Here’s a guide to 13 awesome Singapore neighbourhoods!
Welcome to Singapore, with its many different cultures, foods, and buildings. A country where old-world charm and modern energy come together.
Each neighbourhood in this cosmopolitan city-state tells a unique story, offering an intimate glimpse into Singapore’s multifaceted identity.
Singapore’s Chinatown, an enduring cultural heartland, paints an exquisite picture of the nation’s rich and diverse heritage. As you stroll down its bustling lanes, the aroma of traditional foods mingles with the sight of charming colonial-era shophouses, revealing a tapestry of history, culture, and lively street life.
From the ornate red and gold façades of ancient temples to the vibrant markets selling everything from silk robes to spicy dumplings, Chinatown is a lively fusion of the old and new, promising an immersive experience.
Chinatown See and Do
- Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, a remarkable four-storey Tang-style temple, is an architectural spectacle that captivates visitors with its intricate designs and richly gilded interiors. It houses what is believed to be the left canine tooth of the Buddha, a religious artefact of great significance, displayed in the temple’s Sacred Light Hall.
- Chinatown Heritage Centre: Nestled in restored shophouses on Pagoda Street, the Chinatown Heritage Centre invites visitors to embark on an evocative journey through Singapore’s past. Its curated exhibits provide an intimate glimpse into the struggles and triumphs of Chinatown’s early inhabitants.
- Thian Hock Keng Temple or “Temple of Heavenly Bliss”, stands as a testament to Singapore’s traditional Chinese architecture. As the city-state’s oldest and most important Hokkien temple, it provides a serene sanctuary for devotees and an awe-inspiring spectacle for visitors, with its ornate carvings and intricate detailing.
- Sri Mariamman Temple: A beacon of cultural diversity in the heart of Chinatown, the Sri Mariamman Temple is Singapore’s oldest Hindu place of worship. Its vibrant and ornate ‘gopuram’ (tower entrance) leaves visitors mesmerized, while the temple’s sanctum offers a serene space for spiritual reflection amidst the hustle and bustle of the city.
- Chinese New Year Festivities: Chinatown takes on an even more vibrant character during Chinese New Year, its streets coming alive with a riot of colours, sounds, and festive cheer.
- Chinatown Street Market: A nocturnal adventure awaits at the Chinatown Street Market, a bustling marketplace with stalls selling a wide range of goods. Visitors can explore the vibrant labyrinth of stalls for unique souvenirs and gifts.
Where to Eat and Drink in Chinatown
- Maxwell Road Hawker Centre: A bustling array of stalls serve everything from delicious desserts to succulent seafood. Ensure you don’t miss out on the Hainanese chicken rice from Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice, often lauded as one of the best in Singapore.
- Chinatown Complex Food Centre: Singapore’s largest hawker centre, housing over 200 food stalls that serve a mouth-watering array of local and international cuisines. Don’t forget to try the unique craft beers at Smith Street Taps, the hawker centre’s craft beer stall.
- People’s Park Food Centre: This is a haven for lovers of Chinese and Asian cuisine. Also, don’t miss the fresh fruit and vegetable market on the ground floor, where you can pick up local produce and traditional Chinese ingredients to return home.
Chinatown is an irresistible blend of heritage, culture, and culinary delights, making it an unmissable experience on any Singapore itinerary. It’s where the heart of the Lion City truly lies.
2. Katong-Joo Chiat
Stepping into the Katong-Joo Chiat neighbourhood is like opening a vibrant, well-preserved storybook of Singapore’s past. Known for its rich Peranakan heritage, this district on the island’s East Coast is a colourful mix of charmingly conserved shophouses, intricately decorated temples, and quaint shops.
It’s a neighbourhood that invites leisurely exploration, where every nook and cranny whispers tales of yesteryears, and the air is permeated with the tantalizing aroma of traditional Nonya cuisine.
Katong-Joo Chiat See and Do
- Peranakan Houses: A stroll down the streets of Katong-Joo Chiat reveals a captivating array of Peranakan Houses, their facades a riot of colour and intricate tilework. Each terraced house is a visual treat, showcasing a unique blend of Chinese, Malay, and Indonesian influences emblematic of the Peranakan culture.
- Katong Antique House is a privately-run museum with a stunning artefact collection. The exhibits offer a deep dive into the Peranakan way of life, from antique furniture and traditional costumes to handcrafted beaded slippers and ceramic ware.
- The Intan, a unique private home museum, offers an immersive encounter with the Peranakan heritage. Each room is filled with carefully curated artefacts, from ornate jewellery and traditional clothing to antique furniture and tableware, providing a captivating glimpse into the richness of Peranakan culture.
- Sri Senpaga Vinayagar Temple is a serene sanctuary dedicated to Lord Ganesha. Dating back over a century, the temple’s elaborate Dravidian architecture, resplendent deities, and spiritual atmosphere offer a fascinating glimpse into Hindu religious practices and culture.
- East Coast Park: As Singapore’s largest coastal park, East Coast Park offers a variety of recreational activities set against a scenic seafront landscape. The park provides a wonderful respite from the urban hustle.
