Top 10 Things To See And Do In Chinatown Singapore

Key Takeaways

Chinatown Singapore offers a rich blend of cultural, culinary, and historical experiences. Key attractions include the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, Chinatown Heritage Centre, Maxwell Food Centre, and Sri Mariamman Temple. Enjoy the bustling Chinatown Street Market, explore Ann Siang Hill and Club Street for nightlife, visit the NUS Baba House for Peranakan culture, and the Singapore City Gallery for urban planning insights.

Chinatown Singapore is a cultural heritage point, with busy markets and diverse culinary delights. This historic district offers a unique glimpse into the city’s rich multicultural background, blending the old with the new.

Whether you’re a history enthusiast, foodie, or casual explorer, Chinatown has something captivating for everyone. This guide will take you through the top 10 must-visit attractions and activities that showcase the best of Chinatown.

1. Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum

Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum

Photo Credit to:

The Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum is a significant place of worship and a fascinating exhibit of religious art. Located in the heart of Chinatown, this temple houses the tooth relic of Buddha, making it a central site for local Buddhists and international visitors.


The temple’s architectural design features Tang dynasty-styled motifs, richly detailed with intricate woodwork and calming lotus motifs. Inside, the museum offers an extensive collection of Buddhist artefacts from Asia, providing insight into the region’s religious heritage.

If you’re looking for a cultural experience, you can participate in the daily rituals and ceremonies open to visitors. These offer an insight into Buddhist practices.

Admission to the temple and museum is free, allowing everyone to appreciate its cultural and spiritual offerings.

Chinatown Heritage Centre

Photo Credit to:

2. Chinatown Heritage Centre

The Chinatown Heritage Centre is the perfect place to explore the narratives of Singapore’s early Chinese migrants. This museum authentically recreates the living conditions of Chinatown’s original inhabitants, contrasting with the busy streets outside.

Exhibition Highlights

Visitors can walk through reconstructed living quarters filled with period-appropriate furnishings and everyday items, which narrate the story of survival and resilience.

The centre also features audiovisual documentaries that bring to life the personal stories of past residents. These help to enrich visitors’ understanding of Chinatown’s historical landscape.

Maxwell Food Centre

Photo Credit to:

3. Maxwell Food Centre

A visit to Chinatown is incomplete without experiencing its food scene, and Maxwell Food Centre is a place of local cuisine. Known for its affordable yet delicious hawker fare, this food centre is a must-visit for food lovers.

Must-Try Dishes

If you’ve never had Hainanese chicken rice, try the famous Tian Tian Chicken Rice. It is known for its flavourful rice and tender chicken and is a staple locals and tourists love.

You can also enjoy local beverages. Refresh yourself with traditional drinks like ‘Teh Tarik’ (pulled tea) or ‘Barley Water’, perfect for beating the Singapore heat.

Exploring Chinatown’s culture and history can be a delightful experience. If you’re looking to extend your adventure with a night out or a shopping spree, Horison Credit is here to support you. We provide tailored loan solutions to fit your needs, ensuring your journey is worry-free. Secure your loan today and enjoy everything Chinatown offers without a hitch.


Sri Mariamman Temple

4. Sri Mariamman Temple

Sri Mariamman Temple, Singapore’s oldest Hindu temple, is renowned for its rich history and vibrant architecture. Located in the heart of Chinatown, this temple serves as a focal point for cultural festivities and is an architectural wonder that attracts visitors worldwide.

Architectural Marvel

The temple showcases exquisite Dravidian architectural styles, characterised by its towering ‘gopuram’ (entrance tower), decorated with intricate figures and mythological designs.

You can also engage in spiritual practices by participating in or observing the Hindu rituals and ceremonies regularly performed here.

Festival Celebrations

Visitors can also participate in or witness the Thimithi, the fire-walking festival. It is an annual ceremony that draws large crowds.

Chinatown Street Market

Photo Credit to:

5. Chinatown Street Market

The Chinatown Street Market is a great place to get the ultimate shopping experience. Here, shoppers can find everything from souvenirs and traditional Chinese crafts to modern fashion and electronics.

What to Buy

Pick up unique Chinese souvenirs such as lanterns, traditional Chinese dresses, and handcrafted accessories.

Don’t miss out on the variety of street food available, from dim sum to durian-flavoured snacks, which provide a taste of local flavours.

Shopping Tips

Here are a few shopping pointers to keep in mind:

  • Bargaining: Bargaining is common here, so don’t hesitate to negotiate prices with vendors to get the best deals.
  • Visiting Hours: The market is most vibrant in the evenings, especially during weekends when the streets are closed to traffic.

