The Singapore River is a major waterway that runs through the city of Singapore. A favourite nightlife district and tourist hotspot, the area around the river is abuzz with the excitement of buzzing bars, eclectic eateries, and charged clubs spread across Robertson Quay, Boat Quay, and Clarke Quay. The 3.2 kilometre-long river snakes through the middle of the city, passing through Old Singapore - with Victorian-era buildings and small communities - in the north, and the Central Business District with its swanky new buildings and complexes in the south.
From being the prime source of water and an important trade route of yore to being the site of rapid industrial growth, the Singapore River has grown with the country. Some of the most noteworthy landmarks of the Garden City are located along the banks of this river, making it a tourist-favourite. Take a leisurely stroll enjoying the cool evening breeze, zoom through the waters on a speedboat, or hit the nightclubs along this iconic river!
Singapore River Cruise A visit to Singapore can be enjoyed in an exemplary manner by embarking on a cruise boat that takes you along the entire stretch of the Singapore River. Both tourists and locals love to experience riding on the rustic bumboats, the iconic crafts of Singapore. There is a live audio commentary explaining the landmarks en route and the passengers can also chose to leave the boat at any of the jetties and then continue the tour on foot. However, one cannot hop on the boat after alighting from it though. This cruise takes the passengers along the river with stops at Boat Quay, Marina Bay and Clarke Quay. The visitors get to witness the landmarks of the city from atop the bumboat that provides a rustic experience unlike anything else. The laser show cruise is a new attraction that is drawing in hundreds of people especially children who are all agog about watching a laser show on a boat.
Singapore River Boat Tours An exploration of the stretch of Singapore River can be done by taking an extensive tour of the landmarks of the city via a traditional boat. The Supreme Court of Singapore along with its Art House and the Old Parliament can be viewed from the boat itself. Passengers, eager to have a more than a glance can also choose to depart the boat at any point and walk to the structures that attract the attention. Tourists can board the boats for taking a ride along the long river to its mouth from the Raffles Landing Site jetty that happens to be the New Parliament Building. One is amazed to sight the Asian Civilizations Museum and the Victoria Concert hall on the north bank of the river almost immediately. A glance at the other side of the Singapore River brings one face to face with the bars, eateries and shopping centers frequented by the young generation. The spectacular Marina Bay comes into focus as the boat swings into it at the close of the River Explorer Boat Tour. Timings: 9:30 AM - 10:00 PM, Cost: Adults: SGD 23, Children: SGD 13, Operator: Singapore River Explorer Pte Ltd
Singapore River Safari The river themed zoo & aquarium River Safari of Singapore is one of its kind in Asia. It offers a number of attractions to the public including ten different ecosystems that exhibit different animals found across the world. The pair of giant Pandas draw in the crowds while innovative boat rides and river cruises are in great demand here as well. Timings: 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM, Last Entry 6:30 PM Cost: Adults: SGD 32, Children: SGD 21
The stretch along the side of the Singapore River makes an excellent track for individuals who want to see the landmarks of the city on foot. The Boat Quay, Esplanade area and the Merlion Park happen to be the most frequented regions in Singapore with joggers found to be going past the iconic structures along the river in the morning hours. Beginning the walk from the mouth of the river and ambling along the piers on the way is a great way to view the riverside. Unfortunately, the afternoons become too hot for taking a walk. People who are unable to wake up early wait for the cool evenings to begin their trail along the side of the Singapore River. The night skyline also presents an amazing view making this activity extremely popular.
A stroll along the Singapore River is incomplete without chancing upon true-to-life bronze statues – these magnificent works of art depict the life of Singaporeans in simpler times – they document the livelihood of the people that originally stayed in the Lion City when it was first discovered and colonized. The tastefully sculpted faces and actions transport visitors to the past. They make great photo-ops too!
People at the River – First Generation: Set up next to Fullerton Hotel, this frozen-motion statue depicts a group of boys jumping into the Singapore River, ready to play in the waters. The lively, energetic motion of the children looks just about ready to spring to life!
Fishing at Singapore River: Located at Riverwalk, this charming statue shows a boy seated on a ledge overlooking the river while his faithful dog naps beside him. Reflecting Singapore’s history as a fishing village, the hopeful expression on the boy’s face also echoes the feelings of the natives after marine life was reintroduced in the river after recent anti-pollution drives.
The River Merchants: This magnificent statue collection outside Maybank Tower depicts merchants loading their sacks on a bullock cart, while a Scottish merchant negotiates with a local Malay chief and a Chinese businessman. The attention to detail on the different sculptures and their costumes from a bygone era are sure to take visitors down memory lane.
Singapura Cats: This adorable statue near Cavenagh Bridge shows the unique Singapura breed of cats frolicking and lounging in the sun by the banks of the Singapore River. The playful motion of the kittens has been captured perfectly by the master sculptor.
From Chettiars to Financiers: This statue on the steps of the Asian Civilisation Museum shows a south Indian Chettiar – a moneylender – conducting business with traders – the interesting inclusion of a lady stock trader depicts the gender dynamics that transformed the job market in Singapore and included more women in the workforce.
