Singapore is a cosmopolitan city known for its ultra-modern buildings and attractions. However, this does not mean that the city is devoid of any culture. In fact, several cultures and communities peacefully co-exist in Singapore. The perfect example of the same is that Singapore is home to several ethnic enclaves, belonging to the Chinese, Indian, and Arab communities. Arab Street, as the name suggests, belongs to the Arab community of Singapore. You can visit this street while visiting the city-state with a Singapore tourist visa. Existing since 1819, Arab Street is known as the center of the Muslim community of Singapore. It is also a place that you should not miss if you want to see more than the popular tourist attractions of the city. Here we present the ultimate guide as well as some interesting facts about Singapore and the Arab Street in Singapore.
Arab Street Singapore
Located in Kampong Glam, Arab Street in Singapore is the smallest of all the ethnic enclaves in the city. The street is filled with retail stores and restaurants influenced by Muslim culture and traditions. Apart from these, there are some important attractions as well on this street. With this note, let us look at some of the best things you can do when in Singapore’s Arab Street.
Arab Street Attractions
Many think that Arab Street is all about shopping and dining. While this is true to some extent, the place has a few other attractions too. In fact, there are some important attractions that you need to check out on Arab Street.
The largest mosque in Singapore, the Singapore Mosque was declared a national monument in 1975. The original mosque was built in 1824, while the structure you see now was built in 1932. The mosque with its onion-shaped domes embedded with glass bottle ends makes for an interesting architectural sight. You can go on a guided tour of the mosque if you want to know more about it. It is necessary to dress modestly if you plan to visit the mosque.
Malay Heritage Center
If you want to know about Singapore’s Malay history and culture, you must not miss visiting the Malay Heritage Center in the Kampong Glam district. The heritage center building was formerly known as Istana Kampong Glam or the Malay Palace built by Sultan Hussein Shah of Johor. Today, a visit to this heritage center will give you an insight into the heritage and culture of the Malay community through interactive multimedia, historical artifacts, and such other colorful exhibits.
Arab Street Shopping
Arab Street is a haven for shopping lovers. There are plenty of stores selling everything from clothes and accessories to carpets and lamps on this street. It is one of the best place in Singapore to buy fabrics, including Indonesian batik, silk, Indian fabric, etc. Visit Soon Lee to find stylish clothes, jewelry, handbags, and accessories from international brands. Apart from this, there is DWiz for Turkish lamps and Supermama for Japanese art pieces and pottery. Sifr Aromatics is where you can buy different types of perfumes and get one customized as well. You should visit Achakzai Trading to buy Persian carpets, mats, and rugs. Arab Street also offers street shopping opportunities where you can haggle to buy fabrics, accessories, footwear, pottery, and souvenirs.
Arab Street Restaurants and Cafes
If you are a foodie, you will have the best time on Arab Street, as the place is filled with an array of restaurants and cafes serving delicious food. Here, you can enjoy different types of cuisines, including Malay, Singaporean, Indonesian, Italian, French, Western, Arabic, Indian, Mediterranean, Middle-Eastern, and even Australian. Head to Kampong Glam Café for its East-Asian menu and Alsaeed by Char Syed for its Indian and Arabic cuisine. While the café named Working Title is known for its delicious burgers, BluJaz Café offers a mouthwatering Mediterranean fare along with amazing jazz performance. Visit Good Luck Beerhouse to try a wide range of beers, while Aroma Gelato offers some unique flavors of gelatos. The place is also home to some of the romantic restaurants in Singapore, including TXA Gastro Bar, Positano Risto, Lepak at Rayz, etc. Few other popular restaurants on Arab Street are Overrice, Nasrin Restaurant, House of Kebab, % Arabica, All Things Delicious, Ratu Lemper, etc.
Best Time to Visit Arab Street
Arab Street is open 24×7, making it possible for you to visit the place anytime during the day or night. The best time to visit the place will depend on why you want to visit the place. Those interested in shopping and sightseeing should visit in the morning, while evenings and nights are for those interested in exploring the nightlife of the place. Arab Street is the busiest during the night with restaurants, bars, and nightclubs remaining open till late at night. The place is most crowded on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
How to Reach Arab Street?
You can reach Arab Street by taking public transport in Singapore, i.e., via public bus, metro, or taxi. While taxi is the quickest and easiest way of reaching the place, it can be a bit expensive. Alternatively, you can take one of the buses amongst bus no. 2, 12, 33, 133, and NR7 to reach the place. If you are taking the MRT, you can get down at Bugis MRT Station via the Green Line. Arab Street is 5 minutes by foot from Bugis MRT Station.
While there are several exciting new attractions in Singapore, Arab Street has an old-world charm that is worth exploring. Arab Street Singapore is a place that preserves the Malay culture of Singapore amongst all the development happening in the city. Do visit Arab Street while visiting the city with a Singapore visa to know more about this aspect of the city. Arab Street Singapore is a place that preserves the Malay culture of Singapore amongst all the development happening in the city. Do visit Arab Street while visiting the city with a Singapore visa to know more about this aspect of the city.