With two precious days to spend with family and loved ones to really unwind and recharge before the cycle begins again, the last thing you’d want to do is navigate a sea of tourists and weekenders under the sweltering heat in Orchard Road.
Throw in the fervent crowd doing their Christmas shopping and tourists going nuts on the Christmas decorations… you’d wish you were home instead!
The CBD however, on a weekend is the ‘ghost town’ you’d want to explore with a delectable twist – no crazy crowds, no queues, but packing a host of hidden gems that may finally give you the entertainment you need.
From brunches to shopping, from fitness classes to nightlife, we single out 10 of the best things (in no particular order) to do in the CBD on the weekend.
- Lunar Coffee Brewers (6A Shenton Way #01-49, Downtown Gallery, Singapore 068815)
A conceptual marriage between the people behind Assembly Coffee and Atlas Coffeehouse, Lunar Coffee Brewers is a choice meal and coffee option when you wake up during that awkward timing between morning and noon (because you deserve it) on a Saturday.
Serving up your coffee staples along with fusion rice bowls like the Braised Pork Belly Don ($14.50) and Miso Nori Salmon Don ($14.50), enjoy your weekend brunch in peace… just in time for your afternoon nap, if you’re that sort of person.
Opening Hours: 8 am – 8 pm (Mon to Fri), 9 am – 3 pm (Sat), Sun Closed
2. The Providore (6A Shenton Way, OUE Downtown Gallery #B1-07, Singapore 068815)
The weekends present the best opportunity for a spot of grocery shopping. If you’re not keen on spending a longer time queuing up to pay for your grocery than actually doing the shopping, The Providore is a grocery store/restaurant/winery/cooking studio hybrid that you might actually enjoy.
Pore over a selection of only the freshest and greenest produce you’ll never find in Cold Storage, or take up a cooking class while you’re there and master a new dish just in time to make for dinner – you decide.
Opening Hours: Mon – Fri 8 am -1030pm, Sat, Sun and Public Holidays 9 am – 6 pm)
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3. SW1 Clinic (6A Shenton Way #02-19 OUE Downtown Gallery Tower, 2, 068815)
If you’re looking for a little TLC to make up for 5 weekdays of perpetually neglecting your skin, this aesthetic clinic that oozes the charm of an upmarket cocktail bar is where to be.
Offering a host of beauty fixes that do not take up much of your precious weekends, this clinic’s cozy and classy setting will probably make you wish your facial cocktail took a little longer. The perfect facial pick-me-up to prep for Saturday night merrymaking with the girls later at night.
Opening hours: Mon – Fri 10 am – 8 pm, Sat 10 am – 4 pm, Closed on Sun and Public Holidays)
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4. The Autobus (6A Shenton Way, Downtown Gallery #01-01, Singapore 068815)
This one’s for the growing number of cycling enthusiasts here in Singapore. Recharge for that weekend cycling trial with your crew at The Autobus, the first bicycle-themed café for cycling hobbyists.
Offering an extensive DIY coffee and food menu that includes Eggs Benedict ($11) and Wagyu Burger ($24), this is the choice pit stop/starting point for your cycling session. The huge range of cycling equipment and apparel this café carries is just an added bonus.
Opening hours: Mon to Fri: 7am – 10pm, Sat & Sun: 7am – 3pm
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5. Neko No Niwa (54A Boat Quay Level 2, Singapore 049843)
Singaporeans are a very stressed bunch of people according to the owners of Neko No Niwa, and this café aims to alleviate all the stress by way of ‘cat-therapy’.
Purr in delight and destress as you enter the world of cats as they take their cat naps, feed off treats you hand out to them or play with a ball of yarn. Light bites and drinks are also served, in case the cats eating make you peckish as well.
Opening Hours: Daily 11 am – 10 pm (Closed on Tuesdays)
6. Chop Chop! Massage Express (Chevron House, 30 Raffles Place, #02-36 and Marina Bay Link Mall #B2-73/74)
If all the running around from appointment to appointment over the weekdays is leaving you with a sour taste in your feet, and you’re struggling to get a slot for a foot or body massage because weekend, time to look where no one would actually would – back in the CBD.
Chop Chop Massage Express’ two outlets in the CBD are open on the weekends for this purpose – to give your feet and body a fighting chance to be pampered, with no hassle or exorbitant cost.
Opening hours: Daily 10 am – 8 pm (Closed on Sundays)
7. Boulder Movement (6A Shenton Way, Downtown Gallery #B1-03, Singapore 068815)
If gym classes are too boring for you and you’re suffering from a bout of guilt from being inactive and office-bound for the past week, a more thrilling alternative to getting off your butt and being active would be giving climbing a shot at Boulder Movement.
Perfect for first-timers who want to avoid being judged in front of the masses, this low-key climbing gym is the CBD’s best-kept fitness secret. Be uninhibited and up your core levels with the help of the friendly trainers there.
Opening hours: Mon – Fri 10 am – 10:30 pm, Sat, Sun and Public Holidays (830am – 830pm)
8. The Spiffy Dapper (Level 2, 73 Amoy Street, Singapore 069892)
As the night descends upon us, there is a thirst within us that needs to be quenched. The prospect of consuming alcohol without having the wake up for work the next days is truly enticing, but where?
Behold The Spiffy Dapper, a “Jekyll and Hyde” bar that is coffeehouse by day, cocktail bar by night. Boasting a unique ambiance bereft of the boisterous and loud alcohol-buzzed crowd, have your drinks’ worth, and not have to worry about bar fights or stepping in vomit on the way to the washroom.
Opening hours: Mon – Fri 5pm – 1am, Saturday 6pm – 1am, Sunday 7pm – 1am)
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9. Ah Sam Cold Drink Stall (60 Boat Quay, Singapore 049848)
If you’re wondering why a hawker stall peddling drinks is being mentioned in this article, the owner Ah Sam might have just succeeded in making you think this is so.
Named for the irony and an ode the good ol’ hawker roots from whence food and drinks came in Singapore, this is one cocktail bar that serves up eclectic and exclusive concoctions like a Laksa-inspired cocktail and Chendol Martini, local favorites like Hokkien Mee and Char Kway Teow are also served to complement the local flavor on offer.
Opening hours: Mon – Thurs 6 pm – 12 am, Fri – Sat 6 pm – 2 am, Closed on Sundays
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10. Beer Factory (25 Church Street, Capital Square)
If you ever thought the bars in the CBD were opened for the purpose of weekday drinking for the working crowd, you’ll be surprised to know that the weekends can also be pretty happening… just ask the Beer Factory.
Famed for their ever-changing promo deals and beer towers below the $45, this place is perfect for big groups who want to skip the Clark Quay craziness and opt to drink in quantity, at quality bargains.
Opening hours: Mon – Thurs 1130am – 1 am, Friday, 1130am – 3 am, Saturday 6 pm – 3 am, Closed on Sundays)
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