- Joo Chiat Complex is a shopping hub that specialises in traditional Malay products. From intricate batik fabrics and sparkling gemstone jewellery to authentic spices and hand-woven crafts, the complex offers a vibrant and varied shopping experience that appeals to locals and tourists.
Where to Eat and Drink in Katong-Joo Chiat
- Dunman Food Centre is a local hawker centre, treasured for its affordable and tasty Singaporean dishes. Its charming, old-school atmosphere, as is the diverse food offering, is a big draw, from the famous char kway teow and satay to delectable dessert options like Chendol.
- 328 Katong Laksa: Savour a bowl of the legendary Katong Laksa, a comforting, spicy coconut-based noodle soup that has become synonymous with the district.
- Kim Choo Kueh Chang: A trip to Katong-Joo Chiat isn’t complete without sampling the traditional Nonya dumplings and kueh (sweet snacks) at Kim Choo Kueh Chang. This time-honoured store, founded in 1945, boasts a delicious range of dumplings and kuehs, made according to recipes passed down through generations, encapsulating the very essence of Peranakan cuisine.
- Birds of Paradise: Artisanal gelato is taken to new heights, with botanical-inspired flavours that reflect the rich biodiversity of the region. A scoop of White Chrysanthemum gelato or Lychee Raspberry sorbet, served in their signature thyme-infused cone, not only offers a refreshing, nuanced taste but also a sensory journey that’s truly unique.
Katong-Joo Chiat is a delightful blend of rich history, colourful architecture, and tantalising food, offering a slice of Singapore that’s steeped in tradition yet buzzing with modern energy. A visit here isn’t just a journey into the past, but a sensory adventure that will linger in your memory long after you leave.
3. Little India
Steeped in history and bursting with vibrant colours, the bustling enclave of Little India is a treasure trove of cultural discoveries. Located to the east of the Singapore River, it is an eclectic neighbourhood that retains its strong South Asian roots while embracing modernity, making it a compelling mix of old and new.
Little India See and Do
- Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple: Dedicated to the Hindu goddess Kali, this temple is a testament to the rich cultural and spiritual heritage of Little India, attracting both worshippers and visitors with its impressive Dravidian architecture.
- Indian Heritage Centre: Learn about the rich history of the Indian community in Singapore through its four-story exhibition, showcasing artefacts and interactive displays that chronicle the journey of Indian immigrants.
- Tekka Centre: This bustling market is a melting pot of cultures, offering a wide range of fresh produce, spices, traditional Indian clothing, and food from different ethnic groups in Singapore.
- House of Tan Teng Niah: Marvel at this colourful eight-room Chinese villa, the last surviving one of its kind in Little India, a reminder of the area’s diverse past.
- Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya Temple: Known as the “Temple of a Thousand Lights”, it houses a 15-meter high Buddha statue, drawing devotees and visitors alike with its unique blend of architectural styles.
- Mustafa Centre: This 24-hour shopping complex offers an assortment of goods at competitive prices, from electronics and groceries to jewellery and textiles, making it a beloved spot among locals and tourists alike.
Where to Eat and Drink in Little India
- Tekka Centre Food Court: Offering a diverse selection of Indian, Malay, and Chinese hawker fare, this food court is a great place to savour local dishes like biryani, roti prata, and Hainanese chicken rice.
- Komala Vilas: Established in 1947, this iconic restaurant offers a delightful array of authentic South Indian vegetarian dishes, including the famous dosai and idli, making it a favourite among locals and tourists.
- Muthu’s Curry: Home to the famed fish head curry, Muthu’s Curry serves up an array of delectable Southern Indian cuisine, with its vibrant flavours capturing the essence of Indian cooking.
- Lagnaa… barefoot dining: Known for its unique dining concept where guests are encouraged to dine barefoot, Lagnaa offers an exquisite range of Northern and Southern Indian cuisine in a relaxed setting.
An excursion to Little India offers more than just a glimpse into the soul of the Indian community in Singapore; it is an immersive cultural journey that celebrates diversity, history, and tradition.
4. Kampong Glam
Kampong Glam, one of Singapore’s most historic and charming quarters, is a neighbourhood where the old meets the new in perfect harmony. Once the seat of the old Malay royalty, it remains a vibrant cultural hub brimming with rich history, unique architecture, eclectic boutiques, artsy murals, and a thriving food scene.
Dominated by the golden domes of the Sultan Mosque, the area’s Arab heritage is still very much alive amidst the trendy stores and cafés, making Kampong Glam a fascinating blend of tradition and modernity.
Kampong Glam See and Do
- Sultan Mosque, distinguished by its massive golden domes and towering minarets, serves as a prominent spiritual centre for Singapore’s Muslim community. Its impressive architecture, imbued with a blend of Islamic and Saracenic styles, coupled with its rich history dating back to 1824, makes it a must-visit landmark in Kampong Glam.
- Haji Lane is a vibrant and narrow alleyway tucked, known for its eclectic mix of indie boutiques, bohemian-themed cafes, and vibrant street art. This hip and artsy lane is a paradise for shoppers, foodies, and Instagram enthusiasts alike, boasting a unique blend of traditional heritage and modern chic.
