Never have a boring night again
Nursing that killer hangover while trying to match blurry phone pictures with names of new friends? – trust me when I say I've been there. My work as a freelance nightlife photographer has taken me to most bars and clubs all over Singapore where I have met amazing people and made wonderful friends from all over the world.
This is where I will be sharing the best areas to experience Singapore's nightlife with complete disregard for popular opinion or brainwashed marketing. Prepare for a night of decadence as you tumble down the rabbit hole of mindless hedonism. With that, always remember, "A morning of awkwardness is far better than a night of loneliness".
This guide is divided into:
- The 10 Most Popular Nightlife Spots in Singapore
- The 4 Most Popular Clubs in Singapore
- The 4 Best Nightlife Concepts in Singapore
- The 4 Best Rooftop Bars in Singapore
- The 4 Best Beach Clubs in Singapore
- 3 Other Notable Mentions
These areas are hot spots where clusters of nightlife activity flourish, from bars, clubs and restaurants. Hop, jump or biggity bounce between them as they are all located within walking distance. A definite way to make your night go by in a flash.
1. Clarke Quay
Clarke Quay is undoubtedly the reigning king of nightlife destinations. This riverside festival village dedicated to [strike]good[/strike]great times combine dining, drinking and clubbing for the ultimate nightlife experience. People flock to the bridge and riverside with alcohol bought from convenience stores in droves every night; this cheaper alternative may not be as classy but you still get to enjoy the sense of excitement in the air and easily make new friends.
My favorites other than the hugely popular ones which I will be listing below are Rasputin Russian Bar (R&B and HipHop music with nice lounge areas), Highlander (awesome crowd and live bands), Dream (newly opened club also known as ex-Zirca).
Tip: Never queue for the cabs at the main area, instead cross the bridge towards "Riverside Point". It is a gigantic neon sign so you can't miss it, directly to the left of it is a nondescript roundabout, you will have much shorter queuing times there. I get cabs mostly within 5-10 mins while gloating at silly tourists in the endless queue at Clarke Quay's taxi stand. Alternatively you can get cabs at the main road beside Clarke Quay MRT as well.
2. Boat Quay/Circular Road
Located beside Clarke Quay is Singapore's historical Boat Quay. Shop houses have been carefully conserved to house various bars, pubs and restaurants. Sheltered eateries and pubs flank the busy walkway along the river and I recommend walking the stretch to explore for yourself.
Don't forget to check out the pubs and bars along Circular Road (just behind Boat Quay) as many hidden gems are stowed away here. Personal favourites are Magambo Bar & Restaurant (super cozy bar and friendly staff), Charlie's Tapas Grill & Bar(spanish tapas), Bar 57(great ambiance with 2nd story platform area).
Tip: Coffeshops along the fork of Circular Road operate well into the night with taxi drivers waiting nearby. Great for that late night supper and quick transport back.
3. Ann Siang Hill & Cross Street
Ann Siang Hill & Cross Street is made up of bars, art houses and eateries that line the whole street. This area has been become one of the more hip and happening places in recent times. I've been to several bars and pubs here for gatherings, the crowd overflow tend to spill out onto the street as the night progresses providing a laid back environment where you socialize on the streets with a drink in hand.
The bars here are awesome for hosting parties as they usually have no venue charge as long as you buy alcohol from them throughout the night, just make sure to book in advance! Favorites of mine include Gem Bar & Lounge (plush Victorian-style sofas) and Bartini (comfy atmosphere with their own Deejay)
Tip: Taking away from the restaurants and eateries back to the bar you are at, highly recommend Jerry's BBQ & Grill with their famed baby back pork ribs and buffalo wings. Yum yum.
4. Orchard Area/Orchard Towers
Downtown Orchard Road has a different nightlife vibe of its own with the infamous Orchard Towers (aka the four floors of whores). I remember coming here with a Caucasian friend which was followed by him getting hit on by hookers constantly, I managed to cock-block him with only the best of intentions.
The Streetwalkers roaming the area may be a turn off for some but if you look past that you will find decent watering holes in the area. Many pubs and discos can be found within the towers itself with TAB and Hard Rock Cafe only a stones throw away.
