One Night in Singapore: How to Make the Most of It

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Have only one night in Singapore? Not to worry, you can do a lot. Of all the cities in the world, this one was made to be seen by the light of the stars. Here’s our travel guide and inside itinerary for how to spend one night in Singapore.

Singapore by night showing the battleship and flower from the river

How to Spend the Perfect Night in Singapore

You’ll find so many things to do in Singapore at night, you won’t know where to begin. From sweaty, syrupy coffee houses to pyramids of spice and semi-precious stone, Singapore squeezes flavour, colour and character into every other street corner. And unlike some other cities, it’s easy to avoid the sleaze.

I love Singapore and have visited several times, by day and by night, and can honestly say it’s one of the easiest and safest cities to explore by night. And you can see and do a lot in a very small amount of space and time.

So, make the most of that jet lag, and add some of the myriad of things to do in Singapore at night to your Singapore itinerary.

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Why Visit Singapore

Singapore has one of the lowest crime rates in the world and is a spectacular city, so if you only have one night to explore it, go for it.

From night markets selling clothes, food, and souvenirs to light shows, clubs, and even a nocturnal zoo, the city only goes to sleep a few hours a night.

When the sun sets, the air also cools down, so it’s even more pleasant to explore the streets, stop to admire the tourist attractions, and grab a bite at a hawker centre. Like in most southeast Asia, the food is cheap and absolutely delicious.

There are plenty of great things to do in Singapore, but we selected the very best for an unforgettable night, so let’s head to the streets and see what this Asian state city has to offer.

How to Get Around Singapore

Singapore offers lots of transportation options, but since you don’t have much time, the MRT system is your best choice. The Mass Rapid Transit has extensive underground lines that cover the entire city with lots of MRT stations. It also offers bus routes that can take you anywhere on the island, making car rental unnecessary due to the high cost of parking and traffic congestion.

If you arrive at Singapore Changi International Airport (SIN), the MRT system conveniently connects the airport to the city.

While walking is a great way to explore specific neighbourhoods, Singapore is too large to explore entirely on foot.

However, you can take a taxi. They are reasonably priced, with most drivers able to speak English, being a better way to move around than buses.

Where to Stay in Singapore

During a Singapore layover, you can either rent an airport locker and stroll around luggage-free until the next morning or book a room and get a few hours of sleep after exploring the city.

There are plenty of accommodation options that are within walking distance from the most popular attractions, and you will find something unique in each of Singapore’s districts, whether you are looking for good food, trendy clubs, or shopping malls.

Marina Bay

Marina Bay is a great district to stay in if you are looking for luxury and style. With its panoramic viewpoints, classy restaurants, and the revered Garden by the Bay, this neighbourhood has some of the most luxurious hotels in Singapore, including the famous Marina Bay Sands Hotel.


On the other hand, you can find plenty of more affordable hotels in Chinatown, some with a free breakfast in their offer, too. A nice option for backpackers is Century Service World, which provides a clean and comfortable stay with access to shared bathrooms, lockers, and an onsite bar and restaurant.

Other Neighbourhoods

You’ll also have no trouble finding a gorgeous Singapore hotel in the Colonial District and Clarke Quay. These areas are, in fact, great if you want to stay in a historic building, with some of the best hotels in the city, but as expected, the prices are also higher.

Your One-Night Singapore Itinerary

By following this itinerary, you’ll explore some of the most iconic places in Singapore.

Nonetheless, to fully enjoy your night without feeling rushed, make sure to adjust the plan according to the amount of time you have available. Which is kind of obvious, right?

Singapore-Marina Bay Sands Hotel At Night

Admire the City from Marina Bay Sands’ Observation Deck

Opening hours: 11 AM – 9 PM

To plunge right into the Singaporean evening, take a taxi from the airport to Marina Bay to explore the Marina Bay Sands’ observation deck. It is the perfect place to admire the towering skyscrapers and unique structures that dot the city skyline.

Watching the sunset while relaxing on the observation deck is an unforgettable experience.

The view of the cityscape as the sun reflects on the skyscrapers is awe-inspiring, and you can capture the entire city before the darkness sets in. At night, the view becomes more majestic, with the towering buildings lighting up the city, providing a slightly surreal experience.

From this height, you can easily identify famous landmarks such as the ArtScience Museum, which is renowned for its lotus-shaped exterior, the Gardens by the Bay, the National Gallery Singapore, the Esplanade Theatres, and the Singapore Flyer.

After enjoying the view, head to the first floor of Event Plaza and watch Spectra, an outdoor water and laser show that is a crowd favourite. The show starts at 8:00 PM or 9:00 PM daily, with an additional show every Friday and Saturday at 10:00 PM.

Tip: The Marina Bay Hotel also has a wonderful rooftop pool, where you can relax on one of the highest points in town. However, only hotel residents are granted access to the swimming pool, so book a room here if you want to enjoy it.