A Great Emporium: Situated outside the Asian Civilisation Museum, this exhibit faithfully recreates a busy market scene in the Lion City, where European traders bargained with Chinese traders while Indian coolies indulged in manual labour. A poignant representation of Singapore’s pre-colonial times, this statue depicts the intricate dynamics at play in the country’s industrious past.
Pubs & Clubs Along Singapore River
Dallas Restaurant and Bar This retro bar located along the Singapore River is famed for its beers and Texas-style chicken and steak. With a dedicated dance floor frequented by locals and tourists alike, Dallas is a great option for a night out. Address:31 Boat Quay Timings: Monday - Thursday: 11:30 AM - 12:00 AM, Friday: 11:30 AM - 2:00 AM, Saturday: 12:00 PM - 12:00 AM, Sunday: 12:00 PM - 11:00 PM
Crazy Elephant One of the oldest establishments in Singapore, this 25-year old bar is known for its laid-back style and live music. Patrons of rock-n-roll and blues music are bound to enjoy the beats at the Crazy Elephant, where free music performances are held every day – this is old-school-cool! Address: 3E River Valley Road Timings: Tuesday - Thursday: 6:00 PM - 2:00 AM, Friday, Saturday: 5:00 PM - 3:00 AM, Sunday: 5:00 PM - 2:00 AM, Monday: 6:00 PM - 1:00 AM
The Pump Room This microbrewery located along the Singapore River prides itself on its craft beer and rich steaks. This live music dance club plays heart-thumping music and is a popular hangout spot for locals and tourists alike. Address:3B River Valley Road Timings: Sunday - Friday: 3:00 PM - 3:00 AM, Saturday: 3:00 PM - 4:00 AM
Level Up Video game lovers are in for a treat at Level Up, a concept bar with arcade games at every corner. This retro-themed arcade club is done up with flashing lights, techno music, graffiti wall art, foosball and pool tables, and beer pong corners. Talk about a blast from the past! Address: 3A River Valley Road Timings: Monday - Thursday: 5:00 PM - 2:00 AM, Friday, Saturday: 5:00 PM - 3:00 AM, Sunday: 4:00 PM - 1:00 AM
Zouk Ranked the world’s third-best DJ club, Zouk has an impressive line-up of international DJs that perform at their dance parties. Built in a repurposed warehouse, Zouk is an innovative concept club that is the hipster, ‘boujee’ joint for Singapore’s socialite circle - the dramatically lit up tunnel and experimental lighting are otherworldly! Address: 3C River Valley Road Timings: Wednesday: 10:00 PM - 3:30 AM, Thursday, Friday: 10:00 PM - 3:00 AM, Saturday: 10:00 PM - 4:00 AM, Sunday - Tuesday: Closed
Canvas This art hub-turned-nightclub supports a thriving painting community, with stunning displays of modern art and sculptures. The stand-up nights are also a must-watch for comedy enthusiasts. The local music line-up is renowned for its Asian fusion tracks. Address: 20 Upper Circular Road, The Riverwalk Timings: Tuesday: 5:00 PM - 1:00 AM, Wednesday - Friday: 5:00 PM - 3:00 AM, Saturday: 6:00 PM - 4:00 AM, Sunday, Monday: Closed
Super Loco This Mexican bar near Singapore River is famous for its dance parties with flamenco music, piñatas, and sombrero hats. The fun, festive cocktails and delicious Mexican food served the ‘familia’ way add to its charm – don’t forget to try their signature tacos! Address: 60 Robertson Quay Timings: Monday, Tuesday: 5:00 PM - 10:00 PM, Wednesday, Thursday: 5:00 PM - 11:00 PM, Friday: 5:00 PM - 11:30 PM, Saturday: 10:00 AM - 11:30 PM, Sunday: 10:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Wings Bar Known to have the best wings in town, Wings Bar is an aviation-themed pub that pays homage to the 1940’s fighter jet era. The themed space is a visual delight, and the beef ribs that come with the beer are lip-smackingly good! Address: 3D River Valley Road Timings:Saturday - Wednesday: 5:00 PM - 3:00 AM, Thursday, Friday: 5:00 PM - 4:00 AM
1. Tongkang Riverboat Dining Go with the flow of old-school romance and dine on a 19th-century riverboat at Tongkang, a floating restaurant on one of the last remaining traditional riverboats on the Singapore River. The in-house bar and seafood cooked on European volcanic rocks are a welcome change from dining on land! Address:3D River Valley Road Cuisine: Southeast Asian Must-try: Crab cakes, grilled king prawn Timings: Monday - Thursday: noon - 3:00 PM, 6:00 PM - 11:00 PM, Friday, Saturday: noon - 3:00 M, 6:00 PM - 2:00 AM, Sunday: 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM, 6:00 PM - 11:00 PM
2. Red House Seafood Restaurant The crowning glory of the Red House Seafood Restaurant is the crab – choose from a wide variety of crustaceans sourced from all around the world and cooked to perfection with a wide choice of appetisers. Address: 60 Robertson Quay Cuisine: Southeast Asian Must-try: Charcoal-grilled crab Timings: Monday - Friday: 3:00 PM - 10:00 PM (last order at 9:30 PM), Saturday, Sunday, and public holidays: noon - 10:00 PM (last order at 9:30 PM)
