For being Southeast Asia’s most international capital, Singapore is a rather dull city. In daylight. But when sun sets, the city throws you into a unique diversity of culture experiences, world class food, and a sky kissing nightlife. If you know where to go, that is. Skip Clarke Quay, Marina Bay Sands, and Sentosa Island, and head to the places frequented by the Singaporeans themselves.
1 Parkview Square. The art deco skyscraper at Parkview Square not only incapsulate the coolest bar on earth, it’s also an embassy building, open-air garden, and Museum of Modern Art. Feeling more like entering the lobby of the Chrysler Building, the 3-storey Atlas Bar is as sophisticated as it is grand. Browse the world’s largest gin collection and get the bartender to sweep across a 7 meter vertical bar, balancing on a ladder to collect your bottle of choice.
2 Level 33. Like so many places in Singapore, you will not find them if you don’t know where to look. Let this place represent all the hidden sky bars of Singapore, often situated in anonymous skyscrapers with hard-to-find entrances. Tap a beer from the in-house brewery, the highest in the world, and enjoy a drink on the panorama terrace overlooking the Marina Bay Sands. The view? Absolutely breathtaking.
3 Arab Street. The cultural hub of Singapore is found around Arab Street in a subsection of Kampong Glam, the bustling Muslim quarters. This is where travellers from all around the world get together, surrounded by fluorescent graffiti, oriental smells, and hand-knottet Persian carpets. With its bustling bars, eccentric shops, and live street music, Arab Street is the closest you will ever get a backpacker vibe in Singapore.
4 Duxton Hill. If Arab Street represent the alternative bar scene of Singapore, Duxton Hill is the sophisticated side of the Singaporean nightlife. Situated in the intersection of Duxton Road, Duxton Hill, and Tanjong Pagar Road, the area of traditional shophouses is packed with Barcelona inspired bars and restaurants. This is also where you will find Singapore’s Little Korea, offering world-class Korean food based on kimchi, barbecue, and spicy octopus.
5 China Town. Missing out on China Town of Singapore, is like going to Paris and bypassing Montmartre. This is the historical heart of the city where influences from Malaysia, Indonesia, China, and India melt together into an eclectic food experience. Go here and enjoy satay chicken, world-class curry, and Chilli crab, the signature dish of Singapore. Don’t miss the hawker centre at Hong Lim Market, offering Michelin Guide winning street food.
6 Fort Canning Park. This historically famous area of Singapore is so much more than just a park. It’s a place to meet, walk, and take a late night run under the enormous Banyan trees. Follow the circular pathways up the hill and make a visit to Raffle’s House, the National Museum of Singapore, and the Fort Canning Bunker, one of few World War II remnants in Southeast Asia.
Written by Erik Ekberger. Photography: Erik Ekberger
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