The small island of Singapore is well known for its cleanliness, it’s convenience and it’s plethora of well-established tourist attractions, all easily visited during a short tour. But what about once the sun goes down? What are the best things to do in Singapore at night?
While we know Singapore quite well there is nothing like getting first-hand knowhow from a local. That’s why we’ve rounded up this bumper list of the top 10 things to do in the evening, curated by those living in the city.
Our top 10 things to do in Singapore at night
- Gardens by the Cất cánh lightshow
- Taste the delights of the Lau Pa Sat Food Market
- Eat Satay by the Cất cánh
- Explore Clarke Quay
- Go on a Night Safari
- Party on Club Street
- Ride the Singapore Flyer
- Shopping at Mustafa Centre
- Visit Little India
- Drinks and a view at Ce La Vi Sky Bar
Why go to Singapore?
It’s really quite strange that Singapore gets a bit of a bad rap when it comes to travellers, and so isn’t part of many people’s itineraries beyond perhaps transiting it’s Changi airport. And for many, although it is seen as a great gateway into Southeast Asia, it is not given the proper consideration as a great place to travel to. But here are some of the reasons why it definitely should be on your list!
- Given its rich history there is an amazing combination of cultural diversity that leads to fantastic cuisine and fascinating architecture with a mixture of old and new.
- It is without doubt the cleanest and safest country in Asia and if you’ve never been to Asia before, it is the gentlest way into the region you could hope for…
- There is world-class shopping – so if you love to shop till you drop then there is nowhere better.
- It’s often seen as an expensive place to visit, and in comparison to the rest of the region, yes it can be pricey, especially accommodation options. However there are plenty of hugely inexpensive cheap eats, and free things to do!
- There are so many attractions on offer that you can easily fill out a few days of unique experiences
How long should you stay in Singapore?
Depending on your budget of course, we would recommend that you try to stay in Singapore for a minimum of 2 days. However, if you can extend that a little even to 3 days you definitely won’t regret it! There are so many attractions to explore, food to try and let’s not forget about the nightlife – after all you’re hopefully here to find out the best things to do in Singapore at night! The more time you can give to Singapore the better.
Read next: The perfect Singapore and Malaysia itinerary.
Our Top 10 things to do in Singapore at Night
Gardens by the Cất cánh light show
Also known as the home of the Supertrees Grove, a cluster of tree-like steel structures, Gardens by the Cất cánh is Singapore’s number one tourist attraction. It’s impressive by day but comes alive at night, as it plays home to ‘Garden Rhapsody’, a light and sound show that attracts visitors from across the globe.
The show is absolutely free and sees the trees light up, changing colours and shifting with a musical rhapsody which pays homage to traditional and modern music. It’s a fascinating ode to Singapore itself, as it features recordings of the sounds made by the plants in the area of Gardens by the Cất cánh.
It’s a surround-sound experience which transports you into another world, and is our number one thing to do at night in Singapore!
Note that usually it’s the same show – Garden Rhapsody – but can sometimes change to celebrate a national festival or theme.
Location: 18 Marina Gardens Dr, Singapore 018953
Open: The show takes place at 19h45 and 20h45 each evening, for 15 minutes however the area is open from 05.00am – 02.00am daily
Cost: Absolutely free
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Lau Pa Sat food market
A true Singaporean landmark, the Telok Ayer Market or Lau Pa Sat (“Old Market”) is the best place in Singapore to try traditional ‘street’ food. Set in the heart of Singapore’s financial district, the market offers up delicious food, ice-cold beer and a romantic atmosphere sometimes set to the sound of local bands as you wander up and down the various stalls.
This massive iron structure draws from Victorian influence and sees over 200 stalls dotted across eight different halls with a lovely central atrium to enjoy your dishes.
And enjoy you will, as the hawker centre offers everything from ‘western’ food to local dishes influenced by Chinese, Malay and Indian; a melting pot of gourmet influences just like Singapore multicultural history itself.
Must-try dishes include Hainanese chicken and rice, laksa curry, char kway teow (fried noodles with lard, cockles and sausage) and curry puffs.
Location: 18 Raffles Quay, Singapore 048582 If going via the MRT, get off at Raffles Place station and take Exit I
Open: 24 hours but usually the best stalls close at 10.00pm
Cost: Dishes usually start around 5 SGD (3 GBP)
Satay by the Cất cánh
Disclaimer: It’s another food market! But surely the best thing to do at night in Singapore is eat??
Either way, Satay by the Cất cánh is a slightly more upmarket food market, which includes a more typical food centre feel under a covered roof but also an al fresco dining area, with a huge wooden deck and beautiful views of Marina Cất cánh.
The market itself is nestled between Gardens by the Cất cánh and the Marina barrage, and is a great place to tuck into some local favourites.
Of course ‘satays’ (hence the name) have prime position here but the market also boasts delicious stalls like Wholly Crab (owned by a popular local TV personality) and the infamous Huat Huat Chicken Wings stall. It’s night-time waterfront dining at pretty affordable prices!
