Singapore Gay Travel
Singapore gay travel advice for top hotels, gay bars, saunas, things to do & local gay life.
The Gay Travel Experience: Singapore
My visit to Singapore was brief, but in that short time I discovered so much about local Singapore gay life. I met several gay locals, expats and travelers who showed me their world. They were eager to spend a night laughing over drinks and later playing our favorite songs.
Singapore is marvelous, glimmering Southeast Asian city that you absolutely must visit. A major business hub, gay locals and ex-pats harmoniously commingle. Gay nightlife thrives here, too. Did you know there are several bars and clubs in Singapore?
Flawlessly landscaped city blocks and unique modern architecture exemplify just the beginning of Singapore. I guarantee that the local food centers, immaculate gardens and unbelievable hotel options will have you jumping to book a trip!
Gay Singapore: Hotels & Where to Stay
Singapore is a rather large city. I recommend you stay in a hotel in the city center (near Raffles Place or Marina Bay) so you can easily walk to the main attractions. Anywhere nearby a waterfront is a good bet, whether it’s the Singapore Marina or Singapore River.
For the best views, check hotels in Boat Quay, the neighborhood that borders the marina to the north. You definitely won’t be disappointed.
You’ve probably already heard of this famous hotel, but Marina Bay Sands is one of the most exclusive. It’s known for having the world’s largest infinity pool. You can only access it if you’re a guest of the hotel!
Hostels in Singapore are especially popular with travelers making their way through Southeast Asia since the city is quite expensive. Be careful not to accidentally book any of the day-use only listings. In general, hostels will cost at least 35 Euro/$40 USD per night.
I crashed at the cozy and modern B.E.A.T. Capsule Hostel, located directly on the Singapore River close to the marina. This hostel was by far the best I’ve ever stayed in. Air conditioned and private, it was perfect for spending a few nights.
Does Singapore Have a Gay Neighborhood?
Although Singapore is an extremely modern society and a world business hub, the country remains very conservative in all aspects of life. Gay men tend not to congregate into a single gay neighborhood in Singapore.
Many gay ex-pats live in Singapore on foreign business assignments. These guys will be living in company-provided housing and so you will usually find them nearby the business districts.
The locals on the other hand are spread out. They don’t live in a single “gay” area.
Singapore Gay Travel Experiences
The iconic Gardens By The Bay was my favorite spot in Singapore. But, there’s much more to it than the famous Supertree Grove!
Take a walk along the pond at Gardens by the Bay for some tranquility and to escape the tourist crowds. There are plenty of hidden walkways with diverse plantings to see. See the different Gardens By The Bay attractions in the video below.
Explore Marina Bay
Walking along Marina Bay is a great option for an entire afternoon. You can take in views of the skyline while strolling along the waterfront. I started my journey from my hostel on Boat Quay and walked to the shops at Marina Bay Sands, where I could cool off in the air conditioning.
Along Boat Quay are a bunch of small outdoor restaurants overlooking the fountain in the river. This area of town is where you will find the cheapest beer in the city, and it really comes alive after sunset.
Alcohol can be expensive in Singapore, but this adorable waterfront promenade is perfect for an evening of cheap drinks. I ate at Forum Restaurant, however most restaurants here more or less offer the same options.
The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands is quite a pleasant place to walk through and window shop. Its an ultra-modern mall with high-end stores and cafés. On the lowest level there’s a food court where you can get some cheap eats.
The Maxwell Hawker Center
Locals and tourists alike will tell you to go to the Maxwell Hawker Center. This no-frills outdoor food stall building is great for experiencing local foods.
Expect dozens of tables bustling with people from all walks of life. Bring cash, as most places either don’t take credit cards or only accept local bank cards.
The Maxwell Hawker Center is best if you’re having an earlier dinner. After 9 PM things start to die down and the stalls close.
Make your way to Chinatown for delicious late-night restaurant options. There is a mix of food trucks and restaurants with air conditioning at the Chinatown food market.
More Things to Do in Singapore
Take a walk through Raffles Place. A beautiful outdoor plaza and promenade, this is the best spot to absorb the bustle of Singapore without being surrounded by cars whirring by. It’s a pedestrian-only zone with plenty of shopping.
Sentosa is an island south of the downtown where you can relax on the beach. It is reachable by transit, but a cab will be much more convenient. They also have a fantastic cable car that connects to the island! It’s one of the local’s favorite things to do other than eat at the hawker food centers.
Although I did not have the chance to visit, many locals told me they love to go to Sentosa to relax. You can explore Sentosa by booking a sightseeing tour.
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Singapore Gay Bars
I started my night out at a gay bar called Dorothy’s. It’s is a smaller lounge bar with a terrace overlooking some street shops. Dorothy’s closes a bit earlier in the night so it’s best to start your evening there.
Tantric Bar was my next stop. At around 2 AM on a Saturday, Tantric had a buzzing crowd! There are two outdoor patios with seating, a lounge bar area and another room where you can stand at tables.
Drag queens entertained us, strutting thought the main walkway of the outdoor space. While there’s not a ton of dancing, I’d consider Tantric to be more of a relaxed Singapore gay club.
Soon after I arrived at Tantric, I met a local gay Singaporean! We got to talking and he introduced me to his gay friends. Everyone was so friendly and given international crowd people are eager to make friends and talk with one another.
I met people from Singapore, Costa Rica, France and other countries. I’m certain you’ll be able to do the same. The diversity was also quite comforting.
Singapore Gay Saunas
It might surprise you to learn that Singapore has several gay saunas!
Keybox is the biggest gay sauna in Singapore and has recently moved to a new 5,000 square foot space. A membership card costs $10 Singaporean dollars and rates are tiered by age.
Ten Mens Club is a fantastic second gay sauna option. Their facilities are quite modern and they offer drinks and massage services. You can find Ten Mens Club’s events and promotions via the private telegram groups listed on their page.
Shogun Club is another gay sauna worth a mention. I haven’t been here myself, but the reviews online are decent. You can get info on Shogun. Similarly, more information is available through private Telegram chats.
Singapore Travel Tips
Singapore is quite expensive for a city in Southeast Asia. Prices will be about the same as most Northern European cities. However, it is easy to get by on a strict budget if you eat at the local food stands, stay in a hostel and drink in moderation!
There are plenty of options for short-term luggage storage in Singapore, ideal if you want to stash your bags somewhere more convenient to your departure destination, or if your hostel can’t hold your luggage any longer.
Singapore Gay Rights
One may think that the modernity of Singapore would come along with some gay rights, however this is not the case. The government is quite conservative and currently, there are no protections for LGBT individuals. Same-sex sexual activity is still officially illegal.
Importantly though, given Singapore is a diverse global business hub, the LGBT community is decently tolerated.
In 2019, Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong stated that everyone is welcome to come work in the country regardless of their sexual orientation. But, he also mentioned that visitors must recognize Singapore’s conservative culture and anti-gay laws.
More and more LGBT rights activists have worked hard on decriminalization efforts in recent years. For now, we must hope for progress and support those fighting for gay rights in Singapore.
I will say though, it is comforting that Singapore hase gay bars and events allowing the LGBT community to come together. can get together.
Singapore has a long way to go to catch-up with neighboring Asian countries such as India and Taiwan, where positive change has occurred recently.