- Gedung Kuning or Yellow Mansion is a bright yellow bungalow that stands as a testament to the district’s Malay heritage. Once the grand residence of a Malay sultan, it now houses a restaurant but remains an important historical landmark.
- Hajjah Fatimah Mosque, named after a wealthy businesswoman who commissioned it, stands out with its unique blend of European and Islamic architectural styles. Its main entrance is reminiscent of a European church, while the minaret appears like a lighthouse, making it a unique cultural gem.
- Arab Street, the heart of Kampong Glam, is renowned for its colourful assortment of shops selling exotic fabrics, Persian carpets, and intricate rattan basketry.
Where to Eat and Drink in Kampong Glam
- Golden Mile Food Centre is a food lover’s paradise teeming with diverse local food stalls. From succulent Hainanese chicken rice to crispy Thai-style fried chicken, this bustling hawker centre promises a gastronomic adventure that truly represents Singapore’s multicultural culinary landscape.
- Zam Zam Restaurant: A historic establishment since 1908, this is a beloved spot for its mouthwatering murtabak, a stuffed pancake filled with a variety of options like chicken, mutton or sardines.
- Hajah Maimunah Restaurant offers a delectable spread of traditional Malay and Indonesian dishes. Feast on their famous Nasi Padang, a plate of steamed rice served with a variety of pre-cooked dishes, or try the succulent Ayam Bakar, a grilled chicken dish marinated with aromatic spices.
- Alaturka where guests are transported to the shores of the Mediterranean with its array of flavourful Turkish and Mediterranean dishes. From the scrumptious lamb kebabs to the richly flavoured eggplant moussaka, paired with traditional Turkish tea or the famous Turkish delight for dessert.
Imbued with rich history and vibrant culture, Kampong Glam is a splendid tapestry of past and present, where tradition seamlessly blends with contemporary flair. It’s a must-visit Singapore neighbourhood that offers visitors an immersive experience of its multi-faceted character.
5. Dempsey Hill
Dempsey Hill is a unique enclave that exudes a certain old-world charm mixed with contemporary chic. Once a nutmeg plantation and then British military barracks, today, Dempsey Hill has transformed into a lifestyle destination, famed for its tranquil setting, lush greenery, and heritage buildings.
The neighbourhood has made a name for itself as a haven for foodies, art lovers, and those in search of retail therapy, making it a stylish escape from the bustling city.
Dempsey Hill See and Do
- STPI – Creative Workshop & Gallery is a dynamic art institution renowned for its innovative practices in contemporary print and paper techniques. Visitors can not only marvel at the incredible artworks produced by leading contemporary artists but also participate in interactive workshops.
- COMO Dempsey is a world-class lifestyle destination that perfectly curates food, shopping, and fashion in a tastefully designed environment. It offers a holistic and luxury lifestyle experience, all nestled within lush greenery.
- Dempsey Hill Shopping Centre is nestled amidst lush greenery, offering a unique retail experience with its mix of boutiques and retail shops. The centre provides a relaxed and charming shopping experience enriched by the historical ambience of its colonial-era buildings.
- Dover Street Market is a cool multi-brand store that offers a carefully curated selection of cutting-edge designer fashion. It is set in a warehouse and features a creative blend of streetwear and high-end labels.
Where to Eat and Drink in Dempsey Hill
- Culina at COMO Dempsey provides a unique gastronomic experience, combining a modern European food emporium with a vibrant bistro. Specialising in high-quality seasonal ingredients from around the world, it is an ideal place for those who appreciate fresh, well-prepared dishes.
- Candlenut is an acclaimed dining venue known for its Peranakan cuisine. As the world’s first Michelin-starred Peranakan restaurant, it presents a unique fusion of old and new, serving classic dishes with a modern twist that engages all senses.
- The White Rabbit: Set within a beautifully restored 1930s chapel, The White Rabbit offers a dining experience filled with nostalgia and charm. The restaurant serves up classic European comfort food, presenting time-honoured recipes with a contemporary touch, all within a setting that evokes the grandeur and elegance of the past.
- Open Farm Community is more than a restaurant; it’s a revolutionary concept dedicated to promoting sustainable dining in the heart of Singapore. Here, guests can relish dishes crafted with locally-sourced ingredients, including some grown on-site.
Dempsey Hill, with its unique blend of history, food, art, and retail, is a refreshing alternative to the typical urban bustle of Singapore. Its relaxed, verdant charm and sophisticated lifestyle offerings make it an exceptional destination for those seeking a distinctive experience.
6. Holland Village
With a history tracing back to the early 1900s, Holland Village in Singapore is an epitome of multicultural legacy and creative energy. Originally established by the Dutch community and later inhabited by British Army personnel, the neighbourhood retains its European charm reflected in the architecture of quaint shophouses and low-rise buildings.
With its wide array of dining spots, unique shops, lively bars, and close proximity to the Botanic Gardens, Holland Village has emerged as a beloved lifestyle destination offering a cosmopolitan flavour amidst the city-state’s urban landscape.
