark
Simpang Bedok carpark 2
10.   Simpang Bedok

An especially popular makan spot with a ton of eateries, ranging from Prata to Wanton Mee. There's also a supermarket as well, so traffic there is always high. You'll often find cars looping round and round the carpark waiting for someone to exit. This issue is often compounded by the fact that many cars and commercial vehicles often 'create' their own lots, parking in non-designted spots in the carpark.

Alternative: East Village (pricing below)

Everyday: $0.50/30min. Free parking from 12:00pm to 2:00pm.