The best of the best
At River Safari
Yes, the Singapore Zoo, Night Safari and Jurong Bird Park are all excellent attractions in their own right but we love the lesser known River Safari. The river-themed wildlife park walks you through the greatest rivers in the world including the Amazon and the Nile. Plus, say hi to giant pandas, Kai Kai and Jia Jia.
There’s nothing quite like getting elbow-deep into a plate of chilli crab. It’s sweet, savoury, tangy and spicy all in one bite and is best mopped up with a deep-fried mantou. Have it at a neighbourhood zi char joint or at Jumbo Seafood, of course.
The wetland reserve of mangrove swamps, ponds and secondary forest is home to 140 species of birds. Thousands of egrets, sandpipers and plovers pass through in winter, but plenty of local species (kingfishers, herons, bitterns) are visible all year round. Early morning is the best time for birdwatching; there are observation hides, and you can rent binoculars. There are three nature trails (3-7km/2-4 miles long), and you can also spot mudskippers, monkeys and climbing crabs on the mangrove boardwalks.
You’ve seen the photos on Instagram – the gorgeous sunset glow against a bird’s-eye view of Singapore. Only hotel guests get access to the rooftop pool, so book yourself a room ASAP.
We’re so proud of our airport – it’s the best in the world! Boasting four award-winning terminals, Changi Airport’s the place to be. Ride down a giant indoor slide, explore a butterfly sanctuary and go for a quick swim in its rooftop pool (yes, you read that right). Just make sure you don’t miss your flight.
You’re in for a full day of fun and heart-racing adventure at Universal Studios Singapore. Let your feet dangle off the world’s tallest duelling roller coasters, protect the Allspark from the Decepticons and get soaked on a white water rafting experience that ends in a hair-raising drop.
Marvel at National Gallery Singapore’s extensive collection of Singaporean and Southeast Asian art. Housed in the former Supreme Court building, the museum displays over 400 masterpieces including works by pioneer Nanyang artists Chen Chon Swee, Liu Kang and Georgette Chen.
No excuses about not wanting to jump out of a plane, because now we can feel the rush of skydiving a few metres off the ground at iFly Singapore. You won’t have the Earth zooming towards you, but you will have the South China Sea to look at as your body is kept afloat in the world’s largest indoor skydiving wind tunnel.
Fall head over heels for the seasonal floral display at the Flower Dome, one of the world’s largest glass greenhouses, which showcases exotic plant species, including tulips, dahlias and cherry blossoms. And make your way to the Supertree Grove – where towering tree-like sculptures come alive at night.
At Haji Lane
Home to many hole-in-the-wall boutiques, charming cafés and watering holes, Haji Lane is, without a doubt, the original hipster enclave and our favourite shopping stretch in the city. Skip the mall and head down to this quaint neighbourhood in the Kampong Glam district – the narrow lane is lined with shophouses packed with independent small shops hawking too-cool-for-school wares. On weekends, the area is a car-free zone.
At Night Safari
Set in lush secondary rainforest, the Night Safari (and the world’s first night zoo) allows you to see what over 900 nocturnal animals – including these striped hyenas and other scarier beasts like lions and leopards – get up to after dusk, in naturalistic habitats and without barriers, via the use of special lighting techniques.
The Treetop Walk at MacRitchie Reservoir has a 250m free-standing suspension bridge connecting the two highest points of the nature reserve. We love this breathtaking experience.
At Pulau Hantu
A little off the coast of Singapore, Pulau Hantu boasts sheltered beaches and clear waters (for local standards) and are popular with diving and snorkelling enthusiasts who come for the rich marine and coral life. Get in touch with groups like Marlin Divers or The Hantu Bloggers to charter a boat to the islet.
At Pulau Ubin
Whisk yourself to the wilder (and greener) side of Singapore. Pulau Ubin’s a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Just a 15-minute bumboat ride away, the offshore island’s home to plenty of land and sea critters including wild boars and mousedeer.
Round off a trip to Kampong Glam with a visit to Sultan Mosque. The heart of the Arab Quarter, it is the largest unofficial centre of worship for Muslims locally, but visitors are welcome to enter (except during prayer services, so do avoid Fridays). Look for the curious features at the base of the dome, which is composed of many glass bottles.