Dine at a Hawker Centre

Opening hours for most centres: 12 PM – 2 AM

Don’t let bad experiences in western food malls put you off. If you’re looking for some of the best street food in the world, then Singapore’s hawker centres are the perfect destination. These traditional open-air structures are an important part of Singaporean culture and a quick way to try lots of different dishes.

There are plenty of hawker centres to explore in Singapore, including the hidden gem that is the Old Airport Road Food Centre. With over 150 food stalls to choose from, it’s a great place to start your food adventure. Alternatively, head to the Maxwell Food Centre for its famous Hainanese Chicken Rice or to the Chinatown Complex Food Centre, which boasts over 260 food stalls offering a wide variety of Singaporean street food.

If you’re in Little India, don’t miss the bustling Tekka Centre, which is home to North and South Indian food stalls serving up tasty biryani rice dishes and masala dosa for about 7 Singapore dollars.

Finally, the Tiong Bahru Food Centre is a great option with 85 food stalls to choose from, including Michelin Bib-Gourmand and The Plate award-winning hawker food stalls.

Gardens by the Bay Singapore

Visit Gardens by the Bay

Opening hours: 5 AM – 2AM

Gardens by the Bay is one of those strange ideas that doesn’t sound like it’s going to work – but somehow it just does. Built on reclaimed land, it’s a park with artificial trees (that you can both walk on and sip cocktails on) and a big bubbly greenhouse with an artificial waterfall, a kaleidoscope of plants and a confusing array of dragonfly made from stone. It is one of the most popular attractions in Singapore and has been since it opened in 2012.

The park is located in Marina Bay and is one of the most recognisable landmarks in Singapore, with plenty of activities to do, such as exploring the space-age Supertree Grove, where you can climb up to the OCBC Skyway and get a bird’s-eye view of the park and grove.

At night, the Supertree Grove hosts the Garden Rhapsody, a spectacular nightly sound and light show.

The Heritage Gardens are another feature of the park and are wedged between the Supertree Grove and the conservatories.

If you arrive before 8 PM, you can tour the Cloud Forest and the Flower Dome, which offer one of the most spectacular mixes between nature and modern architecture.

Book tickets for Gardens by the Bay here and skip the queue.

Singapore Merlion Spraying Water in the Harbour

Explore Merlion Park & Take a Bumboat Cruise

Only 20 minutes from Gardens by the Bay, you’ll find Singapore’s iconic Merlion Park. The prime attraction of the park is the Merlion statue, a mythical creature with a fish body and a lion head. At night is the best time to take a stroll at the park and catch glimpses of the city while the lion spouts water from its mouth. Entry to the park is free, and it is open 24 hours daily.

The Merlion (half mermaid, half lion) shoots water across the air and into the water.

Traditional, atmospheric bumboats set sail (well, OK, no sail but…) from nearby, gliding beneath illuminated bridges and taking in the best of the city’s skyline. Is it touristy? For sure. Is it worth it? I’d say so. Lovely…

Book your river cruise here.

Night Safari at World’s First Nocturnal Zoo

Opening hours: 7:15 PM–12 AM

If you are a nature lover, the World’s First Nocturnal Zoo offers you the chance to enter a completely different world of wildlife at night. Unlike traditional animal centres, this Singapore zoo is designed to be interactive and educational without disturbing the animals.

The safari has four walking trails, each showcasing a different set of animals. A tour guide will take you to meet fishing cats, lions, bears, tigers, and many more, making it the perfect opportunity to get up close and personal with some of the world’s most fascinating creatures.

The Creatures of the Night exhibit also offers a chance to see nocturnal animals in their natural habitat, including owls and other creatures that are typically only active at night.

After a full night of exploring, you can rest and recharge at the Ulu Ulu restaurant, which offers savoury Asian dishes and a rustic ambience that tries to capture the essence of traditional Singaporean village life.

Book tickets and hotel transfers for your night safari here.

Tip: If you want to join the tour, book your ticket in advance to make sure you get a spot.

Singapore-Red lanterns in Chinatown

Do Some Nighttime Shopping

Opening hours for most night markets: 8 AM – 12 AM

Opening hours for Orchard Road: 9 AM – 10 PM

Shopping is a big deal in Singapore, with lots of night markets and shopping malls that stay open even when the city’s neon lights turn on. The most famous mall is Orchard Road, a shopping paradise and one of the best places to buy designer clothes.

However, if you’re looking for a more unique shopping experience in Singapore, you will have a great time in the city’s night markets. Most of them are located in the city centre, close to popular ethnic enclaves such as Chinatown, Little India, and the Arabic Quarter.

If you are visiting Chinatown, stop by Chinatown Street to check out its fashion items, antiques, souvenirs, and electronics. It is also a great place to try some street food or dine at its cheap restaurants serving Singaporean classics such as satay and laksa.

