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Despite its modest size Singapore has some of the best bars in the world, many of which make the most of the stunning views of the city’s beautiful skyline. Here are seven bars worth travelling to the heavens for next time you’re in the Lion City.
At 282m above sea level, 1-Altitude is the tallest al fresco bar in the world and Singapore’s loftiest place to grab a drink. If you visit the rooftop on Level 63 at One Raffles Place during the day you’ll pay SGD$25 and get one complimentary non-alcoholic drink at the top; after 6pm you’ll pay more but your ticket includes two free drinks. A level down is Stellar, the city’s highest fine dining restaurant, which specialises in Australian-style cuisine.
Smoke & Mirrors
For trackside views of the F1 action come Singapore Grand Prix time each September -- and amazing harbour and city views year round -- check out Smoke & Mirrors on the rooftop terrace of the historic National Gallery Singapore in the Civic District. Innovative head bartender Jorge Conde is a whiz behind the cocktail shaker; his latest menu, Illusion of Flavours, takes inspiration from classic cocktails and combines art, artistry and chemistry. ‘Robbery at the Museum’ is Conde’s take on the Singapore Sling made with local gin, sour cherry, locally sourced herbs, fermented pineapple and fizzy foam, while ‘Bossa Nova’ uses local and Asian ingredients including lemongrass and cachaça instead of mint and lime in the classic mojito.
You’ll find the world’s highest urban microbrewery on the 33rd floor of the Marina Bay Financial Centre Tower which not only serves up glorious views from its terrace, but a fine selection of housemade craft brews too. LeVeL33 also offers a damned fine gourmet ‘Beer Dining’ menu from 2.30pm daily featuring the likes of wagyu beef burgers, Moroccan lamb ribs and cod roe dip. Yum.
Ce La Vi
Here’s the bad news first: A visit to this incredible bar on the roof of the Marina Bay Sands trio of towers won’t get you a swim in its famous pool (you have to be a guest of the hotel), but you’re guaranteed amazing views regardless. Before 10pm your entry fee of SGD$22 goes towards food and drinks and if you time your visit for dusk you’ll get to see the lights of the city and harbour come alive as the sun goes down. Stay on for the Spectra evening light show beamed daily from the towers at 8 and 9pm, and 11pm from Friday to Monday.
The Fullerton Bay Hotel on the Marina Bay waterfront is not only a beautiful hotel, it boasts one of the city’s most stylish rooftop bars, Lantern. If you manage to secure a table on the waterfront side of the bar you’ll be treated to unparalleled views of the action on the harbour, including a different view of the Marina Bay Sands’ light show from across the water. But don’t worry if you miss out on ringside seats -- the atmosphere around the infinity pool is just as memorable.
Club St and Ann Siang Hill
For a different and more relaxed vibe, head over to the cool entertainment precinct around Chinatown’s Club St and the intersecting Ann Siang Hill, which is closed off to traffic on Friday and Saturday evenings. Boutique bars and eateries such as Oxwell & Co are housed in preserved shophouses both on high, at street level and below ground; we recommend wearing a pair of flat shoes and embarking on a mini pub crawl.
For a truly unique Singapore experience that’s not quite rooftop level but spectacular nonetheless, head up to the 70th floor of Swissotel The Stamford to Skai, a stylish, contemporary grill and craft cocktail bar with Japanese-inspired minimalist decor. Also home to the 1 Michelin-starred Jaan by Kirk Westaway restaurant, which specialises in showcasing British fine-dining cuisine in a modern way, Level 70 offers incredible panoramic views of the city skyline and Marina Bay via its floor-to-ceiling windows; a level up is Bar Rouge, one of Singapore’s most banging clubs.