The weird and wonderful Haw Par Villa is a park filled with multicoloured statues depicting scenes from Chinese history and mythology. The highlight is the Ten Courts of Hell (responsible for childhood nightmares for generations of Singaporeans) where small-scale tableaux show human sinners being punished in a variety of hideous and bloodthirsty ways – in extremely gory and graphic detail. It’s a safe bet that you will never see anything like it anywhere else.
Singapore Zoo’s Ah Meng Restaurant serves up a buffet spread of Western and local delights, but trust us – the highlight has to be the orang utans, which make their daily appearance between 9.30 to 10am – they’re friendly, well-trained and always up for a photo op! Walk off the food after at the ‘open concept’ zoo, where over 4,000 animals, including the exotic white tiger and Hamadryas baboons, live in landscaped enclosures instead of traditional cages.
At Hay Dairies
There are more than 1,000 goats of various breeds at the goat-only Hay Dairies farm, where you can take a break from the busy city and surround yourself with the animals. Milking sessions are from 9am to 11am, so come early for the main squeeze. Otherwise, you can also feed hay to the kids (the furry kind).
Give Vegas a run for its money at Singapore’s two resort casinos open for gambling all night long. The massive Marina Bay Sands offers about 500 table games and 2,500 slot machines, boasting a comprehensive selection of the newest and most popular electronic game machines; or steal away from the family-friendly fun to the casino at Resorts World Sentosa for a pick of top table games and slot machines.
At the Merlion Park
It’s cheesy, we know, but can you really visit Singapore without the obligatory tourist shot at Merlion Park? Come early to beat the crowds that throng this 2,500 sqm park, which is thankfully an easy walk from Raffles MRT station. At night, it makes a good vantage point from which to catch the laser light show at Marina Bay Sands.
Food and drink
Ah, the king of fruits. Geylang, the city’s infamous red light district, is home to plenty of roadside stalls hawking durians– but with plenty of crooks looking to swindle you out of a quick buck, it’s best to stick to places that have built up a solid reputation like Fruits Top 1 Department Store.
Navigating the maze that is Chinatown Food Complex is a bit of a task. But a tell-tale sign that you’ve found Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodle is the long queue that weaves its way through the entire hawker centre. It'll take you 2 to 3 hours to get to the front of the queue. Once you do, though, the process is swift. The star of the show is the soya sauce chicken ($7-$14). And don't be afraid to pile on juicy and moreish char siew, too. The stall also serves up roasted pork rice ($2.50), pork ribs rice ($3) and dumpling noodles ($3). Vegetable dishes include bean sprouts ($3-$4) and leafy greens cooked in oyster sauce ($4-$5).
This organic countryside farm way out in Kranji is the brainchild of Ivy Singh, the straight-talking former president of Netball Singapore. Take a tour of the farm, tuck into organic vegetables grown on-site at Poison Ivy Bistro, learn about the history of food at the Bollywood Food Museum and do much more when you make the trek to this ulu destination.
We love that Singapore never stops reinventing herself – and that applies to our food too. Labyrinth is a modern Singaporean restaurant housed in the beautiful Esplanade and it whips up dishes like chilli crab with Japanese soft shell crab and bak chor mee with Hokkaido scallops.
For those unfamiliar with Peranakan culture, throw yourself into the deep end by making a trip to Katong. From the colourful shophouses rich in heritage that line the street to the array of Peranakan restaurants that call the area home, Katong provides a feast for all your senses. We adore Chilli Padi Nonya Restaurant for classic dishes like ayam buah keluak and itek tim. It had to make our list.
It’s dark. Most of the stalls in the city have shuttered for the night. Where do the hungry night owls go? Why, Springleaf Prata Place, of course. Open ‘til midnight, this late night joint is a favourite among supper seekers looking to get their hands on greasy, sinful plates of prata slathered in curry.
The old-school Singaporean breakfast has three essential components: a robust cup of kopi, crisp and fluffy kaya butter toast and perfectly cooked soft-boiled eggs. Tong Ah Eating House hits all the right notes.
Housed in a historic building erected in the 1880s, VLV is the place to wine and dine just as a tai tai from that era would: in style. Executive chef Martin Foo, who has spent more than 25 years in restaurants like Lei Garden and Tung Lok Signatures, whips up a medley of dim sum, from crab roe Kurobuta siew mai to a Singapore chilli crab bun that’s just as good as having the real deal.
