East Coast Park welcomes 7.5 million visitors each year, but there are so many more things to do on the East Coast of Singapore
The suburb of Katong on the East Coast has a reputation for culture and history. After all, it’s the heart or Peranken and Eurasian culture in Singapore. But the nearby East Coast suburbs of Joo Chiat, Geylang, Paya Lebar and Bedok also have plenty of personality – and excellent cafes and shopping. In addition, nearby Kallang is Singapore’s hub for free spots and water activities, while Siglap is an expat-friendly enclave with cafes that serve everything from fish and chips to Aussie breakfasts, all with a local twist.
What are you waiting for? Head out and have fun with this complete guide to things to do on the East Coast of Singapore!
Things to do in the East Coast
1. Wild Wild Wet
Get ready for a day of fun at one of Singapore’s largest waterparks. This complex at Downtown East has attractions for all ages, including toddlers. You can wade peacefully in the lazy pool, or catch an adrenaline rush on the many huge water slides. This park is perfect for a family day out, or simply for those with young spirits.
*In light of Phase 2 HA, only 2 people per group are allowed in the park.
Wild Wild Wet
Address: 1 Pasir Ris Close, 519599
Tel: 6581 9128
Opening hours: 12 to 6 p.m. (Fri. to Sun.)
Admission: From $24 (adult day pass), from $18 (child and senior day pass)
2. Singapore Sports Hub
If you’re an outdoor activities person, you’ll get your fill at the Singapore Sports Hub. From kayaking to volleyball and fitness studios, you can break a sweat at any time. Some facilities, like the beach volleyball courts are free to book. Add the extensive gym facilities and you have one of the best fitness deals in Singapore. (Check out this guide for more things to do at the Singapore Sports Hub!)
Singapore Sports Hub
Address: 1 Stadium Dr., National Stadium, 397629
Tel: 6653 8900
Opening hours: 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Daily)
3. Iconic Shophouses
The East Coast seashore used to be Singapore’s holiday staycation spot. Back-in-the-day wealthy families built beautifully decorated houses here, to catch the breeze. You’ll see these gorgeous old houses all over the vibrant neighbourhood of Joo Chiat, which epitomises Singapore’s melting pot of traditions. A sure winner is Koon Seng Road in Joo Chiat. Stroll down this street to admire the multicoloured shophouses, all built before 1945.
4. Marine Cove Playground
Okay, okay – we would be remiss if we didn’t cover some of the free highlights along East Coast Park. Kids will love the 3,500 square metre vibrant playground with sensory play panels and loooong slides at Marine Cove. Tip: Try going on weekdays because weekends can be super packed!
Marine Cove Playground
Address: 1000 ECP, 449876
5. Singapore Wake Park
If you’re just sick of sweating when you exercise in Singapore, give wakeboarding a go at the Singapore Wake Park. Singapore’s only cable-ski park is located in a sheltered lagoon on East Coast Parkway. You con’t have to be a watersports expert. Kids aged from dix and older, and complete beginners are welcome to participate.
*Please not that System A (Beginners System) is temporarily closed during Phase 2 HA, from 22 July to 18 August.
Singapore Wake Park
Address: 1206A East Coast Parkway, 449891
Tel: 6636 4266
Opening hours: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Mon. to Fri.); 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Sat. to Sun.)
6. Katong Antique House
This bona fide antique house is a treasure trove of Peranakan history, with floor-to-ceiling displays of crafts, furniture, fashion and artefacts dating back to the 1800s. The house was inherited and maintained by the late founder, Peter Wee, who collected Peranaken historical artefacts for over 40 years. You can book a guided visit and step into a true time capsule while enriching yourself with Peranakan culture.
*Katong Antique House is temporarily closed during Phase 2 HA, from 22 July to 18 August.
Katong Antique House
Address: 208 E Coast Rd., 428907
Tel: 6345 8544
7. Street Art
Keep your eyes peeled while you walk around East Coast and you can see fun and creative street art. This mural at the junction of Joo Chiat Terrace and Everitt Road, features two children play-fighting with a paint roller and a mop dipped in paint. It’s the work of Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic, the same artist behind the lively street art you can see all over the heritage streets of Georgetown in Penang!
