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.
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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Things to Do in Singapore at Night
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.
- I'd highly recommend Maureen from Miss Tam Chiak.
Roam the Gardens by the Bay
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.
Head to Raffles (but skip the Long Bar)
Besides the soulless skyscrapers that gave Singapore the whole sterile vibe, twinkles Raffles, a colonial style 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 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.
Take a Bumboat Cruise
Sure, she looks OK by day. But it's at night that the merlion shines.
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...
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.
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.
Prowl on a Night Safari
Billed as the world's first noctural zoo, you can see over 130 species on a Singapore Night Safari at the zoo. You can explore different habitats and catch one of the guide's explanatory sessions that take place up to four times a night.
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.
Go Large at Clarke Quay
Clarke Quay is the commercial centre of things to do in Singapore at night. It has a bright lights and big city vibe and in absolutely no way whatsoever can it be described as off the beaten track. But it is fun, though. Whether you fancy cabaret Chinese music or European house and funk, you can dance your nightsa way at Clarke Quay.
Dazzle at Marina Bay Sands Sky Park
High above the city, the spaceship rests on three towers. Hotel complex Marina Bay Sands has an iconic swimming pool on top and puts on a show simply existing. You can either stay at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel itself, or arrange to visit the Observation Deck separately through a tour.
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.
Is Singapore too sterile?
According to many, Singapore is too sterile. Sterile, serious and sombre, threatening tourists with the death penalty for the obnoxious habit of chewing gum. (And, no, that last part's just a rumour.)
As, it turns out, is the rest.
No, if Singapore is too sterile for you then one of two things has happened:
1) You haven't found its quirkier charms.
2) Two, you've misunderstood the word sterile. (In which case, stay away from me at dinner. And, you know, surgery and the like...)
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.
See Sentosa Island Aquarium Night Show
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.
Delve Into Chinatown
While I'd also recommend visiting Chinatown in the day, it's also a colourful, chattering, cheerful place to visit at night. Simply wander around and enjoy or take a tour through the narrow streets of traditional medicines and street foods.
- This tour with food tasting comes recommended, otherwise just try your luck!
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.
Eat Out in Little India
If it's possible, Little India becomes more alive after dark, with street food and stalls spilling between restaurants, temples and get together spots. It's a clattering, clamouring part of Singapore and certainly one of the fun things to do.
- Book a tour of Little India for more in-depth information or if you're feeling nervous, otherwise just head there and wander around.
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.
TRAVEL ESSENTIALS FOR Singapore
- Check out our two days in Singapore itinerary.
- You'll need a 3 pronged "UK" plug or a world adapter like this.
- Take loose, cotton clothes, a hat and sunscreen as a minimum. Check out our travel packing checklist with free printable here.
- Get comfy on the flight across with these long haul flight essentials.