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A Muslim Traveller's Guide To Bugis: What To See, Do And Eat


Faruq Senin •  Oct 09, 2019


Beyond popular tourist attractions like Marina Bay Sands and Gardens by the Bay, one neighbourhood that travellers love to visit in Singapore is Bugis. P.S. Check out our 3D2N Muslim-friendly Singapore itinerary (under RM700!)Credit: Giphy With plenty of halal eateries, cafes, Instagram spots and unique shops, it's no surprise that Bugis is a hotspot for travellers. We've prepared this ultimate guide to Bugis so you'll know just what to see, do and eat in this interesting neighbourhood (beyond Sultan Mosque and Haji Lane!) #HHWT Tip: We recommend spending at least half a day or more to explore Bugis ?
Getting there
The great thing about Bugis is that it's really accessible and close to other main attractions in Singapore! The main MRT station in the area is Bugis which is the interchange station for the East-West Line and Downtown Line. If you're from Marina Bay Sands or the City Hall area, it's only about or two train stops away and there are many buses which you can take too. In fact, if you're up for it, you can even walk from Marina Bay to Bugis and that'll take you around 15-20 minutes. One thing you must know is that there are two main areas in Bugis - one is the area around Bugis Junction and the other is the Kampong Glam area. To get to Kampong Glam, you'd need to walk for around 5-10 minutes from Bugis MRT Station. In this guide, we'll be focusing more on what to do in the Kampong Glam area as there are many hidden gems and more halal eateries in the area. But do look out for some attractions which are located in the Bugis MRT area.
What to see and do:
1. Sultan Mosque You can't say you've been to Bugis without visiting Sultan Mosque! With its golden domes and minarets, Sultan Mosque is probably the most iconic attraction in Bugis and it's very hard to miss.
Credit: Masjid Sultan Singapore on Facebook The mosque was built in 1824 and was one of the first mosques built in the country. Its unique architecture originates from a mix of Persian, Moorish and Turkish designs ?
Credit: @sayaka3110 on Instagram Whether you decide to do your prayers here or just explore the mosque grounds, you'll be swept away by its beauty! Fun fact: If you take a closer look below the main dome, you'll see hundreds of glass bottles underneath them. This was actually collected and donated by the poor as contribution, which shows that not only the rich can contribute. Opening hours:Check out the visiting hours here. Address: 3 Muscat St, Singapore 198833 Contact: 6293 4405 Website | Facebook | Instagram2. Malay Heritage Centre
Credit: @emahnzain on Instagram Did you know that Kampong Glam used to be the seat of the Malay royalty in Singapore? Located just across Sultan Mosque, The Malay Heritage Centre used to be a palace but today you can learn all about Malay traditions and culture as well as the history of the area. Spend some time here to learn more about the stories of Singapore's Malay community throughout the years and marvel at the various artefacts! Opening hours: Tue-Sun; 10AM-6PM (closed on Mon) Address: 85 Sultan Gate, Singapore 198501 Contact: +65 6391 0450 Website | Facebook | Instagram3. Haji Lane

