Since 1330, immigrants from China have made the area around Pagoda Street their first port of call on arrival in Singapore. Indeed, this neighbourhood was the first in the world to gain the name “Chinatown”. While Chinese people are Singapore's main ethnic group, this quarter represents the strongest expression of their identity. Tradition and history can be explored in the China Heritage Centre, in its many markets, and in the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum. The interior of the temple is bedecked in opulent reds and golds, and Buddhist ceremonies take place regularly – you are welcome to stay and observe.

A guided walking tour is an informative way to delve deeper into the background of the area, or if you prefer, you can follow the Chinatown tour yourself. The beginning point of the tour is the China Heritage Centre, offering a sense of what life was like in the city for early arrivals. The Sri Mariamman Temple is the oldest Hindu temple in Singapore, and its design is a very pleasing example of the South Indian style. Other traditional architecture to be found here includes the emblematic Chinese shop-houses, which are still in use to this day.

Smith Street, or 'Food Street' to the locals, is the best place in Chinatown to satisfy your hunger. Singapore Noodles have become world famous, and you can check out the real thing here. Bak kut (pork rib soup) is also a big favourite.

Chinatown is found in the centre of the city, within easy walking distance of most other central attractions. Parking is available on nearby streets, as well as a range of public transportation, including taking the MRT train to 'Chinatown' station. The area is open daily, and is free to enter.

Known for

shopping, dining and chinatown

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Top hotels in Chinatown

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
M Hotel Singapore
M Hotel Singapore
4.5 out of 5
81 Anson Road, Singapore
RM574
per night
26 Oct-27 Oct

Located in Chinatown, this luxury hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Shenton Way and Thian Hock Keng Temple. Chinatown Heritage Center and Raffles Place are ...

4.1/5Very Good! (1,728 reviews)

"Great Staffs and environment."…"

Reviewed on 19 Oct,2019

M Hotel Singapore
Amara Singapore
Amara Singapore
4.5 out of 5
165 Tanjong Pagar Road, Singapore
RM531
per night
26 Oct-27 Oct

Located in Chinatown, this luxury hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Maxwell Food Centre, Sri Mariamman Temple and Chinatown Heritage Center. Boat Quay and ...

4/5Very Good! (1,327 reviews)

"the bathroom wall is dirty, and the bath towels are broken."…"

Reviewed on 7 Oct,2019

Amara Singapore
Sofitel Singapore City Centre
Sofitel Singapore City Centre
5 out of 5
9 Wallich Street, Singapore, SG
RM799
per night
15 Nov-16 Nov

Located in Chinatown, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Shenton Way and Thian Hock Keng Temple. Chinatown Heritage Center and Singapore River are ...

4.6/5Exceptional! (124 reviews)

"Excellent hotel with great facilities. Loved the restaurant; room and access to Virgin Active."…"

Reviewed on 27 Sep,2019

Sofitel Singapore City Centre
The Scarlet Singapore
The Scarlet Singapore
4 out of 5
33 Erskine Road, Singapore
RM406
per night
10 Nov-11 Nov

Located in Chinatown, this romantic hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Chinatown Heritage Center, Thian Hock Keng Temple, and Singapore River. Raffles Place ...

4.2/5Excellent! (1,275 reviews)

"Lovely hotel with fantastic welcome on check in & room staff. Terrible breakfast in the independently operated restaurant and does not live up to the experience of the hotel. Breakfast was more like a backpacker hostel at a premium price, very disappointing."…"

Reviewed on 17 Oct,2019

The Scarlet Singapore
Oasia Hotel Downtown Singapore
Oasia Hotel Downtown Singapore
4.5 out of 5
100 Peck Seah Street, Singapore
RM598
per night
27 Oct-28 Oct

Located in Chinatown, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Shenton Way and Thian Hock Keng Temple. Chinatown Heritage Center and Singapore General ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (636 reviews)

"Club upgrade definitely worth it. Beautiful hotel, well located and lovely staff"…"

Reviewed on 8 Oct,2019

Oasia Hotel Downtown Singapore
KēSa House
KēSa House
3.5 out of 5
55 Keong Saik Rd., Singapore
RM497
per night
31 Oct-1 Nov

Located in Chinatown, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Chinatown Heritage Center, Singapore River and Singapore General Hospital. Thian Hock Keng Temple ...

4.8/5Exceptional! (12 reviews)

"Kesa House was amazing and I loved every corner of the property. I could tell everything was well thought out. An amazing stay even though it was a short one and all the staff I came across were amazing and always greeted me with a smile."…"

Reviewed on 7 Sep,2019

KēSa House

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Boat Quay
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Boat Quay

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After a busy day, come and join the mix of locals and visitors for a drink down by the waterside in this stylish entertainment district.

Top activities in Chinatown

Night at Chinatown and Bugis Village with Trishaw & Bumboat
Image for Night at Chinatown and Bugis Village with Trishaw & Bumboat

Night at Chinatown and Bugis Village with Trishaw & Bumboat

RM301

Chinatown has also come a long way since the early days when Chinese immigrants made this enclave their home. Filled with a sprawling myriad of shops and eateries, bustling with colourful and exciting activities set against a backdrop of rich history and heritage, Chinatown is not to be missed especially in the evening when everything really comes alive.

Hands-on Singapore Cooking Class & Cultural Exchange
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Hands-on Singapore Cooking Class & Cultural Exchange

RM300

Singapore has a lot to offer, but nothing comes close to a cultural immersion experience as educational and delicious as a hands-on local cooking class. This multiple award-winning Cultural Cooking Class is designed to help you dive deep into the fascinating side of Singapore’s food heritage and culture in an informal and fun atmosphere.

Soothing Spa Experience
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Soothing Spa Experience

RM300

Enjoy the relaxing experience at Bath Culture Foot Therapy, located in the heart of Chinatown. After you indulge in a revitalizing foot bath with herbal remedies, unwind at the experienced hands of your masseuse as they work out the knots in your muscles.

Asia 101: A Mix of Chinese, Malay, Indian & Peranakan Tour
Image for Asia 101: A Mix of Chinese, Malay, Indian & Peranakan Tour

Asia 101: A Mix of Chinese, Malay, Indian & Peranakan Tour

RM549

More than just a melting pot of cultures, Singapore offers a unique blend of experiences and food that are shaped by its multi-cultural community. Let us bring you on a sense-awakening journey into Singapore's main ethnic quarters as well as the authentic local neighbourhoods of Bugis & Orchard.

Tastes of Chinatown
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Tastes of Chinatown

RM304

Chinatown is an ethnic neighborhood that was once home to the early Chinese migrants. The area also displays remarkable religious diversity, where Hindu temples and mosques sit right next to Chinese temples. The rich heritage of Singapore is also evident in the wealth of food choices.

Sweet and Savory Evening Hawker Food Tour
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Sweet and Savory Evening Hawker Food Tour

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Read travel guides and advice on visiting Chinatown

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