Holland Village See and Do
- Chip Bee Gardens: Known for its beautiful black and white colonial houses, it invites visitors to stroll through its picturesque residential area. Peppered with trendy eateries and bakeries, it’s an ideal spot for a laid-back afternoon of dining and exploration, with its historical charm adding to the appeal.
- Thambi Magazine Store is an old-school shop in Holland Village. Carrying a wide range of international publications, from popular magazines to obscure journals, it’s a treasure trove for avid readers and those looking for a glimpse into a bygone era.
- Lorong Mambong: With its al fresco dining spots, lively bars, and various retail shops, this vibrant stretch is a hive of activity day and night, offering an inviting scene of Singapore’s bustling lifestyle.
- Holland Road Shopping Centre presents an array of shops featuring arts, crafts, and eclectic fashion pieces that cater to a diverse range of tastes. Its distinctive spiral staircase and various boutiques and eateries make it a unique shopping destination, offering far more than your typical retail experience.
- Botanic Gardens: Holland Village was once known as ‘hue hng au’, which means ‘behind the Flower Garden.’ Just a short drive away, the Botanic Gardens offers a lush, tranquil retreat from the lively streets of Holland Village.
Where to Eat and Drink in Holland Village
- Holland Village Market & Food Centre: This bustling hawker centre and wet market offer an immersive experience of Singapore’s local food culture. Visitors can enjoy a vast array of local delights, from Hainanese chicken rice to char kway teow, while browsing through fresh produce and unique local goods.
- Chip Bee Gardens is also home to trendy eateries and bakeries. Offering everything from artisanal pastries to gourmet dining experiences, a stroll through Chip Bee Gardens provides a picturesque view and a gastronomical journey that will surely delight any foodie.
- Holland Village Food Court: Another gem for food enthusiasts, this place offers a feast of local flavours under one roof. From Laksa to Roti Prata, and Chilli Crab to Satay, this is the place to sample an extensive variety of Singaporean dishes.
- Wala Wala Cafe Bar: For those looking to enjoy the vibrant nightlife in Holland Village, this popular two-storey bar and live music venue offer a lively atmosphere, with great drinks and exhilarating performances by local and international musicians.
Holland Village, with its vibrant street life, diverse food scene, and unique mix of shops, provides a refreshing slice of the city’s cosmopolitan lifestyle. It’s a charming neighbourhood that beautifully encapsulates the spirit of Singapore – a place where tradition and modernity coexist harmoniously.
7. Geylang Serai
Geylang Serai, located in the eastern part of Singapore, is the cultural heart of the Malay community. Famed for its vibrant market, colourful shophouses, and the annual Hari Raya Puasa festivities, Geylang Serai offers a rich tapestry of history and heritage. As you navigate the bustling streets and enjoy the blend of traditional and modern architecture, you’ll be captivated by the neighbourhood’s unique blend of old-world charm and cosmopolitan vibrancy.
Geylang Serai See and Do
- Geylang Serai Market: Immerse yourself in the rich Malay culture by visiting Geylang Serai Market. Not only does this market offer a delectable array of local food, but it also serves as a lively scene of community interaction, providing a firsthand look at the daily life and food culture of the Malay community in Singapore.
- Wisma Geylang Serai: Serving as a social and cultural heritage hub, this architectural masterpiece houses various social, cultural, and arts activities, showcasing the historical narrative, traditions, and vibrant cultural fabric of the Malay community.
- Sri Sivan Temple is one of Singapore’s oldest Hindu temples. It is known for its beautiful architecture and sculptures, providing an atmosphere of spiritual tranquillity and serving as a window into Singapore’s rich Hindu religious practices and traditions.
- Khadijah Mosque: With its iconic rose-pink exterior and Moorish architectural features, this mosque is a beautiful testament to the strong spiritual heritage of the Malay-Muslim community, offering a space for reflection and prayer.
- Onan Road: Take a leisurely stroll down Onan Road, a vibrant stretch in Geylang Serai known for its beautiful and colourful shophouses. These charming architectural gems offer a beautiful backdrop for photography enthusiasts while providing a glimpse into the region’s historic urban landscapes.
Where to Eat and Drink in Geylang Serai
- Geylang Serai Market and Food Centre: If you’re keen to sample an assortment of local Malay dishes and sweets, then Geylang Serai Market and Food Centre is the place to be. This bustling food centre offers a wide array of culinary delights, from savoury satay and nasi lemak to sweet kueh (traditional sweets), making it a beloved food spot amongst locals and tourists alike.
- Sinar Pagi Nasi Padang: Renowned for its traditional Nasi Padang, a flavourful Indonesian rice meal served with various dishes, Sinar Pagi Nasi Padang is a must-visit eatery in Geylang Serai Market.
- Haig Road Food Centre: Another hotspot for food enthusiasts, the Haig Road Food Centre is a hive of activity offering an array of Singaporean hawker fare. Be it a hearty plate of char kway teow, a bowl of comforting laksa, or a refreshing glass of sugarcane juice, a wide range of delectable dishes await.
