Located within the historic Kampong Glam district, Arab Street comprises several streets and lanes and one of the city’s most stunning landmarks, Sultan Mosque. Historically a Yemeni Arab community, the district has evolved over the years, serving as home to the country’s Malay-Muslim population, and a unique blend of old and new today. For your visit, alight at Bugis MRT and take a 10-minute walk into the heart of Kampong Glam. Scroll down for our take on what to do in Arab Street.
Arab Street: What to Buy
Nothing will remind you more of your visit to Singapore’s Arab Street than fine fabric sewn into something wearable. Walk into one of the humble ground-floor textile establishements and be greeted with rolls upon rolls of textiles lining the walls. Although prices will be steeper than those in Chinatown or Ang Mo Kio, there is a fantastic selection of fabrics and lace for you to choose from. Here are some shops to check out, but feel free to wander around. Serendipity might strike.
Address: 72 Arab St, Singapore 199769
Address: 96 Arab St, Singapore 199792
Address: 84 Arab St, Singapore 199780
Arab Street: Where to Go
You won’t miss this. Framed in almost every shot of Arab Street and its surrounds, Sultan Mosque is a prominent and beautiful landmark of the district. First built in 1824 for Sultan Hussein Shah of Temasek, the mosque was redesigned and rebuilt in 1932 in its present shape. Go on a guided tour to learn more about the mosque’s rich history and unique features!
Visiting hours: Sat-Thu 10am to 12pm and 2pm to 4pm; Fri 2.30pm to 4pm
Insider advice: Wear long trousers or skirts and long-sleeved tops.
Address: 3 Muscat Street, Singapore 198833
Nearest MRT: Bugis (10 min walk)/Jalan Besar (10 min walk)
Malay Heritage Centre
Right next to Sultan Mosque sits the Malay Heritage Centre. Situated within the old Istana Kampong Gelam grounds, the centre retains the layout of the original stilted timber building. Step inside to learn more about Kampong Glam’s history as a thriving port before Sir Stamford Raffles arrived in 1819.
Opening hours: Tue-Sun 10am to 6pm (last admission 5.30pm); Closed on Mon
Address: 85 Sultan Gate, Singapore 198501
Nearest MRT: Bugis (10 min walk)
Arab Street: What to Eat
After your walk around Arab Street, you’ll be looking for nourishment. Whether you’re up for something fancy or craving some local comfort food, you’ll find something that caters to your tastebuds.
Kampong Glam Cafe
For inexpensive homemade Malay fare, look no further than the streetside Kampong Glam Cafe. Savour a bowl of Kacang Pool or dig into a plate of Nasi Goreng for $5 or less!
If you’re feeling ravenous, order some extra sides to go with your dish!
Opening hours: 8am to 2am daily
Address: 17 Bussorah Street, Singapore 199438
Singaporeans swear by the Teh Tarik served at this hole-in-the-wall drinks stall. It used to be so hard to find that locals and travellers alike would settle for tea from Kampong Glam Cafe, but the owners have upped their game with signboards and an Instagram page, making sure that you will find them.
Go for their Teh Halia (Ginger tea), reportedly their bestseller, or stick to plain ol’ can’t-go-wrong Teh Tarik. For less than $2 each, you’re getting more than your money’s worth here.
Opening hours: 6am to 12am daily
Address: 21 Bussorah St, Singapore 199442
Craving for fresh, wholesome Italian cuisine? Get your fix right within the Arab Quarter! Rated the No. 1 Italian restaurant in Singapore, this Halal-certified diner is certainly shattering conventions. Positano Risto aims to give Muslim travellers a choice, and it looks like it has outdone itself, cementing its position near the top of Singapore’s gastronomy list.
Order some of the hearty pastas and flavourful pizzas, then throw in a Positano Signature Chocolate Fudge Brownie for good measure. You’ll be satisfied for days to come. *Breaks fourth wall* I swear the Lobster Fettucine is making my mouth water. Time to propose writing food reviews. *Mends fourth wall*
Thirsty? While there won’t be any wine service at Positano Risto, they serve lovingly crafted mocktails sure to please even the most finicky of Foodstagrammers.
Opening hours: Sun-Thu 11.30am to 10pm; Fri-Sat 11.30am to 11pm
Address: 66 Bussorah Street, Singapore 199479
Reserve your seats: +65 6292 1866 or fill up a form @ http://positanoristo.com/reservation-2/