Talk about nightlife! Singapore bubbles with party frenzy almost every night of the week. With one new establishment sprouting in the market (at least) every month, this little island boasts close to 700 clubs, bars, pubs and discos. The vibrant nightlife here pampers pub-crawlers and party-goers with a cornucopia of choices, differing in music, range of drinks, the kind of crowd or simply the ambiance they create as they seek an individual identity. Jazz/Blues Pubs
Along the Singapore River lies Harry's Bar
at Boat Quay
. Live bands lures a handsome crowd, mostly the expatriates, each week with their soulful jazz. Perfect for a jazzy night out!
A household name for soul and blues is Crazy Elephant
. Blues fans pack this pub every weekend to soak in the roaring music of popular bands.
Restaurants cum Clubs
For those who love to dine, wine and party all night long at one location, there are restaurants that are swiftly transformed into dance grounds right after dinner. Big international names are popular, and the Hard Rock Cafe
still holds its appeal. Another big player is China Jump Bar and Grill
, where customers are not only slapped with huge portions of food but also made to swing right off on their feet with a terrific mix of retro music. If you want to avoid the city's hustle and bustle, and yet have some fun, the Sunset Bay Beach Bar
offers a great ambiance. Located on Sentosa's
Siloso Beach, this was the first beach pub to throw foam parties. Where else can you catch bikini-clad babes at night! In the evenings, it is ideal for chilling out and sipping margaritas while watching the sunset—as the name implies.
Every other joint in Singapore has a sizeable dance floor where everyone can sashay into the night. Leading in terms of size is the highly-acclaimed Zouk
, with its huge dance floors and differing establishments it houses such as Phuture, Velvet Underground and Wine Bar, all serving different crowds with their varying brands of music. In addition, the success of Zouk has been endorsed by special appearances of famous DJs including Fatboy Slim and Stacy Pullen who spin for the club occasionally. Also popular for their trance mix, this is the place to frequent if you want to catch a few prominent faces in the media or fashion industry.
Of course, entertainment in Singapore is not all about parties and booze. This vibrant city, with its multi-cultural outlook, promises a colourful calendar of festivities, performances and events throughout the year. Dates vary from year to year, however, so check with the Singapore Tourism Board
outlets for precise dates and ticket prices.
Singapore is a melting pot of cultures, with Chinese, Indian and Malay ethnic groups strutting their unique ensemble of music, dance and theatre. On top of this, there are always numerous performances from foreign guest troupes, in particular during the Singapore International Comedy Festival in March/April, the Singapore Arts Festival in June, WOMAD Singapore around August and the Singapore River Buskers Festival
in November. With consistent support from the government, the Singapore arts scene has leapt onto the international platform, uplifting its cultural image.
Religious festivals abound and often provide a riot of colour. Many of these offer visitors much to see, such as the processions during Thaipusam and the Birthday of the Monkey God. Singapore celebrates the Chinese New Year in grandeur, with a lively Chingay procession that produces the nation's largest street parade.
Concert Halls & Theatres
The best venue for contemporary or classical music has to be the Victoria Concert and Memorial Hall, home to the Singapore Symphony Orchestra. Treat yourself to a night of relaxation with your favourite Bach, baroque or other exploratory pieces. For an orchestra with a difference, experience an evening with the Singapore Chinese Orchestra with its splendid repertoire of traditional and symphonic Chinese music.
For those interested in dance and renowned troupes with accolades, check out the Singapore Dance Theatre with their enchanting dance movements and exuberant costumes. For more cultural dances, try the Kala Mandhir Temple of Fine Arts and Nrityalaya Aesthetics Society, both known to stage impressive performances.
All drama lovers will appreciate some of Singapore's highly acclaimed drama groups that have staged performances locally and internationally. The Necessary Stage tries out experimental works, the Theatre Practice boasts productions like King Lear
, and the Singapore Repertory Theatre has a string of accomplishments, including the Golden Child
by David Hwang.
An ambitious project is Esplanade Theatre on the Bay, which has gained acclaim, if not international landmark status. This tremendous centre offers just about everything: theatre, music, performance space of all kinds, and it's all close to the waterfront. Included is the 2000-seat Theatre and 1800-seat Concert Hall with a 39-foot high pipe organ and the necessary acoustics to match. This is indeed welcomed by arts fans, who have been going to smaller venues such as The Substation, Jubilee Hall and the Kallang Theatre.
Many Singaporeans are film buffs, so it is no wonder there are more than 50 cinemas island-wide. Hollywood blockbusters are shown here soon after their release in the U.S. and long before they hit European screens. Modern cinemas take the form of multiplexes, some of which, like Golden Village Yishun, feature up to ten movies at one go.