Planning a visit to Singapore? If yes, then start off with Singapore’s most interesting district, Chinatown. What used to be a settlement of the Chinese immigrants is today the powerhouse of a cultural hub that offers enticing sights and great food along the bustling streets. Having a mosque, a Buddhist temple, and a Hindu temple along a single street shows how multi-ethnic this place is. This neighborhood is a cultural delight offering a mix of both old and new attractions. With the many superb things to do in Chinatown Singapore, you are likely to spend a good chunk of your time here. Come let’s explore and unravel what this chic neighborhood has in store for all of us. 

8 Must Visit Places In Chinatown Singapore 

Chinatown in Singapore is home to some of the top tourist attractions. For a fascinating peek into all that this place has to offer, here’s our ultimate guide that’s sure to leave you happy and satisfied at the end of the day.


top tourist attractions in chinatown singapore
The Pinnacle@Duxton is a 50-storey residential development in Singapore’s city center, next to the business district.

Begin your day by getting on to someone else’s terrace. Yes, you heard it right! There are plenty of tall buildings in Singapore that offer great city skyline views, however what makes this sky bridge different from the others is that it is on top of a residential building. Pinnacle’s Skybridge located nearby Outram Park is amazing as it has two gardens at the 26th and 50th floors which are open to the public. Enjoy 360 degree views of Chinatown, Tanjong Pagar, Harbourfront and Sentosa Island as you walk around the observation deck. Only 200 people are allowed to go up daily, so as to not disturb those who live there.

Singapore City Gallery

things to do in chinatown singapore
The National City Gallery in Singapore’s Civic District by night during the Light Festival

If you are inquisitive in how this incredible Island has transformed into the metropolis that it is today, head straight to Singapore City Gallery. You will be amazed to see a detailed miniature model of the entire country. The 3-storey gallery have more than 50 interactive exhibits showing how Singapore has grown over the years. It’s not just the past and present but also the future vision for Singapore is shown here. Opened in 1999 and located within the vicinity of Chinatown, this Gallery is a great place to explore. 

Ann Siang Hill Park

things to do in Chinatown
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After spending a hectic day head straight to Ann Siang park which is snuggled behind the historic Chinese merchant houses. These merchant houses are now converted into modern-day boutiques, cafes, bars and art galleries. From here you can have great views of the surrounding area. A wide array of interesting tree like cinnamon, nutmeg, breadfruit, and tamarind trees can be spotted here. If you want to take a break from the hustle-bustle of central Singapore, a visit to this peaceful hill park in Chinatown is one of the best things to do.

Jamae Mosque

where is chinatown singapore
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This is your chance to see early Singapore architecture in its original form. Jamae Mosque or Masjid Jamae is one of Singapore’s oldest mosques which was never renovated and still in its original form. Built in the 1830s by Chulia (Tamil Muslims from Southern India) this mosque is one of the holy places to visit in Chinatown area. The mosque’s eclectic architectural style consists of a pair of 7-level octagonal minarets, striking green exterior and distinctive front gate. The mosque was gazetted as National Museum in 1974. Visitors are allowed to enter the mosque but are restricted from entering the prayer hall. 

Sri Mariamman Temple

top temples in chinatown singapore
sri mariamman hindu temple in singapore.

Built in 1827, Sri Mariamman Temple is Singapore’s first Hindu temple. This temple is dedicated to the goddess Mariamman who is known for protection against disease and illness. The Dravidian style architecture adapted in the construction has a six-tiered entrance tower which is adorned with colorful figures from Hindu culture. Apart from religious services the beautiful temple also hosts a variety of cultural, educational and social activities. The temple which was gazetted as National Museum in 1973 is a proud representation of the Hindu culture in Singapore. 

