First Time in Chinatown Singapore - What to Do

Chinatown Singapore Survival Guide

Chinatown is where the old traditions of Singapore live on. You can see old friends playing board games, drinking tea and chatting loudly; hectic fresh markets alive with the theatre of life; stunning temples and shophouses; authentic hawker centres, and so much more. Singapore Chinatown is located right in the centre of Singapore and is well serviced by public transport. Divided into four main districts – Kreta Ayer, Telok Ayer, Tanjong Pagar and Bukit Pasoh – you can easily get around on foot in Chinatown and makes for a fascinating exploration, day or night.

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Chinatown Singapore At a Glance

Here’s a summary of what we like about this area, and also what we don’t like. We have tried to give a balanced view, so you can decide in seconds if this is the right place for you. This is genuine, first-hand advice.

  • Plenty of cultural sights
  • Excellent dining and street food
  • Authentic shopping opportunities
  • Good mix of luxury hotels alongside cheap rooms for budget backpackers
  • Easy to walk to the CBD and Clarke Quay
  • Cultural attractions might be boring for children
  • Shopping malls here tend to be quite dated

Best Things to Do in Chinatown

There are several temples in Singapore’s Chinatown that you should really make time to check out. In particular, the stunning Buddha Tooth Relic Temple on South Bridge Road. You’ll be able to walk around the whole compact area too, with lots of interesting street scenes to encounter.

  • Buddha Tooth Relic Temple

    Buddha Tooth Relic Temple

    The Buddha Tooth Relic Temple is a remarkable four-story temple. When entering the gate, you’ll immediately notice the Read More»

  • Sri Mariamman Temple

    Sri Mariamman Temple

    The oldest shrine in Singapore – Sri Mariamman Temple is one of the most prominent places of worship for Tamil Hindus in Read More»

  • Singapore Chinatown Street Market

    Singapore Chinatown Street Market

    Singapore’s Chinatown Street Market is one of the city’s most popular spots to visit. The shops and stalls in this Read More»

Best Restaurants in Chinatown

Meal times are a definite highlight in Chinatown. The huge evening market is enduringly popular with enough variety to fill an entire trip. Fine-dining restaurants are also scattered around, with Andre being one of the very best. For a taste of something authentic, head to Maxwell Road Hawker Centre for a cheap yet tasty meal with the locals.

  • Chinatown Food Street

    Chinatown Food Street

    Chinatown Food Street has had a bit of a makeover, making it one of the best places to eat cheap, tasty and authentic Read More»

  • Maxwell Hawker Centre Singapore

    Maxwell Hawker Centre

    Maxwell Road Hawker Centre is one of the best places to try genuine Singaporean dishes that are cheap and very tasty. Read More»

  • Restaurant Andre

    While the molecular portions served up here are microscopic in size, and often quite confusing, few dining experiences Read More»

Best Nightlife in Chinatown

Chinatown has a popular nightlife street with a cool bar scene on the appropriately named Club Street. The Chinatown Night Market is a hive of activity until midnight. Tippling club is a nice spot for some funky cocktails and avant-garde cuisine.

  • Club Street

    5 Cool Bars on Club Street

    Some rather trendy bars have been popping up around Club Street on a regular basis, making this one of Chinatown's best Read More»

  • Chinatown Food Street

    Chinatown Food Street

    Chinatown Food Street has had a bit of a makeover, making it one of the best places to eat cheap, tasty and authentic Read More»

  • Tippling Club

    English-born head chef Ryan Clift takes the meaning of the word innovative to a whole new level at Tippling Club, with Read More»

The Best Hotels in Chinatown

Hotels in Chinatown offer some of the best value possible in Singapore. A popular base for backpackers, you can find many hostels here as well as plenty of midrange accommodation that combines a culturally rich location, walking distance to public transport and great for hopping around the city.

Naumi Liora Hotel

Naumi Liora Hotel

Naumi Liora is a carefully restored Chinese residence located in the Keong Saik road resting inside the Chinatown and Read More...

PARKROYAL on Pickering

PARKROYAL on Pickering

Parkroyal on Pickering is conveniently located at the junction of New Bridge Road and upper Pickering Street, both a Read More...

Park Regis Singapore

Park Regis Singapore

Park Regis Singapore is ideally located within walking distance to entertainment and dining hotspots such as Clarke Read More...


Hotels in Chinatown

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