I recommend checking out Ming Arcade (it's actually a commercial building). On the second floor at Cuscaden Patio Cafe And Pub you can find cheap booze and delicious pub grub like chicken wings and potato wedges. On the seventh floor is Club V5 Tycoon a Thai Disco being much bigger than its counter part V3 Live on Stage at Boat Quay.
Tip: At Cuscaden Patio Cafe And Pub a jug of beer goes for $18 and even cheaper at $12 on Tuesdays.
5. Holland Village
Holland V as it's endearingly called is a busy enclave popular with young locals and expatriates alike. With the new Holland Village MRT and multistory carpark, transportation is a breeze compared to the past. Ethnic crusines and watering holes make up most of the outlets with the occasional niche stores such as pet shops and hair salons. This used to be my hangout spot in my early teens and I have fond memories of this place, back then underaged drinkers buying alcohol from convenience stores was really common. Sheesha bars and ice cream stores like Haagendaz and Swensens are definite recommendations.
Tip: Try not to scrimp and save by parking in desolate areas for free as parking tickets are rampant. You may also find invites to orgies and sex parties stuck to your car.
6. St. James Power Station
St. James Power Station is a mega-complex with nine entertainment outlets, each having its own theme from Latin music and R&B to contemporary dance and Mando-Pop. With their offers of free entry for students and frequent under-aged parties, they have gained notoriety for fights and attracting ah bengs & ah lians over the years. Also known as rowdy teenage delinquents if you're not Singaporean.
I checked out their latest outlet District One recently on a Saturday night, crowd was decent but filled mostly with "bengs" and "lians". Most of the working adults there that night shared the same sentiments with their complaints about the crowd.
Powerhouse has been transformed into Toxic and has given new lease of life to St. James. Without giving too much away, all I can say is this is the only reason anyone should come here.
Tip: Be sure to check out their latest offers, current ones include free entry for Safra Card members. Yay more hot blooded males to join the fray.
7. Robertson Quay
Robertson Quay is a quaint gem of night entertainment offering a eclectic mix of international restaurants with alfresco dining, wine bars and art houses. Its tranquil atmosphere is perfect for intimate dinners and good conversation. More of a place to unwind rather than party it up, Robertson Quay has a quiet charm about it that is hard to place.
Chijmes has a rich history and splendid architectural style with premier F&B establishments within its landscaped surroundings. I remember taking a date to the classy Insomnia Bar & Restaurant. Feeling particularly charming, I bought a bottle of red wine and decided to take my date on a stroll through the nearby Fort Canning Park.
At the time, I thought the idea I conceived was ingeniously romantic, sipping on red wine with a cool breeze. Making out under the stars in the guise of the night. But reality has a way of sucker punching expectations in the face. In between the humid air and blood thirsty mosquitoes, "mood-killer" would be an understatement.
Tip: Don't bring a date to Fort Canning Park unless you never want to see her again.
9. Dempsey Hill
Arguably one of the hottest dining destinations in Singapore, Dempsey Hill has captivated discerning diners with its old world charm. Although they come with a hefty bill, romantic restaurants such as The White Rabbit (a restored Chapel ideal for dates), PS Cafe and House are favorites in the area.
It quite difficult to get too and going home is a challenge too. You have to call a cab if you don't drive.
Tip: Getting Ice Cream at Ben and Jerry's Flagship store after a hearty meal.
10. One Fullerton
Many restaurants line the waterfront of the Marina Bay Sands precinct making alfresco dining a popular choice at One Fullerton. This place is always bustling with activity being just beside the Merlion park with The Butter Factory and a whole bunch of other bars round the corner.
Tip: Try to coincide you visit with Marina Bay Sands' light show at 8 pm, perfect for setting the mood while you wine at dine at One Fullerton.
+65 6738 2988 | 17 Jiak Kim Street Singapore 169420
Opening Days: Wed, Fri, Sat
Zouk stands tall on its own as a mega-complex; with countless awards as a prime nightspot over the years, it is a definite must go. Mambo Jambo nights was said to be a rite of passage for all young Singaporeans and the place to have your virgin clubbing experience. I remember partying the night away when I turned legal with this famous mid-week party.
