Singapore Travel Guide


Arts Centers

140 Hill St., Singapore, Singapore
Phone: 6270-7988
Arts Center
Singapore River
For a range of art galleries in a one-stop location, visit the MITA Building (Ministry of Information and the Arts) and head for the ARTrium space, where events are also staged, including monthly lunchtime concerts. It's only a 15-minute walk from the Singapore History Museum.

National University of Singapore, 50 Kent Ridge Crescent, Singapore, Singapore
Phone: 6874-4616, 6874-4617, or 6874-4618
Arts Center
West Coast
After visiting the Singapore Art Museum, Singapore History Museum, and the Asian Civilisations Museum -- all of which have impressive art collections -- you may not be in the mood for more museum hopping, but if you have the time, you should take a special trip out to the NUS Museums on the National University of Singapore campus at Kent Ridge. At any one time NUS displays some 1,000 objets d'art from a collection of about 10,000 pieces. Collections include the Lee Kong Chian Art Museum Chinese art collection; the South and Southeast Asian Gallery, with its ceramics and textiles; and the Ng Eng Teng Gallery, dedicated to the intriguing works of the late Singaporean sculptor and potter of that name. Admission is free; the museum is open Monday-Saturday 9-5.

61 Kerbau Rd., Singapore, Singapore
Phone: 6292-7783
Arts Center
Little India
Some quirky galleries are clustered around the Kerbau Road district of Little India, which is a pleasant area to wander, well supplied with watering holes, restaurants, and shops. Worth a look is Plastique Kinetic Worms, billed as "a community arts space organized and managed by artists." This small gallery offers a platform for young struggling artists. It's wise to phone ahead, as the management is casual and the gallery could be closed when you get there.


Asian Civilisations Museum, 1 Empress Pl., Singapore, Singapore
Phone: 6339-2876 or 6339-1720
Colonial Singapore
Movers and shakers stop moving and shaking and just chill out in front of spectacular views of the Singapore River and business district skyline. The opulent -- if a little confused -- decor includes massive Czechoslovakian crystal chandeliers and towering gold-leaf Buddha statues. The bar declares itself Asia's first prosecco (sparkling white wine) and vodka bar. It's part of Indochine, so there's Indochinese finger food such as spring rolls and prawns on sugarcane. COST: No cover charge.

11 Unity St., No. 01-30/31, Singapore, Singapore
Phone: 6235-3456
Clarke Quay
Get a taste of Spain's most exciting city at this bar with a Catalan flavor. Barcelona serves up salsa music, fine wines, and tapas-style finger food and has plenty of plush, comfy couches to sink into. There's live music Thursday-Saturday starting at 8:30 PM; the bar closes at 1 AM on weekdays and 2 AM on Saturday. COST: No cover charge.

No. 01-01 Capital Square Three, 25 Church St., off Raffles Pl., Singapore, Singapore
Phone: 6226-5505
A sophisticated but relaxed bar for the mature who like to converse, not shout, Bisous has personality thanks to its hands-on owners, particularly Dutchwoman Jacky Stevens, who is ever-present, clad in her signature vests. If you come in for an early drink, you can also enjoy a set three-course lunch (S$19); the kitchen serves substantial snacks such as fish-and-chips up to 11 PM. Bisous is also a rugby bar, sponsor of a local rugby team. Note that the bar is closed on Sunday.

No. 01-05/06 Riverside Point, 30 Merchant Rd., Singapore, Singapore
Phone: 6438-7438
Clarke Quay
Beer lovers hone in on this large pub at Riverside Point, bordering the Robertson Quay entertainment hub. Its open-plan brewery and handcrafted beers, bitters, and ales are an established hit. The pub's most popular brew among a range of five limited-edition beers and five signature brews is the India Pale Ale, but the Singapore Pale Ale, Golden Ale, Wheat Ale, and Pilsner Lager are also reliable options. American chef Dan Durkin serves up classics from his homeland such as Cajun jambalaya and a barbecue combo. The kitchen is open from noon to midnight.

