Discover one of the world’s best Chinatown districts near the heart of Singapore, where contrasting architecture and revered temples meet quirky souvenir shops and alluring street-side food stalls. This ethnic haven celebrates both old and new cultural traditions, from weekly lion dances to contemporary fine-dining restaurants.
Things to do
Begin your Chinatown exploration at the treasured Buddha Tooth Relic Temple & Museum, home to impressive Buddhist artwork and centuries-old tales. Discover bone and tongue relics, along with the famed Buddha Tooth Relic, a giant stupa weighing 3,500 kilograms. Step back in time at the Chinatown Heritage Centre, which shares the stories of early Chinese migrants through recreated living quarters and artefacts.
Feeling hungry? Your stomach will love the variety of flavours found in Chinatown, from Michelin-starred restaurants to family-run eateries and street food stalls. Stroll down Chinatown Food Street to taste chicken rice or char kway teow (stir-fried rice noodles). Wash it down with a glass of herbal tea at Enjoy Tea, before indulging in handmade Chinese desserts at Tong Heng.
History lovers will enjoy their time in Sri Mariamman Temple, Singapore’s oldest Hindu temple. It was constructed in 1827 and boasts an array of colourful statues devoted to the goddess Mariamman. The Chinatown Visitor Centre is the perfect place to watch cultural street performances, see the Singapore of old and purchase souvenirs.
If you’re searching for local artwork, visit Utterly Art, which is renowned for its rotating exhibitions of sculptures, photographs, paintings and visual pieces. Get your retail therapy at MYthology, where unique clothes and accessories by Asian designers give your wardrobe an exotic twist.
Chinatown has multiple MRT stations within and around its district limits, along with reliable public bus services. You can also walk around the pedestrian-only Pagoda Street or use taxis to get around.