- Haig Road Putu Piring, featured in Netflix’s Street Food series, has served Putu Piring, a traditional steamed rice cake with a centre of molten palm sugar treat, for generations, making it a delightful culinary symbol of Singapore’s rich heritage.
Geylang Serai, with its vibrant atmosphere and cultural richness, provides a captivating glimpse into the Malay heritage in Singapore. Whether you’re a food lover, a history enthusiast, or a keen explorer, the neighbourhood offers a memorable and authentic cultural experience.
8. Marina Bay Area
A beacon of modernity and innovation, the Marina Bay area symbolises Singapore’s rapid growth and development. What was once a quiet body of water at the mouth of the Singapore River has transformed into a dazzling district with architectural wonders, world-class attractions, and high-end lifestyle options.
Marina Bay’s gleaming skyline, punctuated by iconic structures like the Marina Bay Sands, the ArtScience Museum, and Gardens by the Bay, forms an impressive backdrop to a neighbourhood that never sleeps.
See and Do
- Marina Bay Sands is a resort that comprises a high-end luxury hotel, an expansive mall with a canal, a museum, and the iconic Marina Bay Sands Skypark, which boasts a vantage point for breathtaking cityscape views. Adjacent to the SkyPark, the Sands SkyPark Observation Deck offers visitors a 360-degree panorama of the city’s glittering skyline, perfect for capturing unforgettable memories of Singapore.
- ArtScience Museum, with its lotus-inspired design, is a monument to the synergistic relationship between arts and sciences. The museum hosts many exhibitions, installations, and performances that combine art, science, design, media, architecture, and technology in thought-provoking ways.
- Gardens by the Bay is an urban nature park spanning 101 hectares of reclaimed land in central Singapore. Visitors can experience the impressive Supertree Grove, marvel at exotic plants in the world’s largest climate-controlled greenhouses, and walk along the Skyway for captivating views.
- Singapore Flyer, standing at a staggering 165 metres, offers a bird’s eye view of the cityscape, making it one of the world’s largest Giant Observation Wheels. On a clear day, you can see as far as Malaysia and Indonesia, and the Flyer also offers a range of experiences, from cocktails to a full butler-sky dining option.
- The Helix Bridge: A stunning piece of architecture inspired by the form of DNA, it provides a walkway across Marina Bay. The bridge is beautifully lit at night, offering a mesmerizing view of the Marina Bay skyline.
- Asian Civilisations Museum offers an in-depth look at Singapore’s ancestral cultures, with a rich collection showcasing the region’s diverse heritage. Here, visitors can delve into Singapore’s historical connections with Asia and the world, exploring the tangible cultural links through artefacts, art, and interactive exhibits.
Where to Eat and Drink
- Marina Bay Sands Restaurants: Home to a constellation of Michelin-starred establishments, Marina Bay Sands is a gastronome’s paradise. Restaurants such as CUT by Wolfgang Puck and Bread Street Kitchen by Gordon Ramsay offer a taste of culinary excellence, where guests can savour dishes created by celebrity chefs amidst a backdrop of spectacular views over the city’s skyline.
- CE LA VI: Synonymous with luxury and sophistication, CE LA VI is perched atop the Marina Bay Sands, offering breathtaking 360-degree views of the cityscape. Known for its innovative fusion of Asian and modern cuisine, CE LA VI provides an exquisite dining experience complemented by its stunning location and an exceptional array of premium cocktails and wines.
- Marina Bay Sands Food Court: For a more casual dining experience, visit this vibrant culinary diversity hub. Visitors can indulge in various local and international dishes, from Hainanese Chicken Rice to Italian pasta, all under one roof.
Marina Bay encapsulates Singapore’s rise as a global city, combining breathtaking architecture, futuristic parks, and world-class dining. Exploring this dynamic area offers a captivating glimpse into the city-state’s blend of culture, innovation, and ambition.
9. Tiong Bahru
Tiong Bahru, a neighbourhood that effortlessly blends old and new, is one of Singapore’s most charming and unique districts. Known for its Art Deco-style housing blocks and history dating back to the 1930s, Tiong Bahru has blossomed into a hip enclave populated with indie boutiques, creative murals, and some of the city’s trendiest cafes and eateries.
It’s a fascinating place where traditional local life coexists harmoniously with contemporary lifestyle trends, offering visitors a delightful and diverse experience.
Tiong Bahru See and Do
- Tiong Bahru Market is a hive of activity where locals throng to buy fresh produce or feast on delectable local foods. A quintessential hawker centre on the upper level features stalls serving many Singaporean culinary classics.
- Qi Tian Gong Temple: Established in 1920, the Qi Tian Gong Temple pays homage to the Monkey God, a character revered for his courage and loyalty in Chinese folklore. Known for its intricate, colourful sculptures and lively atmosphere, this temple draws devotees and curious visitors alike.