Zouk's main room is just one of four compartmentalized areas within the complex itself. The other three being Zouk Wine Bar, Velvet Underground and Phuture. Velvet's dance floor has an exclusiveness to it which is elusive to the average joe but is really nothing to scream about (and much smaller too), there is just as much fun to be had at the other rooms.
I learnt "E=MC2" in school, Zouk was where I learnt "Girls +Alcohol > Everything Else". (at least until maturity kicked in).
Tip: Getting cheap alcohol from Holiday Inn Hotel across the street for pre-drinks before heading into the club(everyone does it).
+65 6688 7448 | South Crystal Pavilion, Marina Bay Sands, 2 Bayfront Avenue Singapore 018972
Opening Days: Wed, Thu, Fri ,Sat
I mean come on, It's a freaking Crystal Pavilion floating on water. It looks really pretty on the outside AND the inside too, with glittery crystal chandeliers drooping from the ceiling reflecting all the pyrotechnic lasers shooting everywhere, it's a game of laser-tag amplified to a full fledged war. Heralding from Hollywood, it brings on jaunty and upbeat vibes, the place to be for the young and alive.
Avalon has two floors; the first being the dancefloor and bar, and the second being mostly sitting areas and the washroom. Somehow or rather the elevator in the club really impressed people when they just opened. I end up taking the stairs rather than waiting most of the time.(unless eye candy is available)
Taxi Tip: Take a 10 min walk along the waterfront on the left of the Avalon until you reach a road and hail a cab there. Then you can laugh at the people who enter MBS and join the snaking long queue with the other silly casino people. It's a longer walk but the time you save getting a cab is well worth it.
+65 6333 9973 | 177A River Valley Rd Clarke Quay Singapore 179024
Opening Days: Everyday
Attica attracts the hottest crowds from the likes of expatriates and sarong party girls. With its higher age limit of 25 for men, it is more exclusive than the average club. Bouncers have a bad reputation for being very selective, often rejecting certain races and making way for attractive girls to cut the long queue. Honestly the age requirement is bull, my British friends who are 21-23 regularly patronize Attica on ladies night where I've had problems entering thanks to my prepubescent looks.
Attica's main room is decently sized but nothing to boast about, it has a courtyard for the smokers or those who wanna get fresh air(the irony?) and leads to Attica Too - the VIP area on the second floor. In a nutshell, Attica is where the hotties come to party.
Tip: Going with Caucasian friends makes for an easier entry
4. Home Club
+65 6538 2928 | 20 Upper Circular Road #B1-01/06 The Riverwalk Singapore058416
Opening Days: Tue-Sat
Dubbed one of Singapore true "underground" clubs in our otherwise mainstream entertainment scene. Home doesn't offer much glitz and glamour but is where you can really let your hair down for a good night.
I spent my last birthday here on their famed "Beat!" night, it was the first time in my life I heard The Smiths, Stone Roses and Joy Division being played in public continuously, needless to say I had an eargasm to remember. Home is where you can escape the ear bleeding induced from Top 40 mixes being replayed over and over again.
Tip: Check out +65 at Home Club, one of the only dedicated places playing Drum & Bass
1. Singapore Pub Crawl
+65 9640 5611| Fat Pigeon Statue beside UOB Plaza,80 Raffles Place Singapore 048624
Opening Days: Thu-Sat
PubCrawl is the perfect way to explore Singapore's vibrant nightlife if you are new here, many travelers and expats join the locals every Thursday to Saturday to hop along four different bars; end off the night on a high with VIP priority entry into a designated Club and party the night away.
I've been to countless Pubcrawls, what's amazing is that you get to meet people from all over the world with friendly crew members taking good care of you. Special deals and prices are given to the Pubcrawlers, the perfect way to explore different pubs and bars as the locations change every night! "Master Crawlers" Morgan and Vman with "Crawl Captains" Ash and Tim are super friendly so don't worry about being left out! Come and join the "Crawlers" as they take you on a journey towards an unforgettable night.
2. The Chupitos Bar
3B River Valley Road Clarke Quay #01-05 Singapore, Singapore 179021
Opening Days: Everyday
Chupitos is Singapore's only dedicated shooters bar with over 130 shots. With 4 main categories, Dare, Deadly, Fruity and Yummy there is something for everyone. Ladies will especially love sweet treats like "PaddlePop" and "BubbleGum whereas guys with huge egos can go for killers such as "Gas Chamber" and "Absinthe Bohemian".