The Bugis Night Market is the best option if you want to shop for trinkets. The items here are cheap, with many costing as little as S$1.

Finally, for a more colourful feel, visiting Little India is a good idea. Here, you can find the Tekka Centre, which doubles as a wet market on the ground floor and offers fresh seafood and vegetables. The centre has plenty of hawker stalls serving delicious $8 Biryani sets.

Explore Clarke Quay

One of the top things to do in Singapore at nighttime is to explore Clarke Quay on the Singapore River. Located near the Central Business District, this neighbourhood offers outdoor dining and wining options that are perfect for bar hopping any night of the week.

For those looking for live jazz acts, Harry’s @ Boat Quay is a popular choice, with the chance to order beer on tap and watch live sports feeds. Harry’s @ Riverside Point offers live bands on Wednesday and Thursday nights and is known for its soy-glazed beef cubes and signature classic jazz burger alongside beers and cocktails.

Where to Find Singapore’s Nightlife

Singapore is no stranger to partying, with lots of clubs and bars you can explore at night. Although parties are not as wild as in Bangkok or Hong Kong, the city’s Central Business District and Haji Lane cater to different tastes.

Dressing smart casual is necessary, and no shorts and flip-flops are allowed in most clubs.

However, Singaporeans do not fuss over dressing since the weather is hot and humid all year round. If you are a female traveller, you can skip the pricey prices on Ladies’ Night, which is Wednesdays, with establishments like CÉ LA VI and Bang Bang offering women free admission and complimentary alcoholic drinks.

Tip: For a bit of history and a fascinating setting, head to Long Bar at the Raffles Hotel, the place where the famous Singapore Sling was invented.

More Ideas for Singapore at Night

If this isn’t your first time visiting Singapore, or you are looking for more unique things to do in the city, here are some alternatives you can include in your itinerary.

Sentosa Island Singapore

Party on Sentosa Island

Sentosa island likes to consider itself a hub of fun and why not? It is the beachy area of Singapore after all. When it comes to things to do in Singapore at night, Sentosa Island offers up the night show at the Aquarium, with over 100 000 species of fish and a display involving water, fire and lasers. 

Take a train or a cable car to Sentosa Island for an unforgettable night with culinary delights and partying. Indulge in Michelin-starred restaurants like the Australian Osia Steak and Seafood Grill or savour a variety of world-class flavours at Quayside Isle.

For a truly unique experience, take a Sentosa Naturalist Night Adventure to explore the island’s rainforest system under the cover of darkness.

Book your aquarium tickets here.

Take a Stroll around Kampong Glam

Kampong Glam is known for its mosques, Middle Eastern cuisine, and carpet shops. However, it has also seen the rise of boutique cocktail bars and trendy restaurants in recent years.

One of the highlights of Kampong Glam is the Masjid Sultan, the largest mosque in Singapore. The area also features picturesque streets like Bussorah and Kandahar, which are lined with heritage buildings and palm trees.

Kampong Glam is a foodie’s paradise, particularly if you love Middle Eastern cuisine and a great dining option if you want to indulge in some Lebanese, Turkish, and Egyptian Halal food.

Inside Changi Airport in Singapore

Discover Singapore Changi Airport

Probably the last thing you thought you’ll enjoy while travelling to Singapore was the airport. However, the Jewel Changi Airport is a work of art you shouldn’t miss.

Not only is it home to several indoor gardens, including the Shiseido Forest Valley, one of the largest in the country, but it has two walking trails that take you along 900 trees and 60,000 shrubs.

Walk around, shop, dine – the airport is a small city itself, and you can have a gorgeous night without leaving the place. But please do! Singapore is fascinating, and you’ll want to see as much of it as possible.

Experience the Eerie World of Haw Par Villa 

Opening hours: 9 AM – 8 PM

Haw Par Villa is a theme park in Singapore that is sure to send chills down your spine. The park’s meticulously crafted 3D dioramas depict punishments for various crimes, from reading forbidden books to committing murder. Although the experience is unsettling, it is thought provoking.

Buddha Tooth Relic Temple in Signapore

Visit the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple

Opening hours: 7 AM – 5 PM

If the sunrise catches you in the Chinatown district, head to the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum on South Bridge Road for a unique spiritual experience. The main attraction here is the sacred tooth relic of Buddha, which draws in lots of tourists.

It is placed on a ‘stupa’ weighing 3500 kg and made from 320 kg of pure gold, most of which has been donated by devotees. Additionally, you can visit the beautiful rooftop garden of the temple, which has a Vairocana Buddha Prayer Wheel Pagoda covered with around 10,000 miniature Buddhist statues.

