The best nightlife in Singapore is centred around the city centre, meaning that you can quite easily have a slap-up meal on Club Street in Chinatown, head to Marina Bay for a cocktail (whilst lapping up the view), and then end up dancing the night away at Clarke Quay – all in the same evening. Convenience is not Singapore’s only strong point either. In recent years, the Lion City has been shaking off its reputation as being a sterile, overpriced hub of commerce, thanks in no small part to the ever-growing popularity of some internationally renowned nightclubs, not to mention some spectacular rooftop bars that keep popping up around the city. As well as all the best venues, I have pointed you in the direction of the liveliest after-dark areas, including Clarke Quay and Orchard Road – all of which can be found in my list of the best nightlife in Singapore.
- Clarke Quay: Any discussion about where to go for evening drinks in Singapore usually starts here. A favourite amongst locals and tourists, Clarke Quay is gifted with one of the best locations in the city, set around a picturesque body of water in the shadow of the towered CBD skyline in the background. Row upon row of swanky bars and restaurants line the colourful boulevards offering great alfresco dining, while clubs like Attica and Zirca appease the more bass-music inclined.
- Marina Bay Sands: The iconic, 3-pronged Marina Bay Sands is a real focal point of Singapore, and it’s visible from miles around. Not only does it look the part, but this massive complex is also a great place to hit after dark – for so many reasons. Highlights of Marina Bay Sands include the uber-cool CE LA VI bar on the 57th floor or the 15,000 sqm, 24-hour casino. There’s also a shopping mall on the ground floor as well as a 360-degree observation deck right at the top.
- Zouk: For Singapore’s dance music lovers, Zouk is an institution. This awarding-winning venue has been at the forefront of the club scene in the city for over two decades, with the likes of David Guetta, The Chemical Brothers and Tiesto among the list of international DJs to ply their trade here. The massive converted warehouse is actually 3 interconnecting clubs all in one, and the young, less pretentious crowd (compared to some of the please-look-at-me clubs in town) happily jump from zone to zone to experience the diverse music policy each night.
- Orchard Road: Although Orchard Road is better known for its malls rather than its pubs, as soon as the weary shoppers head home, the party animals come out to play. After dark, the whole area becomes teeming with sophisticated bars, lavish pre-party lounges and the odd fully-fledged club. Be sure to check out Emerald Hill Road behind Orchard Central, too. This pretty little strip is packed full of quaint 100-year-old buildings and makes a great stop for a cheeky post-mall cocktail or draft beer.
- Sentosa Beach Bars: Don’t want to wait until after dark to start the party? Then your best bet is to head to Sentosa Island, which is home to some sumptuous Ibiza-style beach bars. Things kick off around mid-afternoon and weekend parties will often run through to the small hours. For the liveliest spots, head to Azzura Beach Club or Tanjong Beach Club which holds monthly beach parties like Smack My Beach Up and Full Steam Ahead. It’s a way off Thailand’s legendary Full Moon Party, but still lots of fun.
- Club Street, ChinaTown: Some consider Singapore’s Chinatown to be a bit of a hermit when it comes to nightlife. Head to Club Street, however, and you’ll soon be persuaded otherwise. The ‘up and coming’ tag has been slapped on this foodie paradise for years, and it seems to have finally emerged as one of the city’s best culinary and nightlife hotspots. Rows of plush fine-diners sit next to bustling bars, all full to the brim with office workers every weeknight – whilst groups of friends and couples usually save their visit for the weekend.
- Holland Village: Holland Village is another neighbourhood in Singapore that loves to flaunt its alter-ego as soon as the sun goes down. Due to its more out-of-town location, this popular nightlife spot draws in more of a local crowd, as well as a good helping of expats who’ve made the Lion City their home. The main stretch of nocturnal activity happens along ‘Lorong Mambong’, where you’ll find some cool and quirky pop-up bars, fancy alfresco restaurants and the occasional street party.
- Geylang: Don’t let the fact that this is Singapore’s main red-light district put you off; Geylang has plenty of innocent(ish) nightclubs and bars welcoming customers who are only interested in buying drinks, rather than anything else. That said, the seedy-side of this notorious district is difficult to ignore. ‘Massage’ parlours, dodgy karaoke joints and hostess bars line the streets south of Geylang Road. Look out for the bright neon signs, often in Chinese or Japanese, so you can avoid (or enter at your own risk)
- Gardens by the Bay: Not all night-time activities in Singapore involve dining in luxury restaurants and knocking back champagne on rooftops; Gardens by the Bay is testimony to that fact. Whilst in the daytime this futurist park of giant tree structures is a quite the spectacle, at night it takes on a whole other level. The towering 50-metre-tall trees within the ‘SuperTree Grove’ are brilliantly illuminated with a kaleidoscope of colours making for a memorable experience. The show starts around 8pm and is completely free (unless you want to use the Skywalk).
- 1-Altitude: No list of the best rooftop bars in Singapore can shy away from 1-Altitude, which, at 63 storeys high, is both the highest place to drink in town as well as one of the swankiest. Over the 3 different levels, you’ll find an alfresco dining area (complete with trees), numerous bars, a sumptuous lounge area and a dance floor that usually fills up late on Friday and Saturday nights. There is a cover charge but you do get a free drink, and with a view over the whole of Singapore this good, it’s definitely worth it. Drinks start from around $S16 for beers, wines and spirits.
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