Top 11 Things to Do in Bugis

Top 11 Things to Do in Bugis

Plenty of places to shop, eat and play await you within walking distance of Bugis Station. Do you know them all?

Bugis is a cultural hub, shopping haven and indie haunt rolled into one. This area in the midst of the bustling business district deserves at least half a day’s attention to fully appreciate what it has got to offer – read on to find out what to expect!

1. Bugis Junction and Bugis+

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Right when you step out of Bugis MRT, Bugis Junction is the first mall you’ll find yourself in. From popular stores like NYX Cosmetics and Adidas, it’s also home to many eating joints both upscale and casual.  

Image credit: William Cho

Just a stone’s throw away from Bugis Junction, Bugis+ is another equally popular shopping mall in Bugis with plenty more shops to feed your shopping frenzy. The two malls are connected to each other via a link bridge, which makes it all the more convenient for visitors to drop in on as many stores as they like. If you’re looking for other forms of entertainment, there is also a cinema and a karaoke outlet here. 

2. Bugis Street

things to do in bugis

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The best thing about the shops in Bugis Street are their ridiculously affordable prices. Certainly, these shops do not seem to ever give you a reason to rest! From inexpensive souvenirs to accessories to snacks, there seems to be nothing you can’t find in this stretch of stalls that appears to last forever. Leaving Bugis Street empty-handed will seem like a highly impossible task.

3. National Library

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Now that we’ve finally gotten shopping out of the way, it’s time to talk about what’s really unique to Bugis that can’t be found anywhere else. For one, the National Library which is Singapore’s largest library and one of the first public libraries established in the country, is definitely worth checking out. Comprised of two 16-storey blocks linked together via a bridge, the National Library boasts considerable materials for anyone looking to do some extensive research. Even if you’re not there to do research, it is a great place to browse through and there are even gardens for you to relax in. To top it off, you can get panoramic views of the city on the highest level, where events are occasionally held!

4. Bras Basah Complex

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Don’t belittle this seemingly dull complex — there are many hidden shops within Bras Basah itself. Known mostly for its quaint secondhand bookstores, Bras Basah is a tiny haven for bookworms due to the substantial amount of literature you can find here. Beyond the local bookstores, bigger chains like Popular and Art Friend offers stationery and art supplies for those who are more artistically-inclined. Bras Basah is definitely a place you want to visit if you love to exercise your creativity through reading or through art.

5. Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple

things to do in bugis

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Just a five minute walk away from the Bugis MRT Station, Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple is a place of worship for the Chinese and Buddhists alike. Dedicated to Guan Yin, the Chinese goddess of mercy, the temple is over a hundred years old and is listed as a historic site by the National Heritage Board. Other than offering prayers for luck and health, visitors can admire the traditional Chinese architecture that stands out amidst the modern buildings surrounding it.

6. Sultan Mosque

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Another place of worship, the Sultan Mosque (or Masjid Sultan) is located in the Kampong Glam district. This prominent mosque, with its golden domes and a huge prayer hall, was listed as a national monument in 1975 — and no wonder, it is not only the oldest mosque in Singapore, but also one of the most impressive religious buildings! Just like the Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple, you can get to appreciate the beauty of the traditional Muslim architecture. If you want to visit though, make sure you do so during the specific visiting hours — and do wear appropriate clothing!

7. Malay Heritage Centre

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With six different galleries detailing the Malay heritage and Malay community in Singapore, the Malay Heritage Centre aims to educate visitors about the Malay culture in an engaging manner. The development of the Malay society throughout Singapore’s growth and changes is displayed through the various exhibitions and programmes in place. The Malay Heritage Centre is definitely a place of interest for these historical lessons and insights!

8. Haji Lane

things to do in bugis

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This hipster hangout is adorned with boutiques and cafes along either side of the street. The walls of these shophouses are painted with vibrant and colourful murals that add pizzazz to the area. Passersby walking down the street can’t resist stopping to snap a picture — it has become almost like a mandatory ritual if you’re ever in Haji Lane!

9. Purvis Street

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Also known as the stretch with plenty of food options, Purvis Street contains a myriad of local eateries and fancy European restaurants that offer menus at affordable prices. From Saveur to Yet Con Hainanese Chicken Rice, the types of cuisine you can find at Purvis Street is limitless. No matter where you decide to eat at Purvis Street, you’re guaranteed a gastronomical experience.

10. Chijmes

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Once a Catholic convent and school, Chijmes is now home to fancy restaurants and bars frequented by many. The 19th-century complex looks majestic in the midst of the skyscrapers surrounding it, so it’s no wonder that it draws as much attention as it does. With a function hall for events in the complex, Chijmes is an ideal hangout to go be it for a nice meal or an evening drink with friends.

11. Loof Bar

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A very popular rooftop bar in the heart of Singapore, Loof Bar is known for its Southeast Asian-inspired cocktails as well as tastefully decorated space. With its flashy neon signs that seem to pop up on Instagram everywhere, Loof Bar not only serves up an aesthetic backdrop but top-notch drinks as well. Drink in the relaxed vibes Loof is known for, and relax with your friends at this quaint yet cosy evening hangout.

There are so many places in Bugis that will definitely keep your day occupied in the best possible way. With all these within walking distance from Bugis MRT Station, convenience is yet another perk! There’s really no excuse for not to check out these top 12 things and to spice up your Bugis experience. You’re sure never to look at Bugis the same way again.

Also read: 23 Souvenirs You Can Get from Singapore 2019

About Author

Jean Wong
Jean Wong

For someone who's a homebody, Jean sure loves stepping out of her house to travel. When she's not busy exploring quaint towns, she can be found with her nose in a book, sipping on her daily dose of bubble tea.


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