As the young middle class begins to spend more on entertainment, Singapore's nightlife has also grown with its increase in interesting night spots. There are a large number of bars and discos, which are becoming increasingly sophisticated in Singapore today. Pool, wine, and cigars are the norm and that is what the young-at-heart are indulging in these days at the various groovy hangouts. Visitors can choose between exciting bars, clubs, discos, and karaoke. Serious "fun" is also available in the form of Chinese street operas, night markets, theater productions, classical music performed by the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, dances performed by the Singapore Dance Theatre, international bands, and off-Broadway productions. Singapore's nightlife does, indeed, make the country a truly bustling city.
The sustenance of Singapore's shopping scene during the day, Orchard Road pulsates to a different beat at night. It was and still is the main center for nightlife, showcasing bars, discos, and nightclubs to please all who visit this place. Many of the well known places are located in the hotels here, whereas other favorites are found in shopping centers, such as Orchard Plaza, Orchard Towers, and Ngee Ann City.
Boat Quay has become so popular that the rest of Singapore just seem to pale in comparison. It is arguably Singapore's best place to hang out. It has a good mix of high-end restaurants and alfresco dining, lively bars and pubs. It has so many bars that visitors can wander along until one takes their fancy. Boat Quay attracts everyone from the rich and famous to the younger Singaporeans. The crowds start coming at about 6 p.m. with weekends being very busy until 2 or 3 a.m. Weekdays are usually quieter with most bars closed by 1 a.m.
Although it is the quieter cousin of Boat Quay, Clarke Quay does have a good selection of places for a beer. It features five blocks of restored and renovated warehouses, which are now homes to hip entertainment, dining outlets and shops of all kinds, including second-hand and antique shops. During the daytime, Clarke Quay presents the Stay Club, which is popular for its satay (a Malay dish) and barbecued seafood. In the evening, theme pubs and bars come alive with all kinds of music, such as classic rock, hard rock, the blues, and music from the 60s. Moored Chinese junks are also refurbished into floating pubs and restaurants. The bars here are not as crowded as those in Boat Quay.
Bugis Street was named after the rugged Bugis traders who came to Singapore from Sulawesi (Celebes), Indonesia. It has been said that after disposing their goods, these traders would gather to eat, drink, and be merry until the wee hours of the morning. Although the traders are not around now, there is still plenty of merrymaking in Bugis Street with bars, discos, and a Broadway-style saloon.
Apart from serving as a departure point for Pulau Ubin, Changi is also home to Changi Village, as known by the locals. Changi Village has several cafes and restaurants. Some of these places also feature live bands. It is a laid-back spot by the sea and is an interesting place to be.
Possibly the most exciting suburb, Holland Village has a buzz of its own. It is another place to hang out with its fast food outlets, coffee houses, world-famous ice cream chains, cafes, and the numerous bars and restaurants. In a way, it resembles Boat Quay but in a more homely manner.
Apart from fine dining restaurants, Marina South has bowling lanes, pubs, clubs, wine bars, cafes, discos, and snooker parlors to entertain the various age groups in Singapore.
Singapore is definitely not short of cinemas. Apart from the usual Hollywood and Asian films, there are a few cinemas, which do feature art house movies. Such examples include Cathay Cinema's Picture House and Shaw Tower's Jade Classics. Various expatriate clubs do show certain movies. The Alliance Francaise, for example, often has movies open to the public, with some featuring English subtitles. Singapore also stages its annual film festival in April every year, with over 100 documentaries.
Singapore's theater scene has started to boom, as more Singaporeans become interested in expressing and discovering their identity. There are more local plays although there are plays, Broadway productions and concerts held here by international theater groups. Alternative theater venues are also opened to cultivate an interest in theater. Plays, workshops, poetry readings, and visual art exhibitions are held in these places.
Various shows featuring different cultures can be found all over Singapore. In Chinatown, visitors may have the chance to watch Chinese opera. Some hotels also feature dancing and music from all over the region. To find out when and where these shows are held, visitors can check local newspapers, weekly or fortnightly publications for details.