Credit: @__wonderwander__ on Instagram

Haji Lane needs no introduction! Known for its colourful shophouses and storefronts, you'll enjoy a stroll along this hipster street and soaking in the atmosphere even if you're not buying anything. Wander in and out of the shops and check out the clothes and fashion accessories by local designers, or get some unique souvenirs (we'll get to this in the shopping section below!). Haji Lane also makes a great backdrop for your photos! #HHWT Tip: We recommend staying at Haji Lane till evening as you can enjoy live performances. 4. Take photos at Insta-worthy spots No visit to Bugis will be complete without snapping some photos for the 'gram. Lucky for you, there are plenty of Insta-worthy murals and street art in Kampong Glam. Gelam Gallery
Gelam Gallery at Muscat Street (one of the back alleys opposite Sultan Mosque) is one of the newest art projects in the district. It's also Singapore's first permanent outdoor gallery!
Credit: @belovedjosheepine on Instagram What's interesting here is that you can spot artworks by 30 local and international artists displayed against the backdrop of the colourful murals. Try to spot these works as you walk along the alley ? Address: Muscat St (the alley opposite Sultan Mosque and beside Rumah Makan Minang) Haji Lane
Credit: @lennynovitasari on Instagram It's not just colourful shophouses that you can expect to find at Haji Lane, but also colourful murals! One of our favourites is this street art located at Piedra Negra at the Beach Road side of Haji Lane ? Don't miss out on the other murals around it too. Sultan Arts Village
Credit: @spinningtheglobeit on Instagram If graffiti art is more your thing, then head over to Sultan Arts Village, located near the Malay Heritage Centre. Most people would tend to overlook this unassuming spot but they have some pretty interesting murals like this batik-inspired artwork by Slacsatu. Plus, this spot has art studios and a shop selling spray paint too, so be sure to check them out! Address: 71 Sultan Gate, Singapore 198496 5. Wardah Books
Credit: @bookmosaic on Instagram This one's for all you bookworms! A small bookstore located along Bussorah Street, Wardah Books specialises in books for Muslim readers. The bookstore has books on a wide range of topics including Sufism, Islamic history and philosophy, and Singapore literature, including a whole shelf of children's Islamic books! Their philosophy revolves around being able to step into a bookstore and browse to give your mind a break from a busy day. So don’t be afraid to explore their collections which are all laid out on the shelves waiting for you ? P.S. Check out our full feature on Wardah Books here! Opening Hours: Mon-Sat; 10AM-9PM, Sun; 10AM-6PM Address: 58 Bussorah Street, Singapore 199474 Contact: +65 6297 1232 Website | Facebook | Instagram6. Vintage Camera Museum
Credit: @michymoments on Instagram A camera museum in Singapore? We kid you not! The Vintage Camera Museum has over 1000 cameras on display, some even dating back to the 19th century. Besides your usual handheld cameras, check out unique "artefacts" like a James Bond-like spy camera hidden in walking sticks and a rare machine-gun camera used by the Japanese during World War II ? Don't forget to snap a photo with the eclectic sculptures out on their front lawn too! Price: $20 (adults), $15 (senior citizens and children below 12); free admission for children age 5 and below Opening Hours: Mon-Sun; 10AM-9.30PM Address: 8C-8D Jalan Kledek, Singapore 199263 Contact: +65 6291 2278 Website | Facebook | Instagram7. Parkview Square and Museum
Credit: @julesofsingapore on Instagram When walking from Bugis MRT Station to Kampong Glam, you might have spotted this Gotham City-like building called Parkview Square. With an art deco architecture reminiscent of the Great Gatsby, you can't help but to marvel at this majestic building.
Credit: @darylannjansen on Instagram Did we mention they have a museum dedicated to contemporary art too? If you need a respite (and air-con!) from all the walking around Kampong Glam, visit this museum for a slice of art and you'll be greeted with an eclectic mix quirky and intriguing artworks which are not commonly seen. The best part is, it's free! Check out their website to see the current exhibition. Opening hours: Mon-Sat; 12PM-7PM (closed on Sun) Address: 600 North Bridge Road, Parkview Square, Level 3 Singapore 188778 Contact: 6799 6971 Website | Facebook | Instagram8. MINT Museum of Toys
Credit: @des_yeo03 on Instagram If you're travelling with kids or are young at heart, the MINT Museum of Toys would be perfect for you! With MINT referring to "Moment of Imagination and Nostalgia with Toys," you can expect to walk down memory lane as you admire their collection of more than 50,000 vintage toys from all around the world. Whether you're a fan of superheroes or cartoon characters, they've got you covered! Price: $20 (Adult), $10 (Child and Senior Citizen) Opening hours:Check out the opening hours here.Address: 26 Seah St, Singapore 188382 Contact: 6339 0660 Website | Facebook
Must-try halal eateries:
9. Zam Zam
Credit: @pauleneth on Instagram It wouldn't be possible to come to Bugis and not try Zam Zam. Famous for its Murtabak, this restaurant has been around since 1908 and is one of the most popular Indian Muslim restaurants in Singapore. Sink your teeth in their mouth-watering mutton and chicken murtabak for a delightful experience you won’t forget! If you're up for something unique, try their signature Deer Murtabak. Or you can also choose to savour their BriyaniPrata, and other Indian dishes in generous portions. Halal Status: Muslim-Owned Average price of main dishes: $6 Opening Hours: Open daily; 7AM-11PM Address: 697-699 North Bridge Rd, Singapore 198675 Contact: 6298 6320 Website10. Kampong Glam Cafe
Credit: @dreamersloft17 on Instagram For affordable local Malay fare, Kampong Glam Cafe (or affectionately called KGC), is your best bet! If you're here in the day, savour some of their hearty dishes like lontong, nasi lemak or roti kirai with curry. You can even pick your own dishes and eat them with rice. But come after 4pm and their menu changes to an array of delicious maggi goreng and roti john. Complete your meal with iced milo or teh ice, and you'll be thoroughly satisfied ? They are also open till late so you can have supper here too. Halal status: Muslim-owned Average price of main dishes: $5 Opening hours: Tue-Sun; 8AM-2AM (closed on Mon) Address: 17 Bussorah St, Singapore 199438 Contact: 6294 1697 11. Mother Dough Bakery
Credit: @aprilyap on Instagram Mother Dough is an artisanal bakery situated along North Bridge Road. Prior to setting up Mother Dough bakery here in Singapore, their baker, Naadhira spent 4 years in New York perfecting the art of bread-making! Some of the must-try delights here include their signature Almond Croissant. If you’re a chocolate lover, then you should definitely go for their Chocolate Almont Croissant – our office’s personal favorite! ? There isn't much seating available here, but if you're able to grab a space make sure to try out their Lemon Cake too and pair it with a small but good cup of coffee to brighten your day. P.S. Check out our full feature on Mother Dough! Halal Status: Muslim-owned Average price of pastries: $5 Opening Hours: Tue-Sat; 11AM-6PM, Sun; 11AM-5PM Address: 749 North Bridge Rd, Singapore #01-01, Singapore 198717 Contact: 69096604 Website | Instagram12. Hjh Maimunah
Credit: @hjhmaimunahrestaurant on Instagram

