Singapore is not a nine-to-five city. Hang around after dark until the wee hours of morning and the whole place is still teeming with life. Frankly, they put us to shame. Whether you’re into the party scene, fine dining, sports or a little culture there is absolutely something you will love.
In fact, I have nine good reasons you need to get yourself to Singapore and stay up late.
1. Hit A World-Class Bar
The bars here are actually next level, being host to five of the world’s 50 best bars in 2018. If grand and classic is the name of your game, you’ll fit right in at Manhattan, which boasts the world’s first in-hotel rickhouse (is a whiskey aging house thing) and has over 200 bottles of whiskey to choose from. You’d also froth on Atlas, which lives and breathes the 1920s right down to their food and beverage offerings.
For those who like their drinks with a view, 1-Altitude is the highest outdoor rooftop bar in the world, standing 282-metres above sea level. Best believe there are some incredible 360-degree views of the city.
If you’re into a more underground vibe, get around 28 HongKong St whose world-class cocktails are never short on imagination. Then there’s Native which is a whole experience in itself, focusing on innovation with locally sourced produce – including ants!
2. One-Stop Party Shop
Marina Bay Sands may be just one hotel, but it’s the type of hotel that we simply don’t know the likes of in Australia. It’s literally a clubbing destination, with 20 – yes, I said 20 – clubs and bars to choose from. And don’t worry, a lot of those options serve food too.
MARQUEE is a good place to start, seeing as it’s Singapore’s largest and quite literally has a Ferris wheel inside (!!!). If you’re craving a little more intimacy while you’re there, just head downstairs to the swanky lounge that is AVENUE.
You could just about dine around the world here too, with Italian food and DJs at LAVO, modern Asian at CÉ LA VI, Indian dishes at Punjab Grill, classic American grub at Yardbird Southern Table & Bar and way, way more.
3. Early Morn’ Tasty Treats
The best news is that plenty of food joints stay open until the small hours of the morning. In fact, some are even open 24/7! So you can party hard and still deal with your munchies in absolute style. How nice is it not having lockout laws?
“BurgerLabo has the best gourmet burgers in town hands down,” says Bjorn Shen, who ought to know seeing as he’s an award-winning Singapore chef, owner of eclectic Middle Eastern restaurant Artichoke and Masterchef Singapore judge. “I was recently part of a burger tasting panel for the local paper and BurgerLabo came out tops unanimously across 4 judges and 12 burgers we sampled blind.”
If you’re more of a sweet tooth try 2am : dessertbar, which pretty much does what it says on the tin, but make it fine dining with drinks and classy decor.
4. Hang Out In The Quays
Think of the trendiest suburb in your city then turn it up to 11 – then you’ll have an idea what Robertson Quay, Clarke Quay and Boat Quay are about. Located side-by-side, there’s plenty of culture to be had here, but it’s particularly famous for its waterside restaurants, bars and clubs.
Ladies (or you know, everyone) get around F Club X Attica SG, which is an extravagant Paris renaissance baroque styled-club, well-known for its ladies night deals. Between the two levels, you can find R&B, chart-toppers or more of a house, progressive and trance beat.
People flock from all over the world to shake their booties at Zouk, probably because of all its awards and the fact it’s pulled the best international DJs over its 23 years of operation, including Carl Cox and Hardwell.
5. Shop ‘Til You Drop
When you need a break from busting a move, you can shop until you actually drop (or your funds run out) at Mustafa Centre. Looking for jewelry? You got it. Electronics? Sure thing. Toys? Absolutely. Household appliances? Might be hard to get on the plane back home, but yeah they’ve got it.
“It’s a 24-hour haven of everything you needed and everything you never knew you needed,” says Bjorn, “I knock off work at 11pm, six nights a week, and this is where I go to buy all sorts of nonsense. Gadgets, watches, groceries, appliances, you name it they got it.”
6. Join The Sports Fans
The Singapore Grand Prix is a BIG deal. Whether you actually care about the cars or not, there are events and parties out the wahzoo around it. In 2019 it all happens over the 20th to 22nd of September and a stellar entertainment lineup has been confirmed. I’m not even exaggerating – Red Hot Chili Peppers, Muse, Swedish House Mafia, Fatboy Slim and Gwen Stefani are all performing.
If one weekend isn’t enough, there’ll be 19 race-themed parties and experiences around the city from the 13th to 22nd of September. A particular PSA that Raleigh Ritchie (a.k.a. Grey Worm of the Unsullied) will be performing at one of the official afterparties – deets here.
7. Take In A Show
Bet you didn’t realise Singapore’s theatre scene was booming, did you? Major musicals, plays and dance performances are all popping off here. Think Cirque du Soleil and Aladdin The Musical, but then add to that a myriad of iconic local names.
If you’re unsure where to start, check out the listing of the city’s main theatre companies. Singapore Repertory Theatre is one of those. Founded in the 90s, it became the first Singapore theatre company to make it to Broadway.
If you want something more Singapore, try Dream Academy. After becoming the only female Singapore singer/stand-up comedienne and the writer of two critically-acclaimed shows, Selena Tan founded the company. They’re proud of their unique and often hilarious original content.
8. Join A Tour W/ Insider Secrets
Of course, you could always let someone else do all the planning for you. Passion Tours will take you on adventures uncovering the secrets of Singapore, that you would never have found out on the main tourist trail.
They have a whole range of night tours – everything from eating your way through Geylang, to feasting on Peranakan delights, discovering the city by bike, drinking your way through the best bars and taking in their cultural neighbourhoods on a Vespa sidecar. So basically there’s something for every interest.
9. Be Dazzled By The Lights
I don’t care how old you get, light shows are awesome and Singapore really knows how to put one on, and the best ones are free. You can’t holiday here and not see the iconic Garden Rhapsody – it’s those beautiful light trees that you’ve absolutely seen in every article about the city. They have daily shows, syncing light displays with music on ever-changing themes.
They also have Spectra out the front of Marina Bay Sands. When I describe it as fountains, lights and music, I mean 15-minutes of lava and mist effects, dancing fountain jets, colourful visual projections and advanced lasers.
Time to set your work holidays and join the party, amiright?Image: All provided by the Singapore Tourism Board, via its Tourism Information & Services Hub