Love temples, dining and architecture? Get away to Chinatown!

The majority of Singapore's population is ethnically Chinese, and the area known as Chinatown has been their cultural centre for hundreds of years. As trading houses expanded along the south bank of the river in the 19th century, coolies and Chinese merchants settled in an area that was soon officially designated as Chinatown by Singapore's British founder, Sir Stamford Raffles. Characterised by temples, markets and shop-houses, the area around Pagoda Street is a great place for a stroll and a bite to eat. As well as Chinese medicine shops and market stalls, there are also some interesting attractions such as the Chinatown Heritage Centre and the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum.

Inside the Heritage Centre, a museum housed in three restored shop-houses, you can learn about how life was for the early immigrants, There are vivid accounts about their living conditions and a series of exhibits following individuals who lived here hundreds of years ago.

The Buddha Tooth Relic Temple was completed in 2007 and is based on the Tang dynasty architectural style. It was built to showcase a tooth relic which was found in Burma. Visitors are welcome to enter the temple and take a look around the lavish gold and red interior.

A Chinatown highlight is the food: there's plenty of traditional Chinese cuisine on Smith Street, affectionately known by locals as Food Street. Sample the local favourite Bak kut teh, or pork rib soup. The cuisines from many different Chinese provinces are on offer here too, so it's easy to find something a little different.

As well as the many Chinese attractions, the area also has the oldest Hindu temple in the city, the Sri Mariamman Temple. Its location in Chinatown illustrates the fascinating ethnic blend in Singapore.

Chinatown is well served by public transportation and the Chinatown MRT station is just a minute's walk away.

Known for

Shopping, Dining and Chinatown

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Top hotels in Chinatown

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Image for M Hotel Singapore
M Hotel Singapore
4.5 out of 5
81 Anson Road, Singapore
Rs10,075
per night
27 Sep-28 Sep
4.1/5Very Good! (1,721 reviews)

"M Club lounge was wonderful! Food, refreshment, snacks, drinks and breakfast were delicious."…"

Reviewed on 6 Sep 2019

M Hotel Singapore
Image for The Scarlet Singapore
The Scarlet Singapore
4 out of 5
33 Erskine Road, Singapore
Rs9,184
per night
27 Sep-28 Sep
4.2/5Excellent! (1,254 reviews)

"Room was huge, great shower and friendly staff. We also enjoyed a drink on the rooftop and it’s an easy walk to la pa sat or maxwell food centre (across the rd)"…"

Reviewed on 16 Sep 2019

The Scarlet Singapore
Image for Carlton City Hotel Singapore
Carlton City Hotel Singapore
5 out of 5
1 Gopeng Street, Singapore
Rs10,822
per night
27 Sep-28 Sep
4.4/5Wonderful! (1,940 reviews)

"location was great improvement on amenities open balconies / terraces for lounging would be great"…"

Reviewed on 17 Sep 2019

Carlton City Hotel Singapore
Image for Amara Singapore
Amara Singapore
4.5 out of 5
165 Tanjong Pagar Road, Singapore
Rs10,668
per night
18 Oct-19 Oct
4/5Very Good! (1,302 reviews)

"Room was spacious. However, housekeeping was not done well. The floor in the toilet was sticky. TV remote control battery was flat, and liquid leaked out. Less than half a box of tissue remaining. Coffee packs were not replenished."…"

Reviewed on 16 Sep 2019

Amara Singapore
Image for Dorsett Singapore
Dorsett Singapore
4 out of 5
333 New Bridge Road, Singapore
Rs8,367
per night
29 Sep-30 Sep
4.1/5Very Good! (1,519 reviews)

"The location is very comfortable, just a few steps from Outram Park Station, 10 minutes walk to China Town."…"

Reviewed on 30 Jul 2019

Dorsett Singapore
Image for Sofitel Singapore City Centre
Sofitel Singapore City Centre
5 out of 5
9 Wallich Street, Singapore, SG
Rs12,369
per night
13 Oct-14 Oct
4.6/5Wonderful! (117 reviews)

"Great location, right next to MRT station. Friendly, helpful staff."…"

Reviewed on 8 Sep 2019

Sofitel Singapore City Centre

Read travel guides and advice on visiting Chinatown

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