If you're craving some familiar comfort food amongst all these hipster offerings in Bugis, head over to this eatery in Jln Pisang that serves up a huge menu of local kampung (traditional village) favourites throughout the day – and many of the dishes are inspired by Indonesian cuisine too ? Hjh Maimunah’s is often touted as one of the best Malay food in the country, and it's also in the Michelin guidebook! Their signature siput sedut lemak (needle snails in coconut gravy) and beef rendang will keep you wanting more – and their assortment of traditional kuih and desserts will be the perfect end to the meal.

P.S. Want to know more about Hjh Maimunah's story? Read our article here! Halal Status: Muslim-owned Average price of main dishes: $6 Opening Hours: Mon-Sat; 7AM-8PM (closed on Sun)Address: 11 & 15 Jalan Pisang, Singapore 199078 Contact: +65 6297 4294 Website | Facebook | Instagram13. Jason Niang Dou Fu
Credit: @_racheltan_ on Instagram

Niang Dou Fu (also called Yong Tau Foo) is a traditional dish that usually consists of a DIY selection of vegetables, fishcakes, and other ingredients with rice or noodles. But this small stall one street down takes it to the next level by offering up not just the traditional Yam Rice to eat with your chosen ingredients, but gravies in local flavours such as Laksa and Mee Goreng! They even offer Chee Cheong Fun (a type of Chinese rice cake) as another carbs option apart from the usual egg or rice noodles. First time eating yong tau fu? Check out our article to find out how you should order!