The TSL team went down for their Grand Opening back in March and came back with reviews and videos. Jamie is the young and talented bar owner who beat over 200 submissions to win the "Martell VSOP Ultimate Startup Space".
I absolutely hated the "Milo Godzila" and can't understand what's the big fuss about it, it just tastes like Milo with whipped cream. Personal favorite? The "Red Headed Slut"(whoops are we still talking about shots?)
3. Beer Market
+65 9661 8283 | #01-17/02-02 3B River Valley Road Singapore 179021
Opening Days: Everyday
Beer Market is inspired by the dynamics of stock exchange with local bands playing live music on most nights. Prices of beer fluctuate every 30mins in accordance to demand creating an exciting atmosphere. Some hold their orders expecting prices of their favorite beer to drop while other capitalize on the present and order in bulk. With its wide selection of beer coupled with gastronomic delights, beer market is a great place for a fun and carefree night.
4. Play House
+65 6734 0205 | 3 River Valley Road Singapore, Singapore 179022
Opening Days: Mon-Sat
Play House uses theatrics and production value to amp up your experience. Many girls are dressed to feed stereotypical male fetishes such as air stewardess, nurses, french maids and school girls. They pour drinks and make superficial conversation and occasionally go up on a platform to dance.
Feminists may rage at the objectification but its really just a night of harmless fun. It doesn't have a dance floor per say with plush lounges and tables taking up most of the space. What makes this place different is that the girls are mostly Singaporean and can actually speak English so all the men can get the impression that they are oh-so-charming.
1. 1 Altitude
+65 6438 0410 | 1 Raffles Place Rooftop One Raffles Place (OUB Centre) Singapore 048616
Opening Days: Everyday
2. KU DÉ TA
+65 6688 7688 | 10 Bayfront Avenue Marina Bay Sands Singapore 018956
Opening Days: Everyday
3. New Asia Bar
+65 6338 8585 | 2 Stamford Road, Singapore, Singapore 178882
Opening Days: Everyday
New Asia is perched 71, yes Seventy-One!, floors above the city skyline at Swissotel: The Stamford Singapore. It has an ultra-sleek interior complete with two bars and a dance floor. I was here for an event where 200 party goers made their way in via two lifts with whole process taking over half an hour. The long wait was worth it as the decor coupled with the magnificent skyline made it a night to remember. Age limit is 21 and door checks are pretty strict.
+65 6338 8035 | #03-07 Odeon Towers Extension Rooftop 331 North Bridge Road
Opening Days: Mon-Sat
I"ve seen my fair share of rooftop bars, most of them are sneakily disguised behind "rooftop" to come off as being more exclusive and exotic when in fact, it's just an cramped bar on a roof, quite literally. I have to say Loof Top Bar stays true to their word takes two cakes on top of that.
Definitely will have to recommend Thurdays with Loofapalooza - Singapore's most elevated underground party. Amazing tracks with DJ Uncle Johnny from the likes of - Garbage, Radiohead, Muse, Bowie, Arctic , Libertines, Smiths, Manic. Even requested some Cure from the amazing Deejay. Expect quality indie and classics to make the old feel young and the young feel even younger.
1. Mambo Beach Club
+65 6276 6270 | 40 Siloso Beach Walk, Singapore, Singapore 098996
Opening Days: Everyday
2. Tanjong Beach Club
+65 9750 5323 | 120 Tanjong Beach Walk Singapore 098942
Opening Days: Tue-Sun
3. Wave House
+65 6377 3113 | 36 Siloso Beach Walk, Sentosa Singapore 099007
Opening Hours: Everyday
+65 6270 8003 | 46 Siloso BeachWalk, Sentosa Singapore, Singapore 099005
Opening Hours: Everyday
+65 6734 0205 | 7 Raffles Boulevard Singapore 039595
+65 6305 6768 | Block 3C River Valley Road, Singapore, Singapore 179022
+65 6225 6001 | 133 Cecil Street, #B1-02, Keck Seng Tower Singapore, Singapore 069535
5. The Arena (now under renovation)
+65 6338 3158 | 01-08 Clarke Quay, Singapore, Singapore 179021