When visiting a new city, one of the best things to have in your repertoire is the info of locals and people who know the place like the back of their hand to give you the low down on the nightlife with the best bars and restaurants to go for the vibe, cheapest happy hour, best view, least people… etc.
I picked the brains of the good folks at Singapore Airlines (and if anyone should know, they would) to tell me their favourite bars in this great city. I also asked a few influential Twitterers, so now the work has been done for you, just bookmark this post and you can hit the best spots in Singapore without any fuss. If you’re on a Singapore stopover or this is your ultimate destination, have fun checking out the Singapore nightlife scene.
For amazing rooftops in Singapore
Halo Rooftop Lounge on top of the boutique Wangz Hotel, away from the crowds of Clarke Quay. Fantastic Singapore skyline views, great lounge music and live accoustic events on Fridays and Saturdays.
1-Altitude for it’s amazing 360˚ views from the 63rd floor of the OUB Centre – one of the highest alfresco bars in the world at 282 metres!
New Asia Bar on the 71st floor of the Swissotel is dubbed one of the best 50 bars in the world. This is an indoor bar with fantastic city views and a fabulously long happy hour between 3pm and 9pm to make this a great place to start your evening.
Ku De Ta on top of the enormous Marina Bay Sands is one of Singapore’s newest hotels and where people go to be seen on the top of the world. But down the other end of this boat shaped rooftop is Sky on 57 which is not as crowded. There’s a minimum spend of $30 if you’re not dining at the restaurant (about 2 drinks!) but the view is spectacular and hey, you’re on holiday!
Lantern on the rooftop of the Fullerton Bay Hotel is one of the newest spots in town with views overlooking the harbour and to the impressive Marina Bay Sands.
For busy and fun and where the ex-pats hang out, Clarke Quay is where everyone heads of an evening on the banks of the Singapore River as it’s full of great bars and restaurants.
Try Brewerks if you like boutique beers and aren’t afraid of pushing the envelope a little – like beer brewed with sticky rice following an old Chinese recipe. This micro-brewery is also known for its all-American cuisine and does one of the best burgers in town.
For iconic Singapore you really have to have a Singapore Sling and throw your peanut shells on the floor of the Long Bar at Raffles.
Expect to pay about $25 for the long pink drink, but you know – when in Rome… (jump here for my post on the Singapore Sling and their secret recipe)
If it’s quirky you fancy, Divine, in the art deco Parkview Square hotel lobby should be your starting point. This wine bar in Singapore’s art deco business “Gotham City” is famous for the barmaid dressed in a silver tutu with angel wings who flies up the 12 metre wine rack to retrieve your bottle. (Bottles start at $80). The building is worth seeing – even though it was built in 2001.
For those afraid of heights but not wanting to miss out on the killer city views, Prive on the ground floor of Keppel Bay Marina is perfect. It also serves the best peach daiquiris and to-die-for mini wagyu burgers while lounging on big couches and enjoying the waterfront view.
Ying Yang Bar at the Club Hotel in Chinatown is a mellow bar on the roof of this boutique hotel in on Club Street in Ann Siang Hill. It has a great perspective looking up to the CBD skyscrapers and is a great place to kick off as Club Street has so many great little bars and restaurants all set in shop houses (a little like Boat Quay but without the boats!)
And finally but by no means least as you could spend an entire evening just here, St James Powerstation is a destination in itself. Not one but 11 funky bars set in this old industrial power station on the waterfront across the causeway from Sentosa Island and next to the enormous Vivo shopping centre. You’ll find everything from a swanky jazz bar to the pulsating powerhouse with DJs spinning the latest RnB tracks. There’s live rock in the Boiler Room, karaoke (of course), a sports bar and a garden bar for those of a more sophisticated social palate.