Grand Hyatt Singapore, 10-12 Scotts Rd., Singapore, Singapore
Phone: 6730-7018
An impressive array of whiskeys and wine combined with excellent music and a lively singles crowd are the magnets here for globe-trotters, local lovelies, and sundry fun seekers. The music is familiar Top 40s and soul, R&B, and jazz standards, with a live band from 9 PM on, at which time the dance floor gets packed. COST: Cover charge: S$15 Wed.-Sat. after 9 PM.

No. 02-01 Orchard Parade Hotel, 1 Tanglin Rd., Singapore, Singapore
Phone: 6732-0819 or 6737-1133
To see just how devoted soccer-crazy Singaporeans are to the premier English soccer team, Manchester United -- called "the red devils" for their red jerseys -- drop in on the Devil. Big relay screens ensure patrons don't miss a single goal, the bar is awash with "Man U" memorabilia, and there are soccer souvenirs in the megastore. Besides watching the games, you can quaff the local Tiger beer, listen to live music, dance, or play pool. The bar's also made the news for its "daring" bar-top dancing. COST: Cover charge for men only, S$10 weekdays, S$15 weekends (includes 1 drink).

One Fullerton, Level 1, Singapore, Singapore
Phone: 6220-6556
Colonial Singapore
This airy seafront bar, in the Esplanade arts center area, offers Mediterranean ambience complete with tapas, which you can wash down with sangria. The crowd is cool and young; you'll find them lounging on velvet sofas, grooving to drum-n-bass and chill-out tracks from one of the resident DJs.

B1-01/06 Orchard Hotel Shopping Arcade, 442 Orchard Rd., Singapore, Singapore
Phone: 6735-0400
This pub is famed for its wine and cheese promotions, weekly Sunday Roast lunches, and excellent live Irish-Celtic bands. The pub building was built in Dublin, Ireland, and reassembled in Singapore. COST: No cover charge.

5 Emerald Hill, Singapore, Singapore
Phone: 6732-0818
No. 5 Emerald Hill Cocktail Bar, in full, is in a restored turn-of-the-20th-century, two-story Straits Chinese shophouse. It's such a relaxed place that you can loll on the floor on cushions and carpets. There are live music and pool upstairs. The truly adventurous will try the house snake and gecko wines. Bar snacks and pizzas range from S$6 to S$12. COST: No cover charge.

7 Emerald Hill Rd., Singapore, Singapore
Phone: 6235-6626
For wine lovers, Que Pasa, with its Spanish-provision-store look, is a sure bet. It's the place to lounge in style -- in deep Chesterfield chairs. Spanish tapas go for S$3-S$14 and up, wines by the glass are S$9-S$11. The upstairs lounge is bottles-only, for S$45-S$53, or you can order sangria for S$32 per jug. Monthly wine tastings are held for a nominal fee. COST: No cover charge.

No. 01-23/24 Robertson Walk, 11 Unity St., Singapore, Singapore
Phone: 6738-1318
Mohamed Sultan
A friendly and casual European-style bar, Tivoli has a strong loyalty to Carlsberg beer but is also able to produce unusual brews such as England's Tetley's. A pint of draft Carlsberg will set you back S$9. COST: No cover charge.

31 Lorong Mambong, Singapore, Singapore
Phone: 6462-4288
Holland Village
In the hip little nook known as Holland Village, somewhat off the Orchard axis, this wildly popular bar provides live music covers upstairs by house band the Unexpected and a bustling bar downstairs. There's an outdoor sitting area with a pleasant boulevardier feel to it, not to mention good food. It's always crowded. COST: No cover charge.

Dance Clubs

One Fullerton, Level 3, Singapore, Singapore
Phone: 6220-2288
Dance Club
Colonial Singapore
Decadent glam -- crystal chandeliers, fake croc-skin walls, and lurid chaise longues -- makes the perfect backdrop for the cool and trendy, who are seen posing here nightly. This spanking new club is near the downtown Esplanade arts center, just opposite the Fullerton Hotel. Centro's views across the waterfront are dramatic and panoramic through ceiling-to-floor glass walls. The music is mostly house with variations, dished up by four resident DJs. There are occasional live gigs, too, often international names. The minimum age to get in is 22. Note that the club is closed Monday and Tuesday. COST: Cover charge: men $28, women $22; women free Wed.

