The Singapore Grand Prix is one of the most highly anticipated events of the year, and that’s regardless if you’re a Formula One fan or not. We called in the expertise of former racing driver turned entrepreneur Daniel Woodroof of Pandan Social, to share some of his favourite spots to visit in the city-state during the Grand Prix weekend.
A Driver’s Point of View
From a driver’s perspective, the Singapore GP is unlike any other – it’s an extremely technical street track with both fast and slow corners with zero margin for error. And of course, it was the first ever F1 night race.
However, that doesn’t make it any cooler for the drivers – the lack of on-track ventilation, humidity, and 19 corners make it one of the hardest races on the calendar. And if you’re not a lover of racing, the GP still brings about some of the best concerts and parties of the year! As a Malaysian, I guess, in a way, the Singapore GP is now our “local” race.
Where To Stay
My go-to is the M Social Hotel in Robertson Quay. It’s located right on the Singapore River, and is within walking distance of loads of restaurants, cafes, bars and convenience stores, with ease of access to public transport. I like my morning and nighttime walks, and this location is perfect. It’s part of Millennium Hotels but gives off a young and boutique feel. The rooms aren’t massive (as expected in Singapore), but they’re comfortable and well-priced. If you want to be more central with the most convenient transport links, always look around the Bugis or Chinatown areas.
Drinking & Dining
I love my meat, so Burnt Ends is always up there. For food paired with freshly brewed beverages, I’d suggest Level 33 for their rooftop microbrewery and restaurant. As I’m both European and Asian, I love a bit of fusion and would recommend Habibi-san for alternative Middle Eastern Izakaya.
For dessert, head over to Birds of Paradise Gelato Boutique for something cold and (not too) sweet.
I think it’s hard to avoid the “tourist traps” like Cé La Vi as they do have the tallest vantage points in the city, so it’s always a must if you’re showing someone around Singapore for the first time. But if you’re a seasoned Singapore traveller, I’d suggest checking out Southbridge in Boat Quay. It’s less crowded than your skyscraper spots, but the views are equally as stunning. And it’s quiet enough for an intimate conversation.
Whenever I visit major global cities, I always make a trip to the local Chinatown. They always seem to have the best food and knick-knacks you can pick up as souvenirs.
If you live to eat (and drink), then make sure to get lost in the general area of Tanjong Pagar where the eatery options are endless – just be sure to have Google Maps at the ready to filter through reviews so you can pick out which one to walk into.
Everywhere is a party during the Grand Prix weekend! I genuinely think you’ll have a hard time finding a bar or club that isn’t packed out after the race, so you need to make sure you’re on the right guest list. Go-to spots like Marquee are always a guaranteed good time, but if you want to be with the “who’s who”, keep your ears open for where VIP after-parties will be, like those by Amber Lounge.
Make sure to book early for the Singapore GP to avoid disappointment – this applies to tickets, accommodation, dinners, bars, and after-parties. Public transport is your best friend (download Google Maps or Citymapper on your phone for the latest updates), and so are good walking shoes – you’ll be spending more time standing and walking than you think.
Also, be sure to keep a few rehydration tablets in your pocket to avoid burning out and getting headaches – bringing your own bottle of isotonic drink or water usually won’t make it past security.