Location: 18 Marina Gardens Drive #01-19 Singapore 018953
Open: 11.00am – 22.00am daily
Cost: Dishes usually start around 5 SGD (3 GBP)
Had enough to eat and looking for nightlife in Singapore? Your first stop would be the buzzing Clarke Quay district, situated close to Boat Quay, another cool district.
Clarke Quay has an excess of top-notch nightclubs but also great chilled rooftop bars, ideal for a cocktail overlooking the city lights of Singapore.
The most famous nightclub in the area is Attica, known for it’s banging tunes and ladies nights specials (including free Jagermeister ice cream!). However, if you’re more interested in music, head to Crazy Elephant for some rock ‘n roll tunes. For views, go to Southbridge in neighbouring Boat Quay.
Location: 3 River Valley Rd, Singapore
Open: 10.00am to 10.00pm daily
One of the best after-dark experiences in Singapore is probably getting up close and personal with the animals at the Singapore Zoo, on their famed Night Safari.
Touted as the world’s first nocturnal wildlife park, it’s home to over 900 animals of over 100 species and focusses on sustainable eco-tourism and biodiversity, winning it heaps of awards over the years.
This is a very family-friendly activity but keep in mind that, since it’s very popular, it can get quite crowded.
The safari is a 35 minute tram experience through the park taking you through areas featuring animals like leopards, flying foxes and lions. There is also a 20 minute ‘Creatures of the Night’ show which you can visit – this is a huge outdoor amphitheatre which features fun, interactive shows including hyenas, otters and more.
If you’re not a fan of doing the tour on wheels, the Night Safari does offer four walking trails which allows you to see exhibits not possible from the tram.
Location: 80 Mandai Lake Rd, Singapore 729826
Open: 7.30pm – 12.00am
Cost: 49 SGD (28 GBP) for adults and 33 SGD (20 GBP) for children under 12
Book your tickets to the Night Safari here.
This street, along with Ang Siang, is definitely Clarke Quay’s trendier cousin. Jam-packed with hip restaurants and bars, this is where a cool crowd tends to hang out; particularly on the weekend.
Head to Club Street Social for a brick-walled bistro serving American fare, or The Coconut Club, which received the Michelin Bib Gourmand in 2018.
The best cocktail bar on the street is definitely Native, featured as one of the best bars in Asia. You could also pop in to underground bar, Operation Dagger, or more popular (read: crowded, a bit touristy) option, Gem Bar.
Seeing Singapore from above is something you must experience when visiting the city, and the best way to do so (other than a rooftop bar of course!) is from the Singapore Flyer.
Asia’s largest observation wheel, the Flyer takes you 165 metres above ground which is about 42 storeys. This is of course the most breathtaking view you could have of Singapore, made even more spectacular when visiting after dark as you see the twinkling city laid about before you.
Key landmarks that you’ll see include the Marina Cất cánh, the Singapore River and on a clear night you might even be able to spot Malaysia (or at least Changi airport).
Like much of Singapore, it’s a great convenient option since the 30 minute ride is in a fully airconditioned capsule; offering you a thrilling yet safe experience.
Location: 30 Raffles Ave, Singapore 039803
Open: 8.30am – 10.30pm (last admission at 10.15pm)
Cost: 33 SGD (20 GBP) for adults, 21 SGD (12 GBP) for children under 12 and 24 SGD (13 GBP) for seniors
Shopping at Mustafa Centre
So Singapore is known as a shopper’s paradise but what’s the best place to get your retail fix after the sun has gone down? It’s definitely Mustafa Centre, set in the Little India area.
This 24 hour shopping centre offers you high-end designer brands alongside budget buys, all at affordable prices. This six level behemoth of a shopping centre has over 300, 000 items on it’s shelves so should be able to satisfy any appetite for goods you might have. Beware though – this is a busy and somewhat frenetic place which isn’t the high-end, slightly sanitized experience you might find at a mall like Orchard Central!
It offers everything from electronics to clothing, household goods and hardware to a supermarket hawking milk, spices, fruit and everything in between.
Photo Credit: Soham Banerjee / Flickr
Location: 145 Syed Alwi Road, Little India, Singapore 207704, Singapore
Open: 24 hours
Cost: As much as you want to buy!
And, while you’re at Mustafa Centre, you might as well explore the surrounding area, known as Little India. Now a word of caution: the area is one of the ‘seedier’ places in Singapore at night so isn’t the most family friendly, if you are travelling with kids. That said, it’s a fascinating, bustling hive of activity with Indian hawkers and restaurants opening for the evening, and curry spices permeating the air.
Wander down the streets and sample the wares or head to one of the more well-known restaurants in the area. Recommended are the Banana Leaf Apolo, which serves up your Indian fare on freshly-cut banana leaves or Komala Villas, a stalwart of the Little India scene, which is known for its vegetarian dishes, namely the masala dosai pancake. Both are now ‘chain’ restaurants, but their locations at Serangoon Road are arguably the best.
