In the mid 19th century, Boat Quay operated as the center of Singapore’s trade and business center. Located just upstream from the Singapore River mouth, Boat Quay was of both economic and cultural importance to the people of the city, and many shops and warehouses were built in the area. Today, the area remains popular and bustling, but for different reasons. The shops have been converted into bars and pubs and the warehouses into clubs and restaurants. Boat Quay is where the people of Singapore come to wind down after a busy day in the new central business district behind it.
Dine at one of the city’s best seafood restaurants as you gaze across the river. There are dozens of options, so take your time choosing. Al fresco dining is common along the river; after sunset the breeze off the river provides a welcome change to Singapore’s hot afternoons. Try traditional local noodle dishes or enjoy international fare at the wide range of restaurants available.
After you eat, visit some of the local bars. Meet the local workers at one of the hip bars or chat with fellow tourists. While the bars closest to the water are more aimed at tourists, those a block back from the quay are more authentic, and the prices reflect this. Wander through the Boat Quay pedestrian mall, just back from the river, and do some evening shopping.
Boat Quay is located in Singapore’s downtown center on the south bank of the river. The area can be reached on foot from many downtown hotels, and there is some parking available in the area for a fee. Boat Quay is served by bus and MRT, with three stations within walking distance.