Feb 16, 2016
Exploring muggy Singapore by day can be a rather sweaty experience – unless you're roaming through its air-conditioned malls. But at night, when temperatures and humidity levels dip, and a cooling breeze often arrives, it's far more comfortable to move around. Here are five of the best things to do after dark.
Take a scenic, invigorating cycling tour with Biking Singapore, the brainchild of young Singaporean entrepreneur Tony Loo. Starting off at Clarke Quay, a busy wining and dining zone by the Singapore River, you'll be regaled with historical and topical anecdotes as you pedal through “old” and “new” slices of the city-state. Pit stops include the atmospheric alleys of Chinatown, the sparkling Marina Bay waterfront (from which you’ll glean spectacular panoramas of Singapore’s lit-up skyline) and Boon Tat “satay street”, where you'll sample delicious hawker food.
Food Court Hopping
When in Singapore do as the Singaporeans do – kick off an evening by hopping between aromatic food courts. Locals often spread out a meal across several hawker centres. Try, for example, char kway teow (stir-fried noodles) at the Chinatown Complex, Hainanese chicken rice at the Maxwell Road Hawker Centre and ice kacang (a sweet, slushy dessert) in the Tanjong Pagar Food Centre. All three are within walking distance of each other. Tip: eat from 6pm to 8pm, as some vendors shut up shop after this.
SEE ALSO: The Insider's Guide to Singapore
Although Singapore can’t trump Bangkok for nightlife – or cheap drinks – it still boasts pockets of buzzing twilight activity, including the adjoining Ann Siang Hill and Club Street (once a hub of Chinese clan houses) and Keong Saik Road (a spruced-up former red-light zone). Haji Lane in the Arab quarter of Kampong Glam also draws revellers until well after midnight (on weekends), with the pumping Latin tunes of Piedra Negra and Bar Stories, trendy haunts with creative mixologists.
One of the best things to do in Singapore post-sunset is to scale one of the rooftop bars that have mushroomed in recent years. Perched atop Marina Bay Sands resort, the SkyBar is the obvious choice, and offers spine-tingling views of Wonder Full – the light and water show that illuminates Singapore's marina every evening (at 8pm and 9.30pm). However, if you'd prefer to drink alfresco without the crowds, check out Potato Head Folk, a lofty bohemian-chic option in Chinatown, or Smoke and Mirrors, an upscale bar that has sprouted above the slick new National Gallery.
Gardens by the Bay – a glitzy new attraction by the marina – has become popular with tourists seeking a twilight nature fix, but the Night Safari remains one of the best things to do in Singapore after dark. This nocturnal, jungly zoo shelters more than 100 exotic species of wildlife, including lions, leopards and antelopes, while its (relatively) cool rainforest air is spiked with a chorus of frog and cicada sounds. Visitors typically navigate the zoo on a tram or via a network of trails, but for a more intimate experience, plump for the Premium Safari Adventurer Tour – a private VIP buggy-and-walking tour with an expert guide. It accommodates up to seven people, so it's perfect for a family or group of friends (and, unlike regular visitors, you'll enjoy intimate encounters with elephants, plus a gastronomic Asian buffet).