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An Artsy Tourist’s Guide to Kampong Glam’s Best Spots

An Artsy Tourist’s Guide to Kampong Glam’s Best Spots

Kampong Glam is arguably Singapore’s trendiest district, housing vibrant landmarks like Haji Lane and Arab Street, which are known for their countless street art, chic cafes and restaurants, and 19th-century shophouses. 

Many tourists with a penchant for the arts flock to this colourful area to discover Singapore’s art scene and binge on authentic halal Mediterranean fare. 

If you’re looking for more places to explore in Singapore other than Orchard or Sentosa, here’s a guide to Kampong Glam to fill your travel itinerary! Note: we recommend blocking a whole day for it! 

What to Do

Address: 28 Aliwal St, Singapore 199918

Contact Details: +6564350131

Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday, 9:00 am to 11:00 pm


Step right up and book your seats to watch a performance at the Aliwal Arts Centre! Home to many arts organisations and companies, this multidisciplinary arts centre brings together the best of Singapore’s art scene for everyone around the world to see. 

Resident art companies here include theatre groups like Avan Theatre, the Chinese Opera Studio, and Nine Years Theatre, visual art groups like RSCLS and Kalpavriksha Fine Arts, and musical ensembles like the New Opera Singapore and NADI Singapore. 

They frequently host shows in their three multi-purpose halls and a music studio, while larger performances by resident artists take place at the Victoria Theatre. Engage with Singapore’s art scene by booking classes or participating in their annual exhibitions!

Pro Tip:
Feeling parched? The Aliwal Arts Centre has two dining establishments in the building where you can catch a break or a drink. 

There’s the Fabulous Baker Boy for sweet treats and Tipo Pasta Bar for some handmade pasta. 

Address: 7A Haji Lane second floor, Singapore 189200

Contact Details: +6598511110

Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday, 9:00 am to 11:00 pm

Type8bar is a writer’s dream space, and we’re not just talking about the vintage typewriter museum they house on their second floor. You can actually rent out a select collection of vintage typewriters for as low as $18 and click-clack your way! 

Aside from viewing their impressive collection, Type8ar operates like a co-working and creative space where you can write about anything you want for a maximum of two hours.

During your visit, enjoy free refreshments and unlimited writing materials to enhance your typewriting experience. While adjusting to the heavy typewriters may take time, it’s a unique opportunity for budding writers!

Pro Tip:
After exploring the vintage collection, you can get a personalised typewritten memento for $48. The curators will help you with the complicated mechanisms of older typewriter models, of course! 

From didierjabamathieu

Kampong Glam boasts vibrant street art tucked away in corners and on the walls of unassuming shophouses. Haji Lane, a small alley lined with trendy cafes and bars, is particularly iconic and considered the starting point of the street art scene in the area.

Famous artists like Yip Yew Chong, Didier Jaba Mathieu, and Ernest Zacharevic have taken to Kampong Glam’s walls to display their masterpieces. The most popular one is a Aztec-inspired mural by Mathieu located on the side wall of Piedra Negra. 

Some murals are small and easy to miss, but there are a handful that take up a whole section of an inner alleyway too! 

Pro Tip:
Some murals, especially ones created by Yip Yew Chong, are interactive. Some have chairs or pieces of furniture so that people can take photos as if they’re part of the mural itself! 

Address: 8C Jalan Kledek, Singapore 199263

Contact Details: +6562912278

Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday, 11:00 am to 7:00 pm


Vintage Camera Museum is a one-of-a-kind place for photographers around the world to geek out about their love for the hobby. The museum has over a thousand vintage cameras on display, including the world’s largest camera called the Mammoth. 

The building itself isn’t hard to miss as it is shaped like a massive white camera, with the lens area serving as the entrance. Tickets only cost $20 for adults and $15 for senior citizens and children. 

A few highlights of their collection are a pistol camera, a James Bond-like spy camera, pigeon cameras, and more. Plus, you’ll also get to see rare photographs taken by some of these vintage cameras and even a replica of the very first photo taken in history! 

