Things to Do in Chinatown, Singapore: A Comprehensive Guide

Chinatown, Singapore is a vibrant and colorful district full of history, culture, and delicious food. It is a must-visit destination for tourists who want to experience the best of Singapore’s Chinese heritage. From the bustling street markets to the ornate temples, there is something for everyone in this lively neighborhood.

Visitors to Chinatown can explore the area’s rich history by visiting the Chinatown Heritage Centre, which offers a glimpse into the lives of early Chinese immigrants in Singapore. They can also marvel at the intricate architecture of the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, which houses a sacred relic of the Buddha. Foodies will love the many hawker centers and restaurants in the area, which serve up some of the best Chinese cuisine in Singapore.

Whether you’re interested in history, culture, or food, Chinatown offers something. Visitors can spend hours exploring the area’s many attractions, or simply soak up the atmosphere by wandering the colorful streets and sampling the local delicacies. With so much to see and do, it’s no wonder that Chinatown is one of Singapore’s most beloved neighborhoods.

Historical Tour

Chinatown is a vibrant Singapore district rich in history and culture. Visitors can immerse themselves in the area’s unique heritage by taking a historical tour of the neighborhood.

One of the best ways to explore Chinatown’s history is by joining a walking tour. Several tour operators offer guided tours that take visitors to some of the most iconic landmarks in the area, such as the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and the Chinatown Heritage Center. These tours provide a fascinating insight into the area’s rich cultural heritage, including the Chinese community’s customs, traditions, and beliefs.

Another option for visitors interested in Chinatown’s history is to explore the area’s temples and places of worship. The district has several religious sites, including the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, the Sri Mariamman Temple, and the Jamae Mosque. Each site has a unique history and architecture, and visitors can learn about Singapore’s diverse communities’ religious practices and beliefs.

Visitors interested in learning about the history of Chinatown’s architecture can also tour the area’s shophouses. These traditional buildings were once used as both a shop and a residence and played a vital role in developing Singapore’s economy. Today, many of these shophouses have been restored and are used as restaurants, cafes, and boutiques, allowing visitors to experience the area’s unique architecture and culture.

Overall, a historical tour of Chinatown is an excellent way to learn about the district’s rich cultural heritage. Visitors can explore the area’s temples, shophouses, and landmarks, providing a fascinating insight into Singapore’s diverse communities.

Food and Drink

Chinatown is a foodie’s paradise, and there’s no shortage of options for dining and drinking. Whether you’re looking for traditional Chinese cuisine or something more modern, there’s something for everyone.

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The Chinatown Complex is a must-visit for those who want to try authentic Chinese food. This hawker center has over 260 stalls, offering everything from dim sum to noodles to seafood. It’s a great place to sample various dishes and experience local flavors.

If you’re looking for a more upscale dining experience, there are plenty of restaurants in Chinatown. One popular spot is Liao Fan Hawker Chan, awarded a Michelin star for its delicious soy sauce chicken. Another great option is the Blue Ginger Restaurant, which serves traditional Peranakan cuisine.

For those who want to enjoy a drink or two, there are plenty of bars and pubs in Chinatown. The Chinatown Complex is home to a few bars, including Smith Street Taps, which offers a wide selection of craft beers. The rooftop bar at the Ann Siang House is another great drink spot, with stunning city skyline views.

No visit to Chinatown would be complete without trying some of the local street food. Some popular options include the famous Singaporean dish of chicken rice and satay, char kway teow, and bak chor mee. Just be sure to bring your appetite, as the portions are often generous!


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Chinatown is a shopper’s paradise, with many visitor shopping options. From traditional markets to luxury boutiques, Chinatown has something for everyone.

One of the best places to start is the Chinatown Street Market, which features a variety of stalls selling everything from souvenirs to clothing and accessories. Visitors can also explore the shops and stalls on Pagoda Street, Trengganu Street, Sago Lane, Smith Street, and Temple Street.

There are several high-end boutiques in the area for those looking for luxury goods. One of the most well-known is The Hour Glass, which has a reputation for expert knowledge and impeccable service. The store is famous for stocking the island’s widest selection of Rolex timepieces and other luxury watches. 