8. Carpmael Park
Kids go nuts for this unique vertical playground sandwiched between houses in Joo Chiat. You can climb on the various rock climbing walls, use twirling slides, and swing down the fireman’s pole. It’s a kid’s mini heaven – or you can use it for a free workout, if you’re bored with the gym. This place is near the award-winning Birds of Paradise gelato and icecream shop, so after all that activity, you can celebrate with a dessert.
Address: 166 Ceylon Rd., 429728 (Along Carpmael and Ceylon Rd.)
9. Hotel Indigo Singapore Katong
Check in to the Peranakan-themed Hotel Indigo Singapore Katong Hotel for a mini-staycay (or day-cay) and really immerse yourself in the creative spirit of the East Coast of Singapore. Housed in the former Joo Chiat Police Station, it has a secret rooftop infinity pool, and an authentic (and chic!) Peranaken restaurant on the ground floor, called Baba Chews.
Hotel Indigo Singapore Katong
Address: 86 East Coast Rd., 428788
Tel: 6723 7001
Where to eat and drink
*Disclaimer: At the time of publication, in view of the Phase 2 Heightened Alert measures, dining in is prohibited at all eating establishments until 18 August 2021. Takeouts are still allowed. We’re doing our best to be accurate, but please double check with the restaurants before you visit.
1. Birds of Paradise
At this Michelin-recommended gelato shop on East Coast Road, the frozen treats include botanical flavours of icecream and sorbet like Strawberry Basil, Pandan and fresh Mango. The made-to-order waffle cones are infused with rosemary, and taste like nothing else around! Warning: There’s often a queue out the front door on weekends.
Birds of Paradise
Address: 63 East Coast Rd., #01-05, 428776 / 78 Airport Blvd., #01-214/215/216, Jewel Changi Airport, 819666
WhatsApp: 9862 3260 (Message only, no calls)
Opening hours: 12 to 10 p.m. (Tue. to Sun.) / 12 to 10 p.m. (Daily)
2. Old Airport Road Food Centre
Fancy a little bit of everything? Located in Katong, Old Airport Road Food Centre is one of Singapore’s largest, and has amazing Fried Hokkien Noodles, Fish Head Curry and more.
Old Airport Road Food Centre
Address: 51 Old Airport Rd., 390051
Opening hours: 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.
3. G7 Sin Ma Live Seafood Restaurant
Over on Geylang Road, G7 Sin Ma Live Seafood Restaurant serves one of the best frog claypot porridge meals in town. a mix of rice, spices and yes, edible frog meat. If you’ve never had it before, the frogs are specially farmed and taste kind of like very tasty chicken, but smoother. You can sample this iconic and traditional dish with other dim sum goodies, vegetables and meat side dishes. And if you’re a crab lover, this seafood restaurant has a best-selling Chilli Crab and Black Pepper Crab that is to-die-for.
G7 Sin Ma Live Seafood Restaurant
Address: 161, 163 Geylang Rd. Lorong 3, 389239
Tel: 6848 4161
Opening hours: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Daily)
4. The Tuckshop – Assembly
Brunch cafe-meets-bar, The Tuckshop is a riverside hangout that puts a unique Singaporean twist on brunch classics. Get a load of sinful side dishes like crispy pork belly ($12) and the classic truffle fries ($12). On weekends, the savoury and sweet brunch is popular, with options like the Soft Shell Crab Burger ($20) and Warm French Toast ($10).
*The Tuckshop – Assembly will be temporarily closed during Phase 2 HA, from 22 July to 18 August.
The Tuckshop – Assembly
Address: 403 Guillemard Rd., 399795
Tel: 6744 8205
Opening hours: 4 to 10:30 p.m. (Daily); 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (Sat. to Sun.)
5. Cafe Melba
Nestled in Katong, Café Melba is a chic and relaxed cafe that’s the perfect spot for a breakfast or brunch. The name is a portmanteau of (Melb)ourne and (A)sia, and the menu is inspired by Australian cafes, given a Singaporean twist. Good choices include the Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes Stack ($14), classic Eggs Benedict ($20) and Avocado Toast ($18). Or opt for something more extravagant, like the Mozarella Stuffed Potato Rosti ($22), which comes with poached eggs. Not to mention the sweet delights of Sticky Date Pudding ($12) and Chocolate Lava Cake ($13).
