Top bars in Singapore

Best bars in Singapore

Affluent, and with a large expat community, Singapore supports a huge range of drinking holes, ranging from cocktail bars to a particular fondness for rooftop venues.

  1. Aura Sky Lounge
  2. Atlas
  3. Camp Kilo Charcoal Club
  4. The Long Bar
  5. Café Iguana
  6. 1-Altitude
  7. Zouk
  8. Red Dot Brewhouse
  9. Harry’s
  10. The Penny Black

There are also a few glitzy and vibrant clubs where people let their hair down to lively sounds. Some venues regularly manage to lure the world’s leading DJs to play, too.

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1. Aura Sky Lounge

Set in the Colonial District, go to the Aura Sky Lounge for one of the panoramic views out over the Padang taking in Marina Bay Sands, Esplanade, the Singapore Flyer, South Beach and the Financial District; after dark is best. This is one of the most rewarding bars in Singapore with its fabulous views.

Vibe: Incredible views

Area: Colonial District

2. Atlas

Aptly located at the Gotham-esque Parkview Square, Atlas is a palatial mix of Jazz Age glamour, all gilt Art Deco-style fittings. Cabinets stretching to the lofty ceiling hold an interesting selection of wines and spirits, including some fiendishly expensive vintages. If you don’t feel like indulging, just come for a daytime coffee and a long gawp. Staff are laid back and there’s a smart-casual dress after 5pm. Singapore bars don’t get much better than this.

Vibe: Classy wine bar

Area: Close to Kallang

3. Camp Kilo Charcoal Club

Despite the address, Camp Kilo Charcoal Club has nothing to do with Bugis St, nor is it a club. Kampong Bugis is presently a meadow, the fallow site of a former gasworks, awaiting major redevelopment, and the Charcoal Club is a sort of DIY open-air bar-restaurant at ground level in a partly disused building. They’re big on Sapporo beers and ciders, while food wise the star is the whole roast pig. It’s all totally relaxed, family-friendly and faintly anarchic - there’s hardly anything like it elsewhere in town.

Vibe: Open-air bar

Area: Close to Kallang

4. The Long Bar

Don’t be surprised to find your feet shuffling through peanut shells at The Long Bar - punters chucking the shells on the floor, in contravention of just about everything modern Singapore stands for, is just one of the traditions maintained at this institution. More famous, of course, is that of the Singapore Sling, invented here in 1915: very pink, a bit cloying and priced at an eye-popping $38. The green metal contraption with hand cranks at the bar, incidentally, mixes several Slings at one go. No happy hour.

Vibe: Traditional bar

Area: Close to Kampong Glam

5. Café Iguana

At Café Iguana, you can find a great selection of tequilas and margaritas, plus beers from the microbrewery of sister venue Brewerkz two doors away; happy hour until 7pm. There’s plenty of tasty Mexican food to enjoy too, think tortillas and cheesy nachos.

Vibe: Cocktails

Area: Boat quay to riverside point

6. 1-Altitude

Even if this isn’t “the world’s highest alfresco bar”, as it proclaims, but merely one of the loftiest, the views of the Colonial District, Marina Bay and Chinatown from the roof of the One Raffles Place tower are simply stunning. Perhaps best to drop by at 1- Altitude towards the end of your stay, when you can make sense of the cityscape and ponder the myriad changes that half a century of rapid growth has wrought. Cover charge around $35 ($45 after 9pm) including two drinks.

Vibe: Trendy bar with soaring views

Area: Tanjong Pagar

7. Zouk

In business since 1991, Zouk is the one constant in Singapore’s clubbing firmament, specialising in house and other dance sounds. Its sizable Clarke Quay premises ooze postindustrial chic and hold four venues, including two bars and its little-sister club Phuture, where the emphasis is more on hip-hop and R&B. Photo ID required.

Vibe: Pumping club

Area: Near Outram

8. Red Dot Brewhouse

Many of Singapore’s slicker bars are expat-run, but not the Red Dot Brewhouse, the brainchild of one local who got bitten by the homebrew bug many years ago. Among their range of beers and ales, the most radical is the Monster Green Lager, rich in blue-green algae regarded by some as a superfood.

Vibe: Brewhouse

Area: Boat quay to riverside point

9. Harry’s

Singapore’s most ubiquitous chain of bars started out here and now has some twenty branches islandwide. Popular with locals as well as foreigners, Harry’s does half a dozen draught beers and ciders, plus light meals and snacks; happy hour is until 8pm.

Vibe: Chain bar

Area: Dotted around the city

10. The Penny Black

Not a convincing evocation of a “Victorian London pub” as their sign states, but pleasant enough, with one table built around a red pillar box to evoke the UK. There’s Strongbow cider and Old Speckled Hen on draught, plenty of pub grub - fish and chips, cottage pie, even chicken tikka masala - and live British football on TV. Happy hour until 8pm. If you’re missing home The Penny Black is one of the best bars in Singapore for you. If you’re looking for cheap holidays to Singapore, take a look at our selection - we’ve certainly got you covered.

Vibe: Pub

Area: Near Outram

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