Singapore by night


Here are five great evening attractions, perfect for night owls or those who simply can’t get enough of the Lion City.

See the city sparkle when darkness descends, the daytime humidity has lifted and the crowds are in bed – this is your opportunity to enjoy Singapore’s latest big attraction: the Marina Bay Sands. Piercing the sky with its cantilevered observation deck atop three hotel towers and the graceful blossom of its ArtScience Museum, the still-in-progress integrated resort is awe-inspiring. The best place to take it in is from Merlion Park, adjacent to 1 Fullerton Road at the mouth of the river. Marvel at the architectural icon of the so-called new Singapore, a mirage built on what were open seas just 40 years ago, as you stroll up to the mammoth development along the waterfront promenade.

Bask in the light

If you want to enjoy some company, head for Marina Barrage or Clarke Quay (at the large field next to Riverside Walk), which is popular with hobbyists who fly their LED-lit kites across the inky skies into the wee hours of the morning. If you’re in town on August, don’t miss the Night Festival, an annual extravaganza of installations and performances that features free entry to numerous museums. Centred around the National Museum, which is open during the event from 7 pm to 2 am, the festival is an highlight which draws huge crowds with live performances accompanied by spectacular light shows.

Sing your heart out

Fancy yourself a bit of a rock star? The city’s lively karaoke lounges are just the place for you to pass a few fun hours - head to Mono at nightlife complex St. James Power to belt out your favourite tunes from their extensive music catalogue and watch other wannabe singers warble in the swanky monochromatic setting over a cocktail. Tip: if you’re shy about your talent, you can book one of their individually themed private rooms.

Shop ’till you drop

If you’ve forgotten your jewellery or need a shirt for a last-minute meeting, Mustafa Centre is not just the one-stop that carries almost everything, it’s also Singapore’s only 24-hour shopping mall. Located in the Little India district, the 150,000-square-foot retail space is packed from floor to ceiling with everything from electronics, watches and jewellery to housewares, clothing, sportsgear, groceries and pharmaceuticals. Reminiscent of a Bangalore bazaar, the mall is extremely popular for its competitive prices. Don’t miss the sumptuous saris found in basement 1, and pick up a little tourist souvenir from level 2.

Eat like a local

When hunger hits at this hour, most people head for another Indian-run establishment, the ubiqitious roti prata eatery that is open until 6 am. Join the post-clubbing crowd for a savoury prata (dough-based pancake with fillings such as cheese and onion, eaten with a light curry gravy) at popular late-night haunt Spize. Round off the meal with a satisfying Horlick or Milo godzilla – an iced beverage made from malt or coco drink powder and topped with a generous scoop of ice-cream.

After a night to remember, it’s time for bed. Sweet dreams!

Good to know

  • Don’t worry, this is as safe a city by night as it gets – just be sure to keep an eye on your belongings.
  • The easiest way to get around at night is by taxi – carry the number of a cab company in case you don’t spot any on the streets. Here are two good options: Comfort Transportation: +65 6552 1111 or SMRT Taxis: +65 6555 8888.

Essential addresses

Marina Bay Sands
10 Bayfront Avenue

Marina Barrage
8 Marina Gardens Drive
+65 6514 5959

at nightclub complex St. James Power Station
3 Sentosa Gateway
+65 6270 7676

National Museum
93 Stamford Road
+65 6332 3659

Mustafa Centre
145 Syed Alwi Road
+65 6295 5855

The Makan Place
409 River Valley Road
+65 6734 9194


Text by Lim Sio Hui
Photo by Singapore Digital Library
A version of this article was previously published in Finnair´s Blue Wings magazine (Summer 2011).

Published August 3, 2011

Category: Local features