- Yong Siak Street: A stroll down Yong Siak Street is like stepping into a charming blend of past and present, where quaint bookstores and indie boutiques coexist with trendy cafes and contemporary lifestyle shops. This eclectic mix lends the street a vibrant yet laid-back atmosphere, making it a favourite among locals and tourists.
- Seng Poh Garden: Nestled amidst the neighbourhood’s distinctive architecture, Seng Poh Garden offers a tranquil retreat for residents and visitors. This serene community garden provides a perfect spot to relax and soak in peaceful surroundings.
- Tiong Bahru Art Deco Estate: Meandering through Tiong Bahru Art Deco Estate is like walking through a living museum of Singapore’s architectural history. As the country’s oldest housing estate, its distinctive rounded facades and streamlined forms showcase the elegant simplicity of Art Deco architecture, reflecting the neighbourhood’s rich heritage and charm.
Where to Eat and Drink in Tiong Bahru
- Tiong Bahru Food Centre invites you to satiate your palate with diverse local specialities, including Chwee Kueh, a delectable steamed rice cake topped with preserved radish, and Lor Mee, a savoury noodle soup with a thick, starchy gravy. This bustling food centre is cherished by locals for its well-preserved hawker culture and for serving some of the best traditional Singaporean street food.
- Tiong Bahru Bakery: A beloved institution in the neighbourhood, Tiong Bahru Bakery is famed for its assortment of artisanal bread, pastries, and desserts. From the perfectly flaky croissants to the unique pandan-flavoured kaya toast, this renowned bakery offers an indulgent fusion of French baking techniques and local flavours.
- Havelock Road Cooked Food Centre serves an array of mouthwatering local dishes that promises a culinary exploration of Singapore’s diverse food culture. This food centre offers a wide variety of affordable and authentic Singaporean flavours.
With its unique blend of heritage, local culture, and contemporary lifestyle, Tiong Bahru provides a distinctly nostalgic yet modern experience. Its fascinating architectural charm, vibrant culinary scene, and unique indie shops make it a must-visit neighbourhood for those looking to delve deeper into Singapore’s diverse urban tapestry.
HarbourFront, situated on the southern tip of Singapore, is a bustling waterfront hub with activity and attractions. This vibrant district boasts a range of retail, dining, and entertainment establishments catering to various interests and preferences.
It’s not just a launching point for travellers to the Southern Islands and a gateway to neighbouring Sentosa, but also a lively neighbourhood packed with shopping malls, office buildings, parks and promenades, offering visitors many experiences.
HarbourFront See and Do
- VivoCity: As Singapore’s largest shopping mall, VivoCity transforms your retail experience with its playful and intuitive design inspired by the harbourfront’s organic form. Beyond an extensive array of retail outlets and boutiques, it also houses many dining options, a large playground for children and a rooftop amphitheatre, ensuring a fun-filled day for all.
- HarbourFront Centre is an engaging retail and lifestyle destination, teeming with numerous shops, eateries, and essential service providers. With a focus on fashion, lifestyle, and the naval history of the area, the Centre offers a unique shopping experience that caters to the needs of both local residents and international visitors.
- Singapore Art Museum at Tanjong Pagar Distripark provides a sanctuary for art enthusiasts. It boasts a fascinating collection of contemporary Southeast Asian artworks, offering visitors a deep dive into the region’s vibrant and diverse art scene.
- HarbourFront Walk: This picturesque waterfront promenade invites visitors for leisurely strolls with sweeping views of the bustling harbour, Keppel Bay, and Sentosa Island. As the sun sets, the walkway is transformed into a charming, romantic spot, with the city lights and beautifully lit cruise ships adding a magical glow to the atmosphere.
- Labrador Nature Reserve: Offering a tranquil escape from city life, this nature reserve is a haven for nature and history lovers alike. It boasts a rich variety of flora and fauna, scenic views of the sea, and historical relics from World War II, making it an enriching and rewarding destination for outdoor exploration.
- Mount Faber Park: Nestled atop one of Singapore’s oldest and highest hills, Mount Faber Park is a lush green escape that offers panoramic views of the city and harbour. You can embark on nature trails, dine with breathtaking vistas at Faber Peak, take a cable car to Sentosa or simply relax amid the verdant surroundings.
Where to Eat and Drink in HarbourFront
- Seah Im Food Centre: Known as a local culinary paradise, Seah Im Food Centre is an iconic hawker centre in the HarbourFront area. From succulent Hainanese chicken rice to vibrant plates of Indian rojak, this bustling centre promises a smorgasbord of local dishes that guarantee a mouth-watering journey through Singaporean cuisine.
- VivoCity Food Republic presents a modern interpretation of the traditional food court, housing numerous stalls offering an assortment of local and Asian delicacies. The variety here is bound to satisfy your palate while offering a taste of Asia’s diverse culinary heritage.
- Bayswater Kitchen: Located at Keppel Bay, Bayswater Kitchen serves fresh seafood in a delightful, maritime-themed setting. With a menu inspired by sea-to-table dining, this lively eatery is a perfect spot for those seeking fresh seafood in an atmosphere as invigorating as a sea breeze.
