The best attractions in Clarke Quay offer visitors a great range of alternative things to see and do, which doesn’t purely revolve around nightlife. Surely, Clarke Quay is famous for its stunning waterside restaurants and exciting collection of bars and clubs, but the area has so much more to offer.

    Most of the top-rated attractions around Clarke Quay are walking distance from MRT stations, and our carefully chosen selection includes a host of family-friendly activities and cultural visits that are perfect for the day time hours. This would leave you plenty of time to enjoy that thriving Clarke Quay nightlife when the sun goes down.

    What are the best things to do in Clarke Quay?

    The Singapore River lies at the heart of Clarke Quay, providing the central artery for this area’s thriving nightlife scene. However, the river offers visitors much more than just a picturesque spot to come for food and drinks. Boat tours are available that cruise up and down the entire length of the river, taking advantage of all the interesting sights along the way, and ending up in Clarke Quay, Boat Quay, and eventually the Marina Bay.

    The river snakes under historically important bridges such as Clemenceau Bridge and Anderson Bridge, as well as passing important Singapore landmarks such as the Merlion and Esplanade on its way into the Singapore Strait.

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    Location: 30 Merchant Rd, Singapore


    The Asians Civilisations Museum is a gorgeous colonial British-style building that's walking distance from Clarke Quay or Raffles Place MRT stations. The museum is home to some of Singapore’s finest collections and exhibitions, showcasing the region’s long and diverse history.

    A good 2 or 3 hours should be set aside to explore the plethora of galleries and displays, each providing something fascinating even if you don’t consider yourself to be a history buff. From the discovery of the island state to its well-documented colonialisation and cultural diversification, and all the way up to present day, the Asian Civilisations Museum traces it all with over 14,000 square metres of floor space and 1,300 artefacts from across all corners of Asia.

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    Location: 1 Empress Pl, Singapore 179555, Singapore

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 7 pm (Fridays until 9 pm)

    Phone: +65 6332 7798


    Statues of Sir Stamford Raffles

    The city-state has 2 statues of Sir Stamford Raffles, who is recognised as Singapore’s founder. Sir Raffles' dark bronze statue stands tall in front of Victoria Theatre.

    Its replica, made in pure white poly-marble, stands at North Boat Quay to mark the spot where he first landed on the island in 1819. Both areas are popular with locals, especially on cool evenings.

    Location: Victoria Theatre and North Boat Quay, Singapore


    photo by Altopian1 (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    Fort Canning Park is a small, green hill that's right in the middle of central Singapore. One minute, you’re surrounded by gleaming modern offices and sprawling malls, and the next (if you step foot inside the mark), you’re transported into what seems like a different world.

    Lush trees and vegetation are in rich supply at this unexpected spot, which is particularly popular for joggers, dog walkers, or just anybody fancying a break from the sprawling metropolis that is Singapore. Fort Canning Park can be found just behind the main complex of bars and restaurants at Clarke Quay and can be easily reached from both Clarke Quay and City Hall MRT stations.

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    Location: 70 River Valley Road, Singapore 179037, Singapore


    photo by Matt Kieffer (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    Raffles Place and its environs, situated right outside the entrance of Raffles Place MRT, are now occupied by skyscrapers such as the UOB Plaza and OUB Building. It is Singapore's business and financial centre and is often known as the Central Business District.

    From the viewing room on the 28th floor of UOB Plaza One, which is open to the public, you can get a spectacular view of Singapore River, the civic district and its colonial structures and Boat Quay. Still, there are some reminders left from when Singapore was a bustling colonial outpost.

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    Location: 1 Raffles Place, Singapore 048616, Singapore


    photo by Ramir Borja (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified


    Central Fire Station & Civil Defence Heritage Gallery

    The Central Fire Station might seem like a bit of an odd place to visit whilst you’re on holiday, but after one glance of this landmark, which is the oldest fire station in Singapore, you’ll realise just why it’s such as popular attraction. The colonial-style exterior is simply stunning, with a traditional red and white colour theme really standing out amongst the rest of the area’s modern malls and office blocks.

