Discover Kampong Glam’s rich history, living traditions, excellent eateries and trendy shops in this vibrant neighbourhood. Historically one of Singapore’s oldest urban quarters, Kampong Glam is a neighbourhood where age-old traditions and trendy lifestyles come together in a heady blend.
The word ‘kampong’ means “compound in Malay, while “glam” refers to the long-leaved paperbark tree, commonly found in the area and used for boat-making, medicine and even as a seasoning for food. The district has a history that dates back to Singapore’s colonial era, when Sir Stamford Raffles allocated the area to the Malay, Arab and Bugis communities. Since then, the area has evolved into a haunt for hip travellers and connoisseurs of culture alike.
With this comprehensive things-to-do itinerary in Kampong Glam’s top attractions and hidden gems, you may explore the hidden alleyways and bustling streets on foot while taking in its heritage and cultural sights. Have fun exploring!
1. HAJI LANE. Besides being a foodie paradise, Kampong Glam is home to both traditional tradesmen and trendy modern retail. Make a beeline for Haji Lane to lose yourself in a world of multi-coloured street art and hip boutiques. You’ll find uniquely Singaporean trinkets at Craft Assembly, home décor and elegant accessories at Hygge and beautifully crafted jewellery at the Silver Triangle. Visit various cool boutiques, bars, cafes and restaurants that rank high on the hip factor – and let’s not forget the street art. While you’re there, remember to take some insta worthy pictures too!
2. EMBARK ON #INSTAWALK: BUGIS, WATERLOO, KAMPONG GLAM TOUR. Get your smartphone ready and join us on Singapore’s first and only Instagram tour! Instagram-worthy shots are the rage for generating interest in new places discovered. A great Insta shot becomes a massive draw for locals and travellers alike and can transform a place, destination, food find, or street into cult status. This was the inspiration behind our #Instawalks series where our walks are carefully crafted to seek out hidden nooks and crannies and uncover gems unbeknownst to the average Joe. Join us in discovering Singapore in a novel and fun way together with our friendly influencers as they generously share tips, and unknown spots to capture the finest shots of SG now! https://tribe-tours.com/product/instagram-tour-bugis/
3. GELAM GALLERY. With new dustbins, renovated drain covers and freshly painted walls, the back lanes of Muscat Street have been rejuvenated for the first outdoor gallery in Singapore, Gelam Gallery! Using the walls at the back of the shophouses as canvases, the nondescript back lanes of Muscat Street that were once used only for delivery and refuse disposal have been given a transformational makeover. This extraordinary outdoor gallery will showcase murals and framed works of more than 30 artists from different backgrounds, newly graduated students from NAFA and LASALLE College of the Arts, and experienced local and foreign artists. Here is a guide for all the 32 wall arts around, explore them now! https://www.theadmin.sg/gelam-gallery
4. EMBARK ON INSTAHUNT @ HAJI LANE QUEST. Want to solve some puzzles while exploring the area? Up your excitement factor by embarking on this self-guided quest! Download the Questeon app and search for “Instahunt @ Haji Lane”. Discover various hidden gems like the Vintage Camera Museum, Bhai Sarbat and more, at your own pace and time! A great activity idea with your friends and partners!
With such a variety of bars, restaurants, cafes and food stops, end off your exploration with 3 must-eats!
1. ALATURKA TURKISH & MEDITERRANEAN RESTAURANT. Alaturka is a friendly restaurant in the heart of Bussorah Street that is renowned for its authentic Turkish cuisine. For 15 years, they have been serving high-quality interpretations of classic dishes as well as tasty new ventures into uncharted territories of Turkish food. They were also awarded the Michelin Guide Singapore Bib Gourmand in 2016 and continue to work hard to bring Singapore an authentic taste of Turkey coupled with exemplary hospitality and ambience. If you would like to try some authentic Turkish cuisine, head down now!
2. SINGAPORE ZAM ZAM. Established in 1908, Singapore Zam Zam is one of the most popular Indian-Muslim restaurants in Singapore. Opens 7 days a week, this place is famous for perfecting Nasi biryani, Murtabak, Roti prata and many other dishes for over a century! The restaurant is located right across the street from Sultan Mosque, on the corner of Arab Street and Bridge Road, just a short walk from the Bugis area of Singapore. It is one of those restaurants that looks like it’s really small from the bottom floor but go up the flight of stairs to the right, and there’s an entire upstairs with multiple dining rooms and about 30 extra tables in an air-conditioned environment.
3. BAKES BY NY. With 4 outlets islandwide, Bakes by NY has just opened its newest outlet at Sultan Gate in Kampong Glam. Besides its central location, the new outlet also sells exclusive items. You can’t head to any Bakes by NY’s outlets without trying their stuffed donuts! From nutella to salted caramel, ondeh-ondeh, Biscoff and more, their donuts are chewy with generous amounts of filling. The highlight of this new outlet is none other than their Drip Donuts! These are small morsels of donuts dripped with your choice of sauces – from dark chocolate to matcha, dulce de leche (caramelised milk), white chocolate, crushed cornflakes and more. This will definitely satisfy your sweet tooth cravings and is a great way to end your meal!