Singapore’s Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay and Esplanade Mall comprise a multipurpose arts centre which incorporates a concert hall, theatre, and an outdoor performance area. The venue brings a fantastic array of shows to the city’s bay area as well as some great shopping and dining experiences.
The Esplanade is a great place in Singapore to enjoy an evening of culture, whether watching local bands on stage or enjoying traditional dance performances from Malaysia and Thailand, plenty of which are free.
Locals nicknamed the building ‘The Durian’ for its looks. Pointed metallic shades cover each triangular glass pane on its dome roof, and some even say it resembles the eyes of a fly. Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay offers a romantic scene, right on the water’s edge, with sweeping views to the Singapore Flyer, Marina Bay Sands, and the Promenade.
All outdoor performances are free to the public and don’t need to be booked, which make Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay a great place for an evening stroll with a lot more to it. The covered stage resembles a trio of white sails, and there is enough seating for over 450 people.
The most impressive performance space at Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay is, without doubt, the Concert Hall, shaped and designed with optimal acoustics in mind. You feel like you’re inside a boat with curved wooden slats lining the walls and balancing the sound. There’s room for about 1,600 people over 4 levels, with an imposing organ built in the hall. Classical concerts, and popular pop and rock bands perform here.
The other main venue is The Theatre, inspired by European opera houses with a horseshoe shape, curved seating for 1,942 people, and in traditional red and gold. The space feels cosy and even in the top circles, there is a sense of intimacy between the performers and the audience. The Theatre presents both western and Asian performing arts.
Esplanade Mall is an integral part of the complex, between the 2 domes. It offers a great place to grab a bite before or after performances and to browse fantastic specialised shops – check out POPCORNPOP, where you can buy movie posters and other unusual cinema memorabilia. For the love of orchestra, Gramercy Music is where you can pick up a new violin and some sheet music.
When feeling peckish, you can feast on a great variety of local dishes from selected hawkers at the Makansutra Gluttons Bay nearby. You can easily reach the Esplanade by taking the MRT to City Hall or Esplanade Circle Line station, followed by a 10-minute walk.
Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay & Mall
Location: 1 Esplanade Drive, Singapore 038981, Singapore
Open: Daily from 8am to 2am
Phone: +65 6828 8377