Thian Hock Keng Temple

Photo Credit to:

6. Thian Hock Keng Temple

Thian Hock Keng Temple is one of Singapore’s oldest and most important Hokkien temples. It is a testament to the traditional Chinese religion and the cultural heritage of the early Chinese migrants to Singapore.

Architectural Details

The temple’s structure is a prime example of traditional Southern Chinese architectural style. Its intricate carvings and detailed tile work were all constructed without a single nail.

It is also a significant heritage. It has been well preserved and offers insight into its devotees’ cultural and religious practices.

Cultural Importance

Originally built along the shoreline, this temple, a maritime heritage, served as a thanksgiving site for Chinese immigrants who had survived the dangerous journey from China.

It also functions as a community centre, hosting various cultural activities and festivals, strengthening the community’s bonds.

Chinatown Complex Food Centre

7. Chinatown Complex Food Centre

Chinatown Complex Food Centre is another street food landmark within Chinatown. It is known for its wide range of local dishes. It is the largest hawker centre in Singapore, offering an authentic taste of local cuisine.

Signature Dishes

At Chinatown Complex Food Centre, check out the Michelin-starred hawker stalls. This is home to the famous Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle, the world’s cheapest Michelin-starred meal.

You can also try the local favourite. Explore different dishes, such as Char Kway Teow, Satay, and Chilli Crab, all under one roof.

Dining Tips

Visit during off-peak hours to avoid the crowds and enjoy a more relaxed meal. Additionally, with over 260 food stalls, take your time to explore and try different stalls, each known for its unique take on Singaporean classics.

Ann Siang Hill and Club Street

Photo Credit to:

8. Ann Siang Hill and Club Street

Ann Siang Hill and Club Street are famous for their vibrant nightlife and chic dining experiences. By day, the area is a quiet place where you can explore boutique shops and cafes, but at night, it transforms into a lively nightlife scene with numerous bars and eateries.


You can browse boutique shops offering everything from bespoke clothing to handcrafted jewellery.

For dining options, visitors can enjoy local delights and international cuisines, all available in stylish settings.


Check out some stylish bars and clubs for a taste of Singapore’s nightlife. They offer everything from live music to craft cocktails.

NUS Baba House

Photo Credit to:

9. NUS Baba House

The NUS Baba House is a beautifully preserved Peranakan heritage house that offers a glimpse into the rich cultural tapestry of the Peranakan community in Singapore. The National University of Singapore manages it as an artistic and educational facility.

Touring the Baba House

At NUS, visitors get guided tours to fully appreciate the details and cultural significance of the Peranakan lifestyle and heritage.

The house is filled with original Peranakan artefacts, from ornate furniture to colourful ceramic tiles, each telling a story of the past.

Educational Experience

You’ll learn about blending Chinese, Malay, and European influences that define Peranakan culture and understand the efforts to preserve such heritage homes in modern Singapore.

Singapore City Gallery

Photo Credit to:

10. Singapore City Gallery

The Singapore City Gallery offers a fascinating insight into Singapore’s ambitious urban planning efforts. It’s a must-visit for anyone interested in architecture and urban development, showcasing how Singapore transformed from a modest port city into a lively global metropolis.

Interactive Exhibits

At Singapore City Gallery, visitors marvel at the detailed scale model of Singapore, which highlights current and future developments.

Visitors can also interact with various interactive exhibits that explain the planning considerations and technological innovations used in city planning.

Educational Tours

Opt for a guided tour to gain deeper insights from knowledgeable guides who can point out significant projects and planning strategies.

The gallery also hosts workshops and seminars to educate visitors on urban sustainability and development practices.

Discover More in Chinatown

Chinatown in Singapore offers a mixture of cultural, culinary, and historical experiences that are both enriching and entertaining. From the spiritual ambience of historic temples to the busy markets and modern nightlife, Chinatown is a district where you’ll experience the past and the present in the most colourful ways. Whether exploring the heritage sites or enjoying the local cuisine, Chinatown promises numerous experiences catering to all tastes and interests.

As you plan your journey through this neighbourhood, remember that the true essence of Chinatown is best experienced when you immerse yourself in its rich cultural heritage and vibrant community life. Enjoy your exploration of one of Singapore’s most iconic districts!

Planning your adventure in Chinatown might require a bit of extra funding for those unexpected finds and experiences. At Horison Credit, we offer personalised loan solutions to help make your visit as fulfilling as possible. Whether you need extra cash to shop at the street markets or dine out in style, we’re here to help. Apply now and ensure your trip to Chinatown is as vibrant and exciting as the district!


Loan Scams In Singapore The Ultimate Guide To Protecting Yourselves


How Do I Increase My Credit Card Limit?

Don’t wait – apply for a loan now.