Pro Tip:
The Vintage Camera Museum often hosts photography and post-processing workshops, which they announce on their website or Instagram page. Most workshops are free of charge too!

Where to Eat

Address: 257 Beach Rd, Singapore 199539

Contact Details: +6563969096

Operating Hours: Sunday to Thursday, 11:00 am to 9:00 pm, Friday to Saturday, 11:00 am to 10:00 pm


No need to trek to IKEA for the best Swedish meatballs in the city. Kampong Glam’s Fika Swedish Cafe and Bistro offers authentic Swedish cuisine, including halal options to kickstart your day!

This homey bistro along Arab Street is one of the more popular eateries in the area, offering Mediterranean delights on top of the coveted Swedish meatballs. With a cosy ambience, it’s a popular brunch spot for both tourists and locals. 

A few signature dishes include the Swedish lamb stew, herb-crusted salmon, pasta bake, and fisherman’s pasta, which is made with mussels, squid, and prawn. Most items cost an average of $15, so it’s a pretty affordable place to grab some good food! 

Pro Tip:
At Fika Swedish Cafe and Bistro, patrons engage in self-service, as you need to place your food order at the counter. 

To reserve a table, you can adopt the local custom called “chope-ing,” which involves leaving a tissue or napkin on an unoccupied table while placing your food order.

Address: 66 Bussorah St, Singapore 199479

Contact Details: +6562921866

Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday, 12:00 pm to 10:00 pm


Positano Risto is one of the few Italian restaurants in Kampong Glam where you can indulge in authentic Italian pizza, pasta, and dessert! It’s also a halal establishment (as are most restaurants in Kampong Glam). 

Signature menu items include calzone, seafood aglio olio pasta, wild mushroom chicken gnocchi, and the classic pepperoni pizza. Finish off your lunch or dinner date with a serving of Positano Risto’s crowd-pleasing tiramisu! 

Pro Tip:
It’s best to commute to Positano Risto, as parking slots are very limited in the area. The nearest car parks are located a block away: Arab Street Parking and the Aliwal Street Car Park. 

Address: 72 Bussorah St, Singapore 199485

Contact Details: +6590691925

Operating Hours: Sunday, Monday, Wednesday to Saturday, 11:30 am to 3:30 pm, 5:30 pm to 11:00 pm


Yearning for the flavours of Lebanese cuisine in Singapore? Visit Beirut Grill for a genuine Middle Eastern dining adventure. 

Established in 2009, Beirut Grill delights your palate with authentic pastries, kebab platters, and the irresistible Beirut lamb chop. They’re also known for their appetisers like the falafels with fresh hummus and herb dips, which are good for sharing. 

The ambience and decor feature tasteful Middle Eastern designs, allowing you to enjoy your meal with friends as if you were in Beirut!

Pro Tip:
Beirut Grill occasionally features live belly dancers. While there’s no set schedule, the chance to witness spontaneous belly dancing might encourage repeat visits until you catch a show! 

Address: 15 Bussorah St, Singapore 199436

Contact Details: +6594346026

Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday, 11:30 am to 10:30 pm


Another hotspot for Mediterranean cuisine is Alaturka Mediterranean and Turkish Restaurant, a cosy eatery offering authentic and healthy Turkish fare. The food here is so good, that it’s earned a rightful spot in the Michelin Guide’s 2016 Bib Gourmand list! 

Some signature dishes include the Meze tabagi, which is a sharing platter of Alaturka’s best and freshest dips like hummus, saksuka, and baba ghanoush (eggplant dip). 

You can also get platters good for sharing, like the charcoal-grilled lamb or beef kebabs served with a mountain of buttery pilaf rice. More traditional fare includes Anatolian stewed beef, chicken, and Ottoman-style meat with eggplant puree! 

Pro Tip:
For those with specific dietary needs, it’s recommended to notify the staff at Alaturka beforehand, preferably when making your reservation. They can accommodate your requests and customise your orders to suit your preferences!

