Little India is not only a bustling residential district and a hotbed of Indian culture in Singapore, but a lifestyle and tourism destination. This means that other than eateries and retailers aimed at a primarily ethnic Indian market, there is an increasing number of contemporary bars, restaurants, hotels and backpackers’ hostels serving a young, well-travelled clientele.
Some of the island’s best, most varied and most authentic Indian food can be enjoyed at Little India, with some eateries having served a loyal clientele for decades, including Banana Leaf Apolo and Delhi Restaurant. There are also numerous vegetarian options in Little India, including the immensely popular Komala Vilas.
The biggest and most well-known of Little India’s Markets is Tekka Market, conveniently located a stone’s throw from Little India MRT Station. The enormous market houses a hawker centre, a wet market, as well as numerous stalls selling Indian clothing and accessories.
Mustafa Centre has legendary status in Singapore. The massive mall, which hawks everything from Rolexes to rice at very competitive prices, is open 24/7. The money changers at Mustafa Centre are also known to offer competitive exchange rates.
Other than Mustafa Centre, there are several other Little India malls, including City Square Mall at Farrer Park. The mall contains about 200 outlets and has everything from an NTUC FairPrice to a SingPost outlet.
Another noteworthy area for shoppers is Little India Arcade. This cluster of historic shophouses, kitted out with iconic five-foot ways dating back to the 1910s, now houses a range of traditional retailers and eateries, including jewellery shops, tailors and Indian pastry shops.
Search for properties for sale near Mustafa Centre and City Square Mall.
Places of worship
Little India is a hit with tourists and culture buffs, and is particularly atmospheric during Deepavali season when Serangoon Road is decorated with lights. The most-visited place of worship in the area is the sumptuous Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple, which is also the oldest temple in Little India.
Hotels and hostels from the stylishly boutique to the scruffy abound in Little India. Notable places to stay include Wanderlust Hotel and the fascinating Vintage Inn Boutique Capsule, a premium hostel where each bunk is equipped with a curtain for privacy.
The art deco-style Rex Cinema holds a place in the hearts of Bollywood and Indian cinema fans in Singapore. While the cinema on Mackenzie Road closed its doors in July 2018 and has relocated to Golden Mile Tower, the building still remains.