Address: 90 Goodman Rd., Block N #01-56, Goodman Arts Centre, 439053
Tel: 6440 6068
Opening hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Daily)
6. Alt. Pizza
Back on East Coast Road, Alt. Pizza is a fuss-free, affordable pizza place that’s great for groups and families. The thin-crusted pizza are crispy and chewy in the right places, with toppings the range from the meat-lovers Pepperazzi ($18) to the vegetarian Lean & Green ($18), with pesto sauce and cheese. Or go for the “Design-It-Yourself” pizza option (from $16) – apparently you can make more than 650,000 combinations from the toppings offered.
Address: 117 East Coast Rd., 428805
Tel: 6247 7360
Opening hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Daily)
7. Rabbit Carrot Gun
A few blocks down, boutique resturant Rabbit Carrot Gun can cover all of your comfort-food bases. It’s locally-owned, but this eatry specialises in sophisticated versions of classic British fare. It doesn’t get more English than the Gamekeeper’s Shooting Breakfast ($24), which consists of sausage, bacon, baked beans, mushrooms, grilled tomatoes and eggs on toast. If you’re looking for something more decadent, check out the Sunday Roast (only available on Sundays, of course), with options of Roast Beef or Roast Pork ($32) paired with potatoes roasted in duck fat roasted potatoes, honey roasted carrots and Yorkshire pudding. One of the quirks about East Coast is that it attracts long term expats as residents. This place is proof.
Rabbit Carrot Gun
Address: 47-49 East Coast Rd., 428768
Tel: 9875 3361
Opening hours: 8:45 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. (Tue. to Sun.)
Where to shop
1. The WYLD
Joo Chiat has a reputation for arty little boutiques and craft centres that sell one-of-a-kind-pieces. One of the best is The WYLD. This boutique is full of dresses in eccentric but chic colour combinations. You can find flouncy, floral summer dresses, casual but work-friendly attire, plus greeting cards, earrings and gifts.
Address: 412 Joo Chiat Rd., 427637
Tel: 8727 1380
Opening hours: 12 to 5 p.m. (Sun. to Mon.); 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Tue. to Sat.)
Housed in a colourful shophouse in Joo Chiat, this boho chic boutique curates creative indie brands in Singapore. It’s a great spot to find Singapore souveniers with a difference, and homeware by independent designers. You’ll also find a line of ethically produced clothing.
Address: 420 Joo Chiat Rd., 427641
Tel: 8742 7670
Opening hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Mon. to Sat.); 12 to 5 p.m. (Sun.)
3. Choice Cuts Goods + Coffee
If you believe nothing has the depth of sound of vinyl records, here’s where you can shop for the best hip-hop, funk, soul and Asian rare vinyl records in Singapore. You can also find other hip-hop inspired lifestyle products, accessories, and streetwear brands. As life opens up post-pandemic, the plan is to add events to this shop, including Saturday afternoon DJ sessions and Saturday night live jam sessions. You can grab a coffee, listen to music and know you are with your tribe.
Choice Cuts Goods + Coffee
Address: 446 Joo Chiat Rd., 427659
Tel: 8112 9004
Opening hours: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Mon. to Fri.); 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Sat. to Sun.)
4. KINEX Mall and Parkway Parade Mall
The widest shopping options on the East Coast are Parkway Parade mall on Marine Parade, which is an enormous mall with all the supermarkets, chemists and shops you need. Or try KINEX in Geylang. It’s not the biggest mall in Singapore, but it has a useful selection of DIY and home stores, including Daiso, also known as “The $2 Shop. It also has a specialty supermarket with a good selection of vegan ingredients and Korean food and snacks.
5. Cat Socrates
If you’re into millenial-style cottagecore interior decorating, Cat Socrates is a must-stop. You’ll find bedsheets decorated with cat prints, artistic kitchenware, little trinkets and craft accessories. It feels like a very quirky boutique you might find in Seoul, Tokyo or Hong Kong.
Originally by Sara Lyle Bow, The Finder (Issue 283) / Last updated by Isabel Wibowo