Singapore nightlife guide

There is a lively late night scene nowadays in the Lion City and it is possible to get down and party hard from dusk until dawn. While there are some iconic bars and clubs that seem to have been around forever, it is an ever changing scene every bit as vibrant and trendy as any major European city.

There is pretty much something for every mood, from lavish cocktail bars, cheesy karaoke lounges, hyped up dance clubs and chilled out beach shacks.

If you want something really laid back and down to earth, why not kick back with a few beers in the myriad of 24 hour hawker stalls that are found across the island. You can expect lively chat and cheap prices. It is also one of the very few places you can enjoy a cigarette with your tipple.

Hawker centres aside, a typical night of drinking and dancing doesn’t come cheap and is probably the most expensive night out in Southeast Asia. Many of the most popular joints with a dance floor or live bands tend to levy a cover charge. This can be anywhere from SGD$5 to up to SGD$30 depending on the night of the week and the ‘cool factor’ of the place. A good night out with a few drinks in a club can cost upwards of SGD$50. Many places have early evening happy hours, student specials and even free booze for women.

Singapore city centre has several late night entertainment enclaves where it is possible to stagger from one place to another all night. These include the expat drinkers’ haunt of Clarke Quay, Club Street in Chinatown, which has several gay-friendly bars, the Chjimes centre and Dempsey Road. Here is our guide to the hottest late night venues in town.

Recommended Singapore nightclubs

St James Power Station
This is the mother of all nights out in Singapore where you can flit between teh different venues all in the same building offering urban dance music, Latin grooves, indie rock and even cheesy mandarin pop. Weekends get packed out early, attracting a healthy mix of ages and cultures.

Now in its twentieth year, Zouk is still the place of choice for the stylish set who value top quality dance music above pretentious surroundings. It is a cavernous place with two separate chill out lounges, a glitzy wine bar and large central dance arena. Regularly attracts big name DJs from Europe and the US. Free entry before midnight during the week.

Being located out in the sticks at Redhill hasn’t stopped this 1930’s style speakeasy bar becoming a hit with the style-conscious in crowd. It has class written all over it and if you can get past the fussy doormen, you can schmooze with beautiful people and listen to chilled out live jazz. Bartending is an art form here with luxury cocktail concoctions that unapologetically cost an arm and a leg. Although it’s no Raffles Long Bar, the mixologists produce a very pleasant Singapore Sling as well.

The soundtrack here is smooth grooves and soulful dance music in a glitzy neon lit bar and club frequented by the rich and beautiful people. This is the place to go celeb spotting at weekends. Targeted at the well-heeled clubbers, Stereolab has hosted countless successful parties featuring legendary DJs like Danny Krivit, Frankie Knuckles, Charles Webster and Louie Vega. This over 600-capacity dance club encased in wood spares no expense in creating a sexy, intimate and mysterious atmosphere.

Buzzing Clarke Quay boasts dozens of bars and discos but mega club Zirca is bound to be a highlight. You can expect arty visuals and a booming sound system playing top quality electronica for a stylish up-for-it crowd. A favourite hang out with expats and socialites, although drinks are expensive.

Shanghai Dolly
Shanghai Dolly is as chilled out as Clarke Quay gets and offers easy listening 1950s crooners in the piano bar or you can swing your hips in the main bar to old school jazz funk. There are live sets from Cantonese pop duos and tribute bands, attracting a more mature crowd of revellers. Offers free entry during the week.