picture
Andrew JK Tan/Getty Images

Key Info

North Canal Road, Chinatown

Price & Hours

Free
24/7 daily

Details

Free, Neighborhood/Area, Shopping, Sightseeing Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend

scorecard

  • 5.0Value
  • 4.0Food Scene
  • 4.5Atmosphere

As a nation composed of mostly immigrants, Singapore possesses a number of ethnic enclaves. Chinatown is one of the largest of them. Broken up into five districts, the neighborhood is packed with a variety of things to do and is constantly buzzing with pedestrians passing in and out of its shops, eateries and food stalls.

If you're seeking souvenirs, head over to Pagoda Street for trinkets galore, then consider grabbing a bite at Smith Street or New Bridge Road, the latter of which is known for its barbecued meats. For a night out on the town, venture on over to the Tangong Pagar district, which offers loads of bars, pubs and karaoke lounges. And when you need a break from the hustle and bustle, explore the Telok Ayer district. This area has the largest concentration of ancient mosques and temples in Chinatown. Set out to the Thian Hock Keng Temple for some quiet Zen. And though it's not associated with Chinese culture, you should stop in front of the Sri Mariamman Temple to admire its colorful, intricate facades.

Recent visitors reveled in the sights and sounds of Chinatown. The striking architecture, variety of things to do and energy of the neighborhood is what made the area memorable to many travelers. Others appreciated how cheap Chinatown was in comparison to the rest of Singapore, and as such recommended buying any gifts you might want to bring back home here. And even if you're not looking to do much shopping, visitors say the food alone is more than worth the trek. 

Unless you wish to battle intense crowds, don't visit during the few weeks before the Chinese New Year, which occurs in January or February. To reach the neighborhood, hop off at the Chinatown MRT stop. For more information, check out Chinatown's website.

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