Being a teenager in Singapore has its perks. Not only is the Red Dot incredibly safe to be out and about at practically any hour, there are plenty of cool neighbourhoods, enclaves and laidback spots to hang out at too. We roped in expat teenager Zazie Atkinson to share some of her favourite places to visit with her mates.
1. Holland Village
One of the most popular ‘hoods among teens is Holland Village, which is conveniently located near an MRT station and several bus stops. While it is calm during the day time, once the sun goes down it gets packed full with teens and young adults. Although it is mainly a place to eat and drink, and boasts many cafes and restaurants, it is a great place to hang out among the roads, as the police come and close off the main street, making it a pedestrian friendly place to sit and talk with friends all night long.
2. Orchard Road
The best place for expat teens to shop and eat is by far Orchard Road. From start to end, this road boasts many shopping malls containing all the well-known brands, as well as some independent cult favourites. Whether you’re looking for clothes, makeup, or anything for that matter, Orchard Road will likely have it. Many teens like to gather at Scape. The shopping complex has a skatepark, quaint little stalls and a market on the weekends where you can buy all kinds of knick-knacks.
3. Sentosa Island
If you are looking for a relaxing beach day, head to Sentosa Island. For the most memorable experience, you can take the cable cars from VivoCity and enjoy astounding views during the journey up. The island has three different beaches – Siloso Beach, Tanjong Beach and Palawan Beach – where you can have a swim, do some water sports or simply have a rest on the sandy shores. There are also many attractions, such as Universal Studios Theme Park, S.E.A Aquarium, Adventure Cove Waterpark, The Luge and the Megazip, which make for a fun-filled day out.
4. Clarke Quay
In your later teens and looking for an awesome night out? Clarke Quay has plenty of good nightclubs you can go to, including Attica and f.Club. However, if you are underage, don’t fret, as Clarke Quay is also a wonderful place to go to in the day. Daredevils can take on the G-Max Reverse Bungy that operates daily as well as a river taxi along the Singapore River for those looking to relax with friends.
5. East Coast
For teens who are craving some physical activity, I’d recommend East Coast. This breezy coastal haven has great views of the vast container ships dotting the ocean. You can have a stroll along the beach or hire a wide variety of bikes, in-line skates, segways, and skateboards for a ride on the designated pathways. If it’s a hot day (it usually is in Singapore!), you can grab some cool refreshments or ice creams from the small cafés lining the stretch, or have a bite in the local food court.
6. Arab Street
If you’re after a bit of culture, as well as a spot of a shopping, then Arab Street is the place to go. The rich Muslim culture can be experienced and explored in the Sultan’s Mosque, and the traditional shop houses make for some beautiful shots. Independent and unique vintage clothing stores are sprinkled along the little alleys that make up the Arab Quarter, and it is very easy to find a good bargain. In the evenings, Arab Street is a great place to hang out with friends, but do be warned that a lot of restaurants will be full to the brim.
7. Gardens by the Bay
A favourite among both adults and teens, Gardens by the Bay is home to a marvellous variety of planets from everywhere around the world. You can explore the different regions, go for a jog or even have a little picnic.
The cinema may be an obvious choice, but for a more intimate movie screening, I’d suggest head into E2Max. Conveniently located near Scape, E2Max lets you hire out a room for you and your friends, where you can watch any film you like. It’s fun, not too expensive and a great way to hang out with your friends without having any embarrassing parents around!
9. Hawker Centres
While you might not think much of hawker centres, they’re actually a great place to meet up with friends. The food is cheap and delicious, the atmosphere is enjoyable and they are located all around Singapore, so you are bound to find one near you. Having a nice chat with your pals over different local dishes is all you need on a Friday night!
Catching up over a coffee never gets old. If you are looking for an easy and familiar option, Singapore has many Starbucks and Costa Coffee outlets dotted around the island. However it’s worth checking out the plethora of indie cafe located in nearly every corner of Singapore, including Tiong Bahru, Little India and the East Coast. (Psst… for a glance at EL’s favourite cafes, head here.)
For more helpful tips head to our living in Singapore section.