Flowing through the city’s dense Central Business District, the Singapore River is closely tied to Singapore’s history and modern day-to-day life. It was on the north bank of the river where Stamford Raffles first landed to found his colony, and many government buildings still line its shores. Many of the city’s top nightlife hot spots are also situated along the river, including Boat Quay, Clarke Quay, and Robertson Quay.
Whether cruising its waters or sitting along the river banks, viewing the Singapore River is a quintessential experience while in the city. Night owls will want to make their way here for the party scenes along the riverfront, but it’s also possible to take in Singapore’s historic architecture and bridges aboard a Singapore River cruise or on a city sightseeing tour that also stops at other popular attractions like Merlion Park, Kampong Glam, and Chinatown.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Check out the river’s nightlife zone for a lively party scene.
- Don’t forget your camera and comfortable walking shoes; there’s a lot to see near the river’s banks.
- See the river aboard the hop-on hop-off bus, with stops at points of interest like Orchard Road, Gardens by the Bay, and Chinatown.
How to Get There
The Singapore riverside is most easily accessed via the Raffles Place or Clarke Quay MRT stations. Walk along the shores to get from point to point, or take a boat ride.
When to Get There
As temperatures in Singapore can get quite hot during the day, the best time to explore the river is in the early morning (for walking or jogging) or in the evening. Things really come alive after sundown, when bars and restaurants buzz with a mix of locals and tourists. Head to the Marina Bay Sands at the mouth of the river in the evening for the free Spectra light and water show on the bay.
Views of the River from Above
Seeing the Singapore River from a bird’s-eye view is another popular way to experience it. Two of the best views are found at the river’s mouth: while riding the Singapore Flyer Ferris wheel and from the observation deck at Marina Bay Sands Skypark. A great view of the river is also found at Singapore’s highest observation platform, the 1-Altitude Viewing Gallery, rising 925 feet (282 meters) above the city.