Loved and frequented by many Singaporeans, Bugis is the place to go to if you are looking to take some Insta-worthy pictures, cafe-hop and shop!
Named after an ethnic group of seafaring people from Indonesia, Bugis is often featured in tourist guides for its extensive shopping options.
However, the Bugis and Bras Basah area is also known for being Singapore’s heritage, arts and design precinct. Here are the spots you should not miss.
Things to do at Bugis
1. Drop by National Design Centre
If you are all about art and design, drop by the National Design Centre for interesting exhibitions and other events. This centre which is filled with history also provides guided tours. While you are there, get some Japanese and American-inspired food from Tanuki Raw.
National Design Centre
Address: 111 Middle Rd., 188969
Tel: 6333 3737
Opening hours: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Mon. to Sun.)
2. Get your nails done at Deluxe Nails and Eyelashes
Doing your nails can get pretty expensive and it is sometimes hard to find a nail salon that offers cheap but high quality services. Deluxe Nails offers just that! At just $18, you will be able to get an express gel manicure that is of high quality by sweet and friendly staff.
Deluxe Nails and Eyelashes
Address: 3 New Bugis St., #03-129, 188867
Tel: 9839 3825
Opening hours: 12 to 10 p.m.
3. Take pictures with colourful murals
Admire the beauty and design as you take a stroll along Haji lane and Kampong Glam. Need to update your feed? Don’t forget to snap a picture before you head back. The pop of colour on the walls will definitely bring some life to your feed.
Address: Haji Lane + Kampong Glam
4. Visit Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple and Sri Krishnan Temple
At the end of Waterloo Street, you’ll find a Chinese and Indian temple standing next to each other. Don’t be surprised to find some worshippers offering prayers at both temples. That’s because Hinduism and Buddhism have many similarities, and it is common for worshippers to practise rituals across both religions. Take a walk a little further down the area and try to spot the traditional fortune-tellers and palm readers.
Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple + Sri Krishnan Temple
Addresses: 178 Waterloo St., 187964; 152 Waterloo St., 187961
Opening hours: 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. (Mon. to Sat.); 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., 6 to 8:45 p.m. (Mon. to Sun.)
5. Make a trip to the National Library
This huge 16-storey building is home to the Central Public Library, an extensive reference library, a performing arts centre and several exhibition spaces. Your kids will love the colorful children’s section in the basement. Do stop by for their kid’s storytelling sessions on the weekends from 2:30 to 3 p.m.!
Address: 100 Victoria St., 188064
Opening hours: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Mon. to Sun.)
What to eat + drink at Bugis
1. A9 Noodle Dumpling
Cheap and delicious, this restaurant serves a piping hot bowl of noodles and dumplings that are good for a rainy day. For just $4, you can get your hands on a bowl of Chive Pork Dumpling Noodles. You can also get a plate of 15 dumplings for the same price. If you want to get some dumplings to cook on your own at home, a packet of 20 pieces costs only $3.
A9 Noodle Dumpling
Address: 190 Middle Rd., Fortune Centre, #02-26, 188979
Opening hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Tue. to Sat.); 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Mon. + Sun.)
2. Japanese Curry Express
If you are a fan of Sashimi, you are going to love the Sashimi ($12) here. Thick and juicy, this fish melts in your mouth. Another hot seller is their steaming hot Chawanmushi which is served in a large bowl unlike other restaurants. Do ask the staff about the price of the Chawanmushi before you place an order. Why? It’s a special item not found on the menu! It also offers a range of sushi rolls for you to choose from.
Japanese Curry Express
Address: 190 Middle Rd., Fortune Centre, #03-04, 188979
Tel: 9689 6314
Opening hours: 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., 5:30 to 8 p.m.
A foot in and you will be awestruck by the grand and majestic ambience at Atlas. If you are going for date night with your partner, this is the place to be. This lobby and bar is located on the ground floor of Singapore’s iconic building, Parkview Square. Try its smoked pork loin ($36) and the Atlas Martini ($25) along with it.
Address: Parkview Square, 600 North Bridge Rd., 188778
Tel: 6396 4466
Opening hours: 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. (Mon. to Fri.); 12 to 10:30 p.m. (Sat. + Sun.)
4. Ma Maison
“Ma maison” is a French word which means “my home”. The restaurant hopes to be a place where customers can celebrate special moments with family and loved ones in a cosy home-like ambience. If you are heading for lunch, get its lunch sets (from $13.90) which are super value for money. All sets include a bowl of soup, salad and a drink.
Address: 200 Victoria St., Bugis Junction, #02-51, 188021
Tel: 6338 4819
Opening hours: 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Mon. to Sun.)
5. Ah Chew Dessert
From hot to cold desserts, this shop has got them all. Head there with your friends and family after a meal and get a range of desserts to share. We recommend you trying its Mango Pomelo Sago ($4.50) – a local favourite! – and its Grass Jelly ($2.30)
Ah Chew Dessert
Address: 1 Liang Seah St., Liang Seah Place, #01-10/11, 189032.