Hawker centres are an integral part of Singapore’s food landscape so treat yourself to an education of the finest degree at Tiong Bahru Market. The recently revamped centre houses more than 80 hawker stalls including legends such as Tiong Bahru Fried Kway Teow and Jian Bo Shui Kueh.
Far beyond being a gimmick to attract curious drinkers, the cocktails at Native are the real deal. While the previous menu had a drink made with ants, the new one highlights grasshoppers paired with Chalong Bay rum, wheatgrass, lemongrass and Thai basil – all crowned with a scoop of glorious coconut ice cream.
With ice cream uncles
Nothing offers sweet respite from the heat quite like ice cream served between rainbow bread or wafers. Ice cream uncles line Orchard Road selling blocks from $1.20, a small price to pay for the joy something so simple brings.
With the #eatclean movement on the rise, this vegan deli retailer bar has its sights set on bringing the raw food movement proper to Singapore. Afterglow works with local and regional farmers to procure the crops for its inventive fare like a dragon fruit, pomegranate, avocado salad bowl with chunky chopped macadamia and mint dressing ($16), and a raw taco bowl topped with salsa, walnut ‘meat’ and cashew cream ($16). The restaurant's also noted for making its own vegan cheese ($16) with cashew nuts. Adding to the buzz of the area at night, a selection of small-batch wines, craft beer and whiskeys is also served to accompany the healthy cuisine.
Local coffee roasters Papa Palheta helped pioneer the third-wave coffee scene in Singapore, particularly with the opening of their uber-popular café-retail complex, Chye Seng Huat Hardware (becoming one of the first joints to plant a flag in the hipster 'hood of Jalan Besar). Its house blends are roasted directly in the complex from single origin beans; there's also a retail wall with grinders and brew contraptions to release flavour from the beans.
At Zam Zam
There’s no preventing the pong of oil and fried dough clinging to your clothes the moment you step into this grungy shophouse unit. But it’s well worth the smell. Zam Zam has been serving up its briyani (from $6) and murtabak (from $5) for well over a century, so you can be pretty much assured of getting the legit stuff. Zam Zam – its name refers to ‘holy water’ in Arabic – has been an institution in the Kampong Glam neighbourhood since the Kerala-born Abdul Kadir opened the restaurant there in 1908. The recipes have largely remained unchanged, and unhealthy, too. (You just can’t replace ghee, can you?) So forget your diet and go for the mutton murtabak with a side of fish curry. It’s crispy on the edges and has more folds than an origami crane, within which you’ll find layers of onions, eggs and meat. If it’s briyani you’re after, Zam Zam makes its version Hyderabadi dum style: the meat is cooked together with the orange-flecked basmati, which makes the rice that much more fragrant.
READ ALSO The oldest restaurants in Singapore
At Hum Jin Pang
DIY is part of the fun at Hum Jin Pang in Maxwell Food Centre. Customers at this hawker stall are required to fry their own hum jin pang (fried sweet-savoury pancakes). Join the queue, take note what the person in front of you does, and be sure to turn the pancake over quickly – the oil is hot and everything cooks really quickly.
Kaya toast – you simply can't miss out on this classic. This widely available breakfast item of toast, butter and coconut jam, is available at every kopitiam and local coffee shop. Old-school bakery Chin Mee Chin Confectionery does a beautiful rustic job – just be sure to call them kaya buns, rather than toast – although you'll need to arrive relatively earlier if you want to score any of these babies, as they often sell out by lunchtime.
On a list of Asia's 50 Best Bars, Manhattan at Regent Singapore comes out at number one. And on according to the World's 50 Best Bars, it's number seven. It's a portal to New York City where ladies are decorated in pearls and gentlemen dressed to the nines. The menu takes you through the ages of NYC, from the 1520s to the 1970s.
If you're hungry and daring enough to chow on hearts, brains and livers then Dehesa at North Canal Road is the restaurant for you. 'Dehesa' refers to the grassland habitats of Iberian hogs, but you won't find yourself grazing on tapas portions at this restaurant. You’re more likely to pull and tear at the saucy off-cuts and innards, all expertly prepared and thoroughly delicious.
