Singapore is famous for its sky-high bars and majestic views.
In Singapore, like in most modern cities where rooftop bars are booming, you’ll often here a saying that rings very true: “The drinks are free, it’s the view you pay for.”
There’s no denying rooftop bars and their million-dollar views are notoriously expensive, no matter whether you’re in Singapore, Hong Kong, New York or London.
For most of us it’s a novelty, something we don’t do every week, so the best advice is to suck it up and soak in the experience when visiting a new city. And let’s not forget, it is all about the experience.
In Singapore, the rooftop bar scene is second to none, with countless bars, lounges and restaurants delivering stunning 360 degree views that are worth every cent.
Here are some of the best ‘top-floor tipples’ you’ll find in Singapore, memorable for their sweeping views across Marina Bay and out to the Singapore Strait.
1-Altitude, One Raffles Place
1-Altitude, perched on the 63rd floor at One Raffles Place, isn’t just the highest rooftop bar in the Lion City but it’s also the world’s tallest al fresco watering hole.
The cleverly designed, stylish, triangular rooftop bar offers jaw-dropping views of Singapore’s skyline. The unobstructed 360-degree view is nothing short of spectacular: they say on a clear day you can even see neighbouring Malaysia.
Featuring a sunken bar and two mixologist capsules, guests can mix their own cocktails like gin and tonic or simply just take in the sights with a flute of Krug Champagne in hand.
The spot gets extremely crowded on weekends, but that’s to be expected.
Ce La Vi, North SkyPark at Marina Bay Sands
Perched on the ‘bow’ of Tower 3 at Marina Bay Sands Hotel, Ce La Vi is perhaps the most hyped bar in Singapore.
There’s no doubt Ce La Vi’s Sky Bar, on the 57th floor at Marina Bay Sands, offers some of the city’s best views, but that means it is also incredibly touristy.
There’s a SG$20 cover charge to go up to the rooftop bar and restaurant, but that can be deducted from your bill when you buy a drink. It’s much better value than paying SG$28 just to visit the observation deck on the same level.
LeVel 33, Marina Bay Financial Centre
It’s a weird claim to fame, but LeVel 33 is the world’s highest urban craft-brewery. Housed in a glass-wrapped penthouse loft 500ft above the ground, there’s actually a functioning microbrewery at the heart of its operations.
LeVel 33 provides one of Singapore’s best vantage points for taking in jaw-dropping views of the Marina Bay Sands behemoth while sipping a glass of ice cold beer.
If cocktails are more your thing, try the aptly named signature cocktail Skylight, with vodka, spicy mango syrup, fresh lime, sugar and soda.
City Space, Swissotel The Stamford
There is a reason why City Space on level 70 of Swissotel The Stamford is popular: its plush armchairs and spectacular panoramic views, enhanced by floor-to-ceiling windows, put this bar at the top of most lists.
Once known just as Equinox, City Space is cosy and comfortable. And the amazing cocktails, which have a touch of Heston Blumenthal about them, make this a haven of sophistication late at night.
Be sure to also check out Bar Rouge, which occupies two floors above. It’s aimed more at Singapore’s young, upwardly-mobile millennials and is popular with the post-work and late night party crowd.
Lantern, Fullerton Bay Hotel
It’s hard to resist this sophisticated rooftop bar on the 5th floor of the Fullerton Bay Hotel. As well as its dramatic views across Marina Bay, the poolside vibe is hard to beat when the sun goes down and the city lights come on.
With its cushioned sun-beds, dark polished wooden tables, flickering lanterns and Latin American-inspired cocktails, Lantern has all the feel-good features you want in a rooftop bar during summer.
The bar itself is made of bronze and shaped like a lantern. It overlooks an infinity pool and several skyline-facing whirlpool tubs.
Like any popular rooftop bar, Lantern Bar is a little bit pricy and a little bit touristy, but it’s definitely worth visiting.
Loof, 331 North Bridge Road
Perched at the top of the Odeon Tower opposite the Raffles Hotel, Loof was Singapore’s first standalone rooftop bar when it opened in 2005. These days rooftop bars are a dime a dozen.
But this low-rise rooftop is a standout due to its quirky urban garden setting and outdoorsy vibe. Why else would it have been voted best bar in Singapore by TripAdvisor?
The location itself is an oasis of greenery; an urban garden that includes whicker chairs, tree trunk tables and a garden wall on the open patio.
The bar attracts a steady stream of creative and financial types who flock here after work. By night it’s party central – and is in fact one of the few places in Singapore you can play Beirut, or beer pong.