Address: 41 Sultan Gate, Singapore 198489

Contact Details: +6588771827

Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday, 12:00 pm to 9:00 pm


If you have a tight schedule and prefer to eat good food at affordable prices and on the go, turn to Overrice for some Halal Guys-inspired rice platters. You don’t need to fly all the way to the Big Apple to get your hands on these iconic rice bowls! 

Located along Sultan Gate, Overrice freshly prepared and puts together hearty rice bowls filled with grilled chicken, grain-fed beef, and falafels. They also have a couple of smaller bites you can pair with your rice bowl like salted egg calamari and fries. 

A single order will set you back between $15 to $25, but it already comes with a side of warm pita bread and veggies. 

Pro Tip:
To savour Overrice in the convenience of your home, they offer islandwide delivery for only $5.

Additionally, you receive a $5 discount on your initial purchase through their website!

Where to Stay

Address: 28 Madras St, Singapore 208422

Contact Details: +6569882364

Check-In: 3:00 pm

Check-Out: 12:00 pm

Pricing: $$

Book Now

If you’re a fan of Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel, you’ll likely appreciate The Great Madras Hotel, which exudes similar vibes. This boutique hotel, managed by Hotel Calmo, features vibrant colours and tasteful decor for stylish travellers.

The hotel offers suites with balconies overlooking Little India, rooms with unique wallpaper, and budget-friendly mixed hostel accommodations. All rooms include luxury linen, heated showers, and kitchenettes, complemented by 24/7 room service.

There’s a room for every traveller across different budgets. All you have to do is choose which one suits your tastes! 

Pro Tip:
There are several eateries and a convenience store just a short walk away from The Great Madras Hotel in case you need to stock up on essentials. 

If you prefer to dine within the hotel, there’s a cafe on the first floor, offering cafe bites like pastries and drinks like coffee and tea!

Address: 78 Arab St, Singapore 199775

Contact Details: +6562237155

Check-In: 3:00 pm

Check-Out: 11:00 am

Pricing: $$$

Book Now

Veteran backpackers know that Heritage Collection’s selection of accommodations in Singapore are among the best when it comes to staying in the heart of the most vibrant heritage districts in the city. 

If you prefer staying in the heart of Kampong Glam, consider booking a suite at Heritage Collection. Situated just steps away from Haji Lane and Arab Street, you’ll be close to the district’s prime hotspots.

On the website, you get to choose what kind of room suits your needs, from single lofts to family-sized suites that can sleep up to four! All rooms are equipped with kitchenettes and shower amenities, so you get what you pay for here. 

Pro Tip:
Note that in the loft suites, one of the beds sits right below the roof, which can get hot during the day.
There’s still air conditioning in the rooms, but the Singapore heat can make staying in the loft area quite uncomfortable. If you’re particular about that, we suggest booking a regular suite instead. 

Address: 54, 55, 56 Bussorah St, Singapore 199471

Contact Details: +6562911696

Check-In: 3:00 pm

Check-Out: 12:00 pm

Pricing: $

Book Now

For budget-friendly yet comfortable lodging in Kampong Glam, visit Cube Boutique Hostel and choose their capsule beds. The hotel is conveniently located near Arab Street, ensuring proximity to hotspots.

The capsule rooms come with free Wi-Fi, comfortable beds and linen, power sockets, and private bathrooms. You also get access to self-service laundry, a breakfast buffet, free local calls, and shoe lockers for safekeeping. 

Moreover, you also get the option to choose capsules in a mixed dorm, female-only dorm, or male-only dorm. Then, if you’re feeling like staying in, there are communal spaces available for people who want to lounge with other guests. 

Pro Tip:
If you intend to explore other parts of Singapore during your stay, you can buy tickets to attractions directly from the front desk for faster access. 

Just head to the concierge at Cube Boutique Capsule Hotel or give them a quick phone call from your room.
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