Located just adjacent to Victoria Street is Kampong Glam, a fab area in Singapore which is dominated by Islamic culture, beautiful architecture buildings, exotic shops and delicious cuisine. This neighborhood in Singapore plays two distinct roles; firstly as Singapore’s Muslim Quarter and secondly as trendy hippest enclave. It is not only home to mosques for worship but also a go-to place to spend a relaxing weekend. The majestic cultural buildings, eye-popping street art, the many myriad of restaurants/bars, and trendy shops makes Kampong Glam the mecca for culture, entertainment, arts and food.  

How Kampong Glam Came Into Being

In 1820 the then Sultan Hussein Mohammed Shah built a palace using the annual stipend given to him. Since then apart from his family, over 600 people came to live in Kampong Glam. As the community grew, Kampong Glam became well-established and became the Muslim center of Singapore. However with the passage of time, today this place is neither a fishing village nor a Sultan’s home but has transformed into a melting pot of vibrant cultures full of surprises along the way.  

7 Places To Visit And Things To Do During Your Visit

Come lose yourself in this chic neighborhood with our guide to the best things to do at Kampong Glam in Singapore.

Sultan Mosque – Largest Mosque In Singapore

Golden Dome mosque
Sultan Mosque is also popularly known as Masjid Sultan.

Head straight to Sultan Mosque (Masjid Sultan) which is Singapore’s largest and most impressive mosque. The Kampong Glam Mosque was built in 1824 by the first sultan of Singapore, Sultan Hussein Shah. It took nearly 4 years to complete the construction, however the original structure was replaced 5 years later by Denis Santry. The mosque is so big that it can accommodate around 5000 people at one time. Both the inside and outside of the mosque is just spectacular. The inside is beautifully colored mainly with green and Arabic script flowing around the room. Its outside is of a bright salmon-red with a massive golden dome as the highlight. Sultan Mosque is one of the most famous Kampong Glam attractions.

Arab Street – A Great Neighborhood

Most happening street in singapore
A glimpse of Sultan Mosque from the Arab street.

Arab Street which was initially called the Jawa Koi (Java Street) was an area designated for the Arab community. Today with the many boutique shops, tiny restaurants and vendors, it has become the heart of Singapore’s Islamic community. From Persian rugs to exotic fabric, from frankincense and myrrh to imported goods from the Middle East, Kampong Glam Arab Streets has it all. Get your hands on some quality fabric to take back home which you wouldn’t find elsewhere. Exploring this great neighborhood on foot is another top thing to do in Kampong Glam. 

Malay Heritage Centre – Palace Of The Former Sultan

Malay Heritage Centre is an important kampong glam attractions
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The Malay Heritage Centre located in Istana Kampong Glam was once a palace where the Malay Royalty lived. In 2005 the government converted it into the Malay Heritage Centre. This is where you can learn more about Singapore’s Malay communities’, their way of life and how it has changed as Singapore developed. The well-preserved historical artifacts, photographs, community stories, family belongings and other exhibits give an insight into the lifestyle and culture of the Malay community. There are about ten galleries housed on both floors of this old colonial-style building waiting to be explored. Diving deep into the district’s history with a visit to the Malay Heritage Centre is a popular and must do activity.

Haji Lane – World Of Multi-Colored Street Art

Great kampong glam street art
Colorful artwork making the walls look attractive.

Haji Lane is a delightful little walking street in the heart of Kampong Glam district. The lanes which are surprisingly quiet in the mornings come to life when dusk falls. Its multicolored street art and walls covered with imaginative graffiti makes it one of the prettiest roads in Singapore. The quirky collection of boutique shops, eateries, odd hip cafes and restaurants is an instant hit among Singapore’s cool kids. This insta-worthy cultural heritage lane is Singapore’s hidden gem that delivers a vibrant experience. Haji Lane is a place you shouldn’t miss for this lane provides everything for leisure time. 

Malabar Mosque – Striking Blue Building

kampong glam opening hours
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A striking blue building sitting in a corner of a busy road junction with Victoria Street on one side and Jalan Sultan on the other is the Malabar Mosque. This mosque was built between 1956 and 1963 however its splendid facade was not completed until 1995. The mosque in the multicultural city of Singapore is the only mosque that comes under the management of the Malabar Muslim Community.  Just like the Sultan Mosque, this mosque too has a golden dome on top but what makes Malabar Mosque stand out from the rest is its striking blue building. It has a prayer hall, kitchen, toilets, ablution areas, room for the ladies to pray along with tranquil verandas for community bonding. Though it is not as popular as the Sultan Mosque, a visit to this mosque will make your day. 

Jamal Kazura Aromatics – Finest Perfumes

 kampong glam market is filled with perfume stores
Customized your signature scent with experts at fragrance boutique.

Check out Jamal Kazura Aromatics for some of the finest perfume oils in Singapore. As you step into this intimate fragrance boutique, you will see glass shelves lined with jars of clear and colored natural oils. In fact you will be surprised to know that perfumes are specially made for different occasions. Customize your own signature scent with experts who will blend different aromatic oils until you derive at what you want. This fragrance boutique that was opened in the 1920s offers a wide range of attars: Arabic perfumes, Egyptian perfume vials, massage oils, scented body soaps and shower gels. Treat your senses to some really refreshing fragrances and perfumes at Jamal Kazura.

Foodies Paradise – Enjoy Unique Flavors

kampong glam street food is a must try
Delicious Street food in Singapore

Arrive at Kampong Glam on an empty stomach to enjoy delicious local food in a quaint, alley-like setting. Sample a variety of Asian dishes, delicious Arabic meals and a wide variety of local food that include rice, noodles and ice cream. Other popular cuisines like Korean, Thai, German and Mexican food are also available here. No matter what your taste is, Kampong Glam Street has something for every palate.

Also Read: Try These Singaporean Delicacies During Your Next Singapore Visit

True to its name, the Kampong Glam is a super glam place with age-old customs and mega-trendy lifestyle colliding in a heady mix. Once you have seen them all, stay back till dusk, for Kampong glam at night will take you through a whole new experience. So, what are you waiting for, one of Singapore’s oldest urban areas is waiting to be explored. Do share your Kampong Glam experience with us in the comment section below.

FAQ’s About Kampong Glam

Best time to visit Kampong Glam?

To witness the best of Kampong Glam, visit from the beginning of Ramadan to Eid al-Fitr. The many food stalls and cultural performances brings about a festive vibe to this place. 

How to get to Kampong Glam Singapore?

The best way to get to Kampong Glam is by taking a MRT to Bugis Station. However there are many buses that travel down the main roads too. If you don’t want to take all the trouble, just get on to a hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus.

What is the old name of Kampong Glam?

As per Wah Hakim, Kampong Glam was called as Seduyong after the tribal group of the Orang Laut. The word Kampong Glam originated from the Malay word kampong, which means “village,” and gelam, a kind of tree that at one time grew abundantly in the area. 

What is so special about Kampong Glam?

Apart from the multi-colored street art, hip boutique and mosques, Kampong Gelam is also a foodie’s paradise. Due to its history, Kampong Glam has sometimes been termed as the “Muslim Quarter.”

What is the religion of Kampong Glam?

Despite many influences, Kampong Glam has always remained Islamic in character. It is the heart of Singaporean Muslim life.

Is Arab Street and Haji Lane the same?

Both Arab Street or Haji Lane are two lively neighboring lanes, however both are located in the Kampong Glam area.


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