A Day Out: Bugis, Singapore’s Heritage Central, Shopping Heaven, and Art Strip In One

04 May 2016

Boogie on down.


Named after an ethnic group of seafaring people from Indonesia, Bugis is often featured in tourist guides for its shopping options. However, the Bugis and Bras Basah area is also known for being Singapore’s heritage, arts and design precinct. Here are the spots you should not miss. 


Bugis Street

A Day Out: Bugis Photos by Muneerah Bee

This place is shopping on the budget at its finest. With an atmosphere that resembles a night market, Bugis Street is full of cheap finds for clothes, especially women’s fashion, and more.  It can get pretty packed at times so be prepared to jostle with the crowd to get to your best buys. 

Come October, it is also one of the places to celebrate Halloween in Singapore!


National Design Centre  

A Day Out: Bugis Photos by Muneerah Bee

Drop by the Design Centre for interesting exhibitions and other events, or shop at kapok located within the centre for unique and quirky items. (It’s also a great place to shop for Mother’s Day gifts!) We love this tote bag detailing various areas in Singapore. 

A Day Out: Bugis Photos by Muneerah Bee

Get something to eat while you rest your tired feet from all that shopping at Tanuki Raw @ Kapok known for its Japanese-inspired food. 


Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple and Sri Krishnan Temple

A Day Out: Bugis Photos by Muneerah Bee   A Day Out: Bugis Photos by Muneerah Bee

At the end of Waterloo Street, you’ll find an Indian and Chinese temple standing next to each other. They’ve been there for more than a century and don’t be surprised find some worshippers offering prayers at both temples. Find out why here

Take a walk a little further down the area, and try to spot the traditional fortunetellers and palm readers. 


Fortune Centre

A Day Out: Bugis Photos by Muneerah Bee

This place may not look like much from the outside but it’s a good place to get vegetarian food, including eggless pastries. 


National Library

A Day Out: Bugis Photos by Muneerah Bee

This huge building is home to the Central Public Library, an extensive reference library, a performing arts centre and several exhibition spaces.  

Here is how you can get your library membership in Singapore


Bugis Junction and Bugis+  

A Day Out: Bugis Photos by Muneerah Bee

Connected by an overhead bridge, these two malls offer great places to shop and eat (as with most malls in Singapore). But here’s a fun fact; the pedestrian walkway within Bugis Junction used to be actual streets (Malabar Street, Malay Street, Hylam Street and the original Bugis Street) but they are now part of the mall. Keep a look out for the street signs indicating these streets the next time you’re there. 


Party (supplies) central

A Day Out: Bugis Photos by Muneerah Bee

In the corner of Middle Road and Queen Street, you’ll find not one or two, but three party supplies stores! They are right next to each other so you are definitely bound to find what you are looking for when you’re organising a party or celebration. 


Did you know… 

As recent as the 1980s, Bugis was well known for the presence of the transgender community there. Check out these photos

Bugis and Bras Basah host the annual Singapore Night Festival with free performances, light installations and extended museum hours.


By Muneerah Bee, May 2016 

Photos by Muneerah Bee

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