Wish to paint the town red while staying booze-free in the Lion City? Yes you can!
Contrary to popular belief, there are lots of things to do in Singapore after sundown, sans alcohol.
The city of clean living has a complicated relationship with alcohol—there are many locals and expatriates who will light up at the sight of a well-stocked bar. Yet, drinking in public places after 10:30 p.m. (or after 7:30 p.m. in the “liquor control zones” of Geylang and Little India) is against the law, unless you’re consuming alcohol in an establishment that is licensed to provide it, such as a club or pub. An exception: if you happen to be at a barbeque party, you can drink to your heart’s content as well, because barbeque permits allow for alcohol consumption.
There are also those in Singapore who will decline alcohol for health and religious reasons. Many Chinese are afflicted with the Asian Flush Syndrome (or turning beet red after one drink), which is not a sign of health—in fact, it signals that they have trouble metabolising alcohol and may do well to moderate their consumption or abstain entirely. Singapore also has a sizeable Malay and Indian Muslim community, and they avoid alcohol as it is an intoxicant, which is considered haram or impermissible.
So fear not if you prefer to lead a booze-free existence, as you will be in good company with options aplenty. Let the PARKROYAL COLLECTION Pickering, Singapore team give you the low-down on Singapore late-night chillout places while staying stone-cold sober.
Address: 95 Syed Alwi Road, Singapore 207671
Phone: +65 6398 0837
Opening hours: 24 hours daily
Address: 11 Cheong Chin Nam Rd, Singapore 599736
Phone: +65 6466 5052
Opening hours: 24 hours daily
Address: 183-193 Jalan Besar, Singapore 208882
Phone: +65 6225 7788
Opening hours: Mondays, Wednesdays to Saturdays: 1:00am to 2:30pm and 6:00pm to 6:00am
Sundays: 10:00am to 3:00pm and 6:00pm to 6:00am
Closed on Tuesdays
333 Bak Kut Teh
Address: 567 Balestier Rd, Singapore 329884
Phone: +65 6352 6192
Opening hours: 24 hours daily
Ah Hak Bak Kut Teh (Kai Juan Coffeeshop)
Address: 395 Balestier Rd, Singapore 329799
Phone: +65 6253 7184
Opening hours: Tuesdays to Sundays: 5:00am to 2:00 pm and 5:00pm to 2:00am
Closed on Mondays
Who needs drinks as a social lubricant when excellent food and conversation are free-flowing? Getting out for supper is one of the top things to do in Singapore at night.
Some of Singapore’s best eateries are the ones that never sleep, and you can count on 24-hour stalwarts such as Ananda Bhavan (Indian vegetarian) and Al-Azhar (Halal; Malay, Indian) to serve up the supper of your dreams. For late-night dim sum (small bites served in steamer baskets), join other night owls at Swee Choon.
To narrow down to a single local comfort food, head to Balestier Road for Bak kut teh—pork ribs stewed with fragrant herbs and spices. 333 Bak Kut Teh is open 24 hours daily, but if you’re around shortly after midnight, you won’t go wrong with Ah Hak, a perennial favourite for taxi drivers on the late shift.
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Wondering where to go in Singapore at night? There’s something surreal about walking through a department store when everyone else is fast asleep, and being able to physically buy whatever you need at 3:00 in the morning. This is the unique experience of stepping into the all-purpose megastore Mustafa—one of the most popular 24-hour places in Singapore.
It’s almost akin to being in a six-storey museum of consumerism, even if you’re just window-shopping. Here, you will be enthralled by the 300,000 products from all over the world, some seemingly a throwback to an earlier age. To avoid getting lost, use Mustafa’s floor plan to get around. Useful services (money-changer, pharmacy) are on Level 1.
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The Mind Cafe
Address: 60A Prinsep Street, Singapore 188664
Phone: +65 6334 4426
Opening hours: Mondays to Thursdays: 2:00pm to 11:00pm
Fridays and eve of Public Holidays: 12:00am to 6:00am
Saturdays: 10:00am to 6:00am
Sundays and Public Holidays: 10:00am to 2:00am
If you and your travel buddies want to pull an all-nighter, and are looking for places to hang out at night in Singapore, board game cafes are your answer. Don’t underestimate the power of games—they’ll make you laugh or cry (nobody likes to lose), and help expand your mind.
You can either relive your childhood with classics such as Monopoly and Scrabble, or break out of your comfort zone by picking out a modern game to master. The Mind Cafe has a library of over 300 board and card games for you to choose from, as well as standard cafe offerings so that you can recharge before your next game, or next stop: sunrise-watching.
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Looking for things to do in Singapore at night alone, or with company? To catch a glimpse of some of the city’s best landmarks by night while working off excess energy, sign up for the two-hour Let’s Go Marina Bay Night Tour, where you will travel in and around Singapore’s Civic District on the wheels of your choice—bicycle or electric scooter. The tour includes a licensed guide, and safety accessories such as bicycle lights and helmets will be provided. Late-night rides are possible, if you contact Let’s Go in advance to customise a tour.
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“Coffee is a great power in my life,” declared the 19th century novelist and playwright Honoré de Balzac, who relied on the strongest brews he could concoct to galvanise his thoughts into action, “like battalions of a grand army to its legendary fighting ground.”
You too can attempt to boost your intellect, after hours, at the all-night Starbucks Reserve Coffee Bar (United Square), where you can select from rare seasonal beans while your barista recommends the best brewing method for your caffeinated creation. However, note that Balzac also cautioned: “Many people claim coffee inspires them; but as everybody likewise knows, coffee only makes boring people even more boring.”
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Ever wonder how creative types get their inspiration? “I walk everywhere in the city. Any city. You see everything you need to see for a lifetime. Every emotion. Every condition. Every fashion. Every glory,” says illustrator and writer Maira Kalman. And when you’re in Singapore, a city that is consistently ranked as one of the safest in the world, it’s common practice to stroll through the streets at all hours of the night, with little fear of repercussions.
Within the city centre, Gardens by the Bay is a popular walking spot, and one of the top places in Singapore for couples at night. To spice up your night walks, use the Geocaching app to hunt for “caches” (containers) that others have hidden in specific locations, and if you do find one, open it to have a peek, and record your name in the accompanying logbook for posterity.
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