    Inside you’ll find the equally impressive Civil Defence Heritage Gallery, and you can walk around for free whilst learning about the interesting history of this important Singapore landmark. A great activity for kids too – especially as they get to hold some of the fire station’s equipment, sit in a truck and even don a fireman’s helmet! Find it by walking either from Clarke Quay or City Hall MRT stations.

    Location: 62 Hill Street, Singapore

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +65 6332 3178


    photo by Marcin Konsek (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified


    Boat Quay

    Boat Quay is the area of water between North Bridge Road and Anderson Bridge, just walking distance from Clarke Quay Station. Whether you’re taking a leisurely stroll along the water’s edge, or admiring the spectacular views from one of the surrounding eateries, this is one of the main focal points in the area.

    Our top tip is to head to the section of North Bridge Road that crosses the river near Clarke Quay station. Looking south from there, you have Singapore’s towering central business to your east, and the majestic Marina Bay Sands directly ahead of you, which puts on a spectacular laser show every evening at 8pm and 9:30pm. You can then peruse down one of the waterside lanes packed full of colourful bars and restaurants.

    Location: Boat Quay, Singapore


    Hong San See Temple

    Hong San See Temple is an over a century-old Chinese temple that's also a great place to check out if you’re in the Clarke Quay area and fancy something a bit more cultural than nightlife and shopping. Located on Mohamed Sultan Road, the temple is comprised of a series of buildings, courtyards and statues, making for a tranquil place of worship for Buddhists, as well as an interesting photo-op for the ever-growing number of tourists who pass by.

    Hong San See has been recognised nationally and internationally, being designated as a national monument of Singapore in 1978, as well as receiving an Award of Excellence in the 2010 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation. The closest station is Clarke Quay and it’s just a short, picturesque 10-minute walk up-river from there.

    Location: 31 Mohamed Sultan Road, Singapore

    Open: Daily from 8 am to 6 pm

    Phone: +65 6737 3683


    photo by Terence Ong (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified


    The Arts House Screening Room

    • History

    The Arts House is a great 75-seat cinema that's just a quick walk over North Bridge Road from Clarke Quay. The cinema puts on daily screenings of independent local and international films. All set in beautiful colonial-style building, The Arts House Screening Room also lays on regular art exhibitions showcasing some of the best up-and-coming artists of Singapore.

    There’s also an onsite cafe-cum-bookstore called ‘Earshot’, which is where you can discover some excellent locally written fiction whilst sipping on a cappuccino. The whole venue’ main aim is to promote local talent, be it in the written or visual form.

    Location: 1 Old Parliament Lane, Singapore 179429, Singapore

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 10 pm

    Phone: +65 6332 6900


    photo by Smuconlaw (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    The G-Max Reverse Bungy is a landmark in itself at Clarke Quay, especially when the giant bungy structure is illuminated at night. This is definitely one attraction for geared towards those craving their daily dose of adrenalin.

    Thrill seekers roll up any time after 2pm (expect a short queue in the evening), strap in, and then get launched 60 feet into the air at a speed of 200 km/h!

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    Location: 3 River Valley Rd, Clarke Quay, Singapore 179024, Singapore

    Open: Daily from 5 pm until late

    Phone: +65 6338 1766


    photo by Schristia (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified


    Lockdown Singapore

    Lockdown Singapore is a real-life escape game in which players are placed into a ‘locked’ room and have to collaboratively figure a way of getting out. Each room presents a new puzzle, some simple, some not, and if you get really stuck you can always ask the helpful staff for clues. Failing that, there’s an emergency escape door for those that become too claustrophobic or find that their time has run out – whichever comes sooner.

    Great fun for the whole family and a good alternative way to spend a rainy day in Singapore. You can find Lockdown located in ‘The Central’ shopping centre in Clarke Quay. Games cost around S$20 per person, per hour.

    Location: Clarke Quay Central, 277 Orchard Rd, #02-02, Singapore 238858, Singapore

    Open: Daily from 11 am to 10 pm

    Phone: +65 6677 8478

    Paul Smith | Compulsive Traveller

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