3. Coffeemin This concept ‘anticafé’ is a pay-as-you-go wonderland that boasts of a video gaming hub, pool table, and mini-library. Patrons spend money for time spent here, and not individual menu items - this means a virtually unlimited supply of food and drinks for the time spent at the venue. Brightly lit and replete with minimalistic décor, this café is a hip spot to get a caffeine boost while exploring Singapore River. Address: 6 Eu Tong Sen Street Cuisine: American café Must-try: Cold-brew coffee, nachos Timings: 11:00 AM - 9:30 PM
4. Shunjuu Izakaya This restaurant prides itself on serving authentic Japanese delicacies in a cosy environment. Patrons can enjoy live demonstrations as chefs prepare their food with the freshest produce and delicious wine. Address: 30 Robertson Quay Cuisine: Japanese Must-try: Fuguzake (blowfish sake) Timings: Monday - Thursday: 12:00 PM - 2:30 PM, 6:00 PM - 11:00 PM (last order at 10:00 PM), Friday, Saturday: noon - 2:30 PM, 6:00 PM - 11:30 PM (last order at 10:30 PM), Sunday: noon - 2:30 PM, 5:30 PM - 10:30 PM (last order at 10:00 PM)
5. Tomo Izakaya This restaurant oozes comfort and charm as it serves heady sake and sushi. The hibachi specials in the evening are a must-try, as are the draft beers! Address: 3A River Valley Road Cuisine: Japanese Must-try: Ebi sushi Timings: Sunday - Thursday: noon - 1:00 AM, Friday, Saturday: noon - 3:00 PM
6. Peony Jade This restaurant sells affordable comfort food, and the five-course lunch meal is known to be inexpensive and wholesome – the rice noodles and tea are delicious! Address: 3 River Valley Road Cuisine: Chinese Must-try: Lunch meal, mooncake Timings: 11:00 AM - 2:30 PM, 6:00 AM - 10:30 PM
7. Brewerkz The oldest craft brewery in Singapore, Brewerkz has an impressive food menu as well. The award-winning locally produced beers are paired perfectly with ribs, steaks, and other dishes with an Asian twist. Address: 30 Merchant Road Cuisine: Western-Asian fusion Must-try: Truffled scallop past and beer Timings: Sunday - Thursday: 12:00 PM - 12:00 AM, Friday, Saturday: noon - 1:00 AM
8. RVLT This restaurant’s claim to fame is the well-stocked wine cellar, with an expansive palette of flavours. Make sure to ask for wine recommendations from the expert connoisseurs to elevate the delicacies served! Address: 38 Carpenter Street Cuisine: Asian Must-try: Beef tartare Timings: Monday- Saturday: 5:30 PM - 12:00 AM, Sunday: closed
9. Ju Shin Jung BBQ Restaurant The first Korean charcoal barbeque restaurant in Singapore, Ju Shin Jung’s unique concept serves inexpensive ramen, soups, and delicious lunch specials. The Wagyu and pork barbeque in special Korean marinades are iconic here. Address: 30 Robertson Walk Cuisine: Korean barbeque Must-try: Wagyu beef skirt barbeque, white wine Timings: 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM, 6:00 PM - 11:00 PM (last order at 2:30 PM and 10:00 PM)
10. Tamashii Robataya This Japanese grill restaurant serves food on long wooden paddles, putting an interesting twist on the dining experience. The lunch specials are easy on the wallet, while the sake combinations make for a delicious dinner. Address: 12 North Canal Road Cuisine: Japanese grill Must-try: Sake nabe Timings: Monday - Saturday: noon - 2:30 PM, 6:30 PM - 10:30 PM, Sunday: closed
Singapore River Festival
The Singapore River Festival is a three-day event that is usually held during the months of October/ November each year. It is a gala celebration of the river's heritage with beautiful art depicting Singapore River and all things related to it. People throng the grounds to watch the theatres at the Clarke Quay while others enjoy tucking into the delicacies available at the makeshift food stalls set up for the occasion. The LAH Bazaars provides an opportunity for the visitors to shop until they drop while participating at the SR Gameshow enables each and everyone to win quick prizes.
How to Reach Singapore River
The Singapore River cuts through the Central Business District of Singapore and can be reached by taking the MRT to Raffles Place. Visitors can also reach the riverside at Clarke Quay, the pier known as the common boarding spot for river cruise boats. MRTs travelling along the North-East Line stop at the station. However, people hoping to reach the western side of the river need to walk for at least 15 minutes from Clarke Quay or hop onto a river taxi.
It is best to avoid taking a stroll along the side of the river in the afternoon
Trying to visit all sections of the River Safari on the same day is likely to be too hectic
A river cruise is the best way to explore the riverfront