Complex Food Centre

food street chinatown singapore
People shopping and eating in Chinatown – Singapore, Image Source: istock

With over 260 food stalls, Chinatown Complex Food Centre is one of the best hawker centres in Singapore. Take your taste buds on a crazy culinary ride at the ginormous food courts here. You can’t go wrong as you are eating at the biggest and the best food center in the city. Food worth trying are: Liao Fan Hawker Chan, Lian He Ben Ji Claypot, Zhong Guo La Mian Xiao Long Bao, Herbal Soup, Jin Ji Teochew Braised Duck, Hainanese Chicken Rice, Chicken Soya Sauce Rice and Xiao Long Bao among others. It’s never difficult to find food in Singapore but if you are looking to try various options, this is the place to be. 

Buddha Tooth Relic Temple

must visit temple in singapore
Beautifully lit temple in the night.

To immerse yourself in Buddhist history and art, head to Buddha Tooth Relic Temple (BTRT). In the heart of Chinatown is this grand four storey building which is home to a Buddhist Temple & Museum. The traditional Chinese architecture inspired exteriors of the temple is beautiful. The temple’s interior is designed in the form of a mandala that represents universal connection. Its museums, various Halls and Chambers helps one to connect with stories dating back over 5000 years. Visitors are allowed to take a free tour to learn more of the teaching of Buddha through interactive workshops. Before you leave don’t forget to relish on some vegetarian cuisine from the food court located above. 

Chinatown Street Market

chinatown singapore market
Decorated and festive ready streets of Chinatown.

End your tour with a visit to Chinatown Street Market for this place is the best to devour some Chinese cuisines and to shop around. You can see the decorations changing as per different themes and festivals throughout the year. But the best time to visit Chinatown Singapore market is during Chinese New Year. During this time the shops and stalls line the whole street, including Pagoda Street, Trengganu Street and Temple Street. As vehicles are not allowed to enter these streets, you can explore the street market at your own pace without the fear of getting hit. Wandering along the streets and soaking up in the atmosphere while shopping in Chinatown Singapore for souvenirs to take back home is one of the best things to do while here. 

Interesting Facts About Chinatown That You Probably Didn’t Know

shopping in chinatown singapore
Busy Road in Chinatown
  • Stamford Raffles, a British colonial official is the one who actually created this famous tourist spot. He set up a system to segregate the Chinatown city by the four ethnicities. An area near Singapore River was allotted to Chinese and this led to the birth of Chinatown.
  • Did you know that Singapore actually has two China towns? The one beside the Singapore River is the official China town while the second one known as “People’s Chinatown” is in Geylang. 
  • Sago Street is a place where people who are ill visit regularly to prepare for their own funerals or to simply wait for their deaths. Dying at home was believed to bring in a lot of bad luck.
  • The general histories of the shop houses lined on either side of Chinatown can be identified just by looking at the types of material that were used to build.
  • There were many hidden police bunkers in the Chinatown area that were used as bomb shelters and operation rooms for police activities.

Suggested Reads: Ultimate Guide To Little India In Singapore

There are many great neighborhoods to discover in Singapore, however there is something magical about the tourist attractions in Chinatown Singapore. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a permanent resident in Singapore, this place will never let you down. If you have your own tips to share, please leave them in the comment section below.

FAQ’s About China Town

What is special about Chinatown in Singapore?

From temples and street art to colorful heritage buildings, from mouth watering food outlets to great tourist attractions, Chinatown is home to them all. Every traveler visiting Singapore is sure to fall in love with China Town. 

What are the popular streets in Chinatown Singapore?

Pagoda Street and Temple Street have many places of worship, an interesting mix of eateries, and fascinating tourist complexes. This is why these two streets are immensely popular among visitors.

How long do you spend in Chinatown?

Depending on your touring manner, anywhere between half a day to an entire day is quite a good amount of time to explore Chinatown.

What is the best time to visit Chinatown?

The best time to visit Chinatown is during the evening hours, especially during the Chinese New Year when the place is lit with twinkling lights and the streets are filled with stalls selling local delicacies.

Which are the most famous Chinatowns from around the world?

China towns in San Francisco, Bangkok, Toronto, London, Manila, Singapore, New York, Paris, Vancouver and Melbourne are some of the most famous ones. 

How far is Changi Airport from Chinatown?

The distance between Singapore’s Changi Airport and Chinatown from MRT Station happens to be 18 km and the distance via road is 21.2 km.


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