So you find yourself having a night to spend in Singapore. And it’s too early to go to bed, and what you really want is to paint the town red or do something that involves drinking alcohol and having a grand time. Then, there’s no doubt in my mind that one of the best places you should absolutely consider is Clark Quay.

As the name suggests, Clarke Quay is an ultra-modern carefully designed complex along the picturesque Singapore River. I have been in this entertainment complex a couple of times, and I have to say that this is one of my favorite attractions in the whole country. Loaded with restaurants, bars and clubs, Clarke Quay is like a one-stop shop for all your drinking, eating and entertainment needs. But to me, it also perfectly captures what Singapore is all about. It exudes that busy yet energetic cosmopolitan atmosphere. It is carefully laid out and everything about it was well thought of.  The area is brilliantly lit with tasteful neon colors. These lights are well-synchronized so that the whole complex looks like a large strobe light that beckons those who are in serious need of a fun night out in town.  And yet, Clarke Quay is far from being chaotic or near-scandalous, instead it chooses to be posh and refined.

Clarke Quay is close to the MRT station of the same name, which lies on the North-West line of the Singapore Metro system. Thus, like most key spots in this small Southeast Asian country, you will have no problem reaching Clarke Quay. This station is attached to a small mall called Clarke Quay Central, which has its own selection of retail shops, a food court, and international joints like Chili’s, Starbucks and Burger King.

Once you arrive at the station, which is underneath the mall, all you have to do is take the escalator, follow the signs, and you will soon find your way to the glorious nightlife spot within two minutes. To give you a clear idea, the Clarke Quay complex is geographically set at the back of the mall.

Clarke Quay with water reflections

Clarke Quay with water reflections

How to Get Clark Quay

Clarke Quay is close to the MRT station of the same name, which lies on the North-West line of the Singapore Metro system. Thus, like most key spots in this small Southeast Asian country, you will have no problem reaching Clarke Quay. This station is attached to a small mall called Clarke Quay Central, which has its own selection of retail shops, a food court, and international joints like Chili’s, Starbucks and Burger King.

Once you arrive at the station, which is underneath the mall, all you have to do is take the escalator, follow the signs, and you will soon find your way to the glorious nightlife spot within two minutes. To give you a clear idea, the Clarke Quay complex is geographically set at the back of the mall.

The Clark Quay Bridge

If you are walking from the Metro Station, it would be hard not to notice Clarke Quay’s iconic ‘Bridge’. This massive, fully lit-up pedestrian bridge goes over the river and connects to the main Clarke Quay complex.  The bridge is meant to be long and wide enough to handle a lot of foot traffic. But what makes the ‘Bridge’ an iconic structure to regular party revelers, is its role of being the unofficial hang out spot in Clarke Quay.  My friend who is a resident, explained that the Bridge has become the ‘place’ for those who want to have affordable drinks with friends while watching people passing by.

Indeed, the Bridge is perfect for people watching.  The structure is equipped with a high but wide enough ledge that people use to sit on. I had the opportunity to burn some time just sitting on the ledge while I enjoyed the nice breeze, the view of the river and the festive atmosphere around Clarke Quay.

The famous bridge, Clarke Quay, Singapore

The famous bridge, Clarke Quay, Singapore

If you don’t know how to properly hand out on the Clarke Quay Bridge, here is my special guide:

First, you must bring your own booze and some snacks if you want.  Take note that a recent Singaporean law was passed to ban the selling of alcohol by grocery and convenience stores from 10 pm to 7 am. So make sure you have enough before the cut-off time.

Second, bring your set of friends, preferably those who are good conversationalists. Avoid hanging out alone here because you will most likely look a) lonely and miserable or b) weird and bordering crazy.  But bringing your own set of friends does not mean that you can’t meet new people who are also enjoying the Bridge.

If you are traveling alone, bring a camera or cellphone to keep you busy. If you are lucky, you may even catch singers or street artists performing on the bridge!

The Complex Proper

Once you get to the complex, you will have a plethora of establishments to choose from.  From international chains like Hooters, brewery specialists to low-key burger joints, Clarke Quay has it all.

The entertainment district of Clarke Quay

The entertainment district of Clarke Quay

If the idea of shouting the line “shut up and dance with me” excites you, then head out to the prominent dancing clubs in the complex like Pump Room and Highlander. Both establishments act as restaurants and dance clubs. They have resident bands that play the latest pop and dance hits. The crowds are usually mixed in the Pump Room and Highlander, so there is a good chance of bumping into a fellow traveler (literally and figuratively).

Octapas is a Spanish-themed restaurant and bar, which has an outdoor and indoor setup. The earlier crowd usually comes here to try out the restaurant’s selection of tapas (pintxos).  Other Spanish dishes are also available and are served on intimate-looking candlelit high tables. But as the night progresses, so does Octapas’ energy. Not to be outdone by its competition, the restaurant usually has a band playing, especially during the weekends.

Come to think of it, the biggest and most prominent bars in Clarke Quay have their own bands. Those who are aiming for a more low-key atmosphere choose to get an acoustic band or acoustic solo performer.

So whatever your taste may be, Clarke Quay should likely have something for you. Just get ready to splurge as alcoholic drinks sold in this chic nightlife spot can range anywhere from $12 to $20 Singaporean Dollars. But hey, a night out in Clarke Quay (if done right) is worth the extra cash…

Get ready for an electrifying night in Clarke Quay, Singapore

Get ready for an electrifying night in Clarke Quay, Singapore

Accommodation Choices near Clarke Quay

Clarke Quay not only makes for a good night out, but the region is also an ideal area to stay in while visiting Singapore. Chinatown, Boat Quay, Robertson Quay, the Merlion and the breathtaking Marina are all within walking distance from Clarke Quay.  Clarke Quay is also only 200-300 meters away from the Clarke Quay MRT station which is super convenient. Despite this prime location, there are also affordable guest houses and budget hotels in right near the station as well. A map of Clarke Quay’s accommodation choices can be accessed here.

Enjoy a riverside dinner in Clarke Quay, Singapore

Enjoy a riverside dinner in Clarke Quay, Singapore

Where did we stay in Singapore?

We have visited Singapore on multiple occasions. During this trip, we stayed at Jayleen 1918 Hotel. We don’t have a direct affiliation with this property.  Therefore, in an unbiased way, we can say that we had a pleasant stay there. It’s a clean budget hotel with a colonial feel.  Nice staff and great breakfast for the price.  It’s also only 200 meters from the Clarke Quay MRT Station. It’s a rather small room though, so if you’re looking for space, shop around. At the time of writing it had a score of 7.4/10 based on 405 verified guest reviews.

How to get the cheapest rooms in Singapore?

Singapore is a very expensive city.  Therefore, try to complete your research early and identify an area that you want to stay. Once that’s done try using a large booking provider such as www.agoda.com, www.booking.com, or www.hotelscombined.com. I have created links to their respective property lists for Singapore to save you some time:

Top Rated Properties in Singapore Based on Verified Guest Reviews

Important: Mobile Users must swipe from left to right to see entire table.

Criteria:

  • Properties rated based on ‘overall’ review scores from each respective website’s verified guests.
  • Minimum of 50 verified guest reviews required to be considered eligible for comparison.
  • All www.hotels.com ratings are originally out of 5, therefore, they are multiplied by 2 for comparision purposes.
  • All star ratings and verified guest review scores are tallied at the time of writing, and therefore, are subject to change.

 

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