Nightlife and Entertainment in Singapore

Million-dollar views and famous local cocktails make Singapore one of Asia's most exciting and versatile cities for nightlife seekers.
Million-dollar views and famous local cocktails make Singapore one of Asia's most exciting and versatile cities for nightlife seekers.

Million-dollar views, famous local cocktails, and hole-in-the-wall roadside bars make Singapore one of Asia's most exciting and versatile cities for nightlife seekers. From the luxurious clubs of Marina Bay to the cheap and character-filled outdoor plazas of Bugis Junction, Singapore is home to a huge range of different nightspots for visitors of all different tastes and budgets.

While Singapore's nightlife may not be as well-known as other Asian cities like Tokyo or Bangkok, it remains one of the continent's best places to spend a night out. With a wide selection of bars and nightclubs, most of which are located relatively close to each other, and some fantastic luxury bars and late-night eateries, any visitor will be satisfied with the nightlife selection in Singapore.

Most of Singapore's nightlife is concentrated around the Singapore River – a large river that cuts through central Singapore. Between the Bugis and Orchard areas, you'll find Clarke Quay, one of Singapore's more well known nightspots. Brewerkz, a microbrewery and beer pub in the area, is a popular nightspot for locals aiming to avoid the noise and hustle of the nearby nightclubs.

Attica is one of Clarke Quay's more popular nightclubs, attracting a large crowd towards midnight and hosting numerous foreign DJs throughout the year. The music in here is mostly house, trance, and modern electronica – visitors looking for a quieter night might want to avoid it. Nearby, you'll find Marrakesh, a cool Arabic-themed bar and shisha lounge.

Further up the river, you'll find Robertson Quay, another major nightlife area with a different feel to it than nearby Clarke Quay. It's worth noting that the two areas are a fairly short distance from each other, and walking between them is possible. Step off the MRT at the Clarke Quay station and walk down the river walkway – you'll spot different nightlife districts as you approach them.

Robertson Quay is packed with places to be, and many of the best offer outdoor seating and great views of the Singapore River. Liquid Room, one of the area's largest nightclubs, is free to enter for visitors, and has a variety of international acts playing every week. Other nightclubs, such as DBL-O and Bar 84, have fairly modest cover charges on busy nights and weekends.

Other nightlife areas within walking distance include Boat Quay, a smaller nightlife center that's located slightly further up the river, and Circular Road, a small street that's a short walk up from Boat Quay. For a more laid back experience that's still close to the river, try walking away from Robertson Quay to Mohamed Sultan Road, which is home to some old-school pubs and bars.

While the Riverside area is undoubtedly Singapore's party capital, the city has several other great nightspots for visitors. One of the more convenient options, particularly for visitors looking for a more laid back night out, is Emerald Hill, a collection of expertly restored vintage bars nearby the MRT Somerset station.

Made up of vintage cottages and townhouses, the bars around Emerald Hill are laid back, quiet, and typically home to some fantastic Singaporean food. More suitable for a late-night meal than a heavy night on the town, they're a great place to relax if you're staying in the Orchard-Somerset area. Most bars offer the standard Singapore beers, along with some great, inexpensive cocktails.

Other great areas for a night out include Chinatown, accessible via MRT Chinatown. While much less upscale than the Riverside districts, Singapore's Chinatown area is a great place for enjoying a cool drink in a vintage bar. Karaoke bars are commonplace here, with most offering private rooms for groups at a set hourly rate, as is the custom in most of Southeast Asia.

Finally, visitors looking for a very different take on Singapore's nightlife should visit Kampong Glam, the city's historical Arabic district. Although there's strictly no alcohol available due to the area's strict Muslim rules, it remains Singapore's best place for shisha and late-night dining. The neighborhood is a short walk from MRT Bugis, and is a great place to stop for something to eat on the way back from Riverside.

Most of Singapore's luxury hotels are found in Marina Bay, a large development area to the south of central Singapore. For incredible views of the city, check out the Marina Bay Sands hotel, a massive three-tower complex with a SkyPark and elevated restaurants on its top floor. The views from here are the best in town, and make the otherwise extortionate drink and dining prices all worth it.

Open hours in Singapore can vary dramatically from one day to the next, with most bars and clubs opting to stay shut on Monday and Tuesday altogether. On the weekend, expect most bars to close well after three in the morning, with a select few in the Riverside area staying open all night. As is usual in Singapore, tipping is not expected and will likely be refused by most bartenders.

From the luxurious hotel bars of Marina Bay to the cheap and colorful nightlife of Chinatown, there is no shortage of variety in Singapore's nightlife. Whether you're searching for a fun night of drinks, dancing, and adventure, or merely looking for a quiet drink and dinner with some friends, you'll no doubt be able to find it in this vibrant, exciting, and friendly city.