Eat, shop and explore Little India in four hours
If you have some free time between your busy schedule, or at least four hours to spare before your flight out of Singapore, spend some time at Little India to enjoy the truly unique sights, sounds and scents of this ethnic precinct. It was the centre of Indian migrant activity in colonial Singapore with both residential estates and a cattle-driven commercial industry. Today, Little India stands as a historically vibrant oasis close to the city centre, offering the perfect amalgamation of culture, shopping and culinary delights that embody the spirit of Singapore. Here are a few must-see spots to include in your visit.
Spend an hour shopping like a local at Little India Arcade and Tekka Market
Start your morning at Tekka Market, Singapore’s largest indoor wet market. With about 250 stalls selling a variety of fresh produce, cooked food and hard-to-find spices, Tekka Market is a favourite among Indian locals, and Singaporeans, in general. Stop by Sky Lab Cooked Food to try its famed rendition of the Indian snack, vadai (a savoury, deep-fried dough fritter). Venture upstairs to browse the shops and enjoy the colourful displays of traditional Indian apparel at affordable prices.
Head across the street to immerse yourself in the narrow, winding alleys of Little India Arcade. A favourite among tourists, the collection of early 20th century shophouses boast clothing, accessory and food stalls showcasing the commercial heritage of the district, often with their heaving wares spilling onto the passageways. Make a stop at the well-known Moghul Sweet Shop for a quick bite of authentic, colourful dessert delights.
Address: 665 Buffalo Rd, L1 Tekka Centre, Singapore 210665
Opening hours: 6.30am – 5pm
Moghul’s Sweet Shop:
Address: 48 Serangoon Road, #01-16 Little India Arcade, Singapore 217959
Opening hours: 11am – 11pm
Devote an hour to learn about Little India’s intriguing history at these cultural hot spots
Continue down Serangoon Road and you won’t miss the beautiful architecture of one of Singapore’s oldest Hindu temples, Sri Veeramakaliamman. The intricate structure stands as a beacon of the area’s history. In the early 20th century, the influx of Indian migrant workers led to the development of the area as an ethnic enclave. Dedicated to the Hindu Goddess Kali (the destroyer of evil), the temple represented the need for early migrants to feel safe in a new land they now call home. Surviving World War Two unscathed, the temple has since undergone three refurbishments and remains one of the most recognisable monuments in the area.
Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple
Address: 141 Serangoon Road, Singapore 218042
Opening hours: 5.30am – 9.30pm
Explore the Indian Heritage Centre, which traces the timelines of South Asian communities in Southeast Asia. This unique building combines traditional Indian elements into a modern architectural masterpiece that champions sustainability. Split into five thematic exhibits, the centre showcases the diverse heritage of the local Indian community with features including the historical roles and contributions of Indian pioneers in Singapore and Malaya, and the efforts of the Indian community towards shaping Singapore’s future from the late 1950s.
Address: 5 Campbell Lane, Singapore 209924
Tel: 6291 1601
Opening hours: 10am - 7pm (Opening hours vary)
Join in on Singapore’s favourite pastime at these local dining spots. Set aside 45 minutes to enjoy a delicious meal!
Popular among locals and visitors alike, The Banana Leaf Apolo offers authentic North and South Indian dishes. Experience an ancient Indian custom as food is served on a banana leaf. A crowd favourite is the local delicacy, fish head curry, a perfect melange of aromatic spices that infuse every morsel of the piquant dish. With its large banquet tables, the restaurant can easily host large groups.
Address: 54 Race Course Rd, Singapore 218564
Tel: 6293 8682
Opening hours: 10.30am – 10.30pm
Arguably one of the most popular vegetarian restaurants in Singapore, Gokul Vegetarian Restaurant offers an exciting variety of local, North and South Indian dishes. The restaurant opened its doors in 2003 with the goal of creating robust vegetarian food that would delight even the true-blue carnivores. They set out to feature the endless possibilities of a vegetarian diet with a constantly evolving menu, that now features multiple vegan options. Customer favourites include Vegetarian Chicken Rice, Dum Briyani, Butter Chicken, Murtabak, Chinese Rojak
Address: 19 Upper Dickson Road, Singapore 207478
Tel: 6396 7769
Opening hours: 10.30am – 10pm daily