Chef-owner Ivan Brehm already has us hooked on what he dubs as ‘crossroads cooking’ – food that takes inspiration from around the world, draws parallels between cultures, and creates an understanding that all of us are fundamentally the same. The idea is to connect people over a meal, as evidenced by the handsome marble counter that runs through half the restaurant. It’s not only a place to break bread with your neighbour, it’s also where Brehm and his team whip up your soulful meal. The flavour combinations are inventive yet oddly familiar, and the technique is flawless. Case in point: the acarajé and vatapá is a nod to Brehm’s Brazilian heritage, except that the dish also recalls Indian, Thai and Singaporean influences.
It’s hard not to be impressed when you first step into ATLAS. The grand art deco-inspired bar looks exactly like a European hotel lobby of the era. Magnificent champagne-hued tapestries line the ceiling, intricate gold and bronze balconies surround the space, and, of course, a massive gin tower stands imposingly at one end. Said to house over 1,000 bottles of gin, Atlas has the most diverse collection of the spirit in the world. For an introduction to what the bar can do, get The ATLAS Martini ($24), a blend of gin, Ambrato vermouth, orange bitters, champagne vinegar and pomelo.
Taking its name from the majestic emergent tree of the rainforest, Kapok is a quirky retail addition to the National Design Centre. Explore over 100 up-and-coming and cult international brands.
At Pedder on Scotts
Your eyes won’t go hungry in this shoe and accessories haven, where a coveted pair of red sole Christian Louboutins are next to Gianvito Rossi’s signature stilettos. Spanning the entire second floor of luxury shopping destination Scotts Square, Pedder on Scotts is one for the fashionistas.
Hypebeasts and baes worth their salt ought to pay a visit to Dover Street Market – it’s the fourth in the world after London, Tokyo and New York. It stocks a wide array of designer brands, ranging from Comme des Garçons and The Row to Anti Social Social Club and Paccbet.
Not keen on paying full price for sporting gear or designer threads? No problem, there are plenty of deals to score at IMM, Singapore’s largest outlet mall, where over 90 brands such as Adidas and Club 21 park their past season’s collections.
This homegrown lifestyle store champions Singapore-designed products and, boy, are there lots to choose from. Naiise stocks over 1,000 brands selling cute stationery, household items, local books, unique touristy souvenirs and more across its six outlets.
READ ALSO The best souvenir shops in Singapore
At Hear Records
Hear Records is where you go to get lost in crates of vinyl – there are over 10,000 used ones and 5,000 new ones with weekly additions to keep things fresh. Needless to say, a vast, curated selection of records, all handpicked by owner Nick Tan, line the walls too.
One of the most outstanding buildings in the iconic glitzy shopping belt Orchard Road is Tang Plaza. As Singapore’s oldest homegrown department store, Tangs is often credited with sparking the transformation of Orchard Road into the vibrant shopping haven it’s known as today.
Up your table setting game and pick up some beautiful and functional handmade wares at Mud Rock Ceramics – these are lovingly made out of just mud and clay by the ceramic studio owners, Michelle Lim and Ng Seok Har.
Whether you’re having a sleepless night or looking for a very specific item at 2am in the morning, you can count on Mustafa Centre to supply the goods. A Singapore institution, this seven-storey mall is open round the clock and it’s extensive – like, really extensive – offerings will delight all intrepid bargain hunters looking for a deal.
At Hock Siong
If you’re all for injecting a little eclecticism into your home, head to Hock Siong to score some second-hand home furniture. This sprawling Tai Seng store is neatly (and tightly) packed with a wide range of styles from vintage rosewood to mid-century and the occasional upcycled item – these are sourced from hotels, show flats, defunct furniture shops and the like.
Tokyobike has been knocking out lightweight, attractive bicycles since the original shop opened in Tokyo almost ten years back. The concept is simple: comfort above speed. The minimalist brand has become a worldwide hit, and in addition to Japan, there are now outlets in London and Sydney as well as on our very own Haji Lane. The small shop has everything a brand enthusiast could hope for, from the complete range of frame designs and colours, right through to similarly designed flasks, pumps and adorable handmade wicker baskets.
