It goes without saying that Chinatown, Singapore is a popular destination among locals and tourists. So if you’ve never been here before, you’re missing out on how dynamic and culturally rich this place is.
To help you get the full experience, we provided some of the best things you absolutely need to explore in Singapore’s Chinatown.
Visit the Bustling Street Markets
A trip to Chinatown’s Street Markets will definitely be the highlight of your visit. Considered the most popular and bustling district, it has tons of traditional and unique shops lining down the whole street.
In fact, you’ll be delighted by their food stalls here as they serve authentic Chinese food. Quick tip: you can also head over to Mao Shan Wang for a durian-topped pizza and Terengganu Street for some bubble tea.
Discover Various Sacred Temples
Keep in mind that when visiting sacred temples, there are different rules for each that you need to follow. The most common rule before entering a temple is to dress appropriately—avoid anything that shows too much skin like bare-backs and mini skirts.
Here are some temples that you can visit:
- Buddha Tooth Relic Temple (Located at 288 South Bridge Rd)
- Sri Mariamman Temple (Located at 244 South Bridge Rd)
- Thian Hock Teng Temple (Located at 158 Telok Ayer St)
Notably, the most popular temple in Chinatown is the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple. This is where you can find a 320-kilogram golden stupa, several bygone relics, and the sanctified tooth of Buddha.
Try Authentic Cuisine at Chinatown’s Maxwell Food Centre
If you’re a big fan of cheap and good food, you wouldn’t want to miss the scrumptious dishes that Maxwell Food Centre has to offer. This place offers only the best and most authentic flavours of Singapore.
You’ll find award-winning hawkers here as well. If you’re craving some traditional Hainanese chicken rice, you can go to the Michelin Bib Gourmet recipient stall called Tian Tian Chicken Rice for a tasty treat.
Location: 1 Kadayanallur St, Singapore 069184
Get a Glimpse of History at NUS Baba House
The National University of Singapore (NUS) Baba House is a historical heritage home that showcases Peranakan Culture. This place offers visitors hour-long tours where they can explore the entire residence and see Peranakan furniture, antiques, and art.
To visit, you need to book a slot on their website in advance. No entrance fee here for Singapore citizens, permanent residents, and NUS staff, students, and alumni.
It’s also free for students holding valid passes, as well as ICOM and Museum Roundtable members. For other visitors and tourists, you need to pay a fee of $10.
Location: 157 Neil Road, Singapore 088883, Singapore
Take Home Souvenirs from Pagoda Street
A visit to Chinatown wouldn’t be complete without taking home some souvenirs. At Pagoda Street, you’ll be bombarded with tons of stalls and bargain shops.
Drop by Singapore’s Tallest Residential Building
Afterwards, you can simply take the elevator up to the rooftop. Here, you’ll be welcomed by a spacious landscaped garden and a 360-degree view of the entire city.
Location: SG, Cantonment Road, #1G, Singapore 085301
Hangout at the Iconic Keong Saik Road
Keong Saik Road is an iconic destination for both tourists and locals. Fun fact: this area was once known as a red-light district and was even called the Mistress Avenue in the 1950s.
Now, it has become a hipster hangout with colourful shophouses, unique wall murals, Michelin-starred restaurants, and more. One of the most popular places here is Potato Head Singapore that serves gourmet burgers and has an exclusive reservation-only bar.