HarbourFront is a bustling waterfront hub where shopping, dining, and scenic views converge to create a dynamic neighbourhood full of exciting adventures. Its blend of natural beauty and urban comforts offers a vibrant destination that makes for a great day out in Singapore.
11. Civic District
The Civic District, the historic birthplace of modern Singapore, is where the past, present, and future intermingle. Located along the southern bank of the Singapore River, it is home to many of the city-state’s most iconic structures, museums, parks, and monuments, each echoing tales of Singapore’s colonial past and subsequent growth.
As you stroll through its well-manicured parks and grand colonial buildings, you’ll gain insights into Singapore’s journey from a small Southeast Asian outpost to a global cosmopolitan city.
Civic District See and Do
- National Museum of Singapore: As Singapore’s oldest museum with a history dating back to 1887, the National Museum of Singapore offers an enriching journey through the nation’s rich history and diverse culture. Its cutting-edge exhibits and galleries are an engaging exploration of the city-state’s past and its vibrant present.
- The Arts House: Previously serving as Singapore’s Parliament House, The Arts House has now transformed into a multi-disciplinary arts venue renowned for its rich heritage and groundbreaking performances. With an exciting calendar of exhibitions, concerts, and film screenings, it offers an invigorating platform for artists and art enthusiasts alike.
- National Gallery Singapore: Home to the world’s largest public display of modern Southeast Asian art, National Gallery Singapore is a must-visit for art lovers. Housed within the stunningly restored former Supreme Court and City Hall, it offers a treasure trove of over 8,000 artworks that chronicle the evolution of the region’s art history.
- St. Andrew’s Cathedral stands as an awe-inspiring landmark showcasing striking Neo-Gothic architecture. The serene environment within its walls starkly contrasts the bustling city outside, offering a tranquil space for reflection and prayer.
- Singapore River: Embark on a scenic boat ride along the Singapore River for a unique perspective of the city-state. As the waters gently lap against the sides of your boat, enjoy stunning views of Singapore’s magnificent skyline, historic quays, and iconic landmarks.
Where to Eat and Drink in Civic District
- Odette: An epitome of fine dining, Odette is a three Michelin-starred restaurant in the National Gallery Singapore. It enchants food connoisseurs with its modern French cuisine, carefully curated by Chef Julien Royer, using the freshest seasonal ingredients sourced globally, all presented in a beautifully elegant and intimate setting.
- Raffles Courtyard: Nestled in the iconic Raffles Hotel, the Raffles Courtyard is an alfresco dining venue offering a tranquil oasis in the city’s heart. Amidst its lush tropical gardens, you can enjoy a range of signature cocktails, craft beers, and a delectable menu of Southeast Asian and international favourites.
- Nalan Restaurant: Conveniently located near City Hall, Nalan Restaurant is a gem for vegetarian dining. Offering an extensive menu that includes both North and South Indian dishes, the restaurant creates hearty and flavorful meals without compromising on health or dietary needs.
- Privé ACM: Located within the Asian Civilisations Museum, Privé ACM offers a unique dining experience that blends culture, history, and food. Whether you’re in the mood for a casual meal, a refreshing drink, or just a quick coffee, the cafe’s riverside location provides a relaxed atmosphere and spectacular views of the Singapore River.
The Civic District is a melting pot of Singapore’s rich history and vibrant culture, where every corner has a story. Whether you’re a history buff, an art lover, a foodie, or a curious traveller, the Civic District promises a rewarding and enlightening journey through the heart and soul of Singapore.
12. Orchard Road
Orchard Road, the pulsating heart of Singapore, is best known as a shopping paradise. This bustling boulevard, named after the fruit orchards the area was known for in the 19th century, is today a major tourist draw.
Lined with malls, luxury retail outlets, restaurants, and hotels, Orchard Road offers an unrivalled retail and lifestyle experience. This thriving corridor, beautifully lit up during festive seasons, also houses a vibrant mix of cultural and entertainment options, seamlessly blending commerce and culture.
Orchard Road See and Do
- ION Orchard is an iconic retail destination in Singapore, offering a grand mix of high-end luxury brands, street fashion, dining outlets, and art galleries. Visitors can also venture to the ION Sky observation deck on the 56th floor to enjoy a breathtaking 360-degree city view.
- Istana Park is a beautifully designed urban space opposite the Istana Presidential residence. With its tranquil ponds, flourishing flora, and the 26-metre-tall Festival Arch rising from the park’s centre, it provides a refreshing contrast to the hustle and bustle of Orchard Road.
- Orchard Central is Singapore’s tallest vertical shopping mall. It stands out with its unique architectural design and a diverse selection of retail stores, and also features the world’s tallest indoor Via Ferrata climbing wall, adding an adventurous twist to your shopping experience.
- Masjid Al-Falah is a prominent mosque located in the heart of Orchard Roa. Despite its location in a bustling area, the mosque offers a peaceful sanctuary for Muslims to perform their daily prayers and is known for its active community and educational programs that cater to the spiritual needs of both locals and tourists.