Pay Your Respects to Goddess Kali at Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple

Opening hours: 5:30 AM – 12 PM, 5-9 PM

Another great temple to visit either before sunset or at sunrise is the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple in Singapore’s Little India neighbourhood. This Hindu temple is dedicated to the fierce goddess Kali, who is quite an awesome deity.

Unlike in many religions where women are viewed as the gentler sex, Kali is a powerful goddess who is depicted wearing a necklace made of human heads and standing on the corpse of her husband.

Despite her intimidating appearance, Kali is known as the “Destroyer of Evil” and offers protection to those who are good. Devotees come to the temple to make offerings and seek her blessings. Admission is free, and if you arrive early, you can enjoy a cup of masala tea at the nearby Suriya Vegetarian Restaurant. Kali welcomes everyone to her home on Serangoon Road, and the Sri Veeramakaliamman Tem.

Book a tour of Little India for more in-depth information or if you’re feeling nervous, otherwise just head there and wander around.

Alternative, Quirky and Unusual Things to Do in Singapore at Night

cheery food in Singapore

Taste Grass Jelly and Take a Food Tour

Delve into the back alleys and hawker centres to taste things like grass jelly, kopi guyou and fish balls (and look out for names like the “Million Star Fried Banana.”)

No idea how to find them? Enlist the help of a local food blogger.

Visit a Chocolate Night Club. Seriously.

Chef Janice Wong blindfolds herself to concentrate while painting and then decorates her tables with melted chocolate. She’s also the mastermind behind 2am: dessertbar , a cocktail bar come confectionery extravaganza which serves vodka tonics amid black sesame seeds, mango and popcorn mousse. 

Raffles Hotel Singapore
Raffles Hotel: Skip the Long Bar but try a Singapore Sling anyway

Head to Raffles (but Skip the Long Bar)

Besides the soulless skyscrapers that gave Singapore the whole sterile vibe, twinkles Raffles, an historic hotel that’s a legend in its own right. It’s the birthplace of the famed Singapore Sling and back in its heyday it entertained Somerset Maugham and Ernest Hemingway (and I am partial to a beautiful hotel with a bit of writerly history.)

Fresh, white and awash with tropical greenery, it’s a a great place to stop for a drink – in the terrace or lobby bars. (The Long Bar attracts a long queue and the literary inspiration inside sounds suspiciously like tourist chatter.)

  • Turn up early to skip the queue or enjoy a drink in the open courtyard instead.

Visit the Singapore Flyer

Singapore has a stunning skyline and the Singapore Flyer is the city’s answer to the ferris wheel phenomenon that’s spread worldwide. 

The luxurious observation pods reach 165 metres high and an entire rotation takes just over half an hour. 

You’ll be able to see Marina Bay Sands, the Merlion and the Lotus and still have time for dinner afterwards. 

Go Stargazing at the Science Centre

Polish up your telescope or borrow someone else’s at the Singapore Science Centre and drink in the depth of the night sky. Typically on every Friday, check ahead for details and then bathe in the inky black above. 

Woman shopping in Singapore

Browse Bugis Night Market

Just because the sun has gone down doesn’t mean that trading stops as the night markets spring to life. Wander through atmospheric lanes and stalls at the Bugis Night Market and go looking for authentic souvenirs or street food for dinner.

Dine on a Gourmet Night Bus Tours

Night time is time for dinner and drinks, but if you’re on a tight schedule, what about sightseeing? Enter the Gourmet Bus, where dinner takes place on board and you end your meal ready to watch the night show at Gardens By the Bay.

Dine in a Cable Car

The cable car between Singapore main and Sentosa island isn’t just about transport. Oh no. When the sun goes down, the chef wakes up (erm, yes, that’s a saying) to rustle up a romantic dinner for two in this cable car itself. 

The experience lasts 90 minutes and takes in three rotations of the route and four courses, with drinks. 

Yellow books in Singapore

Take a Cycling Tour

While Singapore is a great place to wander around on foot on your own, I’ve heard great things about these evening cycling tours as well. You can cover more ground, obviously, and there’s something intriguing about feeling apart from the crowd when it comes to things to do in Singapore at night.

Try The Big Bus Night Tour

Well, this is never going to win you any exclusive, authentic, far from the tourist trail points, but so what? Life is too short and these buses can be fun!

Leave the headache of how you get where behind and jump onto one of these buses. Singapore is so well lit and so full of life after dark that they’re not just for the day.

Travel Essentials for Singapore

Disclosure: For some of these tips, I travelled as a guest of the Singapore Tourist Board and Singapore Airlines, For others, I travelled on my own. I always keep the right to write what I like here on Inside the Travel Lab. Otherwise, there’s just no point. Million star fried bananas or not.

20 thoughts on “One Night in Singapore: How to Make the Most of It”

  1. Great tips we are back for our second trip and will look out for the food and cycle tours. We loved our last trip and looking forward to going back!

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