Tel: 6339 8198
Opening hours: 12.30 p.m. to 12 a.m. (Mon. to Thu.); 12:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. (Fri.); 1:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. (Sat.); 1:30 p.m. to 12 a.m. (Sun.)
6. Tanuki Raw
If you are craving for Japanese cuisine, this popular restaurant will for sure satisfy those cravings of yours. Get their NDC Truffle Yakiniku ($18.90) or its NDC Chirashi ($23.90) while you munch on theTruffle Spam Fries ($12.90). If you are vegetarian, fret not, because this eating estab also offers vegetarian options!
Address: 111 Middle Rd., National Design Centre, #01-05, 188969
Tel: 9035 9398
Opening hours: 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Mon. to Sun.)
7. Mellower Coffee Singapore
A coffee house from Shanghai, Mellower Coffee Singapore specialises in specialty coffee from various places around the world. You can check with the friendly baristas to see the price and type of single origin coffee that is being offered for the week. The house blend coffee is specially flown in from Shanghai and hand crafted by the baristas to give you a new perspective on coffee.
Mellower Coffee Singapore
Address: 108 Middle Rd., #01-01, Bernhard Schulte House, 188967
Tel: 6255 0820
Opening hours: 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Sun. to Thu.); 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Fri. + Sat.)
8. Twenty Grammes
Located in the Kampong Glam precinct, Twenty Grammes is a local boutique that serves up delicious artisan gelato along and homemade crisp waffles and cakes. A sweet aroma of vanilla and milky goodness greets you as you step into the shop, reminiscent of late Sunday mornings when a scrumptious brunch of homemade waffles was in order. While you are there, don’t forget to grab some Sea Salt Chocolate Cookies ($16).
Address: 753 North Bridge Rd., #01-01, 198721
Tel: 6717 1733
Opening hours: 12 to 10 p.m. (Sun. to Thu.); 12 p.m. to 1 a.m. ( Fri. + Sat.)
9. The Masses
The Masses is a Franco-Asian restaurant serving honest, good food that Monsieur, Mademoiselle and Ah Ma will love. If you are planning to go there for lunch, opt for its lunch set menu ($33.90 or $45.90) which consists of a starter, a main and a dessert supplement.
Address: 85 Beach Rd., #01-02, 189694
Tel: 6266 0061
Opening hours: 12 to 3 p.m., 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. (Mon. to Sat.); 12 to 3 p.m., 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. (Sun.)
Artichoke is probably the least authentic Middle-Eastern restaurant around. The food is fun and creative; drawing inspiration from Middle-Eastern flavours and ingredients, as opposed to being traditional. And that is exactly how chef and owner, Bjorn Shen, wants it to be. Don’t forget to try its Swordfish Kebab ($26) and Mushroom Shawarma ($20) because these dishes are delish!
Address: 161 Middle Rd., 188978
Tel: 6336 6949
Opening hours: 5 to 9:30 p.m. (Tue. to Sun.); 11:30 a.m. to 2;30 p.m. (Sat. + Sun.)
Where to shop at Bugis
1. Bugis Street
This lively place is shopping on the budget at its finest. With an atmosphere that resembles a typical Asian night market, Bugis Street is full of cheap finds for clothes, especially women’s fashion and more. It can get pretty packed at times so be prepared to jostle with the crowd to get to your best buys.
Address: 3 New Bugis St., 188867
Opening hours: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Mon. to Sun.)
Hygge is a Danish word, used for being present and recognising a moment that feels so cosy, charming, sweet or nice, whether it’s simple or special, whether you are alone or with friends and family. That is exactly how Hygge wants to help you feel when you are at home. Its lovely coasters go at $13.90 each.
Address: 37 Haji Ln., 189230
Tel: 8163 1893
Opening hours: 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Sun. to Fri.); 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Sat.)
3. The Editor’s Market
The Editor’s Market creates versatile and timeless essentials that last beyond seasonal trends. Its products possess a refined, minimalist aesthetic and an effortless style and is extremely popular among young ladies. Most of its dresses are $45 and above tops are $29 and above.
The Editor’s Market
Address: 201 Victoria Street, Bugis+, #01-04, 188067
Tel: 6238 6440
Opening hours: 11 a.m. to. 9:30 p.m. (Mon. to Sun.)
4. Peek A Box
If you are looking for a gift for a friend, this shop is a treasure-trove of fabulous finds. From quirky collectibles to mobile gadgets, you will definitely be able to find something here. As the shop carries a variety of items, it would be best to approach the staff to find out more about the prices of various items.
Peek A Box
Address: 201 Victoria St., #03-05, 188067
Tel: 8790 6689
Opening hours: 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Sun. to Thu.); 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. ( Fri. + Sat.)
Get anything from Daiso with just $2. The megastore has over 70,000 different products in the inventory and a further 1,000 new products being developed each month. You can find almost anything in Daiso, from makeup to household items and you don’t have to worry about them being of low quality.
Address: 200 Victoria St. #03-01/27/28, 188021
Tel: 6259 5112
Opening Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Mon. to Sun.)
By Muneerah Bee, May 2016 / Updated by Muneerah Bee, December 2019 / Last updated by Jasia Shamdasani