Once an ethnic enclave for the Malay community in the 1800s, Kampung Gelam–or Kampong Glam as it’s known these days–has since evolved to become a melting pot of vibrant culture. Historically, it was a Malay urban residential area. 

Today, it is known as a popular district near Bugis MRT Station, where age-old traditions and trendy boutiques come together in a harmonious blend along Arab Street.

Kampong Glam today is no longer what it was like in its colonial era. Its transformation has turned it into a haunt for not just locals but also hip travellers alike. This is not surprising, considering that the place offers a ton of interesting spots—anything from majestic cultural buildings to eye-popping street art, restaurants, bars and shops. And there is simply nothing quite like Kampong Glam food. Having said that, more efforts are underway to help enliven the area even further.  

Until then though, we’ve gathered some of the current must-visits whenever you’re around the area!

Mouth-watering spots to visit in Kampong Glam for the foodies

1. Alaturka Mediterranean & Turkish Restaurant

Located in the enclave of Arab Street along Kampong Glam sits this charming restaurant that has been serving authentic Turkish dishes since 2005. Fun fact: Alaturka was also awarded the Michelin Guide Singapore Bib Gourmand in 2016! 

Its menu is rather extensive, including flatbreads and traditional dishes like the Kuzu İncik (S$28) — braised lamb shank served with sauces, potato purée and roasted whole garlic. There’s also the Hünkâr Begendi (S$28) — an ottoman-style braised beef served over creamy smoked eggplant purée. 

Here’s also where you get to savour delicious fare like the Karisik Kebab (S$59 for two), which comes with a classic mix of flame-licked kebabs. While you’re at it, consider ordering accompanying dips like hummus (S$12.50) too. 

For some cold appetisers, get the Havoc Salata (S$12.50), a dish where grated carrots are sautéed in butter, then tossed in yoghurt and garlic. If you’re looking to get more veggies in your belly, order the Çoban Salata (S$14) — a healthy bowl with diced cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, olives and feta dressed in a pomegranate dressing.

Address: 15 Bussorah St, Singapore 199436
Operating hours: Monday to Sunday—11:30am to 10:30pm

2. HJH Maimunah

Save from some obvious gentrified traps, Kampong Glam is pretty well-preserved when it comes to authentic eateries. 

One of the must-tries is the renowned HJH Maimunah—a family-owned Muslim eatery that specialises in traditional kampung-style dishes influenced by Indonesian cuisine. Founded in 1992, HJH Maimunah is now a third-generation thriving restaurant that serves over 40 dishes every day.  

This well-loved eatery serves Nasi Padang (Indonesian dishes flavoured with spices and served with rice). Some crowd favourites include Beef Rendang, Sundanese Grilled Chicken and Tahu Telor (an Indonesian tofu omelette). All of which goes so well with a plate of fragrant, steamed white rice. Another great choice is the Siput Sedut Lemak (needle snails in coconut sauce).

On top of all that, the establishment was also awarded the prestigious Bib Gourmand rating in the Michelin Guide Singapore 2021. The outdoor atmosphere at Kampong Glam is perfect for a wholesome get-together with friends and family. Simply sit back and let the spice kick in after wandering around the neighbourhood! 

Address: 1 Jln Pisang, Singapore 199078
Operating hours: Monday to Saturday—7:30am to 6:30pm

3. Mother Dough Bakery

Famed for its freshly baked loaves and croissants, Mother Dough Bakery is a cosy Muslim-owned bakery that is situated in Kampong Glam. 

Its founder and baker, Naadhira Ismail, had spent four years in New York City perfecting the art of bread-making before she decided to open a permanent halal bakery in Singapore back in 2018.

Aside from its rotating menu of quiches and cakes, one of its most popular picks is the massive Almond Croissant (S$6.20), an airy pastry that is sticky, sweet and delightful all at the same time. Another great gem is the Sticky Date Cake (S$6.70) — a moist honeyed pound cake that is glazed with buttery caramel.

Do note that since Mother Dough offers both dine-in and takeaway options, some of their bakes might also sell out by midday, so it is recommended to get your hands on these treats earlier in the day! 

