Singapore Gay Travel
wolfyy’s Singapore gay travel guide to hotels, hostels, things to do, gay bars, and saunas.
The Gay Travel Experience: Singapore
Singapore is a marvelous, glimmering city in Southeast Asia that gay travelers love to visit. A major business hub, gay locals and ex-pats meld together, forming a strong and vibrant gay community.
Gay nightlife also thrives in Singapore. To the surprise of many gay tourists, Singapore does have a few awesome gay bars and saunas to explore.
I discovered so much about local gay life in Singapore during my brief visit to the city. My newly-made gay locals and ex-pat friends introduced me to their city.
Flawlessly landscaped city blocks, modern architecture, and futuristic attractions are just a few of the big draws of visiting Singapore.
The local food centers, immaculate gardens, gay nightlife, and unbelievable hotel options will without a doubt convince you to book a trip to Singapore!
Gay Singapore: Hotels & Where to Stay
Singapore city center hotels near Raffles Place or Marina Bay are the most convenient places to stay. They’re great for easy access on foot to the city’s main attractions. Hotels anywhere nearby the Singapore Marina or Singapore River will be a good option.
For the best views, check hotels in Boat Quay, the neighborhood that borders the marina to the north. You definitely won’t be disappointed.
The famous Marina Bay Sands is one of the most exclusive hotels in Singapore. If you haven’t already heard about this luxurious property, it’s known for having the world’s largest infinity pool. You can only access it if you’re a guest of the hotel!
Singapore Hotels I Recommend
Here are a few other fantastic hotels and hostels for gay travelers in Singapore that are highly rated, affordable, and perfectly located for exploring the city.
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 euros ($40 USD) per night.
I loved 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.
The Singapore Gay District
Even though Singapore is a conservative nation, that hasn’t stopped a vibrant gay neighborhood from thriving here.
The Singapore gay district is effectively the Chinatown neighborhood. And while it’s not as ostentatious as the gay districts of New York or Paris, the area boasts a ton of gay nightlife and LGBT-friendly establishments.
The city’s gay district is in a convenient location, too. As I recommended in the sections above, staying anywhere in the southern half of Singapore’s Central Area will make it super convenient to access the local gay bars.
From what I could tell, though, gay locals don’t live exclusively in the Singapore gay area. LGBT people live all over the city. Gay bars tend to concentrate in Chinatown, but don’t limit yourself to staying only in this neighborhood!
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. It’s 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 Singapore’s 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 around Raffles Place, a beautiful outdoor plaza and promenade near the city’s downtown. This is the best spot to absorb the bustle of Singapore without being surrounded by cars whirring by. It’s a picturesque, pedestrian-only zone with plenty of shopping.
Sentosa is an island south of Singapore’s downtown that locals love to visit for a relaxing day on the beach. The island is reachable by transit, but going by taxi is much more convenient.
Singapore Gay Bars
Dorothy’s is a smaller gay bar in Singapore’s Chinatown neighborhood. The staff here is super friendly and welcoming to foreigners. The bar has cozy seating and a nice little terrace overlooking street shops below.
The vibe at Dorothy’s is definitely more relaxed than your typical gay bar, bit I found this to be enjoyable. They also close a bit earlier in the evening at about 10:30 PM, so it’s a good place to start your night out.
Tantric Bar was definitely my favorite Singapore gay bar. It’s popular with locals, travelers, and ex-pats. When I visited on a Saturday night, the bar packed in with people around 2 AM. It was such a fun spot.
The drag queens here were so entertaining, strutting down the main walkway of the outdoor space. Tantric is pretty big too, with two outdoor patios, a lounge bar area, and another indoor space where you can stand at high-top tables.
Soon after I arrived at Tantric, I met a local gay Singaporean! He introduced me to his gay friends, who had moved to Singapore from different countries like France and Costa Rica. Everyone here was so friendly eager to make new friends.
Singapore Gay Saunas
Given how conservative the country is, it might surprise you that Singapore has several gay saunas to explore.
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
Pack for Tropical Weather
Right on the equator, Singapore will be extremely hot and humid all year. I recommend you bring breathable clothing, pack a set of cotton handkerchiefs for sweaty day adventures, and carry an insulated water bottle so you never have to drink hot water.
See plenty more suggestions in wolfyy’s list of what to pack for tropical destinations. You’ll find my favorite waterproof gear, lightweight clothing ideas, rain gear, and tons more.
Local Luggage Storage
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 is Pretty Expensive
Singapore is quite expensive for a city in Southeast Asia. Prices will be about the same as in 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!
Taxis are relatively cheap, which is a plus. The price from the airport was reasonable. Download the Grab Taxi application and you’ll be good to go.
Singapore Gay Rights
One may think that the modernity of Singapore would come along with some gay rights. Only recently in August 2022 did Singapore’s conservative government move to abolish a colonial-era ban on same-sex sexual activity.
There are still no protections for LGBT individuals though, and gay marriage is still not recognized in Singapore. But, since the city 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.
Gay rights challenges aside, it is comforting that Singapore has gay bars and events that allow the LGBT community to come 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.
Next, check out wolfyy’s gay travel guides to destinations in Malaysia that are just north of Singapore, including Penang and Kuala Lumpur.