05–22 The Central
6 Eu Tong Sen Street
Tel: 65 6327 8118
Pretty young things are softly lit by glowing floor tiles and the Singapore skyline at this downtown rooftop venue in the heart of Clarke Quay. The DJ spins disco and techno beats from his station under a massive mesh chandelier. Martinis in hand, the stylish crowd canoodles on gold velour loungers placed around the open-air rooftop.
Open Mondays through Thursdays 6 pm to 1 am, Fridays and Saturdays 6 pm to 3 am.
1 Beach Road
Tel: 65 6337 1886
Though the menu promises "every alcoholic concoction imaginable," most tourists sidle up to this colonial-era bar on the second floor of the Raffles Hotel for an original Singapore Sling. The concoction of gin, cherry brandy, Cointreau, and grenadine was created in 1915 by bartender Ngiam Tong Boon especially for women, hence the pink hue. Even though it tastes like cough medicine, there's something romantic about sipping the syrupy sweetness as punkah fans spin above, just as they did when famous writers like Noël Coward, Joseph Conrad, and W. Somerset Maugham hung out here.
Open Sundays through Thursdays 11 am to 1 am, Fridays and Saturdays 11 am to 2 am.
Odeon Towers Extension Rooftop
331 North Bridge Road 03–07
Tel: 65 6338 8035
Located atop an office block, this playful rooftop venue features trees encased in metal caging and fairy lights that give a festive holiday vibe year-round. Equally popular with expatriates and locals, the bar fills up shortly after sunset and remains packed till closing. The noisy but friendly scene attracts those with penthouse-appropriate budgets. Expect to overhear work banter from the fresh faces that unwind after hours on the low-slung leather loungers beneath the oversize electrified billboard. No one seems to come for the drinks menu, which is not as impressive as the great views into colonial neighbor Raffles Hotel and around this central Singapore neighborhood.
Open Sundays through Thursdays 5 pm to 1:30 am, Fridays and Saturdays 5 pm to 3 am.
Swissôtel The Stamford, Level 71/72
2 Stamford Road
Tel: 65 6837 3322
The views from this panoramic split-level bar 71 flights above Singapore could make anyone's head spin. For an even trippier time, make advance reservations to access the 71st level, where the floors slant 20 degrees downward for an even better view. Top-40 weeknights give way to a 1970s/80s retro vibe on the weekend, attracting an older clientele that grooves to the back-in-time vibe up here in the thin air.
Open Sundays through Tuesdays 3 pm to 1 am, Wednesdays and Thursdays 3 pm to 2 am, and Fridays and Saturdays 3 pm to 3 am.
7 Emerald Hill Road
Tel: 65 6235 6626
When you're tired of the shopping madness of Orchard Road, dip down a narrow lane for tapas and wine at this two-story sidewalk café. This perennial happy-hour favorite of expats and Singaporeans never rages but promises a reliably relaxed and festive vibe. The interior is a bit dated, but the walls lined in old wine bottles put guests in a relaxed Mediterranean mood. Upstairs, a "VIP room"—actually open to anyone—offers plush club chairs and board games that seem to get more challenging as the evening's drinking wears on.
Open Sundays through Thursdays 6 pm to 2 am, Fridays and Saturdays 6 pm to 3 am.
3 Sentosa Gateway
Tel: 65 6270 7676
Nine seriously hot nightspots take up 60,000 square feet inside this 1927 former power plant, which offers fickle revelers the flexibility to move between scenes. Live R&B and soul tunes draw regulars to the Boiler Room lounge, and Dragonfly gives visitors a chance to hear the latest in Mandarin Chinese pop. Movida throbs with African, Middle Eastern, and Caribbean rhythms, while faux-crocodile sofas and exposed brick give Bar None a New York loft vibe. The 10,000-square-foot dance floor and near-deafening sound system at Powerhouse draw the dance crowd nightly. Those who prefer to play voyeur while quietly quaffing can settle into the plush seats at Gallery Bar; its windowed second-story perch overlooks all this youthful exuberance.
Open daily 6 pm to 6 am.
17 Jiak Kim Street
Tel: 65 6738 2988
Three crumbling warehouses along the Singapore River were transformed into this always throbbing entertainment complex comprising Zouk's Moorish-style disco, the soulful tunes and sophisticated intimacy of Velvet Underground, a chill-out lounge at the Wine Bar, and the hip-hop dance floor at Phuture. Younger revelers make tracks here on Friday nights, but on other nights, the stylish crowd ranges in age from 20 to well past 40, all drawn by the club's long-standing reputation and pick-your-flavor fun.
Open daily 6 pm to 3 am.