Halal Status: Halal-certified Average price of main dishes: $6 Opening Hours: Mon-Sat; 9AM-8.30PM (closed on Sun)Address: 321 Beach Rd, Singapore 199557 Contact: 6444 4309

14. Fluff Bakery
Credit: Fluff Bakery on Facebook With a rotating menu of desserts weekly, you almost never know what to expect when you visit this bakery at Jalan Pisang. Selling locally-inspired desserts is a big trend amongst these small bakeries (and we think it's a trend that works!) and Fluff is definitely no exception with their range of cupcakes (their signature) and some sliced cakes. Some of their flavours have included Ondeh-Ondeh, Apam Balik Sweetcorn, and Triple Milo alongside familiar flavours such as Red Velvet. Halal Status: Muslim-owned Average price of cakes: $4 Opening hours: Tue-Sat; 12PM – 7.30PM, Sun; 11AM-5PM (closed on Mon)Address: 4 Jalan Pisang Singapore 199071 Contact: 8251 1353 Website | Facebook | Instagram#HHWT Tip: If you're looking for more halal eateries in Bugis, we've got you covered with over 50 halal spots around the neighbourhood! BONUS: % Arabica If you're a fan of coffee, you wouldn't want to miss getting some coffee from this world-famous coffee store which originated from Kyoto. Coffee fans in Singapore waited eagerly in anticipation before its opening in June this year and our advice is to head here early in the morning as there might be a queue!
Credit: @noviafadhilahz on Instagram At Arabica, the menu might be simple with mainly Espresso, Macchiato, Caffe Latte and Americano but one sip and you can possibly taste the depth and richness of the coffee ? But what's special is that you can select your own coffee beans and it'll be freshly roasted on the spot for you! This is something that you can't get at many other coffee shops out there. You can also request for a single origin or blended coffee too ? Halal status: The coffee at Arabica does not contain alcohol or animal derivatives. As it's not halal-certified, we advise you to visit at your own discretion. Average price of coffee: $7 Opening hours: Open daily; 8AM-8PM Address: 56 Arab St, Singapore 199753 Contact: 6291 3887 Facebook | Instagram
Where to shop:
15. Bugis Street
Credit: @nema_travellers on Instagram Looking for an affordable place to shop for souvenirs in Bugis? There's no better place to do that than at Bugis Street, Singapore's largest indoor market! Located opposite the Bugis Junction shopping mall, the market is a labyrinth of over 600 stalls selling cheap clothes, shoes and accessories. With just $10, you can expect to get a decent pair of jeans! If you’re looking for Singapore-themed t-shirt and bulk souvenirs to bring home, you can purchase them here at an affordable price too ? Address: 3 New Bugis Street, Singapore 188867 Opening hours: Mon-Fri; 11AM - 10PM, Sat-Sun; 11AM-10.30PM 16. Supermama
Credit: @supermamasg on Instagram If you're looking for something a little more sophisticated, then head over to Supermama! This Japanese-inspired gallery store makes porcelain with Singaporean motifs such as kebaya prints, Peranakan rose, Merlion and more. So, you’d definitely want to get your hands on these! ? Address: 265 Beach Rd, Singapore 199544 Opening hours: Open daily; 11AM-8PM Contact: 6291 1946 Website | Facebook | Instagram17. Haji Lane
Credit: @tianye on Instagram It seems like Haji Lane has been featured quite a bit in this article but we can't help but to add the hipster street into our shopping list as well ? One shop that sells local designer items might want to pop by Craft Assembly for their uniquely Singaporean crafts and knick-knacks. Plus, there are vintage apparel, old-school toys, tote bags and magnets among others too! Another shop that’s worth mentioning is Hygge - this lifestyle store has handmade trinkets and you can get a personalised gift for a loved one back home! Craft Assembly Opening hours: Mon-Fri; 12PM-8PM, Sat-Sun; 11.30AM-8.30PM Address: 61 Haji Lane, Singapore 189254 Website | Facebook HyggeOpening hours: Mon-Sat; 12PM-6.30PM, Sun; 12PM-4.30PM Address: 37 Haji Ln, Singapore 189230 Contact:8163 189318. Jamal Kazura Aromatics