In this day and age when brick and mortar booksellers are steadily making way for online shipping, independent bookshops like the charming Littered With Books deserves special mention. Browsing promises to be a fun affair in this spacious two-storey shophouse-turned-bookshop. Additionally, the curated selection of books on sale, ranging from bestsellers and literary classics to children's titles, is actually quite affordable, or at least cheaper than you'd expect from other bookstores.
Since 2003, Dustbunny Vintage has been selling vintage clothing and accessories alongside retro-inspired dresses designed under its own label. Favouring fresh floral patterns and feminine designs, the brand carries clothing from the ’50s to ’90s that include vintage kimonos, ’60s scooter dresses and ’80s batik shifts. Those with more expensive tastes will adore Dustbunny’s collection of rare designer handbags by Chanel, Hermès, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Salvatore Ferragamo and Bottega Veneta. Clothes and accessories start from $45, while luxury bags costs between $950 and $9,000.
Do sun salutations in gear that’s kind to the planet. The first of its kind in Singapore, this eco-friendly yoga store carries labels that use only organic cotton, bamboo blends, recycled or upcycled materials – and all are sustainably produced. Owners Kelly Hotta-Moung and Wuen Lin Tan met at Absolute Yoga’s 40-day Challenge event and, after surveying the session’s range of attire, realised there was a gap in the market for fashionable yet eco-friendly clothing for ‘yogies’. Brands on offer include Teeki, Manduka, Liforme and Yogitoes. There’s also a full selection of yoga mats and accessories, along with charming handmade artisanal jewellery.
New2U is stocked with clothing, accessories, household items and books, among other items, that have been lovingly donated and now go for as low as $1. Pro tip: visit on the last two working days of every month – all items will be sold for a 50% discount.
Arts and culture
One of Singapore's largest and most impressive museums, the Asian Civilisations Museum has seven galleries showcasing more than 2,000 artefacts from the civilisations of China, South-East Asia, South Asia and West Asia. The first floor of galleries charts the story of trade across the region, while the second floor presents systems of faith and belief and the third features materials and design used in Chinese ceramics from the Han to the Qing dynasty.
The iconic durian-looking arts centre opens its doors to visitors who are eager to have a closer look at the world-class space. Uncover how the concert hall is engineered to keep out even the slightest external noise and vibration. Be amazed at how the hall, which has hosted renowned musicians from all around the globe, can be adjusted to mimic the acoustics of a tiny room or a large cathedral.
Art and science blend seamlessly in the form of high-tech pieces at the Future World exhibition. Observe how the two seemingly contrasting entities come together in the world’s first Artscience Museum at MBS. Open your mind to the futuristic sphere of cutting-edge interactive installations and explore how art and science shape the world that we live in.
Formerly a Catholic boys’ school, the intimate building that now houses the Singapore Art Museum features a number of small, unusual and hidden gallery spaces scattered throughout the building – many of which house longrunning exhibitions showcasing their impressive collection of South-East Asian contemporary art, including a number of notable ‘pioneer’ works.
At Indian Heritage Centre
With a glowing glass façade inspired by stepwells that are commonly found in South Asia, the Indian Heritage Centre has a wealth of artifacts dotted around its five galleries. It documents and explores the history and culture of Indians, especially in relation to Singapore, all the way from the 1st century to the present day.
At The Intan
Once you step into The Intan, chances are you won’t ever want to leave. The private Peranakan home-museum in Joo Chiat gives visitors a taste of old-world Peranakan charm during its Tea Tour, which touches on Peranakan history, culture and even embroidery craft.
Revisit your good ol’ childhood memories at the Mint Museum of Toys, home to a world-class collection of vintage toys and collectable items. Ignite your child-like wonder with the thousands of toys and items on display throughout its four levels.
Journey to Singapore’s past with the National Museum of Singapore’s History Gallery and Modern Colony Gallery. The former traces the progress of the little red dot – from our years as an underdeveloped island to becoming a modern city. The latter offers a peek into the bygone days of Singapore as a British crown colony in the 1920s and 1930s.
At The Star
Ever wondered what happens when the likes of Ed Sheeran and Nick Jonas come to Singapore to perform? Go behind the scenes with the front of house and backstage tour by The Star. Listen up as the guides share juicy stories of stars like Jason Mraz and Tony Bennett.