Pacific Plaza Penthouse, 12th floor, 9 Scotts Rd., Singapore, Singapore
Phone: 6734-7677
Dance Club
This lavish, 10,000-square-ft penthouse disco was previously the very happening Venom -- the Gothic steel-pipe interior has now given way to Oriental teak paneling and Chinese calligraphic hangings. There's a bit more bar space than dance space now, but it's still a dancer's dream, dishing up DJ-spun Top 40 pop, techno, and house music. The club has retained all the attitude of Venom, as well as the long lines outside. Note that the club is closed on Monday. COST: Cover charge: S$15 Mon.-Thurs. (after 10 PM); S$18 for women, S$22 for men Fri. and Sat.; S$18 women, S$25 men Sun.

Fountain Court, Chijmes, No. B1-07/08, 30 Victoria St., Singapore, Singapore
Phone: 6338-9388
Dance Club
Colonial Singapore
By day it's a Tex-Mex American-style restaurant, by night a busy yuppie disco featuring retro tunes for the over-25 set, who line up to get in. The decor is fashionable contemporary Chinese. There are jam sessions on Monday night. Unlike many dance clubs, it has a reputation for friendly service. COST: Cover charge: S$25 men, S$20 women Thurs.-Sat. (after 10:30 PM); women free on Wed.

No. 02-05 Leisure Park, 5 Stadium Walk, Singapore, Singapore
Phone: 6348-3211
Dance Club
East Coast/Kallang
A huge dance floor offers the proper scope for serious ballroom dancers at this palatial venue, which also has 45 private karaoke rooms staffed by those female "guest relations officers" (the place is also known as Theatre Nite Club KTV Lounge). This must be one of the last bastions of the old-fashioned tea dance, which takes place on Sunday at 2 PM. It's sometimes booked out for private functions, so call ahead. Live bands from China and other countries do the honors.

No. B1-02 Specialists Shopping Centre, 277 Orchard Rd., Singapore, Singapore
Phone: 6834-1221
Dance Club
This is where the ever-changing Singapore nightlife can get confusing: the current incarnation of Europa Ridleys is at the former location of the Pleasure Dome nightclub; the former Europa Ridleys was at ANA Hotel, where there is now Europa Ibiza. Got that? Blue and orange lighting and decor themed on -- believe it or not -- famous fragrances set the somewhat odd tone in the disco section. There is an adjacent wine bar. A young (strictly twenties) local crowd dances the night away. COST: Cover charge: Fri.-Sat. women S$20, men S$22.

Mezzanine story, ANA Hotel, 16 Nassim Hill, Singapore, Singapore
Phone: 6235-0135
Dance Club
The respected Europa group still manages this revamp of the former Europa Ridleys. It's an anything-goes party place -- casual enough to permit sandals and shorts. The Red Room section targets women patrons, offering beauty manicures, makeovers, and massages, from S$15. The music selection is wide, including Latin, jazz, and house, and live acts are imported from overseas. The crowd is mixed, but mostly business class, as the location is somewhat off the beaten track of Orchard Road. Note that the club is closed Sunday and Monday. COST: Cover charge: one drink minimum.

No. 01-02/03 Central Mall, 5 Magazine Rd., Singapore, Singapore
Phone: 6557-0828
Dance Club
Singapore River
The SOS tag refers to the popular former Sultan of Swing club that used to be on this site. Madam Wong's moved here after growing out of its original digs on Mohamed Sultan Road. With the exception of the address not much else has changed -- lush oriental decor pervades, retro and Top 40 DJs are still the staple, and the club's name alone has pulled its usual trendy crowd with it. There's a happy-hour buffet (S$20), including free-flowing draft beer, spirits, and wines. Note the age requirement: men must be at least 22 to enter, women must be at least 20.

No. 05-19 Orchard Plaza, 150 Orchard Rd., Singapore, Singapore
Phone: 6735-6133
Dance Club
Sole heir to the now defunct Fire club, Sparks occupies Fire's former premises, complete with upstairs karaoke rooms. Here you'll find live music for a lively young crowd. COST: Mon.-Thurs. women free, men S$8; Fri.-Sat. S$15.

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