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5 Spots in the Civic District for some downtime after office hours

  1. We understand how mundane it can get working nine to five. What more trying to manage your stress levels whilst wishing you could apply for 365 days of paid leave?

Thus, in this edition, we share five spots within the Civic District that we figured could help get your mind rejuvenated after office hours. If you are wondering where and what is the Civic District, it’s a district located in the central area of Singapore. It’s home to many iconic landmarks from pre-war to modern Singapore, such as the former Municipal Building (today’s National Gallery), Chijmes and of course Singapore’s “durian, the Esplanade.

*With the Phase 2 Heightened Alert, do ensure you keep within groups of two and look out for any restrictions imposed in the area.

National Gallery Padang Deck

Image: Shariffah Nadia/Butler Singapore

Just a little trivia: the National Gallery was initially two buildings on its own; the former Supreme Court and the City Hall building. They were both then conjoint by two suspension bridges and what sits between is regarded as the Padang Atrium.

It’s impressive how the galleries and building facade remain remarkably well-preserved, so much so that it remains as an ideal wedding photoshoot location. This includes the rooftop deck located at level five and the Padang Deck at level 6 of the gallery. Be mesmerised by the 360-degree view of the Civic District skyline and, of course, being away from the hustle and bustle of office life.

Stress relief tip: If your definition of downtime includes sipping a glass of wine or two, drop by the Smoke and Mirrors bar at level 6 (which is within the Padang Deck) when dining there is allowed again.

Address:
National Gallery Singapore
1 St Andrews Road, Singapore Singapore 178957
Smoke and Mirrors Opening hours: 3 pm – 11 pm (Mon – Sun)
Discover more about National Gallery Singapore here

 

The Esplanade Park waterfront plaza

Image: Shariffah Nadia/Butler Singapore

As you walk beyond the Lim Bo Seng memorial, you’ll come across stepping stones piled up irregularly, so much so that they mimic a jigsaw puzzle. These steps were inspired by the Chand Baori stepwell located in Abhaneri, a village in the Indian state of Rajasthan. The inextricable feature is also known as the waterfront plaza to draw people closer to the shores of the Singapore River.

Stress relief tip: Take a seat on a stone whilst embracing the wonders of Singapore’s skyline and seeing the reflections cast onto the water. It’s also a good spot for self-reflection and a way for you to let your thoughts run free.

Address:
Esplanade Park
Queen Elizabeth Walk, Connaught Drive, Singapore 179682
Opening hours: 24 hours (Mon – Sun)
Discover more about Queen Elizabeth walk here

 

The Bridge of Art (previously the Alkaff Bridge)

Image: @blushblushtomato

If you noticed, it just feels as though there are countless bridges along the Singapore River. But, the Alkaff Bridge struck our attention the most. As locals would already know, Singapore was once a trading port for merchants all over Asia. The Alkaff family, in particular, were the wealthiest amongst others back in the 19th century, which was a contributing factor to having the bridge named after them.

However, in 2004, the bridge has renamed the Bridge of Art after being repainted by a Filipino artist, Pacita Abad. The “masterpiece” was also a gift to Singapore in commemoration of 50 years of inter-relations between the Philippines and Singapore.

Stress relief tip: Unlike other bridges in the vicinity, this bridge is filled with vibrant colours of the rainbow — the artist’s way of spreading positivity regardless of any situation you are in (which in her case was final stage cancer). Thus, we hope that after heading over, it sheds light on your life even after a stressful day in the office.

Address:
Alkaff Bridge, Bridge of Art
1 Havelock Road, spans along Robertson Quay
Opening hours: 24 hours (Mon – Sun)
Discover more about Bridge of Art here

 

Empress Lawn

Image: Shariffah Nadia/Butler Singapore

Talk about Civic District and the Empress Lawn always comes up. Just a five-minute walk from the National Gallery and you’d find yourself at the lawn or, more specifically, the Asian Civilisation Museum. We have no idea why the lawn was named that way, but what’s for sure is that it’s filled with a lush plot of greenery for you to take a breather after office hours.

Just a heads up: the Victoria Theatre’s clock tower chimes every 15 minutes; thus, if you are looking into getting some quiet time, take a stroll further down the river and plonk yourself on the stone steps.

Stress relief tip: There’s just something about being there that brings back all the nostalgia especially with the statues of Sir Stamford Raffles standing nearby. Subconsciously, it resurfaces the hardship of pre-war Singapore and somewhat makes you realise how fortunate you are to live another day. Of course, if you need a quick run, the lawn is a perfect point to begin too.

Address:
Asian Civilisations Museum
1 Empress Pl, Singapore 179555
Empress Lawn Opening hours: 24 hours (Mon – Sun)
Discover more about Empress Lawn here

 

Chijmes

Image: Shariffah Nadia/Butler Singapore

Who would have thought a former school and chapel (still being used) has now turned into Chijmes, an icon in the Civic District. Apart from its array of restaurants and bars, it has always been a perfect chill-out spot surrounded by its lush green lawn, historical courtyards and most certainly, its well-preserved cathedral facade.

Stress relief tip: Nothing could go wrong with that extra greenery in sight. Dine at one of the bars when they can open again for an energy boost or chill out on a beanbag and soak into the night lights.

Address:
CHIJMES
30 Victoria St, Singapore 187996
Opening hours: 24 hours (Mon – Sun), for bar and restaurant opening hours, refer here
Discover more about CHIJMES here

 

Featured image: Shariffah Nadia/Butler Singapore

About Author /

A funsize explorer with an endless adventure list around the red dot. Heritage trails, quaint cafes, you name it; she'll take you on an adventure to make your weekends less mehhhh!

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