CÉ LA VI Skybar
And because you might not have sampled all the rooftop bars in Singapore, we’ve saved the best one for last: CÉ LA VI. This is also one of the most instagrammable places in Singapore during the day, and has a panoramic view of the city at night.
Set 57 storeys above Singapore, this bar is one of the best ways to see Singapore and is absolutely buzzing at night, ideal for a sunset or for a few cocktails after dark.
Keep in mind that it has a smart casual dress code so no singlets, swimwear, flip flops or sleeveless shirts (for men).
Location: 1 Bayfront Avenue Marina Cất cánh Sands, Tower 3, Singapore 018971
Open: 11.00am – 02.00am
Cost: No cover charge
Where you should stay in Singapore
Singapore has some of the finest accommodation options in the world, so if you are able to splash out, you won’t be disappointed! But there are accommodation options for every budget level, and here we provide some of our favourite suggestions. We’ve also outlined which areas you may want to consider…
Our favourite part of Singapore, Little India is chaotic, vibrant, thrilling and where the action is at. If you’re looking for the best budget or backpacker options, this is where you will find the best options! And not surprisingly it’s also got some of the best cheap shopping and food options around.
Luxury: Test out the One Ferrer if you’re looking for something a little bit special in Little India.
Budget: Singapore has some great pod options, we particularly like the Vintage Inn Boutique Capsule.
Orchard Road area
The main shopping area in Singapore, James first stayed here when he visited Singapore back in 2001 and although it’s not quite the same vibe as Chinatown or Little India it has the hustle and bustle you’d expect from the main shopping zone. So if you’re here to shop, look no further than Orchard Road area to stay.
Luxury: Why not stay at the Four Seasons, one of the best hotels in all of Singapore? You’ll be spoiled at this 5 star property which even includes an indoor and outdoor tennis court!
Mid-range: We like the Quincy Hotel for mid-range options – this boutique hotel is one a quieter street in the area and has a great pool with lovely views!
The best markets, food options and nightlife (in our opinion) makes Chinatown a great option if you’re looking for a vibrant atmosphere. Alongside Little India it’s got plenty of backpacker options so great to consider if you’re on more of a budget.
Mid–range: One of the best-rated hotels in Singapore, the AMOY is a glorious four star property! This boutique hotel is super charming and well-designed, inspired by China yet delivered with a modern twist.
Budget: Adler Hostel is a another option which borrows from the Chinese influence of it’s surroundings. A great hotel with huge dorm beds, air-con and strong wifi.
Marina Cất cánh
The location of most of the biggest attractions, and not surprisingly the biggest and most luxurious hotels… if you don’t stay here, you’ll definitely visit!
Luxury: Why not stay at Marina Cất cánh Sands itself? It’s the most recognizable hotel in Singapore and the epicentre of all the things to do, plus a gloriously luxurious hotel to boot.
Luxury: The Fullerton Cất cánh Hotel is another great premium option, a stone’s throw from the river. Of course it has a great pool with views plus a rooftop bar, delicious breakfast and well-appointed rooms.
When is the best time to go to Singapore?
Singapore is so close to the equator that it never gets cold. Sometimes it can be pretty unbearable, especially when you add a bit of humidity (it’s around 80% consistently) to the heat and the bustle of the city. So when is the perfect time to visit? Well the summer months of June through August are generally the driest, it can get excruciatingly hot. So we prefer the slightly cooler spring time like March to May. The wettest months are over the winter, from November to January.
Getting from Changi Airport
Taxi: The fastest and most comfortable way to get into the city, the taxis will use the meter – but it will cost upwards of 20 SGD (12 GBP) for the 20 minute ride. Depending on where you are staying it could cost quite a bit more and watch out for surcharge costs at weekends, late nights or peak times. So pretty much always!
MRT: The cheapest and in our opinion the best way into the city, is to take the MRT line. It’ll cost you 2 SGD (1 GBP) for the trip. It involves at least one change, but if you’re used to using subways/undergrounds it’s really easy.
Airport Shuttle Bus: The airport shuttle is reliable and takes about 30 minutes into the city centre. You’re able to book your seat on arrival at the Ground Transport Desk in Arrivals and costs 9 SGD (5 GBP).
Some useful tips
- Taxis are getting more expensive in Singapore but the metro/subway is superb, so make sure you use it. However, the Grab app (like Uber for Southeast Asia) is really handy. We love it and have used it all over the region.
- Tipping is not a huge custom and not expected. Although at high-end restaurants and international hotel chains it is more common, don’t feel obliged to tip.
- The tap water is safe to drink, so make sure you have a reusable water bottle instead of buying loads of plastic bottles.
- Alcohol is expensive, but many bars have cheap(er) prices during Happy Hour – so make sure you make the most of them.
What camera equipment and other gear do we use?
We’re living proof that you don’t need the most expensive gear to travel the world and take good photos. Here are some of our must have items that make it into the packing list for all our travels.
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