TOP 10 Things to Do in Kampong Glam

Kampong Glam is Singapore’s Malay quarter that is steep in history with landmarks that go as far back as the turn of the 19th century. The vibrant cultural district is filled with beautiful 19th century shophouses that have been turned into shops and restaurants. Don’t give it a miss as there’s plenty to see and do here in Kampong Glam!

TOP 1 Visit the Sultan Mosque

Sultan Mosque, also known as Masjid Sultan in the local Malay language, is one of the oldest and biggest mosques in Singapore. Its massive golden dome is hard to miss when you are in the vicinity of Kampong Glam. Built in 1824 for Sultan Hussein Shah, the first sultan of Singapore, it was subsequently rebuilt in 1932, taking its present form. The building is an architectural wonder with its many intricate designs, and it houses one of the largest prayer halls. If you’re planning to visit, remember to dress modestly and sign up for a guided tour if you’re interested to learn more.

Address: 3 Muscat Street, Singapore 198833

Visiting hours:
Sat – Thu: 10am – 12pm and 2pm – 4pm
Fri: 2.30pm – 4pm

Website: http://sultanmosque.sg/contact-us/visitor-information

 

TOP 2 Take Photo with Colourful Wall Murals at Haji Lane

With loud and colourful murals splashed across their walls, the traditional shophouses are an embodiment of both the hip and the traditional. Put on your exploration gear and look out for these murals at every turn. These make for perfect Instagram spots so don’t forget your cameras.

Address: 21A Haji Lane, Singapore 189214

 

TOP 3 Make a Trip to the Malay Heritage Centre

The Malay Heritage Centre houses a museum which showcases the rich history of the Malay community. Catch a glimpse of the way of life of the early Malay settlers in Singapore, imagine the brave sea-faring Bugis villagers and warriors in action and reminisce the golden years of the Malay entertainment industry in the galleries. There are also many programmes and free performances by Malay artists. Located in the compounds of the famed Istana Kampong Glam which was the former residence of Malay Sultans, there’s no better place to experience and learn more about Malay culture.

Address: 111 Middle Road, Singapore 188969

Opening hours: Tuesday – Sunday 10am-6pm (closed on Monday)

 

TOP 4 Dig into Middle-Eastern Cuisine

As you walk down the rows of shophouses, you will be greeted by scores of intricately-decorated restaurants serving delectable Middle-Eastern cuisine, which makes Kampong Glam one of the best places to have Middle-Eastern food in Singapore. Step into the one that your heart desires, and feast on kebabs, tabbouleh, shawarma and many more. Both your heart and your stomach will be full! Some of the recommended restaurants include Shabestan Finest Persian Cuisine, Beirut Grill Fine Middle-Eastern Cuisine, Sufi’s Corner Turkish Restaurant and Tabbouleh Lebanese Gourmet Cafe And Restaurant.

 

TOP 5 Grab Exotic Souvenirs 

Besides the restaurants, the colourful shophouses are also a treasure trove for many unique souvenirs such as clothes and accessories designed by local designers, scarfs and textiles and Middle-Eastern merchandise such as brightly-coloured bowls, plates and lights. This is the place to be if you want to get something that’s out of the ordinary yet affordable. Fans of natural oils and fragrances should not miss Jamal Kazura Aromatics which is popular for its natural oils which have medicinal or healing properties, attar oils, massage oils, Egyptian perfume vials and fragrances from the Middle-East, India and Europe.

 

TOP 6 Recharge at the Cafes

A slew of cafes can be found among the shophouses in Kampong Glam, and these are the best places to hide from the scorching sun and recharge with food and coffee. From your favourite brunch items to burgers, juices, artisanal coffee and tea, gluten-free cookies and even halal Swedish food, choices are aplenty. So set aside time to check out cafes such as The Hangar, Al’ Frank, Maison Ikkoku, The Mad Sailors and Fika Swedish Café & Bistro.

 

TOP 7 Step into Hajjah Fatimah Mosque

Hajjah Fatimah Mosque is another iconic mosque in Singapore. Built between 1845 and 1846, it is named after the wealthy businesswoman who built it. It is believed that Hajjah Fatimah built the mosque on the site of her house as a form of thanksgiving to Allah after burglars broke into her house twice and even attempted to set fire on the second occasion but she was unharmed as she was away.

Hajjah Fatimah Mosque stands out from other mosques due to its unique architecture which combines Indo-Islamic and European features. Look out for the tilting minaret which resembles the Neoclassical steeple of the first St Andrew’s Church and the many lancet-shaped windows which are typical of Neo-Gothic architecture.

Address: 4001 Beach Road, Singapore 199584

Opening hours: 9am – 9pm daily

 

TOP 8 Chill at the Bars at Haji Lane

When night falls, the bars light up with vibrant lights and live music, luring customers with their happy hour promotions. Take a seat along the wall murals and soak in the atmosphere with a cup (or even a tower) of your favourite drink. Hop over to The Singapura Club for live bands, local-inspired drinks and wines and beer on tap. Bar Stories is a cocktail bar without a menu, where mixologists will conjure up cocktails in pretty glasses based on your preferences. Good Luck Beerhouse is the place for craft beer lovers with the frequent launching of new beers and old favourites on tap or in bottles. You can even pair them with a range of dim sum!

 

TOP 9 Get Acquainted with Art

Stroll down the back lanes of Muscat Street for an impressive yet free art exhibition at Gelam Gallery, Singapore’s first outdoor gallery. The walls of the shophouses, backdoors and even drain covers are given a makeover and transformed into breathtaking murals and art pieces with the paintbrush, thanks to the works of more than 30 local and foreign artists.

Besides Gelam Gallery, the Malay Art Gallery, Sultan Arts Village and Aliwal Arts Centre are also treasure troves that art lovers must not miss.

 

TOP 10 Indulge in Swiss Rolls

Rich and Good Cake Shop is famous for its decadent old-school swiss rolls that come with generous fillings. The soft and fluffy swiss rolls which resemble rolled-up towels are wrapped in plastic and packed in characteristic long rectangular paper boxes for easy takeaway. Popular flavours include pandan kaya, chocolate, mango and durian.

Address: 24 Kandahar Street, Singapore 198887

Opening hours:
Mon 10:30am – 5pm
Tue – Sat 9am – 5pm
Closed on Sun

 

Credits: Roots.sg, Wikimedia Commons, Singapore Tourism Board, Choo Yut Shing/Flickr, Holidify, The Wandering Walker, Coconuts
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