Credit: Jamal Kazura Aromatics on Facebook Did you know that you can find fragrant alcohol-free perfumes, essential oils and scents in Bugis too?Head over to Jamal Kazura and you’ll get to customise your preferred scent! Whether you like a floral or citrus scent, you’ll surely find something that suits your fancy. You can also pick something ready-made such as their popular Bella Rose scent. There are two Jamal Kazura outlets in Bugis itself. #HHWT Tip: If you’re looking for an even more customised and boutique perfume-making experience, then head to Sifr Aromatics at Arab St instead! Bussorah St outlet:Opening hours: Open daily; 10AM-7PM Address: 27 Bussorah St, Singapore 199445 Contact: 6293 2350 North Bridge Rd outlet:Opening hours: Open daily; 10AM-6PM Address: 728 North Bridge Rd, Singapore 198696 Contact: 6293 2350
Affordable accommodations in Bugis:
1. The Pod @ Beach Road Boutique Capsule Hotel A novelty option for a totally fresh new experience - stay at a capsule hotel over at The Pod! The hotel offers fuss-free and convenient living without compromising on comfort, quality or style. Inspired by modern design and minimalism, each pod (the bed) comfortably fits one and comes with a personal locker ?
Credit: @kerr91 on Instagram Dormitories separated by gender are available. If you’re looking for a space all to yourself and don’t mind a tight squeeze, private rooms called Single Pod Suite (for 1) and Queen Pod Suite (for 2) are also available. Rate: Starts from SGD62 on AgodaAddress: 289 Beach Road, Singapore 199552 Contact: +65 6298 8505 Website Facebook2. Bond Boutique Capsule
Credit: BOND Capsule Hotel on Facebook Located at Jln Pinang, Bond is one of Kampong Glam's newest hostels and it's conveniently located very near Sultan Mosque, Zam Zam and with easy access to Haji Lane and other sights in Bugis too. Although most of their rooms are dormitory-style, you can use the pool at their sister hotel, Hotel Nuve for a fee plus get exclusive discounts on certain attractions in Singapore. If the dormitories seem a little crammed for you, you might want to book their affordable private rooms (priced from SGD53)! Rate: Starts from SGD36 on AgodaAddress: 7A Jln Pinang, Singapore 199139 Contact: 6299 5975 Website | Facebook3. Atlantis Pods @ Bugis One great thing about Atlantic Pods is that it's conveniently located near Bugis MRT station's Downtown line exit at Tan Quee Lan St. One of the hostel's aims is to provide travellers with a cosy retreat after their day out and they seem to have accomplished that based on their rave reviews!
Credit: Atlantis Pods At Bugis on Facebook One thing that most travellers like was their free breakfast which include bread, jam and butter plus unlimited beverages and cereal. Not to mention that their communal dining-lounge is rather spacious and you cam unwind and relax before starting your day in Singapore! Besides their 12 and 16-bed dorm rooms and single pods, Atlantis has family rooms which can accommodate up to 10 or 16 people, perfect if you're travelling with a large family! Rate: Starts from SGD56 on AgodaAddress: 2 Tan Quee Lan Street #02-00, Singapore Contact: +65 6254 0378 Facebook P.S. Check out these other affordable hostels in Bugis! Bet you never knew there are so many things to do in Bugis beyond just Sultan Mosque and Haji Lane! With plenty of activities and exciting attractions as well as yummy halal food options, time to start planning your next trip to Bugis ? [iframe seamless="seamless" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" height="450" width="100%" scrolling="no" src="https://pollbuzz.co/frame/3617?type=poll"][/iframe]