- Lucky Plaza: A cornerstone of Orchard Road, Lucky Plaza is a bustling shopping centre known for its wide array of affordable retail outlets, beauty salons, and eateries. It also holds a special place in the hearts of the Filipino community in Singapore, serving as a one-stop hub for Filipino products and services.
Where to Eat and Drink on Orchard Road
- Lucky Food Centre: Nestled within Lucky Plaza, the Lucky Food Centre is a popular spot for affordable and delicious meals. The food court hosts a variety of stalls selling local and international fare, making it a favourite among locals and tourists alike.
- Hawkers’ Street @ ION: Experience a taste of Singapore’s hawker culture right in the heart of the shopping district. Hawkers’ Street @ ION Orchard offers a selection of local favourites in a clean and contemporary setting, providing a comfortable spot for shoppers to refuel.
- Newton Food Centre is one of the most famous hawker centres in Singapore. Here, visitors can savour a wide range of local dishes such as Hainanese Chicken Rice, Char Kway Teow, and Satay, while soaking up the lively atmosphere.
Orchard Road, the iconic shopping artery of Singapore, offers a vibrant lifestyle experience beyond its retail glamour. Whether you’re seeking high-street fashion, world-class cuisine, or a touch of Singaporean history, this dynamic neighbourhood will not disappoint. It’s a place where the city’s cosmopolitan pulse meets a rich tapestry of experiences.
13. The Quays: Boat Quay, Clarke Quay, Robertson Quay
Comprising Boat Quay, Clarke Quay, and Robertson Quay, the Quay neighbourhoods of Singapore offer a vibrant blend of history, cuisine, and nightlife.
Boat Quay, a historical quay situated upstream from the mouth of the Singapore River, once the busiest part of the old Port of Singapore, retains its old-world charm, while Clarke Quay, named after Singapore’s second Governor, Sir Andrew Clarke, is a colourful kaleidoscope of restaurants, concept bars, retail stores and entertainment spots.
Robertson Quay, the most upstream of the three, is more relaxed, features a mix of residential, hotel and commercial buildings, and is seen as a tranquil escape from its more commercial counterparts.
The Quays See and Do
- Singapore River Cruise: Experience Singapore’s history come alive on the Singapore River Cruise, where you ride a traditional bumboat. This scenic journey will take you past colonial buildings, skyscrapers, and historic quays, offering an unrivalled perspective of the city’s transformation.
- The Quayside: Located in Robertson Quay, The Quayside offers a relaxed atmosphere perfect for a leisurely stroll. Enjoy the beautiful river views, chic restaurants, and wine bars housed in repurposed warehouses, contributing to the area’s unique charm.
- G-MAX Reverse Bungy: One for the adrenaline junkies, the G-MAX Reverse Bungy at Clarke Quay is a thrill ride that catapults you 60 meters into the air at high speed. It’s a heart-pounding experience that offers an exhilarating, bird’s-eye view of the neighbourhood.
- Robertson Walk: Step into a slice of the Mediterranean at Robertson Walk, with its charming low-rise buildings, courtyards, and unique al fresco dining options. The relaxed atmosphere here makes it an ideal location for evening walks or dinner outings.
- Boat Quay’s Conservation Shophouses are a visual treat, displaying Singapore’s commitment to preserving its architectural heritage. These shophouses, each beautifully restored and conserved, host a variety of entertainment establishments.
Where to Eat and Drink in the Quay Area
- Three Buns Quayside: In Robertson Quay, Three Buns Quayside is a trendy restaurant and bar serving gourmet burgers and crafted cocktails. The restaurant’s stylish, laid-back setting is ideal for a relaxed meal or evening hangout.
- Song Fa Bak Kut Teh: This popular establishment serves one of Singapore’s most beloved dishes – Bak Kut Teh, a peppery pork rib soup. Song Fa has been serving this comforting dish since the 1960s and has earned a Michelin Bib Gourmand for its commitment to quality.
- Clarke Quay Area is renowned for its diverse dining options. It’s a haven for food lovers, with a wide array of restaurants and eateries serving cuisines from around the world, including local specialities, Western fare, and Asian delights. Clarke Quay has everything if you’re looking for a fancy restaurant, a riverside eatery, or a lively bar.
Robertson Quay offers a unique blend of laid-back charm and modern sophistication, making it an irresistible destination for locals and tourists. Whether looking for picturesque riverside views, eclectic dining experiences, or engaging cultural attractions, this vibrant neighbourhood delivers.
Conclusion on Singapore Neighbourhoods
Singapore’s diverse neighbourhoods reflect the city’s multicultural tapestry, each offering unique experiences that showcase different facets of this vibrant city.
Whether exploring the historic shophouses in Kampong Glam, soaking up the rich cultural heritage in Little India, or experiencing the bustling nightlife in Clarke Quay, you are bound to find something that suits your interests.
These 13 neighbourhoods offer a myriad of sights, sounds, tastes, and experiences that will captivate every type of traveller. Singapore’s rich cultural diversity, vibrant food scene, and contrasting architectures make it a unique destination, and exploring its neighbourhoods is the best way to appreciate this incredible city truly.