Calling all cinephiles – this one’s for you. If you’re at The Cathay Cineplex, your moviegoing experience doesn’t have to end at the credits. Head to the second floor and you’ll find more movie magic at The Cathay Gallery. This hidden gem is a time capsule of movie memorabilia: think antique cinema chairs, cameras and film projectors. Film buffs can geek out over the gallery’s permanent exhibition, which includes a wall papered with vintage film posters of the most iconic flicks in cinematic history, such as the animated classic The Jungle Book and The Sound of Music.
Get a designer art fix inside Hermès. Situated on the third floor of the high-end designer store, this space opens whenever they have shows going on – their exhibitions are generally site-specific installations, and ironically, feature some of the most interesting and conceptual pieces around. Hermès art spaces can also be found in Berlin, Tokyo and New York.
At Singapore Dance Theatre
Witness firsthand the blood, sweat and tears that go into the art of ballet at Singapore Dance Theatre’s One @ the Ballet. The in-studio dance display happens once a month on Saturdays at 1pm and each session is narrated by artistic director Janek Schergen to give viewers a deeper understanding of the art form.
Situated on an islet in the Singapore Botanic Gardens’ Symphony Lake, the Shaw Foundation Symphony Stage is an idyllic venue for open-air concerts, with the audience sitting at the water’s edge. Of the monthly concerts held – from jazz, Latin and classical to pop and R&B – the Singapore Symphony Orchestra’s free, biannual SSO in the Park is the most popular.
At the Malay Heritage Centre
Walk in the footsteps of the Malay royals of yore by visiting the Malay Heritage Centre. The 160-year-old building used to be the royal seat and palace of the last Sultan of Singapore. Get a glimpse of the rich heritage of Singapore’s Malay community with six permanent galleries spanning two levels of the centre. Learn all about Kampong Glam’s glory days as a booming port town before Raffles landed in 1819.
The name Peranakan describes both a rich culture and a unique ethnic group, arising from the meeting of Chinese and Malay peoples. They’re known for their delicious cooking, but if you can’t wrangle a dinner invitation, head to the ten-gallery Peranakan Museum for the world’s largest and best overview of Peranakan life over three floors. Explore documents and artefacts – jewellery, silver, furniture, textiles and crockery predominate – brought to life through interactive and multimedia stations.
At National Library
With a central borrowing library, reference library and a digital library in tow, National Library aims to be more than just a place for book-reading. Showered with architectural awards before it even opened, the building is designed as two towers, linked by walkways and walled almost entirely with glass. The spacious reference section on the upper floors offers great views of the city. There are some small exhibition spaces, and it also houses the Drama Centre, which regularly showcases local productions.
Housed in Parkview Square, affectionately known as the Gotham building to locals because of its imposing nature, the Parkview Museum regular hosts rotational exhibitions that showcase everything from Italian Renaissance art to ocean conservation. Pop by to see what's on this month and enjoy a cocktail at Atlas, a gin-focused bar with over 1000 bottles of the spirit, while you're at it.
At Tea Chapter
From the heart of Chinatown, take a leisurely stroll to Tea Chapter, the oldest and biggest cultural tea house in Singapore. Soak in the rich history of Chinese tea by chatting with grand tea master, Patrick Kang.
A 380-seat space in Robertson Quay, KC Arts Centre is home to the Singapore Repertory Theatre, which heads up The Little Company. Plays staged by the troupe fall into two age categories – under five and six to 12 – and include titles like The Three Billy Goats Gruff, Rapunzel and Three Little Pigs. It’s ideal for drama lovers to introduce your kids to the imaginative world of performance. Expect an hour or two of fun-filled theatrics, with laughs all around and loads of engaging interaction between the actors and the little ones.
At STPI – Creative Workshop and Gallery
Established in 2002, the gallery promotes artistic experimentation in the mediums of print and paper, and boasts contemporary artworks in collaboration with various international curators, collectors and gallerists. At its Creative Workshop space, you’ll find artists in residency – both local and international – that challenge conventions in art with lithography, etching, screenprint, papermaking and relief print.
Music and nightlife
Shoes on? Shoes off – because at this nightlife playground footwear is totally optional. Sink your toes into Sentosa beach’s soft sand and transport yourself to the cool shores of Ibiza as you rave the night away to a blaring mix of Balearic house, beach boogie and sunshine soul. Oh, and we definitely recommend modelling your cutest swimwear.
