Bugis is a treasure trove for local food lovers with many hidden gems that can be found in the district. From nasi padang to murtabak, some of Singapore’s most famous dishes can be found here. For halal Indian Muslim fares, head down to the iconic Zam Zam Restaurant located just opposite Sultan Mosque Singapore. Since its establishment in 1908, the eatery has built a strong and steady following among Singaporeans and tourists. The restaurant is especially noted for its nasi biryani, murtabak and roti prata served in a fuss-free environment. Meanwhile, Hjh Maimunah is renowned for its traditional, kampung-styled cuisine that will bring you back to the good, old days with signature dishes such as Sundanese grilled chicken and rendang. For Chinese cuisines, head over to Bugis Cube where you can savour steamboat at Jiu Gong Je Hotpot or at Taipei Cafe.
Last but not least, lovers of soya bean curd will be spoilt for choice as there are a few stalls to choose from. Home to the famous Rochor soya beancurd, the family-owned business has since split up which means more options for consumers. For their famous silky, sweet soya beancurd served with fried youtiao, head over to Rochor Original Beancurd House at Short Street or Old Rochor Beancurd at Hoa Nam Building or Beancurd City at 133 Jalan Besar.
Local food aside, there are an array of international flavours available at Bugis Junction. From traditional Japanese cuisines at Ajisen Ramen to delectable Korean flavours at and Seoul Garden, the shopping mall boasts an eclectic mix of stores to suit every taste buds. After that, head over to Swensen’s Starbucks or TCC The Connoisseur Concerto to satisfy your sweet cravings and for a refreshing cup of coffee.
Bugis is a very established district as it was a place where Singapore’s early settlers set foot here. Given its rich history that can be traced back to the 18th century, Bugis offers a unique shopping experience right smack in Singapore’s civic and cultural district. From exquisite carpets and textiles on Arab Street to fashionable apparels at Bugis Junction as well stationaries at Bras Basah Complex, both tourist and Singaporeans are drawn to the diverse and eclectic shopping experience here.
For starters, the best way to experience shopping in Bugis is to head to Bugis Village to soak in the festive-like atmosphere at the pasar malam. Infamous for its colourful transvestite shows, Bugis Night Market has since revamped itself into a vibrant market that will appeal to everyone. From hipster skinny jeans to trinkets and souvenirs, get ready to go on a bargain-hunting shopping spree over two floors of conserved shophouses. They can even get a manicure and a good haircut before heading to Bugis+ just next door for more shopping.
A vibrant mall targetting the young and trendy with its colourful illuminated facade, Bugis+ offers an exciting mix of fashionable stores like Adidas and Uniqlo as well as a wide variety of delicious Japanese snacks and sweets at a speciality store, Umeya. After a day of shopping, why not head upstairs for the latest film blockbusters at Filmgarde cinema? Priding itself as “an unparalleled movie-going experience with a bilingual cinema”, get ready for an immersive 3D experience with the cinema’s state-of-the-art digital projection systems.
Just across the road is Bugis first flagship shopping mall, Bugis Junction. Enjoying direct access to Bugis MRT station and with a plethora of shopping, dining and entertainment options, the shopping mall is especially noted for its water fountain that is popular among kids. From time to time, the open atrium will host events and celebrity showcase that will see snaking queues from excited fans. Meanwhile, IT geeks can head to Challenger while the entire family will have something to look forward to a Japanese speciality store, Muji and at BHG. After that, head upstairs to Bugis Cineplex for the latest blockbusters.
For something uniquely Singapore, head on down to Arab Street which is located within the charming ethnic enclave of Kampong Glam. Offering Iranian carpets and the finest Thai silk within two rows of shophouses, the street will come alive during the month of Ramadan. Formerly owned by an Arab merchant, Arab street has grown organically as one of Singapore’s hip, bohemian stretch covering Haji Lane and Kampong Glam. While there, do pop by the newly opened DUO Galleria which offers a unique gallery of boutiques as well as lifestyle and dining options.
Health and Fitness
Bugis offers a wide variety of health and fitness options for everyone. For those who prefer the cosmopolitan lifestyle, look no further than Bugis Fitness First. Offering a state-of-the-art 15,995 sq ft facility with 5-metre high ceilings, there are seven workout zones with a wide array of exercise classes to choose from. There are even personalised workout sessions for those who need an extra push.
For those who prefer the flexibility of time, head on down to 24XFitness located at 112 Middle Road. Offering users 24 hours access to their comprehensive range of equipment such as for cardiovascular workout to kettlebells, members get to enjoy the use of lockers, showers and their cosy members’ lounge. Bugis Anytime Fitness at Jalan Besar and at POMO Mall at Selegie Road also offer such flexibility.
For a holistic fitness routine, then head over to Jalan Besar Sport Centre located at 100 Tyrwhitt Road. Comprising a swimming complex, stadium, sports hall, hockey pitch, tennis centre and football field, Singaporeans from all walks of life can use their ActiveSG pass to use the various facilities here.
For some mental stimulation, National Library at Bugis offers bookworms a quiet environment to catch up on the latest books. This 16-storey development houses the Drama Centre, the Central Public Library and the Lee Kong Chian Reference Library. The Lee Kong Chian Reference Library offers researchers, professionals and the general public a collection size of over 600,000 items in various formats.
Parks and Nature
As Bugis is located close to the mouth of the Kallang River and Marina Reservoir, it offers nature lovers and runners an opportunity to explore the beautiful parks and water bodies via the Kallang Park Connector. This comprehensive green network connects residents to the dynamic downtown at Marina Promenade near to the Singapore Flyer and all the way down to Gardens By The Bay before reaching Marina Barrage. Famed for its iconic Supertrees, residents will be awed by the stunning city view as they take a stroll by the river. Alternatively, residents can head upwards underneath Nicoll Highway towards Kallang Riverside Park and Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park where they can enjoy the sights of squirrels, monitor lizards and rare bird species.
Search for properties for sale near Arab Street and Singapore National Library.
Get the Guru View
One of the most common complaints about living in the downtown area like Bugis is having to put up with the noise and road closures arising from the annual Singapore Grand Prix event that happens in September. While this may be a bane for residents, it is also a boon for the property market as it boasts a spectacular night view that nowhere else in Singapore affords. This has made buying a property here a very expensive affair that is reserved for the select few.
With further plans to grow the CBD as well as new park spaces and streetscape improvements at the Bras Basah. Bugis Arts Belt at Bencoolen Street, Queen Street and Waterloo Street, we can expect property prices here to appreciate further in the near future as the area becomes more vibrant. Road closures and street performances at the historic Kampong Glam enclave in Haji Lane, Arab Street and Aliwal Street have also helped up Bugis hip quotient. Meanwhile, the recent completion of new and iconic developments like South Beach and DUO has injected an exciting new skyline in Bugis.
In anticipation of the market upswing, savvy developers like GuocoLand and Wing Tai Holdings have already acquired land parcels here. Bugis’s rejuvenation, plus the completion of the Downtown Line by 2024, will enhance connectivity to the rest of Singapore and thus give a positive spillover impact to its property market.