Once upon a time, nightlife in Bugis was the talking point of the town. The neighbourhood used to be a magnet for sailors from overseas, and come nightfall, the streets would fill up with entertainers, transvestites and markets stalls – all doing their best to keep the visiting military personnel occupied. Nowadays, any discussion of Singapore’s most famous nightlife usually shies away from this multicultural neighbourhood, which today is generally thought of as more of a shopping district.
The best nightlife in Bugis and Kampong Glam (the Arab quarter of the area) includes bustling late-night cafes, hip cocktail hangouts, and the odd Thai disco and ‘KTV lounge’ popping up on a regular basis.
Golden Mile Complex
Come nightfall, the Golden Mile Complex – sometimes referred to as ‘Little Thailand’ – transforms from a shopping/dining centre into a complex of beer bars, KTV lounges and naughty late night Thai discos. Most of the local male clientele come with some cash to splash, whilst most of the females in the building tend to be the ones working, be it singing, dancing or serving drinks.
If you’re missing Thailand and yearning for a Chang beer or some cheesy Thai pop, all in some ever-so friendly and unpretentious surroundings, the Golden Mile Complex does offer a fun and interesting night out in Singapore.
Location: 5001 Beach Road
Open: 11:00 Daily. Club/bar opening times vary.
Camp Kilo Charcoal Club
Camp Kilo Charcoal Club opened as Kilo Lounge on the top floor of the 66 Kampong Bugis Building in early 2014, following in the footsteps of its older brother ‘Kilo Kitchen’ (on the ground floor), as well as a range of other trendy joints in what might be one of Singapore’s hippest buildings.
With its regular late night events, the club has quickly earned a reputation for hosting some warehouse-style parties, complete with a strict underground music policy, less strict dress code and some rather ambiguous closing times (such as ‘it ends when you leave’). Come at a more civilised hour to delve into their sophisticated cocktail menu, or try the Japanese’s food at Kilo Kitchen on the ground floor.
Location: 66 Kampong Bugis, #01-01, Singapore 338987, Singapore
Open: Friday from 5.30pm to 11pm, Saturday–Sunday from 11am to 11pm (closed Monday–Thursday)
Phone: +65 9830 6252
If there’s one thing that Bar Stories specialises in, then it’s their unique cocktails that’ll leave you both impressed and intrigued. One thing that Bar Stories isn’t so big on, however, is its supply of menus – as there are none. Instead, mixologists craft cocktails to cater for your individual tastes and requests, although we’re pretty sure that they’ve got a tried-and-tested list of cocktails stored mentally, rather than on paper.
Having no drinks menu, (and thus not really knowing what combination of spirits you’re putting into your body) is a bold move, but one that has clearly worked for Bar Stories. This swanky spot consistently ranks alongside Singapore’s finest cocktail bars, as well as making our very own list of Bugis’s best nightlife!
Location: 55-57A Haji Ln, Singapore 189248, Singapore
Open: Sunday–Thursday from 5pm to 1am, Friday–Saturday from 5pm to 2am
Phone: +65 6298 0838
Beavers Pub & Grill
For cheap beers and feel-good American food in the Bugis area, look no further than Beavers Pub & Grill. Located just a couple of blocks away from Bugis MRT on Liang Seah Street, this no-thrills diner has some great happy hour offers, including 2 pints of Hoegaarden or Stella for about S$24.5 and a list of cheap cocktails.
Their menu wins no prizes for gourmet dining, nor does it try to either, with large and sloppy servings of steak, wings, pasta, ribs and roast chicken to name a few. They also lay on the fun Friday night parties where you’ll find an anything-goes atmosphere – helped in no small part by the skimpily dressed stage dancers.
Location: 33 Liang Seah St, Singapore 189054, Singapore
Open: Daily from 12pm until late
Phone: +65 6338 4595
Bugis Street Market
There’s a plentiful supply of great cafes, bars and the odd club in the Bugis area. But it is also a popular shopping destination after all, especially with the bustling Bugis Street Market. The market really comes alive at night. When the sun goes down, so do the temperatures, meaning that tackling this gauntlet of 800 shops and vendors is a far more comfortable and laid back experience.
Why not combine shopping at Bugis Street Market (before it closes at 10pm) with dinner nearby, before hitting one of the great bars and pubs for some drinks to make a perfect night out in Bugis.
Location: 3 New Bugis Street, Singapore 188867, Singapore
Open: Daily from 11am to 10pm
Hippie-hangout ‘Going Om’ on the oh-so-cool Haji Lane is one of the few genuine dive bars in Singapore. Inspired by ‘the spirit of the Nepali mountains’ (need we say more), Going Om really has gone all out for the whole rough-and-ready look, with tired looking rugs and cushions strewn over the place, exposed brickwork and plug-in fans cooling you off instead of air-con.
If you’re into the whole tree-hugging vibe, or just fancy a change of pace from Singapore’s more polished nightlife scene, Going Om actually presents a pretty fun and friendly option. They also have shishas, decent beer deals, and hold the odd live music event.
Location: 63 Haji Ln, Singapore 189256, Singapore
Open: Tuesday–Thursday and Sunday from midday to midnight, Friday–Saturday from midday to 1am (closed on Mondays)
Phone: +65 6396 3592
Blu Jaz Cafe
This artsy cafe oozes personality with its live music performances and multicoloured theme and is one of the few venues in the immediate Kampong Glam neighbourhood where you can get served an alcoholic drink late at night.
The 3-storey building has some great alfresco dining the ground floor, whilst on the second you’ll find a bar/dance floor and there’s a chill out zone on the third. Come on the weekend to find the surprisingly talented local DJ doing his best to fill the dance floor, or midweek for their comedy night (advisable to check exact dates with the phone number proved below!)
Location: 11 Bali Ln, Historic Kampong Glam, Singapore 189848, Singapore
Open: Sunday–Thursday from midday to 1am, Friday–Saturday from midday to 2am
Phone: +65 6292 3800