Located to the east of Singapore’s centre, Bugis Street is a unique blend of narrow streets, bustling plazas, shopping malls and temples. The area is known to be one of the best for retail therapy in the whole of Singapore. It’s also a wonderful place for dining and nightlife, with trendy rooftop bars, charming cafes and restaurants.
For visitors seeking a unique shopping experience, the first port of call should be Chijmes, a historic shopping complex which is housed in a former Catholic convent. The facade is deceiving, as this commercial centre houses fine dining restaurants, art galleries and designer boutiques. For handmade crafts head to Bugis Village, an accessible flea market conveniently located next to Bugis MRT station. Haji Lane is in the neighbourhood Muslim Quarter, and is home to some of the best clothing and accessories Singapore has to offer. The buildings are charming and quaint and there are cafes for refreshments where visitors can relax and soak up the atmosphere. To explore the history and local culture, visit the Malay Heritage Centre close by. The interior of this old colonial style building highlights the history and struggles of Singaporean Malays and is a fascinating visit. Bugis Street is also a short walk from the National Museum of Singapore, or visitors can explore the magical Gardens by the Bay, one of the country’s most popular attractions.
Bugis Street is served by its own MRT station of the same name, which is a couple of minutes’ walk from the main shopping malls and markets. The area is also served by Lavender MRT station on the East West line. If arriving from Malaysia via bus, Queen Street Bus Terminal, or the Golden Mile Complex it is approximately a 10 minute walk. There are many attractions nearby such as The National Museum of Singapore, Gardens by the Bay and Clarke Quay which are all within walking distance.
Bugis Street has a colourful history; the surrounding lanes were originally home to Arab traders who settled here in the founding days of the colony. The area was also partially occupied by the Malay People. During the Second World War, the neighbourhood became Singapore’s red light district until around 1985, when redevelopment turned it into one of the country’s best shopping zones. Today, it’s a unique blend of contemporary and historic Singapore enjoyed by all visitors.