At Blu Jaz Café
Witness pianist Aya Sekine’s intense key-smashing or treat your ears to Singaporean jazz stalwart Alemay Fernandez soulful croonings at Blujaz Café. Decked out in vibrant bohemian-inspired décor, the popular live music spot sits at the corner of Bali Lane in the Kampong Glam district and draws a crowd of young and old.
Zouk’s no stranger to all you party animals. Whether you jam to trance, techno or hip-hop, this nightlife institution’s got your back. Making its shiny new digs at Clarke Quay, the world-class club spans across two floors featuring a main dance room and Phuture, which pumps out smooth R&B tunes. For a mix of deep house and nu-disco beats, make your way up to its luxe lounge Capital.
Housed in the historic Golden Theatre, The Projector screens a selection of flicks such as cult favourites, arthouse, documentary, foreign and local. Look out for its special themed nights that are presented alongside homegrown drag collective The Glory Hoes, bringing together a series of queer films with glamourous disco after-parties to boot.
Perch yourself on this Italian restaurant-cum-rooftop bar for a killer view of our city skyline. Set 57 storeys above the ground, Lavo’s where you can sip on cocktails and tuck into heavenly plates of pasta and brick oven pizza up in the clouds. Then shimmy over to the outdoor bar and terrace where DJs dish out anthems ‘til 2am.
At Going Om
Forget Orchard Road, Haji Lane has its own pool of Ed Sheeran wannabes that fill the air with their acoustic renditions of Top 40 hits. Between Tuesday and Sunday nights, settle yourself at alfresco café Going Om and be accompanied by street performers as they belt out tunes.
Think you’re a whizz at pop culture, science and everything in between? Then it’s time to show off that noggin’ at Molly Malone’s quiz nights. Hosting weekly trivia sessions every Monday, the Irish pub spews topics from American politics and food facts to Hollywood films. Winners get beer.
At this 24-hour spa, it’s all about treating yourself. Start off by sweating it out at the sauna. Then pencil in a therapeutic deep-tissue massage session to keep the stress at bay. Also make sure to take a dip in the hot and cold pools. There’s even all-day buffet dining so you never have to leave.
Loosen up your tie and kick back at Hero’s for a post-work evening filled with playful banter, side-splitting jokes and lots of cheap booze. Held every Tuesday night, Comedy Masala has seen the likes of internationally renowned stand-ups including Lynn Ruth Miller and Tom Cotter grace its stage alongside local comedians like Sam See and Fakkah Fuzz.
It’s time to channel your inner Britney, Xtina and Celine Dion. Boasting more than 80 rooms – with five VIP suites fitted with pool tables – Manekineko’s flagship karaoke outlet offers over 150,000 songs in its library that’s updated monthly so you can sing along to all the latest hits. And more good news? Manekineko even has a bottomless buffet spread filled with fried snacks, sushi and ice cream. So come hungry.
READ ALSO The best karaoke joints in Singapore
Fitness, spas and beauty
Booking in for a hair blowout to get a bouncy, volumised finish has been all the rage for those looking for star-worthy bombshell hair. The concept at Blow+Bar is pretty simple: pick from a menu of final looks from the salon’s iPad, get a treatment to solve certain hair woes, add on extras like a manicure or a trim and then select a drink – the unique selling point here is a complimentary glass of wine to complete the indulgent experience.
You don't have to hop on a plane to a bungee jump anymore. Take the plunge at AJ Hackett Sentosa, Singapore's first and only bungee jump that's right over Siloso Beach. Dive head first or backflip your way over the edge – whatever you like. Besides the bungee, there are also other high-element activities for the thrill-seekers among you, including a giant swing that requires partners to link arms as you 'fly', a vertical skywalk where you 'walk' (facedown, mind you) down the side of the tower down to ground level, a sky bridge where you attempt to overcome your fear of height and vertigo, and a top swing where you freefall from 47m above ground.
Aramsa’s unusual location in the middle of suburban Bishan Park means that it is surrounded by nature and feels a million miles from the concrete jungle of the city centre. Individual spa suites are linked via resort-style covered walkways; some also boast sunken bathtubs in private gardens. The best part is that on Friday and Saturday nights, they extend service hours until midnight.