Another popular shopping destination is People’s Park Complex, which features many shops and stalls selling everything from clothing and accessories to electronics and household goods. Visitors can find People’s Park Complex at 1 Park Road, Singapore 059108.

Overall, Chinatown offers a unique shopping experience that combines traditional markets with modern luxury boutiques. Whether you’re looking for souvenirs or high-end fashion, Chinatown has something for everyone.


Chinatown in Singapore has a lot of entertainment options for tourists and locals alike. Visitors can immerse themselves in the area’s vibrant culture by exploring the various entertainment options available.

One popular attraction is the Chinatown Street Market. This bustling market offers visitors the opportunity to experience Chinatown’s sights, sounds, and smells. The market is filled with stalls selling various goods, including souvenirs, clothing, and traditional Chinese handicrafts. Visitors can also sample local street food and enjoy live performances by street performers.

Another popular attraction is the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple. This temple is a beautiful and serene place to visit. It houses a collection of Buddhist artifacts and relics, and visitors can also participate in meditation and prayer sessions.

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The Kreta Ayer People’s Theatre is a must-visit for those interested in the performing arts. This theatre hosts a range of performances, including traditional Chinese opera, music, and dance. The theatre also offers workshops and classes for those interested in learning more about Chinese culture and the performing arts.

Visitors looking for a more modern form of entertainment can check out the Chinatown Complex. This shopping complex houses various shops, restaurants, and entertainment options. Visitors can watch movies at the cinema, go bowling, or play arcade games.

Overall, Chinatown in Singapore offers a diverse range of entertainment options for visitors. Whether you’re interested in traditional Chinese culture or modern entertainment, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant and exciting neighborhood.

Religious Sites

Chinatown in Singapore is a culturally rich area home to several religious sites. Visitors can explore these sites to learn more about the religious traditions and practices of the local community.

One of Chinatown’s most popular religious sites is the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple & Museum. This temple is designed in the form of a mandala, which is a central concept in Buddhist and Hindu spirituality that represents universal connection. Visitors can explore the temple’s interior, which is architecturally designed to reflect Buddhist teachings. The temple also houses a museum that showcases Buddhist art and artifacts.

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Another popular religious site in Chinatown is the Sri Mariamman Temple, Singapore’s oldest Hindu temple. The temple is dedicated to the goddess Mariamman, who is believed to protect against disease and misfortune. Visitors can explore the temple’s colorful exterior and intricate carvings and participate in Hindu rituals and ceremonies.

Chinatown is also home to several mosques, including the Jamae Mosque and the Al-Abrar Mosque. These mosques are open to visitors and offer a glimpse into the Islamic faith and its practices. Visitors can observe daily prayers, learn about Islamic culture, and participate in guided tours.

Whether you are interested in Buddhism, Hinduism, or Islam, Chinatown in Singapore offers a unique opportunity to explore and learn about different religious traditions. Visitors can immerse themselves in the rich cultural heritage of the local community and gain a deeper understanding of the beliefs and practices that shape their lives.

Museums and Galleries

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Chinatown is home to several museums and galleries that offer a glimpse into Singapore’s rich history and culture. Here are some of the must-visit museums and galleries in Chinatown:

  • Chinatown Heritage Centre: This museum provides a fascinating insight into the lives of early Chinese immigrants in Singapore. Visitors can explore the recreated shophouses and learn about the struggles and triumphs of the early settlers.
  • Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum: This stunning temple houses a tooth relic of Buddha and is a must-visit for anyone interested in Buddhism. The museum within the temple showcases Buddhist art and artifacts from all over Asia.
  • Singapore City Gallery: This gallery offers a comprehensive overview of Singapore’s urban planning and development. Visitors can see models of the city’s iconic buildings and learn about the city’s vision for the future.
  • Red Dot Design Museum: This museum showcases award-winning designs worldwide. Visitors can see everything from furniture to fashion to transportation design.
  • National Gallery Singapore: This museum is housed in two of Singapore’s most iconic buildings – the former Supreme Court and City Hall. It showcases Southeast Asian art from the 19th century to the present day.

Overall, Chinatown is a great place to immerse yourself in Singapore’s rich history and culture. These museums and galleries are just a few of the many attractions that make Chinatown a must-visit destination for any traveler to Singapore.