Address: 3 Jalan Kledek, Singapore 199259
Operating hours: Tuesday to Sunday—10:00am to 5:00pm

4. Box n Sticks

Situated in the bustling Kampong Glam area, Box n Sticks is a humble izakaya that has held its weight for close to a decade. 

Thanks to its pocket-friendly Japanese rice bowls, bento boxes and pasta, the restaurant has successfully lured in crowds of hungry diners over the years. Not just that. This place also exudes a retro charm, especially with its showa era posters and warm wooden interiors.

If you’re a fan of spice, consider getting its Spicy Aburi Seafood Maki (S$18.90). This delicious plate comes with prawn tempura, crabstick, torched salmon, as well as a house-made sauce derived from a blend of chillies. 

For the steam bun lovers, opt for its Signature Buta Kakuni Buns (S$10.80). These pillowy white buns are served as threes on a skewer, with chunks of tender pork belly placed in the middle. What makes it even tastier is a bowl of thick, caramelised sauce served on the side, which you can use to slather the buns in for an extra burst of flavour.

Box n Sticks is an izakaya for a reason. If your intention is to have at least a beer or two while there, be sure to check with the staff on their Rollin Good Times offer. The promotion goes like this: Simply order a jug of beer and roll three dice at once. 

If you’re lucky enough to score three of the same number, you’ll get 40% off your beer jugs. If you manage to get straight ascending digits, on the other hand, you’ll get 20% off. 

Address: 28 Kandahar Street, Singapore 198889
Operating hours: Sunday to Thursday—11:45am to 3:00pm, 6:00pm to 10:00pm; Friday to Saturday—11:45am to 3:00pm, 6:00pm to 10:30pm

5. Bhai Sarbat

You’ll find fancy coffee places serving up flat whites and lattes along Kampong Glam by the dozens, sure. But you should probably visit the famed Bhai Sarbat instead. This is a traditional Teh Tarik stall tucked in one of the alleyways of Kampong Glam.

Besides traditional Teh Tarik, they serve up to more than 70 drinks on their menu, including more refreshing picks like, iced lemon tea, sugarcane and soda lemon. 

One of the most exciting moments when visiting this nostalgic gem is getting to watch the skills of the servers. Here, black tea is pulled with milk; from one stainless steel mug to the next, up until a frothy texture is achieved. 

Address: 21 Bussorah Street, Singapore 199442
Operating hours: Monday to Sunday—6:30am to 1:00am

Shop & explore the vibrant cultural sights of Kampong Glam

6. Sultan Mosque

mosque in kampong glam mosque in kampong glam

Discover the iconic Sultan Mosque, named after Sultan Hussein Shah, a historic landmark in Singapore's Muslim community.

Also known as Masjid Sultan, the impressive Sultan Mosque is an iconic landmark that cannot be missed. If you’re around the area, It's likely you’ll first notice its massive golden domes even from afar. 

This is one of Singapore’s most impressive religious buildings. It is also one of the most historic focal points for the Muslim Community here. 

After all, the mosque was built in 1824 by the first sultan of Singapore. It was also further renovated to include a double-tiered roof by Sir Stamford Raffles—the founder of Singapore.

While non-muslims are permitted to enter the sacred prayer hall, do note that you’ll have to wear a blue robe, which is provided at the entrance. Visitors should also enter via the main entrance, remove their footwear and remain respectful at all times.

Do note that certain areas may be restricted during prayer services on Fridays.

Address: 3 Muscat St, Singapore 198833
Operating hours: Monday to Friday—9:00am to 5:30pm; Saturday—9:00am to 1:00pm; Sunday—Closed

7. Sifr Aromatics

Much like Ollivanders (the whimsical wand store in Harry Potter), Sifr Aromatics is a whimsical, novel establishment that is worth a visit. 

Founded in 2010 by a long line of perfumers, Sifr is a third-generation niche independent perfume shop. 

Blending ancient and modern techniques into each concoction, you’ll find scents suited to different individual’s preferences. There are customised blends, in-house perfume oils, hand poured soy-wax candles, body balms—you name it. 

Just for perfume oils alone, you’ll get to choose the Patchouli Rose (from S$65), for instance, which is light yet earthy. There is also the Sage Tea perfume for those who prefer a more delicate and fresh scent with a hint of sparkling citrus. 

If you’ve always wanted to learn more about what it is like to be a perfumer, check out their workshop, that is priced at S$100 per pax. Make your bookings here!

Address:  42 Arab St, Singapore 199741
Operating hours: Sunday to Monday and Public Holidays—11:00am to 5:00pm; Tuesday to Saturday—11:00am to 8:00pm

8. Vintage Camera’s Museum

Regardless of whether you’re a camera collector or photography enthusiast, the Vintage Camera’s Museum is a unique attraction in Singapore that more people should consider visiting, regardless of whether you’re a tourist or not. 

Safe to say, the museum makes a strong first impression. That is because the entrance takes on the shape of not just any regular door but a massive camera lens! That being said, the real magic occurs when you enter, as you’ll be taken through a mind-blowing collection of antique, vintage cameras (about 1,000 in total).

In today’s age of digital photography, most of us easily forget the once prominent role of cameras and the role they play in society. Besides showcasing physical cameras, the museum also features a host of archival photographs; of key historical moments like the moon landing as well as wartime images. 

Some novel camera models worth noting include the massive six-metre long mammoth camera from the 1800s, as well as toy or spy cameras used by Japanese troops in the past.

Admission: S$20 for adults, S$15 for senior citizens and children below 12
Address: 8C & 8D Jalan Kledek, Singapore 199263
Operating hours:  Monday to Sunday—10:30am to 7:30pm

9. Gelam Gallery

Singapore isn’t short of talented artists. In fact, take a stroll along Singapore’s first outdoor gallery—Gelam Gallery, and you’ll get a sense of the city’s bubbling creative scene. 

Once a dull space devoid of colour, backlanes of this area are now a vibrant sight to devour. Beyond graffiti-filled vibrant walls, take a moment to spot other unique transformations, such as repainted dustbins and drain covers. 

Here’s the gist of the place: Gelam Gallery showcases a range of murals and framed works of more than 30 artists from all walks of life. This includes fresh graduates from art schools like Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA), Lasalle College of the Arts, as well as experienced local and foreign artists. 

While you’re there, do not forget to pull out your camera for a quick IG-worthy shot! This could be one way to show your appreciation for the hard work and dedication of local artists.

Entrance to this outdoor gallery is free. If you prefer diving deeper into the projects with the help of a guide, consider signing up for a free guided walking tour conducted by Monster Day Tours. For more information, check out their site here

Address: Muscat St, Singapore 198833
Operating hours: 24 hours

10. Yip Yew Chong’s newest mural

kampong glam art kampong glam art

Discover the vibrant tales of Kampong Glam through Yip Yew Chong's stunning mural, capturing the essence of community life in every stroke.

Speaking of eye-catching artwork, here is something new you should not skip: Local artist Yip Yew Chong’s newest (and second-biggest) mural. 

Yip Yew Chong should be a familiar household name at this point. Essentially, he is known for a host of heritage morals dotted around Singapore—not just in Kampong Glam but across Chinatown too. This freshest piece, in fact, is his seventh at Kampong Glam. 

To put the new mural into better perspective: It spans one side of a three-storey building. It is also based on Yip’s past memories of Kampong Glam, depicting scenes of children playing with paper planes, along with intricate patterned textiles and cloths. 

Considering the depth of this large piece, it took him about 25 days to complete! 

For more spots like this, check out our article on graffiti and street art spots in Singapore.

Address: 92 Arab Street
Operating hours: 24 hours


Still at a loss as to what to see in Singapore? There is nothing quite like Kampong Glam. After all, it is the place where modernity meets tradition. It’s a place brimming with culture and culinary gems. The next time you’re up for some unique exploration around the city, consider immersing yourself in the area for a good dose of heritage, traditional markets, and mouth-watering dishes served at the local cafes and restaurants. It's undoubtedly one of the best places to visit in Singapore!


For more updates on Changi Airport, follow on FacebookTiktokInstagramXTelegram and YouTube. You can also